By the Riverside

There was someone there. Walking along the pathway, with his face enclosed by the dark. Never before had I seen anyone on my pathway, and this intrepid traveller seemed to have no recourse for fear of the unknown. I had never met this man before, nor knew anything of his life, and yet what seemed to be nothing but abject courage stirred in my heart feelings of deep admiration for him. Such a fine gentleman, he who fears nothing but that which has bad intent! And before my thoughts led on any further, the figure had disappeared from sight. Being somewhat tired, I retreated to the warmth of bed, and since I barely recalled the brief interlude, it gave me no chill whatsoever to find in the morning that my glass of water was not by my bedroom table. I simply concluded that I had left it by the windowsill again.

Perhaps it was courage, or even foolhardiness (I speak not of fate) that led me back upon my old haunt that next night. I had no particular reason for straying from my normal path, but whilst I walked my feet seemed to move of their own accord while I daydreamed, and when I shuddered myself back in control I was amongst the familiar, looming shadows. I had no insidious fear of the trees or the fence or even the black. The silence, though, was killing me. I could feel the adrenaline pumping. Please let the silence stop, I thought, for panic was about to ensue me.

You can find the complete version of By the Riverside in issue 66 of TBD.

Michael S. Collins