What Waits in the Dark

Last week, when asked if I was scared of the dark, I laughed. The dark wasn’t scary. At least, it wasn’t last week when we had been lying in the sun. Amazing how the dark wasn’t scary when you weren’t actually in the dark. No, it was easy to laugh about the dark and how not scary it was when you were surrounded by friends in the sun. When you’re in the dark though . . . The dark is scary.

Let me clarify, the dark isn’t scary . . . What’s scary are the things you can’t see in the dark, that’s what scares me. As I stand here now, surrounded by the dark, I have goose bumps. Usually, this hallway is perfectly normal. This hallway shouldn’t be scary. Yet right now, it’s horrifying. I know where everything is, the pointless end table, the bookcase, the stairs, everything. Except of course for the one thing that really matters.

Where are you?

As I stand petrified in this hallway, I wonder if I am running out of oxygen. Surely it isn’t possible in a place as big as this . . . But there is no doubt that it’s hard to breathe. Not only is my throat collapsing into itself, but my eyes are useless. Black is a terrifying color. Looking everywhere for some glimpse of anything, and feeling as if your eyes are closed.

Where are you?

My limbs are weighed down with lead, moving isn’t an option. Even if it had been, where would I go? Outside? Outside is worse. Instead of hearing the depressing howl of the wind, I’d be in it. Outside is not an option. I am stuck in a claustrophobic hallway with nothing but the sound of my breath to tell me I am still alive.

You can’t hide forever . . . I will find you.

I must be going crazy. Why did I let her in tonight? I knew it was a bad idea . . . What was I thinking? I don’t remember. Was I trying to be nice? I know how hard she’s been taking the break-up. I should have known she wouldn’t be happy with me. What was I supposed to do? I can’t control my family. What have I done?

I‘m going to find you!

Breathe. I need to breathe. Stop panicking, it’ll be all right. She’ll calm down. Surely. Who am I kidding? She’s gone officially crazy. I knew it all along, never been quite right, and now I’m stuck here not knowing where she is. I hate her for doing this. I hate myself for letting her.

You deserve it. It’s your fault. Where are you?

I can’t see anything. She could be right beside me . . . Stop. Don’t panic. Don’t scare yourself. Stop. I have to move. She’ll find me here. She’s crazy. I have to call someone. Move. Why did she come here? Did she think I could help her? Or did she think I told my brother to do it? What was she thinking?

You can’t hide . . . I will find you . . . Come out and play!

Which way should I go? To the kitchen? Where is my cell phone? In the car . . . I could drive. Where would I go? Anywhere, I just need to leave, I can’t stay here. Where is she at?

Such a fake, pretends to be nice, I bet you felt so smug. I’ll kill you for it. . . You first. Then him. He’ll know it’s coming that way. He’ll be scared. Good. I want him to be sorry. Any b****** willing to break someone’s heart deserves to be sorry.

Is it safe to leave right now? What does she even want? What’s her beef with me? I didn’t even do anything to her. Her vendetta is with my brother, not me. Why is she here? When she walked in earlier, I thought her eyes were red from crying . . . Now I’m not so sure. What is wrong with her? She’s gone crazy. Her voice, it was so creepy . . . Telling me how he’ll pay for his mistakes . . . Than why is she here now?

You’re not in the kitchen . . . Where did you go? Hiding? I’ll find you. This house has no power now . . . And slicing your tires was oh so much fun. I wonder if you’ll try to run. You have no where to go. You’re mine. I can’t wait to read the article in the paper on the horrendous murder. What a shame they’ll have to plan two funerals. . . At least two. I never really liked your mother either . . .

I can feel the door frame to the living room under my fingers . . . Is she in there? Does she still have my bread knife? I thought she just wanted to be helpful, I can be so stupid! Why would my brother’s distraught ex want to help me with dinner? This is ridiculous. I can’t see anything, why did I close the curtains tonight? The moon is locked outside. The kitchen will be light . . . What if she’s waiting for me to go towards the light? Is she even that rational right now?

I’m waiting for you . . . Can you sense it? Are you scared? I don’t think you’re as scared as you should be. Where are you? Did you know you won’t survive tonight. You should have talked some sense into your brother, it would have saved you. You knew he was cheating . . . Why didn’t you stop it? It’s too late for you now. You have nothing left. Your luck is about to run out. You weren’t thinking very straight when you ran out of the kitchen . . . You didn’t even grab anything to defend yourself. I know how much you hate weapons . . . Too bad. This won’t be much fun, it might be almost too easy . . .

The wall against my back is so cold. It scratches my back as I slide forward against it. Did that shadow just move? No, I’m hallucinating . . . No, I’m not. It’s moving. Someone is in the kitchen . . . She’s in the kitchen!

They say animals can smell fear. I think on some level, humans can too. I know you’re afraid. Where will I find you? Will you be huddled in the corner? Or will you try to find the door? You won’t get far. I can hear the doors. And with no car . . . This cold will have done you in before dawn. Wouldn’t that be great? If your death could be blamed on an accident? Beautiful. Not near as much excitement though . . . Maybe the wolves would eat you. Wouldn’t that be hilarious?

It’s not her. It’s the wind. . . It’s moving the trees . . . The shadows of the trees outside. That’s so creepy. How ironic . . . The movies I thought were so corny were so accurate. Inhale. Exhale. Not too loud. I have to get out. I can’t stay here. Where is my cell phone?

What are you thinking about now? What are your last thoughts? I really am curious. I want to know what it feels like to know you’re going to die. Not today though . . . No I have an agenda first. . . Being on death row would be quite the experience. I hope I get caught in the end . . . No one wants to live alone. After I’m done . . . I will be so alone. After he dies . . . No choice thought. He made his choices, and I have made mine. So why don’t you come out and play?

The kitchen is right here. Around the corner. I think the sound of my heart is going to give me away . . . Can she hear it? Where is she? I hate this. What did I do to deserve this?

I hear you. You’re in the hall. Next to the door. You want to come in, but you’re scared aren’t you? Good. Fear is good. It keeps you under control. Do you know I’m waiting for you? Take another step. Do it. Go on. . . I know you want to. It’ll be the last one you take. You don’t know it yet . . . I can practically see you. Come on out and play.

Be ready, she might be there. If she is, she’ll see me. Say something.

“You don’t have to do this, we can work this out.” I wait.

You’re so brave, talking. But now I know exactly where you are . . . I’m sorry. It’s too late to work it all out.





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