“Look. Look at the lights!”

***

He watched them from behind some wreckage, keeping his twitching in. He couldn’t believe it. The lamps all lit! The pages and papers and photographs. The past.

***

Damien poured over the pages of papers and books. If his eyes were any wider, they would have fallen out.

“Just look at them Aaron!”

His gloved hands pawed at the pictures before him. “They’re beautiful! Do you think? Could they be like that again?”

“Maybe, Damien. Who knows. It was a long time.”

“But all we have to do is be good, Aaron. If we’re good they’ll come back.”

The bookcase behind them slammed to the ground with an animal howl. The two screamed, spun round and saw a dirty, twitching man coming at them, knife raised.

Aaron ran towards him, “RUN, DAMIEN. GET OUT.”

Damien froze, the man’s crazed eyes holding him in place. The man’s arm swung across his body, down, catching Aaron’s face with the back of his hand, lifting him, and flinging him across the room.

Damien reached out, grabbed the first thing that made him feel safe and ran. The man changed direction to cut him off, stumbled, and fell to the floor.

“RUN!” Aaron dropped the iron bar that had brought down their assailant and sprinted for his brother, putting a foot in the downed man’s head for good luck. He grabbed his brother by the back of this coat and dragged from from the room.

***

Jody had called for data on the crimes. In the short argument that followed, she persuaded Westerfield to hire her, just for this case, and then put her on a retainer if she helped.

She was staring at the increase in attacks that had taken place of the two years.

She reached for the phone.

“Charles. These numbers are insane. The increase of attacks in the last three months exceeds everything that he’d done in the past two years. Charles. We have to stop him soon.”

***

“What are they doing Nathan? What are they doing?”

They watched the lights on the radar moving away. Nathan was trying every communication method, hailing every frequency. He blinked the tears from his eyes.

“We were too late. We were too late.”

“Nathan?”

“We couldn’t guide them in. Oh God.” He collapsed into a chair. “They’re not coming, Greg. They’re not coming.”

***

When they stopped running, Aaron pulled his brother to him. He was sobbing.

“I told you, Aaron. Nothing’s going to happen to you. Not if I’m there. I told you.”

“I tho..thou..thought he’d hurt you. I thought…”

Aaron coughed. Winced. “No. I’m ok, Damien. But..let’s get home, OK?”

They started off again. Slower this time.

“What you got there, short stuff?” Aaron coughed.

Damien held up a book. It was full of paper cut from other books. All about the Shopmas Lights.

Aaron coughed again. It hurt that time.

“Come on. Let’s get this to mum.”

***

He got to his feet. The bastards had got away. It didn’t matter. He knew where they lived.

And now he knew. They were working against him. Cutting away at his evil with their small acts of good. Well, not for long.

He looked at images of his past. A treasure trove of secrets, of hidden history.

The pages were dry.

He fumbled for his lighter, touching page, paper, photograph.

Cleansing the room. Giggling, mocking the children who were just there. “Look. Look at the lights.”