Fear and the City – a Friday the 13th tale

Hello darlings, and how are you all this fine Friday in February? What, you mean it isn’t February 41st?

(I did it for the sake of alliteration, Your Honour with a U — my quirky creativity cannot be quelled!)

Lousy Smarch weather indeed.

I thought I’d share a little tale with you that first appeared in an interview with Lizzi Rogers (who, incidentally, collaborated with me and several others on JESSICA, and is collaborating with me and several others on a yet-untitled collaborative project (she’s a collaborator, this one. Don’t trust her.) and indeed has written a lovely Introduction to Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two, available for pre-order on PUBSLUSH for the next 20 days.)

Enjoy! And if you like the writing, you know where to find more. Hint hint.


He’d been following me for three blocks now, I was sure of it. I first caught sight of him when I left the bookstore, and did he think I didn’t notice him ducking my backward glance over my shoulder?

I quickened my pace to match my heartbeat, my breath billowing out in front of my in frosty plumes like smoke signals.

S.O.S…. S.O.S… S.O.S…


I turned quickly and saw him there, closer, gaining on me. I didn’t recognize him — did I?

I clenched my fists and felt my knuckles pop and crackle in the freezing cold. My voice rose in my throat but would not come – – all the spit in my mouth had dried up, leaving me incapable of anything but the weakest cry.


I turned a corner, hoping to lose him, and moved quicker — not quite a run, nothing that panicked — but as I cast a quick look behind me, I saw his face turn the corner behind me, matching my pace. He pushed past other pedestrians, intent on reaching me. Up ahead, I spotted my salvation in the form of a familiar green logo.


I ducked into the Starbucks, that mermaid or siren or whatever she was inviting me to security. I walked up to the counter and ordered a Venti Americano out of habit, though caffeine was likely the last thing I needed. I refused to turn around when I heard the door open behind me, instead trying vainly to smile at the young blonde barista who was asking me for payment.

I reached into my purse for my wallet when I heard a voice behind me.

“Excuse me, Miss,” a man’s voice said, and I whirled around defensively, only to find myself staring at the bookstore clerk holding out my wallet. “You left this behind.”


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