The Red and Grey

I’m Sorry By: Bronson Carey

Bronson Carey, News Editor

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I’m sorry.
It started innocently enough, a friend told me about it after school while we were hanging out. Shadows, he said. Living shadows.
It was some off branch of a conversation, but when he broached forth the topic, he seemed anxious, unnerved. Now I know why.
It was a dark October night, of course he would be trying to scare me, but something in his expression…his restless motions, the way the words sputtered past his lips…that’s what sent the chill up my spine. Living shadows that stalk their victims, like predators feeding on their prey. They latch onto an unsuspecting passerby and drain them of everything. Happiness, joy, hope, leaving once there’s nothing left to the next. He mentioned that there was only one way to get rid of them, and one way to get them, but he never mentioned what they were, and I never asked.
It was a scary story, meant to make my night a little uneasier, so I thought nothing of it. He went home sometime around nine, and I retreated to the comfort of my room, looking at images on my computer that lead me to question my faith in humanity. Why do people find these funny? Why are they so ironically sad?
I mindlessly shifted through the internet pictures, vaguely paying attention, but letting my mind wander. Soon, in the spirit of the holidays, I opened up a creepypasta page; there’s nothing like a good scary story before bed.
After a few of those tales of horror, monsters and murderers, my heart was excitingly on end, so it’s no wonder why I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. That was my first encounter.
Already on edge, I spun around in my chair, senses poised for whatever it was. Once my attention was on it, nothing presented itself, but the feeling of unease never left. I decided that was enough scary stories for one night, and went to bed.
In the morning, I jerked awake, letting the vague memory of a nightmare I had drift from my memory. The first sight I was met with is a dark figure dashing out my door, and it slamming shut behind its trail.
It was my dad, it had to be, right? I’ll ignore the fact it was at least two feet taller than him, and I’ll ignore the fact that he doesn’t get home from work until about an hour from now. I shake the experience from my mind and get dressed. It was nothing.
The morning air chilled me to my bone, along with something else I can’t place. On the drive to school, the same figure from earlier stood in the middle of the road, staring at me without eyes. For the first time, I saw it clearly. It’s body, completely black like a moonless night, didn’t seem solid, but blurred around the edges. It stands towering, its limbs long and distorted like no human should ever be.
I swerved by instinct to avoid it, the tires screeching along the asphalt until they meet soft dirt. The wheel wobbles as I’m forced off the road, barely making it back on before another car whirls by, narrowly missing me by a few inches. My heart raced, fingers gripping onto the wheel until my knuckles turn white. I breathed maybe five time the rest of the trip.
I made it through the doors by the first bell, sat in my place and tried to figure out what had just happened. The teacher rambled on, but my thoughts were anywhere else. That wasn’t real, it couldn’t have been, right? Those kinds of things don’t exist, they’re stories.
Nevertheless, when the signal came to change classes, I sought out my friend, Austin. Whatever he was talking about…it was starting to scare me. I scanned along the faces of students swarming to their places until by eyes rest upon a figure above the rest, just standing there. The creature, the shadow. People were walking around it, through it, but none of them could see…how could they not see it? Its head nearly skimmed the ceiling , its faceless expression staring into my soul.
In a panic, I sprinted away, up the stairs, trying to get as far away from it as possible, but I saw it again in the stairway, and again in the halls, classrooms, snaking around people, its long, slender fingers lightly caressing their innocent heads. My friends…they can’t see it…they don’t know. No one knows except me. Are there more of them? Is it just one?
I darted into a bathroom stall and locked the door behind me, some irrational belief it’d help. There was no one else there, the bell rung and the last few students scrambled to make it back in time, but I was too petrified to move. I backed away from the door, praying, hoping, begging it would go away, then I hear it. Thump, thump, thump.
Like heavy shoes on tile, something drew closer. Thump. Thump. Thump.
A soft, hissing sound filled the air, like a snake in the brush, and still, ever closer, thump. Thump. Thump. It was right outside… playing with me…it could just do whatever its going to do and be done with me, but no. It preferred to play with its food.
The thumps stoped, in their place the faded image of two slender beams waiting just beyond my fleeting protection. The door’s lock slowly unlocked. And creaked open, revealing the creature’s true horror up close. It’s body a void, a pure absence of light, its skeletal fingers reached out, almost close enough to touch me…
Knowing nothing else to do, I screamed for help, letting my plea bounce off the walls and, hopefully, into the attention of someone with authority. A teacher rushed in before the creature could get a hold of me. I offer up some half-baked excuse and go on to my next class.
In the next transfer, I found Austin, who, when he saw me, immediately tried to walk away, but I confronted him and demanded answers.
That was when I found the missing pieces of his story. The only way to get rid of one of these creatures is to tell someone else about it. Once that person knows they exist, the beast transfers onto its new victim. That’s why he told me about them, and that’s why I’m telling you.
I’m sorry.

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I’m Sorry By: Bronson Carey