Café Darkness – Mark Tulin

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“Oh no,” I muttered to my friend Shara, “It’s him, again.”

He was walking his Doberman Pinscher along Market Street when he spotted us at an outdoor cafe. My first instinct was to run as far as I could in the opposite direction but I didn’t want to leave Shara alone with him.I knew with no uncertainty that he was a malicious spirit who chose to remain nameless. But Shara was naive. She didn’t believe such possessed beings could exist, let alone walk the earth without a name.

“He’s just a misguided soul who needs to be loved and respected,” she once told me.
I love Shara, but sometimes she was too kind for her own good. She often took in strays and believed that everyone needs a friend no matter how damaged or deranged they might seem.

“All people need is a little love and they’ll flourish,” Shara said whenever she crossed paths with someone evil.

Poor Shara, I thought. She didn’t know how much havoc that man has caused and will cause if given the opportunity. I’ve witnessed his destruction from afar but this is the first time I’ve encountered him up close and personal.

The man with the dog didn’t say a word to me but he knew I was there. He gazed with squinted eyes as if to destroy me with one creepy gaze. I put on my dark sunglasses to block the penetration of his evil eye as he talked with Shara. I didn’t say a word, just felt the man’s creepy presence surround us like a foggy shroud of doom.
The sky had changed from a serene blue to a grayish black with dark clouds slowly moved in. The winds picked up to almost a gale force. I could see the trees swaying back and forth, palms bending as several big leaves fell into the street.

While the weather changed dramatically, I watched Shara being seduced by the winds of the wicked. Her eyes appeared to roll back into her head and a little drool fell from her open mouth. It was all I could do to keep from falling backward, being bowled over from the man’s negative energy.

I wanted to save Shara. I wanted to scream or shout for her to run as fast as she could. But I was afraid. If I pulled her away something terrible might happen. He would overpower me with his supernatural strength.

“Don’t forget you have a doctor’s appointment,” I said feebly to Shara, hoping that she’d snap out of her trance.

But she never answered. She was under his spell. Her eyes transfixed on the mam standing before her. She was now as obedient as the well-trained dog that lay at his feet.

Like a snake charmer, he had entered her soul, stole her sweet and beautiful spirit. I was just an impotent onlooker without any way of stopping him. It was all I could do to watch as the devil did his dirty work and took Shara to a place that I could never find. She was now a part of him, him a part of her and I realized at that moment I had lost a friend forever.

About the contributor: Mark Tulin is a former family therapist who lives in California. He has a poetry chapbook, Magical Yogis, and an upcoming story collection, The Asthmatic Kid. His work has appeared in Fiction on the Web, Amethyst Magazine, Vita Brevis, and among various anthologies and podcasts. His website is Crow On The Wire.

6 comments

  1. […] “Oh no,” I muttered to my friend Shara, “It’s him, again.” He was walking his Doberman Pinscher along Market Street when he spotted us at an outdoor cafe. My first instinct was to run as far as I could in the opposite direction but I didn’t want to leave Shara alone with him.I knew with… — Read on thelocaltrainmag.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/cafe-darkness-mark-tulin/ […]

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