She Walked In

TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I have been and am; but why did you say that I am mad? That figure had sharpened my senses --not destroyed –even not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! And observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

I have repeatedly stressed that I can see a figure, as mentioned in many tales, wearing a ghastly white robe and with long black hair. However, what impressed me most was one of her eyes! Yes, it was this! She had the eye of Death --an inflamed black eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold. Strangely, whenever I stepped into the corridor alone, I could see her. She was staring at me, resentfully and bitterly; then she would dart towards me, reaching out her hands to choke me. Her long black hair lay beside me like a flag of death. But she has never succeeded, at least for now, when I turned back alarmed and rushed into my classroom, getting my breath again, everything returned to normal. All of my classmates looked at me, a bit askance, like a lunatic. But how could I explain? Nobody could believe what I had seen unless they experienced it themselves.

Now, this is the point. Why did you say that I am mad? You may some day experience such fear and despair as well! You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! Last time I saw her, I tried to run into an empty classroom;, when she was approaching, I closed my eyes and cried: “I don’t know why you keep on chasing me, but if I can find a scapegoat, could you just let me go?”

 I waited for her response anxiously, but when I opened my eyes again, I was the only one in that classroom. “She must have agreed my proposal.” I thought, “Well…maybe.”

It was late the next day before I found her standing at the end of the corridor. My words from yesterday occurred to me, and then I rushed into my classroom and turned off the light. My classmates began to murmur and roll their eyes at me. My teacher's patience had also dissipated. He asked me what was going on. I kept quite still and said nothing, and I have to admit, at that time. I even doubted whether she would come or not.

Then, I heard her scraping across the stone floor in her heels, and slight groans, but I didn’t look back. I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when the entire world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what they felt, and pitied them, although I chuckled at heart. Their fears had been ever since growing upon them. They had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. They had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching them, had stalked with her black shadow before them, and enveloped her victims.

“Now, it’s your turn.”

I began to howl with laughter. The teacher tried to close the door and turned on the light. Just before the teacher approached the door, she walked in.

 

NameYvonne  童嘉逸

Student Number150110306