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.

Breathless

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.