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Every action, or non-action, has a consequence. Zoe Huntings is being watched, but nobody will help her.

Horror / Mystery
Age Rating:


Zoe Huntings was being watched, and nobody would help her.

“You don’t understand,” she cried, heart ramming against her ribcage. “He saw my apartment. I can’t stay here. You’ve got to do something!”

“M’am, as I’ve said, we cannot act until a crime is committed,” the officer on the other end of the line droned for the fifth time.

“Please! I’ve tried hotels; there’s no rooms. I don’t have a car, and there’s no way out of town for at least a month. I don’t know what to do! I have nowhere to go. You’ve got to help me!”

“I’m afraid we really can’t,” the officer replied in that dull tone. “Goodbye, Mrs. Huntings.”


The phone buzzed, tone politely informing Zoe that the recipient of the call had hung up. A breath tore from her throat, ripping through her lungs like barbed wire. Shuddering uncontrollably, Zoe collapsed against the kitchen cabinets.

The police were useless. She had no family to go to for help, not that they would believe her anyways. Silly, foolish Zoe with her overactive imagination. Well, she wasn’t imagining this.

He had been outside her house. Zoe knew she was being watched. At first, it was just a funny feeling. It’d set her on edge, sure, but feelings were no cause for alarm. But then she began to notice a strange man at work with a scar underneath his left eye. Zoe caught him watching her more than once.

Tall, bearded, with well-kept brown hair and that telltale scar under his left eye, he blended into the workday crowd. She asked around to see if anyone could put a name to this strange figure, but it made no difference. Nobody had a clue who he was. She still hadn’t worried, not until he came to her apartment.

This morning, Zoe had pulled her bedroom curtains aside, yawning. In that moment, she saw Him, silhouetted in cloudy gray skies, eyes trained on her window. He’d followed her home. He didn’t move until Zoe tore the phone from its stand and dialed the police. When she gathered enough strength to look again, he had disappeared.

The police thought her hysterical, but she wasn’t! Zoe wasn’t crazy! She knew what she saw! Someone was watching her, and nobody would help.

As she stood in her apartment’s kitchen, Zoe made a plan: she would barricade herself in her apartment. He couldn’t reach her then. She would be safe.

At least, that was the plan before the doorbell rang. Zoe ducked to the ground with a squeak, cowering. He’d found her! A pause, and the doorbell rang again.

“Package,” a woman said. It wasn’t Him. Something wet dripped down Zoe’s cheeks. Tears? Even though the voice had been female, she still checked before unlocking the door.

“Hello!” the woman chirped. She shoved a package into Zoe’s arms, barely glancing up from her screen. “Sign here please,” she motioned to a dotted line.

“Oh. Of course, yes,” Zoe stammered, picking up the pen. She signed and handed the electronic tablet back.

“Thank you!” the woman said, winking. “Enjoy your day!”

“Yeah. Of course, you too,” Zoe muttered. She couldn’t have closed the door any quicker. Exhaling, she leaned her forehead against the door. That had been a close call. What if it had been Him instead? She needed to barricade the door now before it was too late. Zoe turned around.

A man stood opposite of her, shiny knife in hand.

“Boo,” He whispered. It was Him. Saints, it was Him. He grinned.

Zoe screamed.

“Goodmorning, Zoe Huntings,” He said. “It’s been a while.”

Sense returned to her in an electrifying jolt, and Zoe turned. She grabbed the doorknob and yanked. A sob tore through her throat. It wouldn’t open. Why wouldn’t it open? Zoe slammed her shoulder against the door. The wood broke with a crack. Zoe collapsed on the floor outside her apartment. Grappling for footing on the slick carpet, Zoe got up and began to run. Black screens covered the apartments’ walls, displaying an advertisement for the newest phone. Screens were everywhere. They were supposed to watch over her and alert the police if anything suspicious occured, but none of them flashed to indicate police coming.

Zoe’s foot caught on the carpet. She tripped. The red carpet shredded her knee, but she barely noticed. Heaving herself to her feat, Zoe ran.

“Help!” she screamed, the words shearing her lungs. “Help me! Someone help me! I’m being chased! I need help!”

A door opened. A woman with curly blonde hair in rollers and a fuzzy pink bathrobe stepped out. Zoe recognized her! It was Sherel, her neighbor. She lived across from Zoe with her husband, two teenagers, and a shaggy dog. She would help. Zoe nearly fell over with relief.

“Sherel, thank God! You’ve got to help me! He’s coming! He’s right behind me! You’ve got to–Sherel?”

Sherel made no move to help her. She simply stood there, staring. Zoe’s feet stuttered over each other.

“Sherel?” she whispered.

Something slammed into her back, and she went flying. Zoe rolled, stumbling to an upright position. He had caught up. He waved his knife languidly. Sherel did not look away from Zoe. Her eyes were still and cold, as lifeless as a blue lake. Why wouldn’t she help her?

“Call the police,” Zoe screamed, turning around to run again. “He’s going to kill me!”

Sherel reached into her pocket and took out her phone. Zoe barely stayed long enough to see the flash of its camera before she was running again.

“Help! Someone! Please!” she begged, words slurred with tears and the effort of running.

A door opened, and then another, but nobody stopped to help her. They stood outside their rooms, staring. One took out his phone. Zoe saw the flash of the camera, indicating he was recording.

“What’s wrong with you!” she cried. He didn’t reply; he just hoisted his phone higher.

More people came out, attracted by the noise. None lifted a hand to stop the man. Zoe sprinted past the growing crowd, but not in enough time to avoid seeing the flash of their phones’ cameras.

They weren’t helping her. Why? It didn’t matter. She had to get outside. People would help her

Zoe shot down the stairs, shoving past the glass doors and emerging outside. Large skyscrapers glared at her, covered in screens. As Zoe tried to catch her breath, panting like a rabid dog, the screens changed. The videos switched from a news broadcast into a video of–her! Her face filled the screens, pale as a ghost, curly black hair frizzy around her head, eyes round as cymbals. The people walking down the streets stopped, turned, pointed. Their phones flashed.

“No,” Zoe whimpered.

“You’re getting slower,” He murmured into her ear.

Zoe screamed, stumbling forwards.

“Why won’t you leave me alone!” she cried, sprinting through the streets. She could hear His footsteps behind her, coming closer and closer by the second.

The screens flickered, the images following her. Likes and comments poured in, filling the top of the screen.

“Not very fast this time, is she?” DogLover38 commented.

“My grandma runs faster,” TitaniumButt replied.

A strangled cry escaped Zoe’s throat. The further she ran, the more people came out, the more people recorded. What were they doing? Why weren’t they helping her? They only watched, silent even as their screens made an online din. Zoe ran, and ran, and ran, until she could run no longer.

She reached an alleyway. Zoe swiveled, but He had caught up. He blocked her way out. Panting, lungs screeching for air, Zoe backed up until she hit the wall.

“I have money,” she whispered. “I’ll give it to you. Just go away.”

He tilted his head. “I don’t want it.”

“Just–what do you want?” Zoe couldn’t contain herself any longer. “What is it?” she shouted. “What do you want! Let me go! Leave me alone!”

The screens around her changed to footage of the alleyway. Someone put a filter over her face. As she pleaded, a dog barked in tandem.

“I’ll do whatever you want,” she begged. “Just stop.”

The crowd arrived. They advanced until they fully blocked the alleyway’s exit. Zoe couldn’t see their faces over the flashing of cameras, but she heard them: some laughed, some jeered, none helped.

“I don’t understand,” Zoe said.

“Then let me show you,” He ran forwards, quick as a viper. Zoe shrunk back, but there was nowhere else to go. Zoe barely had time to flinch. Something hard collided with her stomach. She screamed as the knife penetrated. The pain was unimaginable. It consumed her with voracity.

“Do you remember now?” he asked.

“You have the wrong person,” she moaned. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Are you sure you don’t remember? You were at a bar. Just you and a few friends. You stepped out for a moment. You wanted a smoke. Don’t you remember?”

A bar? Yes, that’s right. It was a celebration for her friend’s promotion. For a while she’d tried to kick her smoking habit, but Zoe had convinced herself that one more wouldn’t hurt. She’d made an excuse and stepped out. And then…

“I went into an alleyway,” she repeated. Zoe looked around her, through the flashing of lights and the now-silent crowd. “It was–it was this alleyway, wasn’t it?” she stammered.

He nodded. “Now you’re getting it. You saw a man and a teenage girl.”

Zoe balked. “No I didn’t! I–”

“You did,” the man interrupted. “You saw a teenage girl. Do you remember now, Zoe? She was on the ground, curled up into a ball. And what did the man do? Do you remember?”

Zoe pressed her fingers to her stomach. The blood had leaked through her favorite shirt. The stain would never come out.

“Zoe?” He prompted.

“He was–he was stabbing her,” she said quietly.

“See? You do remember.”

He pulled back his hand. The blade flashed. Zoe only had a second to brace herself before pain racked her body.

“I did nothing wrong,” she moaned through gritted teeth. “Let me go! Please!”

“You saw the girl on the ground. What did you do?”

Zoe remembered.

“N-no,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Please!”

The man grabbed her, pulling her so she hung inches from his face. She couldn’t meet his eyes. Zoe weeped, trembling uncontrollably.

“What did you do?” He roared.

“I was going to help her!” Zoe insisted through her sobs.

“What did you do?” the man yelled again.


“Tell them!” He motioned to the waiting crowd. “What did you do!”

Zoe fell apart. “I–I took out my phone,” she whispered.

The man, satisfied, dropped her. Zoe collapsed, curling into a ball.

“You didn’t help my daughter,” he sneered. “You recorded. You stood there; you watched him murder her, my sweet, baby Alina, and you recorded.”

Zoe couldn’t halt her tears. Sobs racked her body.

“This is my punishment, isn’t it?” she said to the man. “It’s over,” she said through the blood in her mouth. “You’ve gotten your revenge. Now let me go.”

The man shook his head, gleeful. “Oh, we’re not even close to over! This is your prison, Zoe Huntings. Now it’s time for you to die. First, I’m going to stab you, just like that man stabbed my daughter as you watched. Then, I’m going to revive you and wipe your memory clean. This is going to happen again, and again, and again. And each time, you won’t remember a single thing. You’ll feel this horrible fear, pain, and helplessness the same way my daughter did before she–before she died.” For the first time, His voice wavered.

Zoe sobbed, but nothing could be done to stop the knife. Darkness flooded in, an incessant wave, but nobody helped her. The only pinpricks of light through the darkness were the cameras. Zoe Hunting was being watched, but in the end, nobody helped her.

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