The Perfect Night

I wait.

What I wait for is still unknown.

I stand in the darkness and let it surround me. It takes me; it becomes me. The fog rolls around me, effervescent in the moonlight. I take a breath. It feels good. As the oxygen rushes into my lungs it brings me to life. I am whole.

I hold out my hands, inviting the power. The power of love. The power of life. The power that is me. I take another breath. The air is cold and it gives me chills. I want more.

I don’t know how long I’ve been having these thoughts. They’re circling around, finding their way into every nerve of my brain. I want the thoughts to become reality. I want to become whole, satisfied, one with myself.

I take a step. The cold, wet ground stings my bare skin. I take another step. The white hem of my dress is surrounding my legs, encircling itself around my body. The cold air rushes over my chest, a little bare with the dress I’m wearing. I smile to myself. This is the night I’ve been waiting for.

I see the river that’s calling to me. I walk towards it. A light breeze begins, swaying the trees around me. I’m in the middle of the forest. The fog, the light, the scenery, it’s all perfect. The perfect setting for the perfect night. I sit on the rock next to the river, pulling my legs towards my body and wrapping my arms around them. The wind begins to blow my long, wavy brown hair, and I take a hand and cusp a handful of it behind my ear.

I take another breath. The air stings my lungs, but makes me yearn for more. The feeling is indescribable. I know what I want, and I know I’m close to getting it. I unfold my hands from my legs and scoot closer to the edge of the rock, peering over the side and into the rushing water of the river.

Through the rush, I see my reflection. It’s pretty. I smile at myself.

A noise behind me makes my heart almost jump out of my throat. I quickly turn and look for the source of the noise, but I can’t find it. I feel a chill slowly creep its way up my spine, starting at the bottom and intertwining itself with every bone in my spine until it reaches my neck. My skin raises into little bumps and the hairs on my arm stand up.

Nothing will ruin my perfect night.

I stand up, the wind blowing my hair and my dress. I begin to walk back into the depths of the trees, looking for the source of the sound.

I enter the shelter of the trees, looking around. I don’t see anything. The fog is growing denser, thicker. It’s almost as if the fog is taunting me, wanting me to get lost in its everlasting mist.

A wolf howls nearby. The howl makes me jump and I realize a person is staring at me. I gasp, taking a step back and I put my hand on my chest.

“I’ve been looking for you,” the man grunts. His voice is rough and scratchy and I don’t like it.

“Who are you?” I whisper, although my voice is barely audible against his heavy breathing.

The man pulls something out from his jacket. I don’t know what it is until the moonlight shines on it.

It’s a knife.

“I’ve waited my whole life for a girl like you,” the man says in that rough voice of his. He takes a step towards me as I take a step back. “A girl just… like… you…” He slows down the last three words, twirling the knife around in his hands.

I gasp again, taking a few steps back. My heel catches on a log and I fall backwards. I let out a little scream that echoes dramatically on the surrounding trees. I gather myself and stand up again, but the man is gone.

Breathing hard, I look around for him.

The forest is dead silent and all I can see is the ever growing fog and the moonlight on the trees.

My breathing slows, but my heartbeat doesn’t. It pounds, fast and rhythmic, against my chest. It feels like it’s trying to break out of the cage that holds it in. It feels like it’s about to die.

I take a look over my shoulder to find the man. He’s good at hiding. With each passing second I get more and more anxious, more and more afraid that any breath may be the last one I take.

I step over the log that I tripped on and my bare foot touches the same cold, wet ground I’ve been walking through for the entire night. I wrap my arms around my chest, trying to keep warm against the cold breeze.

I begin to walk silently, keeping cautious of the man and not wanting any attention. My eyes are looking in every direction as fast as they can, waiting until they spot something that shouldn’t be there.

Maybe it was my imagination. Maybe I just want to think that there might be someone who would ruin this night for me.

I tell myself these things to bring comfort, but I know they’re not true. I know this man means to kill me, and I know he will not stop until he’s succeeded.

Even though this is the perfect night, I know I must return to safety.

My footsteps quicken as I try to find the path that brought me here; the path out of the forest. I know I must get back to my town, back to my house. Back to my safety.

I hear a quiet laugh behind me. The silence of it grows louder as it echoes off of the trees and floats with the wind. The laugh makes me yelp and I shed a tear. The man is following me. He wants to abuse his power until he can kill me.

My footsteps quicken. There’s no use in being quiet anymore, he already knows where I am. I hear footsteps behind me. They’re in no hurry, they’re just following me.

My quick walk breaks into a run and as I continue it breaks into a sprint. The adrenaline gives me power, gives me the will to go on as my lungs begin to scream for air. The burn brings tears to my eyes, but I know if I stop I will die.

I start to cry as I find the path and I begin to run on it back to my village. Back to my sanctuary.

I hear the footsteps behind me. They’re quickening as well, and part of me tells me that they’re catching up. I think I’m running as fast as I can, but I push myself to run faster.

I step on a branch that slices my foot open. I scream in pain, but I don’t stop. My foot begins to feel warm as the blood covers it. I start to hop, hoping the man doesn’t catch me, but I know this is it. This is the end.

I want to scream, but I know that will draw attention. I ignored the pain in my foot as I ran. I was so close to my sanctuary…

He grabbed me from behind. A fistful of my hair and down I went. He got on top, laughing as he straddled me. He was getting a kick out of this. I struggled with all of my might, trying to push him off, but I couldn’t. He reached for the bottom of my dress and pulled up.

This was it. The end of my perfect night.

————————

So I just found this story on my computer. I didn’t know of another way to end it, because it’s been so long since I started, so I apologize if it was a bit abrupt. I was just looking through my hard drive of short stories and came across this one and thought I’d share it. Thanks for reading! Feedback, positive or negative, is always appreciated 🙂

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