When it was cold and dark I would see them. Dark shadows that would chase me, always reaching out to grab me. No one else could see them, making my fear seem like madness. I would come to question my own sanity as well. Even now I think that perhaps all I experienced was nothing more than the breaking of my mind. Anyone who would hear my story will likely think so. However even insanity will not answer all that I had witnessed.
They always showed themselves as the night grow bitter. Living moving shadows with exaggerated human features chasing me even on the most crowded of streets. My fear and panic only caused confusion for any around me. No one could help me, they could not understand. The shadows came and went. I only needed to evade them for moments before they vanished again but I only needed to be off guard for a moment as well for one to get me. Since I first saw them it had only been a week. I barely slept or eaten. I grow more and more isolated from the people who could not understand the horror I faced.
Then one late eve I saw the reaching of a shadow as I turned the corner by the store. I was too late to run and as the dark figure’s long cold fingers grasped around my arm I could feel them squeeze….but only for a moment. The world vanished around me and there was no longer anything grabbing me. A vastness of space stood before me yet there was nothing to see. I was standing in snow and it stretched out for what seemed like forever. A plane of never ending snow unnaturally flat and undisturbed. There seemed to be no wind adding to the unease of the place I now stood. It was cold, colder than it had any right to be. There was just enough light to see, like a moonlit night but no sign of any moon.
I wandered this cold world searching for something, anything. Yet I could not tell if I even made progress, as my footsteps behind me always vanished while I was not looking. Soon I grow tired and tripped to the ground. Catching myself with my uncovered hands I could feel the cold snow. Quickly I got up and rubbed the icy cold off my hands to only find bits sticking to me like hot wax. At first my hands went numb but numbness was soon replaced with waves of pain as the cold damaged tissue. Trying to scrape the “snow” off with my hand only spread it to my fingers. My hands grow white and swelled, screaming and yelling for help proved futile in this cold world. Looking down at the snow that surrounded me on all sides I feared I could not stop moving or rest. If I were to fall down again I may die.
That is when I saw a visage. A man standing atop the snow, as if he was weightless. He was almost see through. Was he a ghost? or mirage created from my pain? I did not care either way for he was the only thing I had seen in this lonely plane of nothing. I ran towards him barely thinking, only seeking some kind of salvation. He turned towards me, and I could see his face contorted in fear. He started to run away, instinct told me to pick up the pace I had to catch him, this ghostly man. I was no longer thinking of what I would do when I catch him, like a hunter of old I let my all else escape from my mind my sole task was to catch this prey running away from me. It was then the visage tripped over what seemed like nothing and I caught up to him. As I reached down to grab him he turned over and I could see the fear in his eyes but it was too late I put my hand on him and the world changed.
I was standing on a dark street, an overturned trashcan next to me as a gust of wind proved I was no longer in that cold place. I was overtaken by confusion for some time. I had no idea where I was, but it was enough to be away from that world. Looking at my hands the “Snow” was gone but my hands still were swollen and blistered from the cold. I felt relieved but it would not last long. Looking at the overturned trashcan made me realize what had happened. I remembered that look of fear on that ghostly face. The nature of the shadows that sent me to that hell became all the more clear.
The next few days were spent in hospitals. They say I had been gone for nearly a week. Doctors used words like, stress, psychosis, hypothermia. They figure I simply went mad for a week and wondered the streets till the cold nearly killed me. The damage to my hands was real however. They say that the nerves have been shot and I may never have feeling in parts of my hands and fingers again. They say I should be lucky I still have them. I tried to say little to the doctors and police. They had their theory and were likely to believe it no matter what I said.
I haven’t seen the shadows since that day. I fear there return but what I fear more is what I would do again to escape that cold and lonely place, or who I would have to damn to it.
/////Its been a few months since I have written anything. But recently a Story of mine, Dead and Buried, was put in a book called “Delightful Horrors Tales from the Darkest Corners of the Web” This has renewed my urge to write. Snow and Shadow may not be the creepiest story I have written but I hope you give it credit for helping start writing again.