Night comes fast when you’re all alone in the deep swamp woods filled with darkness and the creatures that lurk in it. Close your eyes, count to ten, you’ll only dream for things to get better. Danger lurks through the darkness. Eight legs turns to sixteen legs, then twenty-four, and the counting never ends. In a deadly place, you close your eyes. Once owl, two howls, and by the third your hissing nightmare is over. But night comes fast when you’re all alone in the deep swamp woods. Night comes fast when you’re all alone in the hot desert sand dunes. You’re crouched in a burrow that’s about three feet wide and half as deep. Claustrophobia comes to you like it never did before, but during the day you burn in the sun rays. So at night you cradle yourself in a fetal position trying to keep warm. Look to the moon for help only to realize that there is none. Mirages get to you, and when you hear what seems to be the soothing sound of a baby rattle you start to believe that everything is okay until the rattle gets faster and louder—then the mirage suddenly ceases. An angry diamondback is coming at you. You run in fear and come into the misfortune of coyotes, king cobras, scorpions, tarantulas, yellow spotted lizards, and a blistering sandstorm that’s cutting in to your skin and has you running into cacti and prickly bushes. Before the pain you know is coming it’s all over. But one thing you never doubt is the fact that night comes fast when you’re all alone in the desert sand dunes. Night comes fast when you’re all alone on the frozen tundra. There’s nothing around but you and this great land of mass and broken ice flows. You get cold and your mind starts working harder. You know what you must do; find food and shelter. So you do what you should have done and hunt fish in the ice with a sharp icicle. Now you attempt to start a fire but it keeps dimming so you just try to go to sleep, but you’re almost frostbitten. You look around for help, and hope the only thing you see is a dead elephant seal. Lucky you. It’s fat to keep you warm before you go into hypothermic shock while you eventually fall asleep. But you know that once the comforting lights of the aurora borealis and the shining moon fade away, when morning comes, the polar bears, killer whales, and wolves will all come soon and there is no doubt that night comes fast when you’re all alone on the frozen tundra. Morning comes and you wake up at the crack of dawn and realize that night comes fast when you’re asleep all alone in your bed having cursed nightmares. ______________________________________ Terrell Kellam is finishing his sophomore year at Baltimore City College.
by Terrell Kellam