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The Thing in the Shadows

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I always thought that my son had an overly active imagination, which is good to some extent, but sometimes it got out of hand. The sad thing was that my son had no actual friends, he just sat in his room playing with random figments of his imagination. I would sometimes walk past his room and hear him asking his "friends" if they would stay with him forever, then after a pause, he would start to break down and cry. My wife thought that his imaginary friends were cute and that they were a natural part of a healthy childhood, however, I didn't agree, and everyone knew it. I thought that they were ruining his social skills because he never went out and interacted with any real people besides me and my wife.

Then, one day he just started acting so depressed that he didn't even play with his imaginary friends, he just sat on the sofa in the living room with his hands covering his face, sobbing quietly. I finally had enough and went up to him asking what was wrong. "Dad," he told me in a whisper, "George is dead. The thing in the shadows killed him, and he told me to not tell anyone what I saw, but I told Jason, and now I told you. I am really scared Dad, I just want him to leave me alone." I told him that everything was going to be alright, even though his imagination was now becoming dangerous enough to scar him.

A week later, I decided to set him up with a child psychiatrist, thinking that therapy can get rid of this "thing in the shadows" nonsense. After his first session, he started to become more cheerful and happy. After about a month, the therapy sessions weren't much help, then I got a call from the hospital. As it turns out, my wife was involved in a very serious car accident, which caused her and the other driver to die as soon as they got to the ER. I just couldn't believe it, I hung up the phone and punched the wall repeatedly in anger, cursing every time my fist made contact with the wall. My son walked into the room and I ran to him and hugged him. "Buddy, your mom was..." he then cut me off with the most disturbing thing that I have ever heard come out of his mouth. "I know, the thing in the shadows got her too, she was the second person that I told about him, and you are the third." then he walked off.

I went to bed that night with a heavy head and blurry, tear filled eyes. It didn't feel the same anymore, sleeping alone with no one to talk to. I tried to close my eyes and dream of a better time, but I couldn't. Not because of the bad mood I was in, but of a sense of paranoia that I had. I felt like something was watching my every move with shifty eyes, waiting for the moment that I finally leave myself unaware. "Is someone there?" I called out, thinking at the time that it was stupid. Then, a figure appeared out of the shadows, breathing heavily with every step that its grotesque body took. It had three legs, each leg had ten razor sharp talons for toes. It had small beady red eyes on its grey head. Its arms were crooked so violently that I thought that it had no bones at all. The end of those crooked arms were home to a pair of seven sharply pointed fingers. The last thing I saw of it was its jaw, which contained a set of broken, jagged fangs. Then, it pounced on me.

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