Safe neighborhood

The steaming hot water streaming down Jana’s back soothed muscles sore from a long day at work. Tendrils of hot mist curled around the edges of the shower curtain, licking beads of moisture onto the small window across the room. Jana sighed, letting the heat and water melt away the tension between her shoulder blades.

In her sea green and navy bathroom, she felt safe. Much safer than on her short walk from the subway station to her apartment. All during the four blocks home, Jana had felt eyes boring into her. She’d stopped a few times, looking for her stalker, but had seen no one.

Once home, Jana had locked four of the six locks on her door, sealing herself inside her own fortress of solitude. She had popped her pre-prepared dinner into the oven and headed for the shower.

Jana could look back, now in the relaxing flow of water, and see that she’d been safe all along. No one watched her while she walked. She lived in a safe neighborhood. The lithe woman stretched, watching her muscles ripple along her arms and legs. Her dancer’s body was often the subject of examination from all sorts of people, but she’d never been frightened like she had today.

She assumed it was from overwork. Her director had been pushing her, and her fellow dancers, to perfect the routines from his newest project. That the project itself was a horror production probably didn’t help Jana’s newly discovered nervousness.

Jana stepped from the rapidly cooling shower and reached for the oversized navy bath towel that was tossed on the vanity counter beside her tub. Quickly she wrapped up in the plush terry. She decided to let her long, raven hair hang loose. Jana’s stomach growled, reminding her of the dinner waiting in her oven.

Humming to herself, walking on her toes, Jana pulled open the door of her bathroom. She stepped into the darkness of her bedroom and stumbled to a halt. Her long fingers clenched and her closed fist shot to her mouth to stifle the scream in her throat.

There, standing silently and menacingly, were three massive men in heavy black trench coats, with stark white masks on their faces.

Before sinking into oblivion, she noticed the different expressions on the mask; the first had deep, blackened, oversized eyes, the middle one had an ebony, bottomless, gaping mouth with beady, bloody eyes, and the last one had deep, sunken cheeks above a mouth full of razor sharp teeth.



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