The road was familiar, one she had walked umpteen times in the dark.
The car pulled out from the crossroads, and turned its lights off.
She shouted ‘Lights!’ and continued on her way.
Up ahead, her route led her towards the park, but to get there she had to pass down an unlit path.
It wasn’t far, but she increased her pace with resolve, cursing herself for not replacing the battery in her torch yesterday.
Somehow, the path seemed different tonight, and she realised she’d made a wrong turn when she came across a property she had never seen before.
She could hear footsteps behind her now and became anxious.
The lights were on in all of the downstairs rooms so she knocked on the door to ask for assistance.
A thin-faced woman appeared, looking nervously beyond her shoulders before approaching the door.
‘Please may I use your phone? I appear to have lost my sense of direction in the dark and think I’m being followed.’
Two young children peered out from behind the woman’s skirts.
‘I can’t.’ she said. ‘They won’t let me and if I let you in, they’ll take it out on my kids. Please go away.’
She could hear heavy footsteps fast approaching and felt the beginning of panic.
‘Please!’ she begged. ‘I just want to call my husband to come and collect me. It’s not far and he won’t be long. Please help me!’
‘I’m sorry, I daren’t!’ and with that she turned the light off and retreated.
Terrified now of the pending danger, she looked for somewhere to hide. There was none.
Filtering through the darkness, a torch beam searched her out.
‘Thank goodness I found you! I was getting worried and decided to meet you. Good job I know your route. Hey! Are you OK?’
Totally relieved, she fainted into her husband’s arms.