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