I played around with the idea for this suspense story a few years ago, but never went any further with it. Now I’m working on it again.
Death of a Butterfly
Marti rubbed her arms, trying to relieve her cold shivering. Walking across the room she stared out at the dark street. There was a storm brewing. She could feel it. Fear caused her trembling to increase, but she knew it wasn’t the storm. The dark outline of a man still stood in the shadow of the streetlight. She’d hoped it was her imagination, but it was Daniel. She could feel it as strongly as she could sense the storm coming. Why was he just standing there? Why not make his move?
Going to the desk across the room, she removed the loaded pistol from the top drawer. She’d loaded the gun earlier, but checked it again. Her hands shook causing her to almost drop it. The sound of thunder rumbled sullenly and the wind picked up, rattling the old, loose shutter she’d put off fixing. It was too late now, just as it was too late to run. Besides she was sick of running, sick of constantly looking over her shoulder. She’d end it tonight. Come on, Daniel. What are you waiting for? Come for me.
She looked out the window again. The leaves on the trees danced crazily in the wind. He was gone. Dread moved its icy fingers down her spine. She listened intently, blocking out the sounds of the coming storm. She tried to control the trembling in her limbs. She needed to stay calm. She’d only get one chance and if she missed…she couldn’t even think that way. She wouldn’t miss.
She’d already checked the locks on the doors and windows, but knew they offered little protection. Daniel wasn’t one for dramatic entrances and knocking down doors or breaking windows was beneath him. He’d find a quiet way to enter and then he’d just be there. Marty moved away from the window, slowly backing into the far corner of the room. He’d not come up behind her this time. Holding the pistol out in front of her with one hand, she reached into the pocket of her old gray hoodie with the other and removed the cell phone. She pushed 911 and asked for a patrol car when they answered.
“What is your emergency ma’am?”
“I have an intruder at 810 Walnut Street. Please hurry.” Marty immediately ended the call and took the gun in both hands. The clock on the shelf to her right loudly ticked away the minutes. She had no concept of how much time had passed. The storm continued to grow stronger, but she tried to ignore it and concentrate on any small noise she might hear inside the house. Her arms tired and began to ache. She’d not be able to hold them steady much longer.
ÓE. G. Parsons