At 3:02AM, Denise Rooney, who had run the Dunkin Donuts outside Waynseboro long before the gosh-darn Exxon was even a concept, observed a man walking quickly across the empty parking lot, ducking behind a pair of gas pumps, and moving headlong into the tall grass that surrounded the property. She knew the time on account of the clock situated above the front door, reading 3:02.
First time she felt him, outside school it was like somebody tapped her on the shoulder, she swiveled, saying “what, geez” like fake exasperated, expecting Annie or Rhonda, but there was no one, no one, and then her eyes were drawn towards the fence and there he was, just sort of swaying, and a wave of something or other came off him even at a hundred yards, the Girl almost lost her balance, then nearly gagged cos her mouth filled up with saliva so quickly she thought she was vomiting
There’s gotta be a reasonable explanation for this whole thing, but even as the thought occurs Dave knows in his gut that no, something weird is happening. It’s like the way you feel before a thunderstorm, you can smell it, you know it. Then he remembers the crowbar. Behind the office door. The freezer in the back was acting up, kept getting too cold, and the boss brought the thing in case they couldn’t get it open.
Just who he is, this is hazy. He resonates unhealthy and insane. He is unshaven, and there is a spot of blood near the breast pocket of his corduroy jeans jacket one would have to look closely to see. That he is drawn in by her frequency, and that his intentions are blacker than the night outside her window, these things are clear. Oh she is not a fool and has always been aware that just as the puppies and other children and lovely birds are drawn to her, so too are the shadows, so too is that which crawls on its belly. Occupants of benighted corners. The less appealing entities.
Breath against fabric, cheap, partially synthetic. Not sleeping. Or rather: feigning death.
Her logic is like this – if he thinks I’m dead, he might not see the point in killing me.