I grew up in a small town of about 2,000 people. There were no shopping
malls or movie complexes. All we had to keep us entertained was
ourselves. During our teen years my friends and I would stay up all
night wandering the town and talking high school philosphy. It was a
simple, cheap, but effective way to keep our minds busy while we waited
for graduation and to 'get out into the real world.'

Even for our old town, established around a train station built in
1870, the post office building was one of the more archaic buildings,
still having a long-left-unused town armory attached. Along the side of
the building was an alcove that led into a set of stairs that crawled
deep under the building into a set of maintenance alleys and storage
rooms. This very spot was where myself and my friend Charlie found
ourselves on one particularly ludicrous evening.

We perched ourselves upon the steps of the building, just beside the
alcove leading beneath the building, and I sparked up a cigarette in
teen rebellion while Charlie pulled out a banana from his pack
which I could only assume was left over from his lunch that day.
Charlie soon went into a spiel of self and social analysis while he
attentively began to peel the banana.

Then... a rustle.

Charlie snapped back as the sound came from the alcove. My ears seemed
to twitch as the noise interrupted Charlie's lecture. We both looked at
each other, alarmed, but unsure if we actually heard anything.

"Did you hear that?" Charlie whispered at me.

"Yeah..." I whispered back. We both looked at each other silently for a
moment longer, then, the unmistakable sound of brushing against
pavement came from below. We both lept to our feet.

"Dude, someone's down there," Charlie said with unnerve in his
voice. We both peered into the dark tunnel. The darkness was like a
thin film over our eyes as we strained to make out shapes in the
blackness below. "Go check it out man," he urged.

I began to doubt our friendship. Charlie either had immense respect for
me, believing I could combat any challenge and defeat whatever evil
lurked below, or he figured I would slow down anything that was down
there just long enough for him to get away. I believed the latter.

I irresolutely reached for my lighter, hand a little unsteady, pulled
it up in front of  myself and crept forward. I could feel
Charlie over my shoulder as he lingered behind me.

I tried to cut through the dark with the light from the little fire in
my hand but the flame itself caused my irises to close further, making
the alley seem even more dark than before.  I took another
step down into the tunnel as Charlie stood at the top of the stairs.

"I can't see crap," I whispered back at him. We both fell silent again
as we tried to strain our sight even further.

Suddenly, from the darkness lept a small but quick shape, darting
directly towards us with an agile swish. I nearly fell backward as the
small creature rushed towards the stairwell. I heard a shriek from
behind me and a light colored blur flew over my left shoulder and into
the darkness. The tiny creature ran up the stairs, out onto the street.
I felt relief and my body let go of the tension as I recognized the

"It was just a squirrel," I said directly.

"Yeah," Charlie replied, sighing.

"Good then. Let's head out." We turned around and began to walk towards
the old train station. We didn't speak for a few minutes. Then I broke
the silence.

"Dude, did you shriek like a girl and throw a banana at that squirrel?"
I asked.

"Shut up." Charlie responded.

We may have faced no real danger that night but the fright had been
very real as Charlie's plunging produce pointed out. When you get
wrapped up in the moment and your imagination takes over the threat can
seem very real. Check out Sardu's href="">preview
of The Savage Coast for some similar fun in Funcom's upcoming
MMO, The Secret World.

Just a word of caution and keep fresh fruit away from the computer
while you play.

- Benjamin J. de la Durantaye

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align="none" height="20" width="20"> href="">@BdelaDurantaye

style="border: 0pt none ; width: 20px; height: 20px; line-height: 100%; text-decoration: none; display: inline;"
align="none" height="20" width="20"> href="">bdeladurantaye


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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016