Shadows: An Extract

I’m re-uploading this post after taking it down whilst it was in a portfolio for an application to uni – results are in and I got an offer!!

Hi there! Please enjoy this latest little piece of creative writing. It’s just a 10 minute writing practice that I did whilst forgetting that I hadn’t taken my teabag out of my now very strong cup of tea. Oops.

Shadows

My boots echo down the alleyway, the sound reverberating from the sides of buildings and whispering up towards the clouded sky. No stars are visible against the darkness above; the only light comes from a flickering street lamp and the ember glowing at the end of my cigarette. I blow soft smoke that disappears into the night.

Pulling my coat around my shoulders, I continue down the deserted street, smoke in hand, listening to the silence and the sound of my shoes. It is quiet.

Too quiet.

I pause for a moment, and as the last footstep fades I realise that I really can hear nothing else, nothing but a faint crinkle as I grind the cigarette into the pavement. Not even the wind sighs enough to blow discarded newspapers down the street, not even sirens in the distant city centre – not even a car.

There is nothing.

Disconcerted, I walk on, thrusting my hands deep into my pockets, hunching my shoulders to keep out a chill that is more than the cold. The end of the alley, up ahead, is my goal – back to the bright street lights and the bustle of city nightlife. I fold my fingers around my keys – just in case. It’s probably nothing. And yet – and yet I increase my pace to a hurried stride, take a glance over my shoulder – and stop. I turn around, facing back down what should be the deserted alley I had just walked down, with the close brick buildings and the flickering light – the light that had made my shadow dance across the pavement, and had now gone out.

There was more than darkness there.

Straining my eyes against the blindness of the lingering dullness of my eyes, waiting for them to adjust, my brain is telling me to run. But I am curious, and besides, nothing really lives in the shadows. There are no monsters.

I am wrong.

I try to run, when I see it – bestial, grotesque, contorted in the shadows like a nightmare from a hell-dimension. When it catches me, I scream, the sound falling deaf upon the silent ears of the night.

The street lamp flickers. City life moves on.

A discarded newspaper blows down the narrow street in the distorted light of the lamp, dancing across the pavement, rustling its pages – but no one is there to see it.

Unless you count ‘it’.


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