It was dark. Somewhere between late night and early morning. I fumbled out of bed and slid into a pair of fuzzy slippers. At the edge of my dresser, I paused to grab a Marlboro from its crumpled box. Immediately, I heard the tap of Snooki’s nails against the wood floor as she, too, jumped off the bed, diligently following me out the side entrance of my room.
Air, warm and thick, hit me as I stepped outside, bathing me in humidity. It was nights like these that reinforced my hatred of Florida and with no reason to stay, I couldn’t wait to get away.
I heard Snooki take off into the yard, years of disinterest evident in the overgrowth of plant and fauna. Her slender build quickly got lost in the darkness as I lit my cigarette.
The first drag I took was long and calming. My eyes burned with sleepiness and I shut them, letting the night noises invade my senses. I nearly fell asleep it was so soothing. And then, all at once, it was silent. I felt a sudden change and my skin prickled, goosebumps raising the fine hairs on my arms and legs.
My eyes flipped open and I scanned the yard for Snooki, who was at the gate, her tense body so still I almost missed her. My eyes hadn’t quite adjusted to the black of an already almost moonless night, but I knew something was wrong. I felt it as clearly as if it were a physical punch in the gut.
It was then that I saw the shadow. A human form devoid of life, filled only with blackness. The bones in my arms and legs lost all solidity and became virtual pools of jello. I couldn’t move, didn’t dare breathe. My heart beat against my chest so rapidly it rocked my entire body. I thought for sure this …. thing could hear the steady pounding, could smell the fear radiating from my pores. It was as if the world were frozen. Time stood still as the two of us faced off. I didn’t believe in God but in this moment I plead to him. Please God, I thought. Help me. Help me now.
A voice so low it was barely a whisper called to me from all directions. No one can help you.
And then it moved.
Sidenote: Didn’t write this one for shits and giggles. It was literally a dream I woke up screaming to at 2am the other morning. I didn’t care for it too much…. apparently neither did my daughter who thought I was being murdered in my sleep. Quite the, errr, most terrifying I ever remember feeling in my life. When “it” moved, I swear I felt it swallow my soul. The feeling stayed with me until well after the sun had risen. Took me two days to be able to smoke on my side porch, too.