They can’t live in the light, can’t touch the light, so you’re safe once you know that, because you can stay safe as long as you have light. They like the shadows, they thrive in them.
When there were still scientists trying to figure them out there were a lot of them trying to convince the world that they were us, just like us, but they’d taken a different evolutionary path. Thousands and thousands of years ago some of them must have gotten trapped in that warren of underground caves and they grew in number, they lived and hunted and fought and spawned and died just like we did on top of the earth, out in the sun. But they were under so long, so very many generations, they went pale, like those fish that glow in pools.
Not that the shadowpeople phosphoresce. They’re just pale, so pale. It helps to find them, really, because any bit of light will glint off their skin, like blacklight would off of teeth and eyes and white clothing in nightclubs.
God, nightclubs. Remember them? Remember when we liked to be all pressed together in dark places and it was fun not knowing who all was there with you?
Funny how things change.
Like nobody goes anywhere anymore without at least one or two flashlights in a hip holster. I always have two, because it pays to be safe, right? Except when I came down into this cellar in this house to see if maybe they had any food or batteries stored down here, I was only two steps off the bottom of the stair when I got hit hard, and I am pretty sure it was teeth that scraped across the back of my neck when I went down and rolled and my flashlight went clattering away into the dim.
Just dumb luck, really, that I rolled into this one patch of sunlight that slanted from the big windows upstairs through the trapdoor at the top of the stairs, and it shrieked and scrambled off into the dark. I thought I could use my second flashlight to keep it back while I got out, but the damn thing broke. I should have gotten those Maglites, even if they are heavy. You can beat the hell out of them and they keep going.
My neck hurts like hell, and I think it’s still bleeding a little. I’ve been keeping myself in this patch of light, watching that pale shape pacing in the deep shadows at the far end of the cellar. I was thinking that I could just stick in the light until it got to the bottom of the steps, but it’s afternoon. The light is making me inch away from the stairs, and I’m only maybe a foot away from the wall now.
I’m going to have to make a break for it, I know that – but I know that thing is watching me, too. It looks like it’s going to be four running steps, and hopefully by the time I get there, enough light will still be on the stairs, but that creature keeps creeping toward the shadows underneath the steps.
I was hoping the beam my flashlight was still throwing would help give me a path, but the thing shut it off. First things first, I’m going to toss this up through the trapdoor, I can probably make it from here. So if you find this on the floor outside the cellar, I didn’t make it, and you better shine your torch REAL good around the cellar before you go down.
This piece of Nightmare Fuel was inspired by this picture, artist unknown.
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