Famous last words. Or at least, famous last Facebook posts. It was stupid of me to post it, but little had I realised at the time that a maniac had been watching me.
We’d just moved into our new flat, and it was perfect. I had been joking about the security measures on Facebook, as they seemed fit for an underground base with the amount of door codes and keys needed.
I was hands deep in washing up bubbles when I sensed I wasn’t alone. I span on my heels, raising my dripping marigolds defensively. I turned to find a man stood over me with a knife. I’d never seen him before. He was grinning from ear to ear, short silver hair sticking up neatly, perfectly groomed yet still grungy looking. As I turned he lowered his weapon, still smiling and never once blinking. We stood in silence for a painstaking moment. Then he opened his mouth, canines glinting.
I stood looking at him, perplexed. “What…”
“Your Facebook post?” He tilted his head to one side, looking at me as if I’d called him over and forgotten five minutes later. “You said your flat was impenetrable. And I just walked in.” There was an air of smugness in his voice.
I leant against the work surface and felt around in the washing bowl behind me, desperately searching for a knife. “Well, that was stupid of me, but you can’t just…”
“Oh no, I’m not done here,” he grinned. “I’m not here just to prove I can break in, no. This was too easy. I need to show you just how wrong you were.”
He sheathed his knife in his belt and drew his long brown overcoat back over it.
“Next time,” he repeated.
Before I could say another word, he was out the door, moving surprisingly stealthily for a man over 50. I ran to the door and locked it.
I couldn’t sleep that night. Every noise outside made me think he was out there, waiting for an opportunity to get back inside. Rain tapped at the window. The floorboards creaked in the flat downstairs. I stared through the darkness at the ceiling, listening to my boyfriend’s gentle breathing.
The next morning I poured a can of Red Bull down my throat and we went out to town, careful to lock the door behind us. Walking along the busy Saturday pavements of the city centre, it was almost impossible to keep my cool. At every turn I was looking around for an unseen assassin, expecting a blade in my back. Jack said I was being paranoid.
I sensed someone watching me, and sure enough, wading through the crowds not ten metres away was my new homicidal friend. His eyes never left mine as he pushed people out of his way. His knife blade flashed briefly under his open coat.
“That’s him!” I whimpered, stopping dead on the street. Jack turned to look and saw a man striding with purpose towards us. Maybe it was the gleam of murder in his eyes. Maybe he saw the knife. But suddenly Jack believed me.
“Run!” I screamed, and we both did just that. We didn’t stop running until we reached our flat and had bolted ourselves in. Five minutes later, we saw the glint of grey hair directly outside our window, framing a broad, victorious grin.
We drew the curtains and sat in the dark. After half an hour we were seemingly alone. I rang up a few friends and carefully let them in when they arrived. They joined us in a discussion of war as we sat in a circle in the dark. We were on the floor in the spare room, just the four of us. We had decided to run to a safe house.
Before we could so much as move from our position, there was a knock on the window. On our first floor flat window. Between the slats of the blind, I could see a pair of eyes looking in on us. He tapped a hook on the window. It was where his hand should be.
This wasn’t our silver-haired stalker. This was someone else. Not a minute later we heard someone try to open the front door.
He’d brought friends.
Our front door was strong, but these people were insane. Before long they’d have broken it down and would be coming for us. Not only had I endangered my life, but I’d put three of the people I was closest to at risk as well. There was no choice now. We’d have to fight, or nobody was leaving this building alive.
I tiptoed to the kitchen and grabbed as many knives as we had. Jack had taken the shade off of a lamp and was wielding it like a double-ended lightsaber. The rest of us divvied up the blades, just as the door broke down and three psychopaths tumbled into the hallway.
We charged at them, screaming for our lives.