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One Bad Day

It was midday when Amber Collins started walking home. It was cloudy and a bit chilly, but she figured she was alright leaving without her jacket. Her boots tapped away as she walked down the street and she caught the intoxicating smell of the freshly baked pastries from the nearby bakery. She would have stopped to grab some, but she had to get home before her mom freaked at her for being out so late. Suddenly her phone rang with a creepy tone, an indication that it was her mother.

“Mom I’m on my way, don’t worry.” She automatically said as she picked up the phone. Her mother was always the type that worried too much, but she lived only 20 minutes away from her boyfriends’ house so she saw no problem with taking her time.

“Alright baby, hurry up, dinner is almost ready.” Her mother said, hanging up. Amber put the phone back in her pocket and turned to spot the area she traveled down every time she walked home from her boyfriends’ house. It was behind an old abandon factory that caught on fire years ago. She made note of the pocket knife in her back pocket and then proceeded walking down. As she made her way through though, she could hear the groans of what sounded like a man. She looked around and spotted someone limping toward her. She intended on simply walking by, but the man fell hard onto the ground.

“Oh my god, are you alright!?” she shouted, running towards the stranger. He looked up and held his hand out, pleading for help. Amber knelt down, and pulled him up, half dragging him over to the nearby wall. She could clearly see the blood that was still fresh dripping from his head, as well as the stains from it falling onto his clothes.

“Yeah… I’m alright. I just fell.” The man said. He looked no older than Amber was, around his mid-twenties. He had curly brown hair that was messed up from whatever trouble he had been through. His skin was light, save the spots of blood that were halfway dry on his arms and face.

“I’m sorry but… could you help me to my house. It’s just down the street. If you’re not comfortable with it I’ll understand.” He said, trying to walk himself. The pain was excruciating and Amber felt as though she had to help him.

“No, no it’s okay with me. Come on, lean on me.” She said, putting his arm over her shoulder and walking slowly with him. He smiled appreciative and accepted her help.

“How did this happen anyway?” she asked the man. He groaned in pain and then thought for a moment. Then he looked over to her as he began to explain.

“I was on my way to work this morning and I kissed my girlfriend goodbye before driving off. She waved happily and I waved back, she was always so cheerful and full of life. I stayed at her house last night and we were up pretty late if you catch my drift. Maybe that’s why she was so happy. Anyway, so I get to work and I start filing my paper as usual. I ****ing hate my job but hey, someone has to be at the bottom so that the guys on top don’t screw up, you know?” He said with a laugh. Amber laughed too, knowing the feeling of being at the bottom of the food chain.

“Halfway through the work day I realized that I had forgotten my flash drive with all of my work documents needed for my meeting later on this evening on the kitchen table. I told my pal Ben to cover for me and raced back home. I open the door and I see her sitting on the couch and… and…” His eyes fluttered as he struggled to remember. Flashed of the memory appeared in his head.

“Wait… wait. Oh yes, she said ‘James, I thought you were at work?’ That’s when she grabbed me and we started kissing. That’s when I…” again his eyes fluttered and began shifting. “Wait! No! That’s not how it happened!” he shouted. Amber shifted cautiously. “Hey… it’s alright. Here, is this your house?” she asked him. He nodded and reached behind him, but cursed as he realized he had forgotten his keys. “Walk me over to my garage, I think I left it open” He whispered as he put his hand on his head. Amber walked him in the garage and sat him down on the wall. He looked shaken up and afraid.

“Should I… call the police? This seems like a serious problem.” She said, but he shook his head.

“I remember now! I came home from work and found her sitting with my friend Erin. They were on the couch watching TV, she was in his arms and they jumped up as soon as I walked in. ‘James, I thought you were at work!’ she shouted to me. Erin suddenly charged at me and attacked me, punching me countless times in the face and… and then… and…” He stopped and touched his head, feeling the pain once again.

Amber put her hand son his shoulders, assuring him that everything would be alright. She pulled out her phone, checking the time and then looked back over to him.

“It’s getting late… I think I should call an ambulance. You’re going to be okay.” She said. Suddenly his eyes opened wide.

“Wait, wait! I remember now!” he said. Amber turned around and looked at the car in the garage, parked crooked and with a window broken. The garage itself seemed very dirty. He started speaking once again.

“I came home and made my way upstairs… and the front door was open. I could hear shuffling around and moaning from the inside. I walked in slowly and crept toward where the noise was coming from… my room. I open the door and see her… my girlfriend… riding up and down on my friend Erin. They’re both naked and the smell of sex just fills the room. I grab her and push her to the side, she screams. ‘James! I thought you were at work!’ she shouts out. Erin steps up, but I pull out… my gun. I point it right at his head. ‘James, come on man’ he pleads to me. ‘SHUT THE F*** UP, ERIN!’ I shout back, furious… before anyone can say anything else I pull the trigger. His blood splatters all over the place. Laura comes at me with a nearby lamp; hits me in the head… I go down but manage to kill her too. I leave and start walking… but I feel lost.”

Amber was frozen with fear as she heard the story. She turned around slowly, the numbers 9-1 already dialed on the phone, but she stops and turns. He’s standing up now, holding a remote in his hand and frowning slightly.

“No one knows where I am… except you, that is…” He clicks the red button and the garage doors starts to close. Amber turns and starts running, but he already has his gun out. He pulls the trigger and the bullet speeds right through her leg. She screams, “Help, help me please! Help!” but no one can hear her. The garage door closes on her and the man smiles, pulling out the knife lying on the table beside him. His grin grows tremendously as he makes his way towards Amber.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do this, please! What the hell is wrong with you!?” she screams. He simply laughs.

“Just having a bad day…” and then there was nothing but silence as the lights dim down to nothing; the only brightness being the LCD screen of her cell phone with the numbers 9-1 dialed in.



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