© Sue Vincent
“What am I doing here? I wanted to get away from it all, but the smoke’s even worse here.” Gary Flowers didn’t hike often anymore, but life in the city and suburbs had been wearing him down over the last decade or so. Married, three children, two grandchildren, divorced, semi-retired, he had in his grasp what people used to refer to as the American dream. Of course, all those who didn’t have the opportunity to seize that dream resented people like him, or maybe they just weren’t in the right place in history he had been when he was up and coming.
Yes, he had grasped the American dream, but then slowly let it slip away. Life had become dull and meaningless. His children were grown and didn’t need him anymore, and besides his grandchildren, he couldn’t say that anything mattered to him these days.
And every summer there were these fires. The governor blamed global warming and the utilities company, and the news agencies blamed the governor’s poor wildfire planning, and his emphasis on social reforms over thinning the overgrown forests.
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© Tanya Setyaeva – Original art from Theme of Absence
Last year I participated in a Halloween writing contest at Theme of Absence. I didn’t win, but my story The Stalker was subsequently published. Because October 31st is upon us once again, I thought I would present the beginning here and then a link to the full tale below. Enjoy.
The girl panicked when she literally stumbled over my last victim. The body had been steadily decomposing at the bottom of that shallow gully for months, and it must have been pretty disgusting to trip over and nearly fall on top of a rotting corpse.
The poor girl. She can’t be older than sixteen. She had gone for a walk through the forest near the cabin her friends had rented, the sun went down, and she got lost.
She’s running blindly now, certain she can hear my breathing, my heavy footfalls, the rustling of tree branches I push aside as I stalk her. It’s a deception to get her moving. She could hardly suspect the truth.
I know she’s not an adult, but I’m very attracted to her. She’s shapely, great hips, firm breasts, but even dressed in those skimpy cutoffs and tight t-shirt, I can tell she’s still not really confident about her appearance. I think she dresses that way to prove to herself she’s sexy. She really is. I’ll enjoy myself inside of her.
To read the complete story click here.