If you go out when the sun has gone down below the horizon, and start walking, you’ll get to the road, see. You’ll get to the road and you’d take it away from the city, away from town, away from the houses; you’d take it out past where the light pollution blots out the stars. It all fades away from sight once you get to the trees, and sure it’s dark, but that’s no worry because they’re just trees.
It’d be a long walk through those trees, but you’d keep going, and eventually the trees would get shorter and scrubbier, see, and the edge of the road’d change from sidewalks and sharp ninety degree curbs to a sloping berm, something to keep the mud back when it rains and give the water a direction to run to that isn’t under the tires. Not that you’d be worrying about water under the tires when you’re walking, and anyway, you wouldn’t do this while it was raining, because how would you see anything?
So you’d keep walking and the trees themselves’d thin and get scrubby, most of them not too tall any more except for a few jack pine poking all loose and spindly above the rest of them, and it’s there you’d be able to see the stars way up there, and you can feel the cool of the air without the trees holding the heat down and the clouds to pin in the atmosphere. It’s good though, there not being clouds, because there’d be enough light from the stars for you to see there’s not even a berm edging the road now, it’s just old pavement that’s been bleached pale grey by so many summer suns, and the edge of it just sort of crumbles off into dirt and tall wild grasses.
You’d be walking along and sometimes there’d be no trees now, breaking away into fields, but not really the kind with fences and cows and berry bushes or anything, just fields where the ground is too tired to hold up a tree any more.
It’d take quite a bit of walking before you’d get to this one field where there’s just one of those jackpine growing way up above everything in the middle of it, and right at the bottom of it there’s a – well, I guess you could call it a house. I wouldn’t, but you could. There’d be a stone part and that’s where the doorway is, cut rough and square into the fieldstone and mortar walls of that blocky little one-story, and sort of slung against the side of there’d be pretty much the same thing but of wooden planks with two windows right in the front of it.
You could just walk right across the field to that building in the early morning starlight, walk right up to that stone doorway, or to those windows in the wood and look in, but it would be too dark in there to see so maybe that wouldn’t be a good idea. And if you did that you’d be off the road, and there would be some movement out of the corner of your eye in the predawn light. You’d do what anybody would do, then, is you’d turn and look, and it would be hard to see much of anything except for the shape that had moved away from the open doorless doorway, loping long and low toward the edge of the field.
It would get there and it would stop, and hunker down a little more, and it would look sort of almost human in the dawn light except the legs stop just below where the knees seem to be and it was running along on that bit. And you might see its mouth open wide to vomit something out that you can’t tell the shape of because it would fall in the shadow it would be casting as the sun is threatening to come up over the low trees and the stars are gone and bent over there it would turn its head to look at you and you wouldn’t be able to make it believe that you didn’t see anything when you looked in that window because it isn’t like you the eyes are two pinpricks like tiny little stars and it can SEE in the dark it can SEE you and couldn’t let you go knowing what you know and what it would think you had SEEN
you’d miss that part of your brain you see and then you’d want to go try to find where you’d left it and it would hurt you see you see you SEE YOU
This piece of Nightmare Fuel was inspired by this picture supplied by G+ user David Lee; artist unknown:
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