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Happy Monday! Or not… depending.

For your enjoyment, I bring you another installment of the great story-a-day challenge, brought to you by The Midnight Society. Go join in the fun here. Contests! Fun tips! Just awesomeness all around.

Today the word is midnight. The hour of all things ghostly I think…

Shadow Man

The minutes ticked by in torturous slow motion as we waited.

“Look, Callie, I’m tired,” Brett murmured. “I’m going to go -”

“No!” I cried. “Midnight. It always happens at midnight.”

Brett sighed and sank further into the couch, remote dangling from his fingers. I perched on the worn brown cushion beside him, waiting, watching. My heart pounded. The scent of paint still lingered in the rooms, colors I had chosen for my first home. Boxes huddled in corners, holding my few belongings that I hadn’t found the motivation to unpack.

My leg bounced, as I scanned the dark doorway leading to the kitchen. Every night, since I moved in, it happened. Every night it got stronger.

And always at midnight.

Fear gathered in my belly as I stared at the stairway, rising up into blackness.

The clock blinked away the seconds, the minutes.

11:39

My hands twisted on my lap.

Brett’s blue eyes slipped shut.

11:47

The red glowing numbers from the stove cut through the shadows.

11:53

The hands creeped across the face of my clock, ticking… ticking.

Brett snored, his head lolling to the side.

11:59

My breath caught in my chest. I rubbed my legs with my hands. Back and forth. Back and forth.

My clock chimed the hour. I jumped.

Then it stopped. Silence crawled through the house. I kicked my sleeping friend in the leg. “Brett,” I said. My voice barely made a sound.

He shifted, grumbling. “What?”

I swallowed, gesturing to the house. “The clocks always stop at midnight.”

He shook his head, glancing at his watch. “That’s weird…”

A bang sounded from upstairs. Then another. And another.

“What the…”

“Then the doors close, one by one.” My words punctuated by slamming doors. I pointed a trembling finger at the stairs. “Then a few nights ago…”

Footsteps thundered from the second floor. I gasped. “That.”

Brett stood. I grabbed his arm, pulling him beside me.

He yanked his arm from my grip. “Someone’s here, we have to do something. Call the police.”

Tears stung my eyes as I shook my head. “There’s no one there. There’s never anyone there.”

A chilling breeze trickled down the stairs, creeping along the floor and wrapping around my legs. Brett shivered.

“Every night the footsteps get louder… they get closer.” I forced the whisper out. Terror wrapped claws around my chest.

“Then yesterday -”

The stairs creaked and groaned.

A whimper tumbled from my lips. “He came down the stairs.”

“He?” Brett turned to me.

Over his shoulder, a black mass came into view. “Tell me it’s real. Tell me I’m not crazy.”

Brett placed his hands on my shoulders. “We need to leave!”

“I can’t leave.” My fear calmed. Coldness of death settled in my body.

The black figure engulfed the room, wrapping shadowy fingers around Brett’s shoulders. His eyes widened with fear.

“And now neither can you.”

End

For a sec I had no idea how that was going to end. I think I need professional help.

Four more to go…

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