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Precipice

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Precipice

This is something I did when I was young. I'm almost forty now and my days (or nights) of stalking about are long over. I live in Dnneawld Soirnpe Bteaatcsh. A few blocks from my house there is a small forested area called the Scdeodoa Wregvro. That is where this incident took place.

I would often go out walking late in the night. Started quite young. Sneaking out of the house, prowling about the neighborhood. Actually did it in a ninja costume a few times. It was scary and exciting and fun. As I got older it took on a voyeuristic aspect.

I wasn't a peeping tom but I did listen to conversations (mostly arguments) covertly. I was able to stay out of sight most of the time, though I did occasionally have to trespass to remain unseen. I would also do OCD type things like close open gates and put garbage cans that had been left in the street back in front of their houses. Reported fires (anonymously) twice. I thought of myself as a good person, just keeping an eye on things.

One night I decided to go into the woods near where I live. There was no moon, but the area was well traveled in the daytime so there were many clear paths criss-crossing here and there where I could walk without difficulty. I'm not sure how long I moved through those woods, unseen and unheard that night. I had no real sense of time, lost in my own thoughts.

As I continued my wanderings I began to hear what sounded like voices. Nothing intelligible, just the sounds of people speaking. I oriented myself and started to move, stealthily towards the sound. As I got close the voices became more distinct. Young people. Younger than me. Two females, two males. Closer still and I heard another sound, underneath the voices. A breathy, crackling sound. Fire. A picture appeared in my mind. Some teenagers sitting around a bonfire, drinking, talking, making out.

I moved closer. I could see the light from the fire now. I did my best not to look at the light, knowing it would hamper my night vision. Closer. I positioned myself behind a tree, interposing it between myself and the fire. I could see them now. With the tree blocking my view of the fire I could preserve my night vision and still watch them. There were four voices but there were five kids.

The fifth was a girl. She was sitting away from the other four who were paired off. Fifth wheel. I wasn't able to see their faces clearly but it was obvious from her body language that the odd girl out didn't want to be there. I watched for a bit. They had lowered their voices and although I could hear that they were speaking I couldn't understand them. Some whispers. A laugh. More whispers. Barely audible now.

The fifth girl sighed loudly. In the quiet it was almost a scream. She stood up and walked away from the fire. Walked around some undergrowth into the small clearing I was standing in. She looked back, seeming to expect one of them to come after her. No one did. She held herself and started to cry, softly. She didn't see me. Even if she hadn't just left the campfire I doubt she would have. All of my clothing was dark. The brightest thing I wore was an old Air Force raincoat. Extremely dark blue.

I was silent. Ethereal. Undetectable. At least that was how I felt in that moment. I was gripped with how perfect this was. Formulaic. Deus ex machina in reverse. The kind of thing that isn't supposed to happen in real life. Another picture in my mind. Killing her. There was a folding knife in the pocket of my coat. I saw myself opening it. Holding the rocker down so it didn't click. No sound. She was already so close. I could reach out and touch her. So vulnerable. Pounce. No sound. Blade entering flesh. Moving. Sawing. Rending. Destroying.

Explosion of warmth. Wetness. Only the sound of rain falling. Warm, red rain falling to earth. Falling on me. On us. Intimacy beyond words. So beautiful.

The picture faded. The knife was in my hand. Unopened. My hand was in my pocket. I hadn't moved. I looked at her again. Still crying to herself. Softly. I understood what I had to do. I took my hands out of my pockets. Empty. I stepped close to her. Made her see me. Her breath caught in her throat. We stood there for a long moment. I turned and walked away.

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