Saturday, 25 July 2009

Serial Belief

There's that song again-- the same song I hear whenever I run out into the night. The score of a thousand horror movies, creeping up on my heels, synth screams echoing out into the vast, unforgiving sky. I'm not wanted here. Why would I be, anyway? This isn't my realm. This isn't my home. I live for the daylight, for those few strands of light that flit through the curtains in the morning, then the full on rays that shine down when you open them wide to survey the world. I hurry, my heels click-clattering on the hard concrete floor of the pavement underneath. I don't know why I'm running. This isn't Elm Street, I'm not at Camp Crystal Lake-- these people don't exist, do they? And when I say people, I'm aware... fully aware... that Freddy Krueger stopped being a person in that blaze, and that Jason Voorhees is a lumbering golem with the scant memories of being a man-- a boy even-- after those fornicating teens let him drown. I know the cliches-- the warnings we should look out for in the narrative that is our existence.

He hasn't said a word for years.

Of course he hasn't. But that's his ploy. As I run through the night, from point a) to point b), the sweat dripping off my nose in the stagnant pre-summer heat, I think of the things they say. 'They', of course, being the bearers of knowledge in these gems of fiction. Loomis, the guardian of the Strode girl, never wanting Myers to see the light of day again, and all those people disbelieving his warnings--! Why do people act so stupid when they're being told what to do by Donald Pleasance or Malcom McDowell!? I'd always listen. I'd be the last to die-- or the hero. But then again, when we know we're the hero, when we know what we're doing... aren't we always the first to go? We run to the campers, to the promiscuous teens, we run to warn them-- and our fate is far worse for our knowledge.

But I don't live in that world. That world of make believe and murder. Of course there are bad people on this planet. Of course there is evil. But not supernatural evil, surely not. Paedophiles do not come back to haunt us in our dreams. That silly little disabled boy with the deformed head doesn't grow up to become a juggernaut of destruction and impale our naked bodies on pikes and spikes and all things sharp. This isn't that world. This is a world of dreaded normality.

I wonder if that's a bad thing, sometimes.

And sometimes, times like this, I run. I run because I'm late, because my parents will be angry, because it's past dark and I don't have a phone on me. No one knows where I am. And then I realise something else.

I wouldn't be the hero. I wouldn't be the bearer of knowledge-- I'd be the idiot. The fool. I'd be dragged into the shadows, the same shadows that surround me and this quiet suburban street right now, I'd die with my screams muffled. I stop running for a moment, my lungs burning as I try to catch my breath. What could I add to anything? I'm useless. I'm late. I don't do what normal people do. I'm a target, I'm a victim and-- did that shadow just move?


The shadows do not reply, and I near slap myself for believing they would. I cry a bit inside thinking they should. I could have sworn-- as anybody in my position could-- but no. There is nothing there. There is only me. By myself. And the shadows of the night. I wonder then, if I should run again. If I should succumb to those old, obvious fears. I wonder. No. Why should I? It's not like someone's going to get me. It's not like--

The shadows just moved. I heard them. Darkness shifting.

"Who's there? I saw you! I heard you! I know there's someone--"

...I don't get a chance to scream.

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