August 25 — Devil in the dark

Roger said God is out there, at the end of the pier that extends a quarter of a mile into Broad Creek, so I’m walking out there to pray. The stars light up the sky but the night is dark around me. By the time I get to the start of the pier my eyes have barely adjusted to the darkness.

I take a few steady steps out onto the planks and stop, peering into the gloom. Is there someone out there? What if there is? The monster from another dimension in Stranger Things springs to mind. The first half of the pier is dark, with lights farther out so boats can see it. Just enough for a predator to spy me from afar.

I get halfway out and look up at the stars, trying to direct my thoughts heavenward, but the darkness is too strong. It keeps pulling me back down to the water. Wind swirls around me, warm, but not welcoming, rooting me to the old wood under my feet, the world of the corporeal.

Flesh and blood cannot drive away the demons, however. Thick ripples from the bay slap against the pier, making a sound like footsteps approaching. I look ahead. Nothing. Look back at the stars. I can’t shake the sense that I’m being watched, that some ominous apparition is heading toward me. More slaps. Footsteps? Nothing.

I can’t stay out here. I start walking back to shore, resisting the urge to run, turning back every few seconds to check the footsteps behind me. Slap slap slap.

One thing I’ve decided: tonight the pier is the domain of darkness. I didn’t find God out there. Maybe this is where demons dwell too, the point of contention and temptation for the dark night of the soul, far from the hope of the stars.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.