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The Dark Ones


Liam Brennan

This old town is fading and it happens the same way every night. I catnap with a crumpled edition of The Weekly Intriguer blanketing me, in my rather uncomfortable recliner, in my rather unfortunate looking bungalow, in my rather unusual township of Elegy Falls, while reruns of a detested melodrama play on the television. My aging collie, Basil, sits at my feet covering the holes in my beloved slippers with his unkempt coat. At 12:39 a.m., the television switches to a set of color bars that rouse me with an incessant high-pitched tone that somehow instructs Basil to fetch his tattered leash. I give the television a good knock on the side and being a predominantly old television it shuts off instantly. The faithful companion drops his leash at my feet as I throw on a trench coat and dark bowler cap to cover my rather unattractive comb-over.

As we venture into the night I make sure never to forget a camera, in the hopes that tonight may be my opportunity. Basil leads the way down the quaint cobblestone path to the splintered picket fence with its squeaky gate. I could oil the gate but choose not to for fear the Dark Ones might somehow change their collective appetite. You've assumed already that I am senile no doubt, but I assure you what happens next will amend those notions. The gate creaks open and we step onto a road that stretches the

length of the town, our shadows crawling across the darkened roadway. The first stop is number 346, a decrepit shack belonging to Mrs. Eliza McGovern who many consider to be a kind-spirited, old woman with a soul so caring it would make even our lord redden. When the night falls however, this could not be further from the truth. I step to the front of the house and ready my camera, always trying to hold the little red flash button down long enough to get that perfect picture. I stoop to Basil's level and he shoots me a confused scowl. Through the sizeable shrubs I spot her, or should I say it, with its shadowy frame lit up by those eyes, those glowing yellow eyes. It swaggers throughout the house, preparing for the feast that lies ahead. As soon as it appears, it vanishes. I believe they can sense when one of us present even from a distance. Basil yips and whines to keep moving, at his age he has no reason to fear them but I appease his request anyhow.

Further down the blackened path, we arrive just outside the towering, turn of the century Wells household. It once belonged to a large family with children so innocent and pure at heart it nearly melted my very core. Over time they vanished, just as they always do here in Elegy Falls. The only remaining member of the family is Blanchard Q. Wells, the town sheriff (yes even the law has been infiltrated), leaving me with no one to turn to except of course if I am lucky enough to snap a clear picture. My heart does not beat quickly anymore; my pulse is steady as a rock. Through the tall evergreens I spot him, or should I say it; that thing with its massive frame and those eyes, those pulsating yellow eyes, pacing across the porch. Normally Blanchard is a relatively small man. Of course this had led to difficulty when attempting to detain various young delinquents that pass

through on occasion. Naturally, the locals are always willing to lend a helping hand to catch the young ones. I hold the camera up and snap a few shots as Basil tugs hard at the leash and we're off.

Just a little further down now and we arrive at the main attraction, a little barbershop with the distinctive red, white, and blue pole adorning the outside. Despite having no reason to fear them at my age, the large glass windows always make me cross to the other side for fear he, or should I say it, might spot me. Sure enough, good ol' Jameson is pacing back and forth inside the shop; pair of scissors in his hefty right hand is his weapon of choice for their bloodthirsty hunt. Those eyes, those horrifying yellow eyes, reflect off the windows with every turn of his head and menacing roar. I ready the camera and snap a few pictures, although these ones tend not to turn out due to the reflection of the flash in the glass, but it's worth a shot nonetheless. Basil is ready for the final stop before our return to our shoddy sanctuary. He tugs on the leash again and we're off.

At the end of the road stands the Elegy Falls Memorial Library, a typical childhood consort in any small town, except for this one of course. Just outside the thick, oaken doors, is where she, or should I say it, lingers. The librarian, Mrs. Jane J. Drane, with her shin length skirt and golden spectacles now traded in for a dark, colossal physique with those aforementioned eyes. The children were terrified of her, not because of her generally frail appearance but because of her unabashed temper. That temper was ripening this evening, ready for the impending feast. I snap my pictures and move on down the road, which leads right back to my splintered picket fence, my quaint cobblestone path, and my unfortunate looking bungalow. There is no leaving this little town for me and I know not why I've been spared. The cries of the young and pure are now merely echoes of the past as the Dark Ones lost control of their increasing appetites. My pictures never seem to turn out and The Weekly Intriguer will go on without me for yet another edition. There is little youth left here in this dying town but tomorrow when the buzzing color bars wake me from my slumber, I will walk that road again.

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