Every week, I write a short story for all to read here on my blog. I hold weekly votes for the writing prompt of these shorts in my VIP Facebook Group. The story from last week was so popular, that everyone who voted wanted to read part 3. Here’s the original prompt:
A girl steps into the mind of other people as she sleeps. She sees and experiences what they do.
And here’s the link to the parts 1 and 2 if you haven’t read them yet:
NOTE: These are just for fun and therefore aren’t professionally edited. I did self-edit, but please excuse any errors. If I do officially publish these stories, errors will be fixed.
Night Chaser #3 | The Club Owner
After we told the police about a masked man trying to rob the house, they took our statements, snapped some pictures, and told us they’d do their best to catch the perpetrator. An EMT checked out my bumps and bruises, and Lydia assured them she’d keep an eye on me. Once the people in uniforms left, Lydia and I could finally talk openly about what happened as I packed a bag.
“Have you ever seen that man before?” Lydia asked.
“No, I haven’t. He said he traced my scent here and that his boss had been looking for me. Apparently, my nightly habits have put people in their crew behind bars and they don’t like that.” I shoved a few t-shirts into my duffel bag.
“Your scent? That’s weird. Do you think he’s mafia?” she asked.
“Could be. He was white and didn’t have a foreign accent—just a city slang. As for the fact that he traced my scent, I wonder if he has some kind of super power like I do.”
Lydia seemed to think about those words for a moment as I packed a few pairs of black pants and jeans.
“Do you think there are more people with strange powers?” she asked.
“Whatever happened to me could have happened to someone else. Maybe it just did something different to him. Maybe there are answers out there. If I’m not the only one, there has to be an answer to be found.”
“What if you find trouble as you look for answers. This guy was out to get you.”
“I know. He was supposed to bring me to his boss. I have a feeling he’s going to keep trying until he finishes the job, but I still need to figure out how this happened to me,” I said. I zipped up my bag after stuffing the last items inside.
“Abby, I don’t want you looking for trouble.”
I sighed and grabbed Matilda’s cat food and litter. Lydia offered to carry it with a gesture. Matilda looked up at me with curiosity in her eyes. I snatched up a few of her toys and stuffed them in the side pocket of my duffel bag. Matilda sniffed the pocket and I scooped her into my arms.
“This guy and his boss aren’t going to stop looking. They probably already know my name and they’re only a heartbeat away from finding you too. That’s why I’m going to have the windows on this place barred and the doors reinforced as soon as possible. I can’t stay at your place long,” I said.
Lydia didn’t respond. She seemed to be trapped between worrying for her own safety and mine and I didn’t blame her. The guy that broke in was scary and next time something like this happened, he probably wouldn’t be alone.
Lydia’s house was a little larger than mine, but she didn’t live too far from where I did. We took a cab to get there and I had watched for anyone trying to tail us. Luckily, we seemed to get out without being followed.
Matilda seemed a little confused, but she explored and made herself at home in no-time. Luckily, Lydia had a little box Matilda could use. Her cat had passed away over a year ago. We had adopted our cats together about 5 years ago. Matilda was a kitten at the time, but Lydia insisted on getting an older cat who wouldn’t have had a chance otherwise. His name was Bruce and he’d ruled Lydia’s place with an iron paw.
After Lydia helped us get settled in, we made lunch and spent most of it in silence. I could tell Lydia’s gears were turning. She’d always been the analytical and logical type.
“Will you promise me to at least take tonight off?” Lydia asked.
“I don’t think I have much of a choice. My foot still aches and my entire abdomen is sore from the blow he landed,” I said. It wasn’t the exact truth, but I wanted to make her feel better. If someone needed help tonight, I’d probably sneak out.
To put on a good show for my temporary roommate, I got caught up on some work after lunch. Lydia’s pager went off and she announced that she had to go in for a while. I nodded and got back to work.
I enjoyed a frozen dinner on my own, then headed to the club for my nightly release. I needed it now more than ever. Clearing my mind from the events of the last 24 hours would give me the restart I needed to come up with a more solid plan.
The club seemed busier than usual, but I didn’t pay much attention to that. I went there for me, not to socialize. I always danced alone in a sort of trance that made me the only person there. Anyone who interrupted me was just an inconvenience. The regulars knew not to approach me, but that didn’t mean others wouldn’t try.
“Can I join you for a dance?” a deep voice asked, barely breaking free from the loud music.
I turned toward him as I kept moving to the music. I’d seen him before, but never on the dance floor. He was the owner of the club and made rare appearances on busy nights and special occasions. I didn’t know his name, but his devilish grin was unmistakable.
“I prefer to dance alone,” I shouted back.
He moved in anyway. I countered by turning away and putting a few bodies between us. He tried to keep up. As I closed in on the edge of the dance floor, I groaned and turned around. Clearly, he wasn’t going away until I completely shut him down. I stopped dancing and crossed my arms as I glared at him.
“I’ve seen you before,” he said.
“That’s because you’re the owner and I come here every night. Now, it looks like I’ll have to find someplace else to dance.”
“You’re right. I’ve seen you here, but I was talking about something else. Perhaps we should talk about it in private,” he said as he held up his phone. On the screen was an image of me at the diner last night. The image was grainy at best, so I played it cool.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. That woman is wearing a mask. Sure we have similar build and the same hair color, but I was with a friend last night so that can’t possibly be me.”
I turned to walk away, but he grabbed my arm.
“You mean Lydia? Yes, we know about her, too.”
My heart did a flip in my chest. I looked around me. There were at least five bouncers in the area—all there to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid. I pulled my arm out of his grasp and gestured for him to lead the way.
The bouncers accompanied us up a flight of stairs and to the end of the hallway. The club owner opened a door with a keycard and held up his hand. The bouncers nodded and stayed in the hall as we entered.
I took in my surroundings as he shut the door behind us. No visible escape route. There were two windows, but they were barred. The office itself was black and gray with a few flashes of white. Overall it boasted a minimalist style. He pointed at a chair opposite another with a small table between them. I stood next to it, but didn’t sit yet.
He shrugged and walked to a stainless steel cart with assorted liquor bottles and glasses.
“Drink?” he asked.
He poured me one anyway and handed it to me as he came to sit in the other chair. I slowly sat as he did.
He took a sip from his glass.
“What do you want from me?” I asked.
“Sorry, I thought it was obvious. The hound I sent after your scent today said you were smart—maybe that’s just combat-smart. You beat him up pretty good, but I understand he landed a blow too.”
So he was the boss. I ignored the jab at my intelligence. “What do you want from me?” I repeated.
He looked me in the eyes. “I want you to stop the vigilante act. That’s all.”
“And if I don’t?”
“Then things might get messy, Abby.” The sound of my name on his voice sent a chill down my spine. It’ shouldn’t have come as a surprise since he knew Lydia’s name. He set his drink down on the table between us. I did the same.
“I have nothing to lose,” I said with false confidence.
He grinned and loosened his tie. “Sure you do. You little friend Lydia. We’ve ID’ed her. It’s only a matter of time before we find her. We know she helped you with your little injury, so she must be a doctor or a nurse. Finding one that meets her description should be difficult.”
“She’s just a doctor I call when I get hurt. Nothing more.”
“Something tells me that’s not quite true.” He stood up and removed his suit jacket. He laid it on the back of his chair before scooping his drink up again and taking a sip.
“Here’s the deal. Either you move to a different city and try your luck there, or you just stop altogether. I don’t care either way. As long as you quit putting my boys behind bars, we’re good. But, if one more of my guys gets thrown in jail because of you…”
“Things might get messy,” I said.
“Look at that. You are smart.”
I glared at him. “Are we done here?”
“Do you agree to stop? I suppose there is a third option we haven’t discussed yet, but judging but your tone and attitude, I’m guessing you don’t want to work for me?”
I sneered. “You guessed right.”
“You didn’t answer my first question,” he replied.
I stood from the chair and looked him right in the eye. “As long as your guys are out there terrorizing people, I’m not gonna stop. I suggest you go for option number four and change your business to something more legit. Maybe try opening more clubs. You seem to be doing pretty well with that. It’s a pity I’ll no longer be a patron, but there’s still enough of a customer base for you to make a living.”
“What makes you think I’ll let you walk out of here unless you agree to my terms?”
I took everything I knew about him and what he’d done so far to piece together my reason for outright defying him.
“Because right now I’m a mere annoyance. Not something worth killing over. Nothing your guys are in jail for is going to bring down your company. But you’re getting ready to make a bigger move and you don’t want me meddling in your business. You want to scare me, but you’re not quite ready to pull the trigger. In fact, you’re intrigued by me and you want to see me make my next move.”
He looked me up and down as if he was sizing me up, so I put the icing on the cake.
“Not to mention, I’m a regular here. If I’m a regular, that means people know I come here every night and my disappearance right now could lead police to your doorstep. You’re smart. Just. Like. Me. And I’m looking forward to seeing who’s smarter.”
With that, he sauntered to the door and opened it. He waved off the men outside.
“I look forward to it too, Miss Wilde,” he said.
“I never caught your name,” I replied.
“A little research and you’ll figure it out anyway. I’m Logan Wingate and I’ll be keeping a close eye on you.”
Did you like this short? Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.
Also, make sure you vote for your favorite prompt in the poll this week. Voting happens only in my VIP Facebook Group, so join and cast your vote in the current poll by Friday at 3pm Central.
Any prompts that don’t win will be in the vote the following week. Any prompt that gets zero votes for three consecutive weeks will be pulled and replaced. Some prompts, like this one, may have the potential to be a series, and therefore will be eligible to be chosen again for the next installment of the series.
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