Nightwalker

The thing about being a Nightwalker is:

You have to face the terror.

Visceral, pounding blood. Bones that crack beneath the weight of too much adrenaline. An impending knowledge that you, among these toothy tombs, are as strong as a twig against a mighty wind.

You are a Nightwalker. One who walks through the dreams of the despairing. Who can clamber up, and down—move among the dwelling horrors of the twilight hour.

A Nightwalker sees a nightmare.

And he can’t look away.

A Nightwalker, in order to survive, must keep moving. Must keep burning. Must keep fighting.

You must face the terror.

Or:

Perish. Continue reading “Nightwalker”

Heart of the Jungle

A jungle is no place for the faint of heart. No place for someone who doesn’t know—doesn’t accept—the law of the jungle.

Predators are kings.

And everyone else?

Prey.

Continue reading “Heart of the Jungle”

Giant Problems

Basements—especially the unfinished ones—were my least favorite. You never knew what you were going to find down there. Unfinished ones were usually designated storage space. Sometimes you’d find weird things, like mannequins, or halloween decorations, or old machinery. Sometimes, there’d just be mounds and mounds of boxes.

Sometimes, you’d find the source of their problems.

The cause for their fear.

Basements were hotbeds for them.

Bugs. Continue reading “Giant Problems”

Monstrous Answers

A monster walks through the forest.

His antlers brush against branches. The darkness cloaks him in kind favors. The moon highlights his skull, hitting the red of his eyes, making them glow.

A monster walks through the forest.

His home.

His feet leave no marks, he can’t afford them to. The long, jagged, torn tail that trails behind him looks like a shadow’s spine. Teeth dangle from his bangles, his anklets. Pieces of forgotten creatures, long since dead.

A monster walks through the forest.

And as he does, he must come to a stop.

There is another creature here.

One that is forgotten.

But not dead.

Not by a long shot. Continue reading “Monstrous Answers”

The Dinner Party

From the moment this all started, I knew.

Something was definitely wrong here.

I wasn’t sure what tipped me off. If it was the other guests, who they were and their abnormal presence here, or if it was just our host herself. Something about the way she moved, like a very clever cat with a handful of mice, rang all the alarms that I had. Either way, I still knew.

Something was wrong here.

And then?

It started.

Continue reading “The Dinner Party”

Gator in Waiting

When I was a kid, I would sit at the bottom of the swimming pool.

I would lie down, belly rubbing against the coarse cement. I would lie down, and I would see how long I could stay there. How long I could hold my breath. How long my crinkle-cut fingers could hold to the spaces of rough ridges. How long I could keep gripping to the bottom of the pool.

How long my ears could hold the silence.

Man.

That silence…

I drank it in.

Ate it up.

If I had thought I could consume that silence, I would’ve surely tried.

I’d have drowned straight away.

It was so comforting.

Too comforting.

Like walking into a restaurant in the throes of summer. The heat immediately eviscerated by the cool AC.

That’s what the silence was for me.

I wanted to gorge on it for forever.

Belly against the bottom of the pool, water-logged silence filling my ears, I felt like I understood why the gators liked to sit there. Figured I knew their motives.

In all honesty, I do, occasionally, get things wrong. Continue reading “Gator in Waiting”

Of Monstrous Mind

There’s a lot of unknowns in this world. A lot of things that you’ll never be able to grasp, to understand.

But it really sucks when the thing you don’t know—the knowledge that’s most out of reach—is knowing who to trust.

Talk about complicated… Continue reading “Of Monstrous Mind”

Hopeless Hallway

There is a clock, ticking, somewhere in your mind. And there is a hallway, split at the end, with that clock looming in between the paths you can take.

The hallway to one side is dark.

The other is lit.

Which path do you take?

How will it impact you?

Let me tell you a secret:

It doesn’t matter.

I don’t care.

Either way will lead you to me.

And that’s all I want. Continue reading “Hopeless Hallway”

Jumping Experience

Looking over the edge, I realized it, but way too late:

I was way in over my head here.

“You scared?”

I startled a little bit, which was answer enough for her.

She laughed, good-naturedly. “It is pretty scary, isn’t it?” she said, peering over the edge of the cliff with me at the water below.

I’d heard that people had jumped from this cliff before. The girl standing next to me claimed she’d done it time and time again. Thousands or hundreds of times, she’s stood on this cliff, looked over the edge, and leapt.

How brave.

That’s what I thought.

Until she spoke again.

“It’s scary every time.” Continue reading “Jumping Experience”

Tiger Chase

There are two types of chases.

The first is the most common. Where you’re running away from something that’s running at you. Both of you are giving it your all because you just might get away, and your pursuer doesn’t want that. You both are completely aware that there’s a chance for you, the runner. The one fleeing. Because the pursuer can’t go on forever. Eventually, they’ll slow down. And, eventually, they’ll fall so far behind, they won’t be able to catch you.

That’s the sort of chase dogs give. Or humans.

It’s the more common form of chase because it holds more truth to it. Generally speaking, neither pursuer nor pursued can continue forever. And, just because they’re pursuing, doesn’t mean that they’re unstoppable.

At least, that’s generally true.

But not when it comes to the second form of chase.

Having someone run at you full speed, with everything they have, is intimidating. Scary. But it’s even worse when they don’t give it their all. When they don’t run.

When your pursuer walks.

That’s the second form. The scariest form.

Because, your pursuer isn’t walking for no reason. They’re not walking because they can’t run. They’re walking because they’re confident. They know.

It doesn’t matter.

If you run, and if they run, it’s pointless. Useless.

Because they know that, in the end, they’ll catch you.

They’ll catch you.

This second form of being chased is far more terrifying. It causes panic. You feel claustrophobic because you know that the walls are closing in. That, no matter where you turn, it’s just another corner, another snag that brings your pursuer closer.

It’s the type of chase that fires give. That storms give. That tigers give.

Only the fiercest of hunters pursue this way.

And, as I run, I know it in my bones:

You’re not like a dog. Not like a human.

I see your tiger eyes. Your slow walk.

And I know.

You’ll catch me. Continue reading “Tiger Chase”