...in which Jerry now realizes just how long he’s spent working on the computer in the previous installment (Night Shot 3).
When I first posted about Jerry (Night Shot 1), I had not intended to make a story of him. However, in conducting a semi-random survey, I discovered that all (2) of my respondents wanted to know what was going on. So, now, after resolving to find out what is going on, Jerry finds things a little more difficult than he expected. I will continue the installments from now until I get tired of the story or find that you, my readers, are tired of Jerry. That might mean next week, or it might mean next year, though I doubt it will be either.
Sure now that Silas could help him, Jerry grabbed his keys and his laptop case. In his hurry, he almost knocked over his coffee cup—still half full of his morning’s vanilla latte mix—but he caught the cup in time, dropping his keys instead, set the cup in the sink on a stack of plates, snatched up his keys, and bolted for the door.
When he opened it and stepped out onto the front walk, though, he found it was night. The dark glow of the city reflected across the sky, and Jerry could see rain falling in the glow from the streets lights.
His neighbor’s car was pulled up close behind his Honda at the curb, and the light shone from the kitchen window in the other half of his duplex. Jerry wondered when the family had gotten home—he certainly hadn’t heard them. He stopped stared around, chagrined.
And now how was he going to find Silas? “He wouldn’t still be working, would he? I could try the auto shop first, and then…why didn’t I get his phone number before?”
Jerry shook his head and started across the wet grass toward his car.
As he fumbled with the keys, trying to unlock the Honda, a pickup turned onto the street. Jerry turned uneasily to watch it cruise past him. Its red tail lights disappeared into the cold mist.
“Knock it off,” Jerry told himself. “Just relax. You don’t think a shadow is going to jump out and get you—do you? Or, maybe I do. At least…I do hope Silas is still at the shop.”
He got in, dropping his laptop case onto the passenger's seat.
It was usually a ten minute trip through downtown, across to the old railroad tracks, where Silas worked at his one garage auto shop. In rush hour, it could stretch to twenty, but Jerry made it in eight.
As he half expected, the shop was dark. Jerry pulled over, turned off the car, and sat staring at the light splashing along the garage door, the dark, cracked rows of windows.
Jerry got out and trudged up the sidewalk to the narrow door beside the big garage door. Only the street lights shone—no light above the front door, no exit lights gleaming inside, no night lights, nothing. He rattled the doorknob. Still nothing. Of course it would be nothing. Just like the silly Shadow in his photographs.
“Now what?” he wondered. He glanced up at the dripping gutters and caught sight of the small plastic sign tacked above the door. The bottom corner had broken off in the middle of a letter. “Silas Hunter Auto –epair. Isn’t that what everyone does—in the movies—stare at shop signs when they can’t think of something better to do?”
Jerry stepped backwards to get a better view and almost fell off the low front step.
In disgust, he turned away and splashed back toward his car.
He was opening the door, just about to get in, when he turned around suddenly. There was something—no, yes, there is was again—a flicker across the shop, a shadow passing.
Jerry yanked the car door open and reached for the glove compartment. He was still staring at the shop, hands shaking as he reached for the flashlight and the Canon he kept there. He could hardly get the lens cap off, but he was out again in a second, shoving the car door shut as he fumbled to adjust the aperture. He was across the small lawn, nearly out of the faint circle of street lights, before he realized he had no idea where he was headed.
For a moment, he hesitated and glanced back at the car. He wondered what they would do in the movies. “Keep on, of course. They'd plunge straight into the darkness,” he told himself. “Not even stopping to think.”
So he plunged...
(Continued in Night Shot 5: Shadow Chase)
(Continued in Night Shot 5: Shadow Chase)