A Weird Encounter With A Stranger

“Rising prodigy!” The words echoed in Elizabeth’s mind, she smirked. (Of course, you say that now, when people start recognising my art, not the country girl making it.) She shook her head…

She still remembered her first day in the city, anxious but excited, so far from home yet so close. Like a little church mouse with big dreams, scurrying down the street to the art gallery.

Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted by a piece of paper, slapped on her face. “Do you know where this place is?” Snatching the chit she scorned at the figure in front of her. A lean man with his hands deep in his pockets. She narrowed her gaze. His dark hair dropping to his shoulders. Black creeping up his neck, face and stopping only at his ocean eyes.

Murmuring to herself, Elizabeth looked down at the address…her own. She felt all the sounds of the busy city, fade behind her. Trembling, she looked back at the man. Who was he? And why did he have her address? Was it someone her roommate knew? No…she was at work, and she would have informed her if there was someone coming. “I-I don’t know!” Liz said, almost yelling. Nasty looks were shot at her. Just when she was about to leave, it struck her. The best thing to do then, was to lie. “Actually, I do. I, um, just remembered.” The man raised an eyebrow, taking back the piece of paper. “Walk straight down the road, and take a left. And, keep walking, you will find it.”

The stranger nodded, “Thank you.”

The man had left, but Elizabeth couldn’t move. What was she supposed to do? A stranger had her address, and was headed to her house. Was he a robber? A murderer? Or..what if it was all just a big misunderstanding.She started walking.

 Maybe her roommate had just forgotten to tell her about this guest.

Nodding rigorously, she got out her phone, alarmingly searching for her roommate’s number. the screen lit up- Kayla

“H-hello. Hello!” She shouted, constantly checking to make sure if she was still on call.

“Yes, hello. What is it?”

“Oh, thank god. Is there someone I should be expecting?”

“No.”

Elizabeth felt the knot in her stomach grow tighter.

“Why? What happened?” Kayla asked.

Elizabeth was on the verge of tearing up now.

“Someone has our address. I have no idea who they are, and they just came up to me and asked me directions!”

A loud silence followed.

“You didn’t give them directions did u?” Asked the tensed voice on the other side.

“N-no, I tried to stray them off path. But, they’ll find it, and I don’t know what to do!”

“It’s alright. It’ll buy us some time, good job. I’m leaving work right now, and I’ll call the police. Don’t go home.”

Beep

Elizabeth gulped. She was home. She started at the huge red building and it stared right back.

The key’s click echoed through the Hall. Taking a deep breath in, Elizabeth let the door open a crack. Her eyes remained closed, not wanting to see whatever terror lay ahead. But she knew…a part of protecting her home was accepting the truth whatever it may be. Grabbing an umbrella, from the umbrella stand, she closed the door behind her. Listening hard for noise, which she found.

Her eyes tore open, as she felt a tingle go down her spine. It was coming from the kitchen, of all places filled with knives and sharp objects- the kitchen. Her hands went numb, as the gobbling sounds grew louder and closer. The fridge’s light giving sight to a gruesome silhouette. A savage beast, more animal then man, with unkempt hair, and so smelly, the stench made Elizabeth gag.

She watched a knife slide across the wood as the creature proceeded to move. It lifted its head, slowly closing the fridge, revealing its bushy flaxen hair, filled with all sorts of junk. Two blue jewels sparkled brightly below all the tangled thread. “Those eyes…” Before she could complete her sentence she felt a sharp pain in her shoulder, a knife. Elizabeth screamed, as she saw her blood dripple down. The creature revealed yet another knife, and a psychopathic smile.

Elizabeth ran into her bedroom, locking the door behind her. Her white patterned dress, was soaked in red. Her body vibrating with the hard kicks from the other side of the door. She tore the sleeve off, staring at the wound. So close to her heart. Elizabeth turned back to the door, the hinges could give away any minute now. She had to hide. Her eyes fell on the small wardrobe to her left. She could hardly fit in it as a child, but it was her only escape…

“Come on little girl, don’t be like that now.” A high pitched voice remarked. Elizabeth could feel her heart pounding against her chest, as she leaned against the wood. She closed her eyes, waiting. “I liked art too…when I was a child. Shame, daddy burnt it all down. Oh well, history repeats itself!” Elizabeth’s eyes widened as she heard the lighter click. “No!” She screamed, getting out. Her art on the floor, unburnt for now. The lighter’s flame flickered. “Drop it,” said another voice. Elizabeth watched as a shotgun emerged from the door way. It was the same stranger she had met earlier. She gulped.

His dark cloak flowing behind him as he walked closer. “Drop the knives, the lighter and those poison darts u have hidden on ur waist. Now.” His voice quavered, as he inched closer to her.

“God, brother, u’re such a buzzkill.”

 “I won’t say it again Aileen. Drop it. I don’t want to have to pull the trigger.”

“Like u ever would, u’re too much of a coward!” Aileen snapped.

“And a dumb one too.” Her annoyed expression changed to a smirk as she kicked the shotgun out of the stranger’s hand as it landed in her own. Gun shots echoed, Elizabeth- her prime target. Without thinking a second more, Elizabeth rolled across the room, taking cover behind the bed as Aileen kept shooting. With her face to the cold floor, she didn’t dare look up. “I told you to drop it. But u never listen do u?” the stranger said, punching Aileen. She dodged. “Give me one good reason to listen to you.” She replied with a lethal kick. “It’s not like u ever cared, u still don’t.” Elizabeth heard a sharp stab. The stranger grunted. “There was nothing I could do. He was a psychopath.”

“Of course, so you just stood there!” Another stab.

The stranger mumbled something inaudible.

Elizabeth  knew if she didn’t do anything now, the third stab would mean death. The first thing her eyes fell on was a glass vase. Her mom’s glass vase… She wrinkled her nose as she reached for it. Ready to catapult it across the room. she aimed for the woman’s head, watching her choke the stranger. “3, 2, 1. Goodbye, my beautiful vase…” She whispered as the glass shattered against the wall, stunning Aileen for a minute. A minute, long enough for the stranger to take control. As he tied her hands behind her back. “Don’t try anything stupid Aileen.”

“Oh, shut up!” she yelled, punching her brother in the face. Now coming for Elizabeth. Her stomping was enough to make Elizabeth’s heart beat faster, let alone, her furious expression as she yanked the girl’s hair. “How dare you?!” She said, forcing her to look her in the face. “You little-” Elizabeth slapped. Falling into the wardrobe again. Shutting the world out, with her heavy breathing being the only audible noise. Muffled fighting outside didn’t affect her as much as her own sobbing did. She felt like a 5 year old again. Memories flooding her brain…

The family war raged on outside as she crumbled in her room. The cold concrete, was now wood- warm with her blood. Her hands on her ears as she tried to zone out like she did when painting the blue skies or emerald forests. But she couldn’t. Their voices were too loud. Hiccuped sobs made it hard to breathe. “Too loud, it’s too loud.” It was like her parents were around again.

“It’s all in the past! N u promised me-“

“Well, it did happen then, didn’t it! U could have done something, u had mother’s knife and u could have fended him off. But u didn’t! U let it happen cuz u enjoyed it!” Her father had said- like Aileen.

“I didn’t know what to do then! And we agreed we would never talk about this again!”

“U bought it up!”

“Cuz I care about us! And rn, I don’t know what u’ve been up to…i just want you to be safe and with me.”

“Well I don’t need you.”

With that, her father had disappeared into the cold night, leaving Elizabeth to wipe her mother’s tears…

Her eyes wide open as she clutched her reddened sleeve. A thin line of light cut her teary eye.The door opened as a familiar black enveloped her. “Hey! Are u alright?” Blue eyes asked. But she was too stunned  Gripping her sleeve tighter now. Ambulance sirens coming from downstairs were enough to alert the stranger. “Alright, your roommate’s here…and the police too.” He looked at her again. “Hope we don’t meet again, at least not in this way.” His sister was gone. Elizabeth watched as the man climbed out of her window. Looking at her once again, he nodded- before leaving her alone with her thoughts.

 She heard the lock click at the door as hurried footsteps made their way inside. Kayla’s brown heels clicking were the last things she saw before losing consciousness.

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