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Welcome to this week’s Spooky Flash Fiction!

Just two more weeks of haunting fun to go!

How Fast Can Your Heart Go Before it Bursts?

This Week’s Flash Fiction Friday is bought to you by:
A Creepy Hooded Guy
Crunchy Leaves in the Gutter
A Black Cat

I hated it when my friends wouldn’t walk me home. My mom said they had to, but when I told them that, they just laughed.

They  never had to walk alone, they were twins. And they had brothers. No one messed with them.

Me, on the other hand…I was short, I couldn’t run very fast, and I was very much alone.

It wasn’t that far from their house to mine, just two blocks over and one block up, but tonight it felt like a mile. The sun had slipped behind the mountains an hour before, leaving everything looking not quite real.

The thump, thump of my Keds on the ground echoed in my ears.

The sound of a car coming made my heart pound. I didn’t like it when the cars shone their headlights in my face. I held my breath, but the car didn’t come around the corner ahead.

A breeze rustled the crackling leaves on the trees, sending a shiver down my spine.

My legs sped up. Breathing started to hurt as I got to the halfway point.

Why did it have to be all uphill? I should have ridden my bike. It was hard to pedal up the street, but at least it was faster than walking.

Of course, then I would have to put it in the backyard. The dark, quiet, eerie backyard where anything could be hiding.

Maybe walking was better.

Since the car hadn’t come, I decided to cross the street. I waited for a driveway, then stepped into the road.

Only then did I see the guy on the other side. He was a few houses ahead. In the dim light I couldn’t be sure, but I thought he was wearing a hood. And something was glowing red under it.

Just a cigarette, I assured myself. There was just one glowing point—not two, like eyes. He was just outside smoking.

But I didn’t smell smoke.

My feet wanted to run back to the sidewalk I’d just left and back to my friend’s house. They would laugh at me, but I’d be safe. Then I wondered, if he was a bad guy, would he like it better if I ran? Like a mean dog?

I’m the slowest runner in my grade, so he’d catch me no matter what. I took a steadying breath and decided to stay in the middle of the road. That way I could see him coming, and scream.

The woman in the house at the top of the street was a friend of my mom’s. She would help me.

Although her husband was really grouchy. What if he heard me and got mad?

I didn’t look over at the guy in the hoodie. If I pretended he wasn’t there, maybe he would pretend I wasn’t here either.

By the time I passed him, my whole chest heaved, and it felt like my heart might explode. He could probably hear me. I wanted to put my hand over my mouth, but didn’t, even though a scream sat right behind my lips.

I heard the scrape of his shoe on the sidewalk, and somehow walked faster. Any quicker and I would be at a jog.

Another scrape.

I was just two houses from the corner. If I got around the corner, I would be safe.

Footsteps echoed behind me.

The air was too thick to breathe. I tasted blood.

One house to go. This is where my mom’s friend lived. Should I go to the door?

A growling yell came from the house. Her husband. I kept going.

Thump, thump. My feet kept up the pace.

Thunk, thunk. He was coming.

The road curved. I cut the corner, stepping in the gutter. Leaves crunched under my foot, sounding as loud as a hundred papers being crumpled at the same time.

I could see my house. Just one block over to go.

The thunk, thunk got louder.

I cut across the road. Could I make it? I had to make it.

Leaves rustled again, but not from above. I looked back.

He was close.

I turned to run, but a black shape darted out in front of me.

I screamed, and before I could tell my legs to go, I was going.

It took me a minute to realize the figure had been my friend’s cat. It hated everyone.

I thought I heard it spitting and hissing, but I’m not sure I could hear anything over my scream.

I’d never been so grateful for the light on the front porch. When I got up the three stairs, I doubled over, shaking like crazy.

This time I did hear a hiss. I looked up, and found him across the street.

Red lit his face.

A cigarette.

My eyes went wide when I remembered something we’d learned at school.

I shouldn’t have led him to my house.

I swallowed hard, and in the time it took me to blink, he was gone.

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