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The Alley
Nicholas, Age 12, Merced, CA

Von Derek walked slowly from the house. It had once belonged to a wealthy watch maker. But he had ended that. He turned, into a dark alley. As he walked, he wondered what sort of evils might live in a place like this. It was a lonely November evening. Darkness encompassed everything. Only the lone street lamps that hung crookedly on the back doors of the building on either side penetrated the heavy veil of darkness. Even with the lamps it was almost impossible for one to muster up the courage to walk down the alley at this time of night. Yet he had to. He had to escape the memory of that house.

Von Derek was haunted by the thought of that house. “Why was that house different from all the others?” he thought to himself. “It shouldn’t. No it isn’t. Nothing is the matter.” Reassured, he kept walking, but he had the strange feeling that someone was following him. By now the dark seemed to encompass even the street lamps. The cold was sharp and biting, penetrating even the thick overcoat that was draped over his shoulders. That feeling of being watched was stronger than ever now. He twisted around with all speed! Nothing. “There is nothing. It’s just my imagination playing tricks on me. There is nothing to fear.” Presently his mind drifted back to the man in the house. How he had suffered. How he had begged.

The night grew colder yet; continually maturing into some great beast of ice cold. It seemed that this alley way went on forever. To Von Derek it almost felt like he was supposed to go down it. Maybe it did go on forever. Maybe it was a punishment. He could go on forever. His lone footsteps were mingled with something else. Someone was following. Von Derek quickened his pace. The foot steps behind him did also. Step, step, step. He began to run. Step, step, step. The person was still following. He then ran as fast as his feet could carry him. Step, step, step. The stranger drew closer with each passing second. His chest was heaving, as if begging for the air it so desperately needed. Yet adrenaline kept him going; past what was possible under normal circumstances. Step, step, step. The steps were even faster now and were gaining on him. Von Derek saw a turn in the in the alley ahead. “I could lose this man at the turn.” He thought. The turn came.

He pushed himself against a door. It stood fast shut. The foot steps were drawing closer to the corner now. He ran to the next door. Then he pushed himself against it. The door bust open. Von Derek rushed inside closing the door behind him. He had just enough time to take cover under a table before whoever was following to round the corner. But right as it was supposed to, it stopped.

Von Derek didn’t move. Sweat was trickling down his pale, white face. Eyes riveted, his stare was unbreakable. A dark shadow silhouetted the wall from the outside. For a whole minute not a muscle moved. Something horrible and awesome was out there. Von Derek made the slightest twitch to move from his hiding place to the door, then stopped. The thing had its head uplifted. A loud sucking of air pierced the deathly silence. The monster reared its ghastly head in the direction of the window. With a loud crash the monster burst through the wall. Derek jumped to his feet and ran outside into the street with all the speed that god had given. Behind him a shrill cry rang out that can not hope to be depicted by mere words it was so horrifying. A sound like that would make a mortal man fall dead from fear. But fear alone kept him going. He didn’t dare look back even for the life of him. A swirling vortex of night lay ahead. Derek wanted to stop but there was nowhere else to go.  Soon a wall came upon him. He blundered into it without even noticing. He fell to the ground with a dull thud.

He had been unconscious. Rain was pouring down in bucket loads. He looked around at his surrounding, trying to blink off the drowsiness. As his eyes became adjusted he saw several skeletons. He counted thirteen. The monster came out of his hiding place. It stood over him like a tower. And spoke:

“You have done terrible things in your life. It is now time to pay for your demeanor.” Its voice was raspy and harsh like metal against black boards. Two grizzly fangs hung from its mouth. They were like those of ancient creatures that walked the earth millions of years ago. His grimy hands, if you could call them any more than claws, were covered in layers of blood. One held an ancient sword. The other was empty yet just as deadly.

“Wait please, I can change. I will never do it again. I promise.” The begging fell upon deaf ears. That monstrous creature razed the sword with a single powerful arm. Its terrible is face beyond describing of any kind, words or not. One more desperate cry passed Von Derek’s lips: “Please if there is a heaven, please don’t let it end like this. Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh…”

That dreadful night the heavens cast their verdict. That dreadful night justice had been made. That dreadful night the wall of thirteen skeletons became the wall of fourteen.

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