The Man with the Flat Cap

Flash fiction again.

 

The Man with the Flat Cap

She sat looking out the cafe window at the cold white Christmas lights and tried to remember who she was. Her husband gone. All alone.

Her coffee was cold. She didn’t care. She sat and stared at the lights, longing to be one of them, to not feel anymore.

Something passed in front of them, obliterating her view in dark shadow.

Fuck it.

She got up and paid, leaving her coffee on the table.

 

She walked to her car when a chill swept under her skin, colder than the cutting winter wind. She turned and saw a man with a flat cap silhouetted, a dark shadow against the lights.

Although she couldn’t be sure, he seemed to be following her. She shuddered and walked faster.

Straining to hear his footsteps behind her, to keep track of how close he was, she hurried to her car. With trembling hands she unlocked the door and climbed in. Slamming the door shut and locking it, she peered out, but the man was gone.

She felt silly. But glad to be safe.

Why didn’t she hear his footsteps?

Shaken, she pulled her gloves out of her pocket, dropped one on the floor under her seat, reached for it.

In the dim glow of the lights, she saw something else under the seat.

Her husband’s flat cap.

She realized that terror she’d felt was the first time in a month she’d been glad to be alive.

She chuckled at his sense of humor. He was always one for pranks. And she didn’t feel so alone anymore.

Something metallic lightly tapped her window.

She glanced up and into the face of the man who had been following her. He was grinning at her, all brown mangled teeth, and tapping on her window with a knife.

She screamed, started the car, and veered away, leaving the man in the street, laughing hysterically under the cold white lights.

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