A short and spooky story, that is all.
Never have the streets of Venice been this empty. Maybe it had to do with the pouring rain falling from the darkened sky, or perhaps the loud booming sound of thunder rapturing the very atmosphere. He did not know. But not a single soul was to be seen on the wet and slippery streets of the wondrous city, except for him, Yunior Corley, who ran fretfully through the town’s alleys.
Puddles splashed loudly as he stamped carelessly through them. His feet tripped over themselves and he stumbled awkwardly. He recovered quickly and carried on running for his life.
He didn’t know if it was paranoia or insanity, but each time he looked at the shadows in every corner, they seemed to move. They were following him. It was horrifying. Yunior had never been this scared and terrified in his entire life. It was as if the shadows themselves were coming alive to get him! It couldn’t be real. Or so he kept telling himself, although a part of him believed otherwise.
He was soaking wet, his clothe felt extremely heavy, and his feet were begging him to stop. But he couldn’t. If he did, then they, the shadows or whatever was hiding behind them, would catch him. No, he couldn’t allow that.
After his body failed to keep his breathing steady, he took gasps of air to keep supporting his lungs with oxygen. The mere thought of the horrors hiding in the corners of his vision was enough to keep him pushing beyond his limits.
He wiped the water off his eyes to clear. He didn’t really know where he was or where he was going. He just had to get away, away from the shadows.
You can’t. A voice murmured in his head. You will have to stop sooner or later. And when you do…They will get you.
Yunior ignored the hissing voice. He was never going to stop, ever. But after hours of pushing his body past its limits, he began to feel dread. The voice was right; he had – no – needed to stop. But the shadows….They were behind him, he knew, waiting patiently for him to do so. He didn't know what to do. Perhaps he could run until he drops dead, and all will be over. Yes, that was the only way to avoid the horrors awaiting him.
Foolish boy, the voice said, hissing through his very conscious. You will never get away.
Yunior screamed a sound so horrific and unnatural that scared even himself. He barreled blindly into a group of trash bins and tumbled down the road. He instinctively threw both hands in front to prevent the fall, but it was futile. The impact severely injured his left arm, rendering it useless, and causing him to hit the wet floor with a thud. The blood seemed to sip from the wound endlessly, as he screamed in pain.
A thundering sound was heard in the distance. And the rain drops were somehow getting heavier and heavier, splashing on his back and sending pulses of pain down his whole body. It was unbearable for the sixteen-year-old boy.
“&^%*” he cursed. Water sprayed off of his matter hair in all directions, adding ever so slightly to the general dampness of the area. Fighting back the pain, he used his remaining strength to stand on his knees using his right arm. He was bleeding like never before, the blood tainting his clothes red, and the pain giving him the feeling of being in hell. His eyes started darting from side to side, looking at the shadows on every corner he could spot. He wanted to stand and keep on running, but he hadn’t the strength or will to do so. He pitifully yelled for help, but he knew there was no one around to hear. It was just as pointless as running from the shadow which would never tire.
Then, there was silence, blissful, sane silence. The rain pattered down upon the ground, and danced on his back as he lay still. The silence drug on, minute by minute. A sense of dread slowly began to infuse itself into his stomach, growing until it overpowered the stench of the garbage. The hairs on the back of his neck began to lift in fear.
He pushed himself from the ground with his remaining strength, and turned over, slowly. The shadow swirled around him, seemingly alive. Inhuman things danced at the edges of his vision, dissolving into nothing if he tried to look directly at them. They were everywhere, crawling over everything. He heard clearly his heart pound on his chest rapidly in terror. They were coming for him, he knew.
They began to slither through the floors and walls, rendezvousing at a single location in front of him. Voices, murmurs which he could not decipher, whispered from all direction. They seemed to emanate from the very shadows themselves. It was all too unreal. All he could do was watch. Watch as the shadows, now fused together as one, detached itself from the ground and entered the world of the living, manifesting into a physical being. The thing that stood before him seemed wrong – oily, visceral and more real than ever before. So scared was he, that he could not even scream this time. He was paralyzed.
Growing green eyes peered down at him from the monstrosity. It had no particular shape; it just kept on shifting and changing, constantly growing and retracting extremities. It made his head hurt just looking at it.
Yunior shut his eyes tight, not wanting to look upon it no longer. “It’s not real.” He told himself, his voice sounding hoarsely. “It can’t be real. I will open my eyes and it will be gone.”
He opened them…
In front of him now stood a robed man, standing nearly seven feet tall, and looking down at him. Yunior tried to see his face, but the only thing visible under the black hood was those glowing green eyes, sending shivers down his spine. Now the rain was almost nonexistent as he looked at what he thought to be death. Dread, fear, terror, all swirled in his stomach at the sight of his doom.
The man extended his right arm forward. “Da mihi anima tua.” He said with a silky and smooth voice. The words seemed to both ring in Yunior's ears as in his head. And although he did not understand a single word, he raised his right arm, and did what he was told. He was too scared and terrified to do otherwise.
He felt fingers, but not just mere fingers, they bony skeletal fingers. They felt hard as rock yet so fragile. Pure fear kept Yunior locked in that position, holding the man's skeletal hand. A mixture of emotions swirled within.
He felt something cold slowly swim down his arm, numbing it. It was an unnatural force which seemed to consume him. His skin turned pale and his temperature drop significantly. It began to spread through his entire body.
His vision began to blur as the cold reached his face. He could still see those glowing green eyes leering down upon him with the authority of a god. A shadow began to creep from the corners of his vision, slowly narrowing his sight into complete and utter darkness. It was almost over now…
There was a blindly flash of light which pierced his vision. He jolted awake with a yelp. It took him several seconds, after the shock, to realize he was sitting on his bed and that it was just a dream, a nightmare. His sister stood by the window, holding the curtains, and letting the sun light to filter into the room. “Are you alright?” She asked.
Yunior gave her a slight nod. “I’m fine. Thanks.” He assured her, getting up from bed. “It was just a bad dream,”
“Quite a dream it must’ve been.” She said, sounding concern. That worried him, for his sister never really cared about him that much. And for her to sound so worried like this, meant it must've be something huge. “You were screaming and yelling for help on your sleep.” She added.
“I’m fine.” He repeated, annoyed. “Now leave, I need to change.” He waited her to be gone before taking off his pajamas and dressing up on his regular clothes. A white loosed shirt and a pair of blue jeans. He was still a bit shaken up by that dream. It was so vivid and felt so real. Even after he awoke he could still feel the cold in his body and his hair were still standing on end.
He walked towards his window to look outside, to see the bright sun shine down upon the earth with a pleasant light. The people walked and talked happily with each other as they headed to their destination. Even the birds sang in the distance, adding to the bright and joyful day. It will not take long for him to forget that horrible dream.
“By the way,” His sister said, peering through the door. “Mom says; breakfast’s ready.”
Yunior thanked her sister, still annoyed, and sent her away again. Right now he needed to be alone for a bit. He had to shake away that nightmare, to eject it from his head. So he took a deep breath and exhaled, relaxing and forgetting. Afterwards, he made his way downstairs to join his family for breakfast. And after having that nightmare, it all seemed so dreamy now. His mother had even served cappuccino and brioche, his favorite.
After breakfast, he went outside for fresh air, to just enjoy this Saturday. He sat a bench near his house and looked up at the clear blue skies. He let the sun’s ray warm his body, erasing the cold he had felt during his sleep. But as he looked down to an alley across the street, he saw something. Something which made his hair stand and brought back that fear and horror.
From the shadows, he saw a robed man staring straight at him….