Thunder cracked right above her, and the lights went out. She stopped herself from screaming. He would hear her.
Flashes of lightning illuminated the darkness. She could see the bursts of white from where she lay, beneath the bed. The bedspread was only inches from the ground and the bright flickers seemed like nature’s morse code.
And the message was clear.
Someone will die today
She clutched the knife tighter in her hand. It was the biggest one she could find. But would it do?
She didn’t want to think about it. There were too many thoughts racing through her mind. How did it even get so ugly? They had been having a quiet evening. It was their third date and the fourth one would surely be due.
He was a nice guy. She was a nice gal. But now both were hunting each other.
It started out as a stupid game.
Two young adults, semi-drunk, messing with each other. Answer the question correctly or get slapped. He had gotten three wrong and she had struck him playfully, light pats on the cheek.
But when she got her first wrong after five correct ones, he struck her hard, splitting her lip. She tasted blood, but the shock was what numbed her. His eyes stared with no remorse and his lips curled ever so slightly.
The delayed piggish grunt broke her listless state and she hit back even harder. Her punch found his nose and broke it. The crunch and howl conveyed the damage. He clutched the bleeding mess, but his eyes never left her.
And then he lunged at her. But she was quicker, and ducked and swerved, landing on the floor. His chin hit the wooden armrest and the second howl declared war.
There had been no turning back after that.
She had been hiding for exactly thirty-two minutes now, her breathing shallow, her heartbeats erratic, the freak storm cementing the dangerous mood.
It wasn’t her fault if she was smarter than him. Intelligent guys were hard to find. But some couldn’t swallow the bitter reality.
There was no sign of him. A stray thought crossed her mind.
Let’s put an end to this
She slid out and crawled to the open doorway. Her ears caught his footsteps. What had taken him so long?
Another flash and more ominous thunder. She didn’t even flinch.
His ankle would take the first cut, and then the rest of him.
Poor guy didn’t know what he was up against.
She was a highly competitive bitch.