If I was stupid enough to sit out in the rain, then I shouldn’t complain if my friendly neighborhood murderer came to call.
My adrenaline skipped second gear and shot into third. Thankfully, this time my training kicked in, too. I sat still and waited, counting the raindrops as they splashed into the pool at my feet. For a moment I almost expected the surface of the pond to ripple, like in Jurassic Park when the T-rex thundered near.
Then as casually as I could, I dropped my hands to my knees and rose from the bench, pretending everything was normal, I’d had my brown study and was ready to go indoors. Whatever lizard came at me, I could deal with it better on my feet than my backside.
But I didn’t make it all the way up. Something silky and strong and very very black suddenly wrapped over my head and shoulders, squeezing my arms against my sides. The soft stuff crowded my nose, stole my sight, even stopped my breathing for a panicky explosive moment. It was as if the blackness enveloping me was a living extension of the night, trapping my arms and attacking while I was helpless.
Then behind me, a voice cursed. It broke the spell. Helpless I may be against something primeval; humans I could handle.
But I kept turning. My right hand, moving without any conscious contribution from me, shot out and closed on cloth. The voice I’d heard cried out without words. Whatever I grabbed jerked backward. The handful of cloth slipped from my grip. I let it go, grabbed the top of the pillowcase — black satin, hell — and yanked. The hemline caught on my chin and jammed there.
He gasped. He was alone or he wouldn’t be so worried, and that meant he was vulnerable, his position threatened. He’d strike again. My adrenaline treated me to another dose. I still crouched, which put my head at a most convenient height for a roundhouse blow. It was encircled by my only currently-functioning arm, and the top of my scalp let me know in no uncertain terms I was yanking more hair than satin. The vulnerability was mutual.
I didn’t panic again. I still felt confident, even eager for mayhem. Bare seconds had passed since he’d extricated himself from my momentary grasp. That blow hadn’t been from a fist but from something harder, perhaps a small sandbag or rubber cosh. Ribs weren’t as hard as a skull but they were more resilient, and if a second blow from that weapon was coming it was better taken on the torso. I uncoiled from my crouch, shifting my grip on the pillowcase. My feet slipped in the wet mulch and I scrambled for balance. Of course: white service dress, slick-soled office shoes. “Damn!”
He gasped again. Before I regained my feet, before the pillowcase was fully off, footsteps raced away.
Finally I got the damned thing off. My night vision was still good, although my eyes watered at the pain pounding down my left shoulder. I didn’t have to glance about; the trail crossing the wet grass was obvious.
At this point, I would be proud to say I returned to the house and retrieved the Walther. I must admit, it never crossed my mind. This was the crowning moment of a lousy day and I wanted blood. For the second time that day, I chased a fugitive.
Meaning his lousy day isn't over yet. Ever have one of those…?
The Sweet List is below. Happy clicking. Cheers,
1. Susan Aylworth, contemporary
2. Kay Springsteen - Christmas surprise...
3. Indigo Chase, science fiction & dystopian
4. Jenna Jaxon~Historical Romance
5. Carrie-Anne Brownian ~ Halloween-themed historical fiction (1930s)
6. Christina Cole - Historical Romance
7. Ute Carbone-Romantic Comedy
8. J. Gunnar Grey, mystery~adventure
9. Rachel Rossano - romantic fantasy
10. Patricia Kiyono - Historical Romance (Regency)
11. Tmonique Stephens~ Paranormal Romance
12. Marsha Ward~Westerns with Heart & Grit
13. Juli D. Revezzo--paranormal fantasy/horror
14. Laurel-Rain Snow - Contemporary Fiction
15. Lindsay Downs-Historical
16. Sherry Gloag - contemporary romance
17. Beth Trissel Historical-Paranormal Romance
18. S.G. Rogers - mythic fantasy
19. Benjamin Wallace - Comic Fiction
20. Elaine Cantrell-contemporary romance