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No One Knows Where Kate Went
“Hello? Police? My friend’s been-she’s been kidnapped.”
My breath caught in my throat admitting this.
“How long has she been gone?”
“I-I don’t know. A few minutes? She-she-oh god-she was with us one second and we turned and then she was gone. They took her. The Mo-”
“Alright, try and calm down...”
The voice of the cop on the other end of the line dwindled into a low hum as a fuzz cupped around my ears. Some vague words about them being there shortly, that there would be an investigation as soon as possible, and instructions to make sure the rest of the people at my Halloween party were ok. My cold lips ached to tell the cop who took her but the cop wouldn’t believe me. No one ever did. These...things-creatures-that took her followed me my whole life.
No, they weren’t ghosts or demons. Ghosts walked through walls, flipped tables or screamed. Demons possess you. Aliens? Nope again. Monsters? I wish.
After the cop was done talking, I hung up and went into the living room to join my friends lingering in the living room. Their costumes looked like they were all babies.
“The cops are coming. It’s going to be ok.”
I chirped like the frail bird I was and noticed how loud my mom’s grandfather clock tick-tocked in the hall. Jason’s thunderous gulp as he idled himself with Dr. Pepper to calm his shattered nerves.
“What the hell was that thing?” he whispered.
“Yeah. What was that?” Eric glanced at me as I walked in to close the circle.
My biggest lie, “I don’t know.”
Kelly’s hands could barely hold her phone as she texted.
“I’m going home,” she said.
“The cops want everyone here for questioning,” I told her. “Besides, that...thing might still be out there.”
With a jerk of her chin her coal eyes pierced me. In her bunny costume she was a frightened kid again. Just like me.
“You know in ghost stories…” Eric started, glanced at me, then to his feet.
“Yeah, Eric?” I pressed but I could feel the clench of resistance to press. It would only feed the creature more. That’s what it wanted. What He wanted.
“Well, ghosts don’t make things...you know,” he whiped his nose, making his glasses rise. “Come out of thin air. You know?”
“Yeah, how the f**k did it do that?” Jason’s Silo cup jiggled in his grip, the plastic bending around his fingers like shards of cherry colored glass. “Are you f**k with us, Janet?”
My insides burst into firery indignation, “Hell no! You’re my friends! Why would I do that, Jason?”
Jason muttered something under his breath and looked back down to his cup.
“And it kept on talking to us. Like-like it kept making all these sparky electric things and making holes in-in the-I dunno fabric of the universe or something pop open. Did anyone else hear it talk? Like when it took Kate? Did you hear it….giggle..?” Eric was shivering now like someone threw him outside on a snow day.
“It’s alright, Eric. The cops will be here soon,” I said and glanced out the window to find a barren driveway. Mom, dad and my little sister Reese wouldn’t be back for another few hours. Then, a pair of lights blinded us and I saw the familiar pale blue stripe on white metal. I jumped to the door, rushed outside and saw the cop car.
Only, my instincts screamed that it wasn’t a cop car and it wasn’t Kate standing just outside of it. The skinny cop cocked his head to the side and leaned against the door, dangling the string of a baton on his pinkie and twirled it. A smile revealed a twitch of sharp teeth like a faulty hologram before transitioning back to the ordinary blunt human teeth. His was a soft voice, mirroring the one I’d heard all of my life.
“I hear your friend went missing.”
“Losing a friend on All Hallow’s Eve is quite easy. One can’t tell what’s alive or dead this time of year. What’s real and what’s not,” he twirled the baton, winked and stuffed it into his holster.
I wanted to fall to my knees and cry. A promising glint of torment twinkled in his eyes that flickered to reveal swirling pupils and flashed back to the regular round ones. My hands ached to grasp his throat but the past reminded me that he was too quick.
“Do you have her?”
He chuckled, his form blinked to reveal a stony, black flesh. Then back again to the pale man flesh.
“Ever so blunt, Janet.”
With every step towards me, his form blinked and wavered like the hologram was giving up. If i blinked I would miss the smooth, black flesh carved right out of obsidian. His eyes golden spirals. Jagged pearl shards for teeth. His human thumb and finger kissed into a snap and in his palm floated a geometric shape. From math lab I recognized it as a four-dimensional object and shuddered at the implication but froze when I heard a familiar shriek. A cold pair of fingers tickled my heart.
I looked up at him, he smiled and flipped his palm. The geometric box-if I could call it that-dropped from his hand and I caught it just as it reached my knees. It’s form was weightless, like holding a little cloud, but its density mimicked a stone.
“I made a little home for the girl. A proper gift for someone who never seems to visit me anymore,” he said, turned on his heel and walked for the cop car. My nostrils flared as I caught the car flickering to reveal-for only one second-the sleek black of an entity resembling a stallion.
“Have a wonderful All Hallow’s Eve, dear Janet,” he called.
My insides seethed but I couldn’t do anything. I could never do anything to Him. I looked down at Kate, listened to her muffled screams and attempts to crack open an unopenable box.
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