chapter 2: 'somebody had unleashed a shadow beast'

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*Dedicated to WickedPromises whose book 'The Skeleton Boy' sent me on the most intense emotional roller coaster ever! Check it out!*

The sun shone brightly, not a single cloud in the sky. A gentle breeze whistled through the trees. Sounds of birds singing and children laughing filled the air. It was a place of happiness and joy. That's why he was here sitting on a park bench in the middle of the park trying to quell the raging darkness. His name was James Crowley and even in this wonderful place of joy his curse made him see the darkness within. The sins hidden behind the smiles.

He watched as they lived their pretend lives with their smiles of deception.
Half of them wore fake smiles, the other halves smiles were real but they were just better liars because they lied to themselves. They were happy because they buried their sins deeper. It is true what they say, ignorance is bliss. James wished for just a little bliss.
He wished he could ignore but he couldn't. he saw everything, every sin, every piece of darkness. He stared out in front of him and tried to focus on the family playing frisbee.
 Ignore the other people, ignore their sins, focus the darkness and concentrate.
He could feel his body getting cold. It was a bright sunny day and he was cold. The cold crept into his heart and mind and his whole body shivered and the families sins played out before him in a chaotic array of shadows. The father worked in construction.
 Every day he laboured hard to build the city around us. He was successful and proud of all he had accomplished but the road to his success was plagued with darkness. Bribes, short cuts and deception to make construction faster and cheaper and making him richer and successful. Dirty money stained in blood. The son shared his dads passion for lies.
 He skipped classes to go smoke behind the library and made it through his school year unscathed by forging his parents signatures on disciplinary forms.
 The worst deceptions belonged to the family member that smiled the brightest.
The mother smiled and enjoyed the happy moment but her sins were dark and disgusting. The fathers smile as fake. He smiled happily as his mind worked furiously trying to find a way out of his latest scheme that was starting to go horribly wrong.
 The mothers smile was genuine and true. She enjoyed her sin. She enjoyed lying to her husband saying she was going to book club on Tuesdays and bingo on Thursdays when she was really meeting her co-worker Timothy on Tuesday night and her other  lover Rick on Thursdays. Sometimes she went out on a Friday night and got drunk and rammed by a stranger in an alley behind some disgusting bar. Her sins were darkest because she enjoyed them. She loved the lies, the deception, the thrill and she loved being bad. He could hear every lie as the families sins screamed in his head. He tried to concentrate but the darkness grew.
All their sins were joined by the sins of everyone else in the park. Louder and louder, the darkness grew with intensity.

 His heart started beating rapidly and the darkness started converging in his mind.
 His eyes closed shut and his whole body tensed up. He started rocking back and forth as different images crossed his mind. A woman walking past and saw him she walked away quickly with a frightened expression on her face. His mind was spinning, reeling out of control until the images froze into one single image. His heart beat slowed down and his eyes opened he sat up straight.                                                                                                                                                  

A shadow beast had been unleashed upon his world and the darkness was gathering.
 The image he had seen in his mind was that of a young boy. He was no older than eleven years of age. His eyes were clouded by shadows and his hands were drenched in blood.
James opened his eyes with a scream. All eyes focused on him uneasily. He was in a cold sweat. He looked around nervously then got up and walked briskly away.
His head was pounding. James walked fast along the sidewalk trying to get home as fast as he could.
This was bad, very bad. Somehow someone had unleashed a shadow beast and because of his connection to the darkness, he was tethered to the beast.
Things were going to get worse than ever and this world was going to be drenched in blood if he didn't find a way to stop this creature. A young woman and her small son were walking on the side walk in the opposite direction to James.  He saw them advancing towards him and grimaced. She was young, the son was probably unplanned.
 Who knows how dark her sins will be. He tensed and embraced himself for the darkness but it never showed him her sins. The mother and the boy walked past him and he felt nothing. No sin. He stopped and turned around to look at them. Blood was dripping from the boys hands. James brain flashed with images of the young boy again and his headache grew with more intense pain. He quickened his pace to a jog, his hands on the sides of his head as tears welled up in his eyes from the unbearable pain.
Darkness was coming and he wasn't sure he was going to survive it.

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