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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2296134
A man is employed to follow and record the movements of a woman.

It was an old, grey Peugeot, a 205. This one was showing its age, particularly in the replaced front wing, a shade too light to remain unnoticed.

In other words, it was perfect for Hammond’s purposes. What he needed was something used, grey in colour, and a model so common as to be unremarkable. The 205 had been so popular that the roads still teemed with examples.

He paid the asking price and drove away in the car.

Hammond was known amongst his peers for his attention to detail. He intended to use the car for his latest job and then dispose of it for another. The task was to follow and record the movements of a woman known to him only as Millie, while remaining hidden.

It was the stock in trade for a private investigator, if a little unusual in that the woman was unmarried. Not a search for grounds for divorce, then. Hammond wondered only briefly what interest the client had in her. Not his business and his fee made it doubly so.

For a week he followed her, from her work at a firm of architects, to one or another supermarket, to her home and to friends’ places. Nothing out of the ordinary, apart from the dreadful sameness of it all. Did the woman never have an urge to do something different? She clearly had enough money to afford the latest shows, to visit the local high spots and have the occasional meal out in a fancy restaurant. And there was no boyfriend in sight.

It was all terribly boring and Hammond found it difficult to stay awake at times. Even the Peugeot was unremittingly reliable. He went home and slept when she had locked up for the night, but had to be at her house early the next morning.

So it was just another day when he followed the woman to the supermarket and then to her home, seemingly for the hundredth time. He drove past as she parked the Mini and then went around the block to approach the house again. Hammond parked under the old oak that had provided him with shelter and concealment so many times before.

Unexpectedly, she emerged quite quickly and drove to a friend’s house. Hammond parked well down the street and began to doze as the evening crept on.

With a start, he awoke and caught himself as he was about to fall off the seat. He lit a cigarette to keep himself awake.

And then he felt the cold, hard barrel of a gun pressing into his temple.

“Why are you following me?”

The words, the first he’d ever heard from her, crystalised his thinking. The game was up, it seemed. He reached across to the glove box to retrieve his P.I. licence.

He never heard the sound of the gun or felt the brains exploding from his skull. But the demon within erupted in fury and forced his body towards an upright position. His head jerked sideways four times more before it lay still. Defeated, the demon drifted away.

Word count: 500
For Horror Writing Contest, May 2023
Prompt: Just make it a scary story that fulfils the word count (500).
Note: The fact that two entries are allowed gave me the idea to write two stories, one from the point of view of each of the protagonists. My intent is that both can stand alone but, when both are read together, an extra layer is revealed.

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