It was a dark night, full of tension and so thick with energy you thought you could take a bite out of the air. So thick, you felt like something was pushing against you when you tried to walk. But there was no wind yet…
It was all about the anticipation.
The kind of night you really didn’t want to be out alone in. You felt like there was someone watching you, or waiting around the corner. And all you wanted to do was go back home and crawl under your bed. And pretend you were in a happy place, so you didn’t feel so alone and so scared.
But you knew you had to keep on going…
Out of the corner of your eye, you kept seeing something black flashing, like the edges of a black cape or cloak. And you weren’t sure if you were being followed. Though you did know, you didn’t feel as if you were alone now. But it wasn’t like trouble shared, or kinship. No, it felt like evil.
And as soon as that word crossed your mind, the first breeze crossed your face and made you start. It was a soft wind, but not gentle. It felt like a fingernail on a chalk board. Soft yes, but it made your spine want to crawl out of your body and run away. It seemed to be trying to come up thru your neck.
Just as that wind passed, a second wind came that was cold and brisk. It gave you a shove. Like someone was teasing you with the potential of the violence. But just the preparatory nudge. The warning.
Trust me, you took heed of that warning. How could you not?
You walked a little faster, and pulled your coat a bit closer. And looked over your shoulder again. You weren’t sure if you wanted to see the dark coat or not. You just knew you didn’t want to be alone.
Then another wind came over you. It was strong enough that it pushed you, till you were stumbling. You almost fell. But you managed to catch yourself just before you did.
You had that second of relief.
Then the last wind came. And you heard it before it came. The shriek was unbearable and your hands flew to your ears, You couldn’t help yourself.
All the winds came together and flew around you. Tossing you, pushing you, and shrieking, like a banshee. And you realized you were scared.
You looked over your shoulder again. And here it was… the dark cloak. This time you were sure, there was really something there. And as sure, you didn’t want to meet it. Not if these winds were it’s vanguard.
And that is exactly what they seemed to be.
You turned the last corner before your destination and were thrilled to see the lights. But they seemed to be getting dimmer, not brighter. Yet you were closer and closer to the building. With each step.
Then you saw a small child on the porch. The presence of good and innocence. You waved to the child to go inside, but they didn’t catch your meaning, and just returned the wave. So you stepped faster, till you were in a jog.
You only had two steps further. You saw the child’s eyes bulge, and could hear the child’s squeal of terror. So you turned around and saw him…
You stood frozen. With the child so close you could feel it’s breath on your neck. You knew either you or the child was going to meet this being tonight. And you weren’t sure if you were strong enough to face him. But how could you let him take the child?
You opened your mouth to scream, to pray, to beg for aid from the heavens. But as soon as that crossed your mind, you heard him laugh. Not a social laugh either, but a cruel one. Like pure evil.
And you saw his hand come out of the coat. With long fingers and gruesome, cruel nails. The hand started to reach for you…
And you woke up screaming. In a wet bed. With wet PJs on. And were hyperventilating. Holding yourself in your own arms. Ready to scream. Scream.
Until you realized… it was only a dream.
It was now all about the memory. The memory that didn’t seem ready to let you go. Oh please, gods! Let me forget this night, you said. And you heard the laugh again…
Neil Young – Four Strong Winds
Still I wish you’d change your mind,
If I asked you one more time
But we’ve been through that a hundred times or more
Four strong winds that blow lonely, seven seas that run high
All those things that don’t change, come what may
If the good times are all gone, and I’m bound for moving on
I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way.