Darkness

Clouds at twilight

My heart hammered. The blood roared through my ears. My head throbbed to the rhythm of my pounding pulse. I couldn’t work out if I was scared or excited.

I’m not as easy to creep up on as most normal human beings – not any more. Being followed and watched has made me hyper-vigilant – at least that’s what I call it. I can now feel when someone is watching me. It’s like an itch in the back of my head.

I felt nothing. So I kept going, trudging through the trees. There was enough light from the little town close by for me to just make out where I was going. The shapes off the trees all around me materialised in the darkness. They were all I could see, rising up either side of me, closing me in, more densely packed together the further I walked from the house.

I kept going, trudging through the trees. I had no idea if I was still on the route I usually took or not. Every square metre of forest looked exactly the same as the last.

My eyes caught a movement – somewhere ahead – across my eyeline from left to right. It was no more than a fleeting glimpse. But I took in enough to be sure it was human. And it wasn’t someone out for a stroll. They disappeared too quickly.

I picked up the pace.

Part of me wanted to run. To get there as soon as possible. To find whoever it was and work out what they were up to. To see a story unfold before my eyes.

The rest of me wondered what the hell I was doing out there and if I was finally losing my mind completely.

I fixed my gaze on the point ahead where I was sure I’d seen the dark figure vanish and brushed all other thoughts aside. In the darkness, it was almost impossible to gauge distance, but I reached the area I was aiming for, took a right turn to follow the dark shape and kept going. The fact I’d have trouble finding my way back now barely registered. I was on a mission and that was all that mattered.

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