A Night of Suspense

I walked on briskly, trying not to look back. Somebody was following me. I could feel it. I continued to walk, counting my steps, making sure I didn’t step on any cracks; believe me, I’m not the superstitious kind, but, yet, I felt wary. Splat. A raindrop landed right on my nose and it dripped down my face. I hated the rain, every drop on your head feels like an egg that is being smashed on your face. I wiped the rain of my glasses with my gloves. One step, two steps, three steps. I stopped for a red light. Did I hear a fourth step?
I must be imagining things. The image of a walking man turned green and I crossed the road and went into Adeline Street, where a huge wind hit me. It was such a cold wind, it gave me the shivers and for a second I gasped. I zipped up my leather jacket even higher, buried myself under my scarf, and continued walking. Though the scarf covered my whole face now, I was aware of a faint scent, smelling like rotten eggs, rotting bodies – frankly, anything rotten. I looked around to see what it could be coming from.
Surely the mailbox on the left couldn’t be the cause. It looked as it had just been painted and when I sniffed it, it was obvious it smelled the same as every other mailbox. What about the flowers on the right? I was just about to bend down to investigate this, when I saw something move from the right corner of my eye. About a tenth of a second later, something threw itself against my leg. I screamed and I would’ve kept screaming if I wouldn’t have seen the cat that looked up at me with shining eyes, looking as if it was sorry to have scared me.

It was just a cat- I laughed nervously. I bent down and patted it on the head. I kept on walking through the endless street. 15 steps, 16 steps, 17 steps. I stopped. I heard a 18th step, and swivelled my head around; the curiosity was too much. A sudden gust threw my scarf up and into my face just as a shadow darted past me. I whirled trying to discern a solid shape but finding nothing but darkness. The night was cold… colder than usual. I squinted as I looked about myself again, the icy mist stinging my eyes.
I continued walking forwards, focusing on the rhythmic tap of my shoes of the concrete slabs that make up the pavement and was care to match my stride to width of each tile as to avoid the crakes that threatened to trip me. I glanced back again, my rhythm faltering as I looked out into the haze that made the world shimmer and warp. ‘I’m being paranoid’ I told myself, working it into my steps like a mantra. Tap, tap, and tap. Not the the sound of my shoes by the sound of rain just as the fog had finally begun to lift. I groaned as the disjointed clatter of the sudden down pour disrupted my steps. Stop being paranoid” I said aloud to myself, frustrated by my own foolishness, huffing. “I don’t think you’re paranoid,” someone whispered in my ear. Heart racing, I swivelled my whole body and whipped out my umbrella as defence. “Are you alright, mate? ” the silhouette asked, placing a hand on my tense shoulder. “Yeah,” I muttered, relaxing a little, “thanks. ” I walked on briskly home, not looking back once. *** As soon as I walked into my front door, I knew something was wrong. My wife, Melissa, had her head in her hands, blonde curls falling out of her usually-neat bun. “Hello, darling…! I chirruped, nervously. “What’s wrong? ” I pulled a chair, and sat down next to her. I slowly took the envelope from underneath her elbow and opened it, wearily. What was written inside, still makes me shudder to think about it. It read “Roses are red, violets are blue, there is no escaping, I am going to get you. ” “It’s a death threat. ” Melissa whispered. “I’ve been getting them at work, and the children are getting similar messages on their MooshMonsters and Facebook profile. “No, they must be hoaxes. You know from kids.. April fools? ” I stammered, not sure what to do. Yeah,” Melissa whipped her nose on her sleeve and got up, “Do you want some tea? ” I nodded, and folded up the message, written in a familiar handwriting, in red. This went on for weeks; Melissa and I kept getting similar messages and the kids online profiles were filled with the like. One night, after I put the children to bed, I heard a knock on the door. I called out to Melissa to open the door. The door kept on knocking. “alright, I’m coming, I’m coming! ” I shouted, rushing down the stairs. As I opened the door, I saw a quick flash of red, and a big red parcel on the doorstep.
I picked it up and glanced at the tag- it read ‘I am coming for you, there is no escape. A man who never embraces the thorn, does not deserve the rose. ’ I stepped outside and saw some children running, laughing. “Stupid, kids. Think this is funny, do you? ” I slammed the door shut and sat down. I threw away the parcel, not even opening to see the contents. The following night, I was in bed, when I got a text from an unknown number. ‘I’m coming for you. Just you wait, you shall pay- in blood. ’ A sudden rage filled me with anger, as I stabbed at the keys to reply. “Who are you? What are you

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