THE FIGURE IN THE ALLEYWAY

THE FIGURE IN THE ALLEYWAY – By Dean O. Arutoghor

A visibly drunk Vicky, in her stilettoes and somehow, separated from her friends after their night out at the Fabrics nightclub, tottered down the dimly lit street.

She paused briefly to pull down her miniskirt over her exposed thighs and squinted ahead of her to see whether she could recognise where she was. It was no use, everything was a blur.

For the umpteenth time, she rifled through her handbag, feeling for her mobile phone. It still wasn’t there and she still couldn’t remember whether she had used it to make a call earlier that night before or after gulping down a few more glasses of wine.

Her head started to pound furiously and she had never desired sleep more. All she wanted to do was get a taxi home and crawl straight into bed. That’s all. Just get into her warm bed, have a good night’s sleep so she could be fresh and ready for her visit to her poorly mother tomorrow afternoon.

Almost as soon as she started to cry out of self-pity, she stopped. She looked back sharply. She had not imagined the sound after all. There was indeed someone behind her. A hazy, silhouetted figure of a man walking rapidly towards her.

She stiffened as her heart started to pound furiously. She peered up and down the street but couldn’t make out any other figures. Not another soul save for her and the shadowy figure fast approaching. She tried to quicken her steps as much as her wobbly legs could carry her but when she looked back, the figure was gaining on her.

With something of a leaping-trot, she managed to slip off her stilettoes and broke into a jogtrot. When she looked back though, the figure was doing the same and still gaining on her.

Storried The Figure in the Alleyway

Just then she came upon a dark alleyway. She paused to consider her options. She could go and bang on one of the doors of the detached houses of the street she was on now (but there might be no one at home or the occupants could be deep sleepers) or she could run through the alleyway and hope to make it to the other side (where she could make out bright lights and some movement, probably a busy high street) before the figure caught up with her.

Vicky was still trying to make up her mind when she suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder and a man’s voice. Instinctively, she shrugged off the hand and bolted down the alleyway. She didn’t know where the strength came from but somehow she was running faster than she could ever remember running, even when sober.

As she looked over her shoulder to see how far she was from the chasing figure, she tripped, staggered and crashed unceremoniously into the prickly holly shrubs growing against the side of the alleyway. She screamed in agony as the tiny hooks ripped through her face and arms. Almost immediately, she staggered back to her feet and continued to run.

The figure pursuing her was now swearing and screaming for her to stop. She looked back again and he was bearing down on her with an outstretched arm. He seemed more determined to catch her than she was to get away. That’s when she realised she wouldn’t be able to make it to the other side of the alleyway. As if possessed, Vicky suddenly stopped and spun around sharply. She held up her shoe high above her head and screamed for help from the depths of her lungs.

The figure chasing her didn’t anticipate Vicky suddenly stopping like that so couldn’t halt his run on time. He ploughed straight into her, knocked her off her feet and they both slammed painfully into the concrete fence of the alleyway. Even before they had made contact with the fence, Vicky was already furiously hitting the figure with the heel of her shoe. She managed to strike him two more times before he grabbed hold of her wrist.

‘Stop it. Stop it,’ he raged at her.

Vicky’s screaming turned to pleading as she wriggle from underneath him.

‘Please don’t. I have a child. I have two children. They need their mother. They need their mother. I need my mother. Please, don’t rape me. Please don’t kill me. Please don’t. I am begging you. Please…’ she whimpered.

‘Shut up. It’s me. It’s me. Shut up. What the hell are you doing? It’s me, you silly woman. It’s me,’ the man barked at the same time as grabbing Vicky’s chin and forcing her to look at him even though she could hardly see his face in the dark.

Vicky suddenly shut up.

Only one person dared to call her a silly woman.

Tentatively, she reached out a trembling hand and grabbed a handful of beard. Then she reached for his head. Not a strand of hair. Then she groped for his right ear and felt the stud earring.

She wrapped her arms around his shoulders as if her life depended on it and started to sob with relief. ‘I thought you were…I thought you were…’

Slowly and in pain, Rob lifted his shivering wife into his arms and walked out of the alleyway.

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THE FIGURE IN THE ALLEYWAY

By Dean O. Arutoghor

A visibly drunk Vicky, in her stilettoes and somehow, separated from her friends after their night out at the Fabrics nightclub, tottered down the dimly lit street.

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