Writing Prompt: Carrol dropped a hand into her purse and gripped the can of mace.

Morning all and welcome to Friday. Outside the clouds are massing and the world looks reluctant to wake up. I am personally sending encouraging thoughts to the rain clouds in the hopes it will wash the air clear for a bit. Before we get into the morning’s writing prompts though, I want to let you know I am taking Memorial Day off. There will be no posts on Monday. My normal posts will resume on Tuesday Morning. Now with that said, let’s get started on Friday with our last prompt of the week. Ready?

A part of me wants to make the person following a non-human attacker. But maybe that’s just me.

Friday, May 28th: Carrol dropped a hand into her purse and gripped the can of mace.

Carrol dropped a hand into her purse and gripped the can of mace. She kept walking, trying to look as though she was moving at her normal pace.  She wasn’t running.  There was no reason to run. She saw her car only a few yards ahead. 

Behind her, she could hear the footsteps.  They echoed her own.  In her free hand she gripped her keys, her fingers already placed on the button that would unlock the doors.  There would be no fumbling for the lock tonight. 

Her car drew closer, the footsteps still followed.  She reached the car and pressed the button.  She opened the door with the hand holding the keys so she could keep a hold of the mace can.  The lights on the car flashed as she opened the door and she heard the footsteps stutter to a stop.  Carrol slid into her car quickly. She tossed her purse into the passenger’s seat, her hand extracting the mace as it left the bag’s confines.  She pressed the button to lock the doors.

She put the key in the ignition and started the engine, dropping the mace into her lap.  As she started her engine, she looked up, peering into the shadows into the direction she came.  Something was moving in the shadows.  She hadn’t been imagining the footsteps. 

Whoever it was stayed beyond the edge of the headlights. Carrol decided she didn’t want to stay to find out if they came into the light.  She put the car into gear and pulled away from the curb.  As she left her lights caught a set of eyes watching her as she left.

She drove, her heart feeling like it was stuck in her throat.  It was only when she was three traffic lights away that her heard began to sink back into her chest.  Now that she was safe and away, her skin flashed cold and her palms grew sweaty. 

This wasn’t the first time she heard footsteps following her when she left work.  Usually she left earlier and there was no problem.  There was still sun in the sky and plenty of people moving around.  She worked in a safe district and had never had a moment’s fear.  Then this project came along.  For the past week she had worked later than usual, leaving the office when the rest of the area grew quiet.  For the last three nights, she thought she heard footsteps behind her.  It was the reason she bought the mace.

She hadn’t been sure that there really was anyone there until tonight.  The footsteps weren’t always clear.  Tonight they echoed painfully sharp on the sidewalk.  It was as if whoever followed her switched to hard soled shoes.  It seemed a strange thing to do. Usually when people did something sneaky, they got better at it as time went by. 

‘Its almost as though they wanted to know I was being followed,’ she thought as she continued to drive.  ‘Luckily I finished the project,’ she told herself.

Tonight would be the last night she would be working late.  In the following week she would be leaving with the others and not staying late.  ‘And in the future I might come in early instead of leaving late if a project needs extra time.’

Not quite ready to be alone, Carrol angled her car towards the strip of restaurants instead of towards her apartment.

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