The Grove

Who were they, that they came and disappeared so quickly? Why were they here, in the park at night, where no one was supposed to be? Were they homeless vagrants, violent, seeking victims? Members of a cult, assembling here in this circle of trees on the hilltop for some grotesque ceremony?

I turned suddenly.  No one. That did not mean they were not there. They had appeared out of the darkness. Kindly men, soft women, inviting me to join them. But I knew better. No. They were mistaken about me, in every way. I was not their prey, I would not be their victim, I was nobody to them and they were strangers to me, strange and, for all their warmth and seductive movements, unwelcome. I wanted to go home, to my safe little hole where I could sleep with all the lights on all night, where there were no corners to lurk in, no shadows to withdraw into, no wind for voices to sing in.

Perhaps if I made a rush at the trees, and veered at the last moment... I could just glimpse the rest of the park beyond the circle. If I could reach the road there would be no traffic, I could run along the yellow stripe down the middle, screaming all the way down the hill to the city so I would not hear them, so they would pursue me, down to the comfort of cars and buses and street lights and storefronts and neon signs and the wail of sirens, where all that threatened me was at least understood, where anything I needed to fear was concrete, known, categorized.

I heard a sound behind me. I spun and shouted, words, any words, to frighten it, to save myself. I saw no one, only the moving shadows under the trees. But I could hear the echo of my own cry receding through the park. And in the echo I heard the voices again, whispering, repeating my name, over and over, overlapping, reverberating, fading, starting over, my name chanted on the crying wind. Who were they? Could they be the ghosts of people who lived here before this was a park, before it was a city, before, before? Or were the voices in my head, memories of people I had hurt perhaps, projected into the trees, people with reason to hate me, or who hated me without reason?

And then there came another sound, different - a voice, an ordinary voice, much closer and without echoes.

“Hey!” said the voice. “Hey –It’s OK. Relax.”

About me

This is me: home-writer, book-reader, dog-lover and occasional poet. I make this website to share my and my friends texts with You, dear Reader. Please: read carefully, don't be scary, upgrade your mood and be king and leave your comment. :)