Who's Afraid of the Darkness 8

Updated on October 26, 2019
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Ms. Williamson is a published author and educator with a Bachelor of Business, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Science!

Death strikes again …
Death strikes again …

Double for Your Trouble ...

After the Chief Inspector’s blatant final warning, the mayor looks at Jacolby and asks.

“Do you have anything to add, Jacolby?”

“Yes, mayor. If you are a resident of Summerlake Village, please be sure to have your special remotes on hand as Mr. Morgan will NOT be journeying out of his guard shack to manually open the gate for you. He will not use his remote—you must either have your own or wait until morning.” Jacolby admonishes the citizens.

“Do you think there is a danger at the Village? I thought it was only the town.” A resident offers.

“So far it is only the town but why take any unnecessary risk. Are any of you willing to put yourself at risk for something that you think may be only here in town?” Jacolby questions.

“Point well taken—is there anything else?” The mayor wants to know. Being a resident of Summerlake Village—she would hate to be unprepared, or unprotected.

“I have 12 lanterns that will be distributed to those who most definitely need them: Chief Inspector Williams, and Fire Chief Higgins for starters.”

“What about the Chief of Police, will he get one?” Someone asks.

“Police Chief Lawson is on temporary disability, so he won’t need one. Office Conway, as my personal liaison, will receive one. The ones that Mayor Abernathy and Jake Gipson who is our Chief Coroner possess will be for their official use only. Of course, our ambulance driver Stan Bailey will have one. There will be six left.”

“Exactly, what is the purpose of these lanterns?” Bill Callaway asks.

“They give off a special illumination that wards off the creature. It won’t kill him—it will allow the possessors to move along freely at night.” Jacolby explains.

“Then, why can’t I have one of those gadgets for my tavern?” Pete remarks.

“Why can’t we take a vote on who gets the remainder of them?” Bill chirps.

“Because they are to be used by those who have a legitimate reason to be out at night. There are only 12 in all. The rest will be locked up. By George—if I catch any of you breaking in to steal one of these lanterns—I’ll feed you to the beast myself!” Jacolby threatens. A couple of people murmur in the background, but no one dares challenging his authority considering Jacolby’s Green Beret background.

“Alright everyone, the sun is rapidly going down. Those of you who are designated to have a lantern—please come and get them. The rest will be locked up in the storage safe at the City Hall. Be vigilant, keep your hall lights on, your doors and windows locked up tight and let’s get through this.” Mayor Abernathy dismisses the meeting, and everyone heads for home.

“I don’t care what nobody says—I’m getting one of those lanterns.” Pete Yancey says.

“I’m with you, Pete.” Whispers Bill.

It is nearing late evening as the citizens of Madisonville scramble to their homes to secure them for the night. Pete Yancey and Bill Callaway watch as the mayor locks the door to the City Hall and drives away to her home and safety.

This is one predator you don't want to mess with …
This is one predator you don't want to mess with …

Any Last Requests ...

“Let’s go pick up a stick of dynamite for that safe.” Bill suggests.

“Won’t need to. My brother Ernest delivered that new safe to the mayor six days ago. He had to change the lock on it and I just so happen to know what the new combination is.” Pete retorts.

“Then what are we waiting for—its dark and I don’t want to be caught on this street unprotected.” Bill says.

“There’s a couple of two-by-fours over there. Hell, its just an animal. We should be able to handle it.” Pete states.

“I don’t think so, gentlemen. You should have heeded the warning. But, I can always count on a few of you fools to think you can handle the situation.” The creature replies.

“Did you just say something, Bill?” Pete’s voice is quivering in fear.

“No, no that wasn’t me.” Bill is equally terrified. Both men turn around simultaneously to stare into the eyes of a creature of the night.

“Oh shit!” Screams Bill as he runs for his life—leaving Pete alone to face the menace. Pete launches for the plank but before he gets two feet there is a blood-curdling scream heard and then silence.

In the meantime, Bill is running down the street screaming, “Help!” however, no one will venture out after dark and the creature is dead on his heels. Bill swiftly heads for the nearest tree and climbs like a fellow half his age. Again and again the beast tries to reach Bill. At one point, it scrapes the bottom of his boot. However, by some inner strength, Bill manages to pull himself even higher out of the predator’s reach.

Completely exhausted, because of the weight of the black tiger—the animal finally decides to give up the effort and instead, returns to Pete to finish his meal. There are several people who actually hear the screaming coming from Bill and Mona Sandridge is one of those who gives comment.

“That sounds a lot like Bill Callaway out there,” She tells her husband as she turns on a lamp, then rises from bed to go to the window.

“If it is, well he was warned.” Her husband Mark answers.

“You’re not going out there to see?” Mona queries.

“Are you mad, woman? The mayor, the DA and the Chief Inspector told us not to go out after dark. Now, we hear screams that sound a lot like Bill’s and you just expect me to waltz out the door to face who only knows what. Why don’t you go out if you're so concerned about Bill Callaway's safety?” Mark challenges his wife.

“I was just saying—” Mona lets her voice fade with the darkness. Moving away from the window, she turns off the lamp and gets back into bed with Mark. Slowly, she tries to resume her sleep.

To Be Continued …

© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS


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