Suddenly, something made the man whip around. There, at the very edge of his field of visioin, there had been a movement. The figure turned, eyes darting wildly and scouring the darkness for any further movement. There it was again. A shape, black against the murk. His breathing quickened. The hairs on the back of his neck rose and his hands curled into fists at his sides:
“Who’s there?” he called defiantly, desperately trying to quash the fear creeping into his voice. “Show yourself!”
A laugh eminated from the shadows, low and ominous as the snarling of some great animal. The man clenched his fists, his face as bone-white as his knuckles. He called again, louder and more agitated. The intruder gave a reluctant sigh and slowly began to emerge from the dark. Eventually it stopped, standing several feet away from the man and still completely shrouded in shadow. Nothing could be seen of its face, for it was completely obscured, as if it were a part of the shadows themselves. The only features the man could make out were a pair of eyes shining out of the darkness as if lit by some icy inner fire. They were as pale as mist, even the pupils seemed discoloured - almost as if the colour had been drained out of them. For all their seeming brightness, the eyes had all the warmth and emotion of a blizzard, their depths holding nothing but an iron-hard fury that gleamed evilly in their bleak, heartless depths. Ghost eyes.
“So you’re here?” said the eyes, a hint of malicious humour creeping into the velvety tone. “And what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”
“Don’t play games with me!” the man hissed, taking a step foward out of the lamplight. “You know why I’m here. You haven’t been keeping your part of the bargain. I want results, not your false promises.”
The eyes laughed again, the sound echoing off the stone houses and making the hairs on the back of the man’s neck stand on end. It was hard to believe he was talking to anything but some black-hearted spectre. The sheer evil in those eyes only served to add to the effect.
Finally, the eyes spoke again: “Don’t you worry. I have every intention of keeping my half in our little deal.” It paused, a momentary shadow clouding its gaze. “I haven’t forgotten the last time.”
The man smiled. For all its eerie ghostliness, he knew he had a tight hold on this one. After all, beneath this seeming evil, ther was still a human heart at its centre. A rotten, stone-encased, withered heart it may be, but a heart none the less.
“Good,” he said. “Now get on with it. I want results by dawn tomorrow. Put those knives of yours to some use.”
With that he turned and strode off into the dark, pulling his coat tighter around his shoulders to hide the redness burning there. The eyes watched him leave, their haunting, misty depths burning with smouldering fury. Although it still remained cloaked in shadow, the snarling edge to its voice cut the air like the knives that hung, invisible, at its waist.
“I’ll put my knives to use,” it hissed. “Just don’t be surprised if they end up stuck between your shoulderblades this time.”