Still three blocks to go. Shadows imbued with life, courtesy of each, as yet unbroken street light tease her every rearward glance, smell her fear, sense her youthful vulnerability.
Was that a follower - one who might do her harm perhaps or just an overly wrought and fanciful imagination The rain sleeting down covers her tracks covers his tracks perhaps Another sound 'midst the torrent, this time the wind howling its dire warning. But two blocks to safety now
"Be sure to get home by eight" her mother's words echo forever in a world suddenly ruled by violent precipitation, approaching thunder - the inclement forces of nature freely conspiring together. Again she turns, her own shadow leering up at her Yet no-one's there, no monstrous shape creeps nearer
A sudden flash of intense brilliance, lights her way but momentarily, the thunderclap reverberates beneath the sidewalk, she feels the insecurity of her mere sixteen years tenure on so unprotective a terrain. But one block to navigate!
She chides herself for harboring these gestating fears, No ogre abroad on such a night, no cars patrol the sodden road and there not fifty yards ahead, her own front gate exudes its cosy familiarity, negating her frantic heartbeat, calming her funk
Running headlong, she cries out in happiness seeing through the pouring rain now, her father undo the latch, a figure of safety - the ultimate protective sentinel. "Thanks dad," she utters, before the cruelest of deceptions makes known its hideous reality. Even as the coarse hand seals off her scream the devil's accomplice pulls into the kerb, a door opens....
Not half an hour passes - two parents stand at a gate ......scanning an empty street
(c) Peter_Pan 2007 Courtesy of the published anthology "The Best of Peter_Pan" 2007 Lulu Publishing Inc: Morrisville NC www.lulu.com/content/679070