By Aisha Elizabeth
All around me is a bleak smothering silence. The heavy air crushes into my body with invisible fists and hands squeezing and stretching. All around me darkness crawls and creeps and slithers. The howling moor is so fresh and beautiful, with its gently curving body and its tender, sweet smell. But when the night invades, a new beast play’s with my mind. Desperation takes a grasp, the cold moves into; my skin, my flesh, my bones, painful cold. I must find a shelter or it won’t be just me but my unborn child who suffers. He is what keeps my eyes searching the horizon, my hands and feet scrabbling around in the sharp rocks and thistles.
The howling moor is so fresh and beautiful, with its gently curving body and its tender, sweet smell.
I fear to look back because something’s coming! I can feel its eyes on my skin, crawling over me like a ghostly insect. Stumbling forwards my eyes squint ahead into the bright blackness and mist, can I see a light? Or is my mind intent on deceiving me? I move onwards, quickening the pace. The silhouette of a tall building emerges from the background, from a painting to a reality. Its features are handsome and tall, as only a Manor house could be but there was something foreboding about its grey, looming exterior. A narrow path slithers towards the door, snaking its way through the (I suppose I should call it a garden though that does not match the description of dismal patch of grass and tangled weeds that occupied the front of the building) and biting smoothly into the house in front.
The dark, brown, lifeless moors stretch outwards in every direction. Bedevilling my desperation, a solitary owl swoops overhead. Its freedom and agility dishearten me, it seemed to be distastefully flaunting its flight to accentuate how trapped I am below with my only escape being the crumbling building ahead. As I approach the deep, blood red, mahogany door I feel the spike of a million eyes piercing my flesh and head. All reason in me is screaming for me to knock but my gut wants to stumble back desperately into the open moor. Then before I had time to think, the door creaked open.