Eight steps between each unnatural, white, circular light. Eight taps of my black pumps on the ground. I count.
Three steps. I look over my shoulder. A black shadow in the corner of my vision. My heartbeats. Deep breath. My own.
Five steps, a larger stride.
Step seven the hum of the streetlight.
Eight steps, safe. Back in the halo of light.
Each of the eight steps creates a rustling. At first alarming. Then the realisation that it is my dress. The prom dress, strapless, leopard print, flaring from the waist. The netting underneath comes into contact with my black waterproof. Thoughts like these settle my mind. Stops my imagination. Stops the sooty beast from stirring.
Stop thinking. Focus instead on what lies ahead, but that it dark and unknown, eight steps, between the halos of light. But making yourself stop thinking is not easy. Not easy when the beast is prowling.