Footsteps In The Dark

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A walk home from work and you hear footsteps......

Submitted: August 17, 2016

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Submitted: August 17, 2016

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Footsteps In The Dark.

 

Why did I have to go and miss that bus – today of all days. There have been weeks of dry, mild weather so how come, on the first wet and windy evening that we’ve had for ages, I find myself having to walk. And it’s all because that damn scanner refused to scan and I had to type out three full pages of text.

 

I might have still made it to the bus stop in time if my supervisor hadn’t called me back to ask why I was late. No, I know I could have made it: I wasn’t that far from the bus stop when I saw the Number 20 pull away.

 

An hour’s wait in the pouring rain or a twenty minute walk. Why didn’t I think of going for a coffee? I don’t know but I really wish I had. The water has soaked through my jacket, soaked through my shirt, and even though it is mild the dampness chills me. There is a constant stream of rain running down my face from my hair. I can feel it trickling down the back of my neck.

 

My feet slosh around in my shoes. There are puddles everywhere, all over the path, almost entirely across the road. The drains don’t seem to be able to keep up with the downpour. A car drives past too fast and throws up a bit more water to add to the stuff already drenching me.

 

I pull my bag towards me, hunch myself forward and keep walking. Nobody is here to listen to the curses I throw out towards that disappearing car.

 

The street lights are becoming further apart now as I get further out of town. It wouldn’t normally be quite so dark at this time of year but the heavy cloud cover is blotting out any sun. I’m not that fond of my job at the best of times but this evening I hate it. I hate Gemma for delaying me. But most of all I hate that bus for not being late like it so often is.

 

I’m too caught up in my hating to notice exactly when those footsteps start behind me. I slow down a bit to let whoever is behind me pass. Doesn’t work though as they just slow down too. Perhaps they are going to cross the road. I casually look over my shoulder but I can’t see anyone. Good, they must have gone.

 

I allow myself to pick up pace again. I am really starting to feel cold now and I want nothing more than to step into a hot shower. My mind drifts to thoughts of settees and coffee and curling up.....Then I notice those footsteps once more. Again they sound as though they are matching my pace, step by step. Just someone else, I tell myself, but I can’t help feeling nervous.

 

There are no shops along the road for me to slip in to. No cafes and not even a pub. Okay, I’m going to speed it up and leave whoever it is behind.

 

I pick up my pace, a quick walking speed but not a jog. Damn! Those footsteps are speeding up too. I’m not paying any attention to where I am going and step straight into a puddle about two inches deep. Whatever! My shoes are going to need chucking out after this soaking anyway. I slosh onwards through the puddle.

 

My pursuer must be more careful than me. I can clearly hear those thudding footfalls but I don’t hear any sloshing.

 

I’m just over half way home. I have no choice but to carry on. I try crossing the road for a while. Again I think it is all a product of my imagination. Too much television was making me picture stalkers everywhere. Get a grip, I told myself. Nobody is after you.

 

I listen to myself for perhaps two minutes before I speed up yet again. Those footsteps are back and if anything they are getting nearer to me. They are still keeping almost perfect pace. Who else but a stalker would be doing such a thing?

 

Okay, I admit it, I’m starting to get scared. I am shivering as much in terror as from the cold now. My teeth are starting to chatter and it’s not even winter yet. Not much further until I am home though. I’ve just got to keep my nerve, keep going....And so what if I’m jogging now. Nobody’s watching, apart from whoever it is behind me that is now doing the same.

 

Just one more street and then I’ll be home. Two minutes, tops. I start to run and a hand reaches out to grab my shoulder. I scream! I can’t help it. I honestly think that my life is about to end.

 

Hey, lady, stop screaming. You trying to get me arrested or something? You dropped this.” The hooded youth before me holds out a wallet, my wallet.

 

My pulse is still thundering but my shaking is slowly getting under control. “Oh, God! I thought.....Thank you.”

 

He is already going, back the way we had just come from. He’d followed me, gone out of his way to return my property, and all I had done was run. I’ve never felt so stupid in my life. He was almost out of view now. I hope he didn’t have to go too far.

 

Then an arm reaches out from behind me, wraps itself around my neck. I want to scream but a hand clamps itself firmly over my mouth. I never even heard the footsteps of my assailant.


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