Friday, August 17, 2012

She Knows

She knows she’s being watched.  He’s always there, feigning indifference while fully aware of every twitch her body makes. He stalks her.  He hunts her.  He waits until he’s allowed to kill her.

He’s thirty feet to her two o’clock, but looking would give him reason to act.  That’s the last thing she wants.  So she alternates between reading the book she picked up in the terminal and staring out the large panes of glass at luggage being unloaded from an airplane. She knows the best way to save herself is to appear like everything is normal.

To look normal, she stays on schedule.  The schedule that she keeps on her phone and computers has been hacked into.  She’s sure of it.  Even on the rare occasion she manages to slip her tail, he always shows back up again at her next scheduled location.

By nature, she is a planner; laying everything out in painstaking detail, entering it all into her computer’s calendar.  She can’t just run on a whim with no idea where to go, no money, and worst of all, no plan for this new future.

But, she will run.  She has to.  First, she makes plans, all in her head this time, how to successfully get away, survive or at least not die some horrible death only made worse by her obscenely active imagination.  An imagination that has made her successful in life, she's now sure will kill her before he gets the chance to.

“Flight 1183, San Francisco to Chicago now boarding First Class.  Please present your boarding pass to our attendant at the gate.”

It’s her flight. Sliding her book into her bag, she pulls out her boarding pass, rising from the black padded row of seats.  She casually strolls - counting breaths in her head to help keep her pace steady – making her way towards the gate.

He mirrors her, closing the gap to twenty feet.  She keeps her body angled so she can still see him in her peripheral vision.  Without her book or the planes to stare at, she feels naked.

Normal. Normal! Normally, I would be on my phone before boarding.  With that thought, she pulls her out phone, tapping in a quick text to her friend.

* About to board. Will call u after landing. C u soon! *

Times up.  Business Class is called and she has no choice now.  Walking across institutional charcoal carpet, she hands the attendant her boarding pass.  She inhales as deeply as she can without appearing to need it.  Exhaling, she turns her back, walking towards her plane where she will be trapped for the next four hours, 35,000 feet in the air…with him.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodIt's been a long time since I shared a piece of fiction here.  I've jumped in with a prompt from Write on Edge...of course.  We had 450 words to write a story that takes place in an airport terminal.  I'm at 450 on the nose with a fiction piece that's a little different for me.  Hope you enjoy it.


  1. I love the ending; I think it adds just the right amount of danger to the piece.

    The only part that trips me up a little is the part about her being a planner/calendars/etc. Not that I don't think it's important to note, but I almost feel like it takes a little too much of the story for such a short piece.

    1. Angela, I agree. Think I was wavering between keeping this a flash fiction piece and thinking about where I might want to take it in a longer piece. As always, thanks for your feedback!

  2. Stopping by from SITS! I'm always wondering if I should share fiction on my blog and this totally inspires me! Good going!

  3. WTG. I could feel the terror in your writing. TFS.

  4. Chilling. I agree that perhaps the planning paragraph isn't entirely necessary in this small of a piece. There's a ton of potential here, it would be interesting to see why she's being followed or if it isn't all in her head.

    Maybe a nice Air Marshal could surprise her and protect her and give her an opportunity to trust someone. As well supported as her stalker seems, she's going to need some help. Or if I'm honest, I'm already invested enough in her that I think she needs help. Well done!

  5. Glad to see you sharing your writing again!! I agree w/ above about the planning paragraph. Got the gist about planning from the prior paragraph, and leaving it out would have left some room for details on why she's being followed. But definitely got the chill factor!!

  6. Gah! I've had this open on my computer all week, waiting to read it, and of course I do in the dark!

    Tense. Love it.

    And I like Shel's comment. Clearly she needs a hunky Marshal to sit next to! ;)


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