A man who wasn’t there

black and white, concrete stairwell

It’s just the wind you say. Just an echo of our footsteps ricocheting up the stairwell. Bricks and concrete repel sounds, the metal flashing pings with each heel fall.

I know you’re lying. Echoes aren’t whispers. They’re well formed taunts, chattering in my ear. Your words push me forward. I run ahead of your words scratching at my sanity, cutting through my weak defenses.

The sun hides from you too. Shying away from your corners and alcoves, afraid to shine its light on your villainy. Descending down the steps, the air turns cold, and the wind stirs the dead leaves caught against the risers.

The further down I go, the more disoriented I become, lost in a maze of sameness – colorless, featureless, hopeless. Do I stop, do I turn around and return the way I came? Is a wretched past better than a foreboding future?

Your specter bites at my heels, and I run faster, taking the steps two at a time. My choice is made… I turn and fight.

Only you’re not there.

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Light and Shade Challenge: “Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, I wish, I wish he’d go away…” ~ Hughes Mearns

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