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Paperback Book ISBN 978 1845493868

286 Pages


Part Two: Can't See Shadows, Lest They Want to be Seen

Cant See Shadows... From Chapter Two

'It had taken a while but finally Tony had the system banging the way he liked, he looked up at the growing crowd of onlookers nodding their heads along with the rhythm and smiled as he played with the revolving vinyl; yeah this is gonna be a messy one. He turned to the over enthusiastic teenage boy who had been hanging around him since he arrived, Ian, he thought he said his name was and nodded for him to come over.

Ian had been a fan of Tony 'Nimble Fingers' Tonkin since first hearing a bootlegged mix tape his older brother Rob had acquired several years ago. Unfortunately being only fourteen, and looking it, he had never been able to see him live, until now. When he had heard his brother and his friends discussing this crazy Christmas party and the rumour that local legend 'Nimble Fingers' would play, Ian badgered his brother all week to let him come along.

"Just going for a leak," Tony pointed at a CD multi-changer under the twin decks "make sure decks keep running…if it stops, press this." He pointed at a button and Ian nodded to confirm he understood.

"No worries Tony mate; I got yer back." Ian rushed over, fearing that Tony had forgotten him once all the stuff had been bought in from the car and the music levels had started to rise. Looking after the Nimble decks, what an honour he told himself. Tony moved off towards the steps with a wave at two cute girls and a smile on his face; he's laughing at you…thinks you're just another stupid kid dazzled by his glowing star. Ian shook off the doubts and continued to nod his head to the beat…now which button did Tony say to press if the music stopped?

Tony bounced up the bare wooden stairs, around a couple who stared blankly as he winked at them and onto the first floor of the building, pausing once at the top. The sign on the wall pointed right so he followed along one corridor until he came to a dead end. He passed half a dozen rooms, all open and sparsely furnished with roughly made beds, but no obvious toilet.

"Little boy lost." Whispered a voice from somewhere near.

"Someone up here?" He called. "Someone who knows where the toilet is hopefully!" He added under his breath.

"Little boy lost." The voice repeated just as quietly, only this time Tony was able to locate the source as coming from the last room passed on his left. The door was a stripped pine affair with four central panels of planking that looked like they were a second hand fit thanks to the large splits that ran through them. Although the door was six inches ajar he decided to peer through one of the cracks first; he was unable to see anyone so decided to push the door open.

Cautiously he looked for a light switch, which there was, he flicked it and half expected it not to work, but it did and a rather kitsch wooden chandelier sprang into life. Stepping into the room made him shiver; the atmosphere in the room was moist and slightly cold, probably because this room was apparently the toilet. On the wall to his right was a single washbasin with a tall mirror fixed to the wall behind it, whilst opposite a thick brown corduroy curtain was nailed to the wall, presumably across a window.

The actual toilets were against the wall at the far end of the room. Five cubicles had been formed from a wooden frame fronted with sickly coloured doors; they reminded him of a 1970s council estate. Three of the doors where a dark mouldy green, one was a dark blue, almost black and the final was a bleak washed out saffron; maybe they had been recycled from a council estate. All of the doors where slightly ajar except for the saffron and all where marked with crudely drawn chalk images of male and female genitalia, beats stick figures he mused, except for the closed door, which had a wheel chair drawn on it. To be fair it did look slightly wider; the disability commission would be proud. He started walking towards one of the empty cubicles.

"Little boy lost."

Tony stopped, the voice had come from his right, not any of the cubicles…but how could that be, the only things to his right was the washbasin and mirror. He looked at the mirror; it was covered in condensation, presumably because someone had just run warm water to wash their hands; however there was only one tap and when he touched it all he could feel was icy coldness.

Despite the cold damp air in the room sweat suddenly dripped from his forehead, too many early shandies, he told himself as he turned the tap and placed his hand under the cool water before dabbing it onto his face. Worried that he might have messed his hair he wiped the mirror, at first the condensation refused to shift but he persevered.

"What the…?" He muttered for instead of his own face looking back in the half-cleared mirror he was instead saw the back of someone's head. His stomach somersaulted as an uneasy sickness welled up inside; feeling suddenly vulnerable his eyes shifted to the door, no one there, then back to his left and the toilets, doors still as before, four slightly open, one shut. As his head moved with his eyes, he noticed movement in the mirror.

That's weird? As he moved his head, the head in the mirror also moved. Hang on a minute, the more he looked the more the back of the head seemed familiar; but how? Slowly Tony raised his hand to his left ear, his movement being matched in the mirror, he wiggled his ring finger just to be sure and the light glinted off the gold band. Must be some trick to this he pondered chancing a quick glance over his shoulder, nothing obvious to see, no cameras or anything, smiling and nodding at the clever trick he was reminded by his bladder to continue onto the toilet when he looked again at the mirror; the image had changed.

"Little boy lost."

Tony's blood ran cold and he barely heard the voice this time. In the mirror he saw his shoulders covered in blood pouring from a wound above his left ear. Automatically he raised his fingers to see if it was true; they were inches away when everything went black.