Terri's Cellar Door

Stuff that happens to me, Terri.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Encounter

*This is a week of new stories, posted by me. I'm going to try to short story it up, in universes that I will be creating in longer forms later. The first two are not that, sorry. But, yeah, just you know, try to keep up."
So, I'm having trouble with formatting, I will not give up, tho, until this is together. Or I get bored. You know, one or the other.

The Encounter

By Terri Day

The white cat sniffed at the hamburger bun that was lying on the ground. The fragrance of stale bread filled its nostrils but the faint traces of meat still lingered. It ran its rough tongue over the browned surface. Encouraged by the flavor, it picked up the bun in its teeth and scurried away. The woman watching the scene crumpled up the Burger King wrapper still open in her hand and mounted her bike. She had seen the cat a couple of times in the neighborhood and had pitied its sorry condition. So, when she hadn’t been able to finish her dinner, she figured she knew someone who could.

She pedaled solidly down the street, waving to people as she rode by. It wasn’t the best neighborhood, located right off of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, she didn’t bother kidding herself. But it was still spring and even though it was late afternoon, and shadows loomed long on the sidewalks and streets, it was a sunny day. There were children still playing and grandmothers working in their gardens. She enjoyed taking a quick bike ride after a fast food dinner. She was cooking less and less because she was always on the move, and she was eating a lot more of the fast food. She felt healthier just for getting active. She remembered dinners at home, surrounded by family and friends, eating a home cooked meal; those were some of the best memories she had. But now she barely remembered what it was like to have a kitchen, much less a familiar home, where you were surrounded but the people that you loved.

As she rode up 3rd St., she looked onto a familiar porch. She didn’t know the name of the old lady who lived there, but waved to her everyday on her evening ride. The old woman must have been house-ridden because a day didn’t go by that she wasn’t sitting in the plush red chair and waving to anyone who might happen by. There was something reassuring about seeing her there, day after day. The woman on the bike felt as though as long as the old woman was there, things in the neighborhood might be okay. And so as usual, she waved to lady who sat perched on her screened in front porch, in front of a blue house with white shutters. As the occupant waved back, the biker was touched by a frightening (but not all too unfamiliar) emotion. Like a cold chill she tried to shake it off and kept pedaling.

The sun shone through the trees as it made its way toward the western horizon, birds sang the closing of the day and even a little squirrel scurried its way across the quiet street. The scene was the same but the woman knew that something had changed. The wind was blowing in a different direction and the trees were rustling in an almost menacing way. She looked quickly from left to right; the streets had cleared almost magically. It was as if an old west gunfight was about to break out, and everyone knew it except for her. She applied her brakes gently and coasted down a slight hill. The feeling passed and she began to relax, but just then she saw him, and suddenly the world seemed to stop. Slow down. The birds song deepened to a warble and distorted like the sound of an ice cream truck as it made it's way down the street and around the corner. Her eye darted to the pavement, and the squirrel that was so happily gathering acorns to store in it's den, only a moment ago, was now moving at an almost imperceptible crawl.

Her eyes narrowed to slits as she stared down the quickly darkening road. Today he was a black man dressed in his Sunday best. He was wearing a black trench coat and black cowboy hat. He always wears black, a bit of irony which is not lost on her. He looked to be in his late forties or early fifties and he wears the look of a man who had seen a great many things, but had the good sense not to talk about it. Sometimes he is a man, sometimes she is a woman. A couple of times he is a little girl or boy, but she knew his true form ismale. Only a man could show that type of cruelty. There was no tenderness in him, no hope, nothing but what he delivered and his soul was as dark as his eyes. His eyes. She shivered. He could change, but his eyes were always the same. They were a dark blood red. A deep red that sent a chill down to her soul. He looked right at her and smiled, and with a quick nod, kept walking. She knew exactly where he was going. The old woman. The one who had made her feel safe, the one who had made her feel as though she belonged; it was her time that was coming to an end. The young woman on the bike didn't bother to warn her old friend. She had tried that before and no good had come of it. They had all thought she was insane, but she was the only one with eyes to see. And everyone else was blind. They had called the police on her, threatened to have her committed and all she wanted to was to tell them the truth! But the truth can hurt, if you're not ready for it, and they weren't. They weren't ready when he came to their door either. There was nothing to be done about it. She shook her head sadly and rode her bike around the corner. It was time to gather her things and move on. But she was used to it by now. There wasn't much time before he found her, but those few weeks or days before she saw him again were precious and few, and she cherished them. She prepared to listen off in the distance to hear the sirens that would signify that he was done with his grisly work, and that as she prepared to run, he would follow.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket