Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Escape (01/02/06)
TITLE: The Stalker
By Kate Wells
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"She has to come out sooner or later", he mused. And he settled into a smug satisfaction of knowing...that she would not outsmart him. No one ever did.
Control. It was all about control. And that... he had. This wasn't his first victim. He knew how it would go. He began to salivate as he anticipated the thrill of it. And a shiver ran up his spine.
The young victim cowered in the field and gazed at the nearby white clapboard house she had just fled. Tall stalks of corn concealed her from the would be attacker. Her heart was pounding in her ears like a steady drum beat.
She attempted to slow her breathing and think. It had all happened so fast. The intruder had come out of nowhere... bursting into her peaceful house. Threatening, maniacal. His contorted face lunging toward her. She had no other thought then to survive. To run. She ran for the corn field across from the house, knowing it offered the only possibility of escape. Now she waited... knowing he was watching.
"Think!", she commanded her brain. But her body refused to cooperate. She was paralyzed with fear. Any attempt to seek help would merely serve to expose her hiding place. He would kill her if he found her. She was certain of that. She had seen the insane intention in his eyes in the first moments of their confrontation. And she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would be no reasoning with him. She was locked in a nightmare.
The intruder began to feel impatient, which was not like him. This one was a challenge. He hadn't had a "runner" in a long time. They usually fought a little and screamed. Which only sought to heighten his excitement.
He didn't like runners. They dared to pit their intelligence against his. He found them insulting. Not exciting at all. Why couldn't she have just put up a little fight. It would have been over by now. Annoyed by her attempt to evade him, he began to move forward. Very slowly... one foot at a time, in the direction he last saw her.
She cringed as he approached. Her breathing became more rapid. She looked about her to see where she could flee next. The barn was a good 200 feet away. Too far. She had never felt such fear in her life. The sound of her heartbeat was deafening in her ears.
Suddenly, the stalker stopped. He stood perfectly still... waiting, listening. For any sound. There it was... a rustling nearby. His eyes focused on the direction it came from.
She could contain herself no longer. The fear permeated her being and she began to tremble violently. When she saw him approach her hiding place, she backed up. She knew immediately that he had heard the rustling of the leaves around her. She knew she could not outrun him. And so she crouched lower and waited for the end to come.
When he spotted her, he was filled with a slobbering anticipation at the impending conclusion to their little game. He could literally see her shaking as he approached...which gave him a new sense of power.
Suddenly, he heard the boy call his name.
He jerked his head in the direction of the sound.
He was aghast at the fact that he was about to be deprived of victory that was so close at hand.
"Travis...what the heck are you doing out here? I've been looking everywhere for you. Your kitty chow's waiting in your bowl." the boy said, as he scooped the big fluffy black and white cat into his arms.
The little mouse seemed to relax as she waited for her opportunity to creep back to the house. Victim had become victor! She felt safe again for the moment.
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