by Hydrargentium

Shadowboy called them ‘Darkriders’, or something like that. Maybe… ‘Dark Striders’? I don’t know if he made that name up, or if there’s some kind of library or something in that Shadow World he goes to.

Whatever. I called them ‘creepy’. Or maybe just ‘dead’.

With four of these things hopping around in the alley behind Pete’s Pizza, sweet little Mrs. Pete didn’t have a chance. Of course, I had to smile at her for trying anyway, holding the end of her apron up like a shield, tomato stains and all, and swinging a vegetable peeler like a machete. I don’t know where she got the peeler — maybe it was in her apron pocket?

Anyway, she looked determined enough to take them all on, squinting at the moving shadows, and maybe she might’ve even injured one, if they could be hurt by stainless steel at all. But I wasn’t going to let that play out. I didn’t know what these ‘Dark Creepies’ wanted with a little old pizza-maker’s wife, but I didn’t really care either. I let my fists speak for themselves.

And my fists speak at ten thousand decibels of white noise. A shot of ultrasound on either side of Mrs. Pete burst a hole in the bricks where a creepy used to be, and made a direct hit on the other. I’d’ve been bugged if both shots missed, but creepy number one seemed to shatter and dissolve from the sound beam, like a TV screen that goes staticky, only in reverse. That was good enough for me.

I was halfway down the alley at a dead run by the time the other three reacted. Without them having faces, I still somehow knew they were looking straight at me, and had forgotten all about the little greek lady with flour dusting her hair. I thought for a second they were going to try to gang up on me, but instead, they took off, sliding up the walls and down into dark corners. That’s when I discovered that a scared creepy sounds just like a leaky balloon: ‘Eeeeeeeeeeeee’!

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