“What is it, Cara?”
Cara shivered. “This guy turns up nearly everywhere I go. He’s freaking me out, Joan.”
“Here?” Joan scanned the crowded barroom. “What’s he look like?”
“Big and creepy.”
“Wow… lots of detail. I gotta’ go. Terry meeting you?”
“Yes… I’m breaking up with him.”
“After only two dates?”
Cara shrugged. “No chemistry. He wants me. I don’t want him. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Bye.” Joan walked away.
A hand caressed her shoulder, startling Cara.
“Calm down, babe… I brought you a glass of red.”
Terry sat down. The wine glowed ominously. She gulped some, hoping for liquid courage.
“I can’t see you anymore.”
Terry grinned. “I figured as much.”
Cara felt woozy. Her vision blurred. She mumbled incoherently. Terry helped her stand, laughing with a wink at the nearby bar patrons.
“I better get you home, girl.”
Terry hustled Cara out to the parking lot. He shoved her into his Mercedes passenger seat. Cara’s consciousness ebbed with each passing second. She watched Terry fasten her seat belt. Through color highlighted haze Cara saw two massive hands engulf Terry’s head, twisting it to a grotesque angle. The snapping sound of a rotted tree branch assaulted her ears. Terry fell away from view. Eerie blue eyes in an oddly familiar face replaced Terry’s. Huge calloused fingers brushed against her face gently. Cara smelled old leather bound books.
“No one bothers my little Cara.”
And then he was gone. Cara smiled, allowing grainy darkness to wash over her.