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Darkness in Grunley
I heard exactly three shots being fired into the cold, dark air. The sound ripped through the night sky, echoing for miles and miles down the gravel road. I heard the sound at around two in the morning on a Friday in June. I had been sleeping in my living room on the couch; the TV was blaring a rerun of Gilmore Girls. I must have fallen asleep watching the season finale, but for some reason I couldn’t remember exactly how I feel asleep on the couch instead of on my warm snuggly bed.
I turned off the TV, making the room quiet. I sat up on the couch, stricken with fright. Starring out into the window that was near the ripped couch I had been sleeping on; I noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Everything seemed normal and quiet. The air was still now, but moments ago it had been swirling all around making leaves fly through the sky. Maybe there was a storm coming, or had it already come? Had I imagined the gunshots, was it all in my dream?
I slowly sat up from the couch, still thinking it was all real. I hadn’t dreamed it. It was real. I sauntered sleepily towards the window, peering out into the darkness. I watched as headlights appeared down the road, illuminating the night. Following the headlights, came a dark SUV. I couldn’t see the driver very well, but I saw enough to know that it was a man. A dark and scary man. He looked angry as he drove down the road, leaving the small town of Grunley.
I pondered the thought of what just happened. Did that man just kill someone and flee the scene. Was he just another driver? But why would he be driving at two in the morning? It’s not like I lived in New York City; far from actually.
Grunley is a little town nestled in the state of Georgia. I’ve been here for two years and nothing has ever happened in a little town like this. Now we were talking about murder. Or I was dreaming.
But as soon as I heard the sirens, I knew that it was real. The police and paramedics zoomed by my house. My home suddenly felt like a strange unknown place. I got an eerie feeling as I slowly crept back to my couch.
As I picked up my blanket, a knock came upon my door. I stopped, dead in my tracks. What if it was the man? What if he was coming to kill me?
I thought about waiting for the person to just give up and leave, but the knock came again. Louder this time.
I might as well just get the door, but just to be sure, I will look through the peep hole to see who it is before I open it, I thought.
I inched towards the door and starred out to see no one was there. My heart slowed down and I let out a breath.
“Thank God,” I said, relieved. I turned around and went back to the couch. As I curled up with the blanket, I noticed that the TV was back on and instead of showing Gilmore Girls, the image was just static. Hadn’t I turned the TV off before I got up to check out the door?
I sat up quickly, again. My heart pounding even more than last time. I tried taking a deep breath, but it didn’t work. You’re just overreacting, I said to myself. But I still couldn’t stop thinking about the man, and the TV.
And as if it couldn’t have gotten any worse, I heard another sound. This time it came from upstairs. The sound of footsteps.
Slowly, I stepped away from my couch and towards the screen door. I grabbed the phone and started to dial 911, but stopped. Crap, no service. Whoever was in my house, cut the line so I couldn’t call anyone. And my cell phone was of course up stairs. Oh crap!
I dropped the phone on the counter, and listened for the footsteps again. They came again, louder and closer. Like someone was running down the stairs. I waited. They came again, and I saw a shadow appear by the front door. Then a dark figure emerged from the staircase. I let out a gasp and struggled to open the screen door. It was stuck and as the figure grew closer, I began to really panic. Finally, it flew open and I burst out the door into the cold night. It was raining now, almost pouring. Lightning lit up the sky followed by loud booms of thunder. The storm must have started right after I heard the footsteps.
I turned around behind me to see if the figure was there, but he wasn’t. He was gone. I stopped running and tried to catch my breath. When I turned back around, though, there he was. I turned back around and struggled to get away, but whoever it was grabbed my arm and wouldn’t let go.
“Stop!” I screamed. “No!” I kicked and screamed, flailing my arms and legs. I couldn’t break free. I was going to die.
“Get away from me!” Then, he or she let go and I scrambled to the front yard. I ran out into the gravel road, just to get away from the person, but realized it was a bad idea when the head lights appeared. I saw the familiar car before I felt it. And when I felt the sharp pain in my side, I knew it was over. So as I flew through the night air, I enjoyed the ride. I took one final breath because I knew it was my last.