The Lurkers

Story and art by Laura El
Click play to begin audio narration

Two Worlds

This is a tale passed down through the ages,

From parents to children nearing adolescent stages,

To the lessons I’m about to share please do abide,

Be good little one, don’t let your mind wander to the dark side,

Lurkers can sense it, they’ll come for you surely,

Give in to the darkness and you’ll leave this world prematurely.

I don’t tell you this tale to make you frightened,

Quite the opposite; I aim to enlighten,

You see there are two worlds that exist: the good and the bad,

You need to be aware it’s the best chance you’ll have.

Evil spirits called Lurkers watch and they wait,

They’re so consumed by anger, resentment and hate,

You probably can’t see them but we know they’re there,

You can feel their presence, their penetrating stare,

Always do what is right and you can keep them at bay,

But become too much like them and they’ll take you far away.

#000 - Two Worlds


It all started when a boy gave into temptation,

Darkness sank its claws into him causing mutations,

He made a choice to shut out the light,

To focus on the bad and only see black and white,

Slowly but surely disappeared his humanly features,

Until nothing was left but a ghostly dark creature,

And so he became the very first Lurker,

It’s truly quite sad, a real tear-jerker.

#001 - Temptation

No Longer Alone

Misery loves company and so it made sense,

The very first Lurker was bound to commence,

A search for those like him and search he did,

All over the world he sought out bad kids,

He left unturned not one leaf not one stone,

If it’s bad thoughts you're having, you’re no longer alone,

The Lurkers, their numbers, quickly grew greater,

You’ll understand how just a little bit later.

#002 - No Longer Alone

Playing Hooky

You see, a Lurker can’t just snatch you away,

They don’t have the power, the pull, the sway,

But they know that darkness is a powerful seed,

Once it takes hold it grows like a weed,

Its victims become weak and if they don’t fight,

That’s when they’ll come for you with all of their might.

So children,

We all make mistakes, one mistake is not the end,

Real danger comes when doing bad becomes a trend,

Let’s talk of the signs that darkness is taking control,

So you can recognize it early and avoid the ultimate toll.

At first sight darkness can seem so innocent,

Your first taste may even feel new and magnificent,

But as thoughts turn to actions and you’d rather play hooky,

When you forgo learning for ice cream and cookies,

If it’s not yet, it soon will be,

Too late to turn back, then you’re no longer free.

#003 - Playing Hooky

Getting Close

After a while, you’ll find the line,

Between good and evil will start to blur,

The Lurkers’ grip begins to tighten,

As you watch the rats below you stir,

The train is getting close now,

And the horn starts to blare,

Trying to alert you to the coming danger,

To which you’re so utterly unaware.

#004 - Getting Close

Follow You Home

If you continue to go down the wrong path,

A Lurker will be with you every step of the way,

You used to be able to leave him behind,

But now it seems like he is here to stay,

A dark passenger who won’t leave you alone,

It’s now at the point where he’s following you home.

#005 - Follow You Home


Sooner or later you may start to hear,

The Lurkers whispering right into your ear,

They urge you to do things you don’t want to do,

They continue to push you until they break through,

Slingshot in hand you make for the trees,

You send rocks a-flying at squirrels and at bees,

And so begins your fall, your descent,

Ill will towards others you’re now malevolent.

#006 - Malevolent

Clever Little Ruse

You used to have dreams so wild and grand,

To climb atop mountains and play in a band,

You’re now breaking curfew and all of the rules,

You’ve given up both: on books and on school,

Instead you play video games and stay up late,

Free armor trimming for any breastplate,

This is what you tell all of your friends,

As you steal their possessions in one sweeping cleanse,

They are not happy, they are not amused,

You’ve managed to trick them, you clever little ruse.

#007 - Clever Little Ruse

You are Grounded

Grounded again and stuck in a chair,

The Lurker behind you is now as big as a bear,

He’s feeling robust and much more sure,

The darkness inside you is much more mature,

Instead of seeing the error of your ways,

You blame your parents for ruining Saturdays,

On your face sits the world’s largest pout,

It’s nearly time for you to sneak out.

#008 - You are Grounded

Sticky Fingers

You let yourself in as the door was ajar,

A few stolen cupcakes make you feel like a star,

Your fingers are sticky, your morals are icky,

A five finger discount you’re not even picky,

You’ve corrupted your mate, you don’t even care,

There’s a special place for you in the Lurkers’ lair.

#009 - Sticky Fingers


Walking down the street wearing number thirteen,

Proud that you’re vile, wicked and mean,

And that’s when it happens out of nowhere,

Suddenly your feet are dangling in the air,

The Lurkers they have you, they’re pulling you down,

You won’t be the same next time you see your hometown,

Just for a minute you're stuck in-between,

Until you lose your grip never again to be seen.

So look for these signs my girls, my chaps,

And if you find yourself falling into these traps,

Return to the light before it’s too late,

Fight for your soul, don’t take the bait.

#010 - In-Between

The Descent

A quick warning: things are about to go south,

It’s important you hear the words leaving my mouth,

It’s always darkest before the dawn,

Yet things will get better so please do push on,

When all you see is darkness it may feel like doomsday,

Just know there’s still light out there and it’s never too far away.

Children awake to their heads throbbing,

Sounds of creaking, shouting and sobbing,

Sitting in metal cages swaying side to side,

When they realize where they are, their eyes open wide,

Prisoners held captive deep in an underworld lair,

Left alone to wallow in their misery and despair.

#011 - The Descent

The Feeding

One by one the Lurkers pull children from their cells,

To the deepest depths of the underworld where you can’t hear them yell,

They feed on their souls until nothing remains,

And only the darkness flows through their veins,

Evil has transformed them from their flesh to their core,

At this point they are a human child no more,

Now you can finally begin to understand,

How the Lurkers grow in numbers, don’t be part of their plan.

#012 - The Feeding

Take to the Skies

Once there are no more children around,

Lurkers must head back above ground,

The young follow the old on the next run,

In order to learn how the hunting is done,

They move through the air like a swarm of flies,

Traveling in packs they take to the skies.

#013 - Take to the Skies

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Back out into the world they go,

Through the wind, the rain, the snow,

Each time they go out things have gotten worse,

As the bad kids have begun to coerce,

Their friends into being bad just like them,

Throwing the world into further mayhem,

So many decisions of who to choose so they can grow,

Lurkers love a good game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

#014 - Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Not Like the Others

For all of time, Lurkers have hunted as one,

But what if those bonds were coming undone,

One is beginning to feel different, not like the others,

What is this feeling that’s drawing him from his brothers?

When they sought darkness he was there for the ride,

But it’s left him wanting more and feeling empty inside,

And that’s when he saw her in the corner of his eye,

A girl so bright, surrounded by fireflies,

So very different from the kids he usually followed,

If the others knew of his thoughts it’d be a hard pill to swallow,

The minute his brothers found their next prey,

He took his chance to quietly slip away.

#015 - Not Like the Others

So, Who are You?

So who are you, he thoughtfully pondered,

As he followed this girl wherever she wandered,

Anywhere she went she brought with her the light,

Even as she walked down the street in the dead of night,

The Lurker wasn’t the only one who felt this way,

And so the party grew larger as it picked up a stray,

The two of them followed in the girl’s wake,

Past WAGMI Cafe known for its croissants and cake.

#016 - So, Who are You?

A New Friend

She walked along and it started to rain,

She noticed a shaggy dog shivering in pain,

He looked wet, he looked old, so very hungry and cold,

She held out her umbrella; it was a sight to behold,

She sacrificed her dryness as the lightning cracked,

Even gave him the last bit of food from her pack,

To a new friend she bestowed kindness and compassion,

Truth is, the Lurker had never seen such actions,

He didn’t even realize that changes were happening,

A small light lit inside him, it was really quite baffling.

#017 - A New Friend

I See You & I Like You

Weeks flew by with the trio together,

Then one evening with spectacular weather,

The girl climbed a hill to watch the sunset,

And in a magical moment, both of their eyes met,

She looked straight at him and he at her,

True tunnel vision, everything else was a blur,

For the first time, the Lurker felt fear,

Surely he'd lose her; she'd run like a deer,

But it wasn't a monster the girl saw that day,

Just someone misguided who had lost their way,

Instead of running, she offered up a flower from the ground,

And said, “I see you, I like you, I hope you stick around.”

#018 - I See You & I Like You

I Want to Show You Something

There are a few things the girl couldn't help but see,

The Lurker started turning transparent and even had knees,

When she looked really hard she could see his insides,

There was something way deep down he was trying to hide,

Locked up and trapped under the hood,

Could it be that she was seeing some good?

She knew what she must do next and wanted to sing,

She told the Lurker “I want to show you something,”

Next thing you know they're at a bus stop,

So began the adventure beyond the hilltops.

#019 - I Want to Show You Something

On Our Way

They rode on the bus passing all sorts of scenes,

Large mountains, canyons, valleys and streams,

After what seemed like forever the bus screeched to a halt,

Things looked so different here with no sign of asphalt,

They walked for some time past palm trees so tall,

Until they came upon a massive rock wall,

The girl stopped in her tracks “Did we take a wrong turn,

It should be right here, 10 steps past the beech fern,”

The dog started sniffing and then he took off,

He ran so fast like a thirsty horse to a trough,

Just as the girl yelled “Wait, no come back!”

They saw the dog jump right through a crack,

It was a secret passage that led to the other side,

The girl and the Lurker now had a new guide.

#020 - On Our Way

Tree of Life

Onward they pushed past the world’s wonders,

So much to see: the sun in the sky and everything under,

This stretch of their journey was all done on foot,

And just as the girl felt her legs go kaput,

They came to the top of a hill and straight up ahead,

There it was, “The tree of life, we’ve found it!” she said,

This place was special; it resembled a shrine,

No Lurker had ever seen something quite this divine,

All around them, there were such beautiful things,

Colors so vibrant birds had no choice but to sing,

Yet the most wondrous thing of them all had to be,

The smiling children who were so happy and carefree,

They were the caretakers of this very magical place,

“Through here,” urged the girl, “To the top of the tower, let’s race!”

#021 - Tree of Life

Window of Choice

At the top of the staircase, a room they did enter,

There was a large window that stood front and center,

The Lurker crept closer as the girl said in a serious tone,

“I brought you this far but from here you’ll have to go it alone,

When we first met you looked at life in black and white,

Yet there’s so much more to it if you open your eyes to the light,

I know you’ve started to see some color and for that I rejoice,

But when you look out that window you will be faced with a choice,

What you see and how you view the world is your decision to make,

I can only show you the way but the leap of faith is yours to take,

Go now because life is too short and the clock is ticking,

Others need our help, all those kids screaming and kicking,

Just remember one thing when it’s time to decide,

I’ll be right here waiting, hoping you’ll leave by my side.

#022 - Window of Choice

Story and art by Laura El
Website designed by Lydia Guadagnoli
Built by Dylan Lehrer