From the depths of the darkness, a voice called.
He knew better. He told himself that as he shifted in his bed. He knew better than to look.
The voice whispered to him, the words indistinct, but sweet.
He squeezed his eyes shut, pulling his quilt tighter over his head.
They had been coming for him for weeks now. Every night since the eclipse. Every night since they took his sister.
He had watched them as they had taken her.
Neither of them had known what they were. No one on Earth had. No one had expected the eclipse to be anything other than the usual astronomical light show. No one had believed in magic or the supernatural.
Certainly, no one had expected the ghostly bodies to materialize in the air above them as the Earth's shadow devoured the moon.
But there they had been. Translucent. Colorful. Almost humanoid.
They'd drifted through the air, like jellyfish in a still sea.
They had been mesmerizing. An unknown both beautiful and impossible.
And their voices. Their voices were heavenly. Like angels descended upon the Earth.
“Listen to them,” his sister had said that night, a smile spreading across her face. Her eyes followed the glistening spirits, the wonder growing there contagious.
“Its like music,” she breathed.
“I wonder what they are saying,” he'd said, his sister's awe fueling his own.
A green one had floated near him. Close enough he could have touched it if he dared. They shimmered as they moved through the air. Like the surface of a stream in sunlight as it flowed to the ocean.
“What do you mean?” his sister asked. Her voice was distant, her eyes seeming to see through the night sky rather than at it.
A pale red spirit floated above her, a hand reaching down to her face. A tendril of its gossamer body inches from her face.
Even as he watched, she reached up for it, a soft smile on her lips.
“Can't you hear their words?” she asked him, her voice dreamy, her eyes lost in the night.
He should have stopped her. Should have grabbed her shoulders, shaken her awake. He should have grabbed that slender hand that reached to the heavens and run with it. Run into the light of the city. Run from the strange spirits.
He knew that now.
He'd been too shocked to take any action then. Too slow. Too indecisive. Too confused.
He had been about to tell her 'no, he didn't,' when her hand brushed up against the pale spirit above her. When her dreamy expression exploded into surprise. When she and the red spirit disappeared before him.
He did not know how long he had stood there in shock. Did not know how many others around him were taken.
All he knew was there was no trace of her before him. No sign she had been standing next to him.
He didn't know how he got home that night. There were just flashes of him running through the park shouting her name. Flashes of him desperately calling the police, desperately shoving his way through the mess of others who wanted to report a missing person when the phone line didn't connect.
He didn't know how he had gotten through the intervening days.
All he knew was that they came for him every night. That every night a host of them would swirl in the dark of his bedroom, their voices sweet and melodic, their lights soft and gentle.
He still didn't understand the words of their unearthly song. But every night, it seemed like perhaps they were just a hair clearer. That touching them might be a little better of an idea than he had initially thought.
After all, his sister had gone with them. If nothing else, he would be with her again.
He shook that thought from his head, pulling his covers tighter around his body. It was a thought of madness. Of desperate despair.
And for tonight, at least, he was not so weak as to succumb.
Tonight, at least, his sister's memory would be his strength, not the final bullet to his soul.
Tonight, at least, he would hold out.
Tonight, he would survive.
She took a deep breath, savoring the sweet air of the mortal realm. Her eyes closed, she lived in that sensation, the simple rise and fall of her chest.
“What have you done!” a man shouted to her left, bringing her out of that moment.
She stood indoors. A basement, if she was to gue...