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Thriller Suspense Drama

My eyes flutter open.

I’m panting. My arms are shaking. The covers are soaked and sticky and pungent.

I sit up, terrified to look down at the sheets.

I do anyways.

No stains. Just…water. Sweat. My sweat.

I squeeze my eyes shut.

The memory flashes behind my eyelids. I see his own dark green eyes, narrowed into slits, staring into mine with anger and shock and horror. I watch my hand sail through the air; it cuts through the space smoothly and gracefully. I see the blade of the knife as it sinks into his chest. I hear his hiss of pain. It wasn’t difficult, not really; I thought I’d meet more resistance, or feel bone, or something. But it slid in without a hitch, right to the hilt. And I stared as the blood slithered across his shirt in intricate red veins, the color vivid against the pure white. I watched it, mesmerized by the richness of the color.

This was not a dream. I can feel it as real as if he were still lying in front of me, dead upon the floor, the blood dripping onto the carpet, forming an irremovable stain.

It was here. It just happened minutes ago.

I stiffly get out of bed. I can’t calm down. My heart is thudding so hard against my chest that I can actually hear it thumping away, frantic, eager to run and never return to this body––this life.

It was a first date. I decided to offer him a drink at my apartment. We chatted some more. Some kissing. I remember his lips were cold and hard. I didn’t want it to go beyond that, not yet. But he kept pushing. I could––and still can––feel his finger on my leg. It was gentle and seductive at first, just a whisper; but, then, it became forceful, as he pinned me against the kitchen counter, his teeth latching onto my neck––

I grabbed the knife. I panicked. I swung it, not caring where it went or how it landed; I just needed to get him off of me.

And then…he died. I watched it happen. I killed him.

I saved myself.

I wrap my hands around my bedroom doorknob. It’s already wet with my sweat. My panting intensifies as I turn it.

Silence. There’s just silence.

I slowly ease across the threshold and walk to the kitchen, my legs shaking.

Nothing. No body. No blood.

I glance to the countertop. The knife rack sits still and serenely, the blades glinting in the morning glow. Not a stain in site.

It doesn’t make any sense.

My phone vibrates in my pocket. I jump. Then, robotically, I take the device out of my pocket and fumble to click the answer button.

“Hello?” My voice is strange; it’s about two pitches higher than usual. I clear my throat.

“Analise? You’re alive? What a surprise. You still on for tonight?”

“Tonight? What’s tonight?” I swallow. This conversation is…familiar. Too familiar. It's happened before.

“The blind date, dummy! You on?”

“Felicity…”

“What? Please don’t tell me you want to bail again. I swear, I put so much effort into setting you up this time––”

“Felicity, listen to me. I already went on the date. Last night. It––it––it didn’t end well. I don’t…I don’t know if Sean––that man––is even okay. Or...alive.”

A quick breath of exasperation on the other end of the line ensues. “Dammit, Anna! How did you figure out his name?”

“Felicity, please––”

“It was Beth, wasn’t it? Ugh. I should’ve have known not to tell her. She never knows when to keep her mouth shut––”

Felicity, listen to me!” The words explode out of my mouth, burning and vicious.

I can’t hear anything on the other end of the line for a moment. Then, I hear a cough. “Uh. Anna? You okay?”

“Felicity.” I take a deep breath. “Felicity, please listen to me. I know what’s going to happen tonight. I don’t know how, and I don’t know what’s going on, but this guy is bad news. Please. Trust me.”

I hear her annoyed sigh. My heart sinks. “Anna, please. You can’t keep this act up forever. I know you’re not into the dating game, but I’ve spent weeks trying to set this guy up with you. He’s perfect. Just give it a shot. Okay?”

“I––I––”

“Please? For me?”

I close my eyes. I can’t convince her. She won’t ever believe me. “Fine. Okay. I guess I’ll meet him.”

“Good.”

She hangs up.

I lean against the counter, breathing hard.

Perhaps…

Maybe it was all a dream.

A nightmare.

It doesn’t make sense. But there’s nothing here––no blood or body or any trace of murder.

Maybe I’m simply going crazy.

I spend the rest of the day sitting on the couch, watching movie after movie. By five o’clock, I can’t remember a single thing I’ve seen on the screen. Just a blur of colors and pictures.

My phone buzzes. I know its Felicity. Making sure that I’m getting ready.

Slowly, I slide from the couch and gather myself together. It doesn’t take long; I’m not myself today, and all I can see is the knife sailing through the air, the body on the ground, and the spreading blood across the shirt. But I step into a dress and brush my hair back nonetheless.

I am going crazy. Certain insanity.

The clock strikes six, and then I’m out the door, shuffling into an Uber that takes me to the restaurant.

My throat is dry. It’s difficult to breathe. I force out the deep exhaling sighs anyways, forcing my heart to slow and willing my hands to settle. They’re relentlessly moving, my fingers intertwining over and over again.

“…here.”

“What?” I glance at the driver, distracted. He turns his balding head to me.

“I said, we’re here.”

“Oh. Right. Thank you.”

I step out of the car and pull my jacket tighter around my shoulders. The restaurant rests in front of me; an Italian place.

I’m not surprised, of course. I knew this was the restaurant.

I shake off the chills beginning to run up and down my spine.

The interior is warm and cozy. Soft.

“May I help you?” The hostess smiles at me.

“Yes. I’m looking for…” I hesitate. “I think the name would be under Felicity Mantis.”

“Oh, yes. Right this way, ma’am.”

I follow her as she leads me through the restaurant, past happy couples and smiling families and light laughter. She turns a corner and aims for a table near the back, where a man sits in a corner booth.

My heart freezes.

Familiar dark green eyes peer up from a menu, narrowed in slits as they study me. A chilling smile with bright white teeth flashes. He's slender, his body curving over the table, hands clasped delicately under his chin. He's wearing a green shirt that matches his eyes under a black leather jacket. I can see a silver watch glint on his left wrist.

The knife. Sailing through the air. Blood. Spreading across the white. Slithering.

“Hello. You must be…Analise, correct?”

I stiffly sit down across from him. My jaw is wired shut.

"You okay there?”

“Yes. You can call me Anna.” My voice is surprisingly smooth and stable.

“Sean. Nice to meet you.”

I say nothing. My stomach flips over and over itself.

“I…I have to go.”

“What?” A glint of annoyance blazes across the green irises. He licks his lips, quickly, his tongue darting out so fast I wonder if I imagined it. I blink. The irritation is gone instantly, replaced by hurt. “Oh. I’m sorry. Do you have another engagement? I was really looking forward to tonight, you know. Felicity's told me so much about you.”

“No. I mean, yes. I mean…” I clear my throat. “I’m sorry if Felicity led you on, but I…I don’t want to do this. I’m not interested. I mean that in the most respectful way possible, truly. I’m sorry for wasting your time.” I feel relief as I stand to leave.

Suddenly, I feel a cold, firm hand gripping my arm, the nails digging into my skin. I freeze, and turn to see that face and those green eyes and those white teeth, just inches away from mine.

“I was really excited for this, and I think you’re being very rude,” he hisses calmly. Quietly.

I look at him. For a moment, fear courses through my body. But then I feel…certain. Sure. Right.

I feel resolve.

I look directly into his eyes. “Get your fucking hands off me, or you'll regret it,” I say softly.

His lips press together in a thin, disturbing smile. “I highly doubt that. Now sit back down."

And for some reason, in that instant, I know exactly what to do.

I imagine what had happened. The knife, the blood, his dead body. I imagine it all again, right in front of me. I recall all the gory memories, especially of his face, his mouth open in a perfect horrifying scream.

And his face freezes.

His mouth is paralyzed mid-smile as he looks down at the knife on the table. And for a moment, just for a moment, I see it in his eyes.

He knows what would have happened tonight, as I watch the complete and utter fear reflect in his gaze. He stares at my fingers delicately resting upon the blade. He knows what he would have done. He knows how I would have reacted.

He knows he'll die if he continues. He knows how I'll kill him.

He slowly raises his eyes back to mine in undeniable, delicious terror.

And he releases my arm.

I cast one last look into his petrified green eyes. I grin. And then I tighten my coat around my shoulders and turn away to the exit, smiling all along the way.

November 08, 2020 04:15

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29 comments

Lina Ozz
04:23 Nov 08, 2020

My take on a complex protagonist! Critiques welcome; feel free to lend some advice to help make this piece more "thriller-y" as well.

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Rayhan Hidayat
02:12 Nov 12, 2020

Stellar! The opening paragraphs just suck you right in. This prompt is quite similar to the “character starts remembering the future” prompt a while back so I’m not surprised you took it in this direction. This is a hell of a thriller if I’ve ever seen one. Kudos 😉

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Lina Ozz
02:55 Nov 12, 2020

Ahh I can't believe you caught on to that! Great memory––after I finished writing it I was literally like "I think this story is a little close to that other one" hahaha. Also, I'm about to read "Shell" finally!

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:01 Nov 12, 2020

Of course! It’s the good stories that stick in my head 😉 And yay, can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

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Rena Mistinguett
01:48 Nov 10, 2020

This had such an amazing, pulsing pace and rhythm to it.

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Lina Ozz
04:43 Nov 10, 2020

Thank you so much for reading my story, Ali! Much appreciated :)

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23:29 Nov 09, 2020

OOoOOohhOOhhh YES I love this. Here are my thoughts. Felicity is amazing. I love her. Also - not sure if you intended this - but praying mantis females kill their mates. So, love that. I love the complexity you put behind evolving her character from a scared, helpless girl to one that grows into her certainty. I love that she was able to recognize HIS recognition of HER resolve to protect herself. And I love that you had her relish that, rather than be intimidated by that. The character growth in such a short time span was *chef's kiss*. ...

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Lina Ozz
23:41 Nov 09, 2020

Ooooh amazing, spectacular edits and comments as always!! Okay. I went back. Did some digging into how I want to represent Sean. I started off using some explicit words...and then deleted everything and instead added physical characterization that I'm hoping will indicate his similarity to a *certain* type of animal. Hopefully the metaphor/analogy is there, but if it's trash, please let me know haha! You're amazing, as always! This prompt was so hard. Granted, I was also drinking from a bottle of Yellowtail when I answered it. So. Oop...

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Lina Ozz
23:45 Nov 09, 2020

I also changed the last phrase from "terrified green eyes" to "petrified green eyes". Also hoping the (albeit subtle) analogy to a *certain* animal is present there...

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Leilani Lane
15:05 Nov 08, 2020

This is awesome and super creative, Lina! Another fantastic piece! The only tiny edit is where Felicity says the full name of the narrator--wasn't sure if that was realistic/necessary, I was later surprised to see they were close friends. That is super tiny and just nitpicking because there's nothing else I noticed! Lol. Awesome work!!

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Lina Ozz
23:19 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you so much Leilani! I went back and changed it and edited it a little bit; thanks so much as always for your amazing comments and edits! :D

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Writer Maniac
14:45 Nov 08, 2020

Woah! That was chilling to read! You absolutely nailed it! The raw fear, the shock, everything was so wonderfully written, I don't know how you do it! Especially the part at the end where it is revealed that the guy was reliving the day too truly shocked me! Awesome job! P.S. I just posted a story called 'This Moment'. I would love to know your thoughts on it :)))

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Lina Ozz
15:58 Nov 08, 2020

I am so sorry for being so behind on reading your stories! Busy busy week but I have time later today :) And thank you so much for reading this one and leaving such a wonderful comment as always! I always appreciate you taking the time to read my stories. :)

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Writer Maniac
16:37 Nov 08, 2020

You have nothing to apologise for :))), besides I just posted one story today, so you're not behind at all! It's always my pleasure to read your stories!

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Nandini Shukla
05:01 Nov 18, 2020

I absolutely adore this story it's great !! The thrill I tell you it caught me! I would love to hear your words on my story too. <3

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Lina Ozz
18:26 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you so much for the comment and the read! :)

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Mishty Bansal
07:36 Nov 17, 2020

Woah-This story is so captivating! Just the way the story is written from how the protagonist went from an innocent girl who "murdered" a man to a psycho who likes the idea of people being afraid of her, is so well written! You also didn't rush it in any way which makes the story so much better! This definitely deserves more hype! :)

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Lina Ozz
18:17 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you so much for the read and comment, Mishty! Much appreciated! :)

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Lourenço Amorim
11:31 Nov 12, 2020

Great story, spotless thriller.

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Lina Ozz
02:10 Nov 13, 2020

Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! :)

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Molly Leasure
20:57 Nov 10, 2020

Girl, this Anna character is DELICIOUSLY complex. I love that her fear slowly transforms into this gratification in her own power and ability to terrify him. She almost accepts that it's a part of her now. She now has no qualms with the horror she witnessed in her dream. And that is so psychologically befuddling...and yet, realistic. But can we talk about how terrible Felicity is at juding character? Because...that green-eyed snake is just that, a snake. I'm wondering if you need the pluperfect tense near the beginning. Because the story...

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Lina Ozz
02:11 Nov 13, 2020

I'm so sorry for being so late in my reply! Your edits are amazing as always; I'm going back and making those changes right away. Also, is it sad that I'm literally a graduate student in English literature and had to look up "pluperfect"? Lololol. Thank you for enlightening me; your edits are truly perfect!!

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Molly Leasure
22:25 Nov 13, 2020

Don't worry about it, I'm always late to reply to things...haha. I wouldn't worry about it, haha! I'm one of those people who retains useless information...like the name of a tense that people usually just call passive voice...

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Lina Ozz
01:22 Nov 14, 2020

Haha no it was fantastic, I learn new things every day from this site lol!

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Molly Leasure
20:29 Nov 17, 2020

Same! I'm finally learning grammar...for once. Haha

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Dude Man
17:38 Nov 09, 2020

This was epic! You completely surprised me with the ending! I thought the ending would be a bad one... I'm so relieved it's a good one! If you have time, could you please comment on my stories? I would love to hear what you thought of them so ce you write so well!

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Radhika Diksha
17:10 Nov 08, 2020

The best thrilling story was ever written by you. It's high time that men know some manners, what I think is that the story got off the track from the prompt. Otherwise, the storyline is awesome and good. Sean deserves it, girl. By the way, I have written a new story please do read it free time e and comment on it.

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N. N.
10:09 Nov 08, 2020

Hey Lina! Wonderful story! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. And that ending is so satisfactory!! (Especially that grin) One quick edit: “Sean. Nice to meet you.” --> The male is initially presented to us as Jacob, but in the actual meeting scene he introduces himself as Sean. Besides that, I love the complex protagonists!

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Lina Ozz
23:20 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you so much, Neha! Grr. I'm so bad with sticking to names xD Thank you so much for catching this edit and leaving such a lovely comment! I really appreciate it. :)

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