Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
Vincent Cox turned off the lights in his hardware store. He zipped up his black, fleece jacket and walked out into the cold, lonely night. He fumbled for the keys in the pocket of his jeans shivering slightly. He finally fished a rusted, copper key and locked the front entrance door. He sighed and started to walk home.
As he was walking down the sidewalk something in the sidewalk glinted dully catching his eye. Next to a sewage drainage was a small black ball. He curiously shuffled over to the ball, knelt down and touched the ball. There was gust of cold wind and Vincent shivered and glanced nervously behind him. He felt like he was being watched. Quickly he picked up the ball and examined it. It was an eight ball.
The whole ball was smooth like it had never been used before. He looked into the small triangle glass and was intrigued when he noticed that the word “Yes” behind the glass were glowing brightly in the dark. He decided to ask the ball a simple yes or no question.
“Am I wearing a black jacket?”
Vincent shook the ball and looked into the glass.
“Definitely” was what came up. Vincent smiled. It was just one of those coincidences, so he decided to ask another one.
“Am I in a relationship with anyone”
Vincent knew he wasn’t in a relationship with anyone. He wasn’t much of a social man.
“I don’t know” the ball replied.
Vincent asked another question on whether he supported Obama. Again the ball answered “I don’t know”. Vincent asked more questions about his personal life and no matter how hard or fast he shook the ball again and again it came up as “I don’t know”. Finally Vincent sighed and decided to ask different questions.
“Am I boy?”
Vincent paused for a while. “Weird” he thought. Vincent asked another.
“Am I listening to my IPod?”
“Is it nighttime”
“Am I holding an eight ball?”
Vincent was feeling colder now and he thought he heard a rustling sound just in front of him. He couldn’t see anything much in the darkness except for a house surrounded by small bushes and trees. He flipped out his cellphone and turned it on “lantern”. But still there was nothing he could see. He instinctively looked back to where his store was and tried to see anything strange. Nothing. Shakily he started to walk back to his house. Vincent asked one more question
“Am I walking to my house?”
Vincent started to walk faster.
As he was walking to his house he would occasionally glance behind him feeling like someone was watching him, trying to catch up to him. When he reached his front door he impatiently jabbed his key into the keyhole missing a few times before putting it perfectly into the hole. When he unlocked the door, he swung it open and quickly shut it behind him. Locking the door, Vincent ran into the kitchen and grabbed a kitchen knife. He felt stupid, but he pushed out this thought. Slowly he slid the knife into its case and then put the knife securely in his pocket. He swore he heard scraping and bumping out in his front door but he resisted the temptation to go check. Instead he walked into his bathroom, turned on the lights and closed the door, locking it. He decided to ask a question.
“Am I at home right now?”
Vincent tapped his thumbs tensely.
“Am I eating anything?”
“I don’t know”
“Am I in the living room?”
“I don’t know”
Then suddenly he heard the front door burst open and footsteps coming through the entrance. Vincent held his breath, his face going pale. He slammed off the lights in the bathroom and hid himself behind the sink waiting, clutching his kitchen knife. He heard the footsteps passing his bathroom. The footsteps entered into the living room, and then they stopped. He felt the ball in his hand move slightly. Vincent took a look at the ball and his heart almost skipped a beat.
He heard footsteps again, walking up the stairs. Vincent made his escape. He ran out the bathroom and out the front door. He ran out onto the streets and back to where the stores were.
“Are you still trying to find me?”
When he reached his store he looked around him. Across from his hardware store was an old magic shop. The door was slightly ajar.
“Are you still at my house?” Vincent asked
“Are you coming to get me?”
“Do you know where I am”
“Should I be afraid?”
He pushed his way into the store and flipped on the light switch. The lights failed to turn on so Vincent flashed out his cellphone and turned on “Lantern” mode. Breathing heavily he scanned the large store looking in shock. The whole store was trashed. Vincent then jumped back in horror as he saw the dead body of the manager. He walked over to the body and saw a piece of paper in one hand and a transparent blade of a knife in the other. Vincent hastily snatched the blade and rubbed, with his pointer finger, along the flat side of the blade. For a second all fear vanished inside of him. The blade glowed suddenly with a low hum. A beautiful white light shined into Vincent’s eyes making him close them tightly. When his eyes readjusted he marveled at the beauty of the light.
It was a light of hope, the absence of darkness. Just then Vincent was startled by the noise of footsteps entering the store. There was low, terrifying grunt. Fear took over Vincent again causing the blade to lose its light, leaving him with only his cellphone. He flipped it off and slowly backed into the very back of the store.
“Are you going to try to kill me now?”
“Very good chance”
He pocketed the eight ball in his jacket. His left hand slowly slid out the kitchen knife in its case while clutching the transparent blade with his right. He slowly paced around randomly along the shelves and messes. He didn’t know whether to sneak out or try stabbing the creature from behind. The footsteps and the grunts were coming closer and closer. Vincent prepared himself. He waited patiently behind an old shelf of cards. Cautiously, Vincent leaned his head out of the left catching a glimpse of the creature from the side. It looked like a huge ragdoll. Its mouth was wide open; its jaws hanging low. That’s all that Vincent could make out it the dark. Quickly, Vincent pulled his head back behind the shelf. His breathing grew more rapid. He was on breaking point.
“3…2…1…” Vincent jumped out behind the creature lunging the knife into the creature’s head.
The beast stumbled backwards howling. It slammed against the wall. Regaining its balance, Vincent watched frozen in dread as the creature sluggishly pulled the knife of its head. The creature started to laugh madly. It tossed the knife at Vincent who ducked to the right just in the nick of time. The knife wound on the creature slowly stitched back up and the creature pounced onto Vincent while he screamed. Vincent was knocked back, bumping into a shelf. The shelf rocked a little causing a bucket to drop onto the creature’s head
The creature’s grasp loosened and Vincent broke free. He grabbed the shelf and pushed it over onto the creature. It moved furiously as it deliberately tried to free himself form the shelf. Vincent felt a twinge of bravery and suddenly the blade shined a gorgeous beam of white light.
Taking out the eight ball Vincent said triumphantly,
“Do you think you’re still going to kill me?”
“I don’t know”
Vincent held the blade high in the air throwing light on the ceiling and slammed it down on the creature’s “neck” just as it struggled to get out. The blade of the knife sunk into the creature’s neck filling his whole body with light. The creature shrieked and bellowed as he flopped around like a fish on land before disappearing completely. It was over. Vincent sighed and nervously chuckled.
Then he remembered that there was piece of paper on the dead manager. He made his way towards the body, feeling sorry for the man before curiously picking up the paper. Anxiously he read it aloud “I didn’t know it would turn out like this. What have I done? It’s going to eat my soul and it’s going to eat yours. Please do something” Vincent’s head was filled with questions but he decided that bliss was ignorance. He slowly put the paper into his pocket.
Vincent quickly took out the eight ball. Standing completely still Vincent asked it a final question.
“Am I doing jumping jacks while singing All You Need is Love by the Beatles?”
Vincent shook the ball nervously and it answered the question in one word:
— Brian Alexander
Credit To: Deadlights911
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