A Bedtime Story

He was here…somewhere.

Edmund shuddered, pulling the covers closer to his head. His glassy brown eyes searched the room, only comforted a little by the slit of light that came from under his door. The soft murmur of his parent's voices was too distant, though, like listening to a whispered conversation on a stage. The clock across the room flashed 9:59 before becoming ten.

The wind outside picked up, like a promise of things to come. Edmund tightened his grip on his Buzz Lightyear comforter. Maybe if he was still enough, quiet enough, the Silhouette would pas his house by.

But little Edmund knew this wasn't true, deep in his small mind. The Silhouette never passed a house by.

A familiar groan came from the window opposite to Edmund as it slid open. A shadow flickered into the room and slowly the window slid closed behind it. The Silhouette paused, searching the room with blood-red eyes, before settling on tiny Edmund.

When the Silhouette spoke, it sounded like dead leaves crunching underfoot. "Want to go for a walk?" He rasped.

Edmund tried to scream for his parents, but his voice didn't respond. The shadowy-flesh of the Silhouette grabbed his wrist and yanked him towards the reopening window.

And then they were out…into the night.

Edmund fell into the Silhouette's gait. If he tried to stop or run away the Silhouette would become angry. All he could do was follow the quick walk and pray someone would see him. Then again, even if someone did, they couldn't do anything about it. The Silhouette was like a god, making people turn away or avert their eyes whenever he pleased.

"Where are we going?" Edmund asked, looking at the shadowy creature.

"The dead wish to see you." The Silhouette replied.

Edmund thought of his grandma who had passed away. She was buried in the Opensky Graveyard. That must be the place they were going.

The graveyard was surrounded by a barb-wire fence. Edmund wanted to cry but he knew that the Silhouette would steal his tears, so he didn't.

Ghosts sung in the wind and ravens ca-cawed overhead. The Silhouette dragged Edmund forward, towards a statue of a woman. Edmund thought the woman looked nice, something like the woman on a Christmas card his mother had. Surrounding the statue were other Silhouettes, red eyes gleaming spitefully.

"You brought a boy." A tall, twisted one hissed. "What about the girl we requested?"

Edmund's Silhouette replied with a snarl. "She is sleeping with her parents, tonight."

"Scardy-cat!" Another Silhouette mocked.

The first Silhouette sighed. "Then the boy will do." In a purr that reminded Edmund of honey he added, "Come along, dear child."

Edmund stepped forward without wanting to.

The tall shadow-creature picked him up and sat him by the statue's feet. Edmund hugged one of her marble legs, hoping she would protect him.

When he looked up again, the Silhouette was holding a knife.

"Spirits of the Dead, guide my knife, to you I give this young boy's life!" The Silhouette sung.

Edmund wanted to cry, to run, but he felt paralyzed.

run, edmund…save yourself

It was the marble lady. She was talking to him.

they will kill you if you don't run save yourself hurry hurry hurry

Edmund jumped to his feet. The Silhouette looked surprised, and raised his knife again but Edmund was running, like the woman had told him.

As he dashed out of the graveyard, he could see a blinding light through the trees. The Silhouette's screams filled the air.

they will never bother you again The marble woman promised.

Edmund crawled back in bed. He saw the door open and his parents walked in.

"Goodnight, Edmund." His father said.

"Do you need me to tell you a bedtime story?" His mother asked.

Edmund felt a jolt of surprise. His parents had tucked him in an hour ago! He glanced over his father's shoulder at the clock.

9:59 it blinked.

"No." Edmund muttered, stroking his blanket. "I think I've already had one."