Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Internet Identity By Elise Cox

The sun was setting quickly, it engulfed the open field and woods around it in a darkening shade of grey creating a sinister feeling deep in my gut. I looked around to find that those who had been here when I first arrived had left… as if like ghosts who'd never really been there to start.

I sat in silence on a park bench surrounded by an open field, which usually buzzed with life. However summer had seemingly abandoned this part of the city, leaving us to the cool October chill that shadowed autumn.

The autumn wind whistled a menacing tune which the trees danced to while being stripped of their leaves, as if grateful for the weight being lifted. At the sight of the now completely set sun a shiver rolled down my spine, spreading through my system, alerting my senses to nearing danger.

Suddenly, feeling isolated I checked my phone which glowed 7:20pm. Tristan was supposed to meet me at 7:00pm and I began to grow increasingly anxious about whether he was going to show at all. Something didn't feel right. I mean it was conceivable that he got too nervous about meeting for the first time, we had only spoken on the internet.

I looked around once more feeling more exposed and vulnerable by the second. The woods were smothered in an impenetrable shade of midnight black and spoke in hushed whispers of the unknown.

In that moment I knew what was wrong. I didn't feel alone.

I felt like I was being watched, a quick scan of the park deceptively showed no signs of life. But I could feel it. Someone’s stare. It made me skin crawl.

I checked my phone once more, it glowed 7:30. I got up and began making my way to the entrance of the park, texting my mum- asking for a lift. But as I looked up, I stopped dead in my tracks. The outline of a hooded figure stood a short distance away from me; an overwhelming desire to run washed over me.

“Alyssa,” the figure smirked

Tristan I thought, with that I ran across the field, in to the woods.

Could hear the pound of his footsteps catching up with me.

He grabbed me by my wrist, tearing at the skin so viciously I yelped. Dragging me to the floor in such a swift movement, I stumbled over the root of a tree, falling and grasping for anything within reach- but there was nothing. Everything went dark and it was hard to catch my breath, it was as if all the air had been sucked from the atmosphere and my lungs all at once.

Fear and panic overwhelmed me, drowning out any rational thought.

“Why?” I lifted my head from the floor.

“ The internet, such a beautiful but dangerous place. It allows us to display more than one identity. The internet Tristan- caring and kind. Then me, who I am really.


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