The shadow

"Did you get that?! Did you get that?!" Steve Shombert from Channel 12 was at the wheel, screaming in excitement. Dave, with his eyes still fixed on the TV camera’s lens and shooting the fiery white lightning ahead, nodded. It was not like they were seeing a lightning for the first time, but this one seemed very different – massive and powerful.

It hadn’t taken long for Steve to put the events of the day together. After all, this was a peaceful sleepy little town where graffiti was the only crime-worthy news. When was the last time there was a real homicide here? And today there was this dead guy Frank Catcher, the talk of this shadow, and then the hospitalized Mexican guy – boy, did he beat Lieutenant Dan on that one! He had even visited the hospital. “El Diablo! El Diablo!” was all the Mexican had said, as if in some kind of a trance. Next, he had picked a police chatter on a double-murder at Magnolia lane, with two boys claiming to have seen someone or something that looked like the reaper. And that was where he was headed now, accompanied by Dave, his camera man.

This is Steve Shombert, Channel 12 news” - he would be reporting on this story. This had to be something big, whatever it was. This town would soon become popular – like Roswell, only bigger! And he would have been at it first! Soon, CNN, BBC and all those global bigwigs would be after him for the story and footage. Oh, how his life was going to change!

“Look out!!” Dave’s cry interrupted his chain of thoughts, bringing him back to Earth. He hit the brakes hard and swerved, but not in time to avoid rear-ending the stationary car in front, pushing it farther and causing a chain of fender-benders.

“Oh.. Shh*t!!” he cried as the airbags popped open on his face. There was a pileup of a dozen cars. The four-way intersection ahead was a wreck with the traffic lights gone dead. Drivers were out, yelling in panic, confusion and anger.

“What the hell happened here?” Steve got out of his smoke-filled Channel 12 news van, Dave with his TV camera following suit.

“Looks like the lightning brought all the power down. Even the cell phones, car batteries – all dead!” someone said, in disbelief.

“Must’ve been some kind of an electromagnetic interference” Steve remarked.

“Look!” someone yelled. A dark shadow in the form of a cloud appeared. With a loud whooshing noise, it snowballed in size and fast gathered momentum, soon spreading over the entire area as if about to engulf everyone and everything. Some ran for cover, while others remained transfixed in shock, fear, or awe.

To his horror, Steve saw the shadow cloud now branch itself off, penetrating the bodies of onlookers and knocking them down. “Get down! Quick!” He pulled Dave by his arm as they both ducked and got under a truck for cover. The shadow was now hovering over them. And then, after a couple of minutes, everything became calm, and the sky was clear again.

The End

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