The Watched

Grace Daniels is being watched. She has been for some time. Everywhere she turns, she can feel her stalker’s eyes watching her, waiting to attack. Now frightened for her life, Grace is currently living with her older cousin—and now legal guardian—Jason. When Grace’s mysterious stalker manages to track down her location she must flee in order to stay alive. With the help of her cousin Jason and his friend Ashton, she manages to conjure up an escape plan. Will it be able to save her life?





A/N: This is a piece I did for my English final. It still needs a lot of work. But I'm considering expanding it and having Ashton actually come in and etc. All feedback is welcomed and greatly appreciated!

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1. The Watched

 

  I can feel his eyes on me. Everywhere I go, every corner I turn, I can feel them burning right through the back of my head. No matter where I go I’m not safe. I have become paranoid, and I have a good reason to be. Once I had accepted his invitation to play this game nothing I knew was safe. I shudder, quickly trying to get into the house. I make sure there’s no one watching me and rush inside, slamming the door behind me.

 

“Do you want to play a game?” the voice on the phone asked.

Laughing I rolled my eyes. “Sure Mr. Mysterious. We can play a game.”

“Good. I like playing games, don’t you?”

“Oh yes, games are fun,” I said sarcastically. The voice on the other side of the line grew darker. “Games can be very fun.”

Annoyed I glanced at the clock. I didn’t have time for his pointless conversation. “Yes they can. I’m sorry but if you’ll excuse me, I have homework to do. Later weirdo,” I yawned ending the call.

Within seconds my phone began to ring again. “Yes?” I said answering.

“That was very rude of you Gracie,” the voice from earlier said.

Puzzled I feel my eyes narrow. “How do you know my name?”

The voice grows lower, “because I’ve been watching you for some time now Grace.”

“I don’t know who this is and I don’t know what kind of sick joke you’re trying to play on me, but I don’t appreciate it. So you can fuck off douchebag,” I spit. I end the call once again, appalled by the audacity of some people. Deciding to ignore the call I decide to start on dinner for my mom. I’m putting pasta into the boiling water on the stove when my phone rings again. Checking the time I see it’s almost seven twenty. I answer hoping it’s my mother telling me she’s on her way home from school.

“Mom?” I asked, smiling.

“Not this time,” he laughed.

“What do you want?” I shouted into the phone, annoyed with this guy’s tactics and attempts to scare me.

“I want you to play a game with me.”

“What game?” I hoped that if I agreed he’d stop calling. “I want to play hide and seek,” he said.

“Why?”

“Because it’s a fun game Gracie. I’ll count and you hide.”

Glaring at the wall I began to talk through gritted teeth. “You’re never going to find me. Now if you’ll excuse me I have better stuff to do that waste my time talking to you.”

“On the contrary Mrs. Daniels, I’ve already been watching. And I know exactly where to find you. The game’s officially begun.” I fell silent, taking in his words, and growing angry,

“Sure you do. Don’t you have something better to do?”

“What’s better than playing a game? By the way Ms. Daniels, your water is boiling over the pot.” With that he hung up. I quickly turned to see that what he said was true. The water was boiling over the top of the pot.

He really was watching me.

 

The house is dark, the only light coming from a lamp in the far right of the room. “Hello? Is anyone home?” I ask slowly walking through the living room. No response. I shrug and go to turn on the main light in the living room. As I flip the switch I hear a muffled voice from the other room. “Mom?” I ask, walking down the hall.

Nothing.

I keep flicking on the lights, trying to figure out where the faint noise is coming from. I reach my mom’s room and knock on the door. Trying the knob, I realize it’s unlocked. I twist the knob, expecting the door to open but it doesn’t. Confused I push against it, wondering why it won’t open. Shoving shoulder first I manage to open the door.

“Mom?” I ask, looking around the room. Her room looks like it always does, clean and tidy. That’s what happens when your mom’s a control freak, she has to make sure everything’s in its place and organized. I’m about to leave the room when I hear a thumping sound coming from the closet. Curious, I walk over to it opening the door.

My mother’s body falls out and on to the floor, lying at my feet. I scream, my throat feeling raw and burning. My heart begins to pulse and my blood boils.

“I’m coming for you Gracie,” a low voice hisses in my ear. “The game’s begun, and I’ll find you just like I found your mother.”

I turn around to see two dark fiery green eyes staring me square in the eye. I feel my eyes widen and take a step back, avoiding my mother’s body. The eyes grow darker and I quickly shut mine, wanting to be anywhere but here. I shake my head and walk backwards till I’m cornered against a wall.

“Please don’t be here,” I whisper. I open my eyes and see no one in front of me. I let out a sigh of relief and before I can enjoy it I feel two hands wrap around my throat, cutting off the air I’m breathing.

I quickly bolt up and flick on the light on my bedside table. I quickly glance around the room, my eyes adjusting to the light. Sweat trickles down my eyebrows to the side of my face. I’m breathing heavy, and unsure of the dream I’ve just had. I slowly breathe, trying to calm myself. I feel a cool breeze hit my face and look to see the window slightly left open.

I could have sworn I had it shut.

Grabbing the pepper spray off the nightstand near me I tip toe to the window. Biting my lip I stick my head out of the window and look outside on the fire case. It’s empty. I look down to see the twinkling lights of Seattle, the cool wind hitting my clammy face. My hearts pulsing as I pull my head back inside and shut the door. Swiftly I lock it and go back to my bed.

I rub my temples, lying back on to the bed wanting this all to be over. I want nothing more to do with him. I try to shake the feeling of being watched, but I can’t. He’s somewhere out there, looking for me. I stare at the ceiling, trying to clear my head. My eyelids are heavy and beginning to droop. I sigh, closing my eyes, exhaustion washing over me.

The ringing from my phone wakes me up immediately. Half asleep I answer it, yawning.

“Hello?”

“I’m coming Gracie. Tonight’s the night,” a voice crackles on the other end.

“Who is this?” I snap, my eyes searching the room.

“You know who this is.”

I gulp. I do know who it is. It’s him, the man that’s been following me and harassing me for the past few months.  I feel a lump forming in my throat, my bottom lip trembling. “Please, don’t do this,” I whisper.

He laughs; I can hear him smiling on the other end. “You wanted to play a game. So we are. Winner gets to keep their life. It sounds fair, no?”

“Leave me alone!” I scream, ending the phone call. Tears threaten to fall down my cheeks, my heart racing.

My cousin Jason bursts into my room, looking at me anxiously. “What? What happened?”

I shake my head, not wanting to tell him about the phone call. He stares down at me, narrowing his eyes. “What happened?” he snaps.

“He called again. He says tonight’s the night.” Jason’s eyebrows furrow as he absorbs this information. “How long do you have?”

I shrug, “I’m not sure. Not long.”

Jason stays quiet and leaves the room. My eyes widen, he’s just going to leave me at a time like this? I walk out into the hall and follow Jason into the living room. “What are you doing?” I ask.

“Buying you a bus ticket,” he mumbles as he pushes print on the computer screen.

“Why are you buying me a ticket?” I ask exasperated.

He rolls his eyes at me grabs the paper from the printer, shuffling toward me. “Grace, your life is in danger. Do you really think I’m going to make you stay here while there’s some psycho out there stalking you?”

I open my mouth to speak but before I can he holds up a finger. “Here, take it. Fold it up and put it in your pocket, go it?”

I stare at the ticket reluctantly.

“Take. It. Now.” He growls. Shyly I take the paper ticket and fold it into a small square. Then I put it in my left side pocket. I stand there watching him intently as he runs to the hall closet, pulling out a black duffle bag and smaller backpack. He quickly unzips the bag, and pulls out stacks of money, shoving them into the backpack.

Where did he get all that money from?

“Whoa.”

Jason smirks at me and gives me a slight shrug, “I know people.”

“What kind of people do you know?” I ask, eyeballing the bag.

He glares at me, okay, yeah now is obviously not the time to ask him questions.

“Here. You should be set for a while.” He tosses me the backpack and shoves the duffle bag back into the closet. “I want you to take this too,” he says passing me a small pocket knife and a small revolver. My scalp begins to prickle, a gun?

“Jason I can-“

He stops me before I can finish my sentence, shoving the gun into the backpack. “You can and you will. You don’t have much time Grace. When I tell you to run, I want you run towards the fire escape and climb down that way. Run all the way until you reach the bus station on 4th street. Understand?”

I nod, my mouth’s gone dry. I can feel all the blood leaving my face as the realization finally hits me. Tonight’s the night. He can bust through the door at any minute and try to kill me like he did my mother.

I shudder at the thought of him murdering my mother. It had been exactly three months since her funeral.  Police say she was stabbed multiple times. Her throat was slit too. It was a gruesome death, the coroner spent fourteen hours trying to clean up her body and trying to find out how many times she’d been stabbed. Twenty-two. She had been stabbed a total of twenty-two times.

Bile begins to rise in the back of my throat as the thought of her going through the pain hits me. I never thought he’d go after my own mother. I swallow down the bitter taste in my mouth, taking a deep shaky breath. I try to focus on the here and now. I look at Jason from under my lashes.

He’s all I have left. He had been more than willing to let me come and stay with him when the news of my mother’s death reached him. Once he found out I was being watched the first thing he did was go to the police. Of course they said they couldn’t do anything about it since there was no solid proof of my being stalked. Their only advice was to get an alarm system and change my number.

Which I did. Even after getting a new number the phone calls continued to occur.

Jason throws a sweater at me, bringing me back out of my thoughts. “Put that on,” he commands. Doing as I’m told I put the sweater on.

Jason disappears in the kitchen, probably to pack me some food for the bus ride when there’s a faint noise out in the hall. My eyes widen, fear begins to strike me. Jason pops his head out into the living room, his expression unreadable. He goes to the front door of the apartment and looks through the peep hole. He swiftly unlocks the door and opens it, peering out in to the hall.

As he does this I hold my breath. He looks back at me and shakes his head, causing me to release the breath I’ve been holding.

He’s about to shut the door when there’s a loud bang from below us. He sprints farther out into the hallway, looking down the staircase. It takes him about three seconds to sprint back into the apartment. He slams the door, locking it. Once it’s locked he pushed the bookshelf to the right of the door over and pushes it against the door.

Shit.

“What did you see?” I whisper.

Jason looks at me, intensity illuminating from his eyes. “Go into your room.” My knees begin to shake, and a shudder goes down my spine. “Go!” Jason barks. I grab the backpack and run into my room. I hear a crashing sound from the living room, and I choose to believe that it’s Jason still barricading the living room.

I step back until I’m cornered. Jason sprints into my room minutes later. He slams my door shut, tipping over my dresser in order to block the door. He quickly turns to look at me. “You know what you have to do, yes?”

I nod.

“Once you reach the final stop one of my friends Ashton will meet you there. You’ll be safe with him, okay?”

“How am I going to know it’s him?”

Jason slightly smiles, “you two have met before. He’ll remember. Don’t talk to anyone. He’ll be the one to approach you, got it?”

I slowly nod; I’m beginning to feel numb. We hear a loud banging coming from the front of the apartment.

He’s here. He’s out in the hall. My blood freezes over and I want to vomit. We both freeze, listening intently to hear what he’s doing.

Minutes pass by before we hear noise again. This time there’s a knock. The knocking gets louder, and eventually turns into banging again. Jason’s whole demeanor changes, he turns to face me, his expression hard.

“Run,” he whispers.

I look at him with wide eyes, paralyzed at the thought of leaving him behind. I open my mouth to protest and before I can he growls at me. “I said run!” he snaps. I feel tears prickle at the corner of my eyes and look down. I can hear him out in the hall. I sigh and look at him, slowly nodding an okay.

“Good girl,” he whispers hugging me tight. I wrap my arms around him, not wanting to think of what will happen to him if he doesn’t make it out in time. I’m about to break the silence when we hear a loud crash. He’s in the house, the door knob to my room is being turned violently. I want to scream, but bite down on my tongue to sustain my scream instead.

He pushes me toward the window, “now.” I quickly open the window and scurry onto the fire escape. I sprint to the stairs and start down them. Shouting escalates from the apartment, but I try my hardest to concentrate on getting away.

I reach the last stair and see the sidewalk is roughly three feet under. I close my eyes and jump down, falling on my behind. I quickly get up and look around, making sure the coast is clear. I briefly glance up at the window, my bottom lip quivering. I take a deep breath and run down the street.

I’m about five yards away when gun shots ring behind me. I stop in my tracks and whip around. I patiently wait to see if I can hear anything else. Seconds, maybe minutes pass by and more break out. A silent sob escapes deep within my throat, tears streaming down my face. I bite my lip and look forward, focusing on what’s in front of me, not behind. I have to push my legs to continue to run. Houses and trees begin to blur around me. Tears continue to stream, and I know that I don’t have much time.

I push myself harder, the wind stinging my face. My eyes begin to tear up more due to the wind resistance. My lungs begin to ache and my throat feels raw. I want to fall to my knees and mourn the loss of my cousin. My knees begin to shake while my bottom lip begins to quiver.

No! I think. I have to keep running. I have to get away, or else Jason gave up his life for no reason. I glance behind me, making sure there’s no sign of people following me yet. I can see the bus station up ahead of me. A slight pang of hope hits me and I continue to push myself. I have to reach the station. Glancing at my phone I take note of the time. The bus is scheduled to leave in five minutes.

I let out a sigh of relief as I run inside the station. Quickly I make my way to the window, showing them my ticket. The elderly lady behind the desk eyeballs me.

“You’re just in time,” she mutters giving me my ticket back. I nod, glancing back outside.

“Are you okay miss?” She asks, concerned. My throats dry, so is my mouth. I nod and attempt a smile, failing.

“Are you sure?” she asks. I nod again, somehow finding my voice. “Yeah, just excited to leave.”

She arches an eyebrow at me, not sure whether or not she should believe me or not but shrugs. “Okay then. Have a nice trip young lady.” I try to smile again and rush outside to the bus. The man loading the bus checks my ticket and lets me on. I walk to the back of the full bus and find a seat by the window. I quickly slump into the chair, sighing. I hadn’t realized I was holding my breath. I can see headlights in the far distance of the station and my mouth goes dry once again.

Oh no.

My eyes go wide with panic, but it quickly subdues as the driver gets on the bus. He closes the door and proceeds to check the controls. He then starts the engine and tells of the rules of the bus. Carefully looking outside I see a familiar car park in the parking lot. My scalp prickles, and my mouth goes dry. I see a dark figure exit the car and my bottom lip begins to tremble.

Before I can think of a plan the bus starts to move. The driver puts it in drive and we’re off. I stare out the window, looking for the dark figure and seeing nothing. I sigh and lean back into the seat, my head reeling. The bus stops at a red light and I put my head against the window. A tapping noise catches my attention, causing me to look out of it. As I do two brown eyes stare into mine. I jump back, fear washing over me. I close my eyes and shake my head, the bus moving forward. I count to ten and slowly open them again.

The eyes are gone. But I can still feel him watching me.

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