Scaredy Cat Sylvie
"Useless heap of junk!" She said, as she slammed the car door behind her. Bet you won't be here when I return, she thought.
She loathed this side of town. It was making her flesh crawl being stuck in it. Sylvie decided to look for a phone box as she needed help. She cursed under her breath at her ridiculous idea to leave her mobile phone at home to recharge. Her body heat immediately turned to ice as it hit the frigid night air. Her flimsy, fashionable clothing inadequate against the cold, damp night. Her chattering teeth sliced through the eerie silence.
A dark,unlit path stretched out in front of her leading its twisting way through the park as it followed the river into town. Sylvie thought this shortcut was vaguely familiar.
"God, I hate the outdoors!" Sylvie spat as she stomped out her anger on the rough surface,her high, strappy shoes more accustomed to night-clubs.
The freezing air had started to cloud in a thick fog. It rose off the river and crept with silent shoes into the park drowning everything in its way. A gust of wind rattled the remaining leaves on a tree making her jump. Her anger was short lived. A horrible, sickening feeling that something was behind her, stole up on Sylvie. She could not shake it off. She felt like she was being watched. Sylvie looked behind her. Nothing; behind or in front of her, just the blackness of the unlit dirt path. The silence. Deafening.
Dead leaves battered her face in swirling gusts of wind. A touch, reminding her that she might not be alone. A nauseating mixture of damp, decaying earth and the salty tang from the river, blended to push her imagination into over drive: the fog a nameless terror, with outstretched arms waiting to pull her into the darkness like an eager lover. She shoved the hassling leaves out of her way, and wrapped her cardigan tightly around her aching, cold body. Battling her paranoia, Sylvie hurried on trying to keep her visions rained in.
Suddenly, a twig snapped to her left. She screamed, her legs buckling. She started to run. But her feet kept slipping out of her shoes.The wind played about with her long, red hair, whipping it into weird shapes in a macabre dance, and landing like a blindfold across her eyes. Her footsteps crunched loudly in the heavy silence. Suddenly, she heard footsteps running. A terrified scream caught in her dry throat. Her runaway heartbeat was felt in her throat.
But then, they stopped. All she could hear was her own ragged breathing. Sylvie glanced nervously over her shoulder, barely able to open her screwed up eyes. Silence and fog surrounded her. Her palpitating heart rang through her ears, drowning out the ragged rhythms of her breathing. Her boneless legs had turned into goosebumps. Her fear had the bitter taste of bile no amount of swallowing would loose.
"Hello?" She whispered.
Silence. Except the eerie noise of the wind blowing through the bare branches making them puncture the fog in hideously twisted shapes.
A voice from hell joined in the cacophony of jangled nerves and invisible demons.Her heart thundered in her chest, threatening to hammer its way to freedom.She rammed her knuckles into her mouth to stop her loud sobbing. Her eyes liquid saucers of terror.
Shuffling feet. Snapped twigs. Were all she could hear. She screamed until her throat gave out.Sylvie tried to move. But her fear had welded her feet to the spot. Her legs refused to move as her brain screamed for her to move; Move! Get out of this place! Now! She must get into town.
Sylvie’s whole body trembled. The sound of breaking twigs, became the snapping of bones to Sylvie’s heightened awareness of the dark,and the terror it contained. She screamed. And screamed until her heart nearly jumped right out of her mouth. She turned in frantic circles desperately trying to stay safe.
She yanked her shoes off, and lurched forwards on rubber legs. And ran. Sylvie ran from all the terrors now running through the fog to catch up with her. She ran until searing pain shot across her chest, and her feet were painful balls of fire ripped open by the razor sharp gravel. Suddenly,footsteps ran behind her. She screamed. Then they stopped. Sylvie could hear nothing, but the eerie noise of wind blowing through dead leaves. And her terror. The salty smell of the river became the smell of her fear. Sylvie sensed movement. She could not see through the thick fog. But she sensed it. The hairs on her whole body stood out in fear. She tore her horrified stare away and started running.
"Sylvieeeeee…" He whispered.
Evil radiated from his voice in ripples. She watched the fog for her stalker to appear. Sweat poured down her face. But she could not tear her eyes away. Fear had gripped her heart and pulverised it in its fierce grip.
"Sylvieeeeee…" He whispered.
She screamed.Every pore in her body was saturated in fear induced sweat. Slowly she moved her head to the left, her breathing coming in terrified, stunted gasps. She could only see fog. Sylvie cried out in pain as she tripped over. Pain tore through her ankle in a burst of white heat. Sobbing uncontrollably Sylvie struggled to her feet, her damaged ankle screamed in protest as she tried to put her weight on it. Sylvie slowly started to limp, the rough ground biting into the soles of her feet. The searing pain made worse by her feeble attempts to get as far away from this terrible place. Sylvie prayed that she would get safely to the bridge that connected the park with town. It was a millennium before she reached the bridge.
Sylvie screamed as a telephone box lurched up out of the fog. She sobbed in utter relief. Thank god, she thought as she closed the door behind her. "Sylvieeeeee…" came from the receiver in her hand. She screamed, and dropped it, leaving it twirling on the wire. His chilling voice chanting "Scaredy cat Sylvie," down the line. She picked up the phone, and smashed it down on the cradle shattering the plastic cover. She screamed as a long buried memory surfaced, his memory taunted her......
...... Sylvie was thirteen again. She was running away from a gang of teenagers. She was running along a dirt path close to the river. Suddenly the tallest boy had grabbed her coat and swung her round to face him. His lank black hair fell like curtains around his pale skinny face. Sylvie had started to cry. The boy laughed in her face.The others surrounded them, forming a malicious circle. The boy shouted "Scaredy cat Sylvie" over and over in her face. The others chanted as they rotated faster and faster. Sylvie could no longer see individual faces, just blurs of twirling colour. He threw her towards the others. They closed in on her chanting "Scaredy cat Sylvie" as they pushed her roughly around in a circle. A girl from her class had pushed her so hard, that Sylvie had fallen and lost her glasses. The boy laughed and kicked the stinking, dirty earth in her face. The others followed him. When he got bored with that, he stamped on her hand as she searched the decaying ground for her glasses…
.... Sylvie frantically tried to open the door. She cried for help banging on the door until her hand was a painful mass of pins and needles. Exhausted by her efforts, she sank slowly to the floor, as tears streamed down her face. Sylvie closed her eyes. Suddenly, there was a scratching sound on the glass, she screamed- nails were being dragged around the entire box. Sylvie screamed hysterically and jumped up. She clawed at the sealed door trying to use her fingertips to prise open the door, watching the windows for him. Suddenly the door was yanked from her grip.It opened and then slammed shut.
"Scaredy cat Sylvie". He called through the open door, his freezing breath blasted her face. She screamed as the door continued to blast open and slam shut.
She waited for the door to open, and with all her weight Sylvie forced her way out. But she got caught halfway as the heavy door squashed the life from her.Sylvie fell from the box when the door opened again. She screamed as a cat hissed and run out in front of her. She gulped deep breaths of reviving air. Her palpitating heart beat rang loudly in the cold night. Sylvie ran back towards her car.
A phone started ringing, Sylvie stopped and looked back - It was the call box. She was to terrified to answer it. It’s loud metallic clanging, deafening in the still night air.Sylvie screamed hysterically, there was a small, pale teenager’s face with black hair and dark shadows underneath his eyes staring at her from the phone box. Frozen in terror, she screamed until her lungs and throat felt like they would burst.
"Scaredy cat Sylvie." He mouthed the words through the glass.
She tried to run but her feet would not move: Her heart beat wildly. Sweat dripped into her eyes. Sylvie’s cries for help died on her lips as the wind carried them to deaf ears. Her whole being screamed run… run… run as fast as you can! But her traitor legs kept collapsing under her weight, as she tried to make them move faster. Glancing over her shoulder, she could no longer see him. Sylvie collapsed with relief, and sat sobbing in the middle of the overgrown path. The tingling pain in her legs adding to her misery.
Sylvie screamed as something touched her back.
She felt a presence behind her, and felt breath on the back of her neck. Her voice a rough croak instead of a scream. Barely breathing, tears blurring her vision Sylvie turned sideways: nothing. Suddenly, a pale white arm appeared through the fog. He pointed at her with dirt-encrusted fingers and nails. She felt wet warmth run down her legs, her hoarse throat screamed.
She ran blindly into the night. Sweat and tears poured down her face and dripped onto her cardigan. Her boneless legs would not carry her fast enough. She ran back to her broken down car. Sylvie fell over some some dips in the path. She did not put her hands out to stop herself in time, the gravel tore viciously into her soft cheek.
"Scaredy cat Sylvie." He said. Sylvie looked behind her. He had started to fade, and gradually she watched him disappear into nothing but fog.
Cursing her stupidity for leaving her car, Sylvie sobbed in relief as it came into view. Hearing footsteps and stealthy movements in the grass, her fumbling, desperate attempts to open the car door had caused her shaking hands to drop the keys. Sylvie got down on her bloody, hurting knees frantically carrying out a fingertip search under the car. Her relief at finding them short lived, as she caught sight of the mess that was her pretty face in the wing mirror. Her appearance was straight out of a horror film. The metallic, bitter taste of her blood was making her gag. She gingerly picked her hair out of the stinging flesh wounds on her face. Her face and hands were dripping blood. She shuddered.
Fear surged through her veins, as she heard footsteps again. The central locking would not open. Sylvie panicked, "Come on… Come on." She said frantically trying to pull the door open. The footsteps were right behind her. As she opened the door, she heard a whisper behind her.
"Scaredy cat." He said. She felt his breath on the back of her neck. It took every ounce of Sylvie’s strength not to faint.She was too terrified to scream her hoarse voice unable to voice her fear. The fog,a suffocating blanket of doom. Her fear, absolute. Sylvie tore the car door open, and locked herself in. Sobbing uncontrollably, Sylvie’s shaking hands could not get the key into the ignition.
Her frantic attempts could not start the car, she collapsed crying onto the steering wheel. Then it stopped. The fog disappeared and her car suddenly sprang into life. Terrified still, Sylvie revved the engine, and pulled off in a roaring skid.
"Thank you God." She sobbed over and over, relieved to be leaving her terror behind.
Sylvie’s drive home was a blur of orange streetlights and flashes of dark pavements, streaked with randomly lit windows. Her spineless body ran to the safety of her house.She was sobbing loudly when she finally locked her front door. Sylvie went straight into the kitchen and poured a large glass of wine, she gulped it down in a few mouthfuls. She poured another one, to wash the taste of fear, blood and tears away.
Shaking, Sylvie switched the television on. Her mobile vibrated loudly with an ignored text message. Draining the second glass of wine Sylvie opened the text message, as it flashed on screen the television's static buzzed louldly and angrily. Startled, she jumped as the black and white fuzzy lines flicked across the screen. Sylvie picked her phone up off the floor. She stared in horror as the lines smoothed out and formed a fog. Her eyes wide, Sylvie’s heart thundered through her silent home -The boy’s face appeared on screen. She screamed, her raw throat protesting at the abuse.
The crackling static on the television got louder as he moved forwards. His face filling the television screen. Sylvie read her text message of three words. She screamed and dropped her glass. It shattered into a thousand pieces. She stared at her mobile. Terrified. She stared again, unbelieving, at the television screen. Staring at his face in her home. Sylvie screamed.
"Sylvieeeeee". He whispered, as the screen flickered then buzzed loudly as moved forward.
Sylvie looked at her text again. The letters were dripping blood.
Scaredy cat Sylvie screamed.
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