The City at Night (Emily)

I don’t know whether it’s an on-going mental disorder or I am in fact being followed home on a nightly basis. There’s something about the way that the shadows fall, lampposts certainly begin to take shape of looming characters stretching up to gaze over my shoulders. I suppose the fact that I jump out of my skin every time there is the slightest clunk, which does yes, every single time come from the depths of my bag. At the age of 27 I still run past those dingy alleyways lit only by one not so believable flashing sign offering massages.
I distract my mind though, you  know, I text. Although I often almost die of a heart attack when I was into a bin and for a second think I could of stumbled across a possessed child, ready to gauge out my eyeballs. It takes a minute to adjust my eyes, and have a whispered word with myself ‘yes, that is a bin, not a creepy possessed child with a knife’. Getting back to my texting, my footsteps seem the loudest noise in the world, the clunk of my heel slightly muted against the damp pavement , and when my phone buzzes in my hand. I freeze for a moment. Play dead. As if there is a Canadian bear on my case.  Honestly, if I ever do encounter anyone dangerous, my go to reactions are absolutely appalling.
Turning up the worst bit of my walk home, Apocalypse Street, that’s what I call it anyway. Every single lamppost is out, I’m plunged into darkness. I always use my phone torch, although ever since I saw a horror movie with a torch I’m terrified I’m going to catch a dead body in the small amount of light my phone produces. My ears seem to under-go some sort of super human transformation, I can hear everything. The slightest noise. The wind brushing a leaf along the ground sounds to me like the living dead dragging their half attached limbs getting closer. My legs move as fast as they can without running, because if they know your running they will catch up. Logic you can’t flaw right there.
I can honestly see how irrational I am being. I can tell myself a million times that the terrifying supernatural paranormal being that I am bringing into my make believe world of terror are all a figment of my imagination. It’s my mind running away from myself. I’m at my door now though, so close yet so far away. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, my daily torture nearly over.  Still over 100 metres away my hands in my bag and I’m fumbling for my keys, it takes ages to find them, that 10 seconds feels like 10 years. As per usual I almost throw the key at the door rather than attempt to unlock it, something to do with the uncontrollable shaking I think. Finally the key is in the door and I can feel my heart in my throat and my stomach in my chest, pressing down on my lungs so I can’t breathe. As soon as I’m through the door I slam it behind me almost breaking the door and slump to the floor with the relief that I can’t breathe again. Once again I survived the city. All a bit of on over reaction really.

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