HE is Coming
HE was coming and I knew HE would find me. I looked around the house frantically. Panicked, I rushed around looking, searching, back and forth looking for a place to hide. Time was running out. HE was coming and I knew HE would find me. I lived in the house, I had lived in it my whole life, but I did not know where to hide. I propelled myself silently and anxiously down the hallways, seeing and omitting every spot passed. HE was coming and I knew HE would find me.
The cold sweat was starting as I went through each room. My first thought was under the bed, but I had seen enough movies to know that that was a ridiculous spot. Not only would HE see me, but could only see him coming from one direction…and HE could come from anywhere. “Not the bed,” I told myself. The voice I spoke to myself with in my mind mirrored my physical voice. I murmured and talked to myself in a hushed, out of breath tone that was getting more frenzied. “How can I be this out of breath when I am breathing so heavily?” I mumbled to the empty bedroom. “Think…think…think…think…. where… he’s going to find me…think…” The running commentary to nobody should have calmed me, but hearing the terror in my own, nearly unrecognizable voice frightened me even more.
Cautiously and quickly I peered out of the bedroom down the hall. I couldn’t hear him anymore, but I knew HE was somewhere and that HE was coming. HE doesn’t quit. I ran on my toes to the bathroom thinking about hiding behind the shower curtain. “No! How would you be able to see him coming?” my personal narrator reasoned. “By the time HE rips the curtain back it will be too late!” I accepted the reasoning, but could feel the terror increasing with each second that clicked forward. “Okay, okay…uhh, not the shower curtain, but what about…” I ran to the living room where the curtains hung in front of the window. They were long, shimmery green curtains that I had always loved. “Those could work, I can see through them a little, at least enough to see when HE’s coming. I need to give myself a chance.” I had no idea how much time I had, I had no idea where HE would come, but I did know that I really had no chance. My heart was beating faster and faster. I couldn’t tell if it was the fear or being out of breath, but it echoed. Finally, silently I dashed behind the curtains in the living room and listened to my own breath. The curtains swayed and moved with the heaving of my chest against them. Looking down to try and even out the swelling of my lungs, I saw the achilles heel of my hiding place. My own heels, my entire feet, the pair of them, were sticking out from below the curtain. Gasping I dashed my eyes around to seek out a new place to hide. I can’t believe I had never noticed that the curtains were a good 5 inches off the floor! I swore and flew out from my tarnished safety.
HE was coming and I knew HE would find me.
On the floor, behind the couch, face in my hands, I searched my mind for a new place. Laundry hamper? No. There was no escape from there. Garage, under the car? No. I was trapped there too. Kitchen cupboard? Maybe…I decided to try.
Time had to be up. I had been looking too long. There is no way HE wasn’t here somewhere searching for me. The kitchen wasn’t too far away. As I crawled and worked my way to it, I went through the different cupboards where I could hide in my mind. I didn’t have much time. There was one that might work. It was right in the corner beside the fridge and held large appliances. I am pretty sure that if I was desperate enough, I could weave myself behind the appliances and even use them to help disguise me. I was desperate enough.
Just a few more steps and I would be in the kitchen. My blood was rushing, my heart was pounding, and I still couldn’t catch my breath. Flight had taken over fight. Turning the corner I made a near-silent squeal! HE was in there! Searching the exact cupboard I had planned on finding comfort in! I sprinted down the hall, not knowing where my feet were taking me, but knowing that they were taking me away from where HE was. When I finally gained control of my feet and mind again, I found myself back where I had started, in the bedroom. “Not under the bed!” My narrator screamed inside my head once again. He now sounded frustrated and angry, far from the panicked, out of breath person I was. “No,” I agreed “not under the bed.” I didn’t dare open the door to look and see if HE had heard me or followed me. I knew HE was coming, and I knew HE would find me. The only thing I didn’t know was how long; the clock counting down the time to being found was tick-tocking and I couldn’t think straight.
Suddenly, my darting eyes fell upon my closet. “The shelf!” I got a mere glimmer of hope, it was almost nothing, but it was enough to re-focus and keep going. I still couldn’t hear him, but HE had to be close. Throwing open the closet door, I looked up, above where un-ironed shirts hung, to the shelf at the top. I saw an image of myself up there I my mind’s eye, pressed against the back wall, lying flat…out of sight. “Perfect!” I spouted out a little too loudly. My hands reached up to try and reach the shelf, my fingertips glanced it. I looked at the closed bedroom door one last time before jumping to grab hold of the shelf, my only hope.
Dazed, I looked, from my back on the floor at my hands. Pieces of the apparently flimsy shelf and its contents littered the floor around me. It was over. I lay there in particles of the shelf that had, only moments ago, offered hope and safety. Now it was gone, shattering under my weight as I grabbed hold. The shelf had deceived me. HE had definitely heard the crash, HE would definitely see the catastrophic mess that lay around and on me. It was over. HE was coming and I knew HE would find me.
Slowly, painfully, I slid under the bed and watched the bedroom door. I could not discern between the sounds of my rapidly beating heart and the footsteps I heard coming. My breath caught in my throat and my narrator was silent. There was nothing to do, but lay there and wait. The worst possible hiding spot. The hiding spot I had discredited from the beginning. The hiding spot that every stupid person in every stupid movie finds themselves in. I was now that stupid person, but this was not a stupid movie. The door of the bedroom opened and I forgot how to breathe. It seemed that even my heart stopped as I watched his feet pace back and forth across the closet destruction. HE made no sound, his shoes walked back and forth. I noticed every detail in slow motion from my disadvantage point. The shoes were black with white soles. The laces were hastily tied and the left was looser than the right. The heels on both feet were worn more on the outside than the inside and there was a small scuff on the toe of his left shoe. I saw every detail, I couldn’t blink, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think. Finally, after an eternity, the scuffed toe turned towards me, the un-scuffed toe followed suit.
“I see you.”
The voice of anything other than my narrator sounded foreign now to me. His voice was far different than mine and he inflected upwards at the end of his sentence. Not the inflection of a question, it was as though the words themselves showcased the snarl that was surely gracing his lips.
HE had come and HE had found me.
I had one chance. I threw myself from underneath the bed and tripping clumsily trying to gain balance, I barged out of the bedroom door. My sudden bravery caught him by surprise and gave me a slight head start. I was running. Running away from him. Running to safety. I heard his footsteps louder than mine. They were louder than my heart. Louder than my strangled, panting breath. His footsteps echoed behind me and the echoing was getting closer. I pushed my legs, pumped my arms, sprinted down the hallway of my once-safe home, but HE was so much faster, inhumanly fast! I ran faster than I ever knew I could and my blood pumped through my muscles, but it was not enough. A hand roughly grabbed my shoulder from behind… “Gotcha!”
It was over.
Now it was my turn. Just like all the others before me.
10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1……………smiling, I shouted, I shouted loud enough that everyone heard my through the entire house. I didn’t have to use my silent narrator anymore. They were now the hiders and I was the seeker. ”Ready or not, here I come!”
Fans of Jordan Peele's mind-bending narratives will have to wait a little longer for his next cinematic offering....