The Man in the Shadows

Tshadowshe following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anyone, living or not, is unintentional.

I saw the door handle move; he was testing the door. Would the locks hold? I cowered in the darkness. Would he leave if he thought I wasn’t home? Not very likely; he had followed me home. He knew I was here; he could probably smell my fear.

A kick. The lock on the door handle gave out and I heard the crackling sound of splintering wood. Would the deadbolt hold? What the hell was I going to do? I quietly crept to the window – maybe I could climb out onto the window ledge. How stupid would that be?

I never should have picked up that bag. I was walking home from work, taking a shortcut through the park so I could enjoy the final rays of sunlight, when I saw the bag just sitting there on the park bench. I looked around but the only person I could see was a kid on a skateboard a few hundred metres ahead.

I sat down beside the bag. What if it was a bomb? I couldn’t detect any ticking though (do all bombs tick?). I slowly slid the zipper open a few inches so I could peek inside.

Oh my God! What was this doing here? Was it forgotten? Was it deliberately left for someone to pick it up? Was it even real?

I squeezed my eyes shut. Think! What should I do? I took a deep breath and quickly picked up the bag. Looking around, I tucked it under my arm and started sprinting. I could barely breathe. I ran all the way home.
When I arrived at my apartment building, my hands were trembling so much I fumbled and dropped my keys. As I stooped to pick them up I saw him standing across the street, watching me.

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