In the town of Wilmot, in the hills of Eastern Pennsylvania, near a valley they call the Grand Canyon, a mystery lies unsolved. One fateful night, when the clouds hung low and the town was shrouded in a blanket of mist, five peace loving, law abiding citizens went missing. Though the police and fire departments scoured the hills and volunteer divers combed the rivers, no bodies were found. Today, 48 years, 3 months, and 7 days later, only I and my siblings, and soon you, know what truly happened. It is not a secret and I will tell all who ask, but nobody has asked. Now, as my daughter, you will be initiated into a select group as you too learn the dreadful truth.
"UFO's took them," claimed Abner Fullbright. "It was one of dem dere pee-doh-files from Philly thats came and gots them, " declared town clerk Wilbur Thomas. "It was a secret army experiment that went wrong," said Mildred Keebler, the police chief's wife. Well, I know for a fact, for my great, great, grandfather Felix was there, that it wasn't any of those things.
The police searched for days. The volunteer search and rescue team was brought in. They had found little Samantha Jones when she wandered away from the family picnic last summer and they were sure they would find the bodies. But they didn't. The FBI was called and investigators went door to door, looking for clues. They searched the homes of the five who had gone missing and do you know what they found? Well, they found nothing. Yep, nothing. But Felix knew they wouldn't find anything because, quite simply, there was nothing to find.
The five were Janet Parker, the school librarian, and her lover, Ted Redmond. They had gone to the Park View Motel for a tryst and registered under false names. Not that it mattered because Mrs. Redmond was sleeping with the Police Chief when Ted was out. There was Bill Bundy, who was kind of slow. He had been hit in the head by a sniper's bullet at Iwo Jima and not been right since. His job was to fix things, paint the walls, and generally keep the motel all scootchy. There was Annie Adams who was 15, but said she was 19 when she registered. She had run away from an abusive home and was prostituting herself across the country, trying to get from New York to L.A. to make it big in Hollywood. And finally, the was Nareem Ghandi, the clerk at the Park View. He worked nights while studying English so he could get a better job cooking in The Big Bazooka Tavern.
Where did they go, you ask? Why, on that dreary night, did they disappear without a trace leaving my great, great, grand-pappy Felix as the only witness? Why were five mundane, average, unrelated people removed from this planet. Make no mistake about it, they WERE removed, and they won't be coming back.
You see, it was a Shade that got them. People don't know much about Nightshades, but they exist you know. They are like the night, black and ominous, but without form or shape. They are forces of evil that become manifested in our dimension. Nobody knows exactly what set of conditions will cause a Shade to materialise, but once one is here, it stays until it is sated. They feed on souls you see. They ingest the life of the living by pulling their victim out of this plane of existence. There is a soft pop as they unfold and then, before you can even scream, they envelop you in darkness. Then you become a part of them and your soul becomes theirs. No body is found. No scream is heard. No blood is spilled. You are there one moment and not the next. I can't rightly say if it hurts, but I do know that I don't want it happening to me.
Felix, well he was there mousing. Bill didn't do his job very well, so a cat could always find a good meal at the Park View. He saw it all happen. I guess cats don't make good meals for a Nightshade. He told his children, and they told theirs, and so it has gone, until now when I am telling you.
Tami licked her Mother's nose. I'll be careful mom. While Felix was lucky, I'm not going to take my chances on that Shade maybe coming back for desert. A pretty kitty like me might just be too tempting a treat. Then, she turned and padded quietly off to play with her friends in Oz.