Calm Before The Storm.

My heart seemed to be beating at the same speed as his hand were pounding on the door.

As I watched, the plaster around the hinges began to crumble with the force of his fists. I gasped, and scrambled to my feet, ready to run should he suddenly break through.

I looked again at the fire exit, desperately hoping for some kind of sign from a higher being. I didn't really believe in God, but I figured praying couldn't do me any harm. I just had to get somewhere safe to do it.

The crashing against the door stopped suddenly, although I didn't dare believe he had just gone away. If it were possible, by heart sped up even more in anticipation, to the point that I thought it was going to rip itself free from my chest.

The silence was eerie. I stood still for an indefinate amount of time; it could have been seconds, could have been minutes. I tried to count the them, but my brain kept stuttering, and I continually lost track. After the sixth or seventh attempt at counting, I gave up and concentrated on regulating my breathing; I had been hyperventilating since entering the studio.

Still there was no noise from the outside.

I slid down to the floor again as control of my breath came back to me. Sweat poured down my face, getting into my eyes, causing my clothes to stick to my body, and my hair to stick to my forehead. I dragged a bottle of water out of my bag, and sat with my head between my knees.

Recalling the look on his face as we ran, I shuddered. The anger eminating from him was murderous; I had felt it on my back the entire time.

For this reason, I was sure that he hadn't simply given up now. Somewhere outside, he was waiting for me to surrender and try to leave. I laughed to myself as I remembered comparing the dance studio to a sanctuary. How ironic that it had effectively become my prison.

I got to my feet for a third time, and backed off into the main dance hall. I didn't want to be looking away from the door if he was suddenly going to bulldoze through it.

I took a swig of my water, trying to collect my thoughts. I couldn't run out of the back; I had no idea where he was or where I would run to. Obviously I couldn't go out of the front; he was waiting for me there. I'd be running straight into his open arms. My mobile phone lay on my bed at home; I never took it with me to dance practice because I didn't like to be disturbed.

That left trying to defend myself. I scanned the room, hoping to come across some sort of weapon. There were the mirrors, but I knew I'd end up hurting myself more than him. The hi-fi system; I could throw it at him to slow him down, but it wouldn't be helpful afterward.

My eyes settled on the chair in the corner. It was wooden, with a high back and sturdy legs. If I could break one of those off, I'd have a club to beat him back with. It was the best I could think of.

My hands shook as a tried to uncrew the bolts on the underside of the chair, so that it took me twice as long as I would have liked. I was getting more and more wary of the silence outside, and this made my hands shake even more. Like they were on permanent vibrate setting.

The was an earsplitting crash behind me as the door flew clean off its hinges, taking chunks of the wall with it. I spun on my heels and my heart leapt into my mouth, running at a hundred miles an hour once more.

He stood in the entrance to the main hall, blocking my only exit into the corridor, panting lightly from the effort. I watched him glance at my crude weapon, before twisting his mouth into a sneer.

He began to laugh.

The End

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