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The Men

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Tick. Tick. Tick. The second hand on the clock quickly added up the growing minutes that I was late. I glanced back up at the wall again. Oh crap! Twenty minutes past eight! College was already in session!

"AMELIA! LET'S GO! NOW!" I bellered as I ran out the door.

I had just dove behind the wheel of the brown crumpled Geo Tracker that my twin sister and I share, when Amelia leapt into the passenger seat beside me.

"Anna! Start the car already!" Amelia snapped.

I was struggling to put the key into the ignition when--SLAP, a man's face became pressed up against the driver's door window. Blood thick, gooey and black streamed from his nose quickly coating his thick beard.

"Help me! Oh someone please help-" the man was cut short as he head was wrenched backwards by a bigger man. I had no idea where he came from. He was just suddenly there- similar to the man with the bloodied face. Ameila and I began screaming as the bloodied man began jerking on the door handle to keep from being drug backwards.

The door flew open just as I stomped the accelerator. We lurched forward and took off. Ameila and I barrelled throught the stop sign and somehow managed to avoid all the oncoming traffic. Luck for us, the bloodied man couldn't hang on.


I drove us to the park right across from the cops station. There, Amelia and I sat in utter silence for about 2 minutes before we both gushed forth everything on our minds.

Where did the men come from?

What was going on?

Were they after us?

How good of a look did they get at our faces?

Do they know our license plate number?

Why would they be after us?

Who are they?

But then, as we became more and more level headed, we relaxed. We were probably both just over exagerrating. We both are freaked out by blood, and one little drop always seems like the a puddle as our minds go into a panic state. We simotaneously breathed a sigh of relief.

Let's be real here.

It was probably two guys just in a fight.

They'll work things out.

No need to go to the cops.

Maybe the bloodied guy had it coming.

Who knows? No need to get all upset though.

The more we talked, the more we relaxed.


As I eased back out onto the road, the sun became warm and blinding. After grabbing my sunglasses, I rolled down Amelia's window and mine. Ahh. The air was still cool and forgiving as the heat of the day was just beginning.



Amelia and I walked pulled into the college lot just as our morning class was being released. Our friends, taking a sidelong glance at the parking lot, saw us pulling in. Amelia saw them too. They rushed up to our little Geo asking where we had been. At their words, my blood turned back to ice. The morning's event surfaced in my head and I shivered. One look at Amelia's suddenly pale face told me she was thinking the same thing. We exchanged a quick glance silently vowing not to ever breathe a word of the events to anyone ever then each other. Thankfully, before we had to answer the question, our friends began asking if we were okay.

"Yeah, we're fine," I began. "We just got a little food poisoning last night. We're recovering fine though."

"Oh are you okay?" our friends asked.

"Yep. Better by the minute!" I laughed nervously.

Our friends gave us a sidelong questioning glance before shrugging my response off as Amelia and I climbed out of the little Geo.

"Anna, can I tell you something?"

"Yeah, sure. Anything, what's on your mind?"

"I'm still a little freaked out about earlier."

"Amelia hush. We shouldn't talk about this right now."

"I know Anna."




Our friends turned around and glanced backwards at us.

"What are you two so hush, hush about? I've never seen you two so close."

"Sorry, like Amelia said-Long Night," Anna answered.



"Don't be sorry. It's just not like how you two normally are."

"What do you mean?" Amelia answered.

"Normally you two arrive arguing and ready to string up one another. But today, you're hanging back behind the group."




Lucky for us, Amelia and I had arrived at the turn to head to our next class. As our group of friends began to disperse and go their separate ways, Amelia and I waved goodbye. Fortunately, we never had to even worry about explaining ourselves to our friends.


As Amelia drove us home, I could tell she was becoming more and more apprehensive. The closer we got, the slower she drove and the more worrisome she looked. But as we eased into the drive way, everything looked completely normal. There was no sign of the two men whatsoever.

*
*
1 Week Later
*
*

Leaving the local grocery store where I work and had to close tonight, I headed to our car. Amelia was home working on her college assignments, and really needed to work on mine. The night was so nice though. I slowly sauntered to our car thinking about how much I needed to do, and how much I really didn't want to do. Suddenly, I heard running footsteps coming from behind me.

Thump, ThUMP, THUMP!

Before I could turn around to see what was going on, a badly beaten man went shooting past me with another bigger man hot on his heels. The bigger man lunged and grabbed the smaller one around the legs. They both fell down in a heap, but the bigger man quickly uprighted himself and shoved the smaller one's face against our car.

I was frozen in place. The men were the same ones from before. I debated calling the police, but then realized my phone was buried inside my car. I didn't want to risk going any closer to the crazy men!

I did the only thing I could think of. I walked backwards to the store, unlocked the door, and rushed inside, and relocked the door. Then I crouched down beneath our courtsey customer bench. I felt as though I couldn't breathe. My heart was pounding so loudly I was sure the men could hear it. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. Then I listened carefully, there was absolutely nothing but dead silence. I listened closer, but I could only hear my own breathing. I gave up and crawled out from beneath the bench. I headed for the store phone before remembering it will only work during business hours. Shoot.

I headed over to the exit door and peeked out. Just as I recognized the men still by my car, a shot rang out. The smaller man dropped into a heap by my car. I squealed and jumped backwards causing me to fall over the bench. Righting myself I caught a glimpse of movement outside the window. Again I looked.

"AHHHH!" I closed my eyes as I screamed.

Then I reopened them. What? Where was the big man? He was just standing outside the door to the store! Our eyes had locked! How had he just vanished?

Remembering the security tapes of the parking lot, I rushed to the security room. After rewinding the video near my car, I watched closely. Nothing. Nothing at all. I dropped my head onto the desk. How? How is this possible? Then I felt something on the back of my neck. It was a news clipping recounting the details of a man who was badly beaten and then shot in the store parking lot where our car was parked. With my heart racing, I quickly checked the date- 1998. Then the news clipping disappeared out of my hands into thin air just like the men.



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