A Piece of Darkness

A woman suspects that someone is stalking her, and it might not be a human.
Reading time: 5 minutes.

A Piece of Darkness

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It all started when I was assigned to the graveyard shift at this mall, where I worked as a janitor. I would be the last person to leave the mall. By the time I would reach my one room and one kitchen flat, it would easily be three in the morning. Since the mall wasn’t very far, I used to walk from my home and back. My neighbourhood is a decent area. Everyone is helpful to each other. I found myself in trouble a couple of times, but there was always someone to help. My neighbour fixed my plumbing for free and saved me a few hundred, maybe more. Sometimes, another one of my neighbours dropped me off at work. It was all pleasant and easy until one night.

I was coming back from work. It was a quiet night, just like all the others. I am not a fearful person, yet something made me uneasy that night. I was crossing this rather lonely road when I felt another set of footsteps. I looked behind me. There was no one. Something about that whole thing scared me a bit. I didn’t want to end up dead in a dumpster, so I started walking faster. As I walked a bit further, I heard footsteps again. They were in perfect synchrony with mine. I got so terrified that I started running, and god, have mercy on my soul, so did they.

I didn’t even look back until I slammed my door shut and locked it. I took a peek at the street from behind the curtain. There was nothing out of the ordinary. Dingy, yellow street light lit up a lonely road. There were no movements, no sound. Still, I kept myself on guard for the rest of the night and only went to bed just before sunrise.

When I woke up, I laughed the whole thing off. It's interesting that the thought only seems scary when in the dead and the dark of the night. In broad daylight, it was laughable. Naturally, it came back in the night. I was walking back home again, and I heard those footsteps again. I wanted to stop for a second to check if they were just my footsteps, but my instincts kept me walking. I peeked behind my shoulder, and I saw something from the corner of my eye. It was a shadow.

My heart sank. My whole body jerked by the mere shock. I let out a sharp scream and turned back to see who it was, but I bumped into someone who was coming from the other direction. The shadow was gone. I looked up to see who I had bumped into and saw a knife shimmering in the street light.

“Where’d ya think you’re goin’?” It was a man with his face covered. He was swinging the knife in front of my face. “Hand over your wallet.” Now, I would've done anything to get out of the situation, but I didn't have any wallet. I did not carry a purse.

“Please, I don’t have anything,” I begged. “Let me go.”

“Oh, you’re a laaady,” he said in delight. It did not make me feel good. I thought maybe I should’ve kept my mouth shut. He grabbed me by my elbow and pulled me up. I started crying. My whole body was shaking with fear. He pushed me aside and slammed me against the wall.

"No...please, let me go," I begged again. I was facing the wall. My eyes were closed, so I couldn't see it, but I heard it, a slam and then a thud. I turned back and found this man lying flat on the road, passed out, or maybe dead. I couldn’t tell. I just ran for my life when I got the chance.

I kept crying the whole night in my bed. I did not go to work the following day or the day after. My boss called me to check if I was okay. I said that I was only sick and wouldn't come to work until next week. The incident had scared me for life. I went to work after a week and begged my boss to change my shift timings. I did not give him a reason, though. He agreed to do so but from next month. I had to accept it even though there was still a week left. I thought I’d manage it somehow. I stayed at the mall after my shift until the early morning. I was always tired because I couldn’t sleep. There were still a couple of days left before the month ended when the night arrived.

I finished my shift and waited outside the security guard’s cabin. He kept snoring all the time. When it was about to be five, I left the mall. The sun hadn’t come out yet, but the birds had started chirping, so it didn’t feel that scary. I was walking cautiously, listening to every little sound in my way. That’s when I heard it.

“THERE SHE IS!” Someone shouted. “GET HER!”

I jerked my head towards the sound and saw at least five men running after me. I screamed and ran for my life. They chased after me. Once again, I reached the same spot, turned my head back to see if they were still after me. Once again, I bumped into someone, and this time, I fell hard. I looked up at the same man. Others caught up to me too. I was so terrified that I couldn’t even utter a word. I kept whimpering with pain and fear.

"Ah, see, I told ya she’s alright!”

“Alright? She’s a fine piece of work! Come here, sweetheart!” One of them tried to grab my wrist when suddenly, it happened.

Someone or something just came out of nowhere and jumped right in front of us. I had tears in my eyes and fear in my heart, so I couldn't see it. All I heard were punches or kicks, grunting, and each of those men hitting the road, either dead or passed out.

I ducked instinctively. Whatever it was, I felt it jumping up and about me, moving like the wind, changing forms like a fluid. I dared to take a peek and saw a shadow. That’s all I could see, a shadow. It was like the darkness tore apart a piece of itself to come out in the light just to save me.

It all happened in mere seconds. All of those skanks were spread on the road, bleeding, drooling, groaning, or passed out. I slowly looked up and then around. There was absolutely no one. I looked beyond the light into the darkness, and I think I saw something. It was a shadow, darker than the darkness. It disappeared before I could even decipher its shape or size, but I felt safe. I walked back home sobbing quietly. It took me weeks to get over the whole thing, but I became better. I was just like new again in a few weeks.

My timings changed back to the day shift, so I don’t go out late at night other than when I have to. Sometimes, I still hear those footsteps while walking back home at night. I don’t get startled anymore, though. I know I have a protector out there, looking out for me. I don't know what it is or if it's even a person. But I feel safe. My protector is a shadow, and it is looking out for me.


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