I don't know why I came back here. After all the murders and hideous rapes I had seen, his death was the one that stuck in my mind. Like a splinter that wouldn't come loose. The gun is cold on my temple. I have to get it out of my head. Sitting on the lip of the pond, it all comes back to me...

I have taken pictures of a million scenes of human evil, the proof that man is an animal underneath it all. The police seemed to see my presence as an end, a conclusion. The photographer is here, so we can soon leave. They dumped all their fear and disgust on me with a simple slack eyed gaze. They called me "the Reaper" when I wasn't around. A rookie slipped up on the phone one day. What a way to find out.

It was a bleak and gutless day. The sky was sliding into night, the sun giving up on the back of the dead gray clouds. I hiked up the dank hall of a rotting brownstone, the tripod digging in my back. The blank eyes of the cops followed me silently. I could feel the silent pleading of their minds: "Do this so we can flee, back to the dull. This is too real." Stupid weak-minded fools. They made me feel bleaker than the sky. The detective pulled back the beads on the curtain. Nothing was touched. Make it all black and white so they can clean it up. Click. Whir. Leave.

Black and white. Through the sight, the man was pale. The dull rocks and dead plants where black as sin. The water reflected the sky, rippling with the spit of drizzle. He was skeletal, dead for a long time. So pale. I adjust the lens and focus on his head, so delicately dripped in the pond. The Zen gravel is kicked, raped by the killers who left this shell. Now only the body, the pond and the eye of camera exist.

Focus closer.

Flesh hangs in tatters.

No color.

That can't be rot. What did this?

Focus closer.

The eye is gone? Why take the eye?

I stop and lick my lips. The graveyard smell floated on the rotting fall air. The scene that would haunt me starts in slow motion.


I blink.

Orange in the socket. Sunburst Orange.

I blink again, unseeing.

Orange, moving.

Orange, eating.

They took the eye.

They will take it all.

My original nodeshell rescue entry for Everything Quests: Scary Stories