The Creeping Dark

This is a short story i wrote for my English class. Enjoy.

The man moved under the street lamps. Moths hung thick around the lights, dimming the already dark path. His face, cast in shadow, was darkly bearded. The intervals of light showed a stark visage, gaunt and tired from many sleepless nights. His eyes were hard, with a momentary flicker of something......primal. The man's breath stood out against the cold, spiraling up into the moonlight. Wrapping his coat around him, he crossed the street, only stopping long enough to look back across into the swirling dark. As he turned onto the next block, he heard it. It began as a low moan, slowly turning into a hideous wail. The man froze. The wailing died down and the man moved on, this time with a quick, frantic stride. Then the shriek sounded again, closer than before. Fear gripped him, slowly strangling out all of his thoughts until he stopped moving altogether. He heard it now, a slow, aimless shuffling. He dashed down the road, the decaying buildings casting an even deeper shadow over the man. Over his shoulder, he imagined reaching arms, clutching at him in the dark. He shuddered. Stopping, he looked around, and sprinted past a splintered doorframe, determined to lose his Stalker. The man looked around and found himself in the remains of of an apartment complex. Portions of the walls had gotten wet, and as he ran up the stairs, a musty odor of decay and rot thickened. Stopping on the third floor, he turned and ran down the hallway. Leaning against the wall, he slumped down, the damp carpet squelching softly beneath him. Gradually, his breath returned to him. The man sighed, and wearily stood up. Turning, he looked down the corridor and froze. A dark, huddled mass lurched towards him from the other end of the hall. Its broken movements were awkward and unnatural. A sharp stench, awful and suffocating, surrounded him. The man set his shoulder and rammed down the door across from him. He scanned the room, looking for a window that would lead to a fire escape. Finding one, he tore upward on the on the frame until it groaned out of place. Carefully stepping out, he saw the last of the moonlight slowly choked out by the enveloping clouds. Holding onto the railing, he started down the stairs and slipped. The man fell, landing with a sickening crack on his ankle. He pulled himself up against the wall, but could move no more. He waited in the dark alley, listening to the tap of the moths as they flew against the glass. At the mouth of the alley, the thing began its slow creep, its tortured movements reflected in its shadow. Until then he had been silent, but as it drew closer, the man screamed. It pierced the stillness of the night, sorrowful and horrifying. Soon, the moths could be heard again, their grey wings fluttering against the breeze.  

 Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed The Creeping Dark.   


Uploaded 07/20/2008
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