As I turned the keys to my front door, in a manner that had now became so familiar to me, I noticed movement in the corner of my eyes. It didn’t alarm me though. Since I had moved to this neighborhood, I quickly realized that I would not be the only one roaming the streets before the break of dawn, on my way to work. Plenty of people woke up early for no apparent reason, but who was I to complain? It made me feel safer knowing that, if needed, help was only a scream away.
After dismissing what I thought was my eyes adjusting to the street light spotting directly into my veranda, I reluctantly wiggled my way out of the yard. But soon after I locked back the gate, I noticed movement again, causing my head to automatically turn to the top of the hill where another streetlight, was strategically placed among the trees.
From my vantage point, I noticed my hunky neighbor, enjoying the view of the neighborhood with shorts that made the early morning air feel even colder. His shirtless body making me regret the vows we both took. He looked at me for only a second, and as if reading my thoughts, bolted into his apartment. I turned my head quickly and thought of work, not wanting to think of anything that would bring out the lust in me.
Instinctively, my eyes diverted to where Mr Temptation was gazing and that’s when I noticed it for the first time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good look because it vanished before my brain was able to comprehend what my eyes were viewing. Not knowing if I was imagining things or not, I sped up the pace. My little legs moved twice as fast, and for once, I regretted that my uniform was tight enough to reveal all the curves on my body. I couldn’t move my legs properly so I yanked up my skirt and managed to fast walk into the darkness.
About half way from my destination, I noticed that Mrs Lil was up. She was one of those neighbors I never spoke to, and only knew her name because of a conversation I overheard. A younger lady reminded the grey haired woman about the rolls she had to bake for some breakfast sale they were having. Mrs Lil had reassured her that they would be ready by 7 a.m. and from the smell of things, Mrs Lil was a disciplined woman.
As I passed her yard I angled my head to get a good sniff, not intending to catch more than just the sweet aroma of fresh bread. But I did. Through the open kitchen door, I saw Mrs Lil hard at work, kneading away at the bread dough on her counter-top with her bare hands. At her side was the most frightful entity I had ever seen. It was a contradiction of both black and strangely translucent. It looked human enough with two hands and two feet but oddly alien with its wolfish small round and smooth bald head. The thing revealed fingers that were twice the length of mine, as it rubbed Mrs Lil’s cheek, in a manner that reminded me of a dog preparing to devour a big juicy ham bone.
At the sight of it, I took in a sharp breath and its head automatically turned in my direction. Like an owl would. Eyes red as rubies bore into mine and I shivered from the darkness it emitted. It looked at Mrs Lil, who was dividing her dough into small balls, then at me with curiosity, shattering my composure with its stare.
With more visual image than intended to acquire, I began to run, pushing my body to its maximum, with still so much ‘sleep in my eyes’. I ran down the hill not daring to look back, too afraid of what I might see and too petrified of what Mrs Lil didn’t see.
A few houses away, I noticed an elderly man having a cup of tea in his veranda and my body somewhat relaxed with relief. I ran to him with the straps of my bag falling off my shoulder, and in my distress began to mumble. Petrified for my life, I was forced to push my fears to the back of my mind long enough to ask for help. I turned around to show him the unknown entity which was closing in more cautiously now, but no matter how much I directed or pointed, my rescuer just looked at me with a confused expression on his face.
Within a few seconds, I realized that man was going to supply me with no help. On to plan B then. I grabbed my bag and began to run again. Hopefully, lady luck would shine down upon me. I was running so fast now that my bag had fallen completely off my shoulder. It bounced my side with every movement, so I had no choice but to let it fall. My life was more important than a container of oil down and any amount of cosmetics. My son and his father didn’t care what I looked like at the end of the day, only that I was safe, so I relinquished my load and ran even faster.
I ran until I reached the end of the road. There I saw the highway. I saw people. I saw help.
Relieved, I began to shout at the man and a woman standing under the shed of the bus stop. I yelled for help with everything I had but my words were drowned out by the vehicles that sped on the highway between us. So, I started to point to indicate the figure that was almost upon me then, but the couple only looked at me in confusion.
Not them too!
Why weren’t they doing something? Why were they looking at me like I had just escaped from the crazy house?
Although unsafe, crossing that highway was my last shot at salvation. Those people that still looked half asleep were my last chance. I attempted to reach them but as soon as my foot touched the tared pavement, I felt a strong sense of confinement and then everything went dark.