“…and thats when I knew I had the job, the panel member’s couldn’t hide the smiles on their faces” I said, drinking down the bitter instant coffee, how I both despised and loved the stuff.

“you said the last question threw you, what was it?” Mum asked as she drank from her tea, it had been a long say helping her unpack and sort out some things around her property. I hadn’t missed farm work but it was good to help mum since she was by herself for the first time in as long as I could remember.

Give us an example where you have dealt with failure, and what did you do to address it?” I responded gulping down the poorly mixed liquid. “I hadn’t prepared or thought of that scenario or even contemplated that a question like that but I had an example. I don’t think I mentioned that I mentored someone in my team?”

Mum paused for a moment, her memory wasn’t as sharp as it always was and, I noted with sharp, intense, instant regret, I hated it. She was always able to keep up with me, understand what I was saying and follow with my tangents and thoughts. “No I dont think so” she responded, I knew I had mentioned them before – I was quite proud of the way I mentored the juniors at work.

I smiled “well James is a good kid, but I dropped the ball with him and he went off the rails. Started making mistakes which I said I would help with later when I wasn’t busy delivering this project but I forgot. The mistakes got so bad that the fraud investigation team got involved due to the timesheet errors and I got tapped on the shoulder to account for his performance and throughput of work.”

“Oh thats not very good sweety, what happened” mum asked a concerned look on her face.

“I sorted it. Fast and efficient like when…” I trailed off as I saw a orb of inky black bobbing above mums shoulder.

“what?” Mum asked, turning around and looking in the direction I didn’t realise I was staring at.

“you’ve got a visitor…” I said to mum calmly tipping the burnt, luke warm instant coffee down the sink. “It’s not malicious I don’t think, it’s.. just watching like the things that used to watch us from the old cubby” I said referring to my childhood house, and my little brother Harry.

“oh, I better get the salt then” mum replied looking a bit disturbed. She’d hadn’t seen anything for quite some years now I was in seeing these spectres every now and again, more frequently that my daughter had been born. I belief it was the tiredness and fatigue with travel that a barrier had been dropped but they kept coming and they only seemed to be growing in, err, presence isn’t quite the word.

Nodding I willed the orb to leave, frowning at it as I embraced my mum. “If you need help with the farm stuff just give me a call. I’ll always be available to help” the orb and shadowy tendrils wavered a bit and floated a few feet backwards but still hovering around mum.

Squeezing me back she replied “thanks son, I dont think I could have fixed the fences today by myself.”

“maybe take out the jet and obsidian tonight..” mum had a large stone collection from her wicker club days “I’ve been seeing things a bit more recently and they’re becoming bolder, not as aggressive as the old place but still, best be safe not sorry.” I said as I turned and grabbed my keys out of mt kmart beanie – I needed an upgrade as this barely kept my head warm during winter mornings, but money was tight with the house, car and kid. Thats why I was applying for a promotion at work.

“will do sweety, thanks’ she said as she turn on the light to the car port. “Watch going down the driveway, the lamp at the end was damaged last weekend. It flickers a bit”

“don’t stress, I’m still the best driver in the family” I said with a smirk as I walked into the bracing chill. “Thanks for the coffee Mum, I better get back to my girls”. Walking to the car I waved to mum through the windows and started my old Toyota, it taking a moment to click over as I put it into reversed and began to move down the driveway. As I left the carport the light turned off and the immediate area behind the car was bathed in the red from the brake lights that I feathered moving backwards between the fence and rocky garden bed. Looking backwards I noticed the light at the end of the driveway, a solar powered lamp post, flickering for a moment before turning off. Applying the break and looking at my rearview and side mirrors to make sure I was missing some large trees that were growing next the fence, I looked up in time to see the lamp flicker on revealing a hunched tall figure at the end of the driveway. Its arms scraping the ground beneath its wide spread hairy legs. It stared at the car, breathing heavily before the light flickered again causing the darkness to envelope the creature, or thing. A heartbeat later, and as my break lights bathed the end of the drive in red as the pedal pressed into the floor of the car I turned around to look through the back window and the lamp flickered back on – the thing was no where to be seen. Reversing back a bit more tentatively now I passed we’re it stood at the gate to my mum’s driveway where it met a service road. Looking down and using the flickering lights to illuminate the soft June soil I couldn’t see any prints or tracks, not that I was a hunter but growing up on a farm taught me a few things. Nothing, no prints or tracks other than the cars tyres.

Perhaps I’d get my own crystals out tonight, and the salt just in case. This spooky shit was getting a bit too frequent and the things in the shadows a bit too big for my liking.