Darkness had begun to descend on the town. There’s something eerie about darkness surrounding you. Perhaps that is why parents would call us in from playing in the streets at night.
With mist rolling in creating an almost ideal setting for some horror movie, as children, we knew we had to be indoors but being the children we were, we pushed the boundaries and asked for 5 more minutes to play outside.
My mom gazing at our petulant looks, pleading eyes and hands held together as if in prayer granted us the extra time. At 10 years old, I was elated to be spending additional time with my 9-year-old sister and our friends of the same age.
As we were about to run outside, to make the most of the 5 minutes, my mom called us, “I forgot to buy bread for your sandwiches, please run to the shop and get some.” We grabbed the money and off we went, happy to be going to the shop because it would mean an extra 10 minutes to be together; it’s 5 minutes there and 5 minutes back.
Sounds are amplified in the dark and with the mist surrounding us, we couldn’t see what was ahead. We held hands and walked closely together, feeling free but trapped by our imaginations of what the dark could bring.
An owl hooted in the distance, and we all jumped ready to run for cover. “I’m scared,” said my little sister. “Me too,” echoed the other girls.
“Nothing will happen to us,” I reassured them.
And off we went, with every step we took taking us further and further away from the house. There was a sharp curve in the road that we called, the corner because often it was impossible to see around it until you were nearly at the corner.
We were all shivering from the sudden drop in temperature that darkness brought, and, in our haste to be together, we forgot to wear something warmer.
Our footsteps slowed as we drew closer to the curve. By tacit agreement, we stopped talking. Each of us occupied by thoughts that were not pleasant.
Suddenly we heard a menacing growl! “What…what was that,” one of the girls whispered. Our screams were silent, with our mouths agape. We stood, frozen for what seemed like hours, but was less than a minute and squinted into the mist.
“Maybe we should turn back!” I told them.
The growling sounded closer than before.
” What if it’s a monster?” One friend enquired.
“Or a wolf?” The other quipped.
“Maybe, it’s a ghost?” My sister interrupted, sounding close to tears.
“There are no ghosts, ghosts aren’t real,” I sternly answered.
“Let’s keep moving, the shop is about to close,” I said.
Our movements were slowed down by our knees quivering, and overactive imaginations. The growling increased in volume as we neared the corner.
“Who’s there?” I said in a voice that was deliberately stern and unafraid.
“We aren’t scared of you!” My friend bravely shouted.
“Yes, we are,” the other friend countered.
Our enquiries were met by silence, and we bravely took another step forward.
The growling sounded closer, but we still couldn’t see much because of the mist.
“It’s probably a dog,” my sister said with traces of hope in her voice.
We knew though we hadn’t verbalised it yet that it wasn’t a dog. This growling sounded as if it was coming from above us.
As soon as we reached the curve, we knew once we were around the corner that the light from the opposite side of the road street lamp would give us insight as to what we were dealing with.
We squinted our eyes, trying to figure out who the noise that was coming above our heads belonged to.
As the street lamp cast a flickering light upon the source of the growl, we held onto each other and almost in unison began to scream.
In front of us, we saw a huge man; at least we thought it was a man because we couldn’t see his feet. This man, creature, the monster had glow in the dark red eyes that stared straight at us, and when he or it opened their mouth to growl once more, we saw the longest- wolf-like fangs, with a lizard-like tongue. There was no nose, no hair we could see and no legs or feet.
He or it opened their mouth to growl once again, and we turned around and ran. We ran as fast as we could to get away, screaming while we were running. I lost one of my slippers in my haste to get home and be safe.
What seemed like a marathon sprint for us was, in fact, a 5-minute run.
“Look behind and see if he is following us,” one friend suggested.
But none of us was brave enough to do that.
“Let’s count to 3, and we look together,” I said.
“1, 2, 3..” we counted together, and our heads turned simultaneously and looked back.
We could faintly see the glow-in-the-dark red eyes, staring straight at us; not blinking.
Finally, we were home, and we agreed to not talk about it to anyone because we knew no one would believe us.
“Where is the bread,” my mom asked as we entered the house; out of breath with eyes as wide as saucers.
We looked at each other; messages passing silently between us and sighed,” The shop was closed!”