Somewhere far off in a grey city lived a girl with long soft hair. Each morning she sat at one end of a table and ate cereal as the city yawned. Then she rode the train for half and hour to get to work. One of the stations was above-ground so she could see the river when she passes by, swaying to the train’s breath. The sky was cloudy, sort of orange-grey, and it was quite cold outside.
Meanwhile, something followed her. Not near, somewhere at a distance hidden behind a crowd. Always. Creeping through a window or standing right outside the door, a huge shapeless monster. She could see it sometimes in reflections or shadows, just as she turned away. She could feel it there like a wound. She knew it’s there, constantly, though nobody else does.
And every once in a while she would notice the thing coming closer. Etching toward her inch by inch until it was right behind her, so close it could touch her soft hair.
At that point all it took was for her to turn around.
As she looked at it, things started fading. Voices growing quieter. She would stare at the thing until she could no longer remember what her name was.
Then, it extended a shadow of a hand. Long, dark, unstable, like some sort of anomaly. Like a scream in the form of pure darkness.
She took its hand every time and it led her away. In the woods, onto a roof, in a dark alley. She could never remember.
As they walked, the world grew darker around them until she couldn’t tell the thing from anything else. The stars went out. Places faded. Everything died. And then in a split second there was nothing left. Nothing but the darkness.
After, she woke up and found herself filthy and bruised, in an unfamiliar cold place. She would stumble back into the city with the mist and the dawn, and go back to her life again. Before anyone else was awake she was back. Eat the cereal, ride the subway, just as before.
But somewhere far away, she knew, somewhere hidden, the thing was still there for her.