Mental Maniac

It was a dark and stormy night. Rachel was nice and cosy lying on the sofa in her living room watching a horror movie on TV; her feet pressed against the warm fur of her curled up cat. Rachel was feeling a little hungry so she put her slippers on and padded to the kitchen. She opened the fridge, muttered to herself, closed it and opened the freezer. “Huh,” she mumbled. The sight made her turn away; there was no pizza.

The phone starting ringing so Rachel ran upstairs to answer it. It was just her mum making sure Rachel was ok home by herself.

Rachel went back downstairs to watch the rest of the movie. To her surprise, she found a pizza in a takeaway box on the table, the pizza was hot. Rachel sat on the sofa. Just as she was about to take a mouthful, she heard someone or something in the kitchen. She knew it wasn’t the cat as he was still fast asleep next to her. Rachel quietly got up and tip-toed to the door. Just as she reached it, it opened.

Standing in the doorway, smiling, was her boyfriend, Joe. “I knocked on the door but there was no reply so I thought you’d popped out or something so I used my key. Did you find the pizza?” Rachel hugged him with relief. Neither of them noticed the shadowy figure in the trees outside the window.

“Mmmm, that pizza was lovely, you stay here and watch the end of the movie, I’ll just put this in the bin,” Rachel said to Joe. She stood up and stretched. When she got to the kitchen a movement outside the window caught her eye as the kitchen door slammed shut behind her. She ignored it as just the wind blowing the leaves. As she opened the bin she found out that the bag inside was full, so she lifted it out. “I’m just taking the rubbish out,” she shouted and got a mumbled “Ok,” in response.

It was cold and dark outside. Rachel made her way to the bin at the side of the house. As she put the bag in the bin the hairs on the back of her neck bristled as if something was behind her, but when she turned around she could only see the garage. She decided to check whether somebody was behind it. There was nobody there. As she turned around, there was somebody there; it was Mr Stevens from across the road.

“I didn’t mean to scare you; I was just coming home from the shop and saw somebody moving around over here. I thought it might be that lunatic that was in the paper this morning, but it’s just you, thank God.”

“What lunatic? I didn’t read the paper this morning.” Rachel asked curiously. As they walked back to the front of the house, the old man gently put his arm around Rachel and told her how one of the patients had escaped from the local mental hospital, a man with a history of stalking, kidnapping and murder.”

Rachel waved Mr Stevens goodbye and headed back up the steps to her front door, which she found open. She was sure that she had closed it on the way out. Sam wasn’t in the house anymore. Rachel thought he must’ve gone to get a drink or something from the shop.

A couple of hours later, Sam didn’t return. Rachel assumed that he must’ve gone home so she went to bed. She had nightmares about the recently escaped lunatic.

A little while later, Rachel got out of bed, put on her slippers and went into the hallway. She could see a man at the door; his face was hidden in the dark. The shadowy figure reached for the light switch. It was Sam, “Hey, have you been asleep? Sorry I left you, I just went to switch the fire off at home, my friend phoned me to tell me that I left it on, didn’t you hear all the noise outside?”

Rachel took his explanation, but she didn’t hear any fuss outside. “What noise outside?” she asked.

“Some maniac killed that old man that lives across the road; Mr Stevens is his name I think. According to the policeman I spoke to, the murderer ripped Mr Stevens apart. He said that old man was calling 999 to report a burglar but the phone line went dead. They found the killer and took him away. Don’t say you slept through the sirens?”

“I was only talking to Mr Stevens a few hours ago,” her eyes filled with tears, “It could’ve been me.”

“I know, and you were fond of him weren’t you? They’ve got the killer now and I’m Here.” They both sat on the stairs with their arms around each other until Rachel fell asleep on Sam. Sam carried her back to bed.