'Don't Look Back!'

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts
Written for a prompt at the BoMoWriCha Prompt House.

Submitted: March 16, 2019

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Submitted: March 16, 2019

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Don’t Look Back!’

My brother always used to tell me that if ever I found myself walking along a street at night, and a street-lamp just went out, I should run like hell. ‘And whatever you do, Kate, no matter how tempted you feel to do so, DON’T LOOK BACK.’

I remember it so clearly, as if he were standing right beside me now and saying those words. I can’t help wondering if those memories have been somehow strengthened because he is dead. Not only that but he died mysteriously, walking along a street at night.

My parents have never quite accepted that he is dead, for there was never any body found, just his shoes, his phone. His bedroom is still the same as the day that he went out, left to wait for his return that only I seem to realize will never happen.

It took a while for me to go outside at all, even longer to walk along the streets in the dark. Although it never is dark, not really, with the lamps beating back the blackness. For the last four months though, I have ventured out after the sun has gone down. Nothing has happened to make me scared, and so I have slowly ventured further and further.

How have I wandered in to this place? I know that I am walking the same street as he did on the night that he disappeared. Not so many street-lamps further down from where I am standing, was the position of his phone; his shoes were found a bit further along, not together but as though they had fallen from his feet during some kind of flight.

Stop it’, I order myself. There is no reason for my feelings of unease apart from the memory of those words of his. My pulse is increasing in spite of my mind trying to exert its logic over my body. My palms are sweating, and a cold trickle of sweat makes its way down my spine too.

I want to run. Every single irrational part of me is saying either turn back or race through it. I can’t; I’m more sensible than that, aren’t I? There’s no one else in sight, nothing there to instil fear. I’m just letting my superstitious fears run rampant, and I don’t believe in all that supernatural stuff. It’s just nonsense – isn’t it?

For just as I draw next to the place my brother’s phone was found, the street-lamp beside me extinguishes with a pop. I know it must only have been a quiet sound, but to me it was as loud as that starting pistol. After a millisecond’s pause I am off, running as fast as I can.

Tripping more than running, thankful I’m not wearing shoes with heels, but still I am finding it hard to stay on my feet. There’s a rushing noise behind me and I feel like my body is being pushed from behind, leaving my feet to try and catch up. I lose one shoe and then the other.

The rushing is a roaring now! What is it? What is chasing me down this street so fast I cannot even swerve out of its way. I have to look, chance a glimpse over my shoulder...

I should have listened to my brother’s warning; should not have looked back. For much as a beast or a demon would be bad enough, I find that I am being pursued by blackness so deep it should not exist. A gaping maw easily capable of swallowing me up, of leaving not a trace.

My parents...are they going to think that I have run off too? One last spurt of speed but it’s not enough, will never be enough, for that blackness begins to suck me in and there is no fight left inside me.


© Copyright 2019 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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