staying late after work by yourself can be scary
The Parking Lot
By Kim Babcock
I had to walk all the way across the dimly lit parking lot to get to my car. Our boss, Mr. Vanderhoot, would not let us park closer to the office building. He said, "leave plenty of room for the clients". Maria Sanchez had gotten suspended once for parking near the building and she had a sprained ankle at the time.
I had stayed late. I had an article and two ads to finish before morning and I wasn't about to take the work home. Otherwise there were usually several of us walking to our cars.
This night I was alone. My pace quickened as I got closer to my car and I put my hand in my purse on my phone. Something had spooked me. Was it a shadow? A noise? Something just didn't feel right.
A brisk wind blew open my trench coat and pulled some of my brown hair out of the barrettes holding it back out of my face. I was so shaky that I dropped my keys fishing them out of my purse.
When I stood back up Gerald Foster was standing there. I jumped nearly a foot.
"I didn't mean to startle you, Katherine." His voice was deeper than when I had talked with him in the office.
"Its fine, Gerald. What kept you so late?"
"You did. I had to see you."
It was then I saw the glint of the moonlight on the knife in his hand.
I tried to back up and only pinned myself between the car and Gerald as he stepped forward.
"I've been studying you. There're only pictures of cats on your desk. You work hard all hours. I've never heard you speak of family."
"What is it you want, Gerald?"
"You are in my thoughts constantly. Even when I am asleep I dream of you. I want you to disappear so I can have my sanity back."
"You can't just kill me Gerald."
Gerald brought the knife up to my throat and dragged the point down my neckline. I felt it nick my skin at my cleavage before he used it to tear open my blouse and bra. He reached and pushed them open.
"Stop now and I'll let this go Gerald. I'll say it never happened."
"But you will still be here. You'll still torment me.'
"No Gerald," my voice on the edge of panic. "I'll go away. I'll leave tonight."
"But I'll know," he said clenching his hair. "I'll know you're out there."
Gerald took a few stumbling steps backwards. I seen an opportunity and swung my purse out hard. It caught Gerald in the side of his face, and he went down.
I had to move fast. I still had my keys in my hand. I unlocked the door and started to climb inside.
Gerald grabbed me by the hair and slammed the door on my leg. His arm came around.
It all became surreal. I could feel his hand hit my torso repeatedly. I saw the blood spatter against the car. My blood.
My last thought was that it should hurt more as I lay bleeding out on the pavement.