running with atavistic fear
Running, running, I am running. A terrible, all consuming fear is gripping me, my entire being.
I am alone, yet not alone.
The tunnel is dark and hard. Its walls are of concrete. I splash through shallow puddles on the floor. The passage is rectangular and seems level with no slope. My hands reach out to feel its walls while trying to keep my balance as I run.
It is warm and humid.
My breathing coming in short, rapid gasps. Adrenaline pouring into my bloodstream. My heart pounding in my chest.
An instinctive, primal fear of what is pursuing me drives me on. Running in darkness.
I sense, feel, that it is pursuing me.
There. Did I hear it? Did I hear the thing behind me get closer?
Running. A second fear assails me now. The fear that I might collapse of heart failure.
A gradual lightening of the darkness now. Yes, up ahead some. Running.
I burst out of the tunnel, and see the distant lights of the chemical works. The graveyard shift is on. A quarter moon hangs in the cloudy, night sky.
The sound behind me is closer now.
I have stopped as I cannot go on. The will is present, but the body is past its physical limits. Hunched over and gasping for breath, my pulse is racing out of control. The blood pressure is dangerously high.
I must get out of its path quick. Leaping to the side lands me in the dirt and scrub of a shallow ditch.
The slithering sound is upon me now. The ugly creature begins to emerge from the dark tunnel.
The old mammalian brain stem recoils in horror. An instinctual revulsion to the cold blooded, reptilian monstrosity seizes me. Logical, coherent thinking is not possible.
I have seen Burmese pythons as thick (or thicker) as a body builder’s upper arms. This beast is of a gargantuan size. Its length cannot be known as only the flat head and a few feet of the body have emerged. But, its thickness, diameter, is likely three feet or more.
It must have a good sense of smell. As its head quickly swings in my direction, my blood runs cold.
The monster serpent does not have to crush me in its grip, in its coils. It need only strike with those large fangs to fatally rend my flesh.
The eyes. Those malicious, non human eyes gaze down on me as it prepares to strike.
The terror takes over and I scream long and loud.
As I wake, heart pounding, drenched in sweat, in the hospital bed, the young blonde nurse is bending over me and is injecting me with yet another powerful “sedative”. The colorful tattoo of a butterfly is clearly visible above her right breast. No warm smile on her face.
Why do they do this?
Of what am I guilty?
Why these nightmares within this waking nightmare?
“No, I am not a librarian who dropped out of dental school.” I scream out before losing consciousness.
All goes dark and silent and empty.