Photo Credit: Wendy Reid
Just Before Dark
Just before dark, when the sun touches the horizon and the heat and humidity of the day begin to dissipate, the world becomes so quiet that it is easy to imagine that I am the sole inhabitant of the planet. But I am not. The crackling of dry leaves on the forest floor give warning of someone or something approaching. I turn in circles, trying to get my bearings although the orange light is almost gone and I can’t see a thing through the thick trees. The footsteps grow closer and closer and my heartbeat grows quicker and stronger, promising to break through my chest. It’s hard to breathe because my internal organs are working too quickly and I can’t get enough oxygen.
Fight or flight. I have no weapons or even vision on my side, so I begin to run away from the noise, in hopes that I will lose my pursuer. I am running, but my pace is deeply affected by the fact that I can’t see more than a few feet in front of me. My arms reach out into the black of night to try to feel any obstacles before I slam into them. I touch a tree and thankfully move to the side at the last minute, avoiding a face first collision. A loud noise to my right startles me and I cry out in fear. Turning to my left I run as fast as my legs can carry me but the footsteps grow louder. Hot breath caresses the back of my neck and I go down, hard, onto the damp forest floor. Strong hands dig into my shoulders and I kick and scream while my assailant turns me over to face him.
“What did I tell you about coming into the fucking woods at night?” As my husband stands up and walks away, I wonder if I would be safer following him home, or taking my chances in the dark of the forest.
*This post will serve as my Insecure Writer’s Support Group post due for the first Wednesday of the month. I hesitate to write dark stories for the general public (insecurity) but then again, if you are following my blog then you should be familiar with my writing by now.