The face

It was getting dark. I had still not reached home.

In winters, the small sleepy Himalayan town would shut early. As soon as the sun rays would start losing their warmth, people would move inwards to their houses to the warmth of heaters and fire places.

I too would have loved that but my work had kept me out long these days.

I liked walking on road slowly, my mind wandering on its own, observing the vehicles which passed by, the birds flying back to their homes, an occasional person out of his house, clearing up the place for night.

Sometimes dogs would give company. Usually, they would be harmless, but I feared when they would start barking and a chain reaction would follow. One barking dog inviting others and they all would scare me. Those were the times,

I would hurry up. Quicken up my steps a little, till they would silence on their own and I would lose my speed again.

I liked this solitude. I was not afraid of walking alone. Had been staying in this sleepy town alone since so long, I had even stopped counting now.

What a monotonous life you would think. But today an adventure awaited me, or was it a misadventure?

I had barely crossed the bridge and it had become quite dark.

I heard some footsteps following me. I turned around I could see no one. I quickened my pace. My visceral fear was of a stalker following me

The moment I quickened, the footsteps behind me did the same. A continuous toc toc, but I saw no one.

Was it my failing eyesight? I made a mental note that I would get it checked.

I slowed down thinking that I will be able to see who is this following me.

The moment I slowed, the footsteps behind me slowed.

I became a bit curious. Unlike big cities, towns are friendly places. Everyone knows everyone by name and there would be no one who will try to play a prank on a middle aged lonely boring female like me.

I stopped when I came to a place which was well lit. Thanks to municipality, at least all the pockets were not uniformly dark. There was a solitary street lamp glowing just over my head.

I thought let me scare my stalker.

Probably, he had not expected this. The moment he saw me, he screamed and ran away as if he had seen a ghost.

I forgot to tell I had no face. No eyes, no nose, not even a mouth. It was just a round.

Visceral

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