Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: The Year’s End
By Jesus Puppy
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Ellen knew she saw someone just behind the last corner, hidden in trees just beyond the streets dim light. All week the eerie feeling of another following her, watching every move, yet always out of sight, a glimpse in the corner of the eye.
Mentioning it to friends and family raised fears and suspicions, but most dismissed it as coincidence and paranoia on her part.
"You watch too many late night movies," her best friend Sally said one day over lunch. "Who would want to be checking up on you?"
"No need to worry," her fiance, Steve, told her. "This is a good town, nothing ever happens here."
The Police said her fears were unfounded, after a short investigation of the neighborhood, they let the report go without a second thought. Though some began to joke, saying she needed to look into counseling to find her shadowy trackers.
Ellen lived near 15 years on her own and never had such problems. Now each shadow seemed to hold a secret. Sometimes even her friends were seen near by, only to have them run off before she could speak. While shopping, at the library, or even while on her evening walk she felt the presence of someone viewing her movement.
This night was even worse, Ellen knew there had been a person behind her as she left the bus stop; watched as they hurriedly stepped into the bushes to hide.
Ellen quickened her step, walking at a fast pace yet trying not to seem afraid, hoping to make it to the payphone on the next corner to call a friend, the sight of the cut receiver cord only made things more desperate. With only a few more blocks to go, she built her courage, determined to make it home.
"Was that someone calling?" she thought. "Had they spoken her name?"
She began to run down the last street before her apartment house, leaving all caution. The house looked dark. Hadn't she left the light on? Was that a person's shadow by the steps? In her nervous haste Ellen dropped her keys while fumbling with the lock. Safe inside at last, she leaned against the door-- heart pounding.
The lights flashed on, and many voices shouted, "SURPRISE!" Darkness took her as she fainted to the floor.
"Was it something we said?" Sally asked as Steve walked in the door.
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