's 2017 Horror Write-off:

Job's Tale

Submitted by Voliol

Job yawned. The planks behind him creaked loudly as he laid back. The sun was still close to the horizon and shone bluish gray. The broken-down shed Job was currently residing in swayed softly in the wind. A single fly buzzed around and landed next to Job's knee. It took a full minute before he swatted it away. It was a perfect morning for lazing around.

Sadly, this would not be possible.

Slowly, Job stood up and dusted off his clothes. Other than dust a few yellow leaves flew off into the late summer air and two or three beetles bounced down on the floor. Job picked up the beetles and put them in a glass jar tied to the rope he used as a belt. - You never know when you'll need some beetles, he argued. After that he picked up the rest of his belongings, luckily not that many, and left in a bit of a hurry.

Judging by the sun, the time was about half past six and, as he had learned when he still had a functioning wristwatch, the cops did their daily hobo patrol around six o' clock. Apparently his measurement had been a bit off as well, as only moments after he had left a cop could be sighted a few sheds away. Job hid behind some bushes.

This morning the patrolling cop was the one Job normally called Jackson; it wasn't such that Job actually knew that his name was Jackson, in fact, the only reason Job even called him Jackson was due to one of Jackson's colleages once mumbling something that could have been heard as a "Jackson". Despite not knowing any of the cop's names, Job liked having something to call them. Not only did it make it easier to remember who was who, but it also helped making them seem more human, like they too had lives with friends they would meet every now and then, like they disliked going up in the morning, and maybe, just maybe, one of them would keep beetles they found in a jar. It made them seem less terrifying, and kept him from worrying about what would happen if he was caught.

Jackson came closer to Job's "house", examining it extra thoroughly, as if he knew someone had just left. Jackson took a big whiff of the air, trying to conlude the new location of Job by smell only, something that, considering the size of Jackson's nose, almost surprised Job in that he didn't succeed. Job crouched down behind the bushes, but after this "Jackson" was apperently content, and left. After what was likely a few minutes the cop was out off sight, searching for people in another block too far away to hear Job even if he were to scream off the top of his lungs. Job sighed quietly in relief.