Eli tried to settle back into his nightly routine of weight-training and a 10 mile run on the tread-walk, he'd set up in the adjoining room.  He used to have it facing the window, so he could watch and listen for the Wanes Brothers.  They were the only one's that ever used those trails.  He re-positioned it,  once again back in front of that window.  The disturbing story that his father had told him earlier, really got him thinking, and worried.  Not only was he experiencing these strange, visual hallucinations.  But, it seemed his family was now being subjected to them, as well. 

He jumped onto the black conveyer belt and began running, first at a low rate of speed, then gradually increasing it's revolutions.  He also, increased the incline, instantly Eli began feeling the resistance in his lower extremities, and continued this pace for the next 8 miles.  Eli watched from the second-story window, as Baron began chasing that groundhog back down, into one of his many holes, he had dug throughout the farm.  Baron, never could out-smart that rodent!  He was much too clever. This was a rivalry, that went back years.  I believe that, these two creatures, were secretly very fond of each other, and that life on the farm could be very lonely at times for them.  Rather than try to kill off your opponent which would leave you defeated and bored. The best thing to do is have a bit of fun with them, and keep em' around. Eli continued watching his K9 pal get the better of the groundhog that night. As he ran to each of the holes and waited for his playmate to poke his head out of it. Then, Baron would hit the unsuspecting furball, ontop of his head with his heavy front paws, and shove his snout, deep inside of the burrow.

  The evening star was sitting high atop the mountains.  As the sunset dipped behind it's tall, Evergreen trees that lived on them, and released an amazing glow of simmering amber, just  above them.  Eli had finished his work-out and cut the power off to the machine.  He heard his father, who was in the room just below him, yell out;  "Thank You!" The floors rumbled whenever he used the machine.  Eli threw the towel he always used, around his neck and wiped away the beads of sweat, just above his upper lip.  The evening sky had now turned into a beautiful shade of blue and purple, and a Wolf moon hung high in it's center. The soft, wisps of white clouds that had been stretched out for miles, floated across the moon's face. They streaked across an ebony sky, in an elegant display of twists and turns as they glided gracefully above the shadowed outline of the mighty trees, that resided on the peaks of the mountains below. 

The barn's motion-sensor lights burned brightly now, as Baron triggered them on. He was running around the farm, in a criss-crossed fashion,  searching for his friend, who had called it quits minutes ago.  Eli moved the curtain back to it's original state and headed for the hall bathroom, for a relaxing hot shower. As he opened up the tap to the hot water. The pipes in the walls, shifted like they've always had, as the pressure building up in them, forced the liquid up against gravity. The nozzle released a pulsating jet spray and began heating up the cold room with steam and humidly.  The young man stepped into the deep tub and continued through with his nighty routine. A small window sat in the center of the tiled wall. It's frosted glass etched with veining leaves surrounded the outer edges of it's glass.  Eli soaked his head underneath of the jet spray, and tried to wash away all of the ugly imagery that was trying to re-surface in his brain. He pulled his head away from the constant pulsating jet sprays pounding on his scalp, and heard Baron outside barking as if a trespasser was present on the premises. He lifted the tiny window, to have a look around. The cool wind rushed in through the open window, as the steam from the room, was released outside into the night air. Baron had chased something, or someone up into it's branches.  

"Eli!...Get some clothes on and get that dog to pipe down!" Eli's father shouted out to Eli, from the bottom of the staircase.  He quickly closed the small window, cut the water off , and wrapped his towel around his waist.  He cracked the bathroom door, just enough to yell back down to his father, that he would be right down. Baron continued to carry-on for the next 5 minutes, as he growled and continued to stare up at it's branches. Eli hopped on one foot as he made his way through the kitchen, with one boot on, and the other barely on his foot. He made a quick stop on the medal bench in the mud room, and proceeded to lace them up.  He grabbed a flashlight and went outside to investigate, what was agitating his dog. Baron quickly  stopped barking when he saw Eli approaching the danger zone. "Baron!...What's wrong? he asked. Baron remained at the bottom of the tree's truck, and continued to stare. Eli aimed the light's strong beam into the dense growth of pine needles, scanning it slowly, hoping to catch the reflective lens of some forest creature, his dog was now terrorizing. He didn't have to wait long.  He moved in for a closer look, and shined the light up, into it's branches.  It was just a stray tabby cat. "Baron?...You can't be serious?" Eli moved the light away from the scared creature, and shined it on his dog. "This is what you were after?..A cat?" he said.  Eli moved the light away from Baron, and onto the poor animal. When he shined the beam into the location were he had spotted the cat, it had vanished. He scanned the inner matrix of woven branches, to see if he could, once again, locate the animal. When the light found it's way to the upper branches, a small shadow sat in it's top.  It didn't look like a cat. It was far too big. So, Where did it go? he wondered. The tree-top, began shaking violently, as if something had jumped away from it, causing it to teeter back and forth, like a metro-dome. He quickly stepped back, and shined the light outwards, to find the animal. He saw a small creature standing on the dirt road, upright. This was no cat! Eli yelled out to it. "Hey You!..You have 1 minute to get off my farm.... before I...!" and before Eli could finish his sentence, it yelled back to Eli. "Kill me?...he said. "Yeah, That's right!" he argued. "How?" it again replied. "What?" Eli asked, confused and unsure of, who or what it was, he was having a conversation with. "I said. How will you kill me?...Can't use the car, Daddy's home!..and Mommy too!..What would she think of her darling little boy, if she'd found out, she's a failure as a parent?..Eli!' the creature responded back to him. Eli shined the light onto the thing that seemed to know alot about his crime, a year ago.  The light did not reflect back, it seemed to be swallowed into it's darkness.  A mist of smoke swirled around inside of it's hollowed-out shadow. "Your the devil Melvin saw!...Why him?..Why'd you go after him and not me?" But, the shadow did not answer Eli. It remained there and began morphing into the faces of the dead. Eli's dead. Then blended into the shadows of the night, and disappeared.  He never saw it again. 


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