by Jainaba Turner
I closed my eyes and lifted my face to the slowly fading sun, allowing the last fragment of warmth to soak into my skin before it slipped behind the high rise buildings. For a second it hovered over the horizon, causing the sunset to bleed across the sky; deep apricot colliding with bright tangerine.
I could hear the distant buzz of street lights as they began to illuminate the city, scattering the peace that had been there just seconds ago. The streets immediately transformed, ghostlike shadows battling the city that seemed to be lit from the inside, a million candles ablaze, eating away at the unwelcoming darkness. But darkness, inevitable, always seems to win.
People think the city sleeps at night, that everything freezes in time and awakens at sunrise. They can’t see that night time is when everything starts to come to life.
Rats that daren’t leave their sewers crawl the streets freely. The outcasts in society finally welcome. Only the strong allow themselves to succumb to the darkness. Others try to block it out, closing their curtains, locking their doors.
To me, the darkness is mysterious. Senses become sharper, you can hear the slightest movement, notice a change in the smallest things. Your imagination begins to wander, creating stories of abstruse people that wander the streets, chasing pavements.
Whenever I find myself feeling claustrophobic I think back to that night. Before, stress followed my footsteps. The air was mild, a respite in the humid summer. I remember chatting to a woman, I told her my name was River, she told me her name was Forest. We laughed and went our separate ways, not knowing how our lives would collide in the future.
- A number of talented Huntington School year 10 students took part in a one-day writing workshop – and YorkMix is delighted to be the first to publish their work
- To find out more about the creative writing workshop, and to read the other students’ work, click here