Or, How to Scare the Crud out of the Character(s)
The night was calm, but watchful, as the three dark forms crept up the steps to the High School. It was a Friday, about midnight, and the typical punks that were STUPID enough to have the desire to vandalize the school. Ryan, Toby, and Cole were their names; they were the type that John despised.
From the shadows of the building watched a pair of gleaming amber lights.
I". . . for Bringer of Death is of Darkness, not Light! . . ."/I
Toby glanced warily around, before picking the lock on the door.
Their school had a primitive security system that constantly malfunctioned, and it did so now. There was not a sound as they slipped inside and began making their way towards the principal's office, which was located nestled in the heart of the veritable labyrinth of halls.
There was a slight sound, like the rustle of silk being drawn across the passage, and Cole turned abruptly around. He caught a brief glimpse of something black swirling in the shadows of the corridor.
With a resounding crash, something fell and pinned him underneath it.
Ryan and Toby came running over, shining their flashlights on the object and discovering that it was one of the folded cafeteria tables that lined the walls. Cole was obviously in pain; everything from the waist down was caught underneath the table. They tried to lift it off of him, but they failed. It was just too heavy . . .
"Go get help," Cole managed to gasp, in between spasms of pain.
The other two nodded their heads, turning and continuing their search for the principal's office, where the only phone was located.
The shadow gave a sinister, close-lipped smile.
Toby had, by now, taken a wrong turn, and was seperated from Ryan. As he realized that he was alone, he stopped dead in his tracks. He glanced around, shouting, "Ryan? Where are you?"
Only the silence answered him.
There was a light rustling noise, and Toby said, "Ryan?"
Suddenly, a hideous, hideous face- more monstrous than human- was thrust in his own. The discolored skin, a dirty yellow like parchment, was drawn tightly over the jutting skullbones like a drumhead. The eye sockets were sunk, the gaping holes of a skull, and gleaming deep within their recesses were a twin pair of amber lights, glowing like flames. In the middle of the "face" was a huge, gaping hole, taking the place of a nose that never grew.
Toby gave a horrifying scream, and the death's-head gave a sinister smile and laugh, saying with a gleeful menace, "What, is there something wrong with my appearance?"
The high-schooler screamed again, and the death's-head laughed in response before vanishing into the darkness, the strains of the horrible sound echoing long after it disappeared.
Ryan, the last to keep searching, heard all of this- and it froze his blood in his veins. He stopped abruptly, trying to rationalize it, telling himself that it was "only Toby playing a joke" on him. He took a few deep breaths, trying to regain his tough-guy attitude, and said again, "It's only Toby playing a joke on me. It's only Toby playing a joke on me. It's only Toby..."
The ringleader of the vandalization attempt kept saying this to calm himself as he walked down the darkened hallway, the only light being cast in such a black place the meager, insufficient beam from his flashlight. Even it, too, began to shake along with its owner, who had by then lost so much of his nerve and resolve to vandalize the school that he was shivering out of sheer terror. With a sudden clatter, he dropped the flashlight, and he immediately bent over to pick it up, for he didn't want to be left to the darkness.
"Creature of the Day . . ."
The whisper echoed mockingly around him, as if riding on the fear the radiated out from him like ripples in a pond. He gulped, gathering up his courage, and shouted, "Who are you? What do you want with me?"
He dropped the flashlight again, so badly was he shaking, and it rolled away from him this time. He fell to his knees, groping blindly around for it, until he saw the lights.
There were a total of three, two gleaming amber ones at about the eye level of a somewhat tall person, and another, held alongside, at about shoulder's height. The one at shoulder's height was a curious red, perhaps some kind of a dark lantern. It went out as soon as Ryan looked up, and only the burning amber ones remained.
"Creature of the Day . . ."
The mocking whisper was heard again, and he could now tell that it came from the direction of the amber lights. He tried to still his shaking long enough so that he could speak.
"Who are you?"
The lights flickered briefly with an even more sinister light, and the voice came again.
"I am here, the Angel of Death! Come closer, come closer! Such courage! . . ."
This was almost too much for Ryan, and he began trembling all of over again. All of a sudden, something came flying around the dark and fixed itself around his throat, tightening as he shivered even more. He clawed desperately at it, but it was cutting off his air supply too quickly; he knew that he would die.
As the pounding inside of his head grew louder with his loss of oxygen, he heard the voice ringing mockingly in his ears: "What I am is a specter, the Phantom- II AM THE BRINGER OF DEATH!/I"
And he knew no more.
* * *
Something drew the man to the steps of the school the next morning, something he couldn't explain: it was more like a sense of dread destiny than anything else. Upon finding that one of the doors was unlocked, he opened it; and, seeing Cole lying unconscious in the entryway- still pinned to the floor- he ran to call for help.
The first thing the paramedics attended to was Cole, bringing him out of his state of unconsciousness and attempting to get a straight answer from him as to what happened. In between deep breaths, he told them why they had come, and how his two friends were still lost somewhere inside the building. A great number gathered together and lifted the weight of the cafeteria table off of him, and then a few of those put him on a stretcher and wheeled him away. Cole knew he would never walk again; but he was just thankful to be alive. He watched in silence as a search party went inside the building to find Toby and Ryan.
The next person who was found, after extensive searching throughout a series of halls and passages, was Toby. He was curled into a fetal position, pressed against a row of lockers, muttering to himself over and over. They came over to him, uncurling him, and noticed that he was deathly pale. Whenever they asked him what had happened, all he could say was, "No, there is nothing wrong! Nothing! Nothing wrong with your appearance!" He was suffering from severe mental shock, and would never be the same again- he would always be frightened by the darkness, and would never stray from the light again.
Compared to Ryan, Toby and Cole had gotten off easily. He was the last one to be found, his face an ashen gray and his hands limp, though still in the position of trying to claw something away from his throat. There was a ring around his neck, denoting death by strangulation; although the implement of murder couldn't be found, it seemed most likely as if someone had roped the boy around his throat and pulled until Ryan was dead. The boy's eyes were open, an expression of fear forever burned into those murky brown depths, and it was all they could do to stop themselves from recoiling in horror. The boy's own father shut his boy's eyes for him for the last time, and then they observed a moment of silence before placing their jackets over him and carrying him out of the labyrinth of the High School.
The shadow smiled.