Mystery Thriller Romance


When I first saw him I thought he looked odd. He was very lanky, with just too long of arms and just too long of legs. He was about a head taller than everyone else in the room, with high, sharp cheekbones. But the thing I thought was the most off was the air around him. it just felt off and wrong in the quiet little coffee shop in our small little town. The normal people that come in are, well… let's just say they are no longer as young as they used to be. I come into this shop every day at noon. so I know almost everyone that comes in. But this boy, I have never seen him before. He might just be passing through town, but it is probably unlikely since there is no other town surrounding ours for miles. I think about going up to him and asking him what he's doing here, then think better of it. With the feeling that's surrounding him, I don't think it would be a very good idea. On top of that I hardly know him, he could be a murderer for all I know. With all these thoughts going through my head, I know I must be staring but I can't seem to take my eyes off of him. 

No one even noticed the unusual boy that just walked into the shop. His walk was awkward and unsure as he walked over to the counter. As he ordered he was constantly looking over his shoulder like he was constantly worried of getting jumped. Ordering as fast as he could. He quickly grabbed what I can only assume was coffee and walked out of the shop. 


As I walk to the coffee shop, I can’t help but feel like everyone is looking at me. So I rush to the shop before they can look twice at me. When I open the door I was feeling like everyone was inspecting me, waiting for me to make a mistake. I feel someone's eyes on me, watching me. I pretend to look around the room and my eyes glance over a girl who's staring intently at me. From what I saw from glancing at her, she had too big of eyes for her face and a small nose on a round face with a pointed chin. She had shiny black hair that was like raven’s wings. she looks nice. Like that one kid in your school who is always nice to everyone, even people they dont like. I did not want to look again to get more details, afraid of making eye contact with her. So I walked over to the counter and ordered as fast as the barista could understand. After a couple of minutes of waiting, my coffee finally came. I thank the barista and quickly hurry out of the shop. As I walk down the street I can't help but think of the girl in the coffee shop.  


Every day since the day I first met the boy, I can stop thinking about him. The awkward way of his walk, his high cheekbones, and the unusual aura surrounding him. When I was watching the news a couple of nights ago I found out that someone in our town was murdered. They were saying that they don't know who killed her or who she is but they are determined to find out so if anybody knows her then go to the police station. Somehow I know who she is. I've seen her around school a couple of years ago during our senior year of high school. No one saw her since then, so people just assumed she moved to a different town. I have suspicions that it was that boy who killed her. Though I have no proof that it was him, I have a really bad feeling it is. I haven't seen him around town since the last time I saw him in the shop. It’s like he disappeared. 

I go for a walk around town to clear my head about him and the murder. Twenty minutes in and I find myself walking down Main Street. For the busiest street in town,  there aren't as many people as there normally are. I look around and my eyes land on him. The boy. He has his back to me, but I know it's him. I think about walking away and leaving him alone but I am too curious so I carefully walk up to him because what else do I have to do today? “Who are you and why are you here?” 


“Who are you and why are you here?” I hear someone ask behind me. I turn around and see the same girl who was staring at me at the coffee shop. 

“Nice to meet you too” I shoot back at her. “Is that such a way to greet new people?”

“I’m sorry it's just I’ve never seen you before. I just saw you in the shop and then I did not see you for two weeks afterward. So seeing you now, it was sort of a big shock.”

“I get it, I may look crazy suspicious. And to answer your question I just moved here from a town nearby. I got a job at the supermarket down the road from here.” She gives me a weird look as I say the last part. “I know it is not the most popular job but I was desperate and needed something soon. Anything else you want to ask me about?” 

She shakes her head. “All I wanted to know was why you were here, that's all. I like you. With that, I will leave you to whatever you were doing and get out of your hair.” that being said, she leaves. 

Throughout our odd conversation, she kept looking at me as though I was some sort of murderer, maybe that's what she thought considering that the first kill was only days after I got here and no one even knows me. It makes sense why they would think that. 


It was a very bizarre conversation with him. I did not even ask for the boy's name or tell him mine, leaving another question unanswered. The next day I found out about another murder, and surprisingly enough the boy that was murdered left town after graduating high school to pursue a career in the medical field. The boy's name was something along the lines of Steve or Seth. He was in our little group of friends during high school. Shortly after graduating, we lost touch, mostly because we weren't that close, to begin with. What I know from both of these murders is that they both left town but came back a couple of years later and that I know both of them. That leaves two murders in the last two weeks. 

At night I keep on having this dream, a dream where I'm running through the woods and there is someone chasing me. This is a common dream for some people, it means your running away from a problem in your life, but this felt different. It felt real, different somehow. The woods were dark, it can't be in the day when it's bright and sunny out, and some crazy person was chasing me or I was chasing someone else. The details were foggy,  so all I know was that I was running. Then suddenly I would wake up. This has been happening for the last week or so. Ever since the dreams started, I started carrying a pocket knife where ever I go, it eases my nerves. 

After the boy and I’s encounter on Main Street I start seeing him everywhere. At the coffee shop, the store (which makes sense because he works there,) and even walking down the street. I go from never seeing him around to seeing him everywhere I go. I wonder if he’s stalking me?

I am walking down the street on my way to the coffee shop for my daily coffee. When I go inside I see the boy sitting at my table. The barista knows what I want so they get my order relatively quickly. Nervously I walk over to the boy who is in my seat. “Excuse me but you are in my seat, and I would like to have it back.”

“Sorry, I didn’t realize you were coming.” I look at a clock and realize that it is twelve-thirty. I normally come at noon. “I could move if you want or you could just join me.” I carefully move to the seat opposite of him. 

We sit there in awkward silence until he says “Daniel.” he must see the confusion on my face because he adds “that's my name.” while nodding my head he adds. “Now this is the part where you tell me yours.”

“Yes, sorry, it’s um… Terra. I don't really talk to a lot of people.” I don’t know why I'm like this right now. I talk to a lot of people and I'm never like this with anyone else. “How did you find out about this town. Did you live here before?”

“Yes, but we moved away when I was only five, so I don’t really remember this place all that well. My mom suggested going back and finding a job here. So… here I am, back in this tiny, little town.”

“You might get used to it. This town is not as bad as your making it seem.”

“There is only a handful of different shops and houses, a lot… I mean a lot of trees and dirt. There is also a lot of farm animals. They're loud and they smell really bad.”

“Let me guess you grew up in the city. You're a city boy?”

“I dont know how you can tell. It's not like obvious or anything.” we talk for hours. We talk about childhood, our jobs, and just life in general. We lost track of time. I got there at twelve-thirty and now it’s close to four. I don’t know how that possibly considering how at the beginning of our conversation I couldn’t even remember my own name. Now I have spent over three hours talking to him. I thank him for letting me sit with him, tell him goodbye and leave. 

That was another weird encounter. First, I ran up to him and asked him who he was. And second, I could barely remember my own name but ended up talking for hours with him. What is wrong with me?

A few days later I have that dream where I am running through the woods. But this time I know I’m chasing someone instead of them chasing me. I dont catch a glimpse of the girl's face, but see that she has long dark brown hair. The next day when I wake up there is dirt all over the living room that I know wasn't there when I went to bed. I turn on the TV to see if the was anything new that I would need to know. Turns out there was another murder last night and the girl was unmistakably the girl in my dream last night. 


After our long conversation in the coffee shop, my suspicions were correct, she is nice. I also didn’t realize how pretty she is. I know she probably doesn’t think the same thing about me because I’m awkward and scrawny and just not attractive at all. I miss her though. I wonder when the next time I will see her will be. I mean it’s not like I dont see her everywhere. I think she might be stalking me. 

I heard another person died last night. That would be three in two weeks. I still can't believe they did not catch the murderer yet. All of the killings in only two weeks. Hopefully, this is the last one but with the killing still out there, there could always be more. 


Knowing the first two people was one thing, but not knowing this girl and then seeing her in my dream last night was another completely. Talking to the boy two days ago was very surprising. I find myself wanting to talk to him again for some strange reason. 

I go to town to try and search for him. It was not that hard to find him seeing since it was the middle of the day and he was probably at work. The supermarket is where I start. I quickly find him and make my way over to him, “Hi” I say to him when I get to him. He looks surprised to see me but says hi back to me anyway. 

“What are you doing here”

“I just wanted to see you, I guess. I was thinking about you, so I went to find you.” 

“I have work now, but you could come back when work is over. I get out at five, come back here when I'm done. We could go on a walk or something.” I say ok and that I’ll meet him here later. 

At five I head back to the supermarket to see him. We walk and talk for hours, just walking down the streets. I suggest we should take a quick walk around the lake. Though we have to go through the wood to get there, he reluctantly agrees. 

We take our time going to the woods. Even though it's only seven it's already getting dark because it's almost winter. I have a bad feeling that something is going to happen. We are almost to the lake and the weird feeling comes back. I feel the comforting weight of the knife in my pocket. When at the lake we sit on the shore to watch the sunset. We start heading back home because it's now dark out. I suddenly have a strange urge to take out my knife. I slowly take it out of my pocket. Daniel is now walking a couple steps in front of me so he doesn’t see it. Without knowing what I’m doing I quickly swing and stab him in the back of the leg. He lets out a loud scream and falls to the ground. I let him try to crawl away but I don’t let him go far. I quickly catch up to him and stab him in the abdomen. He looks at me with eyes full of hurt. I stab him one last time in the heart and walk away. I now realize it was me who killed all those people and I absolutely love it. I feel alive. 

February 05, 2022 00:38

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Jeannette Miller
02:10 Feb 15, 2022

I like female killers so I think the premise works but the execution was a bit all over the place for me. I would've liked just her perspective and owning the murders. Instead of his paragraphs, it could be Terra stalking or remembering her previous victims. She likes doing it so maybe meeting Daniel as a potential victim without his point of view would've been more engaging. As I was read the part where she stabs him in the leg, I expected a paragraph from his point of view, so it was a bummer not to read his last thoughts. Good job!


M.J Saganski📚
14:33 Feb 15, 2022

Thank you for your input. The ending was rushed a lot because I was running out of time. I added daniels point of view because the prompt was that two people's first impressions were completely wrong from what they are really like, so that's why I added him. And I like the idea that I could have added his last thoughts, I think that would have made the ending better.


Jeannette Miller
01:40 Feb 18, 2022

It's a solid story regardless :) Deadlines, lol. They get us sometimes! I had a story a couple of weeks ago--it was my first week at Reedsy, and I didn't make the deadline. I finished the story anyway but have no way to add it to my profile. It came out really good too! Oh well. It's a story with murder, too.


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Graham Kinross
20:54 Feb 09, 2022

I didn’t see that coming. Grim stuff. Great story.


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