Their eerie eyes, white and wonderous, watched the night’s scene playing out. The boy: He sat unmoving in the snow, and was beginning to shiver, looking increasingly afraid. The bank upon which he rested was slightly melted and the bone tree above him swayed, creaking to and fro.
The Thinmen knew. They knew the inevitable would soon come, and the pair sat unmoving in intense anticipation of the Immortal.
Whimpering in the darkness, the boy began to cry. He pitched himself upon the roots of the hollow bone tree, and wailed his despair unto the world. The gashes on his arms still ran fresh with life, and the scent was becoming ever more appetizing.
Tantalizing, tempting, very nearly tangible satisfaction, all so close…All so very close. The Thinmen gazed upon the scene clicking and purring their desire.
The Shadow, smiled.
The snow recently red and melted , was now almost a deep purple and frozen once more. The small chest of the near unconscious boy moved rapidly like a flames flickering out. His tiny will almost as placid as his now limp body. They could sense the life oozing out of his mouth and eyes.
” Why, is this happening to me? Where is my mom? Perhaps someone will come for me…” the boy thought drifting in and out of a hazy sort of consciousness.
Little did he know, that Someone was indeed coming for him.
The Thinmen’s gazes turned upon each other, thinking of the material door.
And suddenly there they stood upon the stoop. The nights chill was irrelevant. The moon’s glow held no sway. Only the tree remained problematic.
The boy, rested under its boughs. Hollow as it was, it lived, and would continue to do so… The Thinmen clicked and hissed their dislike. Mutually they understood a great feast awaited them, but how to get it away from that cursed growth?
The air around the boy grew more dense, more cold, and almost broken. It was time. The Shadow had come. It swooped down from the creaking hollow tree, and descended upon the boy. Its great hovering expanse pooling about the boys limbs and floating mid air above him. The Thinmen watched ever more as the Shadow gathered the boy’s soul into itself. The Shadow, once satisfied, tossed the boys lifeless form aside, and pulled itself back into the dark.
“Cikclikcklilcckclciiickclick, pgrrrr,” the Thinman uttered to the other.
“prgrrr,” The other confirmed to him.
The two Thinmen stood over the boy’s form, white eyes wide, great maws unlatching open to reveal the gaping boundlessness of their appetites. Time to feast.
“Boy, Now…” The acute whisper shadowed to the boy, from where, he could not tell. He merely remembered, that this was the time for him to do his part. His part?
His eyes snapped open, a gasp of air and he reached inside his parka and threw a handful of ash on the Thinmen. Hissing and crackling they reared and cringed, not comprehending what was happening.
“CKliclikclcicicckclic! PRGrrrgg Clciccicikllccicl!” the two chattered. “Pgrgrgrrrrr-“
But it was too late.
The Shadow had skewered the Thinmen on one long branch of the hollow bone tree in one great swoop. The trap had been set, baited, and brought to a successful end. Now the real feast would begin. The Shadow moved over the two twitching forms.
The boy looked on in amazement, realizing that he could feel his limbs again. The gashes were gone.
He rubbed his eyes.
He looked left and saw the Shadow, wondering what he would do with them as his gaze fell back to the right. He had anticipated the lanced spindly nightmares stuck through and to each other, but to his great surprise, he was back in the diner. He looked left again.
“Bobby…the lady asked you what you would like to eat,” his mother repeated to him.
“I, uh….I don’t know…” he said glancing at the bare tree outside the window.
He was back, but how, he wondered? Was it real? What had just happened to him?
“Boy?” said the waitress.
“Oh, uh, I’ll have a cheese sandwich. Grilled o.k.?” he digressed, looking down at his arms.
“Surrrgrrrggre,” The waitress purred.
He turned and looked at her just as she was turning. She glanced back, and he could have sworn that her eyes were milky white.