The previous episode of ‘FEAR’ can be found HERE
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John’s heart was still beating rapidly as he sped away from the gunman. He had no intention of slowing down until he was well out of range. He knew that they, whoever they were, would soon be on his tail, and he didn’t want to risk being caught. Gradually the road conditions were worsening as the snow storm continued unabated. John realised he was driving recklessly and slowed a little. He had come this far and didn’t want to end up crashing the car. As he drove he wondered what on earth he could have done to bring his world crashing down so quickly. One of the things Karen often used against him when they argued was ‘It was something you did’. He wondered now if that might be true. Neither of them had blemish free pasts, and he wished now that he knew more about Karen’s. His own was an open book to him.
The inside of the car now was as cold as being on the open road because of the broken windows. John was only protected by the thin jacket he had thrown on before leaving his house much earlier that evening. The adrenaline coursing through his blood had been keeping him warm during the last couple of hours, but he was cooling down rapidly. As he drove through the snow storm he was shivering and every now and then his teeth chattered.
Finally John arrived within the city limits. although the snow was still falling the light of the street-lamps and the buildings made him feel slightly safer. He slowed to well within the speed limit. His car was obviously damaged enough to draw attention, and attention was exactly what John didn’t need right now, especially not from the authorities.
Even driving well within the speed limit he calculated that he should be back to his house soon. All of a sudden a police car pulled out in front of him, causing him brake suddenly then to slow his progression home even more. The police car was cruising the area at a almost walking pace which meant John had to adjust his speed accordingly. He didn’t want to overtake, as if he did they would notice the smashed rear window. He couldn’t take the chance that they might stop him. He didn’t know how he would explain the night’s events, and anyway the caller had told him not to involve the police.
After a while the police car pulled off down another side street. John carried on towards his home. He was looking forward to getting into the warm and to having a hot shower to make him feel cleaner, warmer and generally much better. As he turned up the incline to his house he felt a surge of relief, until he noticed that there was a light on in his front bedroom. He knew for a fact that none of the lights had been left on when he left earlier that evening. John clearly remembered that it was only just turning to dusk then, and that he hadn’t needed any lights on. John’s first hope was that Karen had returned, but he knew he couldn’t take any chances. As he came alongside his property the light went out, leaving the place in darkness again. John drove past as he wondered what he should do.
At the end of his block John turned right and drove slowly down the road looking for a secluded place to park. On finding a suitable spot he pulled over, cut the engine and removed the keys from the ignition. For a few moments he sat there pondering his options. He knew he had to go back to his house. Everything he needed was in there. To get enough money from the bank he would need his passport for identification, even though he knew several of the bank staff he knew they had rules to follow. In a secret drawer in his wardrobe there was a handgun and a stash of money that would also be useful.
After steeling himself John opened the car door and got out. As the car wasn’t secure because of the broken windows he decided to leave it unlocked, but popped the keys in his pocket anyway. That way he would be able to make a rapid getaway if circumstances dictated. He felt badly exposed in the street as he walked back to his house. He tried to be as inconspicuous as possible but knew that anyone looking out for him would spot him immediately. Once again he had a sense that he was being watched, but hoped it was simply his growing paranoia.
Standing outside his house he could see there were still no lights on inside anymore, but he couldn’t tell if the place was empty. He started towards the side of the property intending to go in through the back entrance. As he sidled along beside the fence he shivered. He was cold and full of fear. He had no idea what he might find inside, but unless he crossed his threshold he would never know, and Karen would remain in danger.