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The Watcher's Nightshift

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Fishing at night is a popular tradition among many people, especially the brave and courageous. But even though many have the guts and the bravery to cast a lure while the moon looks down upon them just as the Sun does, neither bravery or courage is a shield that can protect you from the Watcher.

Who is the Watcher? Simply put, he is not a spirit, not a living person, but an undead body whose soul was banished to purgatory, yet half-trapped in a soul gem in the undead body. There was never any report of who did such a thing, but ever since, the Watcher has breathed and breathed, making his rounds on his job. 

The body of the Watcher was a young man nearing adulthood who had a day job as a game warden at the local lake where I live. Hourly, he would tend to the water, making sure it wasn't polluted by chemicals or garbage, and every minute he would check the vegetation in the forest near the dock for wild or hostile animals, in case the wildlife in the water were in danger of being eaten. There was just one problem with the young man's job; he was diabetic, and had to take a shot of insulin every four hours, else he'd go into shock and need a ride to the hospital. Because of this, he had someone from the office bring him his cooler of diabetic essentials so he could get his blood sugar under control. Sounds like a pretty sad life, doesn't it? He didn't really mind it, but if mundane traps of everyday life started to become an overwhelming problem, it'd be pretty difficult to do his job, now wouldn't it...?

Sadly, for this poor young man, things didn't go so well when his diabetes cooler went missing. He had got up and went about his daily routine, disarming his CPAP machine, running a nice hot shower, eating his breakfast and finally opening the refrigerator to get out his cooler... only to find it gone! What in God's name had happened to it?! He needed that cooler, or else he wouldn't be such a lucky man!

Frantically, he speed-dialed a co-worker.

"Mathew? Are you there? It's me, Paul."

"Paul? Hey, what's up?"

"This is kind of an emergency. You know my cooler that holds all my diabetes stuff?"

"Yeah?"

"It's not in my fridge. I have no clue what happened to it. Did I leave it at the dock last night?"

"I'm not sure. Maybe... I can't say for sure, I was at the office sorting the mail so I didn't have time to go to the dock."

"Mathew, I NEED that cooler. If I don't have access to it every four hours, I could die."

"Alright, alright Paul. Just take a breath and settle down. I'm eating breakfast at the Waffle House, just let me pay my bill and I'll get down there and look for it."

"Thanks for having my ass, Matthew."

"Anytime, Paul."

Unfortunately for young Paul, it just so happens that the place Mathew was eating at was just a tad too far from the lake. Mathew had decided to wait a little, and soon he waited an hour too long. As he started to pull out his driveway, a spell of dizziness hit him. He began to swerve down the highway, narrowly hitting a sports car that came from two miles down the road, and crushing the head of a crow that was foraging on the asphalt on his tires. As he gradually got able to straighten his path down the road, the left side of his body began to tingle and go numb. Sweat started to drip from his face, until, as he was making the left turn necessary to put him on the path to the lake, he made the turn too sharp, and his car careened into the ditch of a local-owned palm reader's yard. His forehead smashed into the steering wheel, causing him to lose consciousness. As he lay there motionless, the homeostasis within his body could not be maintained any longer, and his heart stopped.

The palm reader who owned the yard had stepped outside to see the source of the noise outside. When she saw what had happened, she had quickly remembered an old ritual; when someone dies near you, the soul that is released may get angry at death, and must be contained in a soul gem to prevent a poltergeist. From her satchel, she pulled out a chalky-indigo colored crystal, whispered something under her breath, and tossed it onto Paul's body. It worked, but only half his soul was contained. As a result, Paul was made halfway into a zombie. When night fell, after police investigators left the scene, his body rose from the wreckage, and started down the path to the lake.

People driving down the dark highway had no clue what someone was doing all by their lonesome on the road like this. Finally when he reached the lake, he strutted to the dock, moaning and groaning, and stepped up on top of a bench, and threw himself into the water. His body rose to the surface as it floated out to the middle of the water where the moonlight shone on the basin. His body found its way to another dock off to the side... where it pulled itself upon it and stood, looking toward the water. It stood there looking, just watching, for anything to appear. Anything at all. Remembering the people that fished at night, it stood there watching.

From the darkness, a car started to pull into the entrance of the lake. It was a family, fishing gear at the ready. Everyone but the daughter and mother prepared the equipment and made their way to the dock. As they cast their lures, beady yellow eyes caught the eyes of the father.

"The hell...? Hey? You alright over there?"

The eyes continued to glare. "You okay?" No response. However, something was wrong. The father started to feel cold, even though the forecast called for temperatures in the seventies. His arms went numb, his legs started to tremble and he started to cough blood. He was choking on himself and in seconds there was no hope. As for the father's son, the same fate.

The Watcher continues its deeds today, leaving the dock at sunrise, to hide in the bushes by day, and when night falls he arises and watches for anything. He remembers everything he watches and everyone that comes there.

Even you, if you're a fisherman by any chance.

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