An Incident in the Evening

At 5pm in the afternoon, the sun was starting to set. A shadow was much harder to hide in the day, but Paul was moving very fast, and he need not take the pedestrian paths. Sprinting straight through gardens, walls, and sheds, he would be easily mistaken as the shadow of a large bird. There were also plenty of other shadows to run between. 5pm, he found, was the earliest he could be in this form. He had to hurry, or he would not make it back in time for tonight.

As Paul passed through into the correct house, he surveyed the outside. No suspicious people or cars. He moved through the door. There were no sounds. No reinforcement, no chatting. Must mean the man was home alone.

As he made his way to search for the man, he almost missed it. Something to his right, sitting in the living room. It made his skin crawl, and for the first time while he was in his shadow form, he was scared.

He looked over and saw the back of a head. It sat on the sofa, unnaturally still. Paul slowly moved around it. As he did, he noticed what was wrong. The man was already dead. The eyes were burnt out, and his mouth was open.

Paul stepped back, and almost fell through the wall. He steadied himself and forced his dark form to examine the body closer. Holes burned also in the man’s hands and feet. One large hole in his chest, where his heart would have been. Burn marks around the walls behind him. Burn marks on a few of the furniture.

A car drove up the the driveway. His wife was back. Paul formed into the mist and left.


Paul arrived to the diner just in time. He had on a new pair of jeans with a freshly ironed collared shirt on top of his regular t-shirt. Evelyn was waiting for him in her usual bright-blue skirt and light-blue tank top. It was a busy, greasy place- but they both liked it.

“Hey babe.” Paul said as he pulled out the chair adjacent to her.

Evelyn smiled back.

“Did you order?”

“Yeah,” she replied. “The usual.”

Paul nodded as he sat down. As he did, he noticed that there was a crowd in front of the television screen.

“Another one?” Someone had said over the noise. “Can you turn it up?”

“We have found an officer deceased in their own home.” A gruff male voice said from the television.

Paul looked out from the corner of his eye to see a man in uniform- likely the chief of police giving a press statement.

“While it is a bit early to speculate, we believe he was killed during the day. Whether this rules out the possibility that it was the Boogieman or not is yet to be seen, and we are doing our best to investigate the situation and bring whoever did this to justice.”

Paul looked back to Evelyn. She was glowing, as she always did. It seemed that she did not hear the news, or if she did she paid no attention.

“What are you thinking about?” Evelyn asked.

“Oh, there’s just been a lot of talk about this Boogieman lately.”

“I’m getting sick of all this talk about the Boogieman. It’s always blah blah blah… justice, criminal, blah. I mean, make up your mind already people- do you want the guilty punished, or not?”

Paul nodded as Evelyn continued. He realised that they had never really talked about the Boogieman before. Paul was never comfortable with bringing the topic up.

“Sounds like they’ll be talking about somebody else soon. The Boogieman’s a bit too soft, if you ask me.”

“Soft?” Paul asked. “He kills people. He’s solving the problem. Less assholes in the world. End of story. Why must he do more?”

“Did you see that video of the SWAT killing the dog? These people are monsters. They need to be killed like the monsters they are.”

Paul stared at Evelyn in surprise. He never knew she had such a strong opinion on the Boogieman. He was worried that she would take offense to all his killing, but that he was soft? Evelyn was usually soft-spoken, shy, and incredibly kindhearted. Maybe this recent death had her a bit riled up.

Her eyes were a bit different today, more lively.

“Anyways, where’s that food?” Evelyn broke Paul out of his thoughts. “I’m starving.”

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