The Walk Home

A short story about Katherine's walk home...all may not be what it seems...

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1. Katherine's walk home

The crooked walkway on that small country road was the way that Katherine walked home. The crisp green trees, the golden wheat fields that glistened on a summer’s day and the whisper of creatures under the summer moon made her feel safe and secure for the first time in a long while. She hadn’t been in this part of the country long, but she knew she could call it home.

 

That particular day, Katherine finished her shift at the library like always, and looked up at the sky. The clear night allowed for the stars to shine brightly in the heavens, but the crescent moon glowed eerily, as though to warn her of things to come.

As she walked through the village, towards that crooked walkway, she came upon many she was acquainted with, and many who were enraptured by her flowing ruby-red hair and piercing emerald-green eyes.

Nearing the end of the village, she felt as though she was being watched, which was usually by jealous wives, so she turned around. No one was there. She called out, asking if anyone was there. No one replied.

Thinking it was just her imagination, she carried on towards that crooked walkway.

She heard footsteps behind her, staggering. She looked behind and saw Old Man Jake making his way home from the pub.

 

She made it all the way to the gate in the wheat field before feeling watched again, and as before, she could see no one. She quickened her pace towards that crooked walkway, and stopped.

She could hear footsteps behind her.

Footsteps she knew.

Footsteps that, she hoped beyond all hope, that she would never have to hear again.

 

She looked down that crooked walkway and hesitated. Instead of the beautiful green trees and peaceful whispers of creatures, that she was used to and loved, she saw the bleak, grey look of faces from her past, and heard the sheer disappointment in their voices.

If there was only another way to go.

But there wasn’t.

It was either him, or her enhanced imagination.

 

She chose her imagination.

 

Her heart was racing as she trudged through the mud in a quick pace, looking behind her every-so-often, to try and catch a glimpse of him.

The quick pace turned into a run as she heard his steps get closer.

Then she didn’t look back.

She couldn’t.

The fear was too great.

 

She finally made it to her home, opened the black door of number 42 and slammed it shut as soon as she entered.

She scrambled around trying to lock the door behind her.

Why wouldn’t it lock?

 

She managed to bolt it, leant her back on it and panted heavily.

 

Then slowly, she could hear the looming sound of his footsteps getting closer and closer, one foot after another.

 

Katherine held her breath.

 

She heard a slight cough, as his booming voice was getting ready to say something through the door.

 

“Found you.”

 

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