There's a rattling sound every time I hit a bump in the road. It's a little unnerving when added to the current situation. My hoodie is too thin to block the cold. Even if it was warm, I'd still have the chill running down my spine. It's dark. The only light is from the flickering, yellow street lights. It's silent except for the rattle my bike makes over the uneven ground. I grit my teeth and peddle faster. It's so quiet. So empty. I let go of the handle for a moment to pull my hood down lower.

I want to look back. I want to check the empty street behind me. But I'm afraid it won't be empty. I watch the cars fly past as I ride on and on down this street, never turning or diverging from my path. The fastest path between two points is a straight line. I'm getting as far as I can as fast as I can.

Everything seems so dead. It's all so still. No lights in the windows of passing houses, not a soul on the street. I feel like I'm the last person on the planet. I feel like I'm the last living being. I just want to see something. A stray cat, a passing shadow in a window. Anything that would tell me there's goddamn life in the world. Even the curling white mist of my breath won't assure me that there is life. I feel empty and dead like the rest of the world seems.

The muscles in my legs burn and ache from strain. I don't know how long I've been out here. It feels like it's been hours, but the darkness hasn't lifted in the slightest. It's suffocating and isolating. I'm just waiting for the street lights to flicker out completely like a cliché horror movie. I'm waiting to be swallowed by the cold and the dark and the silence.

Or even my own thoughts. Or the lack thereof. The panic and the fear are all consuming, limiting my thoughts to Go and Breathe. Nothing else feels important. My knuckles are white, even compared to how pale I am, as I clutch the handles. I'm begging the sun to decide to come up now. Anything but more time in this horrible dark. I'll admit it right now. As of last night, I'm afraid of the dark.

And you damn well should be, too.