The roads were quiet, but she still had to drive carefully as the rain slashed through the sky and hit her windscreen at what seemed like a hundred miles an hour. The wipers swept backwards and forwards across the glass to clear the view, but then a split second later she could see nothing but raindrops and the darkness of night. Her headlights illuminated a sliver of the road in front of her car, but she had never seen such heavy rain and driving in it made her uneasy. The sooner she got home the better.
With a sigh of relief she pulled into her driveway and cut the engine. She looked up at the house and groaned at the sight of the dark windows with the curtains still wide open. She had specifically asked her Son this morning to make sure they were closed when he went to bed as she would be late home from work, but clearly he had ignored her request, or he wasn't home yet either. Glancing at the clock on her dash she read the time at 11.15. It had taken her fifteen minutes longer than usual to navigate her way home in the horrific weather. The thought of going into her empty dark house unsettled her slightly, but she was a forty something independent woman and she knew it was very much time to grow out of petty fears such as the dark.
Just as she was about to open her car door, there was a loud bang on her window and she screamed loudly as her heart leaped into her throat. She twisted around in her seat, her hands shielding her face against her attacker, when she saw the familiar eyes peering in at her. Her Son was stood on the other side of the glass getting drenched from the rain, his hands cupped around his eyes to see into the car, a big grin on his face as he laughed at his mother's terrified reaction.
"God damn it Sammy you don't do that to me, you hear!" she scolded as she swung her door open and stepped out into the downpour. Sammy laughed again as he led the way up the porch steps and unlocked the front door while she carried a pile of papers from the passenger's seat into the house.
"How come you're home so late anyway?" she asked, dumping the car keys in the key dish and turning to switch on the lights. The house remained in darkness and she cursed at the electricity for failing again. This was the third time this month that the power in her home, and several other houses across the street, had cut off. Sammy shut and bolted the door behind them as always and rooted in the drawer for the two torches they had purchased especially for these occasions. The beam of light from his torch fell on his Mum while she found the on switch for the second torch.
"I'll call the company again tomorrow; we can't have this keep happening. Do you know where the generator is?" she asked as she slipped her shoes off and ran a hand through her wet hair.
"I'll sort it, you go sit down," Sammy said and the hallway slowly faded back into darkness as he used his light to lead his way down to the basement to find the emergency generator which would keep the power going for several hours.
While her Son disappeared to take care of it, she used her torch to find her way upstairs. In her old house, the one she had lived happily married in for over fifteen years, she would have been able to pick her way to her bedroom quite easily in the dark. But ever since the divorce and the new house, she had felt increasingly blind during the black outs.
A loud thud and a crashing sound as if pots were being dropped in the kitchen made her stop in the middle of the staircase. Apparently Sammy was having the same issue of not quite knowing his way around in the dark. She rolled her eyes and continued taking the stairs slowly, when another clattering and smashing sound made her stop in her tracks. A slow ice cold shiver rippled down her spine, getting right under her skin and she took in a shaky breath.
"Sammy?" she called out, fearing he had hurt himself.
With a frown, she turned back on herself and made her way back down the stairs. She swung the torch beam down the hallway and into the kitchen, and for the second time that night her heart skipped a beat. Only this time, the fear was real. She felt her fingers release their grip on the torch and heard it thud to the carpet, the light blinking once and then cutting off. She opened her mouth to scream as she turned to run, but the bullet was faster than her feet. The scream caught in her throat and her body hit the ground.