Voice From the Dark
The voice echoed through the empty hall. Again, more urgent, "Sam!"
"Where are you?" came the answer. Sam stumbled in the darkness, fumbling for a light switch. The switch produced a faint buzzing, but no light emanated from the bulb.
The bulbs, of course, would not turn on. Most creatures of the night can see to that. For now I could stay in the shadows, but my time to strike was nearing.
"Over here! Around the corner! Hurry!"
Sam sighed and turned the corner. The unwary human was faced with more dark hallways, but straight ahead was the back entrance to the ice rink's shop.
"In here! Sam!"
Sam stopped. "This isn't funny anymore! Who are you?"
Sam turned and walked.
"No! Don't leave me Sam, I'm scared! Please!"
A groan preceded another change in course. Sam entered the skate shop through the open door. The darkness covered the shop, obscuring the merchandise. Racks of dresses were barely distinguishable from the bins of hockey sticks. Sound is more telling at night; I could hear shallow breaths and human heart beating ever faster.
"Look, you don't need to be scared!" Thump-thump, thump-thump. "I'm here, so why don't we just leave together now?"
"Come get me Sam, I'm back here."
"All right, I'm coming."
Sam's hand traced the counter. I heard scuffing as the human's feet shuffled over the floor without leaving it. Clever. With each step, Sam drew closer to the back of the store.
The air grew thicker and the shadows denser. Sam groped along beneath the shelves of skates, trying to locate the source of the voice. Without breaking the silence, I approached, now almost on top of the human.
Sam stood facing away from the wall, completely oblivious to the true source of danger. Slowly, stealthily, a pair of skates wormed their way to the edge of the shelf. Time for the finale.
"I'm right here, Sam."
With one last tug, the skates descended straight for the human's head. I shoved Sam forward, and the skates hit the ground, shattering the silence. Sam screamed and ran blindly, knocking over a bin of blade guards on the way out.
"Fool," growled a voice from the ceiling. "Who dares come between me and my prey?" A bald creature with glowing red eyes and clawed limbs crawled down the wall. It gazed into the shadows, searching for the interloper who had deprived it of an easy meal.
I didn't dignify its threat by moving or responding. Even if it knew what I was, it wouldn't be able to tell shadows from shadows.
It growled, clearly confused by not seeing anything. "You may be able to hide for now, but I will find you, and when I do you will face the wrath of a --"
I pitched the skates right back at it. The creature yelped and retreated into the air vent. I heard metallic scraping as it ran away. There was no need to follow; I had secretly foiled its hunts for weeks. If it didn't want to starve to death, it would have to return to the woods and give up on human prey.
I put the skates back on the shelf and straightened up the bins. I didn't want Sam to start a rumor that the rink was haunted. There was no need to attract more attention than necessary; ghost hunters can get annoying. As far as the other humans need be concerned, someone stayed past closing and got spooked by their own shadow.