The shadows shifted in the corner of Cal’s eye. It was back.
It never left.
“Leave me alone,” Cal barked.
“You’re always alone,” a grating voice replied. Darkness emerged from the shadows, a hulking form, long twisted limbs, a featureless head. “Worthless,” it croaked.
“Enough! I’m done letting you control my life.” The thing cocked its head, curious. But Cal was already moving, knife in his hand. “Now die!”
A half stifled moan of surprise. The blade sank deep into the being’s chest and it crumbled to the floor. Cal was shaking, panting, giddy and terrified and sick. He watched the thing’s skin turn grey and brittle as cracks spread from the knife wound.
“I did it,” he whispered. “I’m finally free.”
“You’re a fool,” the thing announced. It’s skin had gone grey and dry. The cracks spread to its mouth as it spoke, then the skin began to crumble. “You can’t kill me.” The figure began to rise, large chunks of it’s flesh flaking away. “You don’t even know what I am.”
Cal staggered back, his features twisted into an expression of horror as he saw those same features emerge from the crumbling shadows.
* * *
Story by Gregory M. Fox
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash