The breeze caught the swing next to me, twisting it, and I closed my eyes, listening to it slowly unravel. I scratched at the chill settling over my arms but the cold just hung there, the warm summer night snuffed out completely.
My eyes were suddenly heavy and when I finally forced them open, the swing next to me was still twisting, a shadow winding between the braided handles. I watched it dance there like spilled ink, winding in and out until it was creeping towards my face.
I inhaled and it tasted like ash. Then it stretched, reaching for me, and when the cold scraped against my skin I shuffled out of the swing, stumbling on the rocks. I watched the shadow swell and contract, the air pouring from my lungs thick and tangled in it. Fog hung on my lips, the cold steeling me to the ground.
The same cold I’d felt that night in the trees with Drew.
I tried to run but all I could do was flinch against the burning, my skin on fire. It crept towards me and in the mist there were haunches, the darkness beastly like something feral on the prowl. But it wasn’t jus fear that pinned me there or even the cold. Something heavy radiated from the shadow, it’s thickness approaching like a storm. It sunk down to my lungs, filling me up, tugging my eyes closed and making me drowsy. Sleep. It was made of it.
But then, just as I was about to give in, to close my eyes and let it drag me under, the darkness shuddered out in a gasp and the cold lifted. When I looked again the shadow was gone and I scrambled to my feet, running all the way home.