Chapter 8 in Rainstorm

  • June 29, 2022, 11:21 p.m.
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  • Public

Rain knew the Alderman’s across the street left for work by 8:30. She and Troy had spoken to them a few times since they moved in. The Aldermans were a childless couple in their early thirties. The guy, Aaron, was a mechanic while his girlfriend Shelby worked as a hairstylist. Aaron left around 8:00 and his wife left anywhere from fifteen minutes to a half-hour later. Fortunately, they had no garage, enabling Rain to see when they were both out.

They let their beagle, Barney, hang out in their fenced backyard while they were out. Rain wasn’t a fan of dogs. They were too noisy and too much work. However, there was no way she was going to kill one that wasn’t trying to kill her. She had a different plan in mind instead.

She waited until 9:00, just in case either resident of the house returned unexpectedly for some reason.

Rain dressed in dark clothing, put her braided hair under a cap, and donned a pair of gloves. Heart thumping like a drum, she made her way out the front door and down to the road. The Alderman’s also had woods to one side of them, and they too, only had one person next to them. Rain’s biggest concern was one of the neighbors spotting her dash across the street. Unlike her house, the Aldermans had a neighboring house behind them. But there was a stockade fence that should easily block anyone that might be home from being able to see her.

She was about to run across the street. Fast enough to get out of view quicker, but not so fast that she made people wonder if something was amiss. Then she had a better idea. If she entered the woods behind her house, she could sweep around to the Alderman’s backyard through the woods with nobody seeing her.

She trembled fearfully as she moved through the trees and underbrush for the first time since the attack, but was determined to do what she had to do as quickly as she could.

Just as she feared he would, Barney started barking as soon as he heard her approach the fence. “Shhh… hush, boy. It’s just me.”

The dog had met her, and she hoped the familiarity of her voice would quiet him down as she fumbled with the latch on the side gate, trying to figure out how to open the damn thing. Wouldn’t that be just oh so funny as hell; if she couldn’t take her “punishment” because she couldn’t get to the damn dog in the first place?

After what seemed like an eternity, she finally got the gate open. She approached the dog slowly as it gazed at her with a confused expression. “It’s okay, boy. We’re just going for a little walk.”

Nervously, she bent over and gently patted the dog. She then began to guide the dog out through the gate by the collar, but it resisted. “Come on,” she coaxed. But the dog refused to move.

Rain really hoped she wouldn’t have to carry the dog all the way, even if it couldn’t possibly weigh much more than about twenty pounds. She had to do what would be fastest, though, even if it wasn’t what was most comfortable. The longer she took, the more likely she was to be seen.

She made one more attempt to get the dog to follow her on its own. When he wouldn’t, she scooped him up in her arms, not bothering to close the gate. She was afraid he would squirm like hell and really scratch her up good, or worse, decide to bite her. But eventually, he calmed down as she softly cooed to him, though not without leaving some scratches on her arms. Rain regretted not wearing long sleeves.

She quickly headed for the tree line, hoping no one would see her or that the dog wouldn’t force his way out of her arms and bark up a storm. It seemed to take forever, but she finally entered the woods and dashed through the trees as fast as she could with the bulky bundle in her arms. She went as far as she could until her arms gave out from holding the mystified beagle.

Placing him down on the forest floor, she said, “I’m sorry to have to do this to you, Barney. I’m so, so sorry. But I couldn’t bring myself to kill you either. Maybe this way you’ll find a new home or wander back to your old home before the sick bitch making me do all this shit finds out you’re still alive.” She bent down. “You take care of yourself, boy.”

Then she rose to her full height and began to jog back toward the house, trying not to think of the potential rapists that could be hiding behind any of the trees.

Twigs snapped and her pulse started doing double time. She dared look behind her only to find that Barney was following her.

Damn!

She stopped. “No, boy. You have to stay here. Or at least run the other way. Run the other way, okay?”

Barney looked up at her pleadingly.

Oh God, she hated to abandon the poor thing like this. But it was better than killing him, right?

She ran again.

So did Barney.

She stopped and picked up a rock. She wasn’t going to hit him, of course, but maybe she could at least scare him from following her.

She took aim and hurled the rock.

And accidentally hit the dog.

Barney let out a slight yelp but didn’t seem hurt.

Rain was still just as heartbroken but resumed running through the brush. The incident at least seemed to stun the dog enough to keep him from following her. She ran as fast as she could, though she knew the beagle could run faster if he decided to catch up to her.

After another chunk of forever, Rain finally burst from the woods and into her backyard. She let herself in the back door, and after she stepped inside and closed the door behind her, she slumped back against it until she caught her breath.

Rain jumped in the shower when she felt relaxed enough, and then dressed in long sleeves to hide the dog’s scratches. Next, she set about the day’s routine all the while trying to act like all was fine and dandy and not feel sorry for Barney and for his owners as well. It was hard to concentrate, though. Not only had she broken the “rules,” but so had the crazy woman by entering the house during the daytime. It was hard to remain focused on her work when she knew her basement might be occupied at any given time of day or night.

Trying not to listen for any thumps and bangs from below, she went down to the kitchen and fixed herself some lunch. Part of her wished she didn’t work at home, but then she’d have to try to act normal for her co-workers as well. Maybe it was better to just stay home with the terror and be thankful they had no kids to get caught up in this freaking mess.

The only thing to cheer her up, besides the sight of her husband, was the great news he brought home with him. He was given a huge promotion and a huge salary to go with it.

“That’s awesome!” she squealed, glad to know they at least wouldn’t have to worry about money.

“How about we celebrate and go to our favorite Chinese place for dinner?”

“I’d love to, honey, but I already have a chicken dinner baking in the oven.”

“I know. It smells delish,” he said, sniffing the air appreciatively. “I was thinking of tomorrow night.”

“Tomorrow night it is,” Rain said happily.

Rain’s husband was too happy about his own success, thankfully, to notice that anything might be wrong with her. She’d also put on a good act for the Aldermans when they came to ask if they’d seen their dog or anyone strange lurking about.

Things didn’t go from bad to worse until she made that dreaded midnight descent down into the darkened basement.

The basement was so still and quiet that at first Rain thought the woman might not have shown up. But then she spotted her sitting on the couch once her eyes adjusted to the darkness, arms folded across her chest, one leg crossed over the other.

A horrible feeling of dread and doom came over Rain as she came to a halt just a few feet away from the madwoman with the evil eyes.

“You really do fuck up well, don’t you?” the woman said in the scariest voice she’d ever known her to use.

Rain knew it was going to be an extremely bad night.

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