Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: Night Stalker
By Myrna Noyes
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He thought of the other members of their gang, also abroad in the sooty blackness of this mid-sized city—all of them slipping in and out among the shadows, craving the cloaking darkness. His eyes glittered and sparked with anticipation as he contemplated the orders with which the Boss had charged them. Adolfiss felt the familiar, exhilarating adrenaline rush as he pictured the murder and mayhem, carnage and chaos planned for the unsuspecting inhabitants of this place. It was his pleasure--even more, the satisfaction of an addictive hunger--to participate in the Boss’s schemes.
In a well-kept, cozy house on the farther edge of town, Jordan could not settle down to sleep. It was as if he sniffed danger on the breeze that blew through his window, and the night seemed unusually dark and somehow smothering. He felt he couldn’t get a deep breath and his palms were moist with sweat. Where was this feeling coming from? Why did he feel someone was trying to warn him of approaching danger? What should he do about it? His mind was whirling, confused; and an unknown fear niggled at his insides like a gnawing rodent. Jordan paced back and forth, glancing warily outside without knowing what he expected to see.
Adolfiss, silently and with sinister intent, entered first a place of business and then a couple of dwellings. What of value to these people could he steal? What mess could he leave them with? How much hurt could he inflict? His own inner marrow was a seething cesspool of toxic waste, and he wanted to spread the poison, infecting as many as possible. His misery truly coveted company.
With great stealth, he now approached Jordan’s house, his ears twitching slightly as he seemed for a moment to perceive something odd, but he pushed the impression aside in his eagerness to execute more ruin before dawn put an end to the night’s pursuits.
As he slunk along the side of the garage, it was as if blinding search lights were abruptly turned on him, stabbing his eyes and making his head throb with sudden, torturous pain. He’d been exposed! How had this happened? What had gone wrong?
Adolfiss dove for the cover of deep shadows cast by a small grove of adjacent trees, but arms of steel grabbed him from behind and wasted no time in binding him securely with strong cords. A gag was stuffed into his mouth by a firm hand, so he could not cry out for help from any of his confederates who might be lurking nearby. He slumped in defeat to the ground, realizing there was no possible escape at the moment.
Jordan arose from his knees and carefully closed the Book before him. The sense of imminent danger had unexplainably lifted, and the dark no longer menaced him. For some reason, the night seemed friendly now—and safe. The moonglow shone like a comforting nightlight through his window and the stars sparkled, enchanting him with their beauty. Sweet blossom-scented air and the cheery song of crickets filled his room.
Jordan felt relaxed and peaceful as he slipped into bed, yawning drowsily. He soon fell asleep musing on the passage he had just read and claimed as his own: “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Adolfiss was unceremoniously led away from Jordan’s house by his captor and escorted to the edge of town. He noticed two or three others of the gang being similarly conveyed. The Boss is not going to be pleased about this. He shuddered.
At last, the commanding figure who held Adolfiss faced him, gazing at him with a stern countenance and fiery eyes. “Go now, and do not try to sneak back here. Be assured, I will be waiting for you, if you do.”
Adolfiss nodded his acquiescence. He knew there would be other nights in other places, but for the present, he would willingly stay away from this town. Joining his comrades on the route leading out to the barren hills, the demoralized demon gave a furtive glance backward to see the angel of light, sword unsheathed, watching him depart.
Scripture verse from Luke 10:19 (NIV)
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