There exists a tale, a tale of being that inhabits the shadows of those big and small. If one were to describe this monster of darkness they would surely cringe at the thought of it, as it is so gnarled and grotesque in its form that it should never be viewed by a living soul. This tale is, unfortunately all too real.
Zack Reeds, a young father in his mid twenties scratched at the area of his freshly shaved beard around his squared jaw. It had been a normal day as of yet, waking up to his newborn son Nicholas crying as he always does deep in the night. His wife Amber had made him lunch, a turkey sandwich neatly cut into two halves, and he had just finished his morning bathroom routine. Another cry rang out in the hall, noticeably more panicked than usual.
“Of course,” thought Zack, “I forgot to change him earlier.”
In a rush to aid his son he hurriedly grabbed the fresh pack of lavender diapers and ran to the young boys room. To his dismay Nicholas was not in his crib, in fact, he had somehow got outside. This was strange to Zack, as Nicholas had not even yet learned to walk properly, let alone scale the side of his crib.
“He must have somehow squeezed through the side,” thought Zack unaware that there was a slow movement behind him in the darkness. The baby shouted again and Zack remembered his task, soon getting busy with changing the boys diaper.
It wasn’t until later that evening that Zack noticed something was very very wrong. He had just gotten off of work and was driving to the daycare, where he had left young Nick for the day, when his phone began to buzz. Zack answered, recognizing the number to be the daycare’s. Skeptical that Nick had done something wrong at such a young age, Zack answered with a cheery hello to the daycare worker. He was not greeted in the same respect as the daycare worker frantically tried to explain that there was something wrong with Nick. There were terrified screams resonating in the background and suddenly Zack was hit with the feeling of terror.
“What are those screams?!” questioned Zack with fear slowly creeping into his voice. The worker too frantic to hear was then suddenly disconnected from the call. Zack’s fear rose inside of him, and he floored it to the daycare.
When Zack arrived, there was only an eerie silence throughout the place. He slowly opened the door, the creaks of it echoing within the quiet. To his horror he saw the bodies of all the children and even the daycare worker in a pile on the floor, all were missing skin and the metallic stench of blood hung heavily in the air. He slowly walked towards the pile in fear of what his son might look like. He began searching for his son in the morning lump of dead bodies, forced to move the dead infants aside. He was unable to find his son there however, and so he searched and searched, gagging everytime he looked back at that pile, until finally he found something inscribed in blood upon the wall. Written was ‘Daddy, Won’t you come home and play a game with me and mommy?’ He was unsure that it was his son, as his son could not yet walk, let alone write or get home. However, his son was the only one missing from the daycare and so he had nothing else to believe.
Zack hurried home, in fear of what may await him. He had called his wife four times already, with no response. His heart pounded in his chest as he pulled into his driveway and hurried to the front door. He burst inside, but as he smelled the air, he began to weep. That smell, it was identical to the smell from the daycare, and he knew he was too late to save his wife. Through his weeping and his muddled mind, he put his thoughts to one thing, ending this. He grabbed a knife from the pantry, and began walking slowly but surely Nicholas’s room, prepared for the worst. He swung open the door and found his little baby in the crib, playing with his blocks.
“I will not be fooled,” thought Zack, he stepped towards the infant cautiously. To his complete surprise his little boy did nothing out of the ordinary, it was his shadow that began to twist and warp into an unfamiliar shape. Zack stared at the grotesque figure that was forming. It had a crooked neck and a distorted smile on its face, its body inky black, and it’s eyes like scribbled circles of white. He felt paralyzed as the creature began to move its hand up pointing to the corner of the room. In that corner lies the dripping skin of all the infants at the daycare as well as the worker, and his wife.
The creature spoke in a rough voice, “Their husks did not make me look beautiful,” he points at Zack and continues, “yours will fit me better.” The door slams shut and all that can be heard are the tortured screams of Zack Reeds.