The Shadow and the Prey

It was a shadow that moved with its own life force, for its own purposes. It hung around in the dark places, waiting. It was a creature of the dark places, but it did not belong to the dark. It used the dark as other predators do, to satisfy its urges, to satiate its needs.

It waited there on the edge of everything, waiting for its prey.

Long ago, too long now for it to remember, it had been one of the prey, creeping through the darkness, afraid of every shadow of every sound in the silence of the night.

Now, it was the darkness.

It was the shadow that could creep, hunt and devour, but with no sound.

It had to be cautious though. The prey could fight back. It could scream and shout. It could call for help. The dark city streets were full of the prey, staggering home after a night out. There were too many to choose from.

It was a good hunting ground.

Then when the shadow beast was done, it left the prey torn, ripped and abandoned on the cold hard ground of the city.

A city that offered no comfort or safety for the prey.

Meanwhile, the shadow crept away and merged into the darkness.

It knew places to hide even in the brief hot summer days of the city. A time when there should have been no darkness left from the short nights, still it found place to hide, places to wait for the brief summer nights.

On those warm nights, the prey was plentiful, easy. There was always one or two each night. Although, it didn’t need to hunt every night, especially once it needs were met, still it was out there in the shadows. It became a shadow, watching the prey as it giggled and staggered through the pools of bright lights.

The shadow kept to the dark places. It didn’t want the prey to see it, sense it, until it was too late. Until it could see the fear in the wide, staring eyes that suddenly knew there was no escape, no mercy and no respite until the shadow had its fill and moved on.

Sometimes it left the prey dead, other times the prey was half-alive, wishing it was dead. But it was only prey, not real, just something to use and discard, forget and left lying in its own pooled blood.

The shadow didn’t know, or care, why it did the things it did. It was a need and the prey satisfied that need, even if only briefly.

The shadow knew too that it was hunted. The prey was looking for it. It left too many of them ripped and torn, thrown away, discarded after the shadow had satisfied its need.

It wondered why the prey bothered. There were so many in the herds filling the late night streets, calling to each other, fighting each other, dragging themselves in pairs into the dark alleys here the shadow watched them clumsily groping each other to unsatisfying climaxes, while in the shadows it waited, watched and planned its next move.

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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