Instant Fear

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Will she make it home alive?

Submitted: August 01, 2015

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Submitted: August 01, 2015

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 Instant Fear

By Joseph Logsdon

Marian was working late at night, tired and exhausted. She hummed to the sound of the radio, swiftly sweeping the floor. It was an old grocery store, probably several decades old. Marian stared at the floor, reluctant to finish what she had started. After all, who was going to notice? Seldom receiving a customer, Marian didn’t feel the need to go the extra mile. She swept and swept, no longer caring about anything. Nobody cared about her, so why should she care about anyone?

The night was calm, almost too calm. Marian sighed, absolutely positive that she was being watched. Her mind told her to run, to flee and never look back. She remained, fixated on completing her task. She could feel someone looking at her, their eyes quietly observing. Marian searched the store, frantic that someone was following her. It was empty, the entire store. Were her nerves getting to her? Marian clung to that thought, wanting to believe that she was wrong.

She was alone, only having herself to rely on. The lights were unreliable, often going off without warning. They flickered, installing fear within Marian. The light was her friend, while darkness was her enemy. Her eyes grew wide, paranoid, and hysterical. There was a tap at the door, barely making a sound. Marian gasped, all rationality leaving her fragile mind. There was a tap, followed by another. Marian gazed at the door, staring into the face of a pale, slightly wrinkled woman. She was standing in the doorway, not saying a word.

Marian froze, unsure of how to react. The woman walked towards her, never once bothering to speak. Marian took a few steps back, fear pulsing through her. The woman gently grabbed an apple off the shelf, before putting it into her pocket. The woman shook her head, as if trying to communicate.

“Can I do something for you?”

“This apple, can I take it?”

“Of course, as long as you pay for it,” Marian answered, fear in her voice.

“Me, pay for this? I haven’t paid for anything in twenty years, and I don’t think I’m going to start now,” she huffed, spitting on the floor.

“It’s the law, I don’t make it. I could lower the price, possibly a discount?”

“Discount? Do I look like I want a discount?”

“Well, what do you want, then? I already said, I’ll give you the apple,” she stuttered, slowly backing into the corner.

“For a price, of course,” the woman hissed, getting closer and closer.

“Get out of my store, before I call the police,” Marian begged, cowering in fear.

“Police or no police, you’re already dead,” she laughed, suddenly walking towards the door.

“Show your face again, I’ll kill you,” Marian threatened, part of her wishing that she had kept her mouth shut.

The woman didn’t respond, just walked out the door, vanishing without a trace. Marian collected her things, eager to get home. She ran out the door, suddenly realizing that her car was parked several blocks away. She looked behind her, fearful that the woman would be there. She walked along the sidewalk, moving as fast as she could. The air was thick and stuffy, unlike anything she had ever breathed. It was late at night, so no one was in the street. Shadows drifted from pavement to pavement, dancing to her fear and panic.

Without warning, someone suddenly started walking behind her. Marian turned around, only to see no one. Was she going crazy? She continued walking, her heart beating faster and faster. She heard the footsteps again, getting louder and louder.

“Who’s there?”

There was no reply, no response of any kind. She heard whistling, terrible and awful whistling. Marian leaned against the wall, unable to move. She started to cry, helplessly waiting for something bad to happen.

“What do you want? I can’t stand it, all this waiting. I’m right here, you crazy bitch! I’ll take you anytime, anywhere. What’s the matter, are you afraid of me?”

There was no response from the woman. Marian finally got the strength to move, although she was never the same after that point. She ran and ran, desperate to get to her car, to flee and never return. She turned the corner, only to be stopped in her tracks. She could see the old woman, who was standing several feet away. The old woman stared, uncontrollably laughing.

“You’re like all of them, the people who make fun of me. They think I’m an old, useless thing, devoid of any feeling or emotion. You’ll pay, all of you,” she hissed.

Marian turned away, running in the opposite direction. She ran and ran, all the while crying and gasping. All of the apartment lights were out, all except one. Marian ran up to the door, furiously screaming.

“Let me in, for the love of God,” she screamed.

She pounded on the door, frantic to get attention. Marian waited and waited, nearly giving up. The door opened, loudly echoing into the night. An elderly man walked out, looking as if he had been deprived of sleep.

“What is it?”

“This woman, she’s after me,” Marian cried.

“Woman? What woman?”

“Will you let me hide here, just until it gets daylight?”

“Why should I? I mean, it’s not like I know you,” the man laughed.

“I’ll do anything, I swear,” she cried.

“Well, seeing how the world is nowadays, you can stay,” he stated, allowing her inside.

The apartment was dark, dusty, and unsettling. She sat on the sofa, her eyes darting from left to right. The elderly man sat beside her, confused and worried.

“Are you okay? You seem nervous,” he stated.

“At this point, I’m surprised I’m not insane. She’s out there somewhere, probably waiting for me to come out. What did I do, except my job? She’s crazy, utterly insane. It’s really strange, it’s like I’m in some kind of horror movie. She’s the killer, I’m the victim,” Marian cried.

“Did you call the police?”

“My phone’s in the car, dead and useless. I’ll call them, just as soon as I get my thoughts together,” she gasped.

“I suggest you keep it down, because my wife is trying to sleep. She’s very tired, the poor thing,” he laughed.

Marian finally calmed down, after minutes of heavy breathing. She glared at the elderly man, who had a rather odd expression on his face. Her mind wandered, overwhelmed by the fear and anxiety. For reasons unknown, she could feel the old woman in the room.

“Your eyes keep following me, similar to how she followed me,” she sighed.

“Are you sure you aren’t crazy?”

“Honestly, I can’t really tell anymore. What’s done is done, there’s no point in thinking about it,” she replied.

“What does that mean?”

“I have this feeling, like someone is standing behind me. They’re thirsty, but not for water, for my blood. It’s you, you’re part of it,” she cried.

Marian turned around, immediately staring into the eyes of the old woman. She screamed, barely managing to keep her balance. The old woman lunged at Marian with a knife, murder in her haunting eyes. The elderly man grabbed Marian, quickly restraining her.

“I warned you, you shouldn’t have woken my wife,” he laughed.

“Let me go, I’ll do anything,” she cried.

“Better keep your mouth shut, it’s going to be a long night,” the old woman laughed.

The End

 


© Copyright 2020 JL reaper. All rights reserved.

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