She sat in the dark, in falling rain, waiting for her car to warm up enough to move when she saw a hooded figure waiting on her too.
She sat in the dark, in the falling rain…waiting. The pattern of the sprinkles growing ever faster and louder as it pounded against the roof of her black sedan. Every flash of light blinding her, every crash of thunder deafening her, still she waited… and watched, music playing softly in the background. The old vehicle sputtered threatening to stall. She knew that she had to take her once reliable friend to the mechanic, but where would the money come from. She worked minimal hours at a big chain retail store for little money just to try to stay ahead as it was let alone having enough for extravagant extras such as a full tank of gas or regular maintenance. Now her beloved companion popped and gasped when she pushed on the acceleration peddle and would stall out completely if she tried to make it go before it was ready.
In her usual fashion, Becca had brought a book and was reading it while listening to her favorite station on the old radio. At least the sound system was still working as well as it had when her family first purchased the vehicle. Her father took perfect care of it then, too bad she never did the same.
Few people passed her by but at least there were people. One very sweet young gentleman approached her window yet her paranoia caused her to recoil. He waited by her window for it to open. Since she was unsure on if it would roll back up she cracked the door ready to defend herself if he should try anything.
“I could probably fix that for you,” he said.
“It’s okay,” she replied revving the cold and recently started engine as it tried to stall again. “I’m fine.”
He nodded and walked off with a young lady who could possibly be described as his girlfriend. She stood next to their car one isle over.
Becca felt stupid for even thinking he would try to harm her in such a small town full of sweet people and even dumber for not letting him look under the hood for a free checkup, but still, things happen. She couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that something was going to happen to her, and soon.
She tried to move her car from its position feeling it had ample time to warm with no avail; the engine stalled again. She parked her fifteen-year-old sedan and waited longer. The patter of the rain began to intensify even more and she feared her car might not make it down the soon to be river of a street she resided on.
She sat and waited, a brilliant flash of lightning seemed to knock out the station she was listening to along with a few of the lights around her in the parking lot of the store where she worked. An uneasy feeling surrounded her.
“Take it easy,” she told herself as she frantically searched for another radio station, any station would do. After a few tries, she finally found a rock station. She took a deep sigh of relief and turned off her headlights in an attempt to look like someone waiting for a friend rather than someone in distress.
She began to read her book occasionally glancing up at the people walking or running to their cars. Then, she suddenly became aware of a dark, hooded figure under a darkened light about six aisles over in front of her car, staring. At first, she thought “maybe he’s looking at that car he’s in front of,” but her intuition stated otherwise.
“Maybe he’s got something on the hood of his car,” but he didn’t move a muscle. He stood in the rain…in the dark…not moving…completely dry.
“Must be waiting for someone,” she told herself.
Becca remained intent on the figure unsure if he was looking back and waiting for him to move. His gray hood combined with the darkness and the distance kept his face hidden, but Becca was almost positive she could see his eyes penetrating on hers. He kept his hands in his jacket instead of the baggy pockets of his pants.
Fear gripped her and all she could hear was the sound of her own breathing. She could feel her heart beating in her throat as she tried to swallow the building saliva in her open mouth. One gigantic flash of lightning and he was gone.
Becca was terrified. “Must’ve gone back inside. It is beginning to rain a little harder. I’ve been watching way too many scary movies.”
The dark figure had returned only this time, he was four aisles away. The light above him had gone out.
“Is that the same person?” She studied the figure closely. He looked the same as before. “Maybe they can’t find their car.” The sound of her voice usually gave her comfort, but this time the sound made her feel as if she were going crazy. No matter how much she talked to herself, she found no comfort in it tonight.
It was eerie how the figure just stood there… unmoving. She locked her eyes on the figure.
Why can’t I see his eyes? I should be able to see his eyes from here, right?
As she leaned forward, there came a loud tap on her passenger window. Becca jumped and turned to see a co-worker standing outside her door. She didn’t open the window.
“Yes,” she shouted.
“Do you need help?” he asked her. “You’ve been out here awhile. I can give you a ride if you want.”
“No, Dave, I’m fine. It just needs a bit of time.”
“Ok then.” He opened the door of the car next to hers, started it, and drove away.
Becca began to wish she had asked for that ride, and though she was afraid of him, she had become intrigued by this figure. She turned to it again. It was gone. She let out an exasperated sigh and put her car into gear backing out of her spot. She put the car into drive, depressed the pedal, and listened to it sputter, pop, then stall.
“Dammit!” she screamed as she smacked the steering wheel. The fear that had risen in her made her anxious and angry. She never hit her car before in its life and now she regretted it. She sighed and pat the dashboard. “I’m sorry. I just need to get myself together. Do you feel it too? Did you see it?”
She released the brake and let the car coast down the parking lot and into another spot far away from the building where few employees left their vehicles. Being farther away from the bright lights of the store made it darker.
The thunder rolled back and forth occasionally letting out a loud crash. Becca's breathing became shallow and quick. The fear which she had been trying so hard to stifle had surged sharply throughout her entire body. It screamed at her to leave.
She glanced up during one of the flashes of light. The figure was back in front of her, one aisle out, the light above him had gone out.
“Now I know you’re not waiting for someone to help you,” she said.
He began to move toward her. As it did, the light in his path went out and the light behind it turned back on.
She turned the key bringing the engine back to life. She looked down at her gear shift to put her car into drive. When she glanced up, the figure was in front of her.
She stared at it for a moment. “Nothing is that fast.” She still couldn't see its eyes.
As her eyes scanned her opposition she noticed that he wasn't wet. The rain seemed to stop just short of his head and shoulders. Her gaze went back to his face. She hoped with all her heart that she was just seeing things and that this was a human being wanting to help her.
As she looked at him, instilled with fear, she began to see a small shimmer of silvery white teeth form across his face. He tilted his head upward a bit and she saw the glowing eyes of what can only be described as the eyes of a monster.
Becca screamed and pushed the pedal hard to the ground propelling the vehicle forward. The figure went flying over the top of her car. Finally, the car decided to go without hesitation.
Becca revved her engine and sped down the main streets frantically trying to escape. She was barely able to see the road through the hard rain, foggy windshield, and her own tears.
The night was so late and the small town that she lived in usually quieted down around nine p.m. The streets were devoid of other cars. She may as well have been traveling on a deserted back road in the middle of nowhere.
As she wiped the tears from her face, what appeared to be a person ran in front of her car heading into the park. Becca slammed on her brakes. The person disappeared and the car jumped over a bump. The sudden halt caused the car to hydroplane and come to a swerving halt.
She hesitated for a moment, afraid of what it might be. She opened her door and looked out under her car but didn’t see anything.
“I know I hit something,” she said to herself.
She looked around for anything resembling a human in the road behind the safety of her car door but saw no one.
“Hello,” she called. “Is anyone there? I know I saw something, didn’t you?” She gave the dashboard a pat as if to coax it into a conversation with her.
She reached for her purse to find her cell phone only to realize that it was out of power. She closed her car door and locked it still afraid of what she had seen in the parking lot. She tried to put her car into gear, but it had started smoking. It seemed as if every light on her dash and every bell the car possessed was flashing and making noises. Becca felt a cold chill run down her spine and the row of lights that bordered the street flickered then dimmed in a wave-like motion.
Becca shuddered and turned up the volume on her radio hoping the fast beats would regulate her heartbeat and calm her down some more. After some time had passed with no signs of an attacker or other drivers, Becca had decided she was freaking out for nothing.
“What am I doing? Are you ok?” She gave the dashboard a gentle pat.
With a heavy sigh, she opened the door and reached under the dashboard on the left side to release the hood, as if she knew what she was looking for but a raised hood is a universal sign of car trouble.
With umbrella in hand, she reached under the hood to unlatch and raise it. As she peered into the engine, she heard an odd crunchy slosh behind her. She spun around quickly and there, right behind her, were the same glowing eyes and silvery teeth that she had seen before.
The creature opened his mouth slowly letting his milky drool ooze down his sharp fangs onto his chin. His angled eyes had goat-like irises and were glowing bright gold and his pointed nose wiggled as if he could smell her.
Becca pushed away from her car and dashed deeper into the wooded area of the park. She jumped up and ran into the forest hoping to escape her hunter. It was hard to see in the rainy moonless night. She stumbled several times and recovered as she sprinted full speed occasionally crashing her shoulder into various trees. Deep down she knew the run was hopeless, but still, she had to try.
She could barely see through the fog and rain yet she ran on. She knew of a place to hide, a place where she had gone many times as a child. The bushes had grown together in that thicket forming a nice place to hide. Even its entrance was hidden by foliage.
She tripped over her feet before reaching it but managed to crawl into the undergrowth. She waited there, scared and out of breath, for him to arrive.
She waited…the sound of her breathing was deafening, her heart beat rapidly in her chest threatening to leap out. She grabbed her chest in a vain attempt to quiet everything down when she heard the footfalls, the sloshy squishy crunch of heavy feet on wet leaves.
“I can hear you,” called a man’s voice. “I can smell you. I can sense you. There is no escaping me, but you are welcome to try. Your efforts only fuel my desire.”
He stopped at her hiding place; she could see the tips of his black shoes. She placed her hands over her mouth to keep from screaming.
“Your screams excite me. I know what you are thinking. Even covered, I smell your breath. It heats the smell of your sweet, tender flesh.”
She was afraid. “How will I escape?” she thought to herself.
“You cannot,” he replied. His feet faced her and he took one more step in her direction. “Accept the inevitable.”
He stepped towards her once more. She darted out the back as he looked into where she had just been. Her thoughts remained quiet as he searched for her. She climbed into a tree and watched him as he sniffed the air. She pictured herself running back the way she came and looked down at him. He smiled and trotted off after her illusion.
She jumped down from the tree and ran off in the opposite direction. She turned to see if he was coming up behind her. The trees were thick enough to block out the little light the sky had given her. She was in complete darkness.
There was a flash of lightning and she could see he was no longer behind her, yet she could still feel him. She knew at once where he was and turned. In another radiant flash of light, she saw him blocking her route. As the light faded away, she saw the glistening of his teeth.
The rain ceased as the sun began to rise. It was the dawn of a new day. Birds were chirping merrily as people began their day.
“Becca,” called her roommate Julie. She turned on the television to hear the morning news. “Hey, Becca! If you don’t get up soon you’ll be late for work. It sucks how they make you work late and then go back in the morning, but I guess that’s just how the really bad jobs work.”
Julie noticed that she wasn't getting a response and proceeded to check the room only to find she was not there.
“I guess you had a hot date after work. I hope you woke up in time to go to work.” Julie shrugged it off and went to make herself some breakfast. There was a knock at the door.
“Come on in, Kris,” she called. A man in a gray hoodie entered the apartment.
“Good morning,” he said giving her a light kiss. “I hope you slept well.”
“Yes,” she smiled. “Do you want any breakfast?”
“No, thanks. I just had a rather large meal before coming over.”
Julie looked at the television at the news broadcast. She recognized the park.
“Is that Borderland Park? I wonder what happened.” She turned up the volume.
“…mysterious tragedy happened late last night as a young woman, not yet identified, was found dead early this morning by joggers Patty Phillips and Daniel O’Brien. Police are baffled as to the cause of her death. Her body was found completely drained of blood and two small puncture wounds on her neck. This marks the fourth such occurrence this year….”
Kris turned down the volume.
“Are those Becca's shoes?" Julie asked still shocked. “Why would they show that? What happened to her? No! She was my best friend.” Julie cried and turned to her boyfriend for comfort.
“It is a shame,” he stated emotionless. “I really liked her. She was so sweet and tender.”
As Julie mourned her loss, Kris smiled a little almost bearing his sharp, glistening teeth.
Gena Ervin is a YA Fantasy author and amateur photographer living in New Mexico. She has several published short stories, three self-published novels, and her first traditionally published novel, A Warrior’s Path: Rise of a Legend, will be released August 2018 from Waldorf Publishing. When not writing, her procrastination techniques include trying out bread recipes and watching YouTube videos.
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