The alley lay dark in despair as the few nocturnal creatures drudged past in a drunken stupor. The haze of candlelight held on high in its dark crystal cage shown what little clarity it could upon the worn brick streets. In every corner of the night, in the shadow, lurks the fear of the unseen beast crawling and feeding among the refuse; its eyes glowing a blood red that cuts through the dark and pierces the soul, a mouth foaming with the rage of the damned.

This particular alley laid no more than mere feet from the Black Shadow Pub, a pub where many a poor and drunken soul has stumbled and fallen in the comatose sleep of the nebbish. It is the Pub which draws a peculiar crowd; a crowd that is of particular suspicion in these tales which unfold on many a wary night. It is a pub aptly named for that which lurks unseen in the mind of all men, but seems to only come to an indescribable life in the minds of the foolishly intoxicated.

On this night, as the moon waned, a young man by the name of Patrick McCallahan is sitting at the bar. Sitting there picking intently at the grime deep beneath his fingernails, with his grandfather's old knife between sips from his pint of stout. And sitting there secluded at the end of the row of stools his mind converses with itself in a clamor of questions, answers and perplexities. "'Tis getting quite late, isn't it Patty?"

"Oh, indeed it is getting quite late," he whispered to himself, an audible answer to his mind's curious question. "The candles were lit nearly two hours ago, and I've been in here all the while. But it's good company it is."

"'Tis indeed, poor Patty, 'tis indeed. I'd say we best be getting home ere the moon hits mid sky. They say there are demons lurking in the shadows when the moon comes out to play."

He began to quake and startled from his stupor. The sudden realization that he talked with no one but himself had woken him from his dream. That and the thought of the tales that now had been brought to life by his minds own dark statements. "But those are just tales. Tales mothers tell their children," he thought. "Tales meant to keep the reckless kids from wandering about in the dark, far from their homes. They are no more than dark fairy tales." And although he whispered these words to himself, he still shivered deep down with an unnatural cold that penetrated the flesh and made his hair stand on end. He tried, but still he was not quite convinced that the tales told were wholly fictitious, and it frightened him.

Patrick threw down what money he had in his pocket and stumbled toward the door at his slow pace. The bartender behind yelled out after him "Thanks for the tip you bastard. May we never see the likes of you again, you ungrateful drunk." Whether Patrick just ignored him or didn't even hear him through the screaming in his own head is a mystery all in itself, but he continued on through the door without even a glance back as he strode into the moonlit night.

He stumbled blindly through the candlelit streets, nearly tripping on every crack that crossed his path. He bumped blindly past everybody that walked near, until finally he fell flat into the dark alley. His head hit the brick with a crashing thud, and the dirty refuse scattered about his feeble body. Poor Patrick lay there for some time before his eyes opened within the darkness.

"Where the fuck am I?" he exclaimed loudly. No answer came save the echo of his own voice shaking in the silent night. "Fucking B'jesus!" No sooner had he stood on his trembling feet then he became aware of the distinct sensation that he was being watched from within the dark. "Anybody in there?" He spoke even louder this time than before, and when once again no answer came he turned and began to walk into the darkness before stumbling once again onto his face, scraping the surface of his cheek and forcing a pained wince.

When his eyes reopened, they were met by a piercing gaze. The blood red eyes stared intently into his soul from no more than mere inches from his face, which was frozen in a horrified expression. "Holy fucking hell," he cried out trying to stifle his obvious fright. He closed his eyes hard and rubbed them quickly with his hands. Opening them, he was met with only darkness. "Oh thank Christ, it's gone," he spoke; And as he uttered these words the deep red eyes slowly opened again.

"Oh foolish Patrick, that will not prove to vanquish me, for it is not your eyes that deceive you." The creature standing before his eyes had fur as black as night, and blood stained fangs emerging from an evil grin, and it spoke to him. "You know my name Patrick, as surely as I know yours." The beast's eyes now reflected an evil omnipotence, and as Patrick gazed he could feel his soul slipping from his body.

"I most certainly do not know your name, nor what in Christ's name you are!"

"Oh but you do Patrick, you know exactly what I am; Exactly who I am. You are a foolish one, but even that answer resides on the surface of your mind." The demon beast was menacing as he spoke, and seemed to get a cruel pleasure out of playing games with such a drunken fool.

Patrick searched his mind for a wise answer, but could not find it. So he spoke with the only answer he knew. "You are the nocturnal beast, one that resides in the alleys of the dark night. You are the creature the mothers tell fables about." He could now see the treacherous glee in the creatures grin.

"Oh my poor friend, I am that and so much more." The beast started pawing away the garbage that had been spilled in the alleyway, and moved to press his nose up against Patrick's. When he spoke again his tone had turned to that of angered rage. "Now tell me boy, what is my name?"

"I don't know your name, nor do I wish to know it. I meant no harm by intruding into your alley. I just meant to get home, so please spare me my life and let me go, and I will warn others to stay away from this alley, and to leave you be." Patrick tried his best not to sound too frightened, even as he was choking back tears. But the beast would not except his plea and pressed hard to his face before growling in anger.

"If that is the way you wish it to be, fool, than I shall tell you my name." His voice softened once again, and now the joy could be seen shining through his eyes once more. He stared a while longer at Patrick and as his mouth parted, he spoke the words, which deep within the recesses of Patrick's mind he had known and feared more than anything before. "My name. is Patrick McCallahan!" He now howled out a deep guttural chuckle into the night, as Patrick's eyes opened wide in terror.

Patrick's hand delved deep into his pocket and flung back out in a fit of rage. He now held the knife that his grandfather had bequeathed to him many years before. When he spoke, he seemed no longer frightened, but resolved as to what must be done. "I am Patrick McCallahan!" He lunged forth at the beast with primal instinct and thrust the knife deep into the blood red eyes that taunted him in the darkness. He flew violently to the ground once again smashing his head into the brick ground and fell into a deep darkness.

It is not known how long poor Patrick lay there, but when his eyes opened he was met by nothing but dark. He sat there a while, pondering what had just occurred and collecting his bearings, before he decided that it had all been no more than a freakish, drunken nightmare. Yet when he stood and walked he staggered into an unseen wall and tumbled backward awkwardly. "What in Christ's name?" he spoke and then stood, moving to rub his eyes. His hands were met with the warm, wet liquid still flowing heavily down his cheeks. Poor Patrick realized then why he had not seen the wall there. In the dark alley by his feet lay his own two eyes in a pool of blood.

Patrick belted out a curdling scream that echoed on and on through the entire countryside. And just as he thought his lungs were about to give he was struck by a new impending horror. Through his blind darkness, Patrick could see the fangs dripping red with blood and a pair of deep red eyes still staring intently into his soul without speaking a word. A sight which would live on imbedded deeply past the realm of sense, into his tortured mind.

On many a night when a young foolish lad would be drinking inside the dimly lit Black Shadow, sipping slowly at his glass of stout, the bartender will speak. "Beware you don't drink all your wits away. There are legends around here of Patrick the Blind, who dwells in the darkened alleys amidst the refuse. They say he is a man possessed with his own demons, who waits silently for those foolish and drunk enough to stumble across his path. Then only God may save you soul from that tormented creature." And thus poor Patrick McCallahan lives to this day in legend, while still stories are told of his eternally damned soul that still lives unaffected by the years, deep within the night, in the dark alley nearest the Black Shadow Pub.