The decaying leaves form thick layers on the asphalt, crusted and sick as a leper’s skin. The streetlights only paint insufficient patches along my path, and where it doesn’t reach the shrubbery is darkly menacing.
I’m not in a hurry and have no goal except an itch to keep moving.
In front of me I notice the teenage girl, her blond hair cascading over a tan trench-coat; I can see that she is aware of me, but when she looks over her shoulder I merge with the shadow.
Her body is lean and muscular, and tightens like the spring of clockwork.
I hasten a bit and she follows suit.
A little bit faster playing hunter and prey.
She reaches into her pocket and I know that her fist has tightened around her keys. It feels exactly the same as last time.
They are always so cock-sure but eventually she will panic and run. That’s when I will let her go. I’m not that bad, just a bit bored. I smile.
Suddenly I see the shadow of a man approaching from the left. In his right hand a flick-knife. He only has eyes for the girl.
I feel his intentions, urges that could have been mine.
We share the same dreams, but tonight I will be hero.
I cry: “Watch out”, and the girl starts to run. She is too fast for both of us.
The other man turns.
He is wearing a black ski-mask but through the slots I can see his eyes.
Amber and almost catlike. A predator’s eyes.
I know those eyes well. I see them every morning when shaving.
I go down on my knees pleading for mercy, but at the same time I reach into my pocket for the flick-knife.
He gets closer and when he’s within reach I lash out and plunge the blade into his body.
The pain is excruciating, and I watch the hilt of the knife extruding from my chest. The man has vanished.
It’s his blade in my body, and my death is his as the knife is mine.
Alone, my blood pools in the leaves, and from far away the sirens approaches. I take off my ski-mask and sigh.
A piece of chilling fiction for Magaly at Poets United.
November 3, 2019
Some doubles are more troubling than others. Chilling is the right word to describe this one.
You did such a great job at humanizing your narrator. All aspects of him. So much so, that it’s very hard not to empathize with the suffering, even when the other side of the coin is so repugnant.
Sometimes balance is something that happens to other people.
Chilling is right. You took us into the mind of a predator so well, Bjorn. Too many of them out there these days.
It’s the second time I read a work of yours where you point to the choice available to any given human being. The first (that I noticed) was with the librarian, where his female side would’ve wanted a relationship, but he chose the books. In this much darker tale the one male chooses to not exercise a malignant tendency, but recognises it in another while it so easily could’ve been, was him. It’s brave and brilliant. It obviously goes for the female of the species too! It’s edifying.
I have to say I am left speechless some dark duality going on here. This tale is mini trailer thriller. It’s very chilling the hunter vs the hunted twist.
Wow–this is chilling! I love how this spun out–you make me want to go back and start writing fiction again!
I look forward to read your fiction… to me fiction and poetry could be the same…
Oh, excellently encapsulated! Even when you let us start to realise, it was still a horrifying revelation … and I couldn’t stop reading.
Very engaging, Bjorn. Interesting you say fiction and poetry are the same – I find fiction impossible to write! But your flash fiction pieces have always been great to read.
Engaging twist! The unruly fight with the gremlin within.
I felt for her, Bjorn. This is a nice little piece delving into the thinking of a predictor, I had not bothered before. Nice twist at the end too.
All the ingredients of a film noir..a very engaging read…
This is incredibly dark and chilling, Bjorn! I was literally glued to the screen as I read. Very well executed! ❤️
You, my friend, know how to tell a chilling tale well!
That was a chilling twist. You craft suspense extremely well.