Night Stalker in Carthage Falls – by Kevin Lazarus – Part 2

My mysterious night follower suddenly stopped. With each walk home after sunset it didn’t happen again for some time. In fact, weeks passed, and being no different than most kids my age, I forgot about the strange occurrences. Then—one quiet evening, just after sunset—it happened again. Like before, I heard the inexplicable footsteps. And as I did before, I stopped and looked around. The feeling of something following me was thick in the air. I could nearly taste it in my mouth. Someone was there, watching me—stalking me. This time I was bolder, thinking that it was my friend (hoping that it was my friend). I yelled for him to stop scaring me and go home. I waited for the sound of my voice to clear and then I listened, watching for him to suddenly reveal himself. I could picture him in my mind’s eye laughing at me as he stepped out from behind some shadow. It was a humiliation that I would have easily welcomed. Nevertheless, in the heavy air of that still autumn night, there was only silence. No friend revealed himself. Invigorated by my fear, I once again sprinted the full distance to my home, never daring once to look back.

Now I was torn between staying late with my friends and that long walk home after dark. It became an emotional struggle of enormous proportions; go home where I knew there was always a storm brewing; always a fight hanging in the air, or stay a little longer with friends who wanted me there and hope nothing would follow me home in the dark.

One evening I forgot. I had been so involved with my friends, that when I realized it—it was too late—the sun had set. And, it was time for me to leave.

As I walked home, I tried to think of anything else but that awful sensation which I had felt on so many occasions. I even tried whistling to distract myself. It was then, while I was walking along, that I heard my worst nightmare. The footsteps! I could hear them again—right behind me! Yet, I had been so noisy that it was difficult to tell. So I quit whistling, took a few more steps, and then stopped abruptly. I felt my heart sink and a cold chill flow through me like a wave, as I listened to hear at least three more footsteps.

An explosion went off in my head and I had an adrenalin rush that threw my heart into panic. Thoughts were flashing through my mind quicker than lightning bolts. Now not only could I feel it, I could hear it!

Praying this time that it was one of my friends, I decided to fight back. I figured they weren’t that far behind me. They had to be standing there on that sidewalk, or so I thought, believing that I wouldn’t turn around; wanting to continue scaring me. I spun around on my heels and started to scream, “I caught you!” and found myself staring at an empty sidewalk. But, the feeling wasn’t gone. I still wasn’t alone! I wanted to run, but for some horrifying reason, I couldn’t move my legs any faster than a slow gate. I turned back towards home and started walking. Once more, I heard the sound of footsteps. And again, I turned around. As before there was nothing there. It was then that my fear jolted me into action and the adrenaline finally kicked in, and I ran! Like the wind! As if long bony fingers from some wicked hand were tickling at my back; this time, running so hard that I could feel the pounding of my heart beating up through my chest; throbbing up into my ears.

On the stoop of our home, I had the insane temerity to stop and turn around; my back hugging the front door with my hand tight on the doorknob. I quietly surveyed our little neighborhood, dark and silent; the empty street in front of our home, and our sidewalk was vacant too. Out of the corner of my eye I was somewhat aware as a breeze blew autumn leaves across our lawn, as well as stirring the hedgerows. The street light shinning off in the distance was too dim to be of any serious use. I stood there drained of my strength, searching the shadows, keenly aware—that there was something seriously wrong with Carthage Falls!


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Happy Halloween!

Kevin Lazarus

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