While He's Away - Part Two

When Jen awoke the next morning she immediately noticed two things that were wrong.  One; there was a strange smell in the bedroom, a damp smell. And two, the mirror on her dresser had moved. Only slightly, but enough so that she could see her own reflection in the mirror from where she lay. Her reflection looked back at her in the bed with puzzled eyes. She was lying on her side and she was desperately trying to remember if she had moved the dresser before going to bed. She dint think she had, she couldn’t think of any possible reason why she would have moved the dresser.

 As she watched herself in the mirror a thought struck her. She knew why the mirror had moved. The person at the door from last night must have been in the house while she slept. He must have been searching for her in the dark and bumped into it. He probably had been in here, watching her sleep.

Adrenaline filled her body and it felt like it was dripping down the back of her neck. She sat bolt upright on the bed as she realised that he could still be in the house.

“Shit, he’s under the bed. . . “

She wasn’t sure if she said that out loud or not, but she WAS sure that the stranger from last night was now lying under her bed. The voice of reason spoke up in her head

 ‘Come on you’re being ridiculous, there’s no one there.’

“I hope you’re right,” Jen replied to herself.

But Jen thought the voice of reason had been right, she was making herself scared now. She would just look under the bed and prove that no one was there.

Jen sat up as high as she could on the edge of the bed and looked into the mirror on the dresser. She tried to see if she could see under the bed in the reflection, that way she wouldn’t have to lean over the side and expose her head to whatever was down there. It was useless, from the angle of the mirror there was no way she would be able to see.

Ok. . . she told herself. . just lean over and look. . . there’s no one there, you’re not a fucking baby. You’re a strong independent woman.

“That’s right. . . a strong independent woman.” she was shaking now.

Jen took a deep breath and lay flat on the bed with her head sticking over the side. Her hair tumbled down onto the carpet. She tucked both hands into the gap in between the mattress and the wooden frame, and braced herself. On the count of three she would lower herself down and look.

One. . .

Two. . .

Three. . .

Jen lowered herself down and what lay beneath the bed flashed into view.

 There was absolutely nothing there.


By the time Jen had arrived at the café she was already 40 minutes late and her friend Bobbi was seated in a little booth opposite the till. The place was packed; it had been ever since it opened. Bobbi had invited Jen for breakfast on opening day weeks ago and she had loved it, but Jen had hated it as soon as she had opened the menu.

Page after page of pretentious over expensive crap. Six pounds for a sausage that tasted like perfume and Seven pounds for Quinoa Bercher Muesli, whatever the fuck that was. What kind of a person ate Quinoa Bercher Muesli anyway? The rich kind Jen had thought. The café had been packed with 40 something professionals that all seemed to be drinking green water and then talking about how good it made them feel.

 ‘How can something that smells like piss make you feel good?’ Jen had asked Bobbi. Bobbi had just laughed and said that she’d get used to it.

Bobbi eyes caught Jen’s through the crowd and she waved.

“Jen! Jen darling, over here.”

Jen waved back and made her way past three mueslis and four green potions. Even though she despised the place she was happy to see Bobbi. And Bobbi looked happy to see Jen, until Jen sat down.

“What time do you call this jenny? We were meant to have breakfast not lunch, we’ve only got five minutes until they stop serving it.” Bobbi scowled at Jen from across the table.

“I know I know, I’m sorry, but look. I’ve got something to tell you, something happened last night” Jen glanced round to make sure no one was eaves dropping, “Some freak came round last night and was banging on my door. I had to call the police.”

Bobbi’s eyes lit up, she loved a bit of gossip. “You’re kidding? On your sleepy little street? I want all the details, but I have to go to the loo first. I’ve already had three anti-oxidising kale juices. They make you need to pee like mad but they’re meant to add years to your life.”

“God. .. you’ll live forever at this rate Bobbi”

“I know right? Be right back.” Bobbi scooched to the end of the booth and shuffled though the crowds of people to get to the loo’s.

Jen looked round at all the faces in the café. They were all talking to each other and the place was filled with conversations, but she thought none of the people had anything as interesting as she did to talk about this morning. In a way she was glad. She always felt boring compared to Bobbi, but this time she was the one providing the gossip.

During breakfast Jen filled Bobbi in on the events of last night. Bobbi sat fascinated and didn’t say a word. She just sat chewing her food and nodding every so often. She was hanging on every word, and Jen was pleased. When Jen’s story was over Bobbi put down her knife and fork and started with the questions.

“So you’re sure you didn’t move the dresser Jenny?” Bobbi had an accusing tone to her voice, “Maybe you bumped into it when you were running to the window to look to see who as at the door?”

      “No, because I was wasn’t running, I was. . . creeping. There’s no way you can move that thing unless you really try and move it. It’s heavier than me.”
Bobbi nodded “Right . .. that’s right. Well, it must have been one of the policemen then. You said yourself that you weren’t with them the whole time.”
“But why would they move it?” Jen asked, she had already considered this as an option and wrote it off as a valid explanation. “Unless they dropped a truncheon or something they would have no reason to move it. And you can see underneath it so you wouldn’t even have to move it if you did drop something under.”

Bobbi looked confused now. She wasn’t, this was just the face she pulled when she was deep in concentration.

“Ahhh maybe mike had moved it before he left and you just only noticed this morning? You’re more aware when you’ve had a scare you know?”

Jen had also considered this, “No, because I would have noticed when I woke up. You know what I’m like when I’m asleep. I sleep like the dead. I always go to sleep on my right side and I always wake up in exactly the same position. I would have noticed. I got a fright today seeing my own face staring back at me.”

“Ok ok.” Bobbi was getting restless now, well what about the second thing you said was strange.”

“The smell? It was weird; it was like a damp smell, a wet smell. Like muddy boots or something.”

Bobbi looked thrilled Ooh do you think the person that was at your door had muddy boots and you could smell it because he’d been in your room during the night?”

Jen hadn’t thought this. . . until now . . .

“No. . . to be honest I hadn’t really thought about the smell that much, I was more confused about the mirror. Do you think he’s been in my room then? Shall I call the police again?”

Bobbi was laughing now, “No. . . Look, I was only joking. Do you want to know what I really think? I think some drunk old tit stumbled his way home last night and got your house by mistake. He probably walked round the block and came back and tried again. He was probably banging because he was annoyed his wife hadn’t answered the door. You said he only came twice. It doesn’t sound like he was trying to break in to me.“ Bobbi took a long sip from her green drink. “The police probably knocked your dresser and the smell was probably from their boots. You know what it’s like when you in a new house. Everything’s fresh. New smells linger Jenny.”

Jen thought about this and it did seem to make sense. More sense than the version she had come up with anyway.

“When’s Mick back anyway?”

Jen smiled “Tomorrow thank god, I tried to call him this morning but you know what he’s like. He never really keeps in touch when he’s away on business. I think he likes to pretend like he’s free!”

“So he hasn’t been in touch at all though? You must have sent him a text or something?”

Jen looked slightly puzzled “No. . . I mean yes I text him loads last night, and this morning actually, but he hasn’t text back. Do you think that’s odd?”
 “It is a bit odd isn’t it?” now Bobbi also looked puzzled.


Later that day, as darkness fell on the house, Jen made sure she checked every single lock. Every window was checked and she even made sure the car doors were locked. She still hadn’t heard from mick, and that was starting to both worry, and annoy her. What kind of man wouldn’t bother to get in touch knowing that their other half was sitting at home scared shitless, she thought.

Being alone in the house for this length of time was starting to make the house feel strange, like she was living in a dream. Since her and Mick had started going out she had only spent a few nights on her own, and never in a row.

Jen tried to relax as best she could and sat on the couch with a book. No matter how hard she tried she just couldn’t concentrate. The house was too quiet. She turned on the TV and flicked through the channels. Nothing was on. . . Again.

By the time the nine o’clock news came on Jen was starting to drift off to sleep. The events of the night before were catching up with her and she decided to just go to bed. At least she couldn’t worry if she was fast asleep she thought. She walked into the kitchen and got a glass of water. Then she turned off the light. And went upstairs to bed.

Even though she was tired she had difficulty falling asleep. Strange faces filled her mind and she kept thinking about the man at the doors face. He had looked Scary. Terrifying really. Half dreams infected her mind and she saw the man opening the door and making his way up the stairs. Then she’d twitch awake and the dreams would evaporate away. It wasn’t really until midnight that she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.

Hours later and Jen started to rouse from her sleep. Still half in a dream world she could hear sounds drifting past. Little fingers were tapping the walls all around, why would people be tapping on the walls she thought, she smiled. It was rain, or course it was, and it was falling outside and tapping against the windows. It was windy too, very windy, she could feel it running through her hair. It was blowing through her hair and clumps were falling across her closed eyes. Just when she was about to brush the hair away it was swept away for her. And that smell . . . what was that smell?

Jen opened her eyes. She saw the mirror on the dresser, and she saw herself in the reflection. And she wasn’t alone. . .

The man from the front door was crouched behind her on the bed, his large hands were running through her hair. She could see his eyes in the reflection. Large crazy eyes full of delight. His revolting face was an inch away from hers and she could feel foul heavy breaths against the back of her neck. She could feel drops of his saliva falling onto her neck and running down the small of her back.

Too terrified to scream Jen just lay there with her eyes wide open staring at him in the mirror. His mouth was stretched open now and she could feel it getting closer and closer to her neck. She could see it in the mirror like a huge crazy smile. Just as he was about to make contact with her skin he looked up. He wasn’t expecting jen to be awake and for a second they both stared at each other’s terrified faces in the mirror. But unlike Jen, he was able to scream.  He swung his head back and covered his face with his hands. Jen felt him move away and saw this as an opportunity to try and escape. She threw her legs off the side of the bed and ran to the bedroom door. She managed to get the door half way open but he was already behind her. And he was strong. A large arm appeared from over her shoulder and the door slammed shut. Jen spun round thinking that maybe she would be able to reason with him or something. Her thought process was broken when she noticed the little bronze dog from next to her bed. It was in the air. What was it doing in the . . .

The bronze dog smashed into Jen’s face with such force that she didn’t know either where, or who she was. The pain shattered through her head and neck and her mouth filled with warm blood. She was aware of little objects floating around in her mouth but she wasn’t quite sure what they were. Her tongue traced the outlines of her mouth that felt like it was three times the size it had been just 30 seconds ago.

My teeth. . oh shit it’s my teeth. . . Jen went to vomit but his hand was now across her mouth. His other hand brought down the little bronze dog again. But there was no pain this time. Jens body collapsed to the floor like a heavy sack and as she fell unconscious one thought repeated over and over in her mind.

“Oh shit I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I'm going to. . . 

For Part Three Please Click HERE

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