I was out walking one cool crisp fall evening. I was out to enjoy the stars and see the world from a new perspective. I made my way along my path crunching upon some freshly fallen leaves. As I walked I heard a noise, feint but close at hand. I spun around and waited but nothing came behind. I chuckled to myself and made my way onwards again. As I walked along the path within the park the trees seemed menacing and ready to pounce. They appeared to lean over the trail and reach out at me, trying desperately to halt my advance. Once again I stopped, for I had heard the sound of crunching leaves from behind me. I spun around, but once more to no avail. Now is when my heart began to race. I hurriedly began to make my way out of the park. As I walked the street lamps along the road seemed to flicker and go out. I made my way unsteadily along, trying to take long strides as I walked in the moonlit park. The moon was quite full and bright this evening, its pockmarked features clearly visible as it filled the sky. Suddenly a howl pierced the night sky and I thought to myself, “A wolf, here?”. Once more I heard something approach so I broke into a run. I burst from the park and out into the city streets, panting heavily, sweat dripping from my brow, I waited.
I stood at the entrance to that park for quite awhile before I started to continue. Whatever it was hadn’t followed me passed the tree line. I stopped at Sammy’s street diner for a bite to eat. My nerves were quite rattled. The place was rather dark and musty; the few fluorescent bulbs left, struggled to cast a light into the darkness. Yes, Sammy’s had seen her better days, but they still had the best burgers in town. I plopped myself down into a bar stool and rubbed my temples, trying to force the queerness of the night from my thoughts. Big Joe came from the kitchen and said with a smile
“Aint had no one here passed 10 in quite awhile”
“You still open till 11 right joe?” I asked, sounding a little too much like I was pleading
“Of course, take your time; just ring the bell when you’re ready.”
“Will do”, I replied, with a bit more confidence.
I sat pretending to peruse the menu as if I had to make up my mind. I always ordered the same thing every time I was at Sammy’s. They had one the most amazing creations of mankind here, a Juicy Lucy. Not just any Juicy Lucy though, the Juiciest Luciest burger in town. Suddenly I heard a faint tap, tap, tapping at the door. I thought a patron may have thought the establishment closed. I turned around to inform them but found no one, no one at the door and no one in the Restaurant. Slowly fear began to fill the pit of my stomach. What if what had been in the woods had followed me here. What was it? I couldn’t say. Slowly sweat began to fall from my brow again and I felt dizzy. Joe came back again from behind the counter and hurriedly asked
“Hey, you all right you don’t look so good”.
“Fine, just fine thank you” I murmured.
“Just a glass of water for me Joe, suddenly my appetite isn’t what it was when I walked in” I said
“Sounds good, you don’t look to good bud, you should probably head home after this”
Genuine concern was written across Joe’s face. I sipped at my water a few times before I threw down a few bucks for a tip. Joe shouted after me “No Charge”, but it was too late. I was already pressing hard to get home.
As I walked brusquely down the sidewalk I began to hear a faint panting noise close behind me. This time I didn’t stop to look but broke into a full sprint. I raced down countless blocks and avenues. I ran as fast as my legs would carry. My heart pounded against my chest, cursing every cigarette of my smoking habit. I finally came to the door of my apartment. I grabbed at my key and hurriedly tried to insert it. The panting came heavier now, closing in on me. I fumbled the keys down, into the drainage grate by my stoop. I fell down to the ground and covered my face and eyes in horror for what beast might come. Something and small and wet began to caress my arms. Whatever it was, it was licking me. I pulled my arms from my face and saw a cute little black lab puppy, its big innocent blue eyes looking to me. It let out a tiny yelp and began pawing at me, urging me to stand. I burst out in a fit of laughter. “Have you been the little terror following me all night?” I asked. The dog barked again and wagged its tail, happy as can be. “So, what am I going to call you?” I asked. As I picked the dog up and carried him inside, using my spare to let myself in.