The Dark Awakening
They were there in the shadows again. This was the third time this week I had thought someone was watching me.
The last few weeks, I’d heard the rustling of leaves and the crackling sound of old fallen branches beneath someone’s feet, or the hairs at the back of my neck would stand straight because I knew someone stood silently behind me. Last night wasn’t any diﬀerent. I exited my car after an exhausting day at work and heard what sounded like a low, deep exhale coming from the forest next to Lily’s house. I swiftly turned around, fumbling with the ﬂashlight on my phone, but when the light pierced the darkness, the sound stopped.
Tonight, it was a silhouette behind my aunt Lily’s fence in the backyard. It wasn’t someone walking by with their dog or a neighbor taking out their trash. They were standing there, staring, as I walked to the sink to rinse my dinner bowl. I wasn’t going to tell her again. She’d just tell me what she’d told me last time I brought it up. She’d say I was just seeing things and that it was normal to feel this way after trauma.
“Your turn, Mercy,” Lily said. Her voice pulled my gaze from the window.
“I’m coming,” I said, taking one last glance toward the silhouette.
They were gone.