The Unsuspecting Passerby
Eugenia, Age 13, Brooklyn, NY

A mist lay silent. Cicadas chirped in the tall grass. Such undemanding, such unprecedented peace lay in the mist. Such tranquility, so it seemed, to the passerby. The unsuspecting passerby.

To the passerby, the mist was calm, complacent. Naught was to be heard. Naught was to be known. Naught was to be suspected, either. What lurked within that mist, among the peace and the cicadas in the lush grass? Oh, it was a vile menace. A malevolence beyond the depth and breadth of human thought, it stalked about in vicious intent, dark and oblivious. It prowled about in wicked agony, the wicked sinistry, seeking extortion, futile and deathily wild. Ever so evasive, cunning, downright stealthy and sly. A bodiless spirit, a malignant entity, it wreathed about in the mist, the tranquil mist, yearning commitance. What the dreaded evil was, none knew. Especially not the unsuspecting passerby.

The unsuspecting passerby, strolling in the gathering twilight, breathed the essence of the growing night. The crisp air and earthen trail revealed a meadow, where a mist lay thick. Cicadas chirped their penetrating song. So ecstasiating was it, so vibrant and alienated. Such pacific zephyr instilled within. Oh, 't would be heavenous to pass a minute--one precious minute--there, in the mist, on the lush tall grass, among the beckoning song of the cicadas. So luring was their song to the unsuspecting passerby. He deemed it safe to stray to this magical mist, this enchanted field.

A cautious into the mist, and the passerby halted. He was the passerby, yes, but no longer unsuspecting. He stood, poised, silent, as the cicadas persisted their never-tiring ballad, rhythmitic as the passerby's heart. The rhythm of the latter was shattered by the heart's involuntary velocity. A violent surge tore through the passerby. He tore into the meadow, with the speed of the surge through him, shrieking eerily, and only eerie an echo replied--as eerie as his shrieks. Oh yes, and the cicadas. Their chirp intensified, as if they leered. They sang on entrapment and death. They sang of a morbid triumph. They chanted he morbid words to the condemned.

The passerby, no longer such but the condemned, entrenched by the chant--the mocking, taunting chant--penetrated deeper yet into the yonder portion of the mist--the enchanting mist. The cicadas dizzied him. An entity--as fine as the mist, but concentrated as the song of the insects, wreathed about him. Pursuing the condemned, a vile menace stole evasively about--cornering, tormenting. The spirit, the bodiless thing enveloped the condemned. It engulfed him. It suffocated him.

That moment, remorse coursed through his paralyzed body--the venomous, spiteful deed of the unrested evil was committed. Now, only that remorse convulsed the condemned, his body as if in epileptic seizure. Oh, why couldn't he remain a passerby, an unsuspecting passerby, avoiding that mist he deemed harmless? He had deemed wrongly. The toothless venom was injected psychologically more than physically. The former passerby sank, and fell into a darkness--a darkness to which there was no end--far greater than the darkness of the growing night. The darkness approached as swiftly as the engulfment by the menace. Soon, the passerby was no more.

Morning approached. Then day. Then twilight. A mist settled, silent, undemanding. Cicadas chirped in the tall grass. Tot the passerby, the mist was of utter tranquility, to be undisturbed, and unhindered. That mist lay peaceful, quiet. Naught was to be heard. Naught was to suggest of the horrifying events of the past night--that is, except the grief and worry of a family, or a friend. Or the world. Or no one. Yes, yet again, naught was to be suspected. Naught was to be known of, but the seemingly calm mist and the relaxed song of the cicadas in the tall grass. 


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