EarlierValerie’s eyes narrowed into slits as she watched Marci run out of the Laundromat and notice the empty parking lot. Spinning the wheel Valerie drove behind the little downtown area buildings secreting herself from sight. Her true intentions were to stay as far away as possible away from Jessica’s house because that would obviously be the first place Marci would look to find her. Instead Valerie parked the truck behind some empty dumpsters near a deserted ally.
She dumped the contents of her purse onto the seat beside her. Her wallet, cell phone, and the knife toppled out. Valerie picked the knife up inspecting the intricate designs and engravings that wound up its wooden hilt. They resembled the outlines of two snakes entwining around each other with little black holes for eyes.
The full moon reflected the light off it making the knife’s metal surface glint brightly. There was a click from outside her car breaking the silence. Valerie jumped peering out of the windows at the forest beyond; she thought she saw movement but decided it was just her imagination. Then there was a knock on the door and a man materialized next to the truck. He was covered in black apparel including a matching ski mask.
Valerie shrieked jumping into the passengers seat and fumbling around trying to flip the lock switch but it was too late. The man had opened the door and was eyeing the knife Valerie grasped tightly in her hands.
She pointed it at his chest stammering, “Who are y-y-you? L-l-leave me-e alone or I w-will scream.”
“I see you have found my knife.” He gave a toothy sneer. Valerie noticed that his voice didn’t sound regular; it sounded more like a forced lower toned voice. “Give it to me and I promise I will leave.”
Valerie briefly considered it then said, “Just leave.”
“I’m afraid I cannot leave until I have my knife and I intend to get it.” The man rasped pulling out a pistol and loading it. He pointed it at her and said, “Now will you comply?”
Valerie was frozen in cold fear her heart beating so fast against her chest that it seemed that the whole world could hear it. Never before had she had to face this kind of situation. Against her will she nodded tossing him the knife, “Now leave.”
“You might as well hand over your wallet and phone.” He now aimed the pistol and knife at her; Valerie was utterly defenseless.
Tears slid out of her eyes and with every ounce of bravery she had left she replied, “I’ll scream.”
“You scream, I shoot.” He said his patience dwindling.
Valerie grabbed her wallet and cell phone and threw them at his face. The man frowned blocking them with his arm. He set the knife down and picked the wallet up finding twenty-five dollars and her drivers’ license inside. Grimacing and slipping it into his pocket he knocked the cell phone onto the dirt ground crushing it beneath his foot.
Valerie sobbed not having a clue what to do. If she moved he would kill her.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” He said mockingly. “Did you like that phone?” The man bent down, scooped up the shattered blackberry curve, and threw it as far as he could manage into the woods. “Give me your purse and empty your pockets.”
Valerie tossed her sequin-lined purse at him and took the poem and pencil out of her sweatshirt pocket setting it on the drivers seat. He tossed the purse into the forest then paused to read the poem.
“Very intriguing.” He said his voice dripping with sarcasm. Ripping the poem in half he stamped it into the dirt along with the pencil. “Now, if you will just come with me.” He demanded raising his pistol. Valerie made her move fast by opening the passenger door and tumbling out. He shouted but she ignored him getting up and sprinting down the alleyway.
Valerie was fast but the man was faster; he tackled her before she could reach the street. Pain bolted through her when she connected with the ground. In one quick, fluent motion the man had her in a strangle hold, his arm around her neck.
He pressed the pistol into her temple and whispered, “Do you really want to scream now?” Laughing he dragged her away into the night.