First Date

Photo by cottonbro on

“Well, that was a wonderful dinner Jeff, thanks so much,” Karen said with a slight smile.  “I should probably be headed back home now.  I do have to work in the morning.”

“Karen you are more than welcome.  Please let me take you home, I hate to see this night end.”  Jeff helped Karen into her coat and walked towards the door of the nearly empty restaurant.

“Oh, I don’t want to make you do that I can call an Uber.”

As they stood out on the sidewalk Karen had her phone in her hand.  Jeff reached over to touch her hand and said, “Please Karen?”

“Alright, it has been a nice evening.”

The two of them got into Jeff’s car and he started the car.  As he put the car into gear the door automatically locked, and Karen noticed for the first time there was no handle on her door.  She began to get a queasy feeling.  “Jeff, I live up on Suncrest Blvd, it is about half-way down the block from Third Street.”

Jeff said nothing.  Just kept driving with a serious look on his face.  Karen grew scared, “Which way are you going?”

Suddenly in a much different tone of voice Jeff said, “I know a shortcut.

Karen figured he was driving to the city limits.  She had to think fast there was not much longer until they would be out of an area with any hope to get help.  Starting like a low growl Jeff slowly began to laugh, a very deep sinister laugh.  Karen said, “You can drop me off here please.”

Jeff just laughed louder.  Now was Karen’s chance.  He was laughing so much and slowing for a stop light.  She slowly reached into her purse and removed her hand quickly as she pushed the tab on the can of pepper spray aiming for Jeff’s eyes. He slammed on the breaks and cried out in pain.  She threw the gearshift into park and used the point on the end of the pepper spray canister to break her window.

Karen reached out to grab the door handle outside the car and swung the door open.  She went to jump out but had forgotten her seatbelt.  She fumbled for the latch and just as she was about to jump again headlights came up behind them and Karen felt her biggest swell of hope.

Jeff, recovering from the spray, was gunning the engine trying to go forward.  He realized it was in park just as Karen jumped.  The car took off, slamming into her legs as they had not cleared the door yet.  She fell to the pavement and blacked out.

Three days later she awakened in the hospital.  Much of what she had been through was still hard to remember.  She learned she had badly broken her leg and had a serious concussion.  It turns out the car behind them was a retired police sergeant and he quickly got the license plate information to the police when he called 911.  The police caught up with Jeff in no time and found he had abducted and killed two women in different states.  He would face a lifetime in prison.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – shortcut