The Hunter and the Hunted

Photo by AlexLinch on Unsplash.com

As soon as the bus doors flew open at her stop, Helen would put her legs to the test and run home like a deer fleeing from the twisted red crunch of a wolf’s bite. There was no way in hell the bus driver gave a damn about what was happening on that ride at that very moment. They weren’t getting paid enough to care about her livelihood.

The man continued staring at Helen’s face, and every time she plucked up the courage to look into his deadened eyes, she confirmed what the hairs standing at high alert on her arm already knew: something bad was going to happen once she stepped off the bus. That man was going to follow her. He was going to do something horrible before she could safely close her front door and lock herself in. And if she made it home, he’d just wait and wait and wait for the perfect moment to strike.

The bus grated to a stop, and the bus driver opened the doors that would release Helen into the wild night. And just like clockwork, as soon as Helen’s feet hit the pavement and began their hurried pace home, she could hear the methodical thump of the man’s thick, black boots on the pavement just behind her, pounding like death.

She didn’t dare look behind her, and she didn’t bother to clutch her purse more tightly to her side as the women in the movies did in scenes like this. Helen knew it was not the contents of her bag the man was interested in. Whatever he was thinking, she knew that the measly five dollars and the collection of unstamped rewards cards were of no interest to him. He wanted what was coursing in a fever just below the surface of her skin. He was out for blood.

Helen picked up her pace, and the man matched her speed. She kept fighting the urge to look over her shoulder because she didn’t want to see what she already knew was inevitable. She didn’t want to give him that satisfaction while he hunted. After a few seconds which seemed like hours, Helen began to lightly jog, and to her chagrin, she did exactly what every woman did in every single fucking movie she ever saw with a scene like this: she gripped her purse tightly to her side and began moving more swiftly towards home and safety. To the place she knew she would never set foot in again.

The man moved faster too.

And then, Helen began to run. She no longer cared, and though she knew she was defeated before she even stepped foot off of the bus, she had to try dammit! She had to try. So she ran to the rhythm of her nerves which were wildly pulsing through her, becoming something more animal than human. She didn’t care about how her legs protested or how her lungs couldn’t seem to breathe in the air she needed to keep running. She ran and ran and ran like a wild thing because she knew this was it. This was her last chance at living.

And like a fool, she did the other thing she swore to herself she would not do. She looked back to see if her pursuer was still behind her. And there he was with the same dead eyes and now a menacingly beatific grin taunting her with every stride he took to close the gap between them.

Before she could turn her head forward, she tripped. And as she fell towards the pavement, she cursed herself for being so cliche and for falling right into the trap she thought she could avoid because she was supposed to know better. But wild animals don’t think, they just react, and she was no better than a hunted deer in the end.

The man had stopped running behind her as soon as he noticed Helen’s form plummeting to the ground, signalling the end. And as her fear-stricken eyes met his, he slowly pulled a knife from an inner pocket hidden in his dingy green jacket with a lust he could only feel in these moments before death. He had her. She fell and he knew her fear had completely taken over. Flight was done and now she could only lay there frozen, just like the countless others who had suffered the same fate she soon would.

The man savored every moment with each deliberate and painfully slow step he took towards her crouching figure. Was she weeping now? Or did she make that god awful mewling sound that some made when they felt death creeping in on them? Whatever it was, it lit him up like a light that suddenly clicks on in a darkened room. His whole body thrived with living because he knew death was only moments away.

Suddenly, the man stopped in his tracks. What was this woman doing? He was just about to crouch over her and stab and stab and stab until blood flowed from her in waterfalls. But what was this, he wondered, stunned into place. Was she…laughing? She was!

The man had never seen anyone react to him like this in their final moments. And as he was trying desperately to find his zone to go back to that beautiful place where impending death flowed through his fingertips, she stood up! She rose like Lazarus from the tomb and kept convulsing with an odd laughter the man could not quite place. It bellowed and mocked. And it froze his steps.

“Oh, darling, I’ve been waiting for this moment for ages,” Helen said in a chilled whisper that struck the man so powerfully the knife he gripped slipped from his hands. He couldn’t move or speak. All he could do was watch her seemingly grow twice in size; all he could hear was the knife clattering on the cement like dead bones; all he could feel were the remaining tremors of her beastly laugh.

Helen slithered like a spider towards her prey, and with one sharp fingernail she traced along the edges of the man’s face. The man could do nothing. As she grew in menace, she scared death from his eyes, and for the first time, he felt true fear. His body shook with it, and still he stood there as if he were planted in the ground. He could only feel a panic rising in loud death screams that reverberated through his eardrums and a hot, steamy piss began running down his leg.

“Oh, my darling,” Helen sneered again as she watched the dark puddle pooling at the man’s feet, “We’re going to have so much fun tonight.”

--

--

--

Writer, book nerd and music & singing lover. Find my first poetry eBook, “I Was I” on Amazon Kindle (amzn.to/2Tp723z).

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

A Humane Competition

Endings…

FEELS LIKE ETERNITY

Forgotten Memories

What Happened to J.C.?

WHY EXACTLY ARE YOU SO BITTER?

“Goldstar Hotel: Phantasmagoria, Valkyries and Bad Omens”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alexis Williams

Alexis Williams

Writer, book nerd and music & singing lover. Find my first poetry eBook, “I Was I” on Amazon Kindle (amzn.to/2Tp723z).

More from Medium

Four Chances — A Short Story

a long and arduous way of saying happy new year, i love you and i miss you mother

Self Note 101 (Part-1)