Thunder crashed. Lightning flashed. She turned with hesitant casualness. Before lightning left the blackness of night gulping back the world around her, she had a glimpse of him ducking out of sight.
She clutched her bag in response to the realization that she was being tailed, increasing her steps. A second later found her running.
She scissored through the wind, through the smacking pellets of rain, her one intention to get to the one place she imagined was safe. Her home. She had begun to feel the steady explosion of something sharp in her ribs. She had begun to run out of breath too.
Memories came sparsely as she fled.
“I shall find you,” he had whispered to her through the gates of that padded room she had thrown him in a couple of years back. “We shall be together, forever, on some night.”
Yes, he was mad, she had thought as she watched him howl, trying to thrash about in his straitjacket. She couldn’t believe this was the same animal she had slept with, the same creature obsessed with slicing off the nipples of teens and masturbating on their corpses.
Yet, at the back of her mind was a nagging doubt that perhaps, he had meant what he said. That he would break out and find her. On some night.
She cried as she ran.
She bolted the staircase three a time and collapsed against her heavy oak door, fumbling for the keys in her bag. A sound rustled below and a stir followed. Her hands lost control of themselves but she managed to root out the bunch of keys.
The first and second keys failed but the door answered the third and she fled in, banging the door behind her, shutting it up and down, silently catching her breath in the darkness, trying to listen to someone that was now ascending the staircase.
On the cupboard in which her gun lay in was a small lampshade. She wasn’t sure how many bullets were left, but even in her panic she knew a madman’s head was no proof enough to withstand a bullet. She groped with her hands and located it, then switched it on. In its struggle to come on, it cast brief lights that showed where her gun lay, and where he sat contently just a dozen yards from her.
Fear wasn’t an option. Living was. She snatched the gun.
“Father,” she whispered desperately, the nozzle of the gun bobbing. “Strengthen my arms.”
Then he came yelling, charging at her.
About the writer
KI Jago is left-handed.