The itch grew in strength, seemed to travel deeper into his ear, making him want to writhe with discomfort. He held off. He tensed, prepared to fight if necessary. A futile preparation, he knew, but he wouldn’t simply give in to the inevitable.
Don’t turn around. Don’t see me.
The gray walker stirred. Then, to his horror, Matthew saw its head turn, ever so slightly, toward him. Its body followed suit. Matthew forced himself to remain still, taking a long silent breath. The air was sharp and cold. He exhaled in a long, white stream.