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Overview: Ghost stories

Alone in the night

It was very late when I left the disco on this dusky night to make my way home. Due to the heavy rain, I was soaked through to the skin after just a few metres and was freezing to the bone.

“What awful weather”, I thought to myself and stamped with frustration through a large puddle of water. I didn’t want to catch a cold so I took a short cut and turned into a little side street. The area seemed to be somewhat deserted and was dark and gloomy. With this strange place in front of me I wondered whether I should stick to the normal path but then I would have to walk back quite a way. So I carried on through the suburb which was totally deserted at this time of night even though I didn’t feel comfortable about it. Something was unsettling me could I not really say what it was exactly. Maybe it was just because of this strange silence? I carried on listened: nothing apart from the rhythmic squeaking of my show walking along the wet street. There was an almost haunting silence all around but that not comforted me at all. Quite the opposite – I had an unexplainable, dull feeling that I was not alone out there. But when I turned around there was no one to be seen.

This damned premonition that something really bad would happen was still there and was becoming stronger and stronger. It sat over me like a dark shadow on my soul and almost threatened to smother me. I noticed that my step became faster and it was not just the rain that kept me moving. Someone or something was behind me on that night – I could feel it quite clearly.

I had almost managed half of the way along the narrow side street as I heard a noise behind me. It could have been anything at all – maybe it was a cat meowing or maybe someone nearby had opened a window. The way I was feeling at that moment, it was enough to set me off panicking straight away. I stood as still as a stone and looked all around me in fear. But I could not see anything in the poorly lit street which would justify my fear in any way.

“Maybe” suddenly the thought came into my head and I almost had a laugh at myself “I shouldn’t drink as alcohol in the future as I have tonight. That stuff is sending me crazy.” Apart from that, I was relieved when I realised that it wasn’t much further. What could possibly happen on the last few hundred metres?

But it was too soon to relax! There! There it was again. The noise crept up in the dark just as quickly as it had gone. And this time it sounded like a kind of gasping or sniffing. When I noticed that the noise was becoming louder and louder, my feet started running out of fear without me having to tell them to run. I was soon running as fast as I could but it didn’t help anyway. I really felt how the hot breath of my pursuer was getting closer each second and I suddenly realised that there was no way for me to escape!

“Or maybe there was?” I discovered a little hidden corner between two houses at the edge of the street. I immediately turned on my heels and quickly slipped into the protective darkness offered by the walled corner. I stood there shaking with fear and worried that my loud sniffing would give me away. I tried to calm myself down, pushed myself even closer against the house wall and waited shaking to see what would happen next. Apart from the rain which was hitting hard against the tin roof above me, there was nothing to be heard. I stuck around for another two or three minutes but because everything was quiet, I gathered the courage to come out of my hiding place. I carefully felt my way along the wall and looked cautiously around the corner of the house into the street. There wasn’t a soul to be seen. I slowly started to wonder if I was going mad. Had I just imagined everything? "Hello" I called just to be sure. “Is anyone there?” but no one answered.

But I wasn’t crazy – not at all. At that very moment, that dreadful sniffling returned in the street I had just stepped into and it was louder than ever before. “Damn it!” went through my head. “Whoever is following me has come back to get me once and for all. It won’t be daft enough to let itself be fooled by me again.”

So I started to run once again. I ran like I had never run in my life. My heart was beating like mad in my chest; I could hardly gasp for air and quickly had a bad stitch in my side. “Keep going!” I kept trying to give myself courage. “It isn’t much further – you’ll be safe soon.” But as the sniffling become louder and louder behind me, it threatened to catch me very soon. I didn’t have the courage to turn around. The fear of seeing the thing which was hot on my heels was too much now.

I had almost managed it! Just one more corner and I was almost home. I sprinted at top speed over the crossroads and tried to feel around for my house key in my jacket pocket so that I would have it ready and could open the door immediately.

“Clickclickclick!” The key had slipped out of my wet hand and had clattered onto the pavement. I immediately realised that I would standing in front of a locked door without my key. “Crap!” I swore loudly and stopped abruptly. As I turned around to pick the key up my heart almost stopped with fright. There it was! I saw the massive, dark figure which was following me was moving very quickly and sniffling loudly! It was far too close for me to have time to look for the key. I turned around on my heels and started to run as fast as my legs would carry me.

I reached the house a few seconds later but I couldn’t get in without a key. The gasping behind me was getting closer and closer! I rang the bell like mad in despair but my parents had already gone to bed. I knew that it would take far too long for them to open the door. I had just thought about jumping over the fence when a massive hand suddenly grabbed me from behind and... ... a man with quite a loud sniff said to me. “Hey, wait a minute. You have just lost your key. Here it is.”

I was shaking all over when he pressed the key into my hand. He must have notice it because he then said: “Oh sorry, did I frighten you?” “Yes, you really did give me a fright” I stuttered. “Why on earth are you running around the streets in this weather in the middle of the night?” “Ah,” laughed the man “I’m on night shift this week and like to go jogging after work.”

“Ah ha” I said, “you’re just jogging.” “Yes, I want to take part in a marathon next month but you are really fast” he said amazed. “I almost didn’t manage to catch up with you. You probably run very often, don’t you?” “No, not really” I answered and had to laugh a little. “I am actually quite lazy and only run when I am forced to.”

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