“There’s no one out there, Miss. Are you sure you were being followed?”
“Of course I’m sure. Look, I’m not making this up, I was in danger!”
The owner and waitress exchanged a brief look and Ellen felt foolish.
“Look, if I could stay in here a few minutes I would be really grateful. In fact, if you could call me a taxi that would be great.”
“Sure, no problem. Have a seat. Melissa will get you a glass of water, or a glass of wine if you like. It’s on me.”
He left to make the call and Melissa got her a glass and sat with her while they waited. When the cab came she thanked them both profusely and left for home. When they arrived she asked the driver to wait until she was inside before leaving.
Walking up the path she realized she had forgotten to retrieve her mail and went back to the box. There was a small envelope without a stamp on it. She took it out and opened it and read the one sentence written on the crisp white vellum inside and felt her face go white.
It read: I want to smell your blood.
The police response time was admirable. Ellen, still shaking, let them in and they all sat down together and she told them the story from the beginning. Writing diligently in his notebook one officer nodded sympathetically as his partner asked the pertinent questions.
Looking through the blinds in the bedroom at the street they seemed unimpressed and shrugged as Ellen stood by.
“Miss, we’ll take this in for fingerprinting and we’ll let you know if we find anything. I’m afraid there’s nothing more we can do at the moment. We’ll talk to your friend about last Friday night, but unless we can get a print that could connect this guy to the note we really don’t have anything to go on. Following someone isn’t a crime in and of itself.”
Ellen nodded dully and thanked them for coming, locking the door after them. Trudging back to the bedroom feeling empty she couldn’t imagine how she was going to get to sleep let alone make it to work the following day.
Waking with a pounding headache she swallowed two aspirin and got herself dressed and onto the bus. Gazing out the window absently she couldn’t stop thinking about the note, tormenting herself with vivid imaginings.
Moving through the office to her desk people glanced at her but seemed to turn away as if they knew something was wrong and they didn’t want any part of it. She could hardly blame them. Sitting in the break room in the afternoon watching a cup of coffee go cold her phone rang.
“Hello, Ms. Addams, officer Conner, we met last night.”
“The results are back and I’m afraid there are no prints on the note or envelope other than your own. Not that we expected there would be, mind you, the sort of person who would write such at thing would usually take precautions.”
Saying nothing, Ellen stared at the wall and waited.
“Um, we’ll have a patrol car canvas your area as often as possible, but other than that there’s nothing more we can do at the moment. Please call me immediately if you see him again. You have the card with my number I gave you?”
“Yes. Thank you officer.”