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The Long Walk Home

Eight hundred yards.

The alleyway is dark between the street and the corner of my house. I only have 800 yards through darkness. The wind in the trees is a constant reminder of a coming storm. Every noise is making me jump. I can’t remember being this easily scared as a kid. I pull my coat tight, head down, I press on.

Was that someone behind me? I turn. Nothing but shadows.

A dog. A big coon hound the neighbors keep chained up, I remind myself.

Five hundred yards.

How long is that chain? Feet surly. I quicken my pace.

Four hundred yards.

I hear him. I look but I can’t see him. “Go on home!” I say in my most intimidating voice.

Three hundred yards. I’m jogging now, sure he’s just behind me.

“MOM!” I call out hoping someone will hear over the sound of Late Night tv.

Two hundred yards and my foot finds the ditch. Ankle twists and dirt and dry leaves go in my eyes and nose as I scramble up in spite of the pain.

Silence.

He was there. I know he was there! The distant street lamp at the opening of the alleyway visible, taunting me with the emptiness of the alleyway.

“Damn it.” I laugh though hot tears and flecks of debris.

One hundred yards ahead, the porch, carefully I limp towards the promise of my warm bed – childish fears dismissed until two glowing red eyes open in front of my door.
Author’s Note: Flash Fiction (250 word limit) Entry into Halloween Themed Contest – here for your enjoyment. Happy Halloween!

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