The Lurkers

Story and art by Laura El
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Own a 1st ed. book? Original audio here.

Two Worlds

This is a tale that’s been passed through the ages,

From parents to children at varying stages.

The lessons I’ll share, I must urge you—abide.

Be good, lest your mind wanders toward the dark side.

The Lurkers can sense it; they’ll come for you surely.

Give in, and you will leave this world prematurely.

I don’t share this tale in the hopes you’ll be frightened.

The opposite’s true; yes, I want you enlightened.

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

If you're not aware, there's no chance to be had.

Evil spirits called Lurkers, they watch, and they wait.

They’re consumed by their anger, resentment, and hate.

Perhaps you can’t see them, but you’ll know they are there;

You’ll feel their cold presence, their dark, piercing stares.

If you do what’s right, you can keep them at bay.

But if you’re like them, then they’ll take you away.

#000 - Two Worlds


It started with one boy who caved to temptation.

The darkness took over and caused a mutation.

The boy made a choice that he’d shut out the light—

He’d focus on bad, only see black-and-white.

And slowly but surely, he lost every feature,

Till nothing was left but a dark, ghostly creature.

With this, he became the world’s very first Lurker;

It’s truly quite sad, you might say a tear-jerker.

#001 - Temptation

No Longer Alone

Misery loves company, so it made sense,

The very first Lurker was bound to commence

A search for those like him and find them he did.

All over the world, he found every bad kid.

He left not one leaf unturned, left not one stone;

If bad thoughts you're having, then you’re not alone!

The Lurkers, their numbers, they quickly grew greater.

You’ll understand how just a little bit later.

#002 - No Longer Alone

Playing Hooky

The Lurkers, you see, can’t just snatch you away;

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

But darkness, of course, is a powerful seed;

The moment it takes hold, it grows like a weed.

Its victims turn weak, and if they do not fight,

The Lurkers will grab them with all of their might.

We all make mistakes, and one isn’t the end.

The real danger comes when bad deeds are the trend.

I’ll tell you the signs darkness wants more control,

So you’ll spot them early and won’t pay the toll.

At first sight, the darkness may not seem too scary;

But if you enjoy it, I urge you—be wary.

As thoughts turn to actions, you’ll start playing hooky,

Forgo all your learning to snack on a cookie . . .

If darkness has not taken over, you’ll see.

It won’t be much longer before you’re no longer free!

#003 - Playing Hooky

Getting Close

The line between good and evil starts to blur.

The Lurkers' grip tightens; below the rats stir.

Darkness encroaches, shadows tightly knit.

Unseen peril looms, a sinister skit.

The train is drawing near; its horn begins to blare.

The danger approaches, but you're unaware!

#004 - Getting Close

Follow You Home

You’re on the wrong path. You are not in the lead.

Your chances are rapidly shrinking indeed.

Ensnared in their web, a mere pawn in a game;

Don't let them devour your bright inner flame.

The Lurkers now shadow your every move;

They follow you home, I behoove you—improve!

#005 - Follow You Home


Sooner or later, you may start to hear,

The Lurkers are whispering right in your ear.

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

They push and they shove you until they break through.

Slingshot in hand, you make for the trees.

You send rocks a-flying at squirrels and bees.

And so starts your fall, you begin to unwind.

Ill will takes over, corrupting your mind.

#006 - Malevolent

Clever Little Ruse

You used to have dreams that were 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 your books and on school.

Instead, you play games and each night stay up late.

“Free armor trimming for any breastplate.”

That’s what you tell every one of your friends,

As you steal their possessions in one sweeping cleanse.

Your friends are not happy; they are not amused.

You’ve managed to trick them with your clever ruse!

#007 - Clever Little Ruse

You're Grounded

You’re grounded again, and you’re stuck in a chair.

The Lurker behind you is big as a bear.

He’s feeling robust and has grown much more sure,

The darkness inside you is now more mature.

Instead of admitting your ways are to blame,

You shout at your parents and tell them they’re lame.

You cross your arms tightly, now locked in a pout,

And then it occurs to you: time to sneak out!

#008 - You're Grounded

Sticky Fingers

You let yourself in through a door that’s ajar;

You steal a few cupcakes and feel like a star.

Your fingers are sticky. Your morals are icky.

A five-finger discount, you’re not even picky.

Your mate’s been corrupted, but you don’t even care;

There’s a special place waiting in the Lurkers’ lair!

#009 - Sticky Fingers

In Between

You walk down the street wearing number thirteen,

Proud that you’re vile and wicked and mean.

And that’s when it happens, from out of nowhere—

You find your feet dangling up in the air.

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

You won’t be the same when you get back to town.

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

You’re losing your grip, never again will you be seen.

So look for these signs little girls, little chaps,

And if you discover yourself in these traps,

Return to the light—quick! Before it’s too late!

Fight for your soul, and please, don’t take the bait!

#010 - In Between

The Descent

A quick warning now: things are fast going south;

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

It’s always the darkest before each new dawn;

Yet things will get better, so please do push on!

When darkness surrounds you and fills up your day,

Just know there’s still light out there, not far away.

Deep down underground, children find their heads throbbing,

Their ears filled with creaking and shouting and sobbing.

They see where they are, and their eyes open wide.

They’re sitting in cages that sway side to side.

Indeed, they’re now prisoners, held in a lair,

Left there to wallow in their own despair.

#011 - The Descent

The Feeding

Now, one at a time, Lurkers come to each cell.

They drag off each child to where you can’t hear them yell.

They feed on their souls until nothing remains,

And only the darkness now flows through their veins.

Pure evil’s transformed them from right down to their core;

At this point, they are human children no more.

Please watch this all closely for you’ll soon see their plan:

The Lurkers grow stronger; now RUN if you can!

#012 - The Feeding

Take to the Skies

Once there are no more children around,

The Lurkers must once again head above ground.

This time the young Lurkers go out on the run,

In order to learn how the hunting is done.

They soar through the air like a great swarm of flies;

Moving in packs, they all take to the skies!

#013 - Take to the Skies

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Back to the world now the Lurkers must go;

They travel through the wind, rain, and snow.

Each time they go out, they see things are much worse!

The bad kids have found new good kids to coerce.

They all want their friends to be bad just like them,

Throwing the world into further mayhem.

So many choices to help their pack grow,

Here they go: eeny, meeny, miny, moe!

#014 - Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Not Like the Others

The Lurkers have always gone hunting as one,

But what if those bonds started becoming undone?

For one has begun to feel not like the others,

What is this new feeling that’s not like his brothers?

When they sought out darkness, he went for the ride,

Though he was unsure and felt empty inside.

And that’s when he saw her; it pulled at his ties,

A girl so alive, laughing at fireflies.

He waited until they went after their prey,

Then quickly, unnoticed, this one slipped away.

#015 - Not Like the Others

Who Are You?

Who are you? he thoughtfully pondered,

And followed behind her wherever she wandered.

Each place that she went, she brought with her the light,

Even down the dark street in the dead of night.

Another one saw her who felt the same way,

The party grew larger; it picked up a stray.

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

Past WAGMI Cafe, known for muffins and cake.

#016 - Who Are You?

A New Friend

The girl walked alone until it started to rain.

Then she noticed a dog shaking, clearly in pain.

He looked wet and unhappy, so hungry and cold,

She held out her umbrella, a sight to behold.

She gave up her dryness and then pulled from her pack,

Her last bit of food, which she gave as a snack.

Without thinking twice, she gave her kindness—compassion.

The Lurker had never before seen such actions.

Without even knowing, he'd started to change.

A light grew inside him that made him feel strange.

#017 - A New Friend

I See You

Week after week passed with these three together.

Then one special evening with beautiful weather,

The girl climbed a hill to watch as the sun set.

In a magical moment, their eyes at last met.

She looked straight at him, and he looked back at her.

Eyes locked on the girl, his mind started to blur.

For the first time, the Lurker felt something like fear.

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

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

Just a misguided boy who had lost his own way.

She bent down and picked up a bud from the ground,

“I see you. I like you. Please do stick around.”

#018 - I See You

The Bus Stop

A few things the girl couldn't help but see:

The Lurker was changing, he even had knees.

When she looked really hard, she could see his inside;

There was something deep down he was trying to hide.

Locked up and trapped underneath his black hood,

Could it be that the girl had found something still good?

She knew what to do, and she wanted to sing.

She said to him, “I want to show you something!”

Next thing you know, they were at a bus stop,

So began the adventure beyond the hilltop.

#019 - The Bus Stop

On Our Way

They rode on the bus, passing all sorts of scenes:

Large mountains and canyons and valleys and streams.

After ages, the bus at last screeched to a halt.

Things here were different—no sign of asphalt.

They walked for some time past the palm trees so tall,

Until they at last came upon a great wall.

The girl stopped and said, “Did we take a wrong turn?

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

The dog started sniffing and then he took off.

He ran like a thirsty horse seeking a trough.

The girl shouted, “Dog, please, I beg you, come back!”

Then they saw the pup disappear into a crack.

A passage, they found, clear 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 so many a wonder:

The sun in the sky and the whole world just 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 she said,

“We’ve found it, the tree of life’s there, just ahead!”

This place was so special. It looked like a shrine.

No Lurker had seen something quite this divine.

All around them, there floated many beautiful things,

Colors so vibrant, and birds taking wing.

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

The children who played there, so happy—carefree.

These were the caretakers of this great place,

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

#021 - Tree of Life

Window of Choice

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

Inside it, a large window stood front and center.

“I brought you this far, now the path you’ve been shown,

But from here you must finish it all on your own.

When first we met, you saw life in black-and-white;

Yet there’s so much more to it—just let in the light!

You’ve now seen some color, for that I rejoice.

If you look out that window, you’ll face a great choice.

How you view the world’s your decision to make.

I can show you the way, but the leap’s yours to take.

Go now, life’s too short, and the clock keeps on ticking.

I have to help others left screaming and kicking.

Remember one thing, when it’s time to decide:

I'll be 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

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