When she first heard a strange sound behind her, she thought it was the whispers of echoes from somewhere else perhaps from the few trees around the shopping mall.
Annie had just finished shopping and was loading her back seat with the things she bought.
It was going to be Karie’s birthday and a handful of guests are expected to arrive at 3 pm. She glanced at her wristwatch again just to make sure she was working with time.
I0am was still far away; she thought as she loaded the final cooking stuff, she bought from Desandra shopping mall.
The noise behind her came again.
It was the same noise she heard before although a little different but sounded alike. She pretends not to have heard anything, besides the car park had other cars parked in it and few persons were already coming in for early morning shopping.
Finally taking a sigh of relief that she had everything she needed for the party by checking and cross-checking the shopping list and recipe list, she withdrew from her back seat.
The moment she was about to shut the door to the back seat so she could open the front door and drive home. She heard another sound that was so close, and now, it was not just a sound but a voice, a voice so deep and cracked. As she attempted to slowly turn around to see—
“Don’t even think of doing that.”
She felt intimidated but a stroke of fear fired through her spine. Her heart started beating fast, so fast that her thought slipped for a moment.
This could only be happening in her dream but now she wasn’t dreaming or was she?
Her thought resurrects as fast as it slipped a few seconds ago.
Who is behind me?
What does he want at this early hour of the morning and right before a shopping mall?
She felt terrified when the deep voice spoke again. This time, she could tell it was a male voice but what she can’t immediately tell was how old the man was. He could be above forty years she guesses but why was his voice cracked like that of an old man? The temptation to spin around came again, but she struggled to suppress it.
Was he trying to steal from me or an assassin?
Is he an assassin?
Her eyes bulged as her piling thoughts kept on piercing through her bones, hurting her, breaking her, and giving her all the chills that got her throat shivering and her lips trembling.
“What do you want—?”
He never answered a word but instead stood behind her and watching her being tormented by her lingering fears.
Her eyes fell on her wristwatch once more and now it has struck 10:21 pm. She felt so confused. Somebody she has no idea about was right behind her and giving all the instruction. She wanted to ignore him and just open the front seat to drive away when the voice came again as if he was reading her thoughts. This time, his voice sounded dangerously low, the notes were saddled with hate and—
And something else she can’t even place.
What does he want from me?
Her thought raged and then suddenly, she felt the coldness of his shotgun right behind her spine. And the moment his voice crawled into her eardrums, she felt a chill ran through her body.
“I will blow your spine off and you will never walk again and that is if you don’t drop dead here—” His words came upon Annie as though he had already released the first bullet but then he hasn’t and now she finds it difficult to believe this was happening to her.
Was this happening to me in a shopping mall?
In a public place where people were walking around?
Can‘t they see what this man is doing behind my back and raise an alarm or just call the police?
Her thoughts fired.
But then she realizes the man was acting as though they were lovers and there was no way people around would even suspect a thing and now she is held, hostage. Now she was beginning to feel the man knows what he was doing.
Why was he doing this?
She can‘t help her thoughts that seem to be flying everywhere and nowhere. She felt nervous and felt her skin pores releasing sweat she seems not to have control of now. But with a shivering mouth, she demanded, “What do you want—”
“Who cares?” He didn’t let her finish.
“Who the hell are you?” Annie yelled, “And why are you doing this to me?” Annie’s voice started climbing.
“Raise your voice one more time, I shoot you right behind your back and you lose. Who else? Your daughter Karie and your husband Donald, right?”
Annie felt her stomach was releasing acids that seem to be spreading all around her body producing so much heat to cut off her breathe and suffocate her instantly, “You know me and my family and you are doing this? What have I done to you?” she whispered fighting hard not to raise her voice.
“If I kill you now it would be painful to me. I need to wipe everyone out—”
“W—what do you mean everyone” she interrupted stammering. Her heart pounding fast against her chest and her breasts kept bouncing too. Ignoring everything happening to her body, she felt, she needed to engage the stranger who seems to know too much perhaps.
“What is your benefit? Death is once and that’s all—”
“Yes I know that that is why I want to make it more painful, it will get to everyone.”
“Everyone,” Annie muttered.
What is he talking about?
Will he kill me and then Donald and Karie?
The news a few days ago reported that six criminals undergoing psychiatric evaluation escape the facility. And now the police are after them.
And one of them may just be the one behind me or—
Her thought swells, but then, how did he get to know Donald and Karie?
Who else does he know?