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The street lamps were inadequate for this foul night. If it wasn't for the late night clouds looming in the sky, the entire town would look like it was caught in a black hole; voided and singled out.

No one in town was more alone than Eric, who couldn't bear to enter the house he shared with his father. He could only lean against his car in the driveway while staring at the vacant building. It was pitch dark with all the lights off. A street lamp that was barely working illuminated a fraction of the lawn. Eric preferred to be in the darkness anyway. He didn't want anybody to see him crying.

Eric didn't even notice that it was cold. He felt numb as he looked down at his phone to see seven missed calls. Eric had previously texted his friends telling them that they shouldn't bother with work the next day.

His mother was missing and his father was now dead. Eric was lost; he didn't know what to do next.

His phone began ringing. He looked down to see Shenae's picture and name show up on the screen. He didn't feel like speaking to his girlfriend, or anyone, at all. He rejected the call with no feeling of guilt, then returned to staring absent-mindedly around the exterior of the house. It was a big house where he grew up. Eric remembered the day he moved into it with his mother and father. He was in nursery and so excited to see his new room. The new room his parents decorated before he even saw it. The last place he saw his mother before she vanished.

The neighbours must all be asleep with how still the street was. Eric tore his eyes away from the house to admire the quiet neighbourhood where he lived. The houses were all dark like nobody lived there. Eric preferred this time of night, when all the kids were inside sleeping, and no cars passed through, causing enough noise to wake them up again. In all honesty, Eric wouldn't have had it any other way. He loved the way his life was going. Now everything was different.

Eric thought nothing of the streetlamp at the end of the dead-end street flickering violently, until he looked over and saw a man standing beside it. The man. Same mask, same build, same clothes. The man who killed his father.

Eric was surprised to see him there. He felt nothing but pure rage after the shock subdued. It was this rage that forced Eric to charge forward and run down the street with athletic ability. The man took his time to turn around and walk into the shadows of the trees, disappearing before Eric's eyes. Eric knew better than to run straight into the forest. Unfortunately his body didn't want to stop. Deep down he didn't want to stop. He had to get his hands on his father's killer and seek justice for the unfair cruelty his father was shown.

Eric kept running and running. He knew he should stop. With no defence, no weapons, nothing to protect himself with, Eric ran straight into the woods and disappeared into the darkness.

*

Eric watched in horror as he finally realised where the man in the white mask had led him. Eric had chased the man for half an hour before losing him, but continued in the direction he was heading. After fifteen minutes of being seemingly lost, Eric stumbled across a stretch of trees that surrounded a perfectly circular pit. Inside the pit was a house.

The house was more like a wooden two-storey death trap than an actual house. It was currently lived in, but the owners had not been taking care of it. All of the windows were boarded up, the porch looked like it was ready to cave in, the brick chimney had been smashed to shards, and mould and blood covered all sides of the house. The trees around the clearing drooped and kept the house in a bubble, shrouding it in obscurity. Not even the moonlight would be able to reach them. The trees were too confined and the house was too far into the forest for any wind or light to touch it.

Remnants of the Damned (Abyssal Sanctuary #1)Read this story for FREE!