When light is your enemy, darkness is your safety.
(Image courtesy of Chin S.)
I could hear the clock ticking with droplets of water over my shoulder. There was no other sound but that dreadful rhythm. Yes, it was yet another starless sky as I complacently perched in the corner, knees tucked to my chest clinging to some sort of safety. The lights were out again, but this time the dark offered security. I could hear the dribbling water getting faster and faster until, suddenly it stopped. It was replaced by heavy footsteps, feet almost being dragged against the floor. I tried not to scream. I should remain passive and quiet.
“I know you’re here, somewhere.” the man exclaimed with a grunt.
I held my breath and slowly, carefully crawled under the dining table. It wasn’t a smart move, I know, but it was part of my escape plan. Through darkness I crossed the unchartered path, my hands as my guide.
“Where’s my damn flashlight?” said the man. He frantically fumbled through the kitchen cabinets. The utensils were clashing, spoons and forks clanking. He grabbed the top drawer and sighed contentedly with a laugh. I watched him turn it on. Light emanated, stuck onto his face. His eyes were huge and predatory, his brows furrowed for an incoming mischief.
“Come out, come out wherever you are.” he teased. The man bent his back and looked under the table.
Panicked and alarmed, I darted out like a little rat scrambling away. I was his prey. It was written conspicuously on his face. He gave me a half smile.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Leave me alone! Please.” I yelled and tumbled to the stairs up. I missed the first step and hit my knees. I tried to stand, but I couldn’t. He was getting closer, nearer. His half smile turned into a wide grin. I couldn’t hear anything except the loud thumping in my chest. I pushed myself up, but it was a failed effort.
“Please.” I whimpered. His flashlight was wavering on my face.
Suddenly, the bulbs flickered, gleamed, flared through the whole room.
“Thank God, electricity’s back.” He said in relief.
With the lights on, I lose my disguise. This was it. He viciously took me by the arm, yanked me out of the stairs, and planted me by the kitchen sink.
“Do you really think you’d escape me that easily?”
“No, no, no.” I panted.
“Wash the dishes young lady.” He pointed to the wheel of chores on the fridge. “Today is your day.”