Raquel shook her head as she approached the dark back alley, which was the shortcut to her home. Her body trembled as her eyes took in her surroundings. She knew this place like the back of her hand, but today it felt different, as though she had somehow entered another dimension. The gravel-paved path was like a never-ending road, while a soft whistle called out to her from the deep shadows before her. Her thumping heart echoed in her ears as she search the reason of her distressed state. She stopped walking to confront whoever stalked her silently among the dark shadows.
"Who's there?" Raquel called. "Show yourself!"
There was no answer. The whistling had stopped and the only sound that could be heard was that of the wind rustling the leaves and trees as it brushed by her. There was no answer. Raquel couldn't figure out what was going on. She shrugged her shoulders and shook her head, as she resumed her walking. Her feet began to feel heavier; sweat was forming in beads on her slender forehead. Her feet felt heavier as perspiration formed on her slender forehead. She made it to the end of the back alley in a few seconds. She stopped for a moment as she took one last look at the dreaded alley, before heading the rest of her way home.
"I'm glad to be out of there," she whispered to herself.
"Why is that?" rasped a deep female’s voice.
Raquel turned towards the voice’s direction. She felt herself turning pale as didn't see anyone, or anything. Raquel was sure that she had heard something. However, who had asked her that question? Raquel took a deep breath, as she stood her ground and faced the direction of the unknown voice. She felt giddiness rising, as the thought of her being a detective out to investigate a case, awoke her curiosity.
"Who are you?" she yelled. "What do you want?"
"It's your imagination," the same voice replied.
"Why are you tormenting me?" Raquel cried "Stop!"
Once again, there was no response. Get a grip, Raquel, before you lose your mind, she ordered herself mentally. Ghosts or anything from the paranormal world didn’t exist for her. At least she tried to convince herself of this as she strode to her house.
Only three blocks were left. Her ultimate goal; her true agenda was to enter the safety of her home, where she could smell her mother's baked bread. Every day she would always take the time to bake a fresh loaf. Her taste buds watered and her pace quickened as she thought of biting in to it.
Her heart leaped with joy as she skipped along the final down the final stretch to her residence. With each passing second, the distant small white house, with black shutters and a white picket fence, became reality in the sense of its grand size. For a second there, Raquel’s blissful state caused her to forget all about her prior little strange encounter. But her worries were vanishing when she opened the door to her safe haven.
As expected, the scent of bread found her. This felt right and normal to her, even if she couldn't figure out what went on, on her way home. Her nerves finally rested when her mother walked in, apron secured around her waist while a warm smile welcomed her home.
"You’re home. Do you want some fresh baked bread?"
Her stomach rumbled and without hesitating, she said, "Yes."
Raquel slumped against her soft mattress, as a belly’s full of the tasty freshly baked bread, caused her to feel sleepy. She fell asleep not long after.
The lights blinked on. Her widened eyes shocked by the blind light shot towards the door.
"I forgot to ask you how your walk home was," her mother said as she stood by the doorway.
"Good," Raquel relaxed as she sat up and asked, "Why?"
"I know all about it,"
"What do you mean?" Raquel scrunched her eyebrows as she questioned.
"I followed you." Her mother smiled while folding her arms over her chest.
"What! Why?" Raquel bolted off the bed to confront her mother, but her surroundings gave a sudden swirl, before she blanked out.
She groaned loudly as she came awake on the kitchen floor. A sharp pain in her arm caused her to cry out when she tried to move it. Blood covered it. She gazed through her tousled mane. She focused on a woman holding a knife. Raquel blinked. She thought her mind played tricks on her when she saw the assailant was her mother. But the image remained the same.
"You were right, Raquel, when you told me you didn't think you were the ideal daughter."
"I…I was wrong about you, mom!"
"Everyone was wrong about me, honey. I’ve always hated being the traditional woman." She curved her lips into a sinister smile.
"You’re sick." Raquel cried. She squirmed and tried to crawl away as saw her mother approach her with an evil glint in her big brown eyes, while her knuckles became white as she clutched the blade’s handle.
Raquel sprung into a sitting position like an a kangaroo. It was just a dream, she thought as she found herself in her bedroom. Raquel shuddered as she gaped at the recent knife like scar on her forearm, and she couldn’t help but wonder, if all of it was really only a bad dream.