Stalkers

There is a cruelty unfolding in me I didn’t know existed. The click of my heels on the pavement echoes down the street, turning heads. I wear higher heels now, shorter skirts. I no longer stick to the safety of busy streets. I tempt fate and wander into the gloom of alleyways where the losers of the city huddle and sleep. The drunken, the homeless, the pickpockets. Petty criminals with petty ambitions. I stroll through their lairs of garbage. Bleary, poisoned eyes watch me pass, staring at me in disbelief.

“Stupid bitch,” they growl at me and they lift their bottles to dying lips. I tread holes in their cardboard beds with my stilettos and kick over their little cups of change. There is nothing they can do, they can barely climb to their feet. I hear the breaking of glass and the retching cough of sickness as I walk away. 
You see, there is nothing in the darkness I fear because I know you’ve got your eye on me. And you won’t let anybody hurt me, will you?

How long has it been now? I can’t remember my life without you. The purring of your engine wakes me at night as you cruise by my house. You wait until I come to the window before driving away. The sound of your breath, barely audible, on the other end of the phone. I can’t say a word. Sometimes you whisper my name in a muffled voice. It has been awhile since you last called. I saw you standing by the curb looking up at my office window. I saw you getting off the bus as I got on. I saw you sitting in the coffee shop. You are a formless shadow, your face a blur. Each time you move like lightning, when I look twice you are gone.

I roam the streets until I sense you, falling into step far behind me. I have something special to show you this evening. It is a short walk away. I will lead you there. Down to the harbour and the old warehouses along the docks. Follow me through the city park. Your footsteps are a numb, hollow thud in my chest. I stop and you stop. I walk and you walk. These winding paths lead into dark patches of trees and to the brim of a still, murky lake. I wonder how many have met their end here and if I will be one of them tonight? Of course I emerge from the trees unscathed, I know when you snare me it will be by your design not mine.

I received your letter today. Each letter you send is more intimate than the last. Our time is coming isn’t it? At work I lock my office door and lay out all your letters on my desk. Smeared black ink and putrid stains. I marvel at the details you manage to detect. You know when I wear a new perfume or lipstick, you know when I’m menstruating. And the portrait you drew is beautiful. The careful way you have rendered each fine stroke of my eyelashes and hair. My eyes are large dark orbs, the light in them extinguished. The drawing stares back at me from the page, frail and petrified. It is as if I was really there before you as you drew me. You have captured it well, that is how I feel. But there are a few things about me you are yet to glimpse.

I have left it for you here, this is where we part for now. By the time you enter the warehouse I will be gone, slipping away into the dark maze of the city, far from you.

You will sense it, as soon as you set foot in the building, something is not quite right. Keep walking, up dusty flights of stairs, searching the empty floors. You will be drawn to it, like a magnet, trust yourself. This is what you do best. And then you will finally find her, over by the wall, bound to a chair with heavy tape. Will a scream, sharp as a razor, catch in your throat? Will you crumple with silent impotent tears? I thought it was best to take care of her sooner rather than later. She was distracting you. And she was beginning to get too suspicious, asking too many questions. I heard her last night nagging you through dinner. She called your office three times today just to check your whereabouts. There were a few small changes I had to make. Her eyes were the wrong colour, her nose too big, her chin was the wrong shape. And that tacky bleached hair had to go. With a face lift and a short dark wig she looks just like me, don’t you think? My scent on her body now. I dressed her in the lingerie and dress I wore when you first saw me. I thought you would like that. The first time you singled me out from the crowd, the first time I felt the suffocating weight of your gaze. Yes, our time is coming soon. We are destined to meet, as both you and I know. But not tonight.

~ Magenta Nero

© Copyright 2014 Magenta Nero. All Rights Reserved

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About Veronica Magenta Nero

Veronica Magenta Nero spins fiction and poetry weaving dark threads of horror and fantasy. She hails from Italy and currently resides in the Northern Rivers, Australia.

45 responses to “Stalkers”

  1. moondustwriter says :

    You wring out a sharp twist at the end – nice!
    I like the stealthy and dark quality you have given her – though she is watched she is confident.

    Like

  2. Sisyphus47 says :

    Terrifying… and what an end! 😉

    Like

  3. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    The prey becomes the predator. Does she have a death wish, or is she now the same as the one who tainted her? Great first post, Magenta! The imagery of her abuse/disregard of the homeless is very strong. Lovely, devious role reversal!!

    A hearty welcome to the jungle, baby! 🙂

    Like

    • Magenta Nero says :

      Hi Nina, I liked the tension of two predators tracking each other. To be honest I’m rather shocked by the venom of this character, usually my baddies always have some redeeming quality but this one is truly demented! I loved writing it for the sheer abandonment of all reason !

      Like

  4. Magenta Nero says :

    Reblogged this on Magenta Nero and commented:
    today I am Damned…

    Like

  5. blazemcrob says :

    I certainly agree about the ending. So chilling, and it portends of what might happen and when. The mysterious mocking she does interacts so well with her perception that any moment could be her last, and yet she revels in it.

    Magenta Nero, you aced this story!

    Blaze

    Like

  6. Steve says :

    It is always a pleasure to read your exquisite writings Magenta, your ideas have such depth and work on so many different levels. Not only is this a superbly crafted horror story, it’s an exploration of the shifting dynamics between hunter and prey and can also be viewed as a metaphor of the relationship we all share with you as writer and reader.

    Once again you effortlessly draw us into the dark and dangerous world of your mind, it’s twists and turns mirrored by the city. We, like the stalker, silently following as you lead us deeper into the labyrinth until, with a flourish, you reveal our shocking end!

    Like

    • Magenta Nero says :

      hi Steve, your comments are always so helpful and interesting, it’s great to hear your experience as a reader. There is alot of mirroring in this piece and I think the first person narrative ( which I use often but will avoid for a while I think to develop other aspects of my writing) is particularly effective. Thanks Steve I always greatly appreciate your feedback.

      Like

  7. Thomas Brown says :

    Magenta, this is a gorgeous and confident piece of writing – I love everything from the subtle build-up of tension and careful reveal to the protagonist’s voice and her (warped) POV. Masterfully written, filled with menace and very human darkness.

    Like

    • Magenta Nero says :

      Thankyou Thomas, glad you enjoyed it. I’m grateful you pointed out it’s “very human darkness” as my main goal was to portray utter desperation, rage and fear. How do we retaliate and how does it transform us? (here I have presented a worst case scenario!…)

      Like

  8. Craig McGray says :

    A magnificent piece on all counts, Magenta. The pacing was perfect, and you managed to squeeze a whole lot of character into a short piece. I love seeing the tables turned by a demented woman. Beauty can be oh so fatal 😉

    Like

  9. jonolsonauthor says :

    A wonderfully written debut, Magenta! You made this short piece seem longer through your prose and the twist ending was well played!

    Like

  10. abbiefoxton says :

    Magenta, what an entrance into the halls of The Damned…sharp thoughts,
    dark and immaculately flawed character embodiment. I admire the way you strut onto the page, your writing style is completely fearless.

    Like

  11. aliceinwunderland41 says :

    So dark and intoxicating….I realized as I was reading I was literally holding my breath….

    Like

  12. the happy writer says :

    Chilling, wonderful; thank you, Magenta!

    Like

  13. Joseph Pinto says :

    Outstanding post, Magenta, and welcome to the Damned! 🙂 You expertly captured your character’s darkness in a most impactful manner, not to mention that your story’s payoff is a delightfully wicked one! *claps appreciatively* Outstanding through and through!!

    Like

  14. Craig McGray says :

    Reblogged this on From Bright Minds Come Dark Things and commented:
    Loved every line!

    Like

  15. Tyr Kieran says :

    I’m late to the game, but it’s well worth commenting on! Excellent tale, Magenta! I really love the the subtle shift from fed up victim to stalker of stalkers. Well done! Loved it!

    Like

  16. Thomas Brown says :

    Reblogged this on THOMAS BROWN and commented:
    Dark, disturbing prose from Magenta Nero at Pen of the Damned:

    Like

  17. zkullis says :

    Sorry for the late reply to this story Magenta. It was such a fantastic read and great story! I’ve worked cases where stalkers crossed the line to serial killers, so I’m all-too familiar with the macabre results. I must tell you, I LOVED the shift and the bait-and-switch used by this damsel causing distress!

    Great stuff, well written, and a fantistic story!

    Like

  18. Megan Kay's Blog says :

    I love her!! What a deviantly delicious predatory woman!! I love Her!

    Like

  19. moondustwriter says :

    Reading over this several times so that I can find the pieces I want to highlight, I feel the predator and the spirit that goes beyond garden variety predator. She is calculating and strengthened each day by her obsession – marvelous

    Like

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