Saturday, 22 October 2011

Fear of the dark

A thriller. Based on a true story.

She met him on a dark, windy morning. Or night, more accurately. The sun was still nowhere near the horizon and the clouds were heavy in the sky, hiding the stars and moon. People were safely at home, asleep.

She had gotten up at 4.30, eaten a quick breakfast and put on reflective running gear. She had planned to run on well-lit pavements, but she took her head lamp with her anyway, in case she had to run on the road.

Her body responded to the early wake-up call reluctantly, but after a few kilometres it had settled into a nice rhythm. She ran past dark houses, abandoned school yards, empty supermarkets. Soon, she left the suburbs for the countryside. Her route would take her past open fields where horses grazed, and past that, a cemetery. She liked running through the cemetery. It was serene.

Her head lamp shed little light on her surroundings, making her feel as if she were in a bubble, in the middle of nowhere, with no one around. Not even the horses were out; they were probably in the stables, sleeping. She wondered what she would do if a car drove past. All her reflective gear was meant to make her visible to cars, but did she want to be visible? Who could possibly be driving out here in the middle of the night? Who, but a psycho killer looking for prey?

A sudden noise from the trees by the side of the road made her jump. The light from her head lamp fell on a white tail and some long, slim legs. A deer, fleeting into the woods. She smiled. She had managed to spook herself over a forest animal. She had obviously read one too many Stephen King novels. Relieved and reassuring herself that the most dangerous creature around was probably a sharp-toothed hare, she ran on past the cemetery. Ghouls and ghosts did not frighten her.

She almost stopped in her tracks. Where the cemetery ended, the street lights ended too. Ahead of her lay a long, pitch-black stretch of road, surrounded by nothing but forest. She briefly considered turning back, but the earlier incident with the deer had made her feel silly and she wanted to prove to herself that she was brave. The weak head lamp could only illuminate ten metres or so in front of her. It also caught the reflection from some traffic cones that were lined up on the road where speed bumps were being built.

Suddenly, she caught a glimpse of something dark in the middle of the road. Another traffic cone? One without the reflective stripes? As she ran on, the cone seemed to grow in height. When she finally noticed that the thing in front of her had legs, it was too late to stop.

She met him on a dark, windy morning. More like night, actually. The only living creature that heard her screams was a fleeting deer, disappearing into the woods.

In a parallel universe, it was just another traffic cone. The rush of adrenaline brought on by my vivid imagination made me sprint a couple of kilometres in the middle of my long run, but once I got back to civilisation, the rest of this 20 km session was uneventful. Thankfully.


  1. Hahaha! Tur det inte var ett vildsint vildsvin! Eller en mycket kortvuxen yxmördare! ;)

    Happy Halloween i förtid!

  2. LOL!!! Right! That's it! No more Stephen King books for you! But really, 4.30 in the morning????? It makes my waking up at 5.13 a lie in!
    Really, I wish I was there! :)

  3. Christina, I hadn't set the alarm clock. I just woke up then. Please don't call the men in the white coats...
    I wish you were here too. Miss you!