The Silent Woman

(1000 words) I was sitting at a bar with Tom, my ex-husband. He was being pleasant, that’s why I should’ve known it was a dream. “I think Toni should go back to art school,” he was saying, as an alarm shattered the illusion. I fumbled for my phone under the pillow as the clouds of sleep reluctantly rolled away. Any messages? Just one, a destination alert. ‘9 miles to The Silent Woman.’ What the hell?!

Nine Miles to the Silent Woman

(1000 words) I wasn’t working that day, so I’d set the alarm for 9.30. Best get up. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a door closing downstairs. I froze. There was no one in the house, just me. I reached into a bedside cabinet and took out a kitchen knife. I quickly pulled on my underwear, some jeans and a sweater, and then, with shaking hands, I crept down the stairs, startled at the loudness of my breath, and the thumping of my heart. On the second last step it creaked and I heard a noise from the kitchen. Adrenaline pumping, I threw the door open, brandishing the knife.