Horror Thriller Suspense

         “And that’s when I told him that he was a good-for-nothing boy who wouldn’t ever amount to anything, and I dumped him five seconds later.” Lili Pesco admits to her best friend, Sarah Musgrave, as they munch their way through everything in sight. Sarah’s eyes are wide, staring up at Lili’s in awe, as she finishes her story.

           “Wow,” Sarah breathes. “I wish I had your confidence; I could never have done that.”

           “That’s because you don’t know how to stick up for yourself,” Lili says kindly, patting her arm. “But, I can help you with that, don’t worry. No one will ever mess with you again after I tell you my tricks.”

           “Do your tricks involve the recipe for these muffins?” Sarah asks, picking up yet another muffin. “They’re delicious.”

           “Hey, save some for the movie!” Lili laughs, snatching it off of her. “We have a long night ahead of us, and we’ve barely begun. I’ve got all the best horror movies picked out for us, and they’re all ready to be watched.”

           “Gross,” Sarah turns a nasty shade of green, squeamish at the thought of the blood they were bound to see. “Why do we have to watch horror movies?”

           “The first part to developing confidence is to live through the worst experiences, so that you then feel grateful for what you have. Obviously, we are perfect, so we don’t have any bad experiences, so we have to live off of other people’s pain.”

           “Oh Lili, you’re so cruel.”

           Although arrogant and somewhat overconfident, Lili Pesco is correct in her statement. Lili and Sarah are, financially, one of the most stable families in the whole world. They met on the first day of Boarding School, and have been inseparable since. Their families worked their way up from being desk jockeys and secretaries, to the managers of important law firms – a true rags to riches story. Even though they both have similar backgrounds and upbringings, this is where the similarities end; they couldn’t have more opposing personalities.

           Lili is the classic popular girl in school, fierce and determined. She grew up Queen of the school, with her ginger, curly hair to match her fiery personality. All of the boys, and most of the girls also, swooned after her, not sure whether they wanted to date her, befriend her, or actually be her. Her eyes draw people in like a vacuum, deep pools of water against her freckled complexion. Unlike Sarah, she somehow manages to complete everything on time and with excellent grades, with extra credit for being her charming self. Sarah doesn’t have that much luck.

           Timid and reserved, Sarah often feels overshadowed by her best friend. Unable to keep up with the ever-increasing workload, she relies on other people to help her meet her deadlines, and even then, the standard of work she produces is poor. With her thick-rimmed glasses, her hazelnut eyes and her limp, blonde hair, she doesn’t see herself as a raging beauty, especially standing next to Lili (though Lili always pushes these remarks away, exclaiming that Sarah is beautiful, and will always be beautiful). With her help, Sarah has been learning how to love herself more, and also how to manage her time more efficiently. This weekend, she’s staying over at Lili’s house – their first weekend off of school in months – to spend some quality time together, without the pressure of socialising with others also.

           “I know… isn’t it amazing?” Lili laughs again, a tinkling laugh that sends shivers down Sarah’s spine. “Go on, get changed, and I’ll set everything up.”

           As Sarah heads to the bathroom to get changed, she ignores all the mirrors, just like Lucy always advises – “Only look in the mirror for five seconds before you go out, and if you’re worried you might have something in your teeth.” Sarah is surprised Lili even hangs with someone like her, but will never admit that to her face, for fear of her realising she’s right, and then running off to find another best friend. She’s truly blessed to have someone like Lili in her life.

           After getting changed into her pyjamas, Sarah finds Lili already in the sitting room. She also has got changed, and is sporting a pair of skimpy shorts and a t-shirt, whilst Sarah covers her Disney pyjamas self-consciously.

           “Oh my God, is that Bambi on your top?” Lili squeals. “It’s so cute! You’ve got great taste. Oh quick, the film’s starting! Now, I’ve made us iced coffee – we are going to need it to stay awake tonight – and I’ve got ingredients for milkshakes. I’ve got popcorn, chocolate, the muffins, of course, and strawberries too, because I know you love strawberries.”

           Touched that she remembered, Sarah smiles genuinely. “I do love strawberries.”

           “I know you do!” She flops down on the sofa, picking up the TV remote. “Listen, let’s just enjoy the night, because goodness knows we don’t get to enjoy many of our nights. Whilst the parents aren’t here, we can just relax, and-,”

           “Wait, hold on a minute,” Sarah’s heart starts pounding in her chest, desperately wanting to leap out from behind her ribcage. “Did you say your parents aren’t here?”

           Lili looks away sheepishly. “Yes, I did say that didn’t I?”

           “But you said they would be home at some point, didn’t you?”

           “Did I say that?”

           “Lili!” Sarah scolds. “You told my parents that your parents would be here! That is the only reason I’m allowed to stay here!”

           “Exactly! If I’d have said we would have been here alone, they never would have allowed it, and then we would never have had another sleepover for another million months! It’s okay, they’ll never know; my parents are too busy answering phone calls in Denmark to even remember what day it is, let alone what weekend their trip to Birmingham was. They’ll forget all about it by the time we meet up, so they won’t blabber to your parents – you really do have nothing to worry about.”

           Despite Lucy’s reassurances, Sarah still feels uneasy. It isn’t just about her parents finding out that is worrying her, although that definitely is the majority of the problem. Being one of the richest families does cause a lot of problems, especially with home invaders and robberies. Sarah’s parents devote as much love to her as they can, and they refuse to take business trips unless at least one parent will be looking after their child. Lili’s parents, however, refuse to think about that, and will take every single trip out of their country that they can, just to earn a smidgen more money. Realistically, Sarah shouldn’t be surprised Lili’s parents aren’t there, but she’s still furious about having been lied to.

           Still stewing halfway through the movie, Lili eyes the untouched popcorn, sighs, and pauses the movie. Sarah almost doesn’t realise, and takes a good few seconds for her to notice Lili is standing over her, hands on her hips.

           “Are you going to enjoy this movie, or are you still angry at me?”

           “How can I enjoy this movie when you lied to me?” Sarah retorts, rage bubbling inside of her. “You know what my parents are like, and you know how stressed I get, so why would you lie?”

           “You weren’t supposed to find out!” Lili admits. “I was going to tell you they were asleep over the other side of the house, and then you would never have known, and it would have been my secret to bear.”

           “But now it’s my secret to bear too, and I can’t handle it.” Sarah jumps up and starts pacing, biting her fingernails haphazardly with each step.

           “Sarah, please stop chewing your nails, they will only hurt in the morning-,”

           “Don’t act like you care,” Sarah snarls. “You can’t stand that I’m not like you, so you’re trying to change me!”

           “That’s not true!” Lili retorts.

           “It so is true! You have good grades, good looks, a good personality, and now you’re trying to change me to be like you. Well, guess what Lili? I have a family that loves me, and I don’t appreciate being lied to, because I’m not used to that. Your parents may lie to you so you think it’s okay, but personally, honesty is a key attribute in my household. Screw this, I’m going home.”

           “Sarah, it’s the middle of the night, don’t be stupid.”

           “I’m not staying here tonight. I’m walking home, I’m telling my parents, and I’m done with you.” Ignoring the fact she is in her pyjamas, Sarah grabs her coat, storms out the front door, and embraces the cool, midnight breeze. The moon casts an ominous glow over the bushes, and shadows loom taller than the trees that reach for the sky. Even the tiny daisies look demonic, and goose-bumps are erect all up Sarah’s arm, as the door slams shut behind her. The sound echoes around the cold night, and even the wind seems hostile, slapping her harshly around the face as she starts walking. She doesn’t want to admit she’s terrified and turn back, because she wants to prove her point to Lili. Had she overreacted? Yes, one hundred percent. Was she going to go back and apologise? No, certainly not. Maybe later… okay, definitely later.

           As Sarah turns the corner, she gazes at the houses on either side of the street. Okay, they aren’t really houses; they are mansions. Just like Lili’s, they are filled with just under a million rooms, all decorated lavishly, and smelling of lavender bath salts and vanilla extract. Sarah had a house like that herself, but it was a few roads down from here. Being part of the rich community had its perks – private roads for example. It meant you never had to experience things like strange men, looming underneath lampposts in the middle of the night.

           Except, that’s exactly what Sarah encounters.

           Stopping briefly to strain her eyes against the dim lights, Sarah stares at the man who is unmoving. She can’t tell where he is looking – it’s too dark for that – but she knows he doesn’t belong here; the rich community wouldn’t be seen dead in those clothes, no matter how humble. His clothes are torn, obviously bought, or stolen, straight from a supermarket, and even from a distance, he wreaks of alcohol and urine. The stench surrounds her, almost stopping her lungs from breathing, and as he notices her, the lampposts turn off. All of the light flooding the street is snatched from her, and Sarah becomes paralysed with fear. It isn’t until she hears light footsteps heading her way that she pulls sense into herself and turns the other way, running back to Lili’s house. Proud or not, she isn’t risking her life because of a petty argument.

           A few minutes later, she runs back into Lili’s road, and bumps straight into someone.

           “Hey, watch it!”

           “Lili?” Sarah questions, feeling about in the dark to touch her friend.

           “Oh my God, Sarah!” Lili throws her arms around her. “Thank goodness I found you! I was going to call the police if I couldn’t find you, but then I thought-,”

           “Save it, we need to get inside right now!” And dragging her friend along, Sarah leads her back to her house, and shuts the door behind her.

           “What? What’s going on?”

           “I need you to lock the doors, lock all the windows, just lock everything, and then we need to call the police.”

           “Sarah, what’s going on?”

           “Just lock the damn doors Lili.”

           “No! Not until you tell me why! A few seconds ago, you were adamant we weren’t even friends, and now you’re in my house, demanding that the doors be locked.”

           “I was walking home, and I saw a man. He was loitering under a lamppost, just waiting, and as soon as he saw me, the lights went out.”

           “Sarah, it’s midnight, the lampposts always go out at that time.”

           “I heard him walking towards me once it was dark. He was following me. So please, we can argue as much as you like, but lock the damned doors first.”

           Understanding the urgency in Sarah’s fearful tone, Lili does as she’s told. She walks around her massive mansion, closing every window, no matter how small, and locking each door that could allow people to get in. Sarah stays by the front door, still holding it shut, even though that was the first door Lili locked. After Lili was certain they were secure, they dimmed the lights down to the lowest settings, and open the blinds up a little, taking a peek at the outside world.

           “Oh shit, yeah. There is a man outside.” Sarah follows Lucy’s gaze as she slowly moves over to the window. Sure enough, there is a man outside, just staring at Lili’s house.

           “Call the police!” Sarah whispers, her breathing haggard.

           “I can’t call the police; he hasn’t done anything except look at the house!” Lili starts to panic, her voice becoming scratchy and uneven. “Just watch him. I’ll call my parents.”

           “Call mine also! Yours are in Birmingham – there’s not a lot they can do for us.”

           “Is it the same man you saw under the lamppost?”

           “I don’t know, I didn’t see him clearly, and I definitely can’t see him any clearer now. Just stop talking and call someone.”

           Lili obeys, and spends the next few minutes exchanging hurried whispers with people on various different calls. Sarah’s eyes are fixated on the man, who hasn’t moved since she started staring at him. She hears a soft thump from upstairs. It’s almost inaudible, but enough to be heard in the tranquillity of the night. Sarah tears her eyes away from the man, straining her ears to hear the noise again, but it doesn’t occur.

           “Right, your parents are on their way,” Lili hangs up the phone. “They’re pissed, quite rightly, but they’re coming to rescue us. The police are also on their way.”

           “That’s good.” Sarah turns her attention back to the window, but the man has disappeared. Her face whitens, her hands start to tremble, and her eyes become dinner plates. Lili notices, and peers out the window.

           “Where is he?”

           “I don’t know!” Sarah stammers. “I heard a noise, and I turned away for a brief second, and now he’s gone.”

           “Well, that’s okay. Just calm down; he can’t get in, I made sure everything was locked.” With a confidence that, for once, Lili doesn’t feel, she sits down next to her friend, and puts her arms around her. As they sit in silence, they hear a clatter from upstairs. They become still, listening out for the noise.

           Thump. A footstep.

           Thump. Another footstep.

           A series of thumps follow, as someone shuffles in the room directly above them. Sarah’s mouth gapes open in horror.

           “There’s someone upstairs!” She mouths to Lili, who nods.

           “We need to get out of here,” she mouths back, and together, they stand up as silently as possible. As they try to walk on wobbling legs, a car pulls into the driveway, its light cascading into the sitting room. “Thank God, your parents are here!”

           Fumbling with the front door, they finally unlock it, and step out into the hostile night. Lili locks the door behind them, and as they run down the porch, Sarah stops in her tracks. “That’s not my parent’s car.”

           A pair of long, never-ending legs pop out of the driver’s side of the Mercedes, and Sarah pulls Lili behind the bushes that surround the porch. They watch the strange, unfamiliar man that steps out of the car, slamming the door shut, uncaring about the noise he is making. This makes it more petrifying for them; he doesn’t care about the attention he attracts. He smooths his clean, crisp suit, and smiles at the house, consulting a few documents on his phone.

           “We have to go back inside,” Lili whispers, and as they are about to crawl back to the front door, they look up at the window. Their souls almost leave their bodies.

           A man is staring at them, dark eyes of pure evil leering at them as they cower behind the bushes. His mouth is twisted into a psychotic grin, and Lili has to clasp a hand over Sarah’s mouth to stop her from screaming. He’s a terrorising demon, just waiting to get his hands on them. The two friends don’t know whether he is alone, or whether he is with the other man, but what they do know is that if they are working together, then man from the Mercedes already knows they are out there, and they are exposed. A sick feeling rises in their stomachs, as they realise that they are trapped, and there’s no way of escaping. They are doomed. 

July 14, 2021 13:02

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Jacen Patchwork
18:27 Jul 14, 2021

Love this. I genuinely had no idea where it was going, even right up to the end. The way it just stops abruptly is both frustrating and even more terrifying because it gives it that sense of unanswered questions that forces your imagination to assume the worst.


Abbey Long
06:11 Jul 15, 2021

Thank you for your lovely comments!


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