It hunts me. No matter where I go, no matter where I hide, it always finds me. The monster I’ve named Jack. This time I thought I’d managed to finally get away from it. But I can feel it’s eyes upon me once again. Apparently half a continent isn’t far enough.
I make my way down the street, being careful to avoid the glance of passing strangers. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. You never know who or what is watching you.
The sun is setting behind me, the brilliant colours like laughter, mocking me. Even the sun knows what will happen when his sister shows her bold face to the sky.
Suddenly I am aware of the shadows lengthening, painting the nearby buildings in ink. I glance at my watch in dismay; I’ve made a grave miscalculation. Now I do not have enough time to walk home. I reach into my pockets, hoping to find enough change for the bus. One key. A paperclip. A scrap of paper with a few book titles scrawled on it. And two quarters. Not enough.
I pick up my pace a little more. If I can’t take the bus, then I’ll just have to hurry; I can’t be out on the street! I’ve worked too hard to get away from the monster to give up now.
"Hey, watch where you’re going!" someone yells at me as I narrowly miss crashing into them. A crowd of people suddenly surrounds me, having come up to street level from the subway.
"Sorry," I yell back, fighting to get free of them. I glance over to the other side of the street. Way less traffic. I stop to wait for a crosswalk, fidgeting until the walking symbol flashes to life. I bolt across, earning a few more annoyed looks as I go.
And then it hits me. Like a kick to the gut, my insides suddenly feel like fire. I fight to stay upright, looking around frantically, ignoring the startled people around me. There! I spy an alley which will have to do. I scramble into it as the second wave of pain hits me.
I hope . . . I double over, clutching my gut as the pain becomes unbearable.
There is . . . Now the fire has spread, until I burn from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.
Some way . . . Dark hair sprouts everywhere, rapidly growing until my body is covered.
To save me . . . My face elongates. Joints reverse directions. Limbs lengthen.
From Jack . . .
The moon pokes its head through the clouds. The monster named Jack lets out an earthshattering howl, then stalks through the night on its way to its first victim.