The sky is dark-cloudy, speckled with a few stars but not enough to light this moonless night. The streetlights flicker and spark as Mike walks down the abandoned road. He is dirty and unshaven. Weeks of nightmares and sleepless nights haunt his soul as he moves forward. His brown hair falls in his dark blue eyes, his pale skin almost translucent under the fluorescent lights. He’s thin and sickly looking, but he forges on, what he faces is unknown to him.
His eyes dart back and forth over the terrain before him, shadows whisper and move with him as he continues. His boots click on the asphalt under his feet, his baggy jeans ruffle on his legs as they move under him. His button up shirt hangs open and shifts in the small wind he creates as he walks. His breathing is steady, his hands even steadier. His heart beats unbearably fast in his chest and a thin film of sweat covers his forehead, bare chest, and stomach.
His head begins to shift back and forth as his eyes do the same. The dancing shadows are moving more recklessly on this windless night. Their calm laughter heightens his nervousness and havoc reigns in his head.
He glances up at the flickering light and shoots his gaze back to the ground as he feels something brush past his legs. He spins around as pressure on his shoulder builds up and then disappears just as suddenly. He feels something slide down his arm then something grips his wrists and pulls him forward. His feet slip from beneath him and he falls, hard, onto the pavement below
Frantically, he pushes himself off of the ground and jumps to his feet. He is alert but confused, his steady breathing has turned into a quick pant and his steady hands are clenched into tight, shaking fists. His eyes move quickly across the shadows as they dance before him in taunting glee.
“Mike,” they whisper in his ear, sliding slowly past the side of his head and back down out of the light.
His head darts around too slow, there is nothing there. He can’t see anything but darkness beyond the flickering circle of light he stands in.
“Mike, why are you fighting us?” They speak in a whispered, raspy voice. It echoes as it scratches through the air and travels through his ears. “Trust us.”
“Who are you?” Mike demands in a voice that betrays his fear. He continues to move around in circles as the shadows dance past him each time the light flicks off for a second, searching for something solid to wrap his hands around, hoping to stop the voices.
“We are you,” comes the whispered reply, so soft that even next to his head he strains to hear it. “We are you’re worst fears, your most devious desires. We are everything that is evil inside you.”
Mike’s eyes widen. Confusion and fear wracks his brain. He turns and breaks out into a run, down the street, past the dark houses full of families that won’t hear his cries. Families that won’t see the shadows take him. His feet hit the asphalt hard, the impact traveling up his legs and residing in his hips, causing his muscles to strain and cramp. His shirt flies behind him, opening like a cape, like wings, playing with his head and making him think that he can fly to safety.
Laughter erupts from the dark corners of the sidewalks. The darkness between houses seem like menacing places full of evils unknown instead of the home of garbage cans and recycling bins, gardening equipment and harmless flowerbeds. Mike’s quick pants continue in force, soon its hard for him to breath, hard for him to move as oxygen isn’t circulating through his body, to his muscles. He stops running, the laughter in the darkness growing with each breath he takes.
Then his breath turns into screams and he shoots up out of his white bed, soaked through with sweat. His eyes dart around his white room searching for the shadows that are calling to him. He pulls on his arms and legs that are strapped to the bed, as he tries to claw at his already scratched face to get the feel of the slimy shadow away. Then the door opens and a woman dressed in all white, except for her gray, cotton sweater walks in with a needle full of a clear liquid. She is followed by two men who are also dressed in white and who grab him by the shoulders and hold him down. He struggles against them but to no avail. He suddenly feels a stinging sensation in his lower left arm and looks just in time to see the woman pull the needle from his arm. He feels his heart start to slow down, his breath is still short and ragged but he feels his muscles relaxing and brain slowing down. His eyes become heavy. His screams slowly subside and he feels calm again as he slowly drifts back into the world of the unconscious.
“Circle of Terror” © 2001 by Bella Luna (email@example.com)
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