Darkness

Below is a piece of work I did two years ago, it was the first piece I did in the first module of my screen writing class. It was a piece of writing in any form based on walking round a route in Preston that the teacher designated.

Darkness.

As I stepped off the train I was met by an eerie silence, I had just got off the last train into the city centre and I was the only person to disembark, which I found positively strange in itself as this was usually a busy station, in the middle of the city. But not tonight. The station was deserted apart from the train driver and the conductor, but it was a cold night so I guess the few staff remaining this time of night where in an office somewhere, out of sight, cups of tea in hand.

I set off at a fast pace across the station, pulling the collar of my coat around my neck to fend off the vampiric bite of the night. Entering the darkness outside from the brightness of the station was disorientating, the street light was bust. The glass and bulb were smashed, it had needed to be repaired for a couple of weeks but hadn’t yet been fixed. I walked up the hill outside the station and turning right onto the main road I immediately noticed how dark it was. Normally, brightly lit displays in the shop windows fended off the creeping dark along with the street lights, but tonight there was no shop displays alight at all. The street lights were still on but I could see some further down faint and flickering.

I was beginning to have some doubts about the journey ahead of me to get home, the quickest and easiest way was down the main high street, but the spookiness of the night was, well, spooky. I normally wouldn’t have thought that way but ever since this woman on the train, who by the way I had never even seen before, came up to me and ominously said to me “watch your back dear, you never know what’s lurking in the shadows.” Of course I just put it out of my mind declaring her absolutely mental. But in this setting, this late at night it began to play on my paranoid mine. It didn’t help that I was off my tits on caffeine, I mean, it was a long journey from London and I needed to stay awake.

I set off down the street just aiming to get home as quickly as possible whilst avoiding the things that ‘lurked’ in the dark. As I passed under the first set of parallel facing street lights they flickered and went off. I hesitated in my next step but only slightly and continued forward as I approached the next set of street lights I stopped. I was being stupid, they weren’t going to go off like the last ones. Looking over my shoulder to check if they’d come back on I thought I saw something disappear into the doorway of a store. My head automatically snapped back in front of me and I hurried off forgetting my streetlight dilemma, but sure enough as I passed under the second set it flickered and then went off. I didn’t even care this time, stopping would mean giving whatever was behind me a chance to catch up. If there even was something. Continuing my hurried pace I went under the third and fourth set of street lights, all of which flickered off like the last. I braved a glance back again to see if I could catch a glimpse of what may or may not be following me and I instantly regretted it. This time I definitely saw something melt back into the shadows as I laid my eyes on it.

I was approaching the side street that I would normally go down, it led to my apartment near the local Museum, it was quite a well-lit street normally but I had begun to assume that it would be dark, considering everything else was. It was probably a stupid idea but I just needed to get away from who was following me, and as soon as I broke line of sight I could run and get some distance in between me. Looking back I don’t know why I forgot about the street lights, I mean I know I was scared but they should have been freaking me out even more, everyone I passed under went out.

As I turned into the side street a deafening screech tore open my brain, or at least that’s what it felt like. Every single light in the vicinity went out, and I was plunged into total darkness. I stumbled forward, disorientated, and lent up against something. That something was a lamp post would you believe it.

I started rubbing my temples to get rid of the pain that was racing through my head. I suddenly froze and stood stock still, I knew someone was close by, I could feel their presence don’t ask me how though. Then suddenly I smelt this god awful stench on a light breeze close to my face. Something was breathing on me.

The light above me flickered slightly but so briefly that I didn’t make out who was in front of me. Then with a buzz it came on, casting down a solid yellow beam, and there was no one, nothing, there. I felt alone for the first time since setting foot on the high street. All around me lights began to flick on. Not just street lights but the shop displays and signs.

I looked around, searching for any hint of my stalker but didn’t see a single sign or fleeting shadow of the thing. I was on the edge of tears but holding it together rather strongly considering how tired I was, but I guess I was just too tired to process emotion, the adrenaline was fading now, probably taking the caffeine with it. I set off again in a hurry which quickly turned into a jog, which finished up in a flat out sprint back to my apartment.

I let myself in and applied the deadbolt and the intruder chain. Leaning my back against the door I let out a long sigh and slid down to the floor, beginning to weep. With shock, with fear and with happiness that I made it back alive without dying. And then something occurred to me. Darkness. The front of the museum was normally lit by flood lights with small lights on in the windows. But not tonight, it was as dark as the high street had been when all the lights went out. Getting up off the floor I went into the living room and flicked on the light, half for the light source and half to see if it even come on, which it did. I approached the window which afforded me a good view of the museum. As I pulled back the curtain the light bulb in the living room exploded, glass shards flying everywhere. I span round and saw the intruder for the first time face to face. I smelt his bad breath and managed to see that his eyes were as black as night, thanks to the scant illumination from the moon, safely in a darkness of its own. Smokey tendrils slithered from his mouth and with a roar that split my head again he raised a taloned hand and stuck me across the face. I let out a scream of pain, both from the pain in my head and strike to the face, with a stumble and a grunt I fell backwards and bashed the back of my head on the wall, as my vision swam and I sank into unconsciousness the creature before me said, “she did warn you to watch out for things lurking in the shadows.”

With another groan that was meant to be a reply, I sank into the shadowy depths of my broken mind.

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6 thoughts on “Darkness

  1. I’m a fan of lamp posts. Haha! Recently I have started to re-write a short story I created when I was an undergrad. Last week, when I rediscovered the document and read it, I was shocked. The revision is so much different than the original, not in terms of idea or plot, but in terms of writing style. You said you wrote this piece two years ago. Challenge yourself to re-write it! I really want to read the version written by the modern-you.

    1. Well this is kinda the version re-written, I went through and changed sentences etc, but I made the age old of mistake of clicking Ctrl+S out of instinct instead of File – Save As haha 😦

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