Under The Cover Of Darkness

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  "No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future." ~ Roy T. Bennett 

~**~~**~

He had a funny feeling.

It started with a prickle in the back of his neck. Sliding down his spine, one vertebra at a time.

It sharpened.

Fiercely.

Lodging deep within his gut.

Right underneath the intercostal space of his fifth rib.

It was one of those feelings that one tries to push away.

Forget about.

Ignore until it either disappears or comes to fruition.

Either way, it was there and he didn't know why. And it wasn't going away no matter what.

Turning off the high beams of his car and turning into his driveway, Thomas slowed his cruiser to a stop. Even though he had been on the force for a little bit more than a year, he still hadn't gotten used to the touchy brakes or the power steering of the vehicle.

Getting out of the car, he glanced over his shoulder into the approaching darkness. The woods were eerily silent, no movement whatsoever. It was strange this time of year. Usually there were deer or coyotes grazing at the forest edge, looking for a quick late night snack. 

But not tonight.

It was as if nature itself knew that everything in the world was not right.

A few raindrops tumbled down from the sky, wetting his face. He raised a gloved hand to wipe them away and sent a concerned glance towards his one story one bedroom house.

It was more of a shack really but it was a home in the least. And the very best that he could do on his limited hourly salary.

Rinshawn wasn't a bustling Metropolis bursting with crime. Usually.

The past murder had changed that. . .

As the moments past, the droplets seemed to multiply, pelting the ground with a vicious anger. Puddles welled up from the dirt, covering the ground, rather than forming from the sky.

The porch light was on, haphazardly swinging from a light breeze, sending streams of light cascading towards him.

A lighthouse in the midst of a stormy sea, beckoning him to shelter.

Quickening his steps, Thomas fled from the darkness and into the safety of the house. His front door slammed behind him, a false sense of security surrounding him.

Glancing around the homey living room (and disregarding the moth-eaten furniture), he surveyed the area. Warm lights sent shadows sprawling through the room, lighting the dark corners. A threadbare carpet covered the floor, once a rich burgundy but now a faded beige, giving the room some semblance of a home.

A pitter-patter of tiny feet running across the well-worn floor sounded from around the corner. Thomas turned just in time for a mass of golden fur to launch itself at his knees.

A pink tongue and a wet black nose fought to reach his face. Thomas cracked a smile and bent down on one knee.

"Good boy, Gizmo, good boy," Thomas struggled to survive the attack of kisses on his face from the golden retriever.

Gizmo's tail was beating almost as furiously as the wind that was picking up outside. He wiggled his haunches in excitement every time Thomas cooed his name.

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