Home Alone

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And as she heard the footsteps approaching, she clutched her knees closer into her chest, digging her teeth into her arm, muffling her moan of despair. She saw feet approaching from her hiding place under her bedroom desk. And she held her breath. Tears rolled down her cheeks, her mascara flowing down. She held her breath to save her life.









“ Ok, Danielle, we’re leaving now! Don’t wait up; we won’t be back until late tonight!” Danielle smiled up from her homework.
“Alright! Bye, Mom! Bye, Jim!” she yelled.
“ Bye honey!” the rough voice of her mother’s boyfriend sounded. She heard the front door slam closed and went back to her homework. It was nice that her mom was getting out of the house. Peace, and quiet, and solitude. Finally.

Looking forward to a night of solitude, Danielle plugged her headphones into her ears, getting back to her tedious math homework. However, no matter how much she tried to concentrate, she couldn’t shake off an uneasy feeling that something wrong was about to happen… She decided to call her mom, just to be sure…

“ Hey Mom,” she mumbled into the receiver

“ Dani! Hi sweetie… what’s wrong?”

“ Oh nothing… Just wondering when you were gonna come home.” Relief swept through her to hear her mother’s voice.

“ Oh I don’t know, really! But we’re sitting in a restaurant right now, so I have to go!”

“ Alright. Have fun!” she tried to sound enthusiastic.

“ Bye! Love you! Call me if you need anything!”

So Danielle continued doing her homework, oppressing those ominous feelings of dread…

It had gotten dark, and she finally finished all her homework. But right as she took her headphones out, she heard a large thump and crash... She froze. She felt all the blood rush from her face, and she walked over to her mom’s room across the hallway, opening the door slowly and cautiously turning on the lights…
“ Oh, thank god.” she let out a big sigh of relief, laughing at herself for getting so worried. The window across the room was open, wind blowing in, making the curtain flutter. On the floor was the picture her mother kept of her, face down, blown off the windowsill.
“ Dammit, Mom… I told her to keep the window locked; we have that creepy next-door neighbor…”
She picked the picture up, “ Oh no… That’s too bad.” The glass was broken and the picture of her dressed up as ballerina in second grade was torn. She carefully picked up all the pieces and placed them back on the windowsill and left the room, turning off the light and closing the door.

Danielle had decided to tell her mother about the picture when she came home; let her have her night of fun first. She made her way over to the living room and turned on the TV, and before she knew it, she was drifting to the land of blissful dreaming…

Footsteps. She heard them on the brink of sleep, so she wondered if it was all imagined, but-- More footsteps. This was real.

Danielle shot up and looked around, frantically.

“ Mom…? Is that you?” she almost whispered.

The footsteps slowed, grew louder.

She saw his hand first, curling around the corner where the hallway was. Her breathing stopped. Her stomach sank. She felt her heart pound in her eardrums.

He slowly walked into view, Danielle’s worst fear; the reason she locked the back door at night, the reason she double checked the windows every evening before bed. She shrugged it off when she caught him staring at her through his window while she was reading in the backyard. Her mother passed it off as teenage paranoia when Danielle told her of how she worried about him; about how he never left his house, but was always outside sitting on his porch whenever she came home, staring at her… But Danielle had know. She knew this was coming.

Tears slid down her cheeks as he approached, his fat gut jiggling, pushing his wire-rimmed glasses up his grotesque nose, a disgusting smile plastered on his sweaty, pig-like face. She pleaded with him as she slid back, pressing herself against the wall.

“ Don’t… Please don’t… please… anything!” she sobbed at him. But she was cornered. Her neighbor reached down and forcefully grabbed her long dark hair, smile faded into a grimace, angered now, that his Danielle was being so uncooperative.

She screamed, struggling, but it was drowned out by the howling wind, almost as if it wanted her to suffer, to die…

But Danielle had no plans of giving up. She elbowed him as hard as she could in his large stomach, and he released his grip on her hair, bellowing in fury. So she ran. She ran as fast as she could, sobbing, tears streaming down her face. He was right behind her. She made it to her room, locking the door behind her, just in time. She knew what she was going to do: she would jump out her window, and run to a neighbor’s house. It’ll work! It’ll work… She reassured herself silently, over and over. But the man, the pig, evil itself, was pounding on the door, throwing his entire body weight against it… It wouldn’t hold for long…

He finally broke through the door, screaming in rage. He walked around the room, slowly. Composing himself…
And as she heard the footsteps approaching, she clutched her knees closer into her chest, digging her teeth into her arm, muffling her moan of despair. She saw feet approaching from her hiding place under her bedroom desk. And she held her breath. Tears rolled down her cheeks, her mascara flowing down. She held her breath to save her life.

But hope was gone. She was trapped, cornered like a terrified animal. She smelled cologne as he approached. She saw his crowbar. She felt him drag her from under her desk. She was numb. She lay on the floor, looking at him through wet eyes. Looking at him, but not really looking.

She thought of what she would miss. She would never have a family, she would never learn how to drive. She would never visit Africa, or Asia, or fall in love. She would never see her friends again, she would never see her mother. She would never feel another kiss on her cheek, or the warm embrace of a hug.

Danielle lay trembling on the floor, looking up at this man. This man that she had never done anything to.

“ Please, don’t.” She gently whispered to him as he brandished his crowbar...

The end came anyway.





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