She began her trip back home. Hot drink in hand, fogging the air around her as she walked. Clouds forming in front of her in the night sky. Her watch read 3:45am but when she was walking, boots crunching on the fall leaves that had taken their last breath tumbling to the concrete below, she felt as though time didn’t exist and her seconds, minutes, hours were endless.
Her toes were numb any feeling she previously had, gone. She wore gloves covering her fingers which were warmed by the heat radiating from the cup she grasped in both palms, the feeling could only be described as sitting by a smoldering fire. Her nose and cheeks were dusted in a cherry red, but she didn’t mind she never did. A small smile played at her lips as the wind growled almost animalistically. Even that could not drown out the loud roar of the city. The sound of cars zooming by, the buzz and hum of people stumbling past, the city lights illuminating the snow blanketed over the streets. The signs were bright and flashing capturing her attention for a moment. The city, despite the freezing temperature and the frosted ice flakes falling noiselessly from the sky, felt warm to her, the city felt welcoming… the city felt safe.
She watched drunken strangers waddle past, giggling to one another like children, large smiles almost as blinding as the lights. They dragged their feet on the pavement, swaying side to side walking in zig zag motions, some not even able to stand on their own, spilling their weight on to their friends for support. They past by her not sparing a second glance, for they were in their own world deep within their alcohol induced haze and she couldn’t help but envy them. They looked like fools, like a stampede of rhinos, passing through a field, they were happy, something she would kill for, the feeling her heart ached and longed for. Genuine happiness.
There were numerous reports posted around town, broadcasted on the radios and projected on the television about the murders that had been going on for weeks now. Regardless of the many warnings, she had walked into the city night after night on her own. She wasn’t slow, she understood how reckless she was wandering the streets, alone at night, but couldn’t stay away. Why? People would question but to her it was obvious, the city felt like home. More of a home than the large brick house that stood on the top of creek road, the house she inhabited. The house, though big and comfortable, she never felt safe in. Not like the feeling she gets when she’s in the city, in the city she felt safe… she felt safe because she wasn’t alone, not in the city.
Nothing good ever lasts for her though, the ice cream melts, the song finishes, the last breath is taken and she had to exit the her Neverland into the deserted suburban streets. She must get home.
She felt it, the judgement radiating from the seemingly abandoned houses. The houses filled with the peaceful families asleep at such an early hour all tucked away in their cozy beds... but she knew better. The people who judge her had their own little dirty secrets hidden in the confinements of the expensive walls that made up the houses. They looked at her with distaste sneering when they saw her in the day, giving her side eyes while proceeding to whisper in one another’s ear. They lived for the gossip and she was the perfect target. She was different.
She was different but she was smart. When the curtains were drawn and lights dimmed the picture perfect families drowned their insecurity with drugs "freshest on the market" "only cost ya $30 more" "it's worth it" sold.
They filled the void with alcohol, bottle after bottle discarding the evidence late in the dark when they thought no was would be looking. She was.
Sneaking men and women in throughout the day... working around their partner's schedules to insure they would not get caught.
There was no temperature change in fact the soft drizzle of snow crystals had stopped dancing but her blood ran cold. Shivers ran up and down her body and her legs became weak and sore a throbbing beats playing a song in her chest. She was again alone.
She was alone. No one was there she was alone.
The pavement was damp with frost, a thin layer of white lay atop of it. She noticed the win had also picked up, the trees snapping and branches swaying in no specific pattern. She wasn’t frightened by the cat that scurried past.
She was pulled from her thoughts by a peculiar sound a sharp scraping sound echoed through the street. The faulty street light ahead flickering making it difficult for her to see what was ahead. The scraping was approaching her that much she could tell. She could hear no footsteps following which confused her. Was it an animal? Was it a some kind of bike, maybe a skateboard?
Despite her wild thoughts and confusion she did not feel scared. She felt intrigued, curious.
She didn’t stop walking, her pace actually quickening.
The light caught onto the source of the sound, she made out a hooded figure adorned in all black attire. The closer she got to the unknown someone… or something she could make out more. They were wearing what she could only describe as a cloak, their head hung low, she wasn’t able to make out what their face looked like.
As she travelled closer she almost stopped in her tracks with what she saw. Her heart rate sped up, hairline dotted with sweat and her entire body was shaking in fear? Or was it anticipation? Her legs never stopped moving despite what was before her very own eyes. Before her eyes was a floating figure. The figure was completely mobile but was missing both legs and feet, yet there it was coming closer and closer.
The source of the scraping sound was finally revealed. Dragging behind the figure was a enormous scythe. The handle was a rich wood that was almost two meters in length. The blade shone in the light, it was curved and the tip was thin and sharp she would estimate to be 60 cm long.
The scraping abruptly stopped. Complete silence filled the air. She slowly looked up from observing the spine-chilling weapon to be met with nothing.
She could feel them staring, she could tell they were inspecting her nut where eyes should have been placed was just black. There was nothing there, no face, no eyes, no nose, mouth, hair, absolutely nothing.
She should have been screaming, she should have been running for the hills, seeking shelter, help, anything but she stood there.
She stood there in front of them with a small smirk on her face. She stood there smiling a sinister grin.
She didn’t feel alone anymore.