Karen was a little late leaving work and it was already dark when she unlocked her car and settled inside for the drive home. She had felt a little uneasy while walking to her car because hers was the only car left in the parking lot. The parking area seemed to have an eerie sense of quiet stillness that she had never noticed before. She guessed she shouldn’t be real surprised that everyone had already gone home, after all it was Halloween.
The eeriness of the night only seemed to grow as she traveled the streets and roads to her house. At first she had seen one or two cars along the way but now fifteen minutes into her forty minute drive home there didn’t seem to be any cars on the road. Living as far out as she did you didn’t expect to see a lot of other people but you did expect to see some. There was no one. It dawned on her that when she had driven through the couple of neighborhoods that she had to navigate through after leaving work she hadn’t seen one trick-or-treater out either. The unease she had felt earlier managed to take a tighter grip on her now.
Karen began to notice that there were no lights on in any of the houses she passed, no lit up Halloween decorations, no movement anywhere. She felt like she was suddenly in some bad end-of-days movie where all the people had disappeared except her. She turned on her radio hoping the background noise would help calm her now very rattled nerves.
What the Hell was going on here? Pressing the little buttons on her steering wheel she tried to find a station she could pick up. Nothing. It was all the same.
She breathed a sigh of relief as she finally pulled into her drive but that was short lived. Why wasn’t her front porch light on? She distinctly remembered leaving it on this morning before she had left the house. She did, didn’t she?
Unlocking the front door she stepped inside to find nothing but darkness. One thing she did know she always left a light on in the hall and in the kitchen when she left for work. She lived alone now and rarely were those two lights turned off. She reached over to turn on the lamp close to the door but when she tried to turn it on nothing happened. When she tried the light switch by the door hoping to get a better reaction it only resulted in the same thing, dashing those hopes and her spirit. Nothing.
Was it possible there had been some major power outage in the area while she was at work and she hadn’t heard about it? She had been the last one to leave today with most people trying to get out of there to either take their kids tick-or-treating, make it to a party, or just simply trying to beat the mad rush of what was to come.
She sat her things down and pulled her phone from her purse. Pushing the one button that should connect her to her daughter who lived over two hundred miles away she placed the phone next to her ear. All she got for her efforts was a strange beeping sound that served to set her even more on edge.
Karen hadn’t realized she had left the front door open until she heard the low guttural growl behind her. At least now she knew she wasn’t alone. It was the last thing she knew.