had fallen on Convict Grade as Tigg, Hammond, Bailey and Sara parted
ways for the evening. With feelings of unrest
they set off for their respective homes. Tigg
walked silently as a cold wind now blew through the rain soaked town
and brushed eerily across his cheeks. Time
seemed to stand still. There was no sign of life
anywhere. Tigg began to walk faster, unease
building in his mind. �Where are all the animals?� He thought to
himself as he crossed the street. In the six
years he had been walking home this way he had never felt such a
deafening silence. All Tigg could think was �the
darkness was alive.�...
walked, he thought about how different he and Sara were.
She was from a wealthy family, homecoming princess and head
cheerleader. An only child, doted on by her
parents. He was the youngest of four. His father worked at the mill
and his mother stayed home and kept the house.
There was never enough money to go around, especially when Tigger�s
older sisters had still lived at home. The three girls had shared a
bedroom, he remembered, and they hated it. All of them were gone
now, through college and leading productive lives.
He was never close to them. He came along
when Katie, the youngest girl, was twelve. He�d
always felt like an outsider with his family.
They all loved each other though, and that was what counted...
stared at his feet as he made the slow trek home.
He was not a proud man; in fact, ....Hammond.... was about
the only one he could look in the eye. The rest
of the time he spent staring at his boots. As he
thought about the three hundred dollar boots that Bailey probably
wore, a small smile threatened his lips.
Suddenly, he realized that the pavement should have ended about a
block ago. Tigg looked up to see a very familiar
scene; he was right back where he started. �What
the�?� Tigg shouted out loud in surprise.
He began to saunter back in the direction that he had
believed he had already gone. Looking carefully where he was going.
Tigg once again turned to the direction of home.
He kept his eyes on the road ahead of him this time trying to
concentrate. One by one, the streetlights that
stretched alongside the street flickered out...
Tigg was not nervous enough, he began to feel an ill-omened presence
stalking him in the darkness. �I wish
....Hammond.... were here,� Tigg thought as he deliberately hastened
his footsteps. The darkness enveloped Tigg and
he was forced to slow down due to his inability to make sense of
direction. He heard footsteps closing in behind
him in the darkness. Fear began to tear at
Tigg�s already strained sanity as he realized, with cold sweat
beading on his brow, that someone was standing next to him.
Tigg turned with a start and he realized that his fear was
unfounded, as he found himself staring at his own reflection.
A laugh began to trickle from his throat.
Tigg made faces at his reflection, mocking his utterly
ridiculous fear. Something caught his eye.
The reflection was not laughing back.
Suddenly, he stopped. What was staring back at
him was wrong. There was something missing.
The reflection had no eyes. Where the
eyes should have been there was a bleeding emptiness, a ..midnight..
sky devoid of stars. With a scream stuck in his
throat, Tigg turned away, and came face to face with this thing�this
just stared as he looked at the sallow, gray rotting skin. �Wh�who
are you?� Tigg stuttered.
The absolute horror of what he was taking in engulfed his senses...
the embodiment of your insecurities, and fears, and hatred of your
fellow man. We are the one composed of many.
We are you.�...