Careful What You Dash For by Isaac Sweeney
Release date: June 1, 2020
Subgenre: Suspense, Crime Thriller
About Careful What You Dash For:
A serial killer uses Door Dash to lure his prey. He’s got the local police fooled and his property booby trapped. But Sarah is his next target, and she may turn into his greatest challenge.
Sarah awoke, and startled herself to a sitting position. She didn’t intend on sleeping, but she was so tired from the events that she must have fallen asleep anyway. It didn’t take Sarah long to notice the door was cracked open.
“What?” she whispered.
She approached the door carefully and pulled it open just a little wider. She expected it to creak, like old doors do in scary movies, but it didn’t make a sound. She peered outside the doorway, afraid of which part of the game she was playing now.
It was dark out there. To the right was a wall. To the left was what seemed like a hallway, but it was too dark to see how long the hallway was or where it led. Sarah carefully inched her foot out. Beneath her foot was a plush carpet, softer than she anticipated. It contradicted the cold, faux-wood floor in her prisoner room. The floor in her room was uncomfortable in all regards; this hall carpet was warm and gentle - almost welcoming. Maybe too welcoming.
Of course he wants me to leave the room, she said to herself. That’s why he left the door open. Why should I play his game his way?
As warm and welcoming as the carpet was, Sarah went into her room and plopped on the mattress.
“Nope,” she said. Nothing more but the sound of her breathing in the barren space.
Footsteps approached, faint at first, then louder. Not clanky footsteps like boots on hardwood, but softer footsteps, like the cranky stomps of men’s loafers on carpet. When they reached the door, Sarah looked up. She saw khaki pants and a collared blue shirt. She knew it was the man when his hairy arm reached in, clutched the door handle, and slammed it shut.
A grin found its way to Sarah’s face. She followed with a whispery chuckle. She knew she had one-upped her captor, and he seemed none-too-pleased about it. She had also glimpsed the man. She didn’t see his face, but she could tell he was short, probably less than five-foot-ten, with a muscled arm. He carried his weight in his protruding belly.
“You are unique,” the man said, his nasally voice muffled by the closed door. “You are the first to go back into the room.”
Sarah wanted to tell him that she wasn’t going to play his game; that she was going to realize what he wanted, but do the opposite. She wanted to call him names, like porky or shrimp -- anything to get under his skin. She wanted to push him, just a little, to see what he would do.
But, she thought, he’s expecting me to say or do something now. I’ll show him.
Not a word.
“More silence,” he said. “I like this.”
Right, she thought. Sure you do.
“Just know that I am going to kill you. You are playing the game, even when you don’t want to. Even when I don’t think you are. It’s all a game. And I always win ... in the end.”
About Isaac Sweeney:
Isaac Sweeney is a father, husband, writer, and educator ... in that order. He lives with his family on a small farm in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He writes at WriteAlready.com.