Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Short Story Mystery

If the Shoe Fits


Susan Page Davis

Part 1

Faye’s car was in a dim, distant corner of the airport parking garage, and she looked around carefully as she approached it. There weren’t many people in the garage now, but diagonally across the aisle a man was standing at the back of a beige sedan, putting something in the open trunk. Faye glanced at him, then stared. She could swear the shoe he pushed into the trunk had a foot in it.

He looked up, and she forced herself to keep walking without breaking into a sprint. As she put her key into the lock, she risked a glance over her shoulder. Big mistake. The man was staring, and their eyes met for an instant.

Faye yanked the door open and jumped in. She threw the transmission into reverse and backed out a bit more quickly than she had intended. In her mirror she saw the man watching her as he slammed the trunk lid.

Her heart hammered. She shoved the gearshift down, and her Toyota roared out of the garage.

“I’ll tell the parking attendant,” she thought. In her mirror she saw the beige sedan speed out of the garage. She hesitated, then swerved into the next aisle of the lot. She didn’t want to get caught in the line of cars at the gate with the sinister man behind her.

There were thousands of cars here, and it was quite dark. She drove quickly to the end of the row and turned left, not caring where she went, as long as the man in the beige car couldn’t see her if he looked down that aisle.

She turned again, right this time, at a gap midway down the long lane, then right again in the next row and shut her lights off. How long could she avoid her pursuer? Would he give up eventually and leave the lot?

She spotted an empty space and nosed her car in, then shut off the engine. The doors were locked, and she lay down on the seat, breathing in shallow gasps.

She fumbled for her cell phone. Maybe she should have kept moving, but light and movement would draw his eye at this time of night. Oh, where was the stupid phone?

Her fingers closed on it. “I’m in the airport parking lot, in my car. A man followed me from the parking garage in a beige sedan, and I’m hiding from him. He’s looking for me. Can you get airport security out here?”

“Calm down, ma’am. Speak slowly, please. What is your location?”

Faye risked peeking up over the back of the seat. A vehicle was crawling slowly along the aisle. She ducked down again. “Please send security to the parking lot. Someone is stalking me. I think the car is a Lincoln. It’s beige.”

“Which part of the lot are you in, ma’am?”

She raised her head as high as she dared. “Section D. Hurry! I have a blue Toyota Tercel.” The beige car was suddenly even with her parking space, and the driver was craning his neck, looking around. Faye scrunched down again. “He has roof racks.”

She huddled on the seat for several minutes. Suddenly someone knocked on her window and she jumped, terrified.
Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of If the Shoe Fits.
FOR DISCUSSION: Have you ever wandered through a deserted parking garage? What would you have done in Faye's situation?


Cathy Shouse said...

Yes, I have walked around in a deserted parking garage, having worked in downtown Indianapolis for several years.

Maybe it's all those years of watching the Mannix TV show as a kid but parking garages give me the creeps.

In this character's situation, I think I would have kept moving and gone to the exit. You can't really hide in one of those things.

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

I thought the same thing, Cathy. Even in broad daylight, parking garages give me the creeps! Much less if I thought somebody was after me...

Susan Page Davis said...

I think they are scary, too, which is one reason I wrote this story. Putting my phobias out there--ha! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

I've never roamed around a deserted parking garage and hope I never do. Parking garages give me the creeps. I guess I've seen and read too many stories about them. If I'd been Faye I would have gotten out of there. No way I wait for some weirdo to come and get me. I can't wait to read who's knockin’ on her window.