After Dark

Neon lights groan to life as they crawl out of hiding. Leaning in from the edges, their eyes slide across your body.

A silvery person tumbles into red swirls and silhouetted bottles, hands pulling at their legs.

The poison trickles down your throat, coating your insides in a sickly warmth. It flushes your cheeks and greases up your joints. It makes your eyelids droop and your focus fuzzy. It sends a flurry of giggles from your mouth.

Neon lights groan to life as they crawl out of hiding. Leaning in from the edges, their eyes slide across your body, in and out of your nose, your ears, your mouth. Your breath hitches slightly as you wait for their verdict.

They nod their heads. As you were.

You wander inside, welcoming the thumping bass. Everything is bathed in blue and green and red lights that cut across the floor. You see them swinging their legs over the edges but they’re not looking at you. They’re drinking and laughing and dancing. They don’t look so scary in the dark. You are invisible to them, and it feels fucking great.

You revel in your complete lack of control. You are no longer burdened by that liquidous sack. Vibrations crawl through your toes, creeping up your spine. You feel your shoulders jump up and down and down and up. You bump and grind and bounce against the bodies around you. The air tastes… salty?

Maybe they make eyes at you. Maybe they don’t. Maybe you smile and touch and feel. Your heart slams down hard. Your chest feels full. You take long, deep breaths, dragging in air. You’ve never felt this god damn happy in your entire life. Tears escape from the corners of your eyes. Euphoria. That’s what you’re feeling. You close your eyes and turn your head towards the ceiling.

Wipe that smile off your face!             I FUCKING CAN’T.

Hair plastered across your face, you escape to the black, glistening streets. There’s an abandoned shopping trolley lying on the pavement. You flip it upright, stand in the centre of it and send yourself careening down. Feathers sprout out of your arms. You spread them wide.

The trolley snags on a small rock, or a ditch in the road. It sends you flying, cutting through the crisp night. You know you’ve hit the ground, but you can’t feel it. You can’t feel anything.

After some time, you manage to drag yourself up off the sticky tar. You can feel pieces of your body starting to return. Weighted fingertips, tense knees, a swollen stomach. You limp forwards, hearing their echoing calls from passing laneways. Their eyes bore into the side of you. They’re getting closer. One takes a long drag of its cigarette, leaning against the light post, shaking its head at you. Your heart starts to pulse. They’re the ugliest at this time.

Birds? Birds. Fuck.

You know what comes next.

It crawls out from behind the buildings. Reaching its limbs through the gaps, bathing everything in grey-blue tendrils. Your only hope is to get back before it makes its way past the tips of the trees.

You crawl inside, close the blinds, and drag your blanket over you. You bring your knees up to your chin, squeeze your eyes tight and wait for the hammering sense of dread to ease. And when it does…

You do it again.

And again.




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