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Tormento Pabulum
[ * ]

Stepping out of the hall had been like pouring a bucket of ice over her head and then blindfolding herself. Outside was cold. Freezing cold. And dark. As in, horror movie setup dark. She began to shiver. Sure, everyone says that the desert at night more closely resembles a freezer than an oven, but you don't really believe them until you experience it yourself.

This was nothing like Queensland. Back there, the tropical nights were almost as warm as the day. Summer was at the end of the year, not the white, icy hell that is an American winter.

The overly short dress certainly didn't help with the cold, either.

But a small chance of minor hypothermia wasn't the biggest problem that she had to deal with right now.

No, that would be her crippling fear of the dark. Or "acute nyctophobia", as pedantic psychologists were so insistent on calling it.

"I should be fine I-um-" she gulped, clearing a lump in her throat. "Yes, I should be fine." Her voice was incredibly shaky, though from the cold or from the fear she couldn't tell. Even being an Australian girl, and from the sunny north at that, she suspected it wasn't the cold.

"Let's just keep walking." She rapidly scanned the area around her, eyes flitting from one shadow to the next.

"Just... Just don't leave me anywhere by myself, alright?" The last part of that sentence was a barely audible squeak.

Not that she'd expect Will, of all people, to just run off and abandon her. He'd been amazingly understanding with the whole "nyctophobia" thing when she told him, and hadn't told anyone else about it. He was really someone she could trust to protect and take care of her.
I'm still here, just lurking though for the most part.
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I've Got You, Under My Skin · At the Dance