Weeding his garden, Gerald looked up at the sky. The sun was down, but there was a strange light, this bizarre shine. He did not know why.
Something was sitting in his bushes, a strange little creature. It looked like a butterfly. Or a bat or something. Something weird.
He walked closer. It looked at him, moved its head to the side. It laughed. It laughed a wicked laugh, as if the joke was on him. Even though he had done nothing.
It flew off.
Gerald followed it. Walked behind it, through the garden. It flew slow, too slow, like it was defying laws of nature with its strange, nasty movements. Every once in a while it turned its little head, grinning towards him. It gave him the creeps, but he kept walking.
It flew over the fence to the neighbour’s garden. Gerald followed, even though he hated the neighbour, and the neighbour hated him.
It flew across the highway. Gerald followed. Cars came speeding by, beeping their horns.
He followed it down to the rocky beach, where the waves went high and violent. The beach where you couldn’t swim.
At the end of the beach there was a rock wall. In the wall there was a hole. Into the hole the little bug flew and disappeared.
Gerald looked into the hole.
He could see a light. Fire. Shadows moving, little creatures dancing around.
His little friend turned towards him. Its eyes were sharp, like ice, burning with the fire. Gerald realised he was the one for whom they were waiting.
The beach disappeared. The huge waves coming on the rocks, the sound, the humidity. All was gone.
Little demons were dancing around him, jumping, flying. Little monsters laughing at his old self, what he was, who he had become.
-Worthless old man!
He knew they were right. The heat burned his skin. Their words pierced his soul. He felt strong.
He was back on the beach.
The waves had calmed down.
The strange colour in the sky was still there.
He knew now, what he had to do.
He walked back up the path. He walked through garden gate, over to where his little friend had first been seen. He looked up. There was a light in the neighbour’s window. A yellow glow flashed in Gerald’s eyes.
Ronald was sitting in front of his TV. His favourite show was on, it was the good day of the week. He did not see the shadow pass by his window.
He laughed when the little man fell in to the pool. He grabbed the beer on the table, took another sip.
He did not hear the back door open.
He zapped around when the commercials came on. A show about fashion. He moved on. A series about a murderer. He changed back to his channel of choice. Soon his show would be on again.
A man stood behind his stool. A man he hated. A man who hated him.
A little demon flew over the screen.
It looked at him, just into his eyes, laughing. As if the joke was on him.
A string tightened around his throat.
A shadow ran between two houses.
Ran in the door, up the stairs. Laid down in his bed.
-Where have you been?
-Just out, in the garden. Killing some weeds.
-At this time?
-That’s when they’re off guard, darling. That’s when it should be done.
His wife rolled over and closed her eyes.
-Whatever you say, baby… Whatever you say.
She was off to dreamland.