This is the part that caused so much trouble on my Hub. I hope you enjoy it.
She moved on again, through the deserted car park. She noticed a lone car - perhaps left by its conscientious driver who had had a drink and left it until the morning. The cynic in her thought otherwise, in a perfect world maybe he had, but more likely, he was too drunk to remember where he had left it.
The open space of the car park gave her a sense of security that she knew would desert her as she approached the alley. There was nowhere to hide in the area surrounding the pub and so she knew he was not so close behind her.
As the distance to the walled passageway was eaten up by her self-assured strides, she started to slow down as though she was trying to delay getting there. Again she hesitated. At the mouth of the alley, she leaned forward just a little as if trying to see around the bend in the middle. Her bag was grasped in one hand and as she leaned forward, it swung against her leg. She looked down as if she had only just noticed it was there. Then, as though deciding that she should make a move before she could scare the living daylights out of herself, she entered the mouth of the narrow and enclosed walkway.
The stalker forced himself to be patient as he waited until she had entered the alley, then he moved - fast and silent - around the perimeter wall. He scaled yet higher walls with ease, running across the tops of them, moving with the agility of a cat to get ahead of her. He had the advantages of surprise and shock and he intended to use them both to maximum effect. His hands flexed as he waited in his chosen position just ahead of his victim, listening for her footfalls.
She tried not to think of the violent and bloody attacks that had happened in the neighbourhood - one a few weeks earlier and another just the previous night. She managed to keep a poker-face as her colleagues delighted in telling her the gory details - exaggerated no doubt, she hoped.
When she told them that she was parked in the same secluded car park as the two victims had been, their humour had turned to concern. Her dismissals of offers to drive her to her car or to accompany her were accepted with reluctance. She thought that acceptance of escort would be seen as weakness. She was probably right.
Reports in the local paper after the first incident had described a woman being attacked and brutalised. One had described the attacked woman as being mauled. A hospital porter had gone to the paper and told of the victim’s hysterical and not-quite-coherent deathbed ramblings about her attacker who slashed and bit with tooth and claw. Last night’s attack was, as yet, unconfirmed by official sources but that didn’t stop gory details circulating along the rumour mills.
Her pace was no longer as brisk as it had been. She was by now, dawdling along the pathway, hesitating more and more as she approached the sharp bend in the path, stopping to look behind time and again.
He heard the sigh of relief when at last she rounded that bend and could see the rear bumper and one light and she knew her car was within reach. Her pace picked up a little and she straightened up, regaining her self-assured stance of before.
She was just two metres from the exit of the alley and no more than four metres from her car. Her keys were already in her hand - as they had been since The Swan. Her guard dropped for a split-second as she made sure it was the right key for the lock.
A split-second was all that was needed to pick off a victim.
He landed in front of her, from the top of the wall.
She was surprised into an exclamation of “Shit!” and she staggered back a few steps to lean against the high sandstone wall.
His grin was full of cruel humour but she tried to return the smile with one of her own. What looked like an attempt at a confident smile did not seem to make her feel any better.
He knew adrenalin would have begun to course through her veins, she looked to have it under control for now, but who knew how long she would manage that? At the very next shock, her whole system would be flooded with it and that would convert her brain into a useless lump of offal. Powerless to think clearly, it would in turn, make her limbs incapable of response – this is the result of the ‘fright’ instinct. Or, she could start punching and kicking and screaming like a banshee – the instinct to ‘fight’. The last alternative would be the ‘flight’ instinct, but she had nowhere to run, he blocked her path to the safety of her car.
He had been the cause and seen the effects of all possibilities and used them many times as tools of his trade.
He studied her for a moment, then he lifted his chin and sniffed, catching her scent – she smelled clean but wore no perfume - a bonus - he preferred that. He half closed his eyes and savoured her scent.
The alley was not very broad, just wide enough to pass another adult in, and he seemed to make the spaces on either side of him appear too small to allow her to get past him.
He spoke first as though this situation was normal: "Hello" he said with a smile, very aware of how attractive he was. “You’re quite fit, aren’t you?”
"What?" She stammered, perplexed at his opening statement. She was still leaning against the wall as though her legs were having difficulty in supporting her. Then, seeming to realise that she already looked like a victim, she pushed herself upright.
She brushed aside his attempt at conversation and said "Excuse me please; I need to go to my car." She raised her hand in indication to the direction she wanted to go.
"Sure" he replied, his smile not wavering as he moved closer to one wall, he knew that the broad smile he flashed, his silk shirt which clung to his muscled torso in all the right places, combined with his slightly exotic features helped to distract females in this situation, it was just one more tool for him to use as he indulged in his favourite nocturnal activity.
There was still not enough room in which to pass without invading what she considered 'his space' and she did not move.
He tipped his head in the direction of the exit, as if to indicate that she was keeping him from his journey.
She appeared wary, but took the hint and started to go forward, not wishing to appear foolish by being scared of this amenable and striking man.
She tensed as she passed him because she knew that he would grab her, yet when he did she was rendered rigid.
With her tucked under his arm like a bundle of laundry - he was deceptively strong, even taking his height into account – he carried her back down the alley with little effort.
He didn't need to cover her mouth; the woman was in shock already and could not even make a murmur, let alone scream. Not like that one bitch last month, she screamed the place down! Still, screaming didn't do her any good, and this one's silence won't save her either.