Always lock your doors
Safe as houses? Maybe. Safe as cars? Not so much.
Walking across the multi-story car park, her heels clicked and echoed amongst the few silent vehicles. The sound vanished into the dark exit ramps. Her footsteps quickened as she passed through pools of darkness, the keys clenched in her hand, point outwards just in case.
Her car sat snugly near a bank of lifts, looking grey instead of red in the half-light. She pressed the alarm deactivator. Just one beep. Damn, she’d forgotten to set the alarm again! She grumbled at herself for her forgetfulness, and pressed it again to unlock the doors. Beep beep. As she reached to grab the handle a metallic clang boomed and echoed across the car park. She stood still, absolute fear locking her legs.
“Get in the car, get in the car, get in the car”, her mind screamed at her. Trembling, she yanked open the door, flung her bag and briefcase onto the passenger seat and clambered in. Breathing heavily she scrambled for the door, staring back across the now silent space, peering to see if someone was there. Her hands shook so hard she fumbled as she tried to pull the door shut so that it only half-caught. Oh God, what should she do? The locks wouldn’t work, she would have to open the door again and slam it hard. Seconds passed. It seemed as if her arms did not belong to her; she had to force them to push open the door, and then yank it back hard. Fingers that felt swollen to ten times their normal size pushed shut the lock.
Breathing in gasps, she leant back against the seat. Then she laughed for a moment.
“Get a grip woman”, she said out loud. “Bill was right, you are turning into a neurotic wimp”. Her heart still raced, pumped with adrenalin. She flexed her fingers, opening them and spreading them wide, then curling them in towards her damp palm. They were still shaking, but she felt better. She could drive.
Tina felt around on the passenger seat for her car keys. Nothing. Damn again. Where had they gone? She dug her fingers down the back of the seat, and felt the tips brush something metallic. Still frightened, the panic started to fill her body again, and she became clumsy trying to pull the keys out, pushing them deeper. She could feel her hand being bruised by the pressure of the metal bars in the seat. She managed to dig that extra inch and gripped the keys, pulling them out with a grunt. The stupid key fob with her SOS emergency information on was caught. Almost in tears with frustration and residual fear, she yanked hard, feeling the little metal chain snap as she freed the keys. Never mind. She’d look for it later.
Breathing out, she inserted the key at last into the lock. The engine caught first time.
“Of course it did”, she thought to herself. “It’s only in movies that cars don’t start for no reason”. She knocked the car into reverse, and looked in her rear-view mirror. Two eyes looked back at her. The man sitting quietly on her back seat smiled as he lifted the long knife with one hand, and grabbed her hair with the other. Even as Tina was starting to scream, starting to reach for the door, starting to pull away, the knife was sweeping around to her throat.