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  • Hyacinth Okan


Darkness devoured the sky. Clouds helped the night cover everything from above and no stars were able to stand out. This night around 9 p.m. was different from all the other nights I had. The streets were silent, lights were busy blinking.

The frogs had the closing of their croaking choir since it was raining the last couple of minutes. The mud clung to my shoes like chocolates melted. It was dark.

Shadows played hide and seek with the posts. People, usually men, with their motorbikes were waiting for passengers. They were talking and laughing in the middle of the whispering streets. Loud, they were but louder when I passed by. As my heartbeats were two times faster than normal, I walked calmly as if they were just rivers flowing with eyes. I thought of their words as whistles of birds singing— deadly. Swords were sharpened while reaching the highest octave possible. Echos of every syllable can be heard at the peak of their mountains. Cold yet burning, weapons were melted then forged again.

I breathed heavy, cold air in my fists. I began to stiff making the night colder. "It's fine. You're just overthinking. Nothing's wrong. Keep walking," my brain said as it commanded me to run. I looked back and saw their faces; eyes and mouth wide opened, heads pointed to the same direction and fingers turned their keys and started the engines. Run.


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