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Deborah slammed the door to her parent’s bedroom, wincing at the noise it made.
Chest heaving, she leant against the faded white glossed wood.
She desperately tried to think.
Her subconscious had led her here, but at first she had no idea why.
A few moments of thought revealed to her that her dad had a gun in the drawer of his bedside cabinet.
The drawers’ polished mahogany veneers glinted like a gift from God.
The gun was probably the only thing that was going to deter this rampaging madman.
She threw the lock on the door.
The clunk it made was loud but reassuring.
She felt sure it’d take a beating before it broke.
She wedged a chair under the handle.
The urge to pile up more things against it overcame her, but she knew that if that didn’t hold then nothing would.
Instead she moved to the chest of drawers and grabbed the polished brass of the top handle.
‘Shit,’ she hissed, upon discovering it was locked. ‘Just my fucking luck.’
Despairing, she cast her eyes round the room until they landed on the phone.
She picked it up.
She pictured his ominous grin as he realised she had found out the phone was useless.
As if he’d read her mind, he shouted through the door, ‘Phone’s dead. No one is coming to help you.’
In her mind’s eye, she saw the dark orbs of his eyes, seeming to blaze through the door.
Then she cursed having so much weed last night.
This guy was fucking batshit crazy.
He was strong.
He was fast.
And he had murdered all of her friends without too much trouble.
But he was still a man.
Men could bleed.
Men could hurt.
Men could die.
She doubled her efforts at getting the drawer open.
In panic, she tipped the drawers over and started slamming the base of her fists into the wood.
It hurt like hell and she made her fists bleed but she managed to make a small crack.
It was enough to give her hope.
Seemingly in answer to her knocking, his fists began to bray on the door.
He hit it hard, like he was much bigger than his slim frame suggested.
It sounded like a wild animal was trying to batter its way through the door to her.
The whole room seemed to shake and her blood ran cold at the thought of what he was going to do to her when he got the door open.
His hissed threats left her in no doubt that she was dead if he got in here.
For a few vital seconds, the sound of him slamming the door made her freeze.
Then she gathered her senses.
I’ve got to get in this drawer before he gets in here, she thought.
Her fists weren’t doing the job, so instead she thought to stomp on it.
No, she thought, just as her foot was about to slam into the wood.
If I can escape, I might need to run.
Instead she tried to pick the chest of drawers up.
It was heavy, but she was desperate.
Save your strength, she thought.
If he gets in here I’ll need the gun to stop him.
She tried to lift the drawers but the weight was too much.
If I don’t get this gun I’m dead, she thought.
She dug deep inside herself.
I need to do this.
Letting out an animal grunt that echoed that of the madman doing his utmost to smash the door into kindling, she managed to pick the drawers up.
She felt the strain in her back and her legs.
Using strength she never knew she had, she managed to swing the drawers back.
Once she had them moving, she used the momentum to swing them forwards into the wall.
The wood cracked a little, but not enough.
Again, she thought.
Her legs and lungs blazed.
But she vowed she would not die here, not while she had energy to spare.
She picked up the drawers again, crying out at the weight that seemed to have doubled.
She cried out in agony as she swung it back and threw it into the wall.
A section of door flew into the room and the madman’s leering face appeared in the gap.
‘I’m going to cut the devil out of you,’ he bellowed.
His fists beat on the door, as loud as gunshots.
Put it out of your mind and get those fucking drawers open, she implored herself.
She bent, her back in agony, and picked the cabinet up again.
I don’t know how many more of these I can do, she thought, despairing.
As many as it fucking takes, she vowed, setting her face in a determined grimace.
‘Save your energy for the fight to come,’ he teased.
She ignored him and again hoisted the drawers.
Her back almost gave way this time, but she let out a howl of despair and threw the drawers into the wall again.
The wood split a little more, just as another piece of door was sheared away.
The gap was large enough for him to get his arm through now.
He began to fumble around for the lock.
She watched, numb for a few seconds, then told herself to get on with her task.
She turned so she couldn’t see him and hoisted the drawers again.
Something gave in her leg, the crack echoed by the snap of the bolt drawing back.
A blinding pain in her stomach forced her to pause for a moment.
The door opened slightly then stopped as it hit the chair.
‘Hey, sinner, I’m almost in,’ he giggled.
This is the last one, she thought.
All or nothing.
Life or death.
She let out a bloodcurdling cry and raised the chest of drawers above her head, just as the door came open.
More pops; this time in her back and her right arm as she hurled the cabinet with all her might.
To her surprise, it hit the wall at roughly eyelevel and smashed into shards.
Frantically, she dived onto the drawers, hardly feeling the searing pains in her back and legs.
‘Hey, dickhead, I betcha didn’t know I’ve got a gun in here,’ she laughed.
She threw pieces of the wood at the door, desperate to find the gun.
Her father’s life insurance documents were in there, as were his gun licence papers and photos of her as a kid.
A tear filled her eye as she saw one of her and Hannah playing, happy as pigs in shit, in the back garden.
Just as she began to fear the gun was not there, right at the bottom of the pile of debris, she felt the cold ivory of the handle.
She flicked the safety off and raised it.
Without hesitating, she fired a shot towards the door.
What remained of the door was open slightly, but the raging madman she expected to gun down was nowhere to be seen.
Where the fuck did he go?
She didn’t dare take her eyes from the door, but she wanted to ensure that the gun was loaded.
There were five bullets in the cylinder.
She raked around in the drawer but could find no more.
Five would be enough.
It had to be.
What the fuck do I do? She thought in despair.
Do I get out of here and risk him getting me as I come out?
Has he ran off?
Is he waiting for me somewhere in the house?
Her gut told her he was waiting for her.
It seemed doubtful he’d want to let her go so easily.
Her skin crawled at the sudden silence of the house.
After the din of their respective brayings, it seemed extra silent.
It was as though her world had been muted.
She paused, her ears seeming to prick up like those of a cat, as she listened for signs that he was still in the house.
The only sounds were the chirping of crickets outside.
Thinking fast, she knocked the lights off and went to the window.
She cupped her hands to the window, wincing at the cold of it against her skin, and at the slick feel of the warm blood that she smeared across the dirty glass.
She couldn’t see anyone outside.
The nearest house was a quarter of a mile away down a gravel path.
There was no way of getting there quietly.
In fact, with her body as broken it was, she doubted that she would get there full stop, but she knew that she had to try.
She knew the heavy lifting could have harmed her baby, so for his/her (the scan revealing the baby’s gender was still a few weeks away) sake, she set off.
As she hurled the door open her arm lit up with pain that coursed right through her.
She felt unsteady on her feet.
More pain flared in the back of her legs and the lower part of her back.
I’m still alive.
But for how much longer is up to me.
She held the gun in front of her, feeling that it was not going to be enough to stop him.
He’s just a man.
Men can bleed.
Men can hurt.
Men can die.
This became her mantra to chase away the terror that threatened to turn her to stone.
Inch by agonising inch, she made her way down the hall.
She did her best not to look at the bodies sprawled around her, trying instead to focus on any sound or flicker of movement that indicated he was still there.
The silence made her flesh creep.
She knew he was here somewhere, just waiting to act out his insane agenda on her fragile body.
He was being careful now, cos he knew she had the gun.
She should have felt in charge of the situation but she felt more terrified than ever.
He knew she had the gun, so his attack would be savage.
She knew she’d have to kill him to stop him.
There could be no half measures here.
One of them was going home in a body bag.
And, despite her tough talk, she had the creeping feeling that it was going to be her.
Next chapter is here