Every waking moment, it haunts my anxious mind. It stalks me like a wolf in the shadows, its friends eagerly snapping their jaws, waiting for a chance to tear me apart.
I try to walk with purpose; back straight, head tall, eyes trained on the path ahead. I try my best to ignore my hungry followers, letting them believe that I am not the weak link in the herd. I ignore the way their eyes penetrate through my defenses, how the intent to kill is clearly seen every time I turn my head. I know that I am the creature that they desire to hunt, so why not let them take me?
I use “creature” because that is how I feel. A deer caught in the headlights of a speeding vehicle, a dark thundercloud about to burst with cold arctic sleet. The stress and pressure is too much to bear. My mind can take no more.
So, why doesn’t it go away on nights when the sea is calm and the moon is bright? Why doesn’t it evaporate like rain in a desert when luminous warmth fills my hollow bones? So brief the happiness comes, like the rarest rose on a frozen winter’s day.
Like the wolf, it never ceases to follow me. It tracks my every move, waiting for the slightest slip-up or clumsy step that will set my path askew, giving the wolf a chance to lunge and rip another limb off from my already broken and rotting body.
Yet I still walk, back straight, head tall, eyes trained on the path ahead. Not bothering with the blood trail I leave behind for the wolf and his friends to follow.