Friday, 25 October 2013

#FridayFlash - Thoughts of a Nightmare

Image by Hugoslv
It's 9pm on Saturday night...all over the country, people are out in public, spending time with their friends, and their loved ones, propping up bars or crowding into restaurants, spilling out of cinemas and flocking along rain-slicked streets lit by sputtering neon. Couples stagger along streets, clutching at each other in their mirth as their laughter peppers the November air. Groups of friends swarm from bar to club. Not I. No, the bonhomie and warmth of human companionship is not for one such as I. I lurk in shadows, watching and listening, but mostly I withdraw to the dark, damp places where no one else might go.

Yet this night is different. I smell it on the air, buried among the scents of sweating bodies and cheap fast food. There is a human, yet she is not the same as the others. She stands alone, bemused by those around her, and unable to behave in a similar fashion. She realises she is not alone, not truly, and she comes searching for me. I lead her on a merry dance, for it is not right that one of the light should come to explore the dark. We are both alone, but we are not the same.

She is persistent, and soon my curiosity outweighs my desire to protect this unusual human from the horrors in the shadows. I stand in the open, for the first time in a century, and lean against a bus shelter. I do not stand under the fluorescent street light - no, that is too much of an exposure. I choose a spot in the shadows. She sees my long limbs, and charcoal skin. The darkness hides my face but she holds my yellow gaze all the same. The scent on the air becomes one of fear, and she realises that she has chased a nightmare.

This human, the closest to my kind that I have yet encountered, stands rooted to the spot, and I realise it is time to release her from my thrall. I open a slot between space and time and slip away into a world that she should not see. Not while she is awake, at any rate. Yet even as I take myself deeper, away from the throbbing life of this Saturday night, I know I will see her again. Now that she has seen the dark, she will no longer be satisfied by the light.

11 comments:

John Wiswell said...

Very strong sense of being in a place. While I would have appreciated it more without this blasted migraine, I definitely enjoyed digging into the space.

David G. Shrock said...

I think this nightmare pulled me in. This darkness so nice, I don't want to go back to the light.

deannaschrayer said...

Supremely chilling atmosphere in this Icy. I want to follow her into the dark and explore the nightmare world........with someone to clutch onto maybe. :)

Tony Noland said...

Great atmosphere. Longing and loneliness, then what verges on moral strength to let the human go.

Virginia Moffatt said...

Loved this,..really pulls you in. Great atmosphere, and nice denoument.

Helen said...

Very atmospheric with a touch of creepiness too.

Icy Sedgwick said...

John - Sorry to hear you had a migraine :( But glad you liked the story!

David - Yeah, I think I made the Nightmare far too attractive!

Deanna - I'm actually tempted to see what the Nightmare does next.

Tony - See, the darkness isn't all bad!

Virgina - Thanks!

Helen - I do love creepy stories!

Larry Kollar said...

I do hope you let us know what the Nightmare (and the human pursuer) do next - this was great!

Ironically, it's almost 9pm on Saturday (where you are) as I read this…

Richard Bon said...

Scary scene. I do wonder where it will see her again.

jackkholt said...

Reading this was far from a nightmare, Icy. Wonderfully creepy and atmospheric. It had that other-worldly feel, yet lines like "lean against a bus shelter" rooted it in our world. I dug the mix.

Steve Green said...

A creature that at first thought seems malevolent, yet is prepared to protect a human, a creature that slips between worlds at will.

This seems like the beginning of something much longer, I for one would like to read more of this intriguing creature, and the human who can see it.

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