Two for the price of one at Friday Fictioneers this week; partly because the first one is very much inspired by a story I read as a child, and have always remembered. I’m not sure if it was by Edgar Allen Poe, so if anyone can tag the title/author for me, I’d be grateful. It was a masterpiece, and my update is just a pale imitation that I wrote simply to scare myself… So on that basis I wrote the second one, because I felt I’d been self-indulgent, and had cheated slightly… 😉
Today’s the day; I’ve promised myself I’ll do this.
Closing the door to the apartment, shaking and sweating, I start the descent to the foyer, counting the steps as I go.
At seventy-six steps, I can see the foyer, the concierge and beyond that a world I’ve not visited in over ten years. Panic washes over me; my surroundings lurch drunkenly.
I turn and begin the climb back to safety… some other time… …when I’m feeling better.
My heart is pounding; my legs are weak. Sixty-nine, seventy… almost there.
Oh God! No door in sight, just stairs.
Eighty nine, ninety…
I know he’s up there; I can hear him breathing.
Every night this week he’s followed me home, hat pulled low over his features, shoulders hunched in a navy raincoat. When I’ve turned, he’s stopped, stared into a shop-window, disappeared into a doorway.
But tonight, he was ahead of me, and I decided I’d been wrong, over-suspicious; paranoid even.
Until he turned into the doorway of my apartment block.
Rain pools at my feet; wet footprints lead up the stairs towards my apartment.
I hear the lock snick into place behind me as the lights begin to dim.