I couldn’t find the actual website this prompt used to belong to. It took me instead to a Game of Thrones online game… Well that’s alright. Anyways, let’s get to the prompt.
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*WARNING THIS PROMPT CONTAINS VIOLENT IMAGERY*
I inhaled as the creature rounded Tommy once more. Not today, I begged. Please, just not today.
The monster was a milky pink with layers of skin folding over its body like an obese worm. No eyes, only two small slits where eyes and nose should be. And his mouth was ripped open to his ears, filled with several rows of razor teeth.
Of course, my friend couldn’t see the thing licking his ear. He probably couldn’t even feel it.
But I could.
My eyes snapped to meet his.
His eyes narrowed and then rolled to the side. “Never mind. I’ll see you later, okay? I have to get home before my dad does.”
He adjusted the strap of his backpack on his shoulder and walked away from me. I took a breath as the creature vanished in a single blink of my eyes. Like its existence had popped out like a bubble. As long as it was gone, I didn’t care.
As I waiting for Tommy to turn the corner and start on my own way home, I noticed a rustling in the leaves.
I walked towards it, numb in my fingers and face. Just thinking about all that I was yet to see today. They had started to show up when I was seven. My aunt had been arguing with my mom when my dad came home. Then they all got into it. The next thing I know, some freaking ugly-ass creature blinks into existence, slices mom and dad’s throats and leaves my aunt to go to jail for the crime. Now I live with my grandma. If you can call “living with” a situation where I don’t even usually see her. I don’t know if she leaves the house or is just hiding in one of the massive rooms so I can never find her. Either way, I’m on my own.
I realized that I was now standing in front of the bushes. Two black-pit eyes were staring back at me through the shrub and several feet below my eye-level. The eyes swayed from side to side until I made out its gaping mouth in the darkness. Filled with row after row of yellow teeth.
I took a step back.
The creature beckoned me forward, pushing its frail hand — from which long black nails jutted out — through the branches of the bush.
I can’t tell you why I moved forward. There’s no reason why I should have. But I did.
I entered the shrub as I started to hear shouting from across the street. A group of kids — two girls and one boy — crossed the street and raced towards where I had been standing. I stepped farther back into the bushes, knowing full well that the creature still stood beside me, gawking. Not really moving, just staring at me and the scene that was unraveling before my eyes.
“Claa-ire,” the shortest girl called out in a song-like tone.
“I swear I saw her,” the other girl said.
“Yeah, I definitely did too.” the boy said. He had something he held in his hand that was sharp on the end. It caught the glint of the street lamp like some sort of glass dagger.
I recognized them all as my classmates, with varying degrees of feelings towards each. The boy was Jake, the basketball center and often too quiet to make assumptions about. The other girl I had seen before but only knew her name as Trisha. The short girl was Hailey, the only one in most of my classes and someone I had personally tried to avoid since we had met.
“Shut up,” Hailey said, brushing her cropped curls behind an ear and raising a hand to silence them. “Maybe we can hear her.”
I knew the art of silent breathing. When I was in bed at night I was often “greeted” by these strange beings. If I hid under the sheets without making any sudden movement or noise, they would often just stand there until morning. One time I accidentally coughed and the loudest moan echoed off the creature’s lips. I had run out of the room and searched through the house for my grandma all night. And I still didn’t find her.
“She’s definitely not here,” Trisha said.
That’s when Hailey and Jake turned in towards her.
“You tipped her off, didn’t you?” Hailey demanded, grabbing the sharp tool from Jake’s hand.
Trisha took a step back with her hands raised at her chest. “Um, no — why would I do that? I told you, I thought she was weird. I wanted to go through with this.”
Hailey’s chin lifted up so she could make eye contact with Jake, and he nodded.
Then two things happened. A shadow appeared behind Hailey and latched itself onto her back like some sort of felt fabric sewn to her skin. Only the shadow’s hand wrapped around her hand and dragged it forward as she pushed the dagger into Trisha’s body.
Jake grabbed Trisha’s arms and pulled them behind her back as the Hailey-shadow combination plunged the knife in two more times.
“That should have been Claire,” Hailey said, wiping her dagger off on Trisha’s shirt. On the only spot she could find that wasn’t drenched with blood.
Trisha was still gasping for air. But only for a few minutes. Then she was gone.
And so was the shadow.
In my paralyzed fear, I realized that the creature in the bushes was still beside me, breathing faintly. As I noticed it again, its hand reached out at me. I flinched, but not before one of its claws brushed against my skin. It scratched the surface, but not in a normal way. Instead, it left a symbol, almost like a rose but with thorns built inside of the petals.
And somehow I knew at that moment: these creatures might be more complicated than I had first thought.