Out of the black


Jasmine could hardly believe her eyes when the thing came for her. She struggled to describe the shape to everyone who questioned her about it later, and she was certain that the police were going to cart her off to some loony bin.

She had told them everything that she could remember, but even surveys it sounded strange at best. There was nobody out there that was going to believe that she had been trying to save herself, and her family, from some kind of otherworldly species that had appeared from the shadows of the dwelling.

“I am telling you, officer, that is everything that happened. I went downstairs to get a drink of water and I heard a noise from the cupboard. It is not a noise that I can repeat, and it is certainly not one that I have heard before. I would not describe it is human, but it did not sound like any animal that I have ever heard. It was the eyes… I will never forget peering into those red orbs.” She began shaking at this point and had to put down the cup of water before she was going to spill it.

The female officer who sat opposite leaned over to take hold of Jasmine’s wrists in order to steady them. She had been sympathetic, up to a point, but there was only so far that a person was able to listen to a story that was completely unbelievable. “What happened when this thing appeared?”

There was a pause. “It was going to go past me and into the hallway. I could not let it go in there because my children where the other side of the door. That was when I managed to grab hold of one of its limbs, and realise that it was actually a real thing and not a shadow.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, you could actually touch it. Up until this point I had almost been hoping that the thing was just a figment of my imagination. When I got hold of it I knew that it was all very real, and that’s when I lost it I suppose…”

“Go on.”

“I don’t really remember…”

The young man that had been sitting silently near the door suddenly piped up. “Let me fill in the blanks for you, Jasmine. You grabbed a knife, and began screaming as you cut up the air, and inevitably yourself. Your children were alerted by your screams, and they came in and stopped you before you could do yourself any more injuries. They probably saved your life.”

“The monster?”

He shook his head. “They saw nothing but you stabbing at nothing, while screaming about encroaching death. What happened to you, my dear, was quite simply a psychotic break. You will remain with us for the time being.”

Panic seized Jasmine and she gripped the cup so hard that it exploded. “Who will take care of my children?”

“Your sister has offered to take them in for the time being, but you will see them every day.” The female stood up and took hold of a towel in order to dry Jasmine off. “You will be very safe here, and there is nothing that is going to hurt you.”

The world seem to close in on Jasmine and she struggled to breathe. She realised that she was not about to be carted off to the nuthouse, but already had been. There she was, separated from everyone near and dear, just like that thing had wanted.

Numbly she nodded her head. There was no point in her speaking and another word because the decisions had already been made. The weight of defeat crashed down on her limbs and they felt impossible to move. As a result she made no movement when the creature appeared out of the black of the small room when the doctor and nurse had left.

The next morning she was found covered in deep scratch wounds and completely devoid of any blood. Her eyes stared blankly ahead, her face a picture frozen in terror, and in her hand was a small fragment of black twig like substance that looked like it had been snapped off some branch of a black tree.

The doctors ruled that her death was suicide, and the only person that knew the truth was her son, who had been angry with her and accidentally summoned the daemon of Lanerd.


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