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Mystery

Last week I was dancing with my girlfriends at one of the clubs in town. It was some local act, Galactic Anthem, or a band like that, with a trippy name, that was playing. It was Friday night and my husband, Toby, was taking care of our daughter. As I was leaving, I saw a man with a black fedora covering his eyes. I’d never seen him before. I could have sworn he’d noticed me and was there for a reason. Chills ran down my spine.

Last night, I was sitting in a bar with dim lighting. The bar was empty, except for one man. He wore a fedora and drank a martini. His hat was black, slanted slightly over his eyes, preventing me from seeing them. You would think that, since we were the only two people in this bar, this man would say something. He did not. He seemed to be looking at me but I couldn’t tell. His skin was quite pale. He wore a black suit, black dress pants, and black shoes. His aura was unsettling.

This morning, as I was driving to school, I swore I saw him driving in the opposite direction. The man had the same build, the same sallow skin, and the same fedora. He also had strikingly blue eyes. He stared at me and I thought that he must recognize me too. I frowned.

Right now I’m driving home from school. I’ve just dropped off my daughter, Fenicia. She’s going to kindergarten. I see the same vehicle. The same man. He’s in my rear view mirror now. He’s behind me. I shake my head, thinking that it’s been a really long week.

Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. Surely there are more people in the world who wear black fedoras. It’s rare to cover your eyes with one, but whatever. Maybe some people just have a lot of social anxiety.

My hands are shaking on the steering wheel as I force myself to remain focused on the road.

Why would this man be taking exactly the same route as me? He’s not a parent and he was going in the opposite direction when I was taking my little girl to school. Did he want something?

I turn on the air conditioning, determined to stare straight ahead, and say out loud, “That’s a bit much, Melissa. Why would he be following you? He doesn’t even know you.”

No matter how much I try to talk myself out of it, I can’t help but notice my hands shaking as the shivers run through my entire body. My heart beats faster. I pull into my driveway.

After I park, I take a deep breath and remain in my vehicle. I take another one. I look behind me, thinking the man must have left by now.

He has not. His vehicle is parked behind mine. It is a black corvette. He is still inside the car, his strikingly blue eyes staring me down. He rolls down the window.

What the hell? Is he lost? There’s no way he would be doing this unless he was lost, right? Did I commit some terrible crime that I’m just now getting caught for?

I racked my brain. I hadn’t really done much that would involve the law. I mean, I had stolen a candy bar one time from one grocery store, but I’d never gotten caught. Plus, I was only five…I still feel a bit guilty about it, but, you know, it's not like I have a dead man hidden in my refrigerator and I'm pretending it's turkey meat or anything like that.

I walk up to the man, quivering.

“Hello, sir,” I say, thinking that it’s best to start off on the right foot if this has something to with any official business that I was somehow unaware of.

“Hello, beautiful.”

Hello, beautiful? What the hell was this guy doing in my house?

“Do I know you?”

“You don’t know me. I see you but you don't see me. I've known you for a long time, Melissa.”

“What do you mean, exactly, sir?” I say, trying to show as much respect as I can to this stranger who is in my driveway.

He pauses.

“I’ve been watching you for a while now. Your long brunette hair. The way it falls down your shoulders. The way you treat your children. You’re a good mother, Melissa.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Do you remember Dion? The exchange student from Germany in tenth grade?”

I shake my head.

“I’m his older brother, Stephan.”

I extend my hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Stephan.”

“I am afraid that you will not feel that way after I tell you why I am here.”

My knees shake.

“Why are you here?”

“I am here on very important business. I think it would be better if I told you once we got inside. You might need to sit down.”

I nod, unable to say anything else because my voice is caught in my throat. I unlock the door and lead him inside. We both sit down at the kitchen table.

“Melissa, the Nazi movement is back.”

“I beg your pardon?”

Stephan is silent. He looks around the room as if someone is listening in on our conversation without our knowledge, then leans in and whispers, “The Nazi movement is back and it’s stronger than ever. They’re killing anyone who is not blonde and blue-eyed.”

He points at his eyes, “That’s why I wear these contacts and why I’ve shaven my head.”

He leans in closer and puts a hand on my shoulder, “Dion wanted me to tell you. They’re after your daughter, Fenicia.”

“How do you know her name?” I ask, trembling.

“They know her name. They’re planning to kidnap her from school by 3 p.m. today. They’re going to be armed. No one will be safe. They are going to wear masks to hide their identity.”

He sighs and looks at the clock. It is 1 p.m. already. The drive to school is an hour long and none of the teachers know what will be happening. I nod.

“I have to go,” I say, grabbing my keys and running to my car. Stephan rushes after me and grabs me, putting his hand over my mouth. He smirks.

“Good luck, my dear.”

I look at him, bewildered.

Why would he be smirking?

“Dion always had a crush on you. He’s part of the movement. You never loved him back, but you’ll do anything for your family, won’t you, dearie?”

“What? I trusted you!” I'm screaming now.

“Didn’t your mother tell you never to talk to strangers, Melissa?”

I want to ask how the hell this man knew my name but I can’t. He shoves me into his car and drives down the road to the school.

It's almost time.

“I’ll have mercy on you and not tie you up just yet. It’s more fun to hear you scream.”

“Why are you doing this, Stephan? What did I ever do to you?”

“You broke my brother’s heart. He cried himself to sleep for years because of you.”

He uttered the words with the animosity of someone who had just seen his mother murdered in front of his own eyes.

“I’m sorry.”

“Too late. You will be soon though. You’ll know what pain feels like soon, when they take your daughter away from her friends and kill her in front of you.”

He chuckles, “Oh right. She doesn’t have friends.”

Fenicia had been struggling with making friends lately, but how the hell would he know that?

I roll my eyes.

As if he is reading my mind, he says, “Melissa, I know that because I am part of the Nazi movement that has been purifying the population for the last ten years in your state.”

He cackles. I stare out of the window, silently praying that God will let me live for one more day, that I will get out of this mess, and that my precious daughter will be safe from harm’s way.

April 16, 2020 13:08

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2 comments

Kelly Leong
02:56 Apr 18, 2020

Holy moly! That was quite a scare. Hope that doesn't ever happen in real life! A word about your use of "wracked" - I think you meant "racked" instead.

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12:59 Apr 18, 2020

Hey, Kelly! I’ve corrected that mistake. I was wondering if I’d gotten the spelling wrong myself. I hope it doesn’t ever happen in real life too! It was kind of scary to write to be honest, so I’m glad it had the intended effect. 😉 Thank you for reading my story and giving me feedback!

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