For weeks, Allison had been hearing strange whispers. "They told me to..." the voice would hiss in her ears. She had become paranoid and afraid of the dark and eventually decided to tell her mom about her fears.

"I swear I hear this voice whenever I'm alone and when it's dark," she confided.

"It's just your imagination sweetie. There's no voices," she tried to console. She had noticed Allison's skittish behavior before and although she felt sympathetic for her daughter, she thought the whole thing was rather stupid.

"But mom-"

"That's enough Allison. You're too old to be afraid of a silly thing like the dark; you're sixteen for Pete's sake. Now come eat your dinner."

Before Allison could answer her mom walked away into the kitchen. Resigned, she followed.

Later that night, she sat in her room with all the lights on, reading a new book she had just bought. She was distracted by a sound coming from her closet. Frozen, she watched the door swing open ominously, revealing the darkness behind. A shadow rose from the floor fluidly to blend in with the others in the doorway.

"They told me to," it hissed at her.

She nearly jumped out of her skin when her phone rang on her bedside table. She hastily answered, her eyes darting back to the closet to find it closed and looking as normal as ever.

"Hello?" she asked shakily.

"Ally? You okay?" her boyfriend James asked.

She let out a relieved breath, "Yeah, just a little jumpy from this book I'm reading," she lied easily, "What's up?"

"Michael and Lindsay want to go up on the bridge and asked me to invite you. Wanna come?"

The bridge. Teens would sneak a few beers up there and hang out. They also did other things...

"Yeah. Can you pick me up down the street? I'll have to sneak out."

He agreed and they hung up. She threw on a jacket and grabber her bag before climbing out her window and down the flower trellis.

"Hey babe," James smiled when she climbed in his Jeep along with her other friends.

They drove there quickly, laughing. They were the only ones up there and a chill went down Allison's back when she realized.

"You okay?" Lindsay asked.

"Yeah, just kind of creepy up here when no one else is," she fake laughed.

"I know what you mean. Just ignore it," Lindsay suggested.

Allison decided to take her advice and focused on having fun. A few hours later, they were drunk beyond return and acting reckless. Allison was laughing hard at her friends' antics when a cold breeze blew the hair off her neck. She shivered and looked around.

"They told me to..." a voice hissed.

She snapped her head towards her friends to see the shadow from her closet rise through ground smoothly behind them. Her inhibited friends didn't notice. She opened her mouth to scream but nothing came out. In fact, she couldn't move at all. She was forced to watch in horror as, one by one, her friends dropped to the ground, lifeless. Only when the shadow turned to her did she fight to move again. She shot up and raced away as fast as she could. She pulled on the handles to James's Jeep but the doors were locked. With no other choice, she continued running down the road frantically. As she went, she became aware of a pounding. It sounded like the deep bass of a song, but felt it in her chest like her heart. It only served to heighten her fear.

Then, all at once, everything became silent. She couldn't hear her feet hitting the asphalt nor could she hear her heavy breathing. The silence all around her was replaced by the hissing whisper. It came from every direction. She came up short, she couldn't move again. Panic swelled in her chest as the figure rose from the ground in front of her seamlessly. In the dim light of the street lamp she could see him. Except for his bare feet, he wore all black clothes that looked like.... shadows she realized with shock. He was wearing shadows. The hood covering his head shrouded his face so she could only see his mouth and what a grotesque thing it was. A demonic smile literally curled the edges into black-stained swirls to reveal sharp incisors and canines. He watched her take him and while calmly twirling a pair of silver scissors around his semi-glove-covered fingers. He gripped them suddenly and his smile curled even more.

"They told me to..."

Allison and her friends were found days later, all with the same two things in common: slit wrists and a tooth missing. These types of murders had been common lately but the culprit was never found. They attributed them to a serial killer never thinking to look at the 'missing' boy, Spencer Shade.

Spencer Shade had just turned seventeen and his friends invited him to a large rave type concert to celebrate. He was looking forward to it... That is, until his mom told him he couldn't go. She had heard news that a dangerously unstable patient from a mental hospital had escaped recently. He was rumored to be in their area and she didn't want to risk her only son and last connection to her late husband crossing paths with him.

They argued endlessly over it, Spencer claiming she was being annoyingly over protective and paranoid. In true teenage fashion, he believed she just didn't want him to have fun with his friends. She told him she just wanted him to be safe but he wouldn't listen. He stormed upstairs and locked himself in his room, refusing to talk to or open up for his mom. She gave up eventually and went to bed hoping he'd be calmer in the morning.

As soon as he was sure she was asleep, he pulled on black jeans and a black denim vest with a hood. He shoved his black finger-less gloves between his teeth as he climbed out his bedroom window. Pulling on the gloves and the hood so it covered his face enough to keep him unidentifiable, he began walking to his friend's house who had agreed to drive him to the concert. Half way there, he began hearing whispered voices behind him. He tried ignoring them but got annoyed enough to turn around when they persisted. No one was on the dark street but him. Writing it off as kids being stupid he continued on his way, his head down. He didn't notice the group until he was right in front of them.

"Well, look here. We got a little emo kid on our hands," one sneered.

He glanced down at his all black clothes. He kind of did look emo but so what?

"Why don't you take off the hood, Emo? So we can see your pretty little face," another snickered.

He scuffed his Hollis style Chuck Taylors against the ground for a moment and tried to go around them.

"Hold on there, Emo. Them some nice shoes. Whadda ya say I take 'em off ya hands?"

Again, he tried to go around them. Again they moved to block him.

"Look here, kid. You're not goin' anywhere anytime soon. So take off the shoes or we'll take 'em off for you."

Finally he lifted his head, "You got eighty bucks? No? Then you're not getting my shoes."

One of them chuckled, "You don't understand, Emo. You're gonna give them to us for free or we're gonna take 'em for free. Either way, we'll be walkin' away with them shoes."

"The hell you will," he spit angrily.

"Guess we'll be takin' 'em," one growled back.

Before Spencer could do anything, he was surrounded. They had him on the ground, bloody and bruised in minutes. He couldn't fight them all so he just kept his arms in front of his face. Not that it helped any; his face looked like someone took a cheese grater to it and a majority of his teeth were on the road in front of him.

His shoes were ripped off his feet and he was left in the gutter near death.

He didn't know how long he lay there in his own blood but he began to hear the whispers again. Rustling sounded in the bushes next to him and suddenly a man was crouching over him.

"The voices told me to find you. They told me to," he rambles distractedly. He was busy fussing with Spencer's wrists. He barely felt the surgical scissors slicing open his skin.

"Still too much of your blood. Need to make room for them," the man mumbled, turning Spencer's wrists downward so the blood drained faster.

Spencer was helpless to stop him; he couldn't move.

"They told me to..." The man mumbled once more before he cut open his own wrist and shoved it at Spencer's mouth.

The acidic dark liquid flowed down his throat, spreading out and burning his insides like fire. He screamed against the man's arm and tried to thrash causing the fluid to dribble down the sides of his mouth. The man held his head in place, surprisingly strong for the amount of blood he had force-fed Spencer.

The burning began to dissipate and he felt stronger. He used his new strength to finally push the man off of him. He glanced at the murky water in the gutter and did a double take at his reflection. He was more pale with black stains from the blood he was fed staining the spots it had dripped from his mouth. His teeth had grown back but some of them were extraordinarily sharp. His mouth seemed stretched unnaturally across his face and his eyes were crazed and wide. The clothes he wore looked weird... Like he was surrounded by black fog. Shadows he noted.

"Kill him," someone whispered.

He spun around to locate the voice.

"Kill him, Shade," it whispered again.

"The voices speak to you," the man sputtered from his place on the ground.

"Kill him!"

Spencer felt suddenly compelled to take the scissors the man had used to cut his now healed over wrists. He watched as his own hand gripped the surgical instrument and ended the man's life. Only after a moment did he recognize him as the escaped mental patient. He growled and roughly slashed the man's wrists in spite.

"They told me to..." he whispered with a twisted grin.