On either side of her studio doors were little alcoves, just inside the covered entrance.
Useless really, unless you were a crazy man needing a dark shadowy place in which to hide.
And they really were dark and shadowy, at night.
So many times she had stood and fumbled with the key, locking up the studio, in the dark, thinking about the fact that if some crazy man WERE hiding on either side in one of the alcoves that she wouldn’t even KNOW it.
See, there was a sensor light, beyond the covered entrance, but you had to walk five steps from the studio doors to set it off, and it didn’t stay on for long enough….not long enough to walk out, set it off, then walk back and fumble with the keys, which for some reason always seemed to stick.
So the fumbling was always done in the dark, where her imagination ran wild.
For a period of time, each night as she locked up, she would hear a voice whispering her name from the shadows of those dark alcoves.
Of course, it was all in her head.
Nobody was whispering her name, but just the THOUGHT of it sent prickles up her neck.
Jumping out onto the path, the relief of the sensor light flicking on was immense.
A quick look back….nothing there…just a few leaves blown into those sinister little nooks.
Then, the other night she freaked herself out just before she reached the safety of the five steps… a second before the sensor light came on, she imagined a man’s hands grabbing her shoulders roughly from behind.
It was so real that she could almost feel the heat of these imaginary hands on her skin.
Panic shot through her body, for a split second.
Why was she imagining that, she wondered.
“I must get someone to readjust the timer on that damn sensor light!” she had told herself.
But she hadn’t.
The gag bit into her cheeks.
Choking back the vomit threatening to spill into her mouth, she felt the car turn onto dirt road.
In the darkness of the trunk she lay cramped and tightly bound.
From the shadows, her whispered name had come, then the hands…
(I must get someone to readjust the timer on that damn sensor light!)