Oh, we’ve reached the last Friday of October already! This means this will be the last fiction filed into my Halloween category until next year! Don’t worry there will still be freaky and surreal stories in the future,; just not as focused on fear as this month has been. And seeing as how this is the edition closest to Halloween, we’re gonna go all out on the creepy vibe!
Another night in the office, why do they always leave me to close up? Don’t they understand how long the walk is from the back entrance to the front parking lot? I don’t even have anyone with me to hold down the fort. Just me and my purse alone to walk through an alleyway.
I had just locked the door when a rattling sound of a disturbed chain link fence came from deeper in the alley. Pulling my keys from the lock I turned and began a quickened pace towards the corner where there would be more light. All I could hear now were my own footsteps clicking against the cement as I strode towards the main street.
Against my better judgment, my head twisted around to look back as I turned the corner. There under the dim light that illuminated the doorway I had just locked, a figure clad in black stood leaning against the doorway. His wide-brimmed hat hid most of his face in shadows, except for the smile that parted his lips. My glance lasted less than a second, but already I could feel the chill crawling up my spine.
Maybe it was just my imagination, but had he stepped away from the door just as I disappeared from view? My ears strained to listen under the sound of my clicking shoes.
No, nothing there. I sighed in relief feeling silly. Despite that, I could still feel the chill up my spine. Thinking ahead I opened my purse and dug through to find my keys, so they’d be ready when I got to the car. I walked along the promenade of closed shops watching myself through the windows as I made my way to the front of my store. The area was well lit by the storefronts so I kept to it still feeling the tension in my shoulders.
Reaching the front of my building I looked out across the dark parking lot. My car was nestled on the far end of the lot. The original plan wasn’t to be walking to it late at night, but my boss had headed home early and declared me in charge of closing up. I glanced once more down the promenade towards the corner I had turned.
There slowly walking under the lights was the same man. His smile even more visible now in the light, the only features of his distinguishable due to the shadows that played on his face. I felt the chill run up my entire spin at the vision of him strolling closer. He had not said a word to me, in fact, I couldn’t even see if his eyes were on me, but his smile was all I needed to see to feel unsafe.
I prepared myself, mentally and physically. My keys threaded through each of my fingers as I went through various takedowns in my head. I let out a deep breath and stepped into the parking lot, keeping a brisk even pace towards my car. The light of the storefronts fading more and more as I crossed the open space.
Halfway across and I could hear his footsteps now. His long legs seemed to carry him closer even at his casual jaunt. I couldn’t wait any longer, I broke out into a run towards my car. Rather than jump into the driver’s seat, I held down the trunk open button. I rushed to it and reached inside, knowing exactly where to reach for what I needed.
The heavy metal felt secure in my hand as I stepped out from behind my vehicle. I raised the gun in the direction I had heard the footsteps but now there was nothing there. My pace was slow as I crept my way around the vehicle, inspecting the area around my car for any possible assailants. Satisfied the coast was clear, I slammed my trunk closed and made my way to the driver’s door and stepped inside.
On the drive home I kept the gun in my lap, my eyes flicking up occasionally to look out the rear view mirror; expecting at any moment to see a menacing smile behind me. The next day I called my boss and requested the security footage. Nothing appeared on the tapes, no man at the door, on the corner, or even behind me as I ran to the car. Even still, I made it clear to him, no more night shift.
Thanks for sticking through that everybody. When writing this piece I wanted it to play off of real fears as much as possible, and as cheap as it is, this is a real fear for more humans than anything else. Stay safe out there as the daylight hours dwindle. Feel free to comment down below, or speak with me directly on Facebook or Twitter. Like and share this if it gave you some creeps and don’t forget to follow me. Anyone looking to support the arts and receive exclusive content should check out my Patreon.