A Walk home through the dark cobbled streets. (505 Words)
The longer I stood in the damp, dark street, the more I became aware of my own beating heart. A heart that was trying its utmost to escape this faltering figure.
“Hello...Who’s there?” I tentatively called out to the dark.
Mr Bloomfield beckoned over a serving boy, for the hubbub drowned out our calling, and ordered more ale to aid our fight with the mutton. We had completed the task of finishing the Jackson shipping accounts and were enjoying a small, but hard earned, victory dinner. I sat back with a full stomach and lit my pipe from a candle. I looked across the tavern.
The entire scope of colour and class of Plymouth were present: The swaying, singing sailors, the painted prostitute, the loquacious lawyer, the attentive apprentice, the lugubrious lieutenant, the bored baker, the dark skinned docker. All gathered in the hot, smokey, warmth of company and unadmitted closeness.
The riotous babble receded as I started my walk home, the cold air already searing my throat. The cobbles wet and gleaming; the sound of my steps loud and intruding. By the time I was approaching Guildford street, all that could be heard was a dog’s sharp yap and a distant, lonely ship’s bell. My key evaded my hand as my thoughts were fixated upon my welcoming bed. As my fingers grasped for the itinerant iron key, a strident step sounded behind me. Then another. Then silence…
“Hello...who’s there?” I tentatively called out into the dark.
I waited and became a statue as seconds passed and silence surrounded me, my exhalation the only sign I was living. Was this a robber, a murderer or some foul spirit hell bent on taking my soul? But still I could see nought in the impenetrable blackness; a blackness that absorbed all enquiry. I had to know. I had to find out.
I strode forward two steps and demanded “Come out! Show yourself!”
A shape detached itself from the darkness and lunged toward me. White eyes wide and a silver flash arcing toward my neck. I twisted and caught the wrist of the individual and drew them into my embrace. He, for I could now see it was a young man, struggled in my grip like a smuggler at the end of a noose. I stilled him with a blow from my forehead, smashing his nose into a wet mess.
As I stood in the damp, dark street, I became aware of my own beating heart. My excitement held in check as I could smell fresh blood and feel warm flesh in my digging fingers. My mouth opened. I tasted copper on my tongue.
All thoughts of my bed evaporated as I dragged the victim into my house, grinning with scarlet teeth as I imagined the entertainment to come. As I closed the door behind us, leaving the shadowy street and entering a deeper darkness, all I could hear was a dog’s sharp yap and the distant, lonely ring of a ship’s bell.