A Dark Night
*This story is for a dear friend who is very ill and has been fighting for her life. She asked if she could be in a story, be my hero. I could never tell her no. Love you, Rae Rae.*
Rachel stepped out of the club, her heels clicking on the sidewalk. The bouncer, Eddie, rumbled “good night” in a voice that sounded as if it was having difficulty somewhere deep in his throat. Rachel smiled back and continued across the lot to her parked ‘Cuda. She was just reaching for the chrome handle, her long nails reflected in the light when she felt a pair of eyes on the back of her neck. Slowly she looked over her shoulder. There, under one of the street lights stood a hooded man, his face obscured by shadow. Rachel could just make out pale hands hanging at his sides… deathly pale.
“Yo! Rache, are you alright?” Eddie called.
“Yes… yes I’m okay,” Rache replied, turning back towards Eddie.
When she turned back towards the figure, he was gone. She shook her head and opened the door to her ‘Cuda. The door opened with only the faintest of squeaks and she sat behind the wheel. She took a moment to change out of her heels and into sneakers before bringing the 383 V8 to life. She smiled at the throaty rumble and leaned back in the seat. The ‘Cuda was the first thing she’d purchased when she started working at the club and she cherished the car as she would a fine diamond.
Still smiling she put the car in gear and eased out of the lot onto the main road. Unseen, a battered pickup with a camper top pulled into traffic and followed, keeping pace but staying out of sight.
Rachel drove home slowly, relaxing after a long night on her feet. After ten minutes the steering wheel started to wobble and she could hear the tell-tale fwop-fwop-fwop of a tire going flat.
“Oh you’ve got to be kidding!’ Rachel muttered. “These are brand new!”
She pulled into the lot of a dimly lit office building and parked under one of their safety lamps, hoping it would provide enough light for her to see by. She shut the engine off and climbed out of the car, dark thoughts running through her head.
She reached the trunk a heartbeat later and popped it with her key. The large hatch opened on well-greased hinges and she began fishing around in the trunk for her work gloves and flashlight. Finding tools and changing the tire would be easier if she could see.
Rachel leaned against the back of the car to slip on her heavy-duty gloves and slip the headlamp onto her head. She was tightening the Velcro strap on her right glove when she heard an odd noise. She looked up to see an old camper pickup, its lights off and engine almost silent, rolling towards her. As the truck passed under one of the lights she could see the hooded man behind the wheel, his pale white hands visible on the wheel.
The tall blonde didn’t pause. She half turned and pulled the twelve-inch crowbar from its spot in the trunk. She held it at her side as the truck got nearer and nearer. Suddenly, the truck’s lights came on and the engine raced, lurching the truck towards Rachel at breakneck speed, an air-horn blowing in the night. The blonde woman dove to the side and rolled just in the nick of time, but her ‘Cuda wasn’t so lucky. The truck scraped down the side of the car and peeled away the Plum Crazy paint like it was onion skin.
Rachel climbed to her feet, wincing at her scraped knee and torn mini-skirt.
“You bastard!” She screamed at the slowly turning truck. “Get out of that piece of junk so I can smash your face in!”
The truck finished its turn and stopped, Rachel bathed in the glow of the headlights. She put a hand up to shade her eyes and tried to see if anyone was getting out. She heard the horn blare again and knew he was coming for her. With nowhere to go, she ran towards the office building. She took the steps two at a time and skidded to a halt in front of the double doors. Behind her, the truck was busy demolishing her treasured ‘Cuda. Under her breath she swore she would get him back for every dent, scratch and damaged part.
Rachel grabbed the doors and pulled, expecting them to be locked. Much to her surprise the doors flew open and she tumbled through into a lobby lit only by emergency lights. Rachel turned and watched the doors close. Beyond them was the truck. It sat at the bottom of the steps like some feral cat waiting to pounce. Rachel listened to her heart pound in her chest and the gasp of her breath as she waited for something… anything… too happen.
Minutes ticked by before the truck’s lights went out and the driver climbed out. He raised his head and Rachel felt his eyes on hers, even though she couldn’t see them. She watched him clench his fists a few times and look up at the building as if it… disturbed him. But finally he slammed the door to the truck and began to climb the steps, one heavy footfall at a time.
“Shit… shit…” Rachel gasped.
She looked around wildly for some way to lock the doors but there was nothing, the deadbolt required a key. Thinking quickly she slid the crowbar through the handles and wedged it in place. It might not stop the mountain of a man that was stalking her, but it would slow him down. She then spun and ran for the elevators, grabbing a fire extinguisher as she ran.
When she reached the elevators, she pushed the call button and waited, one eye on the huge man at the doors, the other on the elevators. When the first car arrived, she activated the fire extinguisher, filling the lobby with billowing white gas. She with the other hand she reached in and pressed a floor at random but stayed in the hallway.
The first car left and the next arrived a moment later. Rachel could hardly breathe from the billowing gas, but she was sure the man at the door couldn’t see her at all. She left the extinguisher in the lobby and jumped into the elevator. She pressed every floor and then leaned against the wall, waiting for the doors to close. Just as they did she heard the crash of the front doors being shattered.
Hopefully… he would choose the wrong elevator to follow.
To be continued…