The wind was picking up. He could see the tree branches beginning to rock violently as the gale blew through the thin upper leaves. The boats tied at the nearby dock crashed against each other as each new gust pulled the water towards the cement banking. The gate door below his bedroom window was unlatched and with each sharp gust it opened out into the garden. A squeal of metal was usually followed by the bang of wood against the houses gable wall. He sat silent, his legs crossed, on the large windowsill that jutted out ever so slightly. Small raindrops on the window distorted his vision. He stared past them, towards the navy blackness. The dark outline of the trees swayed against the sky. The moon, bright and yellow, was peeking through the clouds, casting a glow which looked eerie through the messy window. He glanced quickly towards his bedside table. The alarm clock perched there glowed in a piercing red - 1:35. Sleep wasn't going to come soon.
For a half an hour he sat, looking out into the unpleasant darkness. Around him was black. He blinked quickly; a light had appeared out of the corner of his eye, down on the grass below his window. Then it was gone. As confused as he was, he didn't dare take his eyes from that spot. Again it appeared, brighter than before. It illuminated the small garden his mother enjoyed taking care of. He sat up straight, placing a hand to the window. The small glow seemed to call to him. It went again within a second. He felt drawn to it. He let out a breath, causing the window to fog up. He rubbed it quickly and looked out again. For the third time it lit up, in the same position. The feeling to move towards it grew. Slowly he rose from his seated position and walked towards his wardrobe, ignoring the dull throb at the back of his head. Quickly, he slipped on his coat and shoes before coming to a halt in front of his bedroom door. His mind had snapped back to reality. There was no sense in leaving his room, but he felt the sensation again and slowly grabbed the door handle. He pulled it open, in towards the room, and carefully shut it tight, trying his best to keep the tranquil silence of night. He began to walk, descending the stairs in an abnormally fast pace. His feet made no sound, as if they weren't touching the carpet, but rather floating across each step. As he reached the bottom step, he awoke from his daze again.
A nervous feeling crept up his spine as he saw a small puddle of blood staining the floor. It sat there untouched, in beside the front door which was wide open. It was like there was an invisible barrier stopping the strong force of the wind from entering through the wide gap. The rain would fly towards him and yet stop and veer to hit the wall on either side of the door. The side gate squealed and crashed again as a spark of lightening lit up the sky. It illuminated a dark silhouette, standing at the bottom of the garden path, statuesque. For a brief moment, he refused to move any further. His heart beat became heavy and fast, it was in his ears, his mouth, and his fingertips. He begged himself to stay where he was. Outside looked ominous. His body told him to run, but the glow was alight again, shining through a side window in the hallway. He began to walk forwards again, the dull throb spreading from the nape of his neck to behind his ears. He ignored the pool of blood as he past the threshold of safety into the wrath of the elements. He pulled the door shut behind him and shadow was still there, in the same position.
His feet pulled him onwards but his mind refused, the throbbing pain growing more severe. As he was drawn forward, he began to grimace. He reached for his head, trying to condense the pain that was slowly erupting form the back of his head. His fingers grasped what they could, trying to urge the pain from him, his eyes shut tightly. His feet pulled him closer. He forced his eyes open, staring right at the figure. The pain began to spread, moving down his back, over his shoulders and across his chest. A stale smell began to linger in the air. It smelled foul, like something left to rot. It grew stronger as the pain turned to pressure. His fingers turned white as the gripped his hair. His feet were still acting like two magnets, drawing him closer. His knees began to bend as the pressure overcame his entire body. The sky was aglow again as he came face to face with the dark figure. Their eyes met and a white flash ignited his vision. The pain had become unbearable agony as he fell to his knees before the figure, crying out from the torture. His breathing was heavy and fast. The dark shadow stretched out a cloaked arm and gently placed it on the young boys head before gently resting a small box near his trembling legs, the sky cracked once more as the figure disappeared into nothingness. The stale smell began to waver as the boy slumped forward onto his front, lying unconscious on the wet footpath.
The settled wind blew lightly through his hair as the night calmed. The side gates vicious swinging had stopped when his eyes shot open. His right cheek was numb from the coldness of the icy water he lay in. as his senses returned and his mind began to register his current position, only fragments of the extraordinary encounter that occurred remained. His weakened arms pushed him up from the stony path shakily. As he sat on his knees he took deep breaths, calming his rapid breathing. The eerie silence of the night was uncomfortable. The box beside him was small and compact; he guessed there was nothing of value inside it. As he stared back out into the darkness, he finally found his sense to walk back inside. Quickly, he took the box and carefully walked to the front door, being mindful of his shaking legs. His vision unfocused and the returned as he wobbled slightly up the path, but he didn't dare look back. The blood had disappeared from the floor and the house was as silent as he had left it, when he returned inside. No one had awoken during the brief time he had gone missing. He carefully made his way back to his room, holding the small box protectively to his chest. As he reached his room and removed his damp clothes, he carefully sat on his bed. A heavy sigh escaped from him as he sank backwards onto the bed, twirling the box between his finger and thumb.
The alarm clocks sharp glow announced 2:11. He shook his head in amusement at the fact that he had only left his house for about 6 minutes. Curiosity took over and carefully he opened the box, inside sat a ring, small and sparkling gold. It sat there in the folds of the red velvet. An intricate graving decorated the inside. He pulled it out for further inspection and then, without hesitation, placed it on. Gently he slid into bed, his eyes heavy as he was overcome with intense tiredness. For the last time the small light glowed outside, simultaneously with the engraving on the ring, urging him to sleep, before fading once again into the darkness of the night. He lay there all night, letting the darkness engulf his dream. A soft voice seemed to radiate from the ring, joining his dream, battling with the deadly spirits who threatened to take over.
He tossed as the voice began to waver. The ring glowed orange before he woke. It was morning. His clock read 7:18. A soft knock on the door signalled that his mum had arrived. As she opened it up and peered in, his eyes widened. His mother's eyes were black. She smiled softly and looking towards his damp clothes, gave an annoyed look. As she stepped in further he scrunched his eyes closed. He could feel her body getting closer and beginning to shake him. Her voice began sharper as she yelled his name to him. Slowly he began to drift away as though being taken somewhere else. But he could still hear the incessant calling. For a moment he felt nothing but numbness throughout his body. A sensation travelled up his arm and he soon felt his hand being held as something touched his face. Her voice changed again, becoming softer as it called him. As he felt he had returned to reality, he opened his eyes. Brightness surrounded him compared to the dark dream he had drifted off into. He blinked several times before he saw her face. Her soft eyes looked anxious. He smiled up at her, his eyelids exhausted, head rested on her lap.
His vision began to come into focus, and soon it was clear that it wasn't his mother he was staring at. His hearing began to improve, the quiet ringing disappearing. He could hear the shouts of people surrounding him. His name was being called again. This time from the right. As a tall man came into his vision, standing very far from him, he soon realised he was lying on the ground. Damp grass was poking out from between his fingers. As his vision improved further, he began to remember what had happened and how he had ended up here. "Son, you took and awful hit there. Wouldn't be surprised if you had a concussion. I'll call the medic. Kelly, you try and reach his parents." She nodded and smiled down at him before carefully laying his head on the grass. While trying to process the events of the last several seconds with a pounding headache, everything returned to him.
Midfield, quick pass, sprinting, duck under his arm, pushed from behind.
Punch to the side of his face.
Knee to his head.
David Morrison was quite a lucky footballer, even if he did miss the next to matches.