The Shadow's Clutches

This is a very short character sketch I did a few years ago. The idea came to me out of nowhere, and I've kept the sketch around because maybe someday I'll figure out some more of what's going on in this world. Enjoy! He was running. The sound of his sneakers slapping the hard, wet pavement echoed eerily off the tall buildings surrounding him. His breathing, harsh ragged gasps, rattled in his throat as his panted for more air. His dark brown eyes spun wildly around, trying vainly to see into the night for some place of safety. Voices streamed along behind him, whispering sinister threats into his mind, feeding off his fear. Shadowy hands clawed at his sweaty shirt, hooking their long, sinewy fingers into the thin cotton and pulling him backwards. He screamed, panicking, and used the new burst of adrenaline to push forward. The voices whispered more insistently, begging him in deceptively honeyed tones to relent, to come back to them. The fingers tightened their grip. He struggled, then fell, and knew he was lost. He threw up his hands to shield his face, though it would not stop the shadows from getting him.

They slowly, almost lovingly, wrapped their cold, soft fingers around his wrists, prying then from his face. The voices began to laugh with dark, quiet snickers, deep-toned in the night. Slowly, terrified, he opened his eyes a crack. He had to see his attacker.

There was no one there.

The deathly chill hands gave a sharp yank, and he disappeared into the surrounding black, even his final scream being swallowed up by it.

A few seconds later, a new voice joined the whispers, new shadow-hands reached out, straining for the next unwary soul to ensnare.