Only in the Dark

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Chapter 9

As Aris stood up she heard her phone ring in her pocket. She knew Billy was calling. She took it out, but instead of answering, she tossed the phone on her bed and opened the window. She looked down at the ground to see the rain beating down on the grass below. If she tried leaving the house through the front, the temptation of knocking on the basement door and waiting for her parents to come out could out-weigh her want to leave. The urges she began to feel could tempt her hurting her parents. The window was the safest way out.

It was not the first time she had climbed out the window. Not that she had to sneak out, her parents rarely noticed her come and go, so using the front door would be no problem on a normal day. One day, however, Aris and Billy wondered if it were possible to get out by using the window, so they tried it. The house had big chunks of tan stone that stuck out enough to hold onto and climb down. The two found it fun, and occasionally chose that way to leave. Aris used the window once to get out of the house without her parents knowing. They wanted to test out a strange chemical that turned skin blue. Aris decided to pass on that and leave before they had a chance to coax her downstairs. But when Aris used the window all those other times it was dry. She had never attempted to use the window during a storm until now.

Aris knew she had to get out; she put the flashlight in her pocket so it still shined on her, and jumped up on the window sill. The stone was too hard to grip, but a few bigger chunks of stone sat a couple of feet under the window. Aris gripped the edge and let her body drop so she hanged from the window. Her trembling, wet hands had trouble holding on, and Aris soon realized her escape plan was a stupid idea. She should have just locked herself in her room; that would have been the smart thing to do. It was too late to go back now though; Aris put her foot on the stone below her and stretched her other foot until she reached another stone. She was able to lift herself up enough to bend down to grip another stone, where she slowly made her way downward, but the wet stones were difficult to grip. She had only gotten a few feet down when she lost her grasp and fell.

She hit the ground with a squishy thud. The fall knocked the wind out of her, but did not hurt very much because the rain made the ground soft and spongy. Aris was so relieved by not breaking anything from the fall that she did not notice the flashlight had flown out of her pocket when she hit the ground. She turned her head and noticed the flashlight about six feet away. She got up to grab it, but before she reached the light, that feeling inside her came out like a wave of energy. Adrenaline pumped through her body, and she could see everything in spite of the darkness. There were smells she had never experienced before, and it did not take her long to realize the smell was fresh meat. She could smell everyone and everything living in the neighborhood. All of her senses were heightened, and Aris felt like she never had before. She liked it. A smile crept on Aris’ face; she took one last look at the flashlight on the ground and ran the opposite direction.

When Margret came down the basement stairs she had a concerned look on her face.

Robert knew that look meant an experiment should be working, but showed no indications that anything had changed. “Anything?”

Margret shook her head. “No. I don’t understand it; the blood sample we took is still reacting to the darkness. Something should be happening to her.”

“Maybe the dose was not strong enough to react like we predicted.” Robert pushed his glasses up and headed over to the fridge to take out Aris’ blood sample. They needed to do more analysis on the sample and adjust the serum.

The couple thought they had gone over every detail, but apparently the serum had not done its job. They both knew a long night awaited them. What they did not know was that their daughter was out running around the neighborhood trying to find something to kill.

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