Faint illumination intermittently swept through the grass laden pathway as branches and leaves from the giant trees that blocked the moonlight and seemed to cage her fluttered from side to side in surrender to the evening wind.
As she edged on towards the flickering flood light that marked her house in the distance, she wallowed in confusion unsure if to enjoy the feel of the cool breeze against her skin or curse it for joining the conspiracy that made her view scantily lit thereby conjuring her fears.
'Whatever you do be home before dark', her mother's warning rang in her head like heavy temple bells, but it was too late, the night already gifted her a thousand shadows and anxiety that wrapped around her like sheets on a cold winter night.
All that mattered was making this journey home unhurt, she desperately needed to be tucked in the warmth of her bed and forever forget her present distress.
The night was eerie, filled with blackness that played in her head like a thousand dark demons patiently walking her trail waiting for the signal to tear her soul apart.
On this night nature and time would be against her, everything around her seemed to be loudly silent, silent like they were too scared to even warn her about the danger she was about to encounter.
As she strolled the path quietly, clutching herself with trembling hands, she kept looking nervously from side to side wide eyed. Her mind roamed through the stories she had heard, the anguish of the victims, the escape of the predators, death, blood, a funeral, more death, fear, weeping relatives, blood, more fear. The noise in her head grew louder when all of a sudden the voice hooted..
HEY, YOU DIE TONIGHT!!! Her soul already ran a thousand miles ahead screaming for help at shut doors and partially opened windows of houses that cordoned the street, her feet were about to join in when her senses knocked her. It was just the strange parrot that for reasons unknown was kept in a cage that hung from the roof of a weird old grandpa's rickety shack.
Every child around grew up knowing that getting too close to this shack was forbidden, they were never told the reason and never went close but this moment she was just glad it wasn't anything worse than the crazy parrot's voice, so glad that for a moment she damned her fear for the uncanny shack.
Just a few steps more and she would be home, she could see her house clearer now. She noticed a figure pacing her room from the lit window that faced the direction she walked from. The figure would disappear and then a torch would flash in an irregular motion from the balcony. It would sweep through the front yard onto the untarred street quickly and go off and then the figure appeared in the room again.
She knew it was her mother, uneasy and definitely pissed that she wasn't home yet. She must be mad now, she thought to herself but then she knew once she saw her all the anger would melt away as usual, not without a stern repetition of her warnings and one of her ears or both squeezed tormentously but lovingly.
She took a million sighs of relief in seconds as she approached the sod that adorned their front yard. She felt comfort as she walked toward the door. Her mind playfully ran through the parrot's rant. She was silently laughing at her needless fear when a cold hand forcefully slid accross her mouth, another firmly wrapped around her waist and a force started pulling her back towards the bushes.
Goose bumps grew on her skin like radishes on moist garden soil, her head seemed to take in so much air, it was about to explode. She could swear she was screaming ontop of her voice but she couldn't even hear the sound.
It took a jiffy to realise what this was, it took a breathe to know that the stories she heard was about to become her reality. She clawed, thawed, kicked and hit the towering stature that held and dragged her from behind but the harder she fought the harder and more painful the grip. The night got blacker in her mind.
He dragged her hurriedly even as she fought and screamed, across the lawn and onto the street. He was about crossing into the bushes that laid directly opposite her yard when he lost his balance, slipped and took both of them to the ground with a heavy thud.
As he fell, he was forced let go of her groin seeking to find balance with his right hand while his left hand lost firm grip of her mouth. As they hit the ground with her frame sinking into his, she shoved his hands away and made to run away before he could get back up on his feet.
As she made to get up and run, he pulled her back, dragging her hair like it was a horse's leash. She screamed even louder and put all her might into the poorly fisted punches she landed him.
As she fought, she struggled to get this fiery thought of death that haunted her mind off. She didn't want to die, at least not today, not like this. She could see lights come on in nearby houses, even hers, people must be noticing my screams, maybe if I fought a bit more I could stall this monster while help comes for me, she thought.
But her agitation rudely halted when he landed her a heavy blow that almost knocked her unconscious. Though dazed, she wasn't going to back down, and as he grabbed her by the hand to continue the journey into the bushes, she bit his hand, sinking her teeth deep into his sweaty flesh.
He grunted angrily and hit her head hard on the ground, then whispered angrily in her ears, HEY, YOU DIE TONIGHT. And that was when it happened, as she tried to fight once more with the little strength she had left, he stabbed her with the sharpest blade she had ever felt.
She stopped in her tracks. Tired of fighting and afraid of the unavoidable death riding fast to consume her. She felt the blood gush out of her chest and soak her blouse, like water would a napkin. This was it, the death the night promised her. It was now staring her in the face mockingly.
As he raised his hands, with his knife in hand ready to finish her off, she heard her phone ring. She recognised the tone but she knew she was not with her phone as certainly as she knew she was going to die.
She was still trying to figure out why her phone she left at home was ringing close to her head when he pierced her through a second time so forcefully the pain caused her to jerk up on her bed. She panted like a jogger who had run a thousand miles and was wet like she just came out of a sauna.
She sat up in her bed all shaken by this nightmare and was wondering why she felt so much pains on her chest when the ring startled her again. It was her alarm clock sitting by the head of her bed. She stood up and made to cancel the snooze. The date was May, 27th 2020, the time was 6:30pm, it was time to go study in the place of prayer just opposite her house.
She picked up her books that laid neatly on the table. As she prepared herself to go out for her usual study a voice rang out again , HEY, YOU DIE TONIGHT!! Scared to her bones she turned quickly towards the door where the voice came from, it was her baby sister, standing there looking at her so mildly as she fiddled with her speaking toy parrot, Ripper, which kept saying 'hey, Yodel Tonight'.