Shadows crawled across the walls, the safety of the streetlight mingling with the trees to cast warnings on the floor of what will come to get Johnny in the middle of the night. The claws and teeth of unknown beasts and monsters cast through the window crept along the floor, faded before they slid to the middle of the room. The only other source of light was the narrow sliver cast by the open bedroom door. Johnny tried to focus on the light, his rebellious eyes drawn back, past the scratching claws of the beasts and monsters, into the dark corner of the room.
Zeke sat in a cigarette smoke-filled room in the retrofitted attic of a four-story house. He stood and again forgot that the room was not built with habitation in mind. Habitation of tall humans, anyway. The stucco scraped his head. He tried to soothe it as he walked into his afterthought of a bathroom. Toilet, sink, and tub all crammed into what had obviously been a closet. He could literally sit on the sink as he urinated. In fact, if he didn’t, he had to tilt his head. He forgot this as well and disturbed his most recent abrasion.
Every time I wake up, somebody dies. But it’s never me. Never me. The last time, this morning — I call the thirty or so instances ‘mornings,’ but my sleep has been anything but regular. The man told me to go. So I went. I didn’t want to. Why did I want to stay?
Eyes unseen, Jack knew the little girl standing at the center of the aisle was staring at him. Jack gave a muted wave. Still, the girl stared at him from under matted and ropy hair.