Nos Sumus in Tenebris

This week’s six-sentence story prompt by girlontheege was EDGE. I wrote about a woman walking home after dark, with the feeling she is being followed. Or alternative summary “you aren’t afraid of being alone in the dark, you are afraid of not being alone in the dark.”

She wasn’t a paranoid person, and she couldn’t explain it, but tonight as she walked down the empty street towards her house she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was not alone.

She stopped and started a few times, took a few detours, picked up her pace, but every time she surveyed the area she could see that there was no one else around.

She could feel them through, the eyes watching her, making the hair on the back of her neck stand up as every primal instinct told her that she was being hunted.

The area was residential, all the house lights off, and she had moved from a speed walk to a run when she she finally heard something scraping behind her, followed by a growl that reverberated down her spine as she was paralyzed by fear.

Then it was in front of her with the dim light of the street lamp glinting off the razor sharp edge of the teeth that were about to end her life and she had one final thought.

You aren’t paranoid if they are actually out to get you.

For those wondering about the title, we are in the dark nos sumus in tenebris

Highway to Hell

Usually my writing is dark, but every so often, it is tragic. This week’s entry for the six sentence story word of DETOUR by girlontheedge is definitely dark below the surface. Not much is said directly, but a lot is implied. If you have triggers, read the tags before reading, this one is a bumpy ride.

People tell me that life is a highway, that it isn’t the destination that matters, but the journey you take to get there.

If that is true then meeting you was like finding a detour in they construction zone that was my life, finally a chance to get out of the slow lane and drive.

At first it was perfect, the wind blowing through my hair, and by the time I realized you had led me onto a dark isolated road, I was so far away from the highway that I couldn’t find my way back.

So I kept going, when the road got bumpy, I slowed down a little and told myself it was okay, it would get better soon.

I didn’t turn back at the first blowout, the sixth, or even the broken axles, and it took a full blown crash to make me realize I couldn’t keep doing this, one day it was going to get me killed.

When I got back on the road, I was a cautious driver, always going below the limit, and it took me months before I could even think of hitting the highway again, let alone taking detour, but it’s been three years; I am ready to try again.

And the Whole World Goes Blind

Another story of revenge, and I promise that no, I am not out to get anyone. This one is response to girlontheedge’s six-sentence story prompt MATCH. If you have been paying attention the last few weeks there might be something a little familiar about this one… Also quick reminder to everyone who writes, today is the first day of Camp Nanowrimo, where you can set your own goals!

He threw the match, eyes lighting as it caught, the flames pushing back the darkness of the night. He moved away quickly, he knew he couldn’t be discovered here, but he couldn’t resist turning back a few times to bear witness to his triumph.

The accelerant did it’s job well, the house was encircled in moments, there was no way out, and it had gone up so fast there was no chance that the fire department would get there in time to stop it.

He went home, sleeping peacefully through the night for the first time in years, and when he woke, he pulled out the worn picture of the brother who had died far too young, finally able to face him, knowing that she would never hurt another like she had hurt him.

He flicked on the TV, gleeful as he heard the headline: Tragedy has struck today, as a local woman was killed when her house was burned to the ground in an apparent arson.

The news anchor continued to report as they cut over to footage of the wreckage, zooming in on where the house had been reduced to ashes, and the only thing that seemed to be untouched by the fire, was a large antique cooking pot, it’s condition only marred by hashed carvings on it’s surface.

If you have read my last two weeks of these, you probably have just realized whose house that was. Sorry that she didn’t get that redemption arc, but sometimes when you play with fire, you get burned….And so the cycle continues.

Monster in the Dark

This short story is inspired by a day I walked from the movie theatre to the car at midnight and had that feeling on the back of my neck. I was across that parking lot and in the car faster than I thought possible, and while I was mildly embarrassed by the guy in the parking lot being close enough to hear the door locks, there was a part of my brain thinking something like the below would occur. It didn’t, but a writer’s imagination is not always a good thing…

He oozed out of the darkness, like he was made of the same oil that sat thick in his hair. I started walking faster before I registered that I had seen him. It was like something old, and primitive in my brain was screaming predator, and I fought the keys from my jacket pocket, slipping them between my fingers for a weapon if it came to that. I prayed that I wouldn’t slip on the snow covered ice in my mad dash, once I was down all bets would be off.

I didn’t dare unlock the car until I was almost on top of it, in case he leapt ahead and managed to get inside. I pressed it once to make sure only my door opened, and threw myself into the car, desperately clicking the lock closed behind me.

I heaved a sigh of relief, only to have it cut short as a loud rap sounded on the window. “Open the door!” It was the man, screaming at mer, pounding the window with one hand while the other tried at the latch. I considered setting off the alarm, but he and I were the only ones around, and there was a risk of unlocking the door. I turned the car on and the pounding got louder, and I feared that the window would break.

I slipped it into gear, pressing the call button on the steering wheel with one hand, “Dial 9-1-1” I reversed slowly, blindly, unable to see anything through front and rear windows covered in a layer of snow. The phone connected.

“9-1-1 whats your emergency?” The operator asked, calmly.

“There, is a man, hes trying to get in my car, and I can’t see, and I couldn’t clear the windows and I think he’s going to get in.” I gasped, struggling to breath though my panic.

“Where are you?” The operator responded.

“Uh, the theater on 6th and crescent.” I wasn’t sure.

“Okay, are you moving?” The operator asked.

“Slowly. I can’t see out the the windows except the side” Which seemed even dumber as I said it out loud, what was I thinking.

“Okay, stop the car, and put it in park” The operator said calmly, and I did.

“Okay.” I said to fill the silence.

“Take the keys from the car, and slip them-” The operator started

“Between my fingers” I finished.

“Yes, usually driving away would be best, but if you can’t see I am afraid you are going to hurt yourself or others. A squad car will be there in 2 minutes, just hold on.” The operator relayed, and I panicked in response.

“Don’t go” I pleaded, feeling foolish for asking.

“I am not going anywhere. I am going to stay on with you, every step of the way, and when the police have finished arresting him, you are going to tell me, and then I will hang up, and not before then, okay.” The operator’s voice was soothing as ash spoke.

“Okay” I took a deep breath, feeling calmer already. The operator would be there until the police arrested him.

It felt like the car was pressing in on me, and I struggled to breath. I wanted nothing more than to open the windows and get a breath, but I knew what would, what could happen if I did. I started to cry, and that when I heard them.

They were faint at first, and I thought I was imagining it, that I wanted to hear them so badly I was making them up, but then the operator spoke up.

“Do you hear that, those sirens? The police are almost there, stay with me.”

I flinched as he banged harder and harder on her windows, and it cracked, and I knew I didn’t have long before he was through and in.

It didn’t matter though, because now the sirens were deafening, and then one loud bang later, and he was being pulled from the window and thrown to the ground. He hit the ground screaming, and I sat crying, jumping when the police man knocked on my door.

“Ma’am its the police” And looked up and it was. The man who had tried to attack me was being shoved in the back of the car. The operator came though.

“Unlock the door.” She asked, and I did. The police officer opened the door and I collapsed against him sobbing. I heard him talking, and then he reached past and ended my call. Paramedics showed up, and I was taken in, shock apparently, and as I sat in the ambulance wrapped in a blanket all I could think was that it could have been so much worse.