- Genre: Thriller
- Age: 18+
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Veronica Ryu
The clock strikes midnight, and the bell echoes throughout the empty streets, the ringing dampened by the snowfall. The woman pushes the air out of her mouth to have it disappear into the air without a trace. She bundled her blue scarf tighter so it would not blow away at the brisk pace she was walking along the cobbled stone streets, lined with red brick buildings that created the maze that was the city.
There were very few people out this winter’s eve; spending time with their families, or at a bar with friends. The woman stoically listens to the distant laughter from lit homes, through their windows with a warm golden glow. She herself was returning to her flat after a filling dinner with a rather nice young man who lived on his own and had few friends to spend his nights with.
Footsteps. Not hers, but another’s, matching her own pace. A shadow down and across the way on the street behind her. As a woman, she had developed a sixth sense for danger and assessing her safety; it was in the middle of the night and it was dark, even with the oil lamps in the streets; said streets are empty on a night of the year people would not care to be disturbed. She was in one of her nicer outfits, and she did not want to end her night madly dashing about and exhausting herself. This was one of the situations where she would have to hold her confidence, make herself known, and stand her ground.
She confidently turns on her heel to face the shadow; some hunched figure in a dark overcoat, tucked red scarf, a flat cap hat, and they had crossed the street only a few meters behind her. She caught a glimpse of his eyes, locked onto her; he was walking straight towards her. The nerve of this man, she thought! He had not even reacted to her noticing him, and he wasn’t even making any attempt to make himself less suspicious. Not that it would help; if anything it would make him more suspicious.
“Excuse me?” she asks in a hard tone. “Do you need something?”The man stops, the white mist of his breath pouring out from the sides of his hairy face; the smell of alcohol drifts into the air. “What are you doing out alone this late at night?” As he said that and lifted his head, she saw the silver pin standing out against the red lapel of his black coat; a Hunter. Out of all the people she had to deal with on this night, it had to be one of these dogs. He even had the stench of one; blood and booze. She fought the urge to bring her hand up.
“I’m heading home now,” she curtly replies. “Is there anything else?”
“I see. Did you… want an escort home?” She gives a soft sigh. This was a problem; if she says ‘no’ he’ll probably follow her from a distance anyway; if she says ‘yes’ this creep will know where she lives. “Just make sure to stay on the main streets and get home safely. Sorry to bother you,” and he tips his cap down lower over his face.
The woman waves her hand and light-heartedly replies, “Oh, not at all!” Of course she was relieved. She watched the man turn around and duck into a side alley before setting off back at her brisk pace. As soon as she got to the townhouses, she darted up the stairs, flew into her flat, and leaned back against the door. The woman gave an exhale in the comfort of her home; what was with that man, and a Hunter no less? Hopefully that was the last she would see of that stalker.