The odor of death, hot and coppery, melded with the humidity and swept through the room, carried on the dense sea breeze. A last ray of sunlight breached the open French doors and cut a swathe across the beige carpet to illuminate an area in the deep shadows. In the fading light, the woman could see a body on the floor next to the brown sofa, abundant silver curls haloed in a pool of blood, the battered face half hidden by the shadows. Bile rose in her throat causing her to almost gag.
Car keys clutched tightly in her hand, she hid outside the room’s entrance and gripped her purse to her chest hugging the door frame praying to remain unseen. Just when she thought escape was within her grasp, a dark form catapulted out of the gloom and charged across the room toward her. She screamed, turned and bolted. Each footstep echoed as she raced down the hall past a wall mirror. The glass briefly captured the image of a shocked white face with a mane of long dark auburn hair.
She fought the front door’s brass knob, twisting it violently, and succeeded in jerking the door open to tear down the flagstone steps to the car parked in the curved driveway. Thank God she had forgotten to lock the driver’s door. Once behind the wheel, she hit the lock button, rammed the key into the ignition and turned it. The engine roared to life. Rubber tires screamed as she barreled down the quiet street to the highway and toward the bridge.
Eyes wide with fear, she kept glancing in the rearview mirror to see twin globes of bright light rapidly gaining on her. She rammed her foot down on the accelerator. The Mustang shot forward at eighty, than ninety miles per hour. The speedometer continued to climb. One last time she took her eyes off the road to check the rear view mirror. That was the last act she committed before the scream of metal against metal and her world was devoured by the night.