Genre: Adult dark fantasy
The Nightmare Man came today.
Adrian could still hear the echo of Nathaniel’s words in his mind – the words the boy had said when he made the drawing. The sketch now stared up at Adrian from his coffee table with its wide, blank eyes. Though drawn in black crayon, it was still recognizable: a tall cloaked man with a gaping mouth rimmed in teeth like the maw of some deep-sea fish.
What bothered Adrian about The Nightmare Man wasn’t his menacing appearance or Nathaniel’s insistence on his reality. It was the nagging feeling of familiarity, the feeling that Adrian had not only seen this creature, he actually knew him in some way. The first time Nathaniel had shown him the drawing, months ago now, a cold chill had crept up Adrian’s back, a sense of déjà vu that he could not entirely place. It bothered him. Now, with Nathaniel missing and the newest drawing staring up from its place on the coffee table, it bothered him a whole lot more.
In his hand, the cell phone was sweaty and the heat of the battery was uncomfortable against his palm. In his other hand, he turned the detective’s business card over and between his fingers. Outside, the moon was high and pale in the sky. A dog barked, somewhere, but otherwise all was still.
He had been working with the Weavers for eight months, beginning just after Mr. Weaver was arrested for assaulting a prostitute – the last of many episodes and the first his wife couldn’t forgive him for.