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Don't Look Back.

By Ajay Muralidharan

I feel my cheeks sting from a bracing breeze,

As I plod my way home through the 'burbs,

I pull my jacket on tight; this will be a long night,

With the streets no respite for my fraying nerves,

I always feel I'm being watched during times like these.

My breath condenses swiftly in the frosty chill,

Lit dimly by streetlights that flicker with each stride,

I try to break the tension; search for pleasant misdirection,

As I pass an intersection, and cast a glance to the side,

To see a shadowy figure in the distance, standing still.

I turn my head away, deeming the sight best to ignore,

No good could come from one who roamed so out of time and place,

And as my heart grew bolder, I chanced a look over my shoulder,

At my mysterious beholder, with spindly legs still rooted in place,

Except now, he's a couple yards closer than before.

I peer at the murky being, fighting my persistent dread,

As I search for facial features - with none to be found,

I feel my heart start pacing - I can't even tell which side it's facing,

But if I am what it's chasing, then I wouldn't dare stick around,

I tear down the street for home, keeping my eyes straight ahead.

Soon my porch lights fade into view, like a lighthouse midst the sea,

I rush up to my door, pulling keys out at random,

The first key my wish granting, I barrel inside, panting,

And out the window, notwithstanding, I look for the phantasmagoric phantom,

Who now stood on my driveway - that faceless void tilted at me.

I back away slowly, my despondency begins to grow,

Praying desperate pleas that this night was just me lucid dreaming,

Fighting the bitter despair, I swiftly rush up the stairs,

And then I bite my fist bare to stop me from screaming,

As I hear my main door slowly creak open down below.

Nerves aflame, I sense my fast-approaching doom,

Left no choice, I rush for the safety of my bed,

I lock the door in a trice, then turn off all the lights,

And in the darkness of the night, I climb in and face away from whence I'd fled,

When I hear the floorboards creak outside my room


I feel watched again as I lay in bed, quiet as a mime,

I can feel those eyes bore holes into the back of my head,

But I have not the heart to see what horrors lurk right behind me,

So, with the last dregs of my sanity, I stare at the wall beside my bed,

And thus, each waiting on the other, we bide our time.

By Ajay Muralidharan

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