Authors note: - This is a real quick and simple story. It's stand alone and doesn't feature a single one of my usual characters. The fact that this guy's name is Jim has nothing to do with the story 'The Darkness'. I simply couldn't think of anything at the time. So hope you enjoy this somewhat dark fic.

Update: Arg, what was I thinking!? I guess at the time I thought Jim (In Darkness) would remain a bit character, but he wanted to do more. So I went back and changed this stories Jim to Ben. Ben seems like a good average guy name. I can't believe I named three different characters Jim... Maybe I'm secretly obsessed with that name....

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It was a late Monday night and the streets were empty except for one lone figure. Ben huddled into his torn chocolate colored overcoat and kept walking into the bitter cold wind. His light brown hair was matted and dirty, not having been washed in over a week. It kept blowing over his washed out gray eyes with specs of brown in them, making even his eyes appear to be grimy. He had pawned his parents VCR and DVD player a few hours ago and had been looking for a dealer to supply him with his habit. The beginnings of withdrawal began to creep into his body. His hands shook and he kept wringing them and cracking his knuckles, trying anything to keep them busy. Ben didn't notice though, he was barely aware of his own body. So out of it he'd forgotten he hadn't eaten in three days. His gut twisted and protested, but he ignored it. The only thing on his mind was his next fix. It had been over two hours since he'd seen another person and he was about to give up and go home.

Before he could make up his mind to go on or to find a hotel to sleep in for the night, a loud sound split through his thoughts making him jump. He looked up quickly and found that it was just the city clock tower. It rang out the hour dolefully; the clock hands were clearly visible in the full moon light, revealing it to be midnight. He shuddered slightly and looked around. The uneasy feeling he had felt the whole night was sharpened by the steady call of the bell. As the last knell faded into the darkness it was replaced by a single distant howl.

Ben shrugged it off and began to walk again but his steps faltered as another voice joined the first. His heart beat faster as some ancient fear welled up inside him. He laughed softly and nervously. "Just a couple of dogs, can't believe I'm gettin' scared."

The wind suddenly died and the dog's howls faded with it. He relaxed and started to head on to the usual dive motel he slept in, not wanting to spend another moment with the night. Ben rounded a corner and slowly lifted his head; he smelled what he though was rain. This struck him as odd since he lived in a desert and it had been months since it rained last. He looked skyward and saw only a few wisps of clouds joining the moon. The smell of moisture grew stronger and when he looked back to the street in front of him he saw its source.

Tendrils of mist were creeping out of alleys and slowly filling the streets. Ben swallowed hard, images from all the horror movies he'd seen flashing into his head. He tried to shake off his fear but failed. The thickening fog quickly hid the black top; he could feel it pushing against his skin through his jeans. It was even colder than the winter air around him, making goose-bumps form all over his body.

A soft sound filled the silence; it was a gentle clomping sound of house hooves on pavement. Ben looked around quickly to locate the source more puzzled than scared by this development. His eyes fixed on movement that gracefully flowed from an alley far ahead of him. A horse unhurriedly emerged from the darkness and mist; it had a long elegant neck with a wavy mane that reached its knees, its coat was an even darker black than the night around it. The rider held its chin near to is massive chest, it walked with a high stepping giant that made it look almost like it was dancing. As the rider slowly came into view Ben's knees went weak.

He wore silver armor that seemed luminescent in the darkness; his cloak was as dark as his stallion. His helmed head turned towards Ben, a flash of light shown briefly from behind the eye slits. Massive antlers branched gracefully up from the crown of the helm. The horse came to a sudden stop, its hot breath fogged in the cold air disappearing quickly into the mist that coiled around it and the rider.

A deep melodious voice echoed from within the armor and filled the city street. "Run." Was all he said.

Ben slowly backed away, his fear gone but abject terror took its place. The howl he had heard from before pealed out of the alley from whence the dark rider had come. Dozens of cries joined it in a symphony of bays. All he could do was slowly back away, too fascinated by the sight before him to run even though every little instinct in his drug addled mind yelled for him to run.

Massive dogs tore out of the darkness their long tall bodies covered in silky, white, wavy fur; they stood so high that their shoulders brushed against the rider's knee. They had long muzzles full of sharp white teeth; the only color on them was a splash of blood red on their ears. As one the pack of dogs pivoted, and turned towards Ben, howling like banshees.

The reality of his imminent danger spurned Ben into movement. He turned as quickly as he could and ran for dear life down the street. His own breath was a distant echo in his ears; his whole world was filled with the sounds of the dogs. Soon it was joined by the noise of the horse's hooves beating on the ground as it too joined the chase. Ben expected to be run down in a matter of seconds but he quickly passed by the clock tower and dashed passed it with out once feeling the teeth of the hounds in his flesh.

He couldn't help be look back to steal a glance of the beasts that bore down on him. The hounds were so close they could reach out and sink their teeth into his flesh at any second. Just behind them was the dark rider, moving in perfect time with the massive horse beneath him. Ben let out a strangled cry of terror and focused his eyes back on the road before him. His mind raced, attempting to formulate a plan. The cries of the dogs tore through his already jangled thoughts and simply made him run all the faster. The rider called out over the clamor of hooves and snarls.

"You will die this night human. Your sin filled soul cries out for absolution!" His voice was both beautiful and terrifying at once, like that of a vengeful god.

He leaned over his steeds shoulders and drew a gleaming blade that flashed in the moon light. The human who struggled to flee began to sob; his stride broke as he fell to the ground. The hounds leapt on him and he let out his last scream, it echoed through the empty night and faded off in the gathering silence.

The mist that had flowed in crept back into the darkness it had come from. The cold moon light quickly gave way to the gentle warmth of the sun as the life of the day burst onto the streets. Just a few blocks down the road from the cities clock tower a collection of police stood around an area blocked off by yellow tape. They stared down at the case that had called them there.

"What do you think was the cause of death?" One officer said to the coroner who had just arrived at the scene.

"There are no physical signs of attack; we'll have to do an autopsy to find out what happened." The coroner stood slowly and looked back to the man who had spoke to him. "What ever happened to him must have been the fright of his life."

They all regarded Ben; he lay on his back arms thrown over his face. His eyes wide and his mouth locked open as if he was still screaming, even in death. Not a mark graced his skin, his clothes no different than when he started out that night. He simply laid there, a frozen testament of fear.

End