In an heroic attempt to get me somewhere near my word count goal today, Mr Adam Christopher (go see his blog here, it’s cool: http://adamchristopher.wordpress.com/ )challenged me to a “12 more lines or death!” write off. I think I did a few more than 12, because it all started to flow a little better, but here be the (slightly dodgy, unedited) results:Mike, still rubbing his sore eyes, pulled the curtain back sharply, rattling the frame and startling the figure that crouched impossibly outside his window. It was entirely black and human shaped, but painfully thin, as if all the flesh had been burnt away and what was left was a living cinder. Mike stumbled back from the glass, a shout of panic halfway to his lips when the creature curled its long stick fingers into fists and banged on the window, twice. Burnt lips pulled back from two rows of neat white teeth and formed a single word.
The initial shock had turned quickly to anger, and Mike leapt back at the window, banging on the glass himself, but the dark figure had already slipped away, lost in the deeper shadows of the courtyard. Mike stood with his fist raised, feeling his heart gradually slowing down again. There were sooty black marks on his window.
Feeling vaguely foolish but unable to stop himself, Mike put a pair of shoes on and went down to the courtyard, making a quick circuit around the bins and patchy grass. The lights of the other flats and businesses meant he barely needed the torch on his phone, but he knew the search was pointless anyway. He knew what the figure had been. He’d had a good few weeks of normality, but now the Unseeables were back. Back in the flat and having officially given up on sleep, Mike made himself a cup of tea and put the stereo on low, something appropriately alien sounding from a half tuned-in radio station. Even the radio gets weirder at night, he thought, and his hands shook a little as he sipped his tea. Michael Peak sat on his sofa with the curtains drawn tight again and thought of lots of things; of the work he could hide in but was too shaky to continue, of friends he could call but whose names he couldn’t remember, and the small jar of pills in the bathroom cabinet that he knew would make no difference. Michael sat up, and waited for the sun.