Johnnie and Janie became the fastest of friends. They became almost inseparable. They watched television. They wandered the streets, the parks, the cemeteries. They went to movies, the mall, the library. When the next autumn came, they began to attend the same school and from there, the friendship went beyond the norm.
But they never spoke of The Dark
They shared secrets, loves, sorrow, pain and happiness. Their families became close and they all shared vacations. They shared dinners as one, picnics as one, birthdays and Christmases as one. The two families became inseparable, which suited them fine as none of them truly felt welcome in the town they lived..
But they never spoke of The Dark.
Johnnie spoke of his insecurities; his odd likes and dislikes the things he liked and the things he feared.
Except for the dark.
Janie spoke of her anxious ways, her esoteric preferences and her lack of friendship among the other girls at school. She spoke of the fire that claimed the lives that she was blamed for.
She did not speak of The Dark.
Yes. Janie had too seen The Dark.
Janie was at summer camp, three years previous, standing by a lake, avoiding the jeering of the other girls. Janie was watching a fog bankrolls across the water, a wall of white, glowing in the morning sun. Janie watched as a shape, a deep black shape, pointed, sleek, swimming shark like through the fog. As the mist hit the shore, Janie dove to one side, her catatonic state broken by a sound from behind. As she dove, the shape turned her way. The sound that broke the spell was one of her many tormentors attempting to push her into the waters. The shape took the other girl and with a snap, was gone.
She lay panting. She lay sore from striking the roots of a nearby tree. She lay quiet, still, as the shape circled then slid off back to the lake. She rose and headed to the cabin, unaware that the girl who slept above her would not be returning. Unaware that the girl had even been behind her. Unaware that she had escaped death.
But she had seen The Dark for the first time.
It would not be the last.
For she or Johnnie.
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