Night Terror III, The Parking Deck
This was inspired by the lone female employee who works later than everyone else. She works hard and puts in lots of overtime. When she finally decides to leave, it’s dark outside, and everyone else is already at home.
It’s dark now and there’s a storm outside.
Time to log off and go home.
Check to see if I left anything.
Got my purse, my phone, and my keys. Good.
As I walk down the hall toward the elevators,
I have to pass the guard’s desk.
I consider asking him to escort me to my car.
I had to park on the basement level four today,
several feet from the elevators.
I decide not to ask for the escort.
The guard has asked me out before.
I politely turned him down, and
I don’t like the way he looks at me.
Like I’m a Christmas present he can’t wait to unwrap.
I push the elevator button.
Waiting for the elevator,
I search the bottom of my purse.
There it is. The mace.
I turn the button on the mace canister to the open position.
The storm is raging outside.
The elevator arrives and I suddenly get a chill.
I glance over my shoulder at the guard.
He’s staring. Creepy.
I quickly get in the elevator, push B4,
and push the close door button.
The doors can’t close fast enough.
I place to of two of my keys between the fingers of my right hand.
Ready to strike a potential attacker.
Just like I learned in self-defense class.
I find myself humming with the elevator music.
Finally arriving at basement level four.
The doors open, and with mace in my left hand,
and the improvised claws of my right hand,
I step out of the elevator.
Suddenly the lights go out.
My heart starts racing.
The emergency lights come on.
They’re dim, but I can still see my car.
One Hundred Steps
I know there are one hundred steps between the elevator and my car.
I know this because I count my steps. I’m a little OCD.
I begin walking.
I look around the parking deck.
Mostly dark with some dimly lit spaces.
I remind myself to complain on Monday.
The emergency lights should be brighter.
I guess I should have asked for the escort,
because I’m really scared now.
What if I can’t defend myself?
I spray a tiny amount of mace just to make sure it works.
The mist curls into my face, and my eyes start to burn.
I shouldn’t have worn these heels.
They are too loud so I try to walk on my toes.
Yes, that’s it. Quieter now.
I guess he’s not that creepy.
I should have explained better.
I had just gotten out of a relationship.
I mean, to be extremely honest,
I just was not attracted to him.
But saying that would have hurt his feelings.
Yes, Yes, have to be polite.
What was that sound?
I stop walking and look around.
Trying to see movement in the dark,
Back on my toes, I start walking.
I have to take the keys from between my fingers.
I need to unlock my car door.
I press the unlock button on the fob.
I can normally hear the locks pop up.
I tap the key fob with my mace cartridge,
and press the unlock button again.
Maybe it’s the fob battery?
Still looking around.
Keys back in the strike position, and
feeling more confident.
I’m almost there.
Finally stopping at my car.
My pulse slows, as I pull the handle.
The door opens.
I guess the key fob did work,
I just didn’t hear it.
I sit in my car, close and lock the doors.
Safe At Last.
Safe at last, I turn the mace button to the off position,
and drop the mace in my purse.
As I start the car, I think to myself, the storm is over,
maybe I’ll get the girls together.
Perfect time for a girls night out.
I glance in the mirror to check my makeup.
In the mirror I see the dark shape rising behind me.
I grab for the door handle. Too late.
I should have checked the back seat.