This is my first ever go at “speed-writing” as inspired by BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday (see: http://bekindrewrite.wordpress.com/) So here goes – please be gentle with me but constructive comments are very welcome.
The man was closing in. Rebecca grabbed the end of the railing and hurled herself round the stairwell. She ran on terrified, her breath coming in short ragged gasps. This wasn’t just some hooky school race where the winner gets a lovely cheap medal and a big smile from the Head. And she somehow doubted that the man was the sort to ever concede a smile except perhaps as he made his next kill.
She flew down the next flight of stairs her trainers squeaking on the polished tiles; already her adrenaline fuelled brain pumping out thoughts of her next move. She knew that the stairwell would lead her straight onto the busy London street and her only chance was to blend into the crowd as fast as possible.
Behind her she heard the scuffle of shoes slipping and sliding their way down the stairs and knew she only had seconds to get out. He was not forgiving. A man with no fingerprints has only one fear: someone recognising his face – someone like Rebecca.
She wished desperately she had not come home for lunch early. If she had just been ten minutes later she would not have seen her next door neighbour meet his shocking and final end at the hands of a man who would leave no trace. If she had just stopped and given some money to that street-seller or walked up the stairs rather than running home she might not now be running for her life.
She reached the bottom of the stairs and sprinted across the lobby towards the heavy glass entrance doors.
“Hey, Miss Elesky!” called out the doorman. “Is everything ok?”
Rebecca was fond of old Bob and perhaps it was her concern for his well-being that stopped her calling out in response or perhaps it was just her survivor’s instinct kicking in. When running for your life there is no time for normal social niceties.
She slammed into the door and rushed onto the street. Skidding to a stop she looked right, left, right again then with a quick glance behind her she pressed on again, running as fast as she could into the crowd beyond. She allowed the crowd to drag her into its slip-stream and on around the street corner stripping off her black jacket as soon as she was clear of his immediate line of vision. It left her red top exposed to the air but that would have to do. Under normal circumstances she might have been cold but the combination of running too hard and adrenaline pumping through her veins meant there was no risk of that and she had to change her appearance, fast. She yanked at the ponytail high on her head and let her hair tumble around her shoulders. Tied up it looked straight but once down her curls would at least disguise her temporarily; give her a moment to think straight and work out a plan.
She desperately wanted to look back and check how close he was but she couldn’t risk drawing attention to herself. Another trait of killers like this was that they always noticed the reactions of their prey. They fed on the frightened glances, the little gestures that to anyone else might be subtle but, to a hunter like him, only made it clearer that they were terrified.