The Nightcomers

by Robbie Cargill

CHAPTER 1: The Coming of the Night

Tony stared at his murky reflection in the filthy window of the bus. Huge bags lay under his heavy eyes, he couldn't remember the last time he had had a decent sleep. How had it come to this? His whole life thrown away, and for what? Telling the truth? His reflection slowly faded as the hot sun retired behind the dead hills. Without even realising, he closed his eyes.

Tony stepped off of the bus. He walked carefully, slowly, down the steps, and onto the pavement. He ignored the bus driver as he shouted goodbye, and waited until the filthy maroon bus was out of sight- turning around the corner at the end of his street. His street. He hadn't seen it for so long, he sometimes wasn't sure how much he remembered. All the things that had happened here; happy things. But now all those things were stained, by that night. The night when they had taken him away, as his family just watched.

He opened the old, rusty green gate, and stepped onto the pathway. The garden was a lot different from what it had been when he had left. He had just taken it for granted he would be returning to everything the way it was, his life could continue. But now he realised, just like the garden, the people would have changed too. He didn't even know if anyone would want to see him, they hadn't visited him once. That look the night he was taken away had said it all. It was like they didn't even know him, their own son. He was an intruder in his own home.

He looked up to the end of the garden, where lay the little makeshift gravestone. He had done that. How could he blame anyone not wanting to see him, but then, he was their son, and they had put him through hell the last... How long was I now? Three months. Three months of his life, gone, wasted.

He looked up at the horrible yellow door. He had always hated it, but normally only for the colour. This time it was the sheer terror of what might lay behind it. He went to open the door, but then wondered if he should knock. Too late, he was already in the hallway. He realised how strange it was the door was open at this time of night.

He walked along the hall; not bothering to turn on the light, there was no need to. It was like he was being guided, pulled along a string. He approached the stairway, but then took a left, into the kitchen. Without looking, without thinking, his actions now becoming almost robotic. He reached out his arm and took the knife. Now slowly he left the kitchen, and went up the old, creaky, wooden stairs. He was perfectly calm. He went through the door directly at the top.

He moved slowly, but yet had no regard for quietness. As he walked over the noisy floorboards towards the bed, he stayed calm, and almost still; until in a panic a figure raised from the bed, and with no control Tony lashed the knife out several times. Thick blood flowed from the sheets.

With no thought or regard for what he had just done, he continued over to the other side of the bed.

***

Tony awoke, covered in sweat, in a sheer panic. What, it was just a dream? Who had the woman in the bed been? It sure wasn't his mum; was it? Even knowing what had happened was just a dream, Tony continued to shake, to shiver uncontrollably. What had happened was so unreal, yet so real. He had felt like he was actually inside the house, he had actually felt the knife as he'd picked it up, but yet had no control over what he did.

The bus driver shouted at him to get off. He looked out of the window and saw the yellow door, the house. As he ignored the bus driver's goodbyes and walked towards the house, he was freaked, disturbed, by what had just happened, or hadn't. It felt like everything was happening all over again, the dream.

He opened the old rusty, green gate, and looked up at the door, to realise it was already open.

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