Kourtney leaned against the drinks dispensing machine, filing her nails with the bored countenance of a fast food restaurant worker. Britney, her friend and co-worker, stood by the till, ready to serve customers. As the clock ticked towards nine in the Burger Place that Thursday night, only a handful of people sat eating meals.
“What you doing after work? Fancy going to a club?” Britney asked.
Kourtney finished her nails. “Me and my man are gonna have a night of non-stop shagging!” She let down her bottle-blonde hair and re-applied the scrunchy holding it in a ponytail.
“Gonna let him fuck you in that big fat ass of yours?” Britney asked cheekily.
“Don’t be crude,” Kourtney chided. Then she smiled mischievously. “Maybe.”
“Uh-oh, look, your stalker’s back.”
The man they only half-jokingly referred to as Kourtney’s stalker had just entered. He was medium height, somewhat podgy, with a chubby face and hands. Mid-fifties with greying, slick-backed hair.
“Just the way he looks at you is creepy,” Britney said.
“I wish he’d just fuck off,” Kourtney whispered under her breath.
He moved with a walking-shuffle past the tables and up to the counter, where Britney greeted him with a half-smile. Her boss’s mantra about the customer always being right played through her mind like an irritating pop song.
Kourtney moved a little farther away, keeping a wary eye on him, expecting his lizard-like eyes to flick her way at any time and capture her in his unwelcome stare.
“I want a cheeseburger,” he said.
“You want fries with that?”
“No, but I want a Coke. I want her to get it.” He pointed towards Kourtney, moving his gaze in her direction.
Kourtney shrank back at his gaze, feeling almost violated. His fat finger jabbed in her direction.
“I’ll get your drink,” Britney said, her voice clear and certain.
“I want her to-”
“I’ll get it.” Britney was firm. He didn’t argue back but his gaze stayed on Kourtney. He licked his lips as he stared. Kourtney felt a shiver run through her. I bet he’s undressing me with his eyes right now.
Britney quickly bagged up his order and slid it across the counter to him. She had no intention of handing it to him – the thought of his hand touching hers was not appealing. Behind gritted teeth, she warned. “Why don’t you leave my friend alone, you creep.”
He took the bag, turned to leave, then turned back. “Bye, Kourtney,” he called over, a big grin of victory on his fat face.
When he was out of the building and in the parking lot, Britney went over to comfort her friend, who was shaking.
“Don’t let him get to you.”
Kourtney took a deep, fortifying breath. “Damn right, I won’t. If he comes near me again, I’ll pull his balls off.”
Kourtney heard the distinctive growl of her boyfriend’s truck as it pulled into the Burger Place’s parking lot. Rob was right on time too. Her break was just about to start.
He came in and she greeted him with an enthusiastic kiss.
“You smell of fries, babe,” he joked.
“I always smell of fries.”
They took a booth in a corner, by the window.
“How’s your night been?” he asked.
“That fucking creep came in earlier. The one I told you about.”
“Did he hurt you?”
She waved a hand absently, purposefully playing down the incident. “Just scared me a bit. Let’s forget it.”
She slid round the table to sit next to him. The cheap plastic seat creaked under them. She took his hand and planted it on her bare leg, to his surprise.
“You ready for tonight,” she whispered, moving his hand further up her leg, to the hem of her skirt, which was several inches above what company rules allowed.
“You’re a naughty, naughty girl,” Rob teased. “But I like it.”
She nuzzled his neck with her nose. “And you’re a dirty, dirty man. My Mom warned me about tattooed white boys like you.”
“Ain’t no one warned me about you, baby!”
“Cheeky sod!” she jibed.
“Did no one warn you about naughty girls doing this?”
She moved his hand a little further up, along the inside of her thigh. She could feel his damp fingers on her skin and it felt good. She whispered in his ear. “I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking about my pussy, all wet and juicy and shaved, just how you like it. You’re thinking about sliding that big cock of yours in it. You’re thinking about me calling out your name as you fuck me.”
Rob licked his lips. “You can read me like a book, babe.”
“And when I get home, you can do whatever you want. I’m all yours. But now, I have to get back to work.” She removed his hand, gave him a peck on the cheek and returned to the counter.
Britney asked, “Why hasn’t he left yet? He’s just sat there.”
Kourtney smiled. “I gave him a boner like Mount Everest. He must be waiting til it goes down.”
The girls exchanged a mischievous glance, began to snigger, then burst into laughter.
* * *
At midnight, the Burger Place closed. The staff said their goodbyes and returned home.
Kourtney and Rob’s apartment was on the ground floor. Convenient, no stairs to climb, but it was small, or compact as current real estate parlance would say. A cloudless sky hung above, speckled with stars and a bright half-moon.
No sooner had she closed the door behind her than he swept her up in his arms and deposited her on their bed. The moonlight trickled through a gap in the curtains into the room.
With her laid on the bed, Rob began to undress her one item at a time. His purposefully slow movements meant it took some time, which only increased her excitement as her willing body was gradually revealed.
“Close your eyes,” he whispered.
He kissed her forehead, lips, neck. She moaned, a smile sliding onto her face. He took one of her erect nipples in his mouth, licking and sucking it. She arched her back, wanting him to be in her; but Rob teased her some more. He moved to her other breast, licking and nibbling her nipple, leaving it glistening with saliva. She felt him move down her body, his hands now on her thighs, his hot breath on her cunt. She spread her legs as wide as she could, revealing the tempting pinkness of her wet pussy to him.
The delicious sensation of his tongue on her clit sent a shiver of excitement through her body. She moaned with pleasure, murmured “Fuck me”, opened her eyes – and screamed.
* * *
Rob pulled on his boxers and raced to the door and out into the night to investigate. The chilly night air prickled his bare skin.
He scanned the area. “I don’t see no one,” he shouted back into the house.
Kourtney appeared at the door, tying the belt of a large dressing gown about her waist. “I know I saw someone at the window. I know I did. It was him.”
Rob went around the corner of the apartment and returned. He shrugged.
Kourtney walked to their bedroom window, just a short distance from the front door. She peered in through the gap in the curtains. The whole room could be seen. What we were doing would have been visible to anyone watching, she realised. A shiver ran down her spine. He’d seen her, and at her most vulnerable. She felt violated, unclean, knowing that he’d been watching.
“Look!” She called Rob over and pointed to the window. The marks of a pudgy handprint were clearly visible on the window.
“Christ,” murmured Rob, running a hand through his hair. He could see that Kourtney was shaken; their night was ruined too.
Kourtney pulled the robe a little tighter about her, glancing about with unease. “He might still be about, watching us. Let’s get inside.”
* * *
“No shit,” Britney exclaimed when Kourtney told her of the events of the previous night as they started their evening shift. She gave Kourtney a long, loving hug.
“That guy’s a serious sicko. You should call the cops on him,” she said.
Kourtney shrugged. “And tell them what? All I’ve got is a smudgy print on a window. What would they do?”
“They’d protect you, that’s what. That’s what we pay our taxes for, for them to protect us from weirdoes like him. Look, I thought about you this morning and got you this.” Britney took an item from her purse.
Kourtney looked at the small canister in a plastic housing. “What’s that?”
“Pepper spray. You hold it like this, flip the top to reach the spray button. See?”
Britney planted it in her hand. “It might come in useful. Keep it safe.”
* * *
Kourtney and Britney’s shift went by without incident. As midnight arrived, the Burger Place closed and they went their separate ways.
Kourtney went to her car, parked on the far side of the parking lot. Her old green Plymouth Duster was battered and rusty, but reliable and surprisingly easy on the gas. The lot was ringed by tall spotlights, most of which were broken. A working bulb bathed her car in a cone of crude, artificial light.
During the evening a short rain storm had passed overhead, leaving the ground damp and reflective as though it were dotted with pools of oil.
Britney beeped her horn as she drove past on her way home. Kourtney gave her a wave goodbye.
She put her key in the lock just as she heard a voice.
She turned, surprised that anyone else was still there.
He shuffled towards her, emerging from the darkness like the living dead in a cheap zombie movie.
“Keep away from me! Stay back!”
“Stay away! You’ll regret it! I mean it!”
But he kept coming closer, ignoring her warnings. Twenty meters away. Now ten.
Kourtney could feel her heart racing faster. This guy just wouldn’t take a hint. She flung the car door open, got in, locked it. Safe, temporarily.
She jabbed the key in the ignition as he reached the car and planted his grubby hands on the driver’s window. “Kourtney, I love you. You’re beautiful and I love you.”
She wanted – needed – to get away, and doubted that a slim piece of glass would protect her for long.
Ignoring his unwanted proclamations of love, she turned the key in her trembling hands. Nothing happened. She tried again to the same result.
He was hitting his hands against the window now, leaving clammy palm-prints. “I love you. Let me in. I only want to look after you,” he pleaded.
Kourtney could feel the fear rising in her.
She tried the window wipers, the headlights. Nothing. It was as though the battery wasn’t flat but… missing? Disconnected?
The bastard’s sabotaged my car, she realised. And I’m trapped in it.
He was striking his palms against the window with significant force now. “Let me in, Kourtney! I love you.” She could feel the force of his strikes rattling through the car.
Kourtney grabbed her handbag and began to rummage inside for the pepper spray. Tissues, lipstick, purse, makeup bag, tampons, hairbrush.
“Kourtney, my love!”
She couldn’t find it, then remembered that she’d put it in her work locker and forgotten to put it in her purse.
She threw her handbag on the passenger seat. Half its contents spilled out but she didn’t care. She was breathing quickly now, edging nearer to panic.
But the quiet suddenly struck her. He was no longer at her window. She twisted in her seat, looking about her into the dark parking lot, wondering where he had gone.
Can I make a run for it and get help? she deliberated. Possibly.
She continued to twist in her seat, looking out each window in turn, scanning the area. She knew he was still out there, lurking, waiting.
“You can’t just sit here all night,” she told herself. “Get your arse in gear.” What fate at the hands of that maniac awaited her, she didn’t know, but the longer she delayed, the more likely such a fate would be.
Mind made up, with trembling hands, she shovelled her belongings back into her handbag, adding the car keys, and readied herself to run from the car. She took a deep breath just as a loud shattering sound startled her. Flecks of broken glass washed over the passenger seat and dashboard. A cold wind now drifted into the car.
She turned to see, and heard his voice goading her.
“Kourtney, Kourtney my love. You’ll be mine, you know you will.”
He crept round the passenger side of the car, a large metal bar held between both hands like a club.
“Leave me alone!” she screeched.
“You know you’ll be mine, my love,” he said, voice lowered, sounding almost normal. “We’ll be together forever. Just you and me.”
Flinging the driver’s door open, she fled from the car. Behind her, she heard the clang of metal as he dropped the bar and gave chase.
She barely put five meters between herself and the car before her high heel got caught in a drainage grate and she tumbled to the floor, belly first. Just as she managed to roll over onto her back, he pounced, landing on top of her like a fat, out-of-practice wrestler. She was winded, gasping for breath.
Although not strong, he was heavier than her and pinned her to the ground without much effort. He wriggled on top of her. She was certain she felt his erection underneath his jeans.
He stank. This close to him, his unwashed odour infiltrated her nose.
Pinning her, he flicked his tongue out, trying to lick her face. She turned her head to one side with revulsion. And there she saw, within reach, her handbag on the tarmac, its contents strewn about. Glinting in the weak light were her car keys, barely inches away.
His rotten breath washed over her as he slid his slimy tongue up her cheek, unaware of what was about to happen.
Kourtney grasped her car keys, moving them in her hand so that the biggest key poked out like a small, oddly-shaped dagger.
With a swift, forceful, unrepentant move, she brought her arm around and jammed the key into his right eye. She thought she heard something pop, but wasn’t sure. Blood and some viscous, sticky liquid like an egg white leaked from his eye onto her face and neck.
He yelped out in pain, putting both hands to his destroyed eye, rolling off her and onto his back, crushing the scattered items from her handbag.
“You bitch, you fucking bitch,” he screamed. “I’ll fuck you then kill you.”
Kourtney stumbled to her feet, clothes grubby and wet from the dirty ground; her hair tangled and messed up. “That ain’t gonna happen,” she told him.
She retrieved the metal bar. Kourtney wasn’t particularly strong, but she was determined, and that was enough.
By Dan Shelton