He who dwells in the shadows

He’s there, I know, watching me, studying me, in the shadows.

It all started one day when I went to visit my old aunt. She lives in the country, lived, rather. I still can not get used to the idea that she is dead. It was the only living relative I had. My family died long ago, I was the youngest, now I’m the one. She was 93, was called Francisca, a descendant of Spanish, she came to live in Argentina as a child. His family were Orthodox Jews, respected all parties, shabbat, did not eat pork or meat mixed with milk. The religion in the family died long ago, with my parents, leading to a complete atheism. My parents did not believe in anything, just on science and facts feasible. I was born on the 25th of September, at 14:50 hours. I was educated in the most expensive private schools. I went to college. I graduated as an engineer. Now, to the time of the incident, I was doing a career. From boy I was very imaginative, always creating invisible friends. I get born sick. My parents overprotected me. They were slain August 12 due to a car accident. A drunk driver killed them. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he also died. I inherit a massive fortune that helped me to live for years. After the death of my parents only my Aunt Francisca and me remains. I was always shy with women. I had my girlfriends, but I long ago gave up. I walk the world alone. So, my heart does not bleed again.

That day, in the house of my aunt, I found some papers of my great-grandparents. They were manuscripts full of geometric shapes, angles, and inscriptions at the foot of the page. That was the first step for my mind falling into darkness. These manuscripts fascinated me. The lines were perfect, the circles, the angles. I leave them in a trunk in the house, but could not stop thinking about them. I don’t know why they did such an impact on me, at last they were old and unintelligible.

At night I went back to my house. The highway was deserted and It took less than half an hour to get to my home. I turned on the TV and opened a beer. Suddenly I felt that I was being watched, I turned around but there was no one, nothing, I was alone in the shadows of my house. I would not give it more importance but for a noise that I seemed to hear, it was like a whisper. I turned on the lights but I was alone. I went to sleep with a restless mind. That night I had the strangest dreams, but when I woke up them vanished from my mind. Something told me I had to bring home the old manuscripts and try to give them an explanation.

I went back to my aunt’s house in search of the papers. I asked my aunt if she knew anything about them, but her only answer was that they were of my great-grandparents. She never paid attention to them. The information did not reach more than these few words. I asked if I could take them and she said yes.

When I came home I took them out of my suitcase and watched them. I could watch them for hours, trying to give some logical explanation, if I did not felt observed. It was as if two demonic eyes were staring at me and studing me. I hear the murmur again. I put the music loud to hear no more, but my mind was restless. I turned on every light in the house. I was alone. In a shadowy corner I thought I saw something, I was up there but there was nothing. I was alone in the house.

The next day I went back to my aunt. Knock on the door but no one came to open it. Luckily I had the key so I opened and entered. Tia Francisca,I screamed, but no one answered. I went up to her room. What was my surprise to find her lying down, eyes closed. I thought she had on a hard sleep, so I tried to wake her up. I pinched her several times without response. I felt her heart and, to my surprise, she was dead. She had no descendants so I inherited her home and her gold. A few days after that I had sold the house and  the gold. My wealth was enormous, owned a mansion on top of the hill, lands in the Pampas, I had plenty of money in the bank, but my mind was restless. I thought it was because I had been left alone for the recent death of my aunt.

One night, while sitting at home, reading, I seemed to hear footsteps and voices, doors opened and closed, furniture that moved. I hear it for days. Since there I could not even go out to the streets, everything altered me. My nerves were breaking down. I was aware of my loneliness. With all my wealth and I could not have a friend, nor a woman to share my life.

I stoped going out, all I did was watch the shadows for hours, afraid of something that did not exist, any noise terrified me,I was afraid to even get up to go to the bathroom. My fear was irrational, I know, but it was latent, existed.

I could never give a rational explanation to the manuscripts. Maybe, I thought, they contained a curse, but just thinking about curses was a contradiction to my rational thinking. I did not believe in any spiritual world, and considered all the supernatural things, legends. However, my fear existed and there was no way to fight back.


It is there,

in the shadows,

watching me,

studying me,

becoming my obsession


after day.

5 thoughts on “He who dwells in the shadows

    • the true is that I based some of this in my own life, in things that happen in the past, but what I wanted to show was that even if you have money, and your life seems ok, the fear is present and the madness can appear at every moment, in every life, in everyone. That’s is my second or third short story, I’m more of the poetry, but I want to give short stories a try. Thank you for the comment.

  1. Very intriguing writing Leo. I was compelled to finish this though I have the attention span of a gnat. I must congratulate you on your prose, very fine!

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