01 Feb I am the man of shadows
Yes. You’ve read that right. I am the Boogeyman. I’m the bump in your closet at night, your fear, that singular “hey” you think hear right next to your ear, that makes you jump. I’m the thing that scares your cat or dog so bad, they won’t come into the same room, leaving you perplexed and wondering why. I am the call of the void, the urge to jump off a bridge, the almost whisper that says “do it”. And then you’ll snap out of your trance, glance around. You’ll wonder “who the hell said that?” and I’ll be standing next to you. Now you won’t see me but I’ll be standing there. I promise.
And for the most part, I mean you no harm really. Living among humans for as long as I have, you begin to grow on me. Humans are such fascinating creatures. They wonder for the when, work for the future. You plan for the existence of one of your own, to birth them onto this strange, amazing planet. You raise a smaller version of you and your spouse, or perhaps one not related to you at all! You fall in love, and although you will die, you make the best of it. You truly are amazing.
Now you may be curious as to why a man of shadows, a man who is not really man, would be writing this. And there is truly, only one answer.
To warn you.
You see like I said, I am the man of shadows. I get bored, and boredom leads to finding ways to pass the time. I’ll mess with the papers you swore you placed on your desk for some kicks. Untune the guitar that you finally got to sound just right. What can I say? I like mischief. But that will also get boring. I tried being nice every once in a while, learning how to influence your thoughts, give you that winning lottery number, helping find your lost pet. But, once again, I got rather bored.
So, more often than not, I began follow some of your kind around for awhile. Usually one to two weeks. No offense to you humans but your stupid little routines get ever so tiring to me.
And then, oh ho, then. That’s when I encountered him.
Jonathan Omar. An accountant at a small bank, but still made decent money. Me and the woman I had been shadowing (you must excuse me, the jokes are just all too much fun) passed him by in the subway, where Jonathan had not been looking where he was going, and ran right into the young woman, knocking out the books from her hands.
“Cliche much?” I narrated. They ignored me of course, not hearing me over the hustle and bustle of the trains and people. Quickly Jonathan and the woman began to pick up her books.
“I’m so sorry!” He apologized, his teeth flashing a perfect smile, “Are you alright? Jeez, clumsy ass me, huh?”
“No, no, it’s fine! I wasn’t really focused on my walking path.” It was clear she was infatuated with this man right from the start. Brown smiling eyes, tall and a cheery smile? Any girl or guys prince charming.
“I’m Alyssa,” the young lady adjusted her glasses, then extended her hand, “Jonathan, right?”
“How’d you know?”
“Name tag,” she giggled.
“God this is the sappiest shit guys, c’mon!” I commented. Yet still, I still felt proud of Alyssa. The biggest thing I had learned was that she was a rather shy one, all big jackets and a small voice. She was being brave and I had to applaud her.
Eventually after the constant flirting, and smiles, Jonathan asked for her number, and they left one another. Alyssa seemed to be smiling a bit more than when she first entered the subway.
I don’t know why I didn’t leave and follow another person. I think I just wanted to see where they would go. How Alyssa, the new college student, would either break his heart, or vice versa.
When he finally asked her out, that’s when I became completely invested in their story. It was like a romantic comedy and I was the audience, I mean, who gets this chance. I knew of human love, but I had never seen it come together first hand.
So naturally I followed Alyssa to Jonathan’s home, for their first date. I sat in the car, all the way there, listening to Alyssa’s… questionable… music of choice. But I have to say I did bop my head a few times to Beyonce.
And may I say, it was the best first date I’ve ever seen someone pull off? Or at least the first half. Jonathan was a complete gentleman, Alyssa a polite young lady. It was small smiles, kind looks and no basic “So what do you do for work?” Because I mean come on, why the fuck is that your interest? But still, like I said, this whole time I was proud of Alyssa. She was breaking her comfort zone for love. It was the purest form of anything I had seen.
But then came the end. I began to sense it when Jonathan’s smile stopped reaching his eyes. All together he seemed to become plastic. His hair seemed all to perfect all of a sudden, and his basic suit seemed to smell sickeningly sweet.
“Well I better be going.” Alyssa smiled gently, brushing off the non-existent dirt from her light blue shirt.
“Why? C’mon stay for a bit longer, at least try some more cooking?”
“Jonathan, you know midterms are coming up soon, I can’t fail.”
“Awww,” and just like that, the man who seemed kind and all to perfect began to get a bit touchy, placing his hands on Alyssa’s hips and pulling her close.
“Hey buddy, Jesus, don’t you know what no means?” I spoke, beginning to feel protective of the girl who couldn’t hear me.
Even though Alyssa protested, he still held strong. The atmosphere dropped like a stone from a ledge.
“Jon, you-you’re hurting me.” Alyssa grabbed at his hands, trying to pulling his hands off her.
He stopped smiling.
I didn’t think the romantic comedy would stop and become a horror.
After the struggle and the fighting, and my relentless screams no one could really hear, just barely a “no” in the background of the sound of a snapping neck.
Jonathan’s suit lost the sickenly sweet smell when her blood was all you could smell.
I could do nothing but mourn as I watch blood flow freely from her mouth, and finally the light fade from her eyes. From the eyes of a young lady with a bright future. Someone who was meant to be loved, and cherished, and peacefully pass one day, when she was very old. And she had lived her last moments, in fear, thrashing and fighting. Being scared. Terrified. With no one to comfort her in her time of greatest need.
I don’t know what broke inside me, or what helped break the wall between me and the human world. But Jonathan, all of a sudden was looking at me. Right. At. Me. And I looked right back at him. And when he began to scream ‘help, monster’ I knew what I needed to do.
You see this is my warning. I may be your silent fear, you urge to jump, your bad luck, but maybe your good luck as well. But, I am also your fucking karma. So.
Lewis Wellings, an axe murderer that terrified Alaska was found sobbing on the ground, and was later put in Alaskan mental hospital for PTSD, and treated for the loss of his arms and legs.
Amber Arbuckle, a psycho who had a knack for killing, was found hanging in her living room by the F.B.I raiders who she called, exposing her location. The only suicide note that was left was “Shadowsshadowsshadowsshadowsshadowsshadowsshadowsshadowsshadowsshadowsshadowsshadows. I’m sorry.”
And Jonathan Omar’s remains were found seven years later, the only way able to identify the sludge of his remains was with the smallest of skull fragments. And while I know none of these deaths will bring back the kind young lady with a smile in her heart and kindness in her eyes, it will sure make me feel a hell of alot better.
You see, even when you think you’re unstoppable, the police can’t track you, and you cover your tracks so well you might as well be a shadow yourself, I promise you’re not unstoppable. Because, quite literally, I am your worst nightmare. So, like I said, I don’t want to hurt you humans. For the most part. But, I fucking will. So you better goddamn watch yourself. Whether it’s good or bad, karma always comes around. And you will get what you deserve.