Friday, June 1, 2012

Night Shot 13: Again at Night

In which—the penultimate episode of Night Shot—Jerry sees a shadow in front of him and hears sudden noises in the dark…


“Hands up.”

Jerry froze. Then he recognized the voice. “Captain Nwin?”

A flashlight shone in his eyes, and he blinked. Next minute Captain Nwin lowered the beam. “You? What are you doing here?” she demanded.

“Come on,” Silas urged. His voice cracked with impatience, and he grabbed Jerry’s arm, dragging him toward the parking lot. “I saw it—there—no, there—no, where did it go?”

The captain swung around. For an instant, the long beam of her flashlight cut across the dark trees. Then it faded into the orange glow from the platform light. Jerry caught a brief glint of light near the platform, low against the ground.

“There,” he cried, pointing, but the light flickered and vanished.

They ran forward together. A gust of wind met them as they left the pines. Jerry stumbled on the gravel and the rocks slid underfoot, but he caught himself. He ran on, clutching his camera under his arm and trying to swing his camera bag across his shoulder, out of his way.

Jerry was yelling as he reached the platform. With a bound, he cleared the corner and rushed on into the shadows.

He was past the station and into the darkness beyond it before he came to himself and stopped. The wind blew against his face, and he shivered as he stared into the night around him, but he could see nothing. Impulsively, he raised his camera and fumbled to adjust its settings. For a moment, he stared through the viewfinder. And slowly he realized it was ridiculous. He couldn’t see, the camera couldn’t work in that darkness, and—just as Jerry was straightening up to look around—his battery warning began to flash at him. In disgust, he turned the camera off and slung the strap over his neck.

Taking a deep breath, Jerry stood and looked around at the darkness. He still could see nothing. He could hear nothing, only his own breath as he let it out again. “Don’t be silly,” he told himself. “There is nothing to hear. Of course.” He took a cautious step forward, trying to feel whether he was on the gravel or the grass.

Then Captain Nwin spoke beside him, and he almost jumped. “Along the tracks? Where did it go? Did you see it?” She turned and moved toward the railroad tracks, running her flashlight beam along the grassy bank beyond the station.

But Jerry stopped, shaking his head. “No,” he said out loud. “It’s probably gone. If it was anything. At least, it wouldn’t still be here if it was—we’ve scared it off by now.”

“Where’s Silas?” Captain Nwin asked.

Jerry hesitated and stared around. His skin prickled uneasily.

When he looked over his shoulder, he could see the outline of the train station, faint against the dim glow. Captain Nwin was already jogging toward it. Jerry sprinted after her, following the beam of her flashlight as it bobbed and wavered along the ground.

In another minute, they reached the platform and hurried back along it, calling to Silas, but the wind carried their voices away. At their feet, the beam of Captain Nwin’s flashlight blinked unsteadily.

They had just reached the far edge of the platform when Captain Nwin stopped. “Oh, drat,” she whispered, just loud enough for Jerry to hear her. She shook the flashlight and smacked it against her palm. “It’s dead. Where’s Silas—do you see him?”

Before he could answer, a blue spark snapped above the platform, and they stood together in the darkness.

( Read the final episode in Night Shot 14!)


Andrew Engel said...

All I've got to say is that Jerry should have at least tried to take a picture once his battery warning flashed - generally batteries are good for several more pictures at that point.

Audrey said...

Yes, he probably could have. But they would have been nice, blank, black shots, and he might not have had battery left for the photo in the final episode.

In reality, I'm mildly surprised that someone hasn't critized my geek-speak as well. Since I'm neither a camera expert, nor a computer whiz, I'm probably making a number of errors in techinical usage. Hopefully, though, Jerry knows what he's doing. I'm just telling you what happened to him.

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