A story that’s perfect for Halloween

Here is a short story I wrote (as a writing warm up) a few weeks ago.

It’s spooky, so I thought I’d share it today 🙂 My use of the word (is it a word?) “daresn’t” is in memory of my late grandmother, from PA who always said “daresn’t”

Happy Halloween!

My heart pounds in my ears. I struggle to keep my breath normal, despite the fact that my chest is heaving and I feel the need to gasp for air.  I entangle myself from my car, hit the lock button and quietly close the door.  I daresn’t use the lock remote, as it would make the car honk, and I want to avoid attracting any attention to myself.

I creep soundlessly across the dark parking lot, ever hyper vigilant.  My head swivels right and left, towards any sound, any movement– anything that could be THEM.  I’m aware of my pounding heart again.  I focus on controlling my breath. Slow and steady.  Like a marksman. “Get it together” I whisper to myself.

Suddenly, I hear a laugh.  Almost, cackle like.  It’s them! I freeze in my tracks, and assess my surroundings. I am too far from my car to double back.  There is a Kia Soul approximately 4 body lengths away from me.  I want to move to it’s safety, it would be a great cover from my exposed body.   I can’t let them see me or smell my fear.  They pounce on the smell of fear, they live on collecting souls.

I run for cover in two fast movements.  I wait, crouched behind the engine block of the car.  I know it will provide the best protection, and shield me from their ammo.  Did my running attract their attention? Their keen eyes miss nothing, they are always looking for new blood.

I hear their laughter and conversation stop.  Now I’ve done it.  They are on to me.  I maintain my crouched position and risk exposure to peer over the hood.  I can see their blood red nails and lips shimmering in the moonlight.  They begin to walk towards me.

My heart is hammering in my ears and my brain is screaming to my legs “run” but I feel frozen in place.  As I hear the clicking of their heels approach, the panic rises, as does the bile in my throat.  I have to keep moving, I can’t let them catch me.

Another quick peek over the hood shows that they are only two cars away.  They are not moving quickly, but they are definitely on to my scent.  I close my eyes for a minute, then focus on my car, approximately 40 feet away.  As I hear their footfall approach, I jump up and sprint to my car.

I fumble with my keys, dropping them once.  I manage to recover them, midstride and hit the unlock button and swing the drivers side door open.  I hit the automatic lock as soon as I am inside.  I jam the key in the ignition and throw the gear shift into drive.  I see that they have followed me, only mere feet away.

I speed away, leaving them looking confused and somewhat startled.  My breathing doesn’t return to normal until I am two miles away. I know they can’t follow me, they don’t know where I live.

Suddenly my phone rings.  The dread immediately returns to my heart.  It’s them. My stomach sours.  Like on autopilot, I go to answer the phone.  My brain is screaming “no” but I can’t seem to stop my hand.  I slide the ringing phone icon over the green button and say in a shaky voice “hello?”

(suspenseful pause)

“Joanna! I swear we just saw you in the coffee house parking lot.  This is Tilly, from Mary Kay.  Are you ready to order more foundation? I can put you on auto order, so you never run out!” she informs me cheerfully.

You win, Mary Kay commandos.  You win.

🙂  Not meant to offend anyone.  This just happens to me.  Often.

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