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Midnight Murders
Steven, Age 13, England, UK

The storm rumbled like angry gods, the rain joined in, seemingly blaming everything on the boy who stood just inside the old rusted gate at the entrance to the cemetery. The gate looked fierce, firmly locked with old chains weaving around it, like it would allow no one in or out at any cost. He stood looking at the countless rows of rotting graves and headstones that stood silently, flashing along with the lightening.  The blackened shadow of the old, gnarled oak tree stood under the great dinner- plate-moon, making every leaf, every twig and every branch visible. It looked, to the boy, like a demonic form. Amidst the marble and granite headstones, the boy spotted something. A dark figure in a cloak standing, watching as the rain pelted and bounced off its hood. The boy held his breath for a second and stared straight at it hoping that it was just a tree... But a lightening flash revealed a Thing that was definitely not a tree. He felt his eyes blur and rubbed them quickly, his breathing heavier now. He looked again towards the figure.

It was gone!

The TV had been full of news about murders in this area and the boy was well aware of this. He wondered whether he should stay where he was and try to be invisible or if he should run. His legs decided for him and before he knew it, he was heading towards the gate. The lightning flashed frantically and the rain felt like pebbles but he kept moving. He reached the gate, stopped. He saw something over his shoulder......a shadow, gliding behind him. He looked into the bushes but all he saw was a shiny object. It glimmered in the moonlight onto his face and he realised what it was. A very real, very sharp and very large machete knife in the hands of this mysterious figure. He held his breath. As the thing came closer and closer it became clearer. It had a pale face and very thin sly eyes. It's cloak shadowed most of it. The figure raised the knife and the boy saw fresh blood dripping off the end. This was the murderer! The figure sped up until it was only inches away from the boy. It threw the knife but it crashed into the rotted chain of the gate, narrowly missing the boy. It broke through the gate leaving it swinging in the wind. The boy knew just how close that was and began to run...

Pulling the machete out of the gate, the figure followed the boy with it raised ready to strike again.

It never spoke a word.

It had no mercy.

The boy realised that speed was not enough here, he couldn't outrun this creature. Trying a new tactic he stopped dead and ducked just in time as the knife sliced through the air, narrowly missing him once again. This second attack knocked the strange figure off-balance and it fell to the ground. The boy quickly saw his chance and, doing a u-turn, sped back towards the gate which was now wide open. It didn't take the murderer long to recover and catch up but as it reached him yet again it noticed a sudden change in the boy. His scared, whimpering was no more. The boy had stopped running, even though he knew the maniac was right behind him! The murderer lunged its machete straight for the boy's back but the boy moved slightly, grabbing the gate as he went, trapping the murderer's arm and knife between the bars and slamming it into the wall. The hooded figure gave a menacing cry, dropped the knife and attended to its arm. The boy quickly picked up the knife and started towards the figure in black. The rain streamed down his face, his dripping hair stinging his eyes. The cloaked figure dropped its hand to its side and stood up.

Silence.

Without warning it pounced forward yet again and tried to scratch at the boy's face. The boy ducked out of reach and swung the machete back, scraping the hood off its head. He held the knife up and watched as the hood slowly slid down then dropped into two pieces. It jumped forward again but this time the boy didn't move... Instead he held the knife steady and allowed the figure to impale itself onto it. Blood poured as the blade struck bone then punched straight out of its back. The figure dropped to the ground. The boy retrieved the knife and wiped the blade and handle with one half of its hood.

"No fingerprints, no evidence." the boy said quietly.

He walked off slowly out of the graveyard still carrying the machete, lowered in his right hand.

"There's only room for one murderer around here" he whispered, and began to laugh.

*****

The following morning the boy woke with a start and wiped the sweat from his face. Had all been a dream?

He felt a cut on his forehead. His boots lay covered in mud. His feet touched the floor as he tiptoed towards his cupboard. Slowly he reached for the handle. As he opened the door he had a flashback of the previous night....the murderer....the fight....the machete knife....

.....the other him!

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