Welcome to Horror Fiction Fridays.
I’ve selected several horror prompts and created fiction and art for each.
This Week’s Prompt:
Do You Live Alone?
The following story discusses stalking and house invasion.
If alone, never stay out past nine…
That was the golden rule I’d lived by for my entire adult life…
A rule I should’ve stuck to…
“Abbey, do you want me to stick around?” Marissa asks, standing at the door to my office.
I sigh as I peer up from my computer screen, the bright hallway lights shining into my dark office. “No, get home. I’ll get a taxi.”
She crosses her arms. I can’t see the look on her face, but I know it’s probably disapproving. Marissa typically sticks around for me to finish my work so that she can drive me home – likely a combination of safety in numbers and peace of mind that I got home safely. “It’s nearly 11 PM.”
I nod, shrug, and slouch in my chair. “I know, but I need to get this done, and I won’t keep you here any longer. Just go home; I’ll text you when I get there.”
“Promise?” She probes, seeking confirmation.
With that, she reaches past the doorframe and flicks on the office light. I hiss from the sudden brightness; Marissa laughs and shakes her head. “Get home sometime tonight rather than tomorrow, please.”
I chuckle and nod again. “Yes, boss.”
With that, Marissa turns off the light, closes the door and leaves.
I sigh as I wait for my eyes to readjust to the darkness—the artificial lighting from the hallway seeps in through the thin but long window of my office door.
I turn to look at the city skyline – a dim glow in the sky, the light pollution stopping the stars from being visible. Being on the top floor of the office building comes with its perks – less light coming in through the window.
“Let’s finish this,” I whisper to myself as I look back at the spreadsheet open on my computer, the white background of the document hurting my eyes.
As the clock strikes twelve, the lights in the corridor shut down as the motion sensors turn on. I finished the spreadsheet and submitted it with five minutes to spare – now it’s time to wait for my cab.
In my entire adult life, I’ve never been away from home, and alone, at this time of night. Even when I go drinking, I stick with Marissa or Ronnie.
Call it paranoia if you like, but I call it self-preservation.
My phone beeps, indicating the cab driver has arrived. I grab my bag and rush out the door. The sensors trigger, light flooding my field of view as I rush towards the elevators.
I press the call button, the doors open, and I step in. After what feels like an eternity, the lift arrives at the ground floor. I wave to the security team as I head out and stop outside when I notice my cab isn’t here.
Grabbing my phone from my pocket, I read the message: Your taxi will be with you by 00:30.
“Bollocks…” I came down too early. Standing in the freezing cold, I sigh – a large cloud of mist filling the air. I should’ve worn a coat…
A few minutes pass and a black cab abruptly pulls over – as if he was about to drive past but decided to stop. “Miss Harris?” The driver shouts out of a partially rolled-down window.
I take a deep breath, nod, and head over. I’ve not had a text to say the taxi has arrived, but the cab is from the right firm, and the driver knows my name… Maybe the texts are just running slow tonight. I climb into the back of the taxi cab, slamming the door behind me.
“Sorry for being late, love. Been a bit chaotic tonight,” the man chuckles, his voice is deep and raspy – as if he’s been smoking twenty a day since birth.
“No worries,” I mumble.
“Where is it your going?” He questions.
I frown. “Lygon Street, DN16,” I tell him. Surely, you should already have that information…
“Ah, yeah,” he exclaims as he punches in the information in his phone. A few minutes later, he takes off and turns the radio on. It’s going to be a long drive. Even in the dead of night, it’s always a solid thirty minutes to get home by cab.
As we reach the journey’s halfway point, he slowly turns the music down and looks at me through the rear-view mirror. “What do you do for work to keep you out this late?” He asks, trying to make polite conversation as the shit music of midnight plays in the background.
“I’m an accountant at a law firm. I don’t usually stay out this late; we’d just not finished the end-of-month documentation yet. I pulled the short straw,” I explain, diverting my eyes to the high-speed scenery. I’m confident we’re on a 30mph road, and he’s definitely doing 50… But I’m so tired, I won’t complain.
“Tough luck that is,” he jokes. “Bet the hubby isn’t too happy about that.”
I chuckle, “well, he doesn’t exist so it’s not my problem.”
“Ah,” the driver adds, slowing down as he approaches a set of traffic lights.
Five more minutes.
“Do you live alone?” He asks; his voice has changed from joking to serious.
Without thinking, I answer, “yeah.”
“Huh,” he mumbles under his breath.
As the cab stands at the traffic lights, I peak in his direction from the corner of my eye to find him staring at me. My eyes dart back to the outside world.
“Got a nice house?” He questions, his voice returning to jolly – as if he’s noticed my nervousness.
I shake my head. “Just a flat. Not planning on being there long, but I needed somewhere to stay.”
“That’s fair,” he mutters as the lights turn to amber, and he puts his foot down. 0 to 50mph in seconds.
At what point do I call the police and tell them my driver’s a joyrider?
“I bet you’re knackered,” he laughs.
I look at his phone on the dash, showing only three minutes left of the ride. Almost there, just keep him happy. “Nah, I’m ready for another sixteen-hour shift,” I joke. “I’m a bit of a night owl,” I explain.
“So am I,” he chuckles.
Three minutes felt like thirty, but we finally arrive.
“Thanks for the ride,” I tell him and present the cash.
Instead of taking the notes, he turns around in his seat slightly, grabs my hand and holds on tight. “Thanks for the company.” His face is dimly lit by the lighting on the radio screen and his mobile, making his face look warped – his smile too wide, his teeth too big, and his eyes almost too dark to be human.
“No problem,” I whisper.
He lets go of my hand, and I exit the car, speed-walking down the alley to my block of flats – thanking God that my door isn’t in view of where he dropped me off.
I get inside and scurry to lock the door behind me, turning on my alarm. My phone beeps. I pull it out, the bright screen shocking me – but not as much as the text message. Your taxi is waiting at Waterdale, DN1.
What? I tap the call button for the cab company and wait for them to answer. “Hello, Donny Cabs.”
“Hi, my name is Miss Harris. I ordered a taxi for tonight. It’s showing as waiting outside my office right now, but I’ve just been dropped off by one of your drivers…”
The line is silent for a minute. “Miss Harris, your car is waiting outside your office… Do you have the registration plate for the taxi you were dropped off by?”
“I’ll check, one second,” I tell him.
As I turn into my living room, I go to hit the light switch. Don’t. I hesitate.
The living room window overlooks the car park where he pulled over and with every other flat in complete darkness… It’s not safe. Don’t show where you are.
I walk behind the sofa, carefully approaching the window and look out.
He’s there. Hunched over the steering wheel, looking up at the flats.
The street light of the car park is dim but bright enough to shine through his windscreen – showing his face, watching his eyes dart as he searches the flats for life.
“Registration is BD15 RPK,” I whisper.
I hear him scribbling and rushing around on the other end of the phone. “You live at 19 Lygon Street, DN16, right?” He asks.
“Yes,” I murmur, still watching the driver.
“Miss, we’re calling the police. That driver isn’t on shift today…”
My heart begins to pound at a million beats per minute. “Why… What is happening?”
“Don’t worry. Have you locked your door?” The man questions.
“Yeah, I put my alarm on, too,” I pant, a panic attack starting as I continue watching the man in the car – his curious expression becoming angrier by the minute as he realises he’s not going to find me by waiting alone.
My phone begins to vibrate. “Fuck,” I whisper, pulling my phone away from my face. The bright screen lights up the room as I try to hang up on Marissa, who’s trying to call me. “No!” I cry, declining her call and going back to the man. I look back at the driver, seeing him smiling up at my window. “He’s seen me! Please tell me the police are on the way…” I whimper.
“They are,” the operator tells me.
My phone bleeps as I watch the man step out of the taxi, heading towards the alley leading to my block of flats. “He’s got out the car and my phone’s about to die…”
“Miss, they’re three minutes away, okay? It’s going to be al-” My phone dies.
I gulp as I return to my kitchen, creeping slowly around the kitchen island and taking a knife off the drying rack.
Tiptoeing toward the front door, I hear the scratching of metal. I stand to the side of the door, positioning myself so that the door will hide me when it opens.
The doorknob slowly turns, the door opens but is stopped by the chain.
I hold my breath as I watch a small pair of bolt cutters cut away the chain – allowing the door to slowly swing open.
He steps in, leaving the door open; he looks around the flat – he’s not seen me yet.
I should attack while he’s not looking, but I can’t – I’m frozen.
As he turns to look at me, a soft green glow from the bleeping alarm box warps his face as he smiles. “What a lovely place you have here, Abbey.”
The sinister smile on his face changes, stretching from ear to ear – almost maniacal. His dead eyes widen as he tilts his head to the side and chortles, “it’s too late for you now.”
Support My Content
I’m a firm believer in free content – specifically when it comes to news. Everyone should have the ability to educate themselves without putting themselves in debt. That’s why my content on current events, experiences, and advocacy is free!
Though, hosting a website and producing content regularly costs time and money. So, if you like my work and want to support me, consider tipping me! You can pick a price; even £1 can help! This isn’t a reoccurring tip – this is a one-time-only cost!