Part of a series of short stories with the common connection of 'Naked' and placed in various sections on this site.
Some of them are funny, some are sad, some are quirky but all reveal the many facets of human emotion in all its naked rawness.
If you like this one, please read Naked Revenge under the Exhibitionist and Voyeur section and Naked Grief under Non Erotic, and watch out for Naked Lust, Naked Ambition and Naked Hate coming soon.
She heard the rustle of someone behind her as she walked along the deserted path on her way home from work. It was dusk and the drizzle of rain made her turn up the collar of her raincoat to stop the damp from frizzing the ends of her mousy brown shoulder length hair. Half turning to see if she could see anyone behind her, she listened out harder, but the sound had seemed to stop, and laughing to herself she shook her head, telling herself that her imagination was running riot on this cold and wet Wednesday night.
Hoisting her shoulder bag up higher she increased her pace, the heels of her shoes clicking on the wet pavement, her stockings on her feet now damp as the water splashed up from the small puddles forming on the uneven slabs of pavement stones.
Click, clack they went, as she moved along, the long walk back home ahead of her. Cursing herself for choosing to walk instead of getting the bus tonight at the last moment she bent her face down towards the ground, the cold needles of rain finding their way between the turned up collar and her damp hair. Damn, what a choice, wet face or wet neck. Still as soon as she reached home she could dry off, pour herself a glass of wine and relax.
Click, Clack, click Clack..........click, clack. She heard the echoing steps behind her, matching her own, pacing her steps. Her heart in her mouth she quickened her steps, a faster pace.
The steps behind her picked up.
She started to move faster, a fast trot.
The steps behind picked up.
Grabbing hold of her bag, her heart beating faster she started to run, her feet sending up splashes of water each time they hit the wet pavement, her feet now squelching with each heavy step, the calves of her legs marked with the grey wet stains from the grimy ground.
The echoing steps behind her increased, the sounds getting louder, closer, faster.
The fear ran through her as she moved along as fast as she could, the drops of rain hitting her face, almost blinding her, her panic intensifying.
She gave out a startled cry.
She could feel him behind her now.
Close behind her.
She could hear the sound of his pounding feet. She could sense his masculine presence. She could hear his heavy breath.
Picking up the pace, as the cold rain increased, as her pursuer gained closer, her tears started to join the rain water streaming down her cheeks. She had seen the news reports lately about the women found raped.
Women raped by a person unknown.
Single women like herself.
Raped and left to be discovered.
Tied up and stripped.
Out in the open.
Left for anyone to find. No dignity, no privacy.
Naked and exposed like unwanted rubbish.
Why did she decide to walk instead of waiting for the bus? Just to save the money. Save for the trip to Paris. A few measly pounds, all she had saved was a few measly pounds and now she was wet and scared, and running in fear.
When she left work it was only slightly drizzling, and now she had nearly half a mile left to her house. Half a mile until she was safe, half a mile until she could close the door and be alone. Gasping as she ran, she heard him right behind her, her panting breaths loud in her ears, her heart pounding, the rain pelting her face, the pavement hard under her feet, her lungs feeling like they were going to burst, her hair now soaking wet, water dripping down her back, down her spine, drenching her clothes.
And suddenly he was beside her.
Letting out a scream she flinched as he ran past, his heavy pounding feet taking him beyond her.
Slowing down and stopping she watched as the man carried on running up the street, his black coat collar turned up just as hers was, his feet sending up splashes as he ran, his broad back disappearing up the road away from her, running hunched against the rain. Disappearing into the heavy rain ahead.
Bending over to catch her breath she laughed at herself, so stupid to have worked her self up, to have been afraid, and to have let her imagination run away with her. The man was just running to get home and out of the rain just as she was. Straightening up she continued on her way, the streetlights reflecting off the glistening water as it lay upon the empty street, the wind rustling through the trees as she walked past them, the dark shadows seeming to mock her as she passed them by.
Fool to be afraid, to let her mind play tricks, to live in fear.
Flinching at shadows.
To be scared of the unknown.
Shoving her hands into the pockets of her coat she pulled out the bunch of keys, and with her fingers felt for her door key, getting ready to open the door as soon as she reached her house. As she walked she glanced at the lit up windows in other houses, thinking about the people at home, dry and warm, wishing she was like them right now. Sighing to herself she thought of the warm shower, the fluffy towel, the glass of wine waiting at home for her and smiled. Safety up ahead.
Not long now.
Only minutes away.
The safety of home.
Turning the corner into her street she could see no other person, it was as if the whole world were at home, not fools like her walking out in the cold stinging rain, sensible people who waited for the bus and stayed dry. Reaching her house she walked down the path and lifting her key to the door, opened it with relief, shaking her wet foot, trying to get some of the damp from her shoe.
Reaching round to turn on the light it was then she heard the rustle of fabric behind her seconds before she felt the hand cover her mouth, another around her chest trapping her arms.
Pulled tight against the hard male body behind her, her wet hair trapped against her neck, damp and cold she heard and felt his heavy breath. Felt the heat of his body; felt his excitement and she knew real fear.
His arm around her pulled tighter, and her breath was trapped as she felt herself dragged deeper into the dark hall towards the unknown.
Her eyes stared ahead, dry and wide.
Frightened and unseeing.
The dark of her home once a place of refuge now a place of terror.
His body was tight against her back, solid, hard and unyielding as he tightened and lifted her, and her feet started to leave the ground. One wet soggy shoe fell off her flailing feet as she tried to find purchase, tried to escape the bands of steel holding her. She heard him grunt with the effort of pulling her, felt his breath in her ear, felt the damp on his clothes behind her.
Deeper and deeper into the dark house he dragged her.
Deeper and deeper into the night of fear and terror she felt herself be pulled.
And in her fear she felt the water running down the inside of her leg as her muscles gave way.
Real fear had engulfed her body.
Fear of the known.