I was nestled in a cozy chair in a secluded corner of the public library buried deep in a book I had taken from off the tower of shelves. Suddenly the lights dipped and I jerked out of my book looking around, bewildered. The lights slowly brightened, “The library will be closing in ten minutes, please bring any books you wish to check out down to the circulation desk.”
I gasped and jumped out of my chair looking frantically at my watch. It was nearly 8:00. As I neared the glass doors I realized that the sun had long since retired and night had descended. I had arrived at the library at 3:30 with the intent to only stay for an hour or so. My family’s rule echoed in my head, “You can go where you like on your bike as long as I know where and you are home before dark.”
It didn’t occur to me to call; I just checked out my book and charged to my bike. My fingers fumbled with the lock as I tried to remember the combination and jerked it free. I didn’t notice there was no moon that night, and the lack of street lamps on the way home had never been apparent to me before. I hopped on my bike and began to pedal through the dark streets. It might as well have been in the dead of night the way my heart was pounding and the emptiness of the streets. I heard the crunching of gravel behind me and shiver ran through my spine fusing into my feet sending them pedaling faster. There were no headlights; images of all the possible things that made gravel crunch that close behind me filled my mind. I could feel it breathing down my neck, reaching out to grab my hooded sweatshirt. My shoes became flying feet of fury; the Flintstones had nothing on me! Too terrified to look behind and see what was following I raced on swinging around the corner unto my street; I zipped into the driveway. I hadn’t even stopped when my feet hit the ground running and I stormed into the house. I didn’t take the time to see that nothing was chasing me besides my imagination.