Shadows

By Joan De La Haye

Horror

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573
2 mins

1

The lights from the Seven Eleven reflected in puddles of murky rainwater. At eleven o’clock at night, the parking area was deserted. Kevin stepped inside the store in search of something to eat while I waited in the car for him.

My father’s funeral had been that morning, and Kevin thought a night out would be the best way to take my mind off how he’d died. It hadn’t helped. All I could think about was that I hadn’t been able to say good-bye or tell him that I loved him. I couldn’t even get drunk and forget about it, I couldn’t pretend that I was okay and put on a happy face for the sake of Kevin and his friends. As a result we cut the night short, which irritated Kevin’s friends and I was once again the party pooper.

Kevin had been gone for what seemed like a few seconds when everything that I knew and trusted in my life changed forever.

I was rudely distracted from my reverie by an annoying tapping on my window. I was about to hurl off a few choice words at the offending party, until I saw his face. My stomach churned, and my self-pity party transformed into a Stephen King novel.

Yellow eyes stared back at me. Sharp, pointed teeth, filed into fangs, snarled. He shook my door handle. My heart rate jumped sky high. He was gone as fast as he’d appeared.

I took a deep breath and looked around. No sign of him. I took another deep breath and breathed out slowly.

“What the hell was that?” I stammered.

I managed to get my heart rate down, but couldn’t quite get the hair on the back of my neck to go back to normal. My skin wouldn’t stop crawling. Goose bumps appeared on my skin and the smell of sulphur wafted up my nostrils.

Something scraped the driver’s side of the car. I hoped it was Kevin returning with a strong drink: preferably a bottle of tequila. I turned to look and my heart sank. The scary-looking man with fangs was back. Kevin had left the car unlocked. Panic gripped my palpitating heart. Who didn’t lock their car in Johannesburg? He shook the door. I leaned over the driver’s seat and slammed the lock down. The central locking did its job. Then he was gone again.

“Breathe, just breathe.” I repeated it over and over again while I doubled over and put my head between my knees. I squeezed my eyes shut. He was playing games with me and I didn’t know the rules. I felt helpless. I wanted to scream, but fear had a strangle hold on my throat, silencing me.

Tap tap.

I plugged my ears with my fingers. It wasn’t happening.

Tap tap.

Turning my head to the left, I opened one eye.

Glass shattered.

I screamed.

He pulled my hair.

“Oh, god. Oh, god,” I moaned. I was about to be raped and murdered while I waited for Kevin to come out of the Seven Eleven.

“Babe, are you okay?” Kevin sat in the driver’s seat next to me, with a worried expression on his face. “You were groaning.”

I looked around in shock. There was no sign of broken glass anywhere. All the windows were intact.

“Are you alright?” Kevin asked again.

“I’m fine.”

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“I’m fine.” I wasn’t sure if what I’d seen had been real or imagined, but Kevin obviously wasn’t going to let it go. Not sure what to tell him, I decided to tell him a version of the truth.

“Some drunk guy was messing around with me and gave me a bit of a fright. That’s all.” I didn’t want Kevin to think I’d inherited my father’s mental problems. According to my sister, my father had been rather irrational before his death. I thought it was more along the lines of being completely loony tunes. I was relieved that I hadn’t been around to see him like that. At least I remembered him the way he was before our estrangement.

“Maybe we should call the cops or something?”

“What for?”

“I don’t know. Maybe to arrest him for being drunk and disorderly, or something.”

“Oh please. Like the cops are really going to give a damn about some guy banging on a girl’s window and giving her a fright. They’ve got bigger fish to fry.” I wanted to get out of there; the thought of hanging out in the parking lot a few hours for the cops to show up didn’t appeal to me in the slightest.

“This is true.”

“Besides I just want to go home and forget about everything.” I breathed out and took another deep breath. “I just want to curl up in your arms.”

“Now that’s a very good idea.”

“I thought you might think so.”

I let go of the breath I was holding, once I saw the deserted shopping complex slide by in the side view mirror. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching me. Rain started drizzling down as we drove away. Neon signs shimmered in the puddles.



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