Locked Out

Gina had to get back within the hour, before the Sun hit the ground, and disappeared for the night; before the city gates shut.

“Why do we shut the gate at night, Mama” she had asked as a five year old. “To keep the monsters out, so sweet little girls like you aren’t troubled with nightmares,” came the reply.

The sky was changing rapidly. First the blue turned into something deeper, then it changed to a soft pink, before that too turned into something deeper. The darkness spilling out was growing with every step she took, turning from swirling patterns to a blanketing silence.

Gina twisted and turned, pulling the quilt with her, leaving parts of her body bare. It was a cold night, and the dark chill soaked into her skin. She mumbled in her sleep: “No, wait. I’m here. Please open the gates!” She shouted at the stocky medieval town wall. She threw her balled up fists against the heavy wood of the gates; her frail fists made but a soft thud. “Please,” she cried out desperately. “Please, let me in!” But the doors didn’t budge. There wasn’t even a crack; no room for lucky escapes. Gina braced herself for the coming nightmare.

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