An original short story generated from a writing prompt.
|It had been three years since Alaria had put Marco in a mental institute. Her life was good, normal. She had a steady job, good friends, lovely home, and a new love interest. She was able to build a new normal after what happened. It took awhile and a lot of work, but she did it. She learnt how to feel safe again, how to live with PTSD, she learnt how to recover and rebuild. As she’s walking down the street to get to her building, she hears footsteps following behind her. They’re barely audible and extremely soft, which hints to the fact that whoever they are, they’re trying not to be heard. She keeps her pace steady, so as to not alert whomever it is that she’s aware of their presence. Her weapon of choice is a small black bottle of pepper spray, and theirs is a camera gripped firmly in between their fingers. She ducks a right into the alley behind the subway, and that is how she can tell that this person doesn’t know her way home, because they follow her. When they round the corner into the alleyway, Alaria grabs the follower by their arm, throws them to the ground, presses her foot to their back, and unsheathes her weapon. “Why are you following me?” She demands keeping her eyes trained on the unknown creeper, the hooded figure pushes themselves up into a plank position, shoots themselves up, causing Alaria to be thrown back, and dashes out of the alley. Leaving a confused and wary Alaria laying on the ground. After a moment to gather herself she stands up and quickly continues home. After stepping through the buildings door, she pulls it shut behind her and begins her trek up the stairs to her third floor apartment. As she passes the doors of her other neighbours, she scans. Analyzing to see if there’s anything wrong. Proactive is better than reactive. Words that she may as well have tattooed on her face. Detective Marshall said them enough times during her case, that she can barely remember him saying anything else to her. Her keys are gripped tightly in her hand as she nears the door. She places the key into the slot and tries to take a deep breath. For the past three years opening doors has been hell for her. It’ll most likely always be like this. For the past few months she’s been trying to gain more confidence and security with walking into her own home. He is in a mental institution, no more photos of herself in the mail, no more strange calls from her friends phones containing the sounds of their gasping breaths, no more whipping her head around trying to see him, no more hours spent sleepless holed up in a corner with papers and research surrounding her. ‘What do I do?’ ‘Do I know him?’ ‘Why is he doing this?’ ‘Will he kill me?’ Several thoughts that would race and chase each other around in her head every single day. The police thought that they could keep her safe from him, but they couldn’t keep her safe from her own thoughts. But, that’s in the past, he’s in a maximum security mental institution in Arizona. She’s on Vancouver Island, not to mention the fact that he has no idea where she is. This is her life, he will never take that away from her, he never did and he never will. Taking one more glance around her for good measure, she turns the key in its slot, turns the door knob in her hand, and pushes on the door. The keys slip out of her hand in shock, after taking them from the lock. She opened her apartment door to hundreds of roses. She knew they were from him; he had found her. Roses had always been his thing, pink roses, he thought they looked beautiful on her, thought she was a pink person. She hasn’t had a single pink item in three years. She pulls her phone from her pocket and dials 911. “911, what’s your emergency?” A calm and firm voice floats into her ear from the phone. “Someone broke into my house. I think it was my old stalker. I need police right away. He might still be here.” As she explains everything to the operator she crosses the room into the kitchen. “What’s-” The operator had begun to ask Alaria a question, but the phone had suddenly been ripped from the side of her face and whipped to the floor. She spun around like a whirlwind to face her intruder. She found herself face to face with a hood, no visible face in sight. “Who the hell are you?” The hooded figure gives no verbal answer, instead settling for a physical one. They take one large step towards Alaria and their arms almost immediately find a spot around her shoulders, seconds before throwing her to the ground. As she lays on the floor the intruder takes the chance to lower their body down onto hers. Once they are on top of Alaria she can see their face clearly. “You don’t want anyone to ruin our special time, do you?” The low, haunting voice of Marco Derussio hits her in the face full on, like a slap. Her breathing and heart rate both get faster, as her body makes the realization that he is there. He’s in the same room, area, his body is on top of hers. She starts pulling, tugging, kicking, yelling. Doing anything and everything to get away from him, as she remembers that the door is still open. Marco’s hands grip her wrists tightly, fingernails biting into skin, like he so wished his teeth could. His leg laid, bent across both of hers, to make sure that she couldn’t take a cheap shot at his crotch like last time. As she yelled the loudest she could, loudest she ever had, as fear coursed through her, Marco started to lose his temper. Alaria feels a restraint release from her wrist, without even a first thought, she throws her hand up and out. Trying to hit, scratch, hurt Marco. He cries out in pain as she drags her nails down his face, leaving a long mark and trail of blood in her wake. His fist comes down on her face with all of his strength and weight behind it. Considering how large and strong Marcos 6’5, 200 pound, muscled body, is compared to Alarias 5’1, 100 pound, petite body is, she loses consciousness for just a little over a minute. She’s brought back to reality by the feeling of hands tugging at her belt. As she opens her eyes, head pounding, whole face stinging, she sees him in a way that she thought she never would again. On top of her, in power, too close for her liking, unwanted hands on her skin, full weight on her, hungry look in his eyes, and crazed grin on his face, that she thought she’d only see in the movies. As Marco finally manages to get her belt buckle undone and is about to slip the belt out of its loops, Alaria reacts. She throws her arm up at him, elbow pointed and out. The bone smashes into his temple, causing him to lose momentary focus, allowing Alaria to pull herself up and out from underneath him. Her hand grips the marble island, giving her the leverage to stand. She sees her bat by her bedroom door about ten paces away, she also sees the open apartment door, about fifthteen paces away. She has to make a split second decision, and she does. She leaps over Marcos body and starts for the door. Unfortunate for Alaria is the cruel fact that Marco Derussios arms are like ropes, long and easily to get tangled in. Marcos hand wraps around her ankle and pulls, she lands on the floor with a heavy and hard “Thud!”. Marco wastes no time in crawling back on top of her, this is the love of his life, he can’t just let her get away. Alaria rolls herself over, so she’s facing him, she figures she’s got a better chance at fighting him off if she’s facing him. Marcos deadly hands wrap around her little neck, and squeeze. Alaria kicks, scratches, hits, tries to scream. But, all her attempts are in vain, because Marco’s angry. God help the poor soul that makes him angry. As Alaria struggles for breath and keeps fighting with everything she has, she starts to wonder, ‘is this how it’s supposed to end?’ She always thought the Universe had a plan for everyone, including her. So, the Universe must hate her if this is its plan for her. In a last desperate search for a way out, she thrashes her head around. She looks over and sees her keys that she had dropped after opening the door. They were right there, and all she had to do was reach. Being short and small, she didn’t have long arms, but Universe be damned if it thought that that was going to stop her. She stretches her arm out, fingers reaching new lengths as she inches her hand closer to the keys. Cool metal brushes hot skin as the keys are pulled into her hand and between her knuckles. Alaria punches her hand straight up in the air, target: Marco's face. He roars out a guttural scream as the key pushes itself into his eye. His upper body lifts off of her as he holds his face and screams. Alaria brings her leg up and kicks Marco’s knee, causing him to fall on his face, shoving the key in deeper. As he lays on the ground screaming in pain, Alaria pays no mind to her neighbours gathering around the open door to watch the ordeal, as she stands and rushes to her bedroom door. The bat feels heavy and reassuring in her hands. By the time she gets back to Marco, he’s back on his feet ripping the key from his eye with a thunderous roar. When he sees her, anger rushes through him, as he lunges towards her, hands open, seeking their previous spot on her neck. As Marco’s body starts towards Alaria’s, she doesn’t take another second to lift the bat up above her shoulder, and swing it at his head. Wood ploughs into bone and Marco’s down. A pool of blood surrounds his head as police finally arrive. As they pile in through her door, she slightly chuckles at their expressions and drops the bat. “I have a completely believable reason and explanation for all of this.” And she did.