“An October Surprise” by Cristi
Wringing her hands over and over again, Georgia Nicholson walked down the sidewalk, trying to discreetly look over her shoulder every 20 seconds. She felt sweat run down the side of her face, and not only because it was104 degrees outside courtesy of the South Florida heat (despite it being October), but because she’d never been so nervous in her life. She tried not to panic, but her curly blonde hair did anyway, practically growing as she rounded the corner. The man behind her was dressed in all black, wearing a face-covering hat, either delusional, or really cold, but nonetheless crazy. Fishing out her phone from her cross body bag (she bought it purposefully; it’s harder to mug someone of their purse when it’s wrapped around their body. Besides, this was South Florida, the sketch is very real here), Georgia tried not to plaster her eyes to the screen because she wanted to keep an eye on the man trailing behind her-following her. Should she call the police? Her friend? Her mom? Was this guy really following her? She didn’t know at what point on her walk this guy appeared, and she was getting to the point where she didn’t want to know. She just wanted him gone.
When her skinny, tall townhouse came into view, her heart nearly jumped for joy. Swallowing, her finger hovered over the “call” button on her phone, knowing 911 was only a click away. It was dusk outside, and she couldn’t exactly make out what the guy looked like, but she considered pulling up her front-facing camera and tilting it at just the right angle in order to take a picture of him in case she needed to show it to the police. She saw that happen on a YouTube video once. A few feet away from the steps to her house, she began jogging and eventually reached the front door, pulling out her keys. She quickly looked behind her, and noticed the man was now standing further back, but still walking at a steady pace. He didn’t even seem to notice her. What was going on? She slipped through the entrance of her house and hastily locked the door behind her, sinking down to the ground. Nobody was home yet, so she reached up and locked the knob lock, then stood back up and secured the deadbolt. Walking over to the window, she peeked through the curtain, trying to be as subtle as possible. Her phone was still at the ready, waiting to call 911.
She looked out the window, and the man was walking right past her house, arms swinging back and forth, pleasant as ever. What? Georgia had never been so confused in her life. Well, except for that one time during her English test when she overheard her friends arguing over the correct answer to the math problem she was working on, it being either 35 or 36, while she got 992. But that’s another story. Furrowing her brows, she unlocked the door, keeping her phone in one hand, her keys in the other, and made her way out of her house once again. What she was about to do could be considered brave, or maybe idiotic, but she was going to do it anyway. Jogging down the steps and past the flowers lining the short pathway to her house, trying to make the least amount of noise possible, Georgia began walking down the sidewalk and following the man…Only to find him round the corner and arrive at a heavily-decorated outside Halloween party.