The streets absorb the emotions in the air, with lingering scents of street foods, the sweet frisson of joy as wildflowers line the pathway and just know they were born to parade in the breeze. I leave the remainder of quiet laughter from the streets in the faint subtle streetlight as the path below me fades into darkness. The Park flows in the heart of the city, a sanctuary for your soul in the daylight, a place that holds small surprises and at night holds frightening tales of bye-gone eras. However, tonight it was my shortcut home and as the thin layered jacket, choosing fashion over sensibility was not the perfect option. The wind was cutting into my bones as frost grows over glass. The ancient oaks line the trail into the park, towering as protectors of monsters from on high and with the breeze bringing an aromatic smell of green moss, woods, dry earth, and the everlasting tiny waft of buttered popcorn.
When you are walking alone in the dimness of the night, shadows will play tricks on your eyes, scents will seduce your soul, and sounds will frighten you, and each step becomes a little prayer closer to home.
Each step was swifter now, even though I move slower to take visual photographs with my eyes. The dark woods release the sounds of nocturnal demons and push the frontier of adventurous senses. So many shadows dance in the dark and in the half-light, I catch a glimpse of something moving far ahead on the path, minutes passed though it seemed like hours, and with it came the great sound cracking through my eardrums, a shrill and piercing prolonged mournful deep sadness. Terror engulfed all my senses, and I was frozen in that moment. I could not mentally or physically move as the vision of real threats and memories of threats were all that existed. Up ahead, I see a faint light that should not be there from memory on my path. Should I continue my shortcut and conquer my darkness and the tricks played upon my mind or retreat to the familiar city streets. I feel the fear but take a step forward, listening, smelling, scanning, then take another step forward, and if, by magic, I gain confidence to continue the journey.
A walkway construction and a protected area wildlife conservation sign come into view and then the tunnel. The tunnel was a temporary man-made construction for individuals to commute through quickly by staying on a path and not walking on delicate vegetation in the park. It was dimly lit, spooky, perfectly straight, and appeared as it had always existed. I squinch my eyes in the dim light to try and peer to the other side with no luck. The icy wind was howling through the branches of the trees, making them moan and with them brought the bold aroma of spicy musk, the distinctive musky smell of a wild creature, and the faint wisp of tobacco smoke as if someone had just extinguished a cigar. The wild was natural, and I sensed goodness and evil, like Jekyll and Hyde. What kind of animal was lurking in the darkness? I don’t believe I want to find out, as the wise let fear school them yet never fool them. Turning away from the fiercely lit tunnel, I started walking back to the street, and at that moment, a very nostalgic and familiar scent transported me back to him and our first date. The first time I had met a man that captivated me so completely. The city was alive steamy and hot, and the smells were a thread to the past and future. But his scent was haunting and mysterious. We spent many afternoons and mornings enjoying nature, city life, and fine art, but I never saw him at night, and that was bittersweet because there were so many things, I wanted him to experience. The lingering scent was fading as I regained consciousness from my memories and continued to walk away and back toward the city’s life on the streets.
Every end is a beginning, and midnight is just the same. The beginning of transformation and the inner struggle of your monster self, the wolf within. Why had the misfortune fallen upon his weary soul with the affliction of immortality and the inability to love fully? Remember, forever is a gift craved until it is won. The faint shrill of sadness fills the air, and with icy cold dark eyes, the monster watched her from the shadows stroll away into the night. For he knows he is powerless to love her, yet he struggles with knowing the fact that one great love is worth more than an eternity of none.