An Orange Sky

March 30, 2012
By JayceS BRONZE, San Jose, California
JayceS BRONZE, San Jose, California
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The night sky has turned an ominous orange, and thick clouds blot out the stars. The strange hue of the heavens creates an eerie atmosphere, one that makes you shudder for a moment. Of course, you know that there is an explanation for this odd occurrence, but logic does not stop you from shivering. Quickly, you put on your shoes and set out at a brisk walk towards the mailbox. It is quiet. Your footsteps are the only sound to be heard, echoing loudly in the silence.

A thin blanket of fog weaves its way through the air, leaving an odd odor. The air is damp, and you can almost feel the water on your face. You increase your pace, walking even faster towards the mailbox, the cool metal of the keys in your hand. You cannot shake off the foreboding feeling that has fallen upon your shoulders. It lies there, heavy, weighing you down. Glancing around nervously, you check your surroundings-but for what? You don’t know. All you know is that you want to be back inside as soon as possible.

In your mind, you curse the fact that you had forgotten to get the mail earlier. If it wasn’t for that important letter that was supposed to be arriving today, you wouldn’t even be out here. Of course, you say to yourself, you could have waited for tomorrow. It is already close to midnight; surely the letter could have waited a few more hours. Yet somehow, you had found yourself at the door with the keys in your hand, and now here you are, nearly running across the street.

The silence is getting to you now. Shouldn’t there be some sound, you wonder, any sound? A car passing by, perhaps, or the loud chirp of a cricket that could be heard on every other night? As you get closer and closer to your destination, you look behind you for a moment. Tall shadows in odd shapes seem to grow and move, a void of darkness reaching out for you, waiting to grab you and pull you in. You shake your head, trying to get the image out of your mind. It must have been your imagination. Yes, that’s it. You always did have a vivid imagination. Despite that, you cannot help but to wonder.

The strangely colored sky looms over you, like a symbol of impending doom. The thickening, dancing fog gracefully descends, and the distance fades into white. You just cannot shake that eerie feeling, no matter what you do. As you fumble with the keys, clumsily inserting one into the lock and turning it, a chill goes down your spine, and you pause for a moment. Then you continue, opening the cool metal door, reaching in to feel – nothing. There is no mail tonight. How strange, you think to yourself, you always receive mail, even if it is just an advertisement or a bill. Perhaps it is another sign of – no! You stop yourself from continuing on in that trail of thought. Hurriedly, you close your mail box and lock it, checking to make sure it is secure before turning around and heading home. A tinge of annoyance strikes you, darkening your mood. A trip outside into this eerie setting, for nothing.

Suddenly, you realize just how cold it is, and shivering, you pull your jacket tighter around you. Your breath is visible now, coming out in little puffs of white, fading in mere moments. Quickening your pace, you are eager to return to your warm home, where your computer awaits you. A safe place, away from orange, starless skies and unnerving silence.

It is strange, but in the little time that has passed, the fog seems to have become a large, damp cloud. How could it have grown so much in so little time? No matter, you will be inside soon enough, away from this depressing atmosphere. Involuntarily, you shudder and walk even faster. You can barely stop yourself from running now, and the only reason you aren’t is because you must save face, even though there is no one around to see you. After all, it is almost midnight. A small thought tickles the edge of your mind – perhaps this is what they call the Witching Hour. It certainly seems to fit. This does seem like a time when creatures of the night would gather.

Your door is in sight. On most days, it is just a door, like all the other ones on the block, but at that moment, it seems like one of the most welcoming sights you have ever seen. That weight on your shoulders grows ever heavier, and you cannot stop yourself from shuddering once again. Finally, you reach your home, and opening the door, you breathe a sigh of relief. You are safe. A thought strikes you, and you glance around in the dark nervously. You know that there are no such things as monsters, but right now, your logic is failing you. Nothing.

The next day, you think, this will seem like a bad dream, something small that your overactive imagination had made a big deal out of. Tomorrow, you convince yourself, you will laugh over your silliness and how nervous you were. But right now, it doesn’t seem like such a big joke. Right now, you cannot bring yourself to look outside anymore, for you are overwhelmed with the sensation of fear.

Slowly, you drop the keys in the bowl-shaped container by the door, absently noting the clinking sound they make. You make your way to your computer, dropping into the chair and just staring at the screen for a while. Then, finally, you resume the task you were doing before you remembered that you hadn’t gotten the mail. You immerse yourself in your work, fighting to ignore that foreboding feeling that still drapes itself over you. It works; soon, you are absorbed in the words on the webpage. But tomorrow, when you wake up, you will remember. You will remember the strangeness of the orange sky, nearly the color of rust. You will remember the weaving fog that grew so rapidly, the biting cold that nipped at your face, the swaying shadows that seemed to expand. You will remember, and perhaps later you will laugh, but before that, you will remember, and as that feeling returns, you will shudder and recall the sheer wrongness of that moment.

Yes, you will remember.

The author's comments:
This piece stems from a personal experience of mine, especially the eerie feeling I got from it. As soon as I got home, I sat down at my computer and tried to capture the essence of what I felt. I hope that I have managed to write it in a way that others can feel it too.

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