Hey!! What's the story?

On this moonless midnight he glides along the shoreline cradled in his canoe. Long slow strokes move him through the inky river pocked by scattered drops of rain. Murky liquid licks the vessel as he meanders along the long stretch of nothing leading nowhere. Autumn musk hangs in the air and the tang of pine finds him.

This is his life. No wife. No kids. No kin. Home is an island surrounded by a private lake. Sanctuary is a dilapidated cabin, windows painted black to keep the dark in. He's nocturnal and wanders only when wild things are awake.

He's safe here draped in darkness beneath a starry sky. He's not bothered by baying wolves or bears beyond the trees. He's not frightened by things he can not see. But in this still and silent serenity, his mind meanders…


… hide and seek on a neighborhood street, the summer sun slowly sliding down the western sky, him hiding behind a weeping willow tree.

 "Dinner time!" 

"Olee Olee oxen free!"   

Game over. 

He raced across the manicured lawn, tripped and stumbled. Something in the grass grasped at his feet. He felt it snatching at his ankles but kicked himself free. He stood and staggered then he tumbled, fumbled, and struggled to escape. When he recovered he discovered he couldn't get away. He ran until his lungs gave out, but in the fading light that day, in a twisted game of hide-and-seek, he'd become his shadow's prey.

Winds warn a storm is stewing; something is brewing in the north. Clouds crawl across the sky devouring stars along the way while thunder rumbles in the distance. The river churns in agitation. He must head back before lightening lights the night.   

Thunder crashes! Lightening flashes! His canoe scrapes the rocky shore. He stumbles to touch ground and sees his shadow shift dark and tall then streak across the boat house wall. He slips and staggers over the stony incline fronting his rickety refuge barely there in the darkness.

Another lightening strike gives it an outline while his shadow stretches across the muddy path, closing the distance with every flash. 

He runs for his life, trips through the mangled tangle of weeds and heaves labored breaths as he fumbles to find the door. White light illuminates the night, and he shudders at the threshold of the ramshackle shelter. 

They said he was insane when he said it said his name; something seething in his psyche, manifesting shortly after his mother's suicide. While his father blamed him, the doctors tried to untangle the distorted disorder of the poor boy's troubled mind. They never did find his shadow. And maybe they were right. But they're not here tonight. 

Rusted hinges whine as the door swings open.  

Then who turned on the light?

Follow me on Twitter @writer_terri

Views: 69

Comment by Steph Ellis on November 8, 2014 at 12:12

Fantastic imagery, creepy story.

Comment by Ronnie Capaldi on December 16, 2014 at 16:55

I honestly thought your writing was superb.

Comment by Terri Ross on December 16, 2014 at 19:17

Thank  you very  much Steph and Ronnie for taking the time to read "Prey" and for your kind comments!

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