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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Your normal vulnerable young woman alone at night horror story, but with a twist.

Submitted: January 20, 2008

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Submitted: January 20, 2008



Twelve. That’s how many people have been murdered or gone missing in the past two months, all within only a couple blocks of Tammy’s duplex. The bodies that were found all had the same cause of death— an axe had been driven into their skulls. It quickly became obvious to the press and the police that a serial killer was on the loose, and even after all these deaths, they had yet to find a suspect. The killer seemed to have no motive and the victims were simply “at the wrong place at the wrong time,” as the reporter so eloquently put. Try telling that to the families, Tammy had thought to herself when hearing about the latest murder on the news.

Tammy had always considered herself brave, but walking home alone tonight might not have been the greatest idea. It’d already been over a week since the last murder.

It was almost three in the morning and the deserted streets were dark and desolate. No light shined from anywhere but from the streetlights conveniently placed several meters apart. The buildings, that during the day were busy with people entering and exiting, peering down at the streets from windows, were nothing but giant brick boxes— entirely lifeless.  The honking and shouting and everyday noises of downtown New York were gone, replaced with irritating silence. If anyone were to tell Tammy that she was no longer in her home city, she’d be quick to believe it. It was another world at this time of night.

Tammy was only about two blocks away from home but that was two blocks more than she’d like. It was a straight shot to her building from the busy club she’d just left. Looking down the sidewalk ahead of her, the streetlights looked like spotlights on an endless stage. A lone page of newspaper fluttered about in the wind under a streetlight, disappearing, and reappearing again under the next spotlight. It seemed to Tammy that it was somehow unusually dark, more than normal. She was beginning to grow uncomfortable and nervous.

Tammy shook her entire body, trying to shake her fear off physically, and thought about her night so far in an attempt to forget about her present situation. She thought about her job and how she’d been absentminded as of late, dealing with other problems. There was a report due tomorrow and she hadn’t even started it. After work, Tammy felt stressed and tense, unable to relax, but not because of her job. In fact, she had felt that way all week. She knew why but was quick to deny it, as if not acknowledging her “problem” would make it disappear. So she decided it might be a good night to go out. After all, it was over a week since she’d had a night for herself.

But the night hadn’t proven very helpful. Guys she wanted nothing to do with hit on her almost as often as she blinked. And besides, Tammy had always felt too mature for such overeager men. 

So she spent most of the night alone at the bar, drinking a few martinis but never too much. She never understood how people could get so drunk as to lose all their senses. She hated the feeling of lack of control, especially her own body.

Eventually growing bored and finding no one worth her time, Tammy decided to head home. She still felt tense and on-edge so she figured a walk might do her good, oblivious to the time and her possible well-being.

And so here she was, striding home alone in the middle of an abandoned version New York City at three in the morning. Her thoughts uncontrollably returned to the murders as she realized once again her situation, and became even more strained, more rigid. It was beginning to grow painful, she wanted, needed relief.

Just then a hand fell on her shoulder and Tammy jumped almost literally out of her skin, her feet actually leaving the ground as she stiffened like a pencil and felt that burst of adrenaline that accompanies sudden fear.

“Whoa! I’m so sorry, didn’t mean to scare you,” said a concerned male voice. “You okay?”

Tammy saw blackness recede from the corners of her eyes as she fought the instinct to faint and looked at the man’s face. It was almost instantly recognizable. “You?  What are you doing?  Are you crazy sneaking up on me like that? I almost had a heart attack,” she replied briskly, her tone carrying a bit more anger than she had meant it to. 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to sneak up on you. I’ve been calling your name out for the past thirty seconds, you must’ve not heard me. I noticed you were leaving alone and you didn’t even take a cab.  What’s the matter with you, you got a death wish or something?” The man was one of the countless guys who had hit on her at the club; Richard if she remembered correctly. One of the few she had actually flirted with before dismissing as “not worth it,” whatever “it” was.

“Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just, you know, this area isn’t exactly the safest of places as of recently. I didn’t mean to snap at you like that either, I’m sorry, just a little stressed out is all. So what are you doing here anyway? You’re not the serial killer are you?” Tammy joked. The joke, she knew, was inappropriate but Tammy had a way of forcing levity as a cure to uncomfortable situations.

“Haha,” Richard laughed nervously, not finding the joke too amusing. “I was leaving about the same time you were and just wondered if you’d like an escort home. And believe me, I know how that sounds but the time and especially the place is dangerous and just thought it’d be a good idea to travel as a pair.”

Tammy drew back, thinking about her options carefully. He seemed like a nice guy but she usually trusted her instinct when it came to men and she’d labeled him earlier that night as a guy who tried too hard.But she also knew she’d not always been good with first impressions, and having someone to talk to on the recently dangerous walk home sounded almost as welcome as a cab.

“Uh… yeah, why not? That’d be nice.” She replied hesitantly. If he was well intentioned she knew she couldn’t deny the help and sincerity. And if he wasn’t, he’d get a decent dose of pepper-spray to the face. She had already instinctively grabbed a firm grip around the spray canister in her purse, he finger on the trigger.

“I know it’s weird but I’m just trying to be a nice guy. If you want to head home alone, that fine with me. I would have trouble trusting me too,” he said sincerely and smiled.

“No, no. Two is always better than one. But how about we get moving before the sun comes back up and I don’t need that escort?” Tammy said kiddingly. She had no intention of getting to know this guy standing in the middle of the sidewalk at three in the morning. Tammy loosened her grip around her pepper-spray and smiled forcibly. She was going to keep a close eye on him.

Richard smiled again. “Okay, let’s get going.”

They walked hurriedly and talked quietly, both trying to avoid thinking about their situation through conversation. Tammy hated to admit it but she had begun to suspect she was wrong about Richard. He seemed smart, nice, and humorous, while also being undeniably good-looking. They talked about their jobs, their families, their hobbies, and before Tammy knew it, they were standing in front of her building. She had become more indulged in their conversation that she would give credit for. But as she realized that their time together was coming to an end, she felt that familiar tension manifest throughout her body. And although she thought it inappropriate, as much as she wanted to disobey the urge, she knew the quickest way to rid herself of her growing stress.

“So this is me,” Tammy said, pointing to her door, trying to forget about her body’s sudden stiffness. “It was nice, never thought I’d meet someone like this.” She laughed and Richard smiled.

“Yeah me neither,” he replied.

Both of them just stood there, hesitant to part ways, until Tammy finally thought of something.

“So how are you going to get home?” she asked.

“Well, I was just thinking that, and I hate sounding like a creep or a guy trying too hard, could I use your phone to call myself a cab? I doubt any girls are out there waiting to give me an escort home. And, you know, most of the most of the people gone missing have been guys…” He said quietly, lowering his head as if in shame.

“You want to come in? Oh, well, I guess I could do that, the phone is right by the door so… yeah.” she said, stammering.  Tammy was surprised with herself. She wasn’t sure if she wanted him coming in, she barely knew the guy. But he seemed so nice; there is no way he meant to do anything, right? Could she trust him?  Could she trust herself?

They slowly made their way toward Tammy’s front door. She shot a quick nervous glance at Richard’s face before inserting her key and opening the lock. His eyes were locked on her hand and the keys. Tammy spun the keys and there was an audible “click” as the bolt slid out of its position. She pulled on the door and Richard held it open as they walked over the threshold.

“The phone is right here to your left,” Tammy said, pointing around the corner to a thin but tall table on which lay a small cordless phone. At least he won’t be able to strangle me with the phone, Tammy thought to herself.  A smile actually crept across her face.

“Thanks.” It was all he said before picking the headset up and punching in several numbers, loud beeps accompanying every number.

“You don’t need a phone number?” Tammy asked suspiciously, her voice sounding distant as she asked from the other room.

“Uh… No, I’ve used this cab service so much I memorized the number,” Richard replied, raising the headset to his ear and turning away. Tammy nodded to herself in reply.

As the phone rang, Richard paced the hallway. He looked around for Tammy, expecting her to be watching his every move but he was alone. It was surprising. He knew by the way she acted during their quick walk here that she had been sociable but defensive. One hand was always in her purse, probably gripping a canister of pepper-spray; he laughed to himself at the thought. She was just a defenseless and obviously vulnerable young woman, and he was hoping to capitalize on that in some way. His sincerity, he hoped, would at least get him her number.  

The number he dialed was his own, so no one would answer. His plan was to claim that the cab company wouldn’t send anyone over because of the recent events and she would hopefully be willing to let him spend the night on the couch.

Richard glanced out the window before his answering machine would pick up and he would leave himself a message pretending to talk to someone on the other line, getting angry when they refused him. Although Tammy wasn’t around him, it didn’t mean she couldn’t hear him, so he wanted to put on some sort of convincing show and hope Tammy would pity him.

As he glanced out the window, from behind he heard a growing thump, Thump, THUMP! He whirled around quickly only to see Tammy dashing at him with full speed, her feet hitting the wooden floor like falling rocks. She held a fire axe with two arms high above her head. Richard had no time to scream as the axe came thunderously down over his head. Blood sprayed in all directions, covering the window, the door, and streaking across Tammy’s face. The phone hit fell from Richard’s hand and hit the ground with a large thud, followed by another larger thump as the lifeless body collapsed forward, the axe still embedded in the skull.

This is Richard, I’m not in right now, but if you’ll leave your name and number, I’ll…” The dead man’s voice was cut off as Tammy hit the end button. She sighed loudly and, feeling all that tension just ooze away, moaned as she stretched in all directions. All that stress left her as quickly as life escaped Richard. Tammy pulled the axe out with one big pull and squirt of blood and headed upstairs, almost on a high, to finally complete that job report, whistling as she climbed the steps with relief.

Thirteen. That’s how many people have been murdered or gone missing in over two months, all within only a couple blocks of Tammy’s duplex.

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