Part 1

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12Aug2022: new cover and fully edited over 1k new content added 😳 Enjoy


Content warning: (Attempted) murder, anxiety, stalking.


Copyright by L.B. Shimaira. All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, and events are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


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It was a cold autumn night, though the smell of winter was in the air. I was just returning home from my best friend Mary; together with her boyfriend Kai and my cute neighbour Liam we had devoured several horror movies and probably a kilo of popcorn and crisps—each. They had begged me to stay the night, but I had never been fond of sleepovers—I simply couldn't sleep well under a strange roof.

Liam had even offered to walk me home, the sweetheart. I had declined; I was going to be seventeen in a few months and didn't need an escort. That, and Mary only lived a few blocks away from me.

It was well past three in the morning, and I relished the cold air, my hands deep in my pockets. As I entered the alley leading to the back of my house, I noticed the garbage cans near the side of the road; one of them had been kicked over. I never understood why people enjoyed making a mess of things, or worse: destroying stuff that wasn't theirs.

My neighbourhood was alright, there wasn't much crime—if you didn't count the occasional acts of vandalism by bored teens. I thought about this as I searched for the key to our backyard. Just as I concluded I couldn't even recall a single burglary, the lock clicked and I entered the garden. I fumbled a little with the key—it would often get stuck in the lock. After a few grunts and angry turns, it finally released.

I saw something black in the periphery of my vision, on top of the neighbour's shed. My initial thought was that it was a cat, and I turned my back to it as I shut the door. Just as I turned to walk to my house something heavy landed on my back and I fell onto the ground. I had managed to soften my fall with my hands, but whatever it was had knocked the wind out of me.

The weight lifted and only then did I notice a sharp and throbbing pain blossoming across my back. Must have been one big cat with long nails able to penetrate my coat... I groaned as I got back on my feet and my eyes widened in shock. Next to me stood a hunched figure, fully clad in black, a hood shielding his face from the already scarce light. My eyes locked onto the shiny object in his hand, and my senses heightened by the amount of adrenaline flooding my veins. 

It seemed like an eternity before I was able to turn my head away from the dripping blade and for my feet to move. I sprinted to the house, though it felt like I was running through water. My hand grasped the door handle and pulled it down. To my relief my parents had left the door open—we always left that door open and locked the garden door instead when I was out. 

I entered the kitchen, one step, two steps. I hollered for help; called out for my dad, my mom, anyone to come and save me. I took a few more steps in and my next call ended in a smothered scream as something appeared to punch my back—but punches don't burn all the way through your chest. My vision blurred, and I got pushed to the ground. I tried to scream again, but my lungs felt on fire and I couldn't catch my breath. 

The person trying to kill me—shit, someone was actually trying to kill me!—dragged me back outside by my feet. The pain in my chest was getting worse. The feeling of liquid fire was spreading and I couldn't breathe properly. The sight of the bloody trail left by my body as I got dragged further and further into the garden sent a wave of pure survival instinct through me. 

I was going to die. This person was killing me. I tried to scream again, but the sound was muted and wet. I tasted blood in my mouth, and tears streamed down my face as I clawed at the tiled path and weakly kicked at the killer—I was losing strength fast.

He had already dragged me more than halfway through the garden and I feared where he was going to take me more than death itself. What if they couldn't find my body? What if they never found out what happened to me? I noticed the tree to my right and with every bit of power I had left inside of me I wrapped my arms around it and held on for dear life.

Even though my vision was blurred I was able to see the light inside the house turn on and a shadow hurrying towards the garden. Through all the pain and fear a little hope bloomed. I tried to call out for my parents, but I only ended up coughing blood—and dear God, did it burn!

The killer tugged on my legs a few times but released them as soon as—judging by how broad the shadow was—my dad entered the garden. I had only been able to hear my own drowning breath and frantic heartbeat, but the booming bestial roars of my dad as he came running my way deafened it all. I noticed another figure appear in the house, but my dad blocked my view as he knelt in front of me.

He talked to me, I realised that much, but the world spun and my senses had gone haywire. I tried to tell him I loved him, but all I did was cough up more blood. I heard a different voice and noticed the blurred figure that belonged to my mother appear beside me. She screamed and fell to her knees beside me. She held my hand, and my dad stood up and hurried away.

I tried to smile at my mom. She had always been so kind to me, so accepting. Didn't bat an eye when I told her I was bi. I grew dizzy from the world spinning the way it did, or maybe it was the blood loss—probably both. The burning in my chest grew more intense and I felt lightheaded. I wrapped my hand over my mother's and closed my eyes for I was just too tired to keep them open.

Not to mention the pain. There was so much pain.

Perhaps if I were to go to sleep it would all fade away.

If I just slept it off it would all—



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