When you live in a rural area, there are times late at night that you may be completely alone. You may feel that if something happened to you, no one could possibly witness it or call the police. Sometimes you wonder if the nearest neighbor may have already met some terrible end. It’s terrifying to know that no one may actually hear you scream.
This is from last night. I’d had Diet Coke with dinner, the regular kind and not the caffeine-free type I usually have when I want a glass at night. I never have caffeine after 2 in the afternoon and last night I remembered why. I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours. I kept checking my phone to see the time to decide if it was worth it to get up to go to the bathroom or if I should just lay there until it was time to get out of bed. Finally I said to hell with it and got up. It was 4 and I had to get up at 6 for work. It was pitch black out as if there was no moon. I went in to the bathroom and that’s when I heard it. At first I thought it was someone knocking on the front door which freaked me out, but then it stopped. I waited and listened and then the same sound reverberated again somewhere out in the darkness. The bathroom window was open a crack to let some air in and then I reaed it wasn’t coming from the front of the house, but the back. It lasted for only a few seconds, but then it repeated maybe 10 seconds later. This went on and on. It was almost like wings fluttering as if a bird was caught in some kind of trap. I wasn’t about to go investigate in the dark so I went back to bed, but I didn’t get a wink of sleep since I couldn’t stop thinking about it
The darkest parts of the walk home almost always are the loneliest. People are never around when you wish you had some company. When someone disappears, there are rarely any witnesses. Darkness is so powerful it keeps you from reachnig anyone who could possibly help you.
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New York’s subway stations are a subterranean maze of dank spaces with no relief from the heat when the trains are delayed. The heat doesn’t even let up at night. It actually feels like it’s trapped down there with you.
The heat is enough to drive anyone a little crazy. Imagine what it does to people who are already crazy…people who may just happen to cross paths with you in an empty subway station at night.
Also, when you are in the subway, you are below the level at which bodies are buried, six feet underground. I’m sure that does something to the mind’s of people who think they see ghosts, too.
Loneliness is a palpable thing. It can eat away at every part of you. It gets you to be silent and hear sounds you never heard before and whose origin you can’t explain. It’s scary to be alone and think of how long it would take for anyone to even find you if something bad happened to you. Scaring yourself like this is a good thing if it gets you to go out and meet new people. Always try new things. Unfinished business is a good motivator to get through bad times.
The winter is just starting and already there are nights when the temperature has dropped to zero. When you live in a spread out area and have to drive to get anywhere, it’s scary to think you are frozen in place because of the weather. It takes a long time for your car to warm up and be ready to go. Black ice in the roads slows you down from making a quick retreat from a bad situation. You could also get snowed in and physically be unable to leave. Then you couldn’t escape whatever is out there.
Tonight is the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. The days will get longer after today, but for tonight the darkness seems endless. Anything can happen in the dark.