Snatched at Midnight
It was 6pm and Clara was nurturing a hot chocolate in her Piglet mug, she had always adored him since she first watched the children’s show. Pink and white marshmallow’s bobbled up and down like fishing flies around the edges slowly turning gooey. She pondered the invitation her friends had given her to meet up for drinks, it got dark quickly round her street and she wasn’t up to walking down the alley by herself. She was brought back to reality as her Blackberry rang.
“Clara.” She answered without looking at the number. Static crackled through the receiver followed by heavy staggered breathing. Hanging up she frowned, stupid kids she thought. Moments later her mobile rang again, this time she looked at the number, unknown, it displayed. Sighing she answered but keeping her lips sealed.
“Clara?” Her friend’s voice came through clear and strong.
“Kelly.” She sighed out of recognition. “Did you just phone me a second ago?”
“Yes but it said you were engaged so I retried. You okay?” She questioned.
“Yes of course, you just startled me that’s all. What’s up?” she inquired.
“Well it turns out we are meeting at 6:45 as Holly has to be up early in the morning for a presentation, is that okay with you?”
“Yeah, erm, I might be a little late as I haven’t even started to get ready.”
“That’s fine I’ll save you a seat.”
“So”, thought Clara, “It looks like my mind had been made up for me”
Clara opened her wardrobe to reveal an organised space dedicated to her love of clothes. Grabbing a salmon coloured dress she matched it with a pair of pumps and stared into the mirror while pulling her chocolate curls to frame her face she grabbed her clutch and headed towards the train station.
The platform was dead, she stood staring at the greasy tracks. A rat scurried across the dirt in search for food, Clara looked away swiftly to discover a shadow next to her. She froze before realising it belonged to the ticket man. They exchanged polite greetings before parting as the train pulled into the station. The population on the train contradicted the amount of people at the station. She struggled to keep herself from being squashed between two tourists, snapping shots of random scenes which they were going show off when they got home. Clara, thinking how lucky she was to only have two stops, breathed in and pushed out between the wedge she was contained in, and shoved her way to the doors for a quick exist. She was oblivious to the rest of the public’s movement for the rest of the journey. She wanted to be free to fly through the wind like the swallows and run through the grass like a rabbit. She shook herself mentally thinking she was going insane.
“Excuse me.” A low voice whispered in her ear. Clara bounced back to the present and stared at the stranger who’s voice had awoken her from her reverie. He had an oval face with honey shaded hair, his eyes were deep oceanic pools and his lips were blood red. He smiled quirkily at her as she shrunk back in the corner of the carriage to allow him past. She observed him behind her thick eyelashes as he proceeded down the station once the train had stopped. She couldn’t resist casting him a glance as she continued her journey; his quirky smile was still in place and the last ounce of sun made his eyes shimmer.
As she arrived at a secluded bar that Kelly chose she had a pang of weariness about the location. The sudden overcast in the weather made her rush inside to greet her friends. She was delighted to see that they had decided to keep the dress code casual and she wasn’t out of place. Sarah a peroxide blond, was in a lilac butterfly print maxi dress while Jane who had wavy, mahogany shaded hair sported a black halter-neck jumpsuit. Clara ordered a beef lasagne and a glass of water before pitching in on their conversation causing her to forget about the stranger on the train.
Five hours later she was outside the train station once again with Sarah alongside her. They chatted animatedly before jumping onto their train home.
“Thanks for accompanying me home as walking through that alleyway at night really scares me, it’s bad enough that I have to live next to it.” She explained.
“It’s alright you’re only a few streets away from me, I wore flats so it isn’t a problem.” She smiled kindly. When they arrived they jumped off before making their way home.
The moon was full and the stars dotted the sky like silver sequins, the magnificent sight made her feel more contented. Neither Clara’s street nor alleyway was lit so Sarah decided it was best for them to stand closer to her front door.
Clara started to feel as if she was being watched and she nervously started to survey her surroundings. Out of the corner of her eye she could see something glittering but she was fearful that her imagination was running wild. She twitched her eyes towards the depth of the alley and saw a pair of red eyes. At a blink they turned back into oceanic pools that she recognised, another blink and they disappeared. She turned back to Sarah who was oblivious to her sightings, and when the stranger was breathing down her neck, she wasn’t even aware. No words could escape her throat as Sarah was flung over his shoulder as he launched himself into the depth of the alley. She ran into the pit of darkness but found herself alone, she cried out Sarah’s name and received no answer. She trailed back into her house and asked herself, was she next to be snatched at midnight?
Previously published, hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading my lovelies!
Copyright © 2011 Megan Flowers