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Art by Rhea Hernandez

Art by Rhea Hernandez

Rhea Hernandez, Reporter

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Step step step step

My eyes are staring into nothing, yet the they seem fixed on the ground, somehow making sure my feet don’t trip on themselves.

Both hands in my sweater pockets, head down, and blank face. My mechanical legs continue to walk down the sidewalk.

Everything’s so quiet… so quiet.


I’m running. Running fast. Faster. Faster.

My heart thumps violently enough to make my chest hurt. My feet sprinted, barely touching the ground as they fall within each second.

Nothing’s more than a streak. Nothing’s more than a blur. Nothing’s more than a shout, a noise, a glimpse. All within a second.

I’m running. Keep running. Running.


At the corner of my eye, there it is. A shadow. A darkness with no figure. One of the few things science is able to see, but words of deeper minds are able to see deeper into, and they use words in different forms to bring it to surface, into a light.

Yet, it’s still darkness all the same, no matter the light. It just changes into something. Maybe another light. It’s still darkness all the same.


Everything’s still a blur, everyone’s still a blur.

They’re turning into something else. I can’t tell what though. Something. Someone. But what?


It won’t go away. It’s actually getting bigger. I better run. Run faster. Faster. Faster.

It doesn’t look like it’s getting bigger but I know it is. It’s like the sun using illusions. You can’t actually see it changing, but, somehow after some time, it does change. Scratch that. It’s time that makes the illusion. The illusion was making it bigger… scarier… darker.


Something appears in my hand. A weapon. It’s neither sword nor a staff. Shiny, humble nor dull. It’s something only my conscience can see clearly yet my material eyes couldn’t fully interpret.


It makes a noise that’s somewhere between a roar and a whisper… the voice of the mind.

The weapon makes the same sound too. I can’t tell what their saying, but they’re certainly trying to say something. How can I figure it out?

The same question asked so many times in a thousand and one ways, and it’s that “one” way that only few can find.


I better use it. I just don’t know how though.

It’s roaring again. Or screeching. Or screaming, whispering. I don’t know..

I grip the weapon tighter, while fear drums my heart a thousand beats a minute. It beats it to a bruise to make it go faster. Faster. Faster.

The world’s going faster.

Faster. Hurry. Go. Go now. Faster. Faster.

Too fast. What is happening?


The shadow snaps in attempt to catch me. Shoot, I’m losing pace.

Faster. Faster. Faster.

I’m losing, but I gotta keep going. Maybe if I turn, change my path. Will it change anything though? The monster will still be chasing me. Plus I don’t know where the turn will take me. Okay. Go. Just go. Go. Now.

I turn.

Wherever I am, I don’t know, so I just go. Keep going. Keep going. Hurry.

Drops of sweat run down my head but only for a second before flying off. A layer of cool air drifts around me as I continue to let my feet fly.


It’s doing it again. This time, I gotta use it.

It was prickling me in the back of my mind… but even more so in a corner of my heart.

It’s getting closer. It lightly brushed up against my skin, making me shudder. I thought I could feel its warm breath as its menacing growls vibrate deep within its throat while whispers of a thousand raises in volume as if they were consuming my mind. It’s so close. Closer. Closer. Darker. Darker.


It takes up all the light, towering and surrounding me. I’m in the eye of the hurricane now, in a pit of swirling blackness.


Thoughts and fear and pain. They were making my head hurt, working it to a near death by itself. Someone help. Help. Someone, something. I want to stop. Can’t stop. Don’t stop. It’s getting closer. Closer. Run. Keep running. I will make it. Will I make it? Make another moment. Come on. Just go. Go.

Think. Think. Think… Don’t think.

It’s coming. Coming closer. Closer. Growls. Roars. Whispers.

I hold up my weapon. I face it and lunge.

Bzzzzz Bzzzzz (iPhone buzz)


“Aki! Come on! You gotta walk faster or we’re gonna be late!” their sister shouts.


The street is a bustling river of people while every kind of electrical light shined brighter than the distance, humble stars. The Usuals had a screen either in hand, in pocket, in hand within a pocket, attached to the ear, or linked to their eyes. The white noise of chatter filled my ears, making it hard to hear my sister who was, at least, visibly far ahead.

She was standing along with her pack of friends at the end of the sidewalk where the crossing line was. With one hand on hip and her impatient look, she was basically saying “If you wanted to stay home instead of having me drag you out here, you could’ve said so” without the usage of words, like always.

“Oh, uh.. yeah, I’m coming,” I said with a flat/tired voice.

Step step step step

My eyes are staring into nothing, yet the they seem fixed onto the ground somehow making sure my feet don’t trip on themselves.

Both hands in sweater pockets, head down, and a blank face. My mechanical legs continue to walk down the sidewalk.

It’s still so quiet…


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