Painted Black

“Mummy, who’s them over there?” The three-year-old daughter pointed sharply into the dark. Sitting up with her back poker-straight.

The faint green glow of the clock blinked; 03:32. “There’s nothing there honey, go back to sleep,” the mother sleepily cooed with a trailing shush.

“Mummy, why are those shadows looking at me?”

Black eyeless eyes in black shapeless shapes, keeping her awake. There’s no light to make shadows, the mother thought. An ominous tickle ran ice-cold, as a steel-blade, down her spine.

The mother sat up, mirroring her daughter. Her dry-sleepy eyes adjusted to the dark, dropping to the tip of her tiny daughter’s delicate finger. The little finger melted into the growing shadows, then her hand as the black swallowed her arm, painting its way over her. The tiny girl’s delicate face turned towards her mother. A horrifying mute scream stretched her jaw wide as she became engulfed by a swarm of black – a swarm of consuming shadows.

As the mother opened her mouth in protest, the shadows too invade her, quashing the air from her lungs…

In the dark empty room from the silence a haunting echo whispers, “Mummy, they’re still looking at me…”

The clock blinks; 03:33…

© By Natasha Sinclair. 2020.

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