So, I was browsing through writing prompts on a new phone app when this happened…
Prompt – “The man tried to blend into the darkness, but she could see him.”
The man tried to blend into the darkness, but she could see him. The bright gold of his hair illuminated in the moonlight as he moved through the night.
Her neighbour. Her friend. Her lover.
For too long she had ignored the strangeness of him. His odd ways and manner. Not just the physical things. The unusual hue of his violet eyes, nor the way his touch never failed to feel like an electric charge across her skin.
He moved through the world without a sound. Unobtrusive, silent. He made no lasting impact on the lives of others, save her own. He spoke to no one beyond a quiet hello or goodbye to the delivery people at his door.
The one time she had coaxed him from his apartment for a meal at a small hole in the wall restaurant, he had near vibrated out of his skin the entire time, glancing everywhere but at her. She had gripped his trembling hand, kissed him softly and led him from the restaurant.
She had never been inside his apartment, and he had never spent the night. Always she woke alone, cold and bereft of his fiery touch.
He had a magnetism, a presence that drew her in from the moment he moved in across the hall. Yet he retreated from the world, seeming to have chosen her as the only person to share his time with.
They would talk, laugh, and make love as other couples did, yet there was part of him that remained detached, except when he was in her arms, kissing her as though his very existence depended on it. In those few unguarded moments in the afterglow of their lovemaking, he would look at her with fear in his eyes, right before he slipped from her bed and retreated to his own apartment.
She had tried to talk to him, assured him of her love and devotion, assured him she could help with whatever it was that caused that fear in his eyes when he though she didn’t see.
He would simply kiss her and smile.
So, she had done what she had promised she would never do. She took her private investigator skills home with her.
She surveilled him.
Each night, he left his apartment at 11:59. Returning at exactly 5:59 each morning. He did this every day for a month.
Tonight she followed him. Across town and into the forest.
He moved quickly and she was near running so as to not lose sight of him.
He came to a sudden stop in a clearing, and she stayed huddled at the forest edge. He pulled a device from the pocket of his hoodie and aimed it at the sky.
Stars swirled before her eyes, a starry vortex forming before him.
An audible gasp escaped her, ducking down and out of sight as he turned. She held her breath, her chest burned. He loved her. He would never hurt her. Right? A small part of her was suddenly unsure.
She blinked, rubbing her eyes and gazed back toward the swirling portal. It was still there, but he was gone.
Her mind screamed for her run, yet her body moved forward. Her trembling hands grasped the camera about her neck, clicking it several times before a hand, gold and shimmery, burst through the portal and grasped her wrist tightly.
Her camera fell to the ground, the lens shattering as she was pulled through the swirling vortex.