Dread filled me as I anxiously awaited the darkness that was fast approaching. Since childhood, I had never been fond of the night. There are too many hiding places for the boogie man. I wrapped the shawl tight around my shoulders and stepped back. When I did, I heard a stick break under my weight, and something moved closer to me than I wanted. My mouth was suddenly dry, and I could feel my heartbeat in my ears.
I took another step backward and then another until I could finally turn around and run toward the cabin. I could hear the footsteps gaining behind me. I dropped my shawl and ran like my feet had wings. Tears washed over my cheeks, and the cold air burned my throat. I tried to scream, but the raspy efforts felt unheard. I tripped on a stump and landed with my face in a pile of dirt; as I spit out the earth from my teeth, I felt a hand on my arm. I threw my hands over my face and recoiled from the touch before hearing my husband's voice.
It seemed like hours before he was able to calm me. As he wiped away the filth, he brushed my hair from my face, looked into my eyes, and asked what was wrong. He told me he had come to watch the sunset with me but couldn't find me. He had called my name a few times but got scared when I didn't respond. That was when he heard the stick break and saw me standing beside the lake, but I ran before he could reach me.
I could no longer hold his gaze and felt my knees collapse. He joined me once again on the ground and grasped my hands. His pleading eyes and my panic attack convinced me we were both ready. I drew in a long deep breath and silently prayed that our thirteen anniversaries, two children, and a handful of PTO meetings would be enough to hold us together after I admitted to him that I knew where the boogie man hid.
Fictional Writing by Shana Marie
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