The city is quiet. The lights are harsh flurescent, and light up only small patches at any one time. They flicker on and off intermidently. There are no people, but occasionally there is the noise of people - voices, feet walking, cars moving. All of it muffled, silent, on the edge of hearing. But they are all talking about you. About the things you did wrong, about what's wrong with you, about why you never lived up to your potential,
The city is overgrown, but not with leaves or green things, but with barbed wire that seems to seep out of cracks in the pavement and wrap itself around whatever is closest. On lamp posts, cameras turn and swivel, looking for you. They follow you as you move through the patches of light, and their unblinking eye seems to fuel the murmurs. The more you are in sight of the camera, the louder the noises get, until they are screaming at you.
And that's when you can feel it behind you. Never in a place you can see, but you can hear it, and feel it staring at you. The sound of metal on metal, knifes slowly being ground together. You are at it's mercy, and this time, maybe it will kill you.
But the shadows are no better. If you step out of the light and into the shadows, you can see them moving. Not directly, but out of the corner of your eye, the shadows move. If you look, if you stare,they fade back to nothing, but out of the corner, you can seem things in them move and reach towards you, unfurling long arms and skittering legs.
And there's the computers. Here you can sit and read about the outside world. Everyone is normal on the computers, even if you can never see a picture of them. But you can't talk about what's happening - whatever you type always comes out wrong, like a happy personal message. But if you could get it right, if you could tell them what's happening, you know that you would be free of the nightmare.
But don't spend too long trying. The more you type, the lounder the voices get...