It was dark and cold somehow, with the pale sun streaming through the trees, in a hurry to reach the summer days. The rain thundered down, and with it came sadness and worthlessness. Yet, I am used to that. God knows my name. I have little in the way of friends: only blizzards and storms that can truly face me. They speak to me in a way others can’t, like a whisper, so soft and so soothing, yet so fierce, fierce when they needed to be. I sat there, shivering in the corner, hugging my legs close to my chest in a form of comfort. I didn’t dare move, as the shadow crept silently along the wall. Another chill swept through the room. It was quiet. Dangerously quiet. I scrunched my eyes shut. I don’t know how long I sat there, paralized against the back wall. It felt like forever; I didn’t want it to last. Should I open my eyes? Or would that cause even more pain and suffering? I decided to risk it. Short of breath, I opened one eye, straining through the darkness.
I was in the room, on my own, praying that the beast wouldn’t just jump out at me as soon as my heart’s intense pounding ceased. I felt as if it were about to leap out of my chest. I waited for a few moments, making sure it had truly gone. Trembling, I stood up and headed towards the door. I eyed the smashed chandelier amid bundles of broken furniture scattered everywhere. It left trails of light on the ripped wallpaper, shreds of dry, worn paint on the cracked floorboards. The door would have been locked, had it not fallen on its hinges. I tucked my head further into my jacket, awaiting the horrors that lay outside. We lived in the forest, so not many people would notice the reckless damage the demon had done when he tore my home to splinters. I slid past the door, holding my breath. The cobbled path was cold and wet against my bare feet, welcoming the gloomy feeling that was knotting my stomach. My navy-blue jacket was now soggy and damp, yet another thing that was weighing my down. I stumbled past smashed flower pots, spilling dirt onto the grass. I even had to struggle over a huge fallen tree pulled out of the ground and toppled upon layers of shiny stone and wooden planks. The apple trees, once fine and proud, now lay wonky, fruit spilling violently out of the leaves. Sharp rocks and pebbles sliced my feet, but that was the least of my worries. I just hoped there wouldn’t be any fallen pieces of flint that had made their way onto the path. Now that would really hurt. My feet now bloodstained red, I had made a trail of scarlet footprints along the pathway.
Heading into the woods now, I stopped. Something was nagging at my mind. I turned around, knowing something was wrong. This time, my jaw was clenched, and my gut was wrenching. This wasn’t going to be pretty. I spied the brickwork that led around to the back of the house. I slid down the side of the tree, scratching my thighs as I did so. Nearing the entrance, I grabbed a large, metal garden spade just in case the demon was still lurking nearby. This seemed to be a sensible idea.
The back garden was shrouded in darkness. The moon was waking, just as the dim stars that followed. The grass was still wet, as another crash of rain hammered onto the pavings. I wanted to run away, as far away as I possibly could. But something was always yanking me forwards. My eyes were adjusting to the darkness. I took a deep breath, then stepped forward, clutching the spade at my shoulder. The wind whistled through the atmosphere, making everything colder, and ever more frightening. More confidently, I took another step further, panic now converting to determination. I trembled.
Drip, drip. Drip, drip.
What was that? I didn’t know whether to scream.
My eyes hovered and drifted slowly skywards, so slowly they were almost motionless.
At first, I thought it might be just that the garden hose was on. Then I was certain I could hear the dripping of blood. I hoped I was wrong. The pounding of my heart grew heavier, I thought that any moment now, it would leap out of my chest. Suddenly my nerves kicked in, and I began to sob pathetically. My grip tightened on the wooden stem of the spade. I took a glance at the calamitous hell around me. Even if I screamed for help, it wouldn’t get any easier to digest. Without a thought, I sprinted forward, shutting my eyes tight.
The first thing I saw was a puddle of blood, falling around the stones on the ground.
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