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Chasing Thumps

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You awake on the ground in an alleyway. Your pockets are empty. Didn't you have your phone with you? There is a high-pitch screeching in your ears. Where are you? In an attempt to find answers, you try and call out, “Is anyone there?” but not a single sound makes it through. You panic. This isn't right, you think to yourself. Try as you might to recollect what had happened before you blacked out, not a single answer comes to mind. Suddenly a loud thumping starts from behind as the screeching comes to an end. *Ba-dum ba-dum* You listen closely to find the source. The sound gets louder. *Ba-dum ba-dum* It’s closer. You start to run in the opposite direction, only to find two pathways. One is covered in moss with a water-like goo spread across the floor. The other was poorly attempted to be blocked off. There is enough space to push through, however. You can’t see through either path. *Ba-dum ba-dum* The sound is closer. You’re running out of time! Choose something! You rush into the path in the moss. *Ba-dum ba-dum* You’re running out of breath but you persist. You don’t know what is making that sound, but you fear that if you are to find out, it will be too late. *Ba-dum ba-dum* You have reached a dead end.

You can’t think straight. Your entire world is collapsing around you. You try pushing forward. But you’re in the same place. Not as in running in a circle, just not going forward. Your movements work. They don’t get you anywhere. It’s as if you're on a treadmill, running in place. Run! Don’t stand there! Move something! Go! Leave! Run! Just… a.. little… more…. Everything is fading darker and darker. The thumping continues, getting louder with each beat. Your vision twists and turns. A creature appears before you, yet you can’t make out any features. To be honest, you don’t really see it at all. You just feel it’s there. Flashing lights appear out of nowhere, a collision of colors almost as if a close up of a light show. If you had the time, you might have even stopped to admire them. Too bad. You’re stuck here and you know it. You scream. Or try to. Still, it’s silent. Falling to the ground, all you want is to leave. Tears fall down your face. *Ba-* The thumping has been cut off. The lights ceased. Your vision returns to normal. Well, you think it does. Truth is, the darkness is the only thing filling your eyesight. You feel the creature disappear. Am I dead? you ask yourself. Then everything fades to white.

You awake in a panic. Your lit up clock shows it’s actually 5:57 in the morning. Was it all in your head? You’d have to wake up in a little while for school anyway, so you get up and try and piece together your dream in your head. It’s as clear as daylight in your memories. I thought you couldn't remember dreams, you think to yourself. You figure that rumor isn't always true. It wouldn't matter anyway. You've been having that nightmare for a few days now. Maybe even a week. Is that a flashing light? you think as you look over your shoulder. It’s all in my head. Finally giving up on thinking about this, you get ready for school. 6:30 am rolls around and you leave the house. Then you realize, Where’s Mom? You go with the simple answer and assume that she just went to work early and you forgot she told you. You've done that often.

The bus arrives and you board. It’s surprisingly quiet. Everyone’s there. They’re staring at you. They’re following your movements. You can’t decide if this means anything or not. After sitting down next to your best friend, everyone looks away and returns to talking. You barely hear a Taylor Swift song playing the background through all the talking. The ride seems longer than usual. You look out the window to see that the bus is taking a new route. The bus comes to a stop. Looking through the window again, you see an abandoned hockey rink and a closed store of some sort. There’s a trashed light pole and the sidewalk is in crumbles. The door to the bus opens and everyone starts walking out. Did the bus break down?

Your breathing grows heavy. You reached the entrance of the bus and slowly step down onto the excuse for a sidewalk. Confused, you take a small step forward. Where did they all go? A loud screeching sounds from behind as you turn to see the bus. The wheels start spinning. Faster, faster, faster. They keep speeding up more and more until the rear end of the bus is out of sight. Realizing that chasing after it is pointless, you run in the opposite direction. Maybe you can at least get back home from there. You start on your long, tedious walk ahead of you. Hours later and you've become lost. There were no turns so that couldn't have been the issue. Tired as you are, you still push forward. It’s like there’s something in your gut telling you that there is an exit right in front of your eyes. Just...a.little...further… About a ready to pass out, you slowly sit down and lean against the wall behind you. You feel as if you have gotten nowhere. Ready to start again, you stand up and look at your surroundings. You see an abandoned hockey rink and a closed store of some sort. Again? Why? How? You start to run. Did I go in a circle? Where am I anyway? Then it drops on you like an atomic bomb. Tears streak down your face. The thumps…. they’re back….. And a flash of white appears before you as you fall to the ground. Everything fades to black as you see two slim boots step towards you, and the thumps grow louder.

You awaken in a dark alleyway. You hear a laughing voice from behind. A booming screech sounds from all around. The thumps continue. Well, you think they do. You don’t know if they had been stopped while you were blacked out. *Ba-dum ba-dum* You shudder at the sound. Not again, you think to yourself. You scream out. Nothing. Not a sound. Why do I even bother? A voice comes from behind. “This is too much fun, ya know?” It sounds a bit like a teenage girl. She giggles. All you can think to do is stare. You see nothing.

“The thumps are still going. Don’t you have something you need to be doing?”

“Who are you?” You manage to push a few words out.

“Someone. Or something. Pick what you like.”

Some...thing? What? You’re taken aback by this. You realize you have no time to think about this. *Ba-dum ba-dum* Your feet start moving forward. They start speeding up, faster and faster. Are you even doing this on your own? Those same two paths appear before you. You already know happens down the mossy pathway. A dead end in the path would be your dead end. *Ba-dum ba-dum* You slam your foot through the wooden boards covering the second pathway. *Ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum* Your steps have become in rhythm with the thumps. *Ba-dum ba-dum* The voice is back.

“Ba dum, ba dum. That’s the sound of a chase.”

You speed up a bit.

“Ba dum, ba dum. That’s the sound that it makes.”

Faster, faster, faster!

“Ba dum, ba dum. Then a fatal mistake, and-”

You’re at full speed.

“Ba dum Ba-”

A wall comes into view.

“The dum never comes.”

The voice giggles. You crash into the wall. The giggling turns to cackling. Your vision blurs and slowly fades to black.

You awake in a panic. Your lit up clock shows it’s actually 5:57 in the morning. Was it all in your head? You’d have to wake up in a little while for school anyway, so you get up and try and piece together your dream in your head. You've been having that nightmare for a few days now. Maybe even a week. Is that a flashing red light?

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