Sunrise, Sunset

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is more of an explanation than a summary…

I’ve been reading a lot of Stephen King lately and I want to attempt something a little different from my usual stuff… something darker and creepier. This will be my first attempt not only at horror/thrillers, but also at short stories and possibly a story completely in third person and a story completely in the present tense. Of course, this will not all come at once, but within my new collection for now entitled “Shadows, Stories, and Sleepless Nights.”

Any constructive criticism would be GREATLY appreciated. Like I said, this is my attempt at a lot of “firsts” as a writer. Now here’s my first installment to the collection. I’m breaking it into mini-chapters and I’ve only finished the first so check back for more even though I’m afraid updates will not come as quickly as I would like.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think!

“Come on… start…. please start…” I coax quietly. It’s trying. It’s making noise, just not the loud obnoxious noise a lawnmower is supposed to make. I let go of the key, not wanting to flood the engine or whatever he warned me not to do before I blew him off saying that I already know how to operate a mower.
I abandon the stupid key and reach for the pull cord. First try isn’t great. With the second rip, the mower comes to life. Ha! I think to myself. Even though it didn’t want to start, I made it work. And without calling for help nonetheless.
The grass is already beginning to irritate my ankles and I haven’t even walked it out to the front yard. I begin nearest the house with the sun to my back. It’s a gorgeous evening to be outside. Not too hot, not cold. I may not even break a sweat.
East, west, back, forth, side to side. Mowing is not a very exciting activity. That much is for sure. An older man from down the street walks by. He waves. I wave. I’m halfway done with the front yard.
As I make the final turn, now mowing parallel to the sidewalk, sun to my back, a girl with an ipod strapped to her arm jogs by. We don’t acknowledge each other. She doesn’t break her straight-ahead stare. I couldn’t care less.
This final stretch seems longer than ever. I watch as my shadow along the sidewalk is joined by another, a guy by the shape of it. Curious and hoping maybe it’s some eye-candy but also fearing that’s the case because I definitely wasn’t looking my best, I debate on whether or not to turn around.
Turn around! Do it!
Empty sidewalk. No eye-candy. No one at all. My hand slips off the clutch-bar-thing. I look at my shadow again for lack of anything better. It’s still there. It’s alone,laying there motionless.
You imagined it. You’re tired. Just finish the lawn, get your money, and go home.
Why could my mind find logic, but my entire body felt frozen? Fear had frozen me in that spot behind the mower. Imagine a shadow? How? It seemed so real. And why would I imagine a shadow for heaven’s sakes?
“Everything okay? Mower stop on you?” A voice calls from the front porch. That voice almost gave me a heart attack. I snap out of my panic-like state long enough to give a shaky answer, finish the short stretch I had left, and push the mower to the shed out back.
Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Please, heart, stop beating so damn fast.
I feel safer inside the house. The strange shadow next to mine is still dancing around in my head, but I don’t feel the need to run or scream anymore. After a short chat, a transfer of money into my back pocket, and a quick thanks, I leave out the front door.
My car feels safe too. Maybe that’s only because I’m getting away from that place.
I sit up quickly, too quickly. The room is still dark. The boxy green numbers on my nightstand read 5:30. I had been dreaming, but the exact details, I cannot recall. Whatever it was scared the shit out of me.
Sweat is dampening my skin and the back of my oversized t-shirt. I want to turn on the light, but at the same time I am too afraid to leave the safety of my bed. I settle for a quick scan of the room using the light from my cell phone. The small beam shakes as my trembling arm sweeps the room.
Even though I see nothing, as I knew would happen, I’m scared. It doesn’t feel right. It’s something I can’t quite explain. As much as I hate to think of it, it feels as if I’m not alone or if I am alone, someone or something was there only moments ago.
Maybe I’m just scaring myself. Maybe I’m making it up. Maybe I made up the shadow too. Maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe it’s not.
As I drive to school the next morning, I can’t help but to think about the day before and the night that followed. The shadow of the attractive man is still in my head and the feeling of not being alone has not completely gone away.
I slam on my breaks as a stop sign barges into my musing. Luckily I didn’t have an audience. I glance around, just to be sure as I jam my little gold two-door into park. My breathing slowly returns to normal as I run my hand through my reddish-brown hair. It’s probably going to start falling flat now, but that’s one of the least of my worries.
After I compose myself, I slide my car into drive and ease off the break. I turn up the radio and blast my mix CD in attempt to redirect my mind. This works to some degree. At least now I can put a little more focus into my driving.
Parking is terrible as usual. Being a commuter can be such a pain. I pull my sweater tighter over my Goonies graphic T before zipping my coat all the way up and shoving on a tasseled hat.
I don’t see many other people as I walk to my math class. It’s too cold out for the sidewalks to be crowded. I take my usual seat: on the right side, but on the aisle, and about halfway down. My class is small enough and the lecture hall is big enough that people follow the one-seat-rule if they can help it.
That means I rarely sit next to anyone and no one usually sits next to me. Meeting some new people would be nice, but that’s what parties are for. I’m content to sit in lecture and take notes in peace.
About twenty minutes into class, as the professor is scribbling an example problem on the board, I catch movement out of the corner of my eye. I jump, but pray no one else noticed. He did; the guy in the aisle did. The corner of his mouth is turning up into a smirk. I lock my eyes back on the board and uncross my legs to let him through. He sits right next to me.
“Sorry I scared you,” he whispers after a couple minutes of getting settled.
“You didn’t. It’s cool.”
“Good to hear.” I can almost hear that he’s smiling without even looking over, which I wasn’t planning on doing. “Did I miss much? I guess I’m a little late aren’t I?”
“No you didn’t miss much. It’s all in the book.”
“Thanks.” He’s looking at me. I can feel it. Is that a bad thing? Don’t I usually like this kind of attention? Don’t I usually talk to guys that make an effort? Don’t I usually talk to guys regardless? Not this guy, but I’m not sure why.
I just want to sit in lecture and take notes in peace. I just want to follow the one-seat-rule. I just want to be left alone right now.
When class is finally over, I return to my car. That’s my only class on Mondays. I love it, especially after a rough weekend. It’s too quiet as I’m taking off my coat and gloves, so I stop with one arm still in the sleeve to start my car.
The engine starts up noisily as usual and Say Anything starts singing through my speakers. I finish taking off my coat, gloves, and finally my hat. Suddenly I get a paranoid urge to check the back seat. That feeling of not being alone, that feeling of being watched is back.
The back seat is empty as I knew it would be.
(coming soon)

Submitted: January 17, 2010

© Copyright 2021 Erynn Louviaite. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Wow. That was deliciously creepy! Often, the problem I find with horrors and thrillers is that people try too hard to make it scary or suspenseful and it seems very forced and, as a result, not very effective. The masters of horror/thrillers, however, know exactly how to build up the tension and sense of strangeness in the piece without overdoing it. In my opinion, you fall into the latter category. I'm really impressed with this, doubly so since this is your first time at writing this sort of genre. As for advice – well, I'm not too experienced in this genre either (I've read a few Stephen King novels but not that many) so this seemed really good to me and I have nothing to suggest. Can't wait for the next instalment! :)

Mon, January 18th, 2010 3:10pm


Thanks so much! I love reading this genre and I'm pretty much obsessed with Stephen King. This little piece kinda came to me while I was mowing my grandpa's lawn actually and I thought I'd stick it up here to see what kind of comments pop up. Sadly I'm afraid the installments may be spaced pretty far apart. As long as I stay on top of school work I hope to keep the gaps between updates not too ridiculously long, but I can't make any promises :(

Wed, January 20th, 2010 6:17pm


Nice build up. With my genre being horror (even though the novels I have on here currently are some experiments of mine...), it's nice to see someone who can give it a try. Keep up the good work! And if you wish, you can check out my experimental novels.
"When the Feeling is Right" (which momentarily fixated itself on a horror-like momentum)
"If There Ever Was" (which may drift a little into horror as it goes on...)
Thanks tons!!

Tue, January 26th, 2010 3:45am


Thanks! Yeah I'd love to check out your stuff. They sound pretty interesting.

Mon, January 25th, 2010 9:13pm


wow, this is great.
it would be good if you were able to continue this. it's really thrilling and exciting - if it was a book, it'd be hard to put down!
i love the title too.

Thu, January 28th, 2010 6:42am


The question isn't if I will finish this, but when. I think I like where its going. I just have to find some time to dedicate to it. Thanks for reading and the comment!

Thu, January 28th, 2010 12:33pm


wow, chilling. I have a thriller novel, The Timekeeper, and i'd appreciate your opinion on it

Tue, June 22nd, 2010 5:47pm


Thanks! I'll check it out when I get a chance!

Wed, October 13th, 2010 1:01pm


Wow! Written very well! The suspense was built at perfect times and you didn't rush things too much which made it very enjoyabe to read! Great work! :O)? XOXO~Cmore

Fri, November 19th, 2010 2:50pm



Fri, November 19th, 2010 7:39am


you keep deliciously stretching out the tension. good job! i'll need more of this you know. can you let me know when there is more? i can see this going at least two ways. either the guy is some kind of supernatural evil being with powers that she will have to deal with OR, the guy is sexual serial killer that is stalking her and she is freaking out and that is why it seems as though he has strange powers. cause it is now also in her head. i don't which is worse (or better for you) keep me posted please!

Tue, June 28th, 2011 1:43pm


Thanks so much for the comment. I rarely have time for writing anymore and it's even more rare that I get on Booksie, sadly. I only post/update on my scribd site nowadays:, but you can find information on all of my writing at Sorry :(

Mon, July 4th, 2011 2:55pm


Love it, Stephen King is a favorite of mine. I usually do horror/suspence, and I have to say this did get my attention. Personally, I would have started out with the shadow right away. Something like "There. My eyes darted to the newly mowed grass where, only moments ago, a dark shadow had joined my own." Then, with the heart thumping and so on...Perhaps add a comparison to the warm weather and her cold fear...OH! Geez, I just totally trailed off there, sorry! But, I really did like the way you did it. When you get the next part up please tell me!

Tue, August 9th, 2011 8:57pm


I am obsessed with Stephen King! Glad you liked this and thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately I haven't touched this in a very long time. Maybe I'll come back to it, spruce it up, update it, and post it to my Scribd site. I rarely get on Booksie (or any of my other writing sites) anymore so I try to direct my readers to one place so I only have to update once because I have very little time to write anymore :/

Your input and ideas have given me a little motivation to come back to this one though and I will definitely let you know if I update!

Tue, August 23rd, 2011 4:49pm

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