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A Midnight Shadow (standard:horror, 1744 words)
Author: Chris HerzigAdded: Aug 09 2001Views/Reads: 2268/1211Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
When you think your alone in the woods, your not.

A Midnight Shadow By: Chris Herzig 

The water glistened off Donald’s hand as he ran it through the wet
grass. Slowly he lifted his fingers to his mouth tasting the clear 
liquid. The rolling clouds now blanketed the moon as if shielding it 
the way a father would shield his child from a rabid dog. He looked 
down at his hand, which shined no longer with the faded source of 
light. His eyes winced and his lips frowned as he spat the water from 
his mouth. “Rust” he exclaimed. Wiping his large callused hands across 
his faded blue jeans, he stood upright with a confused expression on 
his face. He took the sleeve of his aged flannel shirt and ran it 
across his lips disposing of the lingering taste. The sound of the 
cotton rubbing his 6 o’clock shadow rang reminiscent of a child’s small 
plastic shovel scooping sand. A gust of wind began to pick up as it 
whistled through the needles of the pine trees. 

Reaching for the right side of his utility belt, he grasped his large
flashlight. The clouds now engulfed the moon to the point where Donald 
had to fumble his thumb over the metal base to find the on switch. The 
light shot out bright and strong, reassuring him that the flashlight 
sale at the country store was indeed a good investment. With his eyes 
now adjusting, he noticed small white streaks flying in front of him. 
As his sight grew more focused, he could see that the streaks were 
snowflakes soaring through his beam of light. Rotating his flashlight, 
he began to investigate his surroundings. 

He stood alone in the dark embrace of Porters forest. Standing in a
large patch of grass, he noticed in every direction the seemingly 
never-ending rows of green pine trees. The ground under the trees was 
colored blood red from dead pine needles that had fallen. Even uncanny 
was the fact that no trees grew in the almost perfect circle of grass 
in which he was standing. Off to the north of where he stood the 
semi-circle carvings of gravestones peered at him. There were twenty or 
so marked graves and probably others now unmarked due to robbery and 
weathering of the headstones. Most of the engravings were illegible but 
a few stood in excellent condition. 

Donald took the duffel bag off his shoulder laying it flat on the
ground. Just above the zipper, a patch had been stitched across its 
body and there was a large wooden handle sticking out. The patch bore 
the profile of a phantom with the letters O.P.I. Below the initials 
were the words Ohio’s Paranormal Investigations. From the bag emerged a 
magnificent camera decorated with a large telephoto lens. He began 
snapping shots of the graveyard at an excited, almost frantic pace. He 
turned his body to obtain a sideways view of the headstones. He was 
worried that his shadow would interfere with the validity of any 
supernatural phenomenon caught on tape. 

Donald had been a member of O.P.I. for about two years now. His passion
for the research of the paranormal has been with him since he has been 
a little child. Now he did it with an organization set on discovering 
the facts behind a multitude of mystic phenomenon. They were his only 
friends. They would be impressed with him if he could capture a picture 
of a spirit, after all its been done plenty of times before. He dropped 
to one knee to get a better picture of the inscription on what was by 
far the largest headstone. He slid two fingers to the ground to balance 
his weight as he got set for the photo. “Damn this shadow”. He mumbled 
to himself as he stood back up. 

Donald’s face grew perplexed. His fingers had slipped into the ground
now a good inch. How odd he thought that his fingers could penetrate 
the earth here. Not more than seven miles away at his house, the soil 
has been frozen solid for over three weeks now. Using his flashlight as 
a guide, he peered towards the pine trees. A slight coating of snow now 
lay across the bedding of needles. He arose with the sound of sloshing 
as his boots parted the mud beneath his feet. He walked over to the 
nearest row of trees and prodded his foot against the ground. The 
ground was frozen solid. He smirked with pleasure as he made his way 
back to his bag. 

Grasping the wooden handle, he uncovered a large shovel. He laid its tip
to the ground and placed his foot above its head. The shovel slipped 
into the ground with minimum effort. His mind now raced with thoughts 
of riches and wealth. If the legends were true, the colonial gold had 
been buried here in the resting-place of Vincent Mapleton. In 

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