2


"It's you," I heard.

A mom I had seen taking her son to and back from school.

"Yes," I said.

"Never have I seen you in the garden. Like the fresh air, now?"

I kept looking for the small dark face at dark corners. Then saw it over the woman's head made my heart skip many beats.

"You need to be careful," I said.

She frowned.

I retreated.

"You have a problem?"

"No," I said.

"Then why are you going back?"

Then I saw two small dark faces, on either side of the woman. I turned and raced up the stairs.

Coming up into the corridor I kept looking at the corner whether it was hiding anywhere. Many of them who wanted to just come and eat. Come and destroy.

I put on my shades though it was a little dark. I tried to see through the gloom, searching every nook and cranny for the Durquones.

They will come.

Some days passed and I scrounged as many local news sites as possible, trying to find a nibbled corpse in my locality. But it was a dead lull. There were no deaths like those I had found out a few days back. It was back to a boring suburban existence.

Then it will be your turn.

I looked inside my shirt. Turned my pockets inside out.

You can't see.

I tried to see another way but couldn't make anything out of it. The sky had darkened with a promise of rain and making the whole neighbourhood muddy.

I didn't want to look outside, afraid to see the Durquones coming from the darkness, and ready to feast on us. I couldn't see.

But they will anyhow come.

I looked out of the window and saw small heads appearing everywhere. Then lithe bodies. Then the phantom hands which came out of them. I closed the window.

The lights went off in the building.

They come to feast.

They come to take and not give back. They come to devour and take away.

The clouds were not breaking cover and I in my flat couldn't help seeing images. Images of utter gloom which could wrap one's sanity in any way possible making insanity even beautiful.

The sun was not rising up. The sun the giver of all heat and light.

I closed and bolted the door. I even put the safety chain on. I closed the bedroom door and sat with a bat in my hand. I hazarded a look outside and it was inky black without even a semblance of a glimmer outside.

What if they come inside. They have many ways for ingress.

I clutched my bat harder as a huge crash came from outside. The sound reverberated, then it came again.

My chest pocket vibrated. I was having a heart attack! But I felt no pain in my chest. I put my hand on the pocket.

My cellphone. Karin.

"John! Open the door! I am outside. It's pitch black."

I clutched my bat and slowly opened the bedroom door. Now I could hear clearly. There were knocks. Someone was knocking on the door. I heard muffled voice—my wife's.

"John! Open the door."


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