by Danielle Campbell

Illusions in Darkness

          Not only can I see the darkness, but I can feel it too.

          The air is chilly, and my hair stands on end. Snowflakes fall to the ground like confetti, and the slippery ground beneath my shoes is a smooth as glass. In the distance I can hear coyotes calling to one another. A breeze comes and penetrates my clothing like a knife. My teeth sound like rocks being pounded together. I can smell pine trees and fresh baked sugar cookies and I hear the muffled laughter from within the surrounding houses. It’s a Saturday night is December, after all. My eyesight is impaired, but I can make out the outline of many objects. I recognize the neighbor’s truck, my mailbox, and a chair in the middle of the street.


          There’s a chair in the middle of the street.

          I gulp, and pull the collar of my jacket up closer to my mouth and nose. I do my best to breathe and little as possible and I stand as quiet as I can. My breath is hot and beads of sweat form on my brow. I yank my dog’s leash to reel him in closer.

          I blink  a few times, but the chair seems to have vanished.

          I turn to my left and I swear that I see something move. My dog suddenly possesses a low growl from the back of his throat. This confirms my hypothesis that I must be in great danger. My head is flowing with thoughts of apocalypses, paranormal encounters, and complicated murder plots. A million horror film scenes run through my mind. I see my very own life flash before my eyes. I immediately yank the leash once more. This time, I reach down and pick him up.

          Even under the midnight sky his white fur glows like the moon. My palms are sweaty and quickly stick to the feather-like fur. Tightly gripping his small and warm chest, I notice the rate at which his tiny heart is beating. I raise my other hand, icy cold, to my chest and realize mine is beating even faster.

          Suddenly, I hear a cough.

          Before my neighbor could even turn her porch light on, I was screaming in terror and making a beeline right back to my front door.


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