Flash! Halloween Edition

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


A short story written by Imaginarium House member, Corine Pelletier. You can find her profile and portfolio at https://www.booksie.com/users/corine-pelletier-186921

Chapter 12 (v.1) - Safety First

Submitted: October 12, 2017

Reads: 102

Comments: 2

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Submitted: October 12, 2017

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Safety First written by Corine Pelletier.

Her blood stained finger found its way to her mouth as she tried to fix the issue. She nibbled on those annoying pieces of skin around her nails which seemed to only serve one purpose; painfully remind her that summer was ending and that the temperature had already started cooling. Of course, if she wasn’t a smoker she wouldn’t have had that problem. Even tonight she should have worn her gloves, but at the last minute, she had decided against. No matter how cautious she acted, she knew her small black gloves would have stayed in her pockets all night long. The chance of lighting them on fire seemed to be riskier than a few cold marks on her hands.

The moon hung high in the twilight lite sky. She walked slower than she normally did so that she could enjoy the cold air which made her check flush. The couple of glasses she had had a few hours back numbed the pain caused by her high heels. It was about midnight she figured; the metros would stop running soon. If she didn’t hurry she would have to call a taxi, but that idea didn’t charm her too much. She recalled a warning on the news that very same morning,

“Women should avoid taking taxis alone for their own protection.”

A cold chill went down her spine. A ball of anger formed in her throat. Feeling safe she thought, what a strange idea…

She had to admit she wasn’t exactly the most prudent type. she who would go out with her friends and head home more than tipsy at least once a week. On those multiple treks, nothing had ever happened to her. At least nothing had ever happened to her before 4 am. She walked along side many people who shared a similar state of mind. Sure, they were more loud and annoying than she was, but she had never felt in vulnerable.


As a matter of fact, the times where she had been the most scared was in the early morning as she would walk to work. Cars with darkened windows often slowed down and followed her as she walked on the sidewalk.


“Fuck!” she swore at her reflection in a nearby boutique window, “You think you can fool me with your baby seat in the back seat!”


The mornings were the scariest; prowlers were out. She wasn’t scared of the individuals, the men who harassed her; she had ten years of martial arts training well hidden under her coat and scarf. What scared her was this stupid entitlement which they had. The idea that because she was out earlier she must want to sell herself. For them, it didn’t matter that she was working thirty hours a week and held five University course at the same time. They were nobody’s, yet their mere existence weighted on her subconscious daily. Because of their entitlement, she felt the need to walk faster, and that irritated her.


“Fuck!”She stopped on the side of a building and pulled out a cigarette. She lit it and tried to collect herself. Maybe she had taken one glass too much. She looked at the people walking by her. It was inching closer to midnight yet the streets were full of life. People were laughing and chatting. Groups of friends teased each other. A young man walked by her, his eyes met her’s and he smiled. She replied with the same polite greeting. A warm fuzzy feeling soothed over the wave of anger with had harassed her.


They weren’t all the same she thought. She finished her cigarette and lit another one. It was a skill she had mastered long ago. How to be invisible in plain sight. There were two ways, have a cell phone or smoke. It had to do with the eyes. As long as she kept busy and didn’t accidentally cross someone else’s she would be fine. She would be ignored.


She stayed silent a few more minutes and started walking again. She had walked this path a few hundred times, yet this time it felt different. She was drawn more the usual to the people walking around her. She looked at them and wondered what went on in their minds as they walked this street. What was the lady with the green scarf thinking? What was the hipster looking student looking at? Where was the girl with the purple bag heading? And she wondered what they all thought about how safe they felt right now.


She remembered a game she used to play when she was walking alone as a child. She had always been scared that something supernatural was following her. And when one mentions supernatural beings, they had to be mind readers. So, when she felt scared and in danger she would think of random funny or aggressive thoughts to see if the people around her changed facial expressions. So, far no one had ever reacted. It seemed silly but to a child, danger could only come from monsters. Humans were the good guys, right?


A few years later she would learn that monsters hid in people’s souls and that the scariest of them looked the most normal.


She looked at the people walking in her direction on the sidewalk. They all looked so normal, and that was scary. She thought of a giant purple elephant. Nothing happened. She breathed a sigh of relief.


She turned the corner, it would be faster down this street. A light tap on her shoulder made her spin around instantly. Her hands formed tight fits in front of her. Her feet ready to kick off any assault. Her heart was beating steadily in her ears. She wasn’t scared. She was ready.


“Purple huh?” The dark figure in front of her asked.
 

 


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