What is fear really? An adult might say it's that feeling of having no control in a situation where your life is threatened. A child might say it's that moment when your parents turn out the lights at night and the darkness becomes a haven for all your nightmares.
Whatever the definition of fear really was, it couldn't compare to what I felt standing there with that mocking slip of white paper clutched in my hands.
When I realized my fingers were shaking I crushed the paper in my palms and tried to clamp down the absolute panic that was rising in my throat. I was right - he knew exactly where I was and he was toying with me, getting some sick satisfaction from watching me run for my life. I had been at the end of his string all along and he was now slowly reeling me in.
If I didn't do something quickly I was going to hyperventilate and go into cardiac arrest in a disgusting, rundown motel. I had fought too long and hard to die without at least a little dignity! If Abe wanted me, he was going to have get his pretty little hands dirty.
Forcing myself into auto-pilot I snatched up what little I had unpacked and tossed it into my bag while trying to get dressed at the same time. I shoved my duffel through the tiny bathroom window and then proceeded to squeeze through myself. Karloff, or one of Abe's other gorillas, were probably casing the joint so I had no time to be cautious; my only option was to get a little reckless. I would much rather the police have me at this point than to let Abe catch me.
Looking around wildly I spotted a compact car and ran towards it. After wrapping my elbow in an ace bandage I tried to use it to smash in the driver side window, only succeeding in bruising my bone. I managed to stifle my cry of pain and use a rock to do the trick and get inside. The best part of being on the run was all the dirty tricks I'd learned from the people I met along the way.
In a flash I had the car started and tore out of the parking lot towards the highway without looking back. I didn't allow myself to relax, however, and set my mind on getting out of the state and away from Abraham.
On the radio Guns N' Roses were crooning "Welcome to the Jungle" so I turned up the volume. Nowhere was safe...I was going to spend the rest of my life running from this mad man. Not for the first time in my life I thought about just giving in...
Subconsciously I began nodding to the chorus. "Watch it bring you to your na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-knees kneeees. I wanna watch you-"
The cold press of metal to my neck and a wash of hot breath to my face. "You picked the wrong car to steal."
On instinct I slammed my foot down on the brakes and the attacker flew towards the dashboard, dropping the small knife. It was an amateur fumble - this couldn't be one of Abe's guys. I picked up the knife and grabbed him by his shoulders, shoved him back towards the backseat he'd been lurking in, and pinned him down by sitting on him. That was when I noticed he was a she. It had been hard to tell with the oversized hoodie effectively shielding all feminine features.
"Who do you think you are, threatening me with a knife?" I shouted at her, squeezing her wrists to assert my dominance over the female, and ignoring the twinge in my injured elbow.
"You stole my car!" she said incredulously, trying to buck me off of her lap to no avail.
"This-" I said, waving the tiny pocket knife in her face for emphasis, "-is not a weapon. You won't get anywhere threatening people's lives with a freaking can opener." I tossed it out of the broken window and regained hold of her wrists. The fact that she hadn't used the opportunity to hurt me told me I wasn't dealing with a real threat. "I don't think this is your car either. Why park at a motel just to sleep in your vehicle?"
The stranger squirmed uncomfortably beneath me. "That's none of your damned business!"
"Whatever, I don't have time for this. My life isn't worth your drama. You can either get with the program and come with, or you can get out." I shouldn't have given her a choice; I should have knocked her out and given her the boot, but something stopped me.
"What makes you think I won't call the cops if I come with you?" She asked with false bravado.
I mustered up my scariest grin and watched the color drain from her face. "Do I look like I'm scared of the police?"
She gulped and shook her head. "My name is Char. This is my girlfriend's car...and I was spying on her. She's...she's cheating on me."
I released her arms and nodded before crawling back into the driver's seat. "Now we're getting somewhere. Hop into the front seat & buckle up -- it's gonna be a bumpy ride, Char."