Lauren's Fall

The stale air is so thick that she can't breathe regularly. Her breath comes in short, quick gasps. She tries to calm herself so that she won't give her whereabouts away, but her heart won't stop pounding and she's sure it can be heard for miles giving her away as if she were a blinking red light in a sea of darkness.

She sticks her hands in front of her and gasps as the blackness seems to swallow them whole. She looks around wildly, her eyes open wide, but to no avail. She can't see anything in this black abyss. Her hands find something solid. A wall. She leans against it, the hot air closing in around her and smothering her.

She closes her eyes, cold beads of sweat cover her brow and in her mind she sees him. Her body begins to tremble uncontrollably. She can see those blank, black eyes locking with hers, seeing deep into her and reading her private and innermost thoughts like a dark, oppressing intruder. She can see his pale skin with an eerie bluish glow to it under the moonlight. She can see all too vividly his full, red lips slide upwards in a crooked, malign grin, bearing his gleaming white fangs.

No!! She puts her hands over her ears, shaking her head trying to chase away the ghastly memory. But she can still see him; still hear him. Still hear his low, smooth voice, lulling her into a trance with it's cunning, yet, oddly gentle tone. "Lauren," he had whispered, "Lauren..", like a dry, coarse wind scattering dead and brittle leaves down a deserted road, "Lauren...."

Something grabbed her shoulder.

"NO!" she screamed.

"Miss?! It's okay! It's okay! It's the police. Are you alright?"

"What?! Yes! Yes, thank you! Oh, my God! Help me! He... he tried, oh, oh, God," her words falling out of her mouth, stumbling over each other in her shock and joy.

"Come on, miss. It's okay. You're safe now, just hold my hand. I'm going to get you out of here."

"Where are you?! I can't find your hand! Where are you, please, I can't see you!" she yelped in a shrill voice.

"Right here, miss," the cop said gently and she could feel his warm hand cover hers, "Are you ready?"

"Y...yes," she said uneasily. They walked along slowly, Lauren holding on to the policeman's hand with all her might knowing if she let it go she would be lost in the horrible darkness once again. Soon, she could see a dim light far ahead of them.

"Are you okay back there?" he called back to her.

"Yes," she answered.

The light was getting brighter and she could now see the out- line of the man in front of her. She begin to feel a little more at ease; now that she could see him it lessened the chance of losing him. They reached the doorway, the pale moonlight shone down on the police car a few feet away.

"Stay here, miss," said the policeman as he walked towards the car, "I'm going to radio in for some back-up to catch this creep."

"Okay," Lauren mumbled weakly. She leaned against the cool, cement wall taking in deep breaths of the crisp fall air. She could hear the crackle of the radio and the low voice of the policeman who had helped her, but it was just a dull buzz in the back of her head. She was safe. Safe. She opened her eyes and looked at the officer who had saved her life, standing with his back to her in the open car door. How could she ever thank him enough. If he hadn't come, she thought, don't even think about it. She wondered what had made him think to come look for her in there; she hadn't thought she had made any noise.

She was just about to ask him when something caught her eye. The wind picked up and blew her blond hair in her face. She swiped it away, unsure of what she was seeing. Some one was talking to the officer. At first glance she thought it was another cop. The only light was that of the cold, blue moon up above. She squinted to get a better look and suddenly one of the men fell. The other man quickly reached into the car and turned on the headlights, blinding her. All of the warmth and feelings of being safe drained out of her and were replaced by a cold chill. An icy knot formed in the pit of her stomach.

"Sir?!" she called tentatively, "Sir, I can't see you. Where are you?"

He didn't answer. She strained hard, trying to see something, anything. All she could hear was the lonely, howling whisper of the wind through the trees. Panic rose up from deep in her and the urge to scream was stifled only by clamping her hand tightly over her mouth. The wind picked up and was blowing full force now. Calm down, Lauren, she told herself.

"Hello?" she called feebly.

A hand shot out from the darkness into the bright stream of lights in front of her and she screamed. The hand grabbed her and pulled her away from the blinding lights and a few feet away from where she had been standing. They stopped and as she looked around the first thing she saw was the cop car, and the young officer who had saved her dead on the ground at it's side.

"No!" she cried and before she had time to think she was grabbed and turned and found herself staring into those evil eyes, deeper and blacker than the hallway she'd been lost in. His red lips curled into a wicked grin, bearing his long, sharp fangs.

"Hello, Lauren," his voice mixing with the wind that blew around them, "did you really think you could get away from me? Silly girl. You, I thought you would be different, unlike the others. Some give in so easily; too easily. I prefer a good chase, don't you? I thought you would last longer, but you were so much easier than I had expected. It was fun, though, wasn't it, Lauren? But enough, it will be morning soon and I'm tired of fooling around. I'm hungry, so very hungry. So easy, you disappointed me, Lauren. Say goodnight."

Lauren's mind raced as he went down to bite her, and she knew one thing - she wasn't going to just give in! She wasn't easy and if he wanted a good chase she was going to give it to him.

"NO!" she screamed and using both her hands, pushed him away from her. Taking him by surprise, he flew backwards and fell down. Lauren didn't wait to see if he was going to get up, she turned and ran into the woods. She ran like she never had, not able to hear over her own loud panting, ragged breath to listen for his pursuit. Limbs pulled at her hair and scratched her face and thorns tore at her jeans. Suddenly, she stumbled over a large limb and began to fall. She expected to hit the ground hard, but it didn't come. Something was wrong.

Everything was a blur and she could feel herself falling, but where was the ground? She had fallen into a hole. The ground suddenly popped up and she slammed into it, knocking the wind out of her. She lay there, gasping for air, trying not to make too much noise. Her head was throbbing and felt as if it might burst open, her throat felt like it was on fire, and her arm was bent at an odd angle. A searing pain shot up to her shoulder. Soon, she could hear the sounds of his footsteps, coming after her. No, she had to get up! But she couldn't move, and the pain was unbearable. Please! she pleaded to herself. Useless, silent tears streamed down her face. Please let him pass me up, she cried silently.

She looked up and could see the moon, shining down on her. Suddenly it began to spin and she slowly realized she was going to faint. No! she thought, but it was too late. The thought faded off into a dull nothingness and as Lauren's eyes closed she could see him. His face over hers, blocking out the moon, blocking out everything. Lauren closed her eyes and begin to fall, but how? It wasn't possible, she tried to reason with herself. Yet, she was falling, falling. The horrible pain was almost gone, except for a sharp, piercing pain in her neck. But even that began to fade away into blackness. Lauren had never seen a black so black. Only in his eyes, she realized, that was the only time she had ever seen such an obscure blackness, in his eyes. Lauren continued to fall, deeper and deeper was Lauren's fall.....falling, falling......but this time there was no ground to break Lauren's fall.......