I don’t know where this came from. I wrote the first two paragraphs and thought it was going in one direction (fantasy/supernatural) and then it took an abrupt turn. So to warn it has stalking, violence, guns, and may be triggering if you went through this type of situation. It is essentially the end of a longer story of a woman who is being stalked

It was late when Kara stepped out of the theater. 

It started small, not something she could see or here, but something she could feel.  It was the goosebumps that broke out on her arms, the shiver of air on the back of her neck and then she knew.  She was being hunted.

She darted her head furtively, but she didn’t see anyone.  She sped up anyways, digging her keys out of her purse as she walked.  When she finally retrieved them, she clenched them tightly in her fist, two keys jutting out between her fingers just in case.  She couldn’t feel him anymore, but she wasn’t willing to risk it.

When she finally got in the car, she loosened her grip and used the key to open the door.  The sound of the alarm set her teeth on edge, but it would attract attention.  Besides, she couldn’t have risked using the fob.  Too many times it had unlocked none, until it unlocked all the doors.  She couldn’t risk letting someone else in.

Then she saw him. A man, large, dark, coming towards the car.  She locked the door quickly, and in the gloam of the parking light she could see the hurt on his face. She felt guilty for a moment, maybe this wasn’t the man. She couldn’t help that though, better safe than sorry.

She felt something that had coiled tight within her begin to loosen as she drove.  She turned up the radio, and sang along off key to an 80’s power ballad and for the first time in months she felt free. 

The feeling faded fast when she reached the house she was living in. It wasn’t her home.  Home was back east; he had taken that from her.  Threatened to harm those she loved to get to her, and she knew that she had to go. 

Everyone accepted the news of her transfer, though they found it abrupt.  They didn’t know about him, no one did really.  There was a kind officer of course, who told her notes were not actionable. Other than that it was just her, alone.

She sat in the driveway until the beating of her heart slowed.  She remotely triggered the flood lights, something her new neighbors dreaded, but it gave her the visibility she needed.  He was here.

It wasn’t like the theater. It wasn’t a feeling.  It was knowledge. She could see the gnome with her hide a key was slightly askew. He was in the house.   She wanted to call the police, but by the time they got here he would be gone.  She had done it before, they said it was just kids playing around.  She knew what she had to do.

She reached for the glove compartment, and pulled it out.  The metal was heavy in her hand, and as she checked the magazine she took slow deep breaths to calm her nerves.  It would end tonight, one way or another.

She put her finger on the trigger, flicked off the safety, and put both it and her hand into her purse.  It wouldn’t do well to let him know what was coming.  It was awkward to pull the keys and lock the doors with her left hand, but she managed.

She tried to look casual as she walked up to the door, and unlocked it with her non-dominant hand.  She pushed it open wide.  He wasn’t in the entranceway. Clear.  She stepped in and toed the closet open.  Clear.  She stepped forward and surveyed the living room, and then ducked down as if to take care of her boots, but there was nothing under the couch either.  Clear.

“Ugh, stupid zipper, why do you always jam!” She said to herself, to give a reason why she kept them if he was listening.  No, she knew he was listening, if he could hear.  She walked through the living room as casually as she could flicking on all the lights in advance.  She saw nothing down the hallway to the bedroom. Clear.  She headed into the kitchen and found it empty.  Clear.  The back door was still locked.  Clear.

She tried to keep her breathing steady as she drank a glass of water, back to the wall, facing the rest of the small house.  It was the bedroom or the bathroom now.  50/50, where did she go next?

She headed down the short hallway and decided on the bathroom first.  She had left the shower curtain open, there were no cupboards, if he was there she would know, and soon.  She paused two steps down the hall and opened a closet.  Clear.  She had forgotten about the closet.

 “Where the heck did I put that sewing kit,.” She said under her breath. “I wanna get these damn boots off.”  It was for his benefit alone.  She used a foot to push open the bathroom door. She froze.  He was there. In the darkness.

She saw the glint of the bathroom light reflect off something near his midsection.  He had a weapon.  He was coming towards her, faster than she could have imagined, and she almost ran.  Then she remembered it, the weight in her hand and it was out.  One, two, three loud bangs and he was still coming, and she unloaded the rest of the clip.

She could feel hot splatters of liquid on her face and as he fell to the floor she finally gave into her instincts and fled.  She didn’t look back, and she was in the car with the doors locked before she realized her finger was still clenched down on the trigger of the gun.

She tossed it away on the passenger’s side floor mat, and took a few shaky breaths. Lights were coming on all over the neighborhood, and she knew she wouldn’t have to call the police.  The wonders of the nosy suburbanite.

 She heard a noise, and she flinched, was it him, and that when it hit her.  It wasn’t him.  It would never be him again. It was over. 

Finally, it was over, and done, and it felt like a weight had lifted from her.  The tears she hadn’t realized he had been crying poured down her face now and her chest heaved with the force of her sobbing.  It wasn’t with sadness, or terror, it was with relief.  Thank God, it was over.  She could finally go home.


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