Rachel


Rachel was a happy, fun loving woman.
Until the phone calls started...

Rachel

by

Susan Brown

Angel

Rachel was washing her hair in the sink. She hummed to herself, looking forward to going out with her boyfriend David.

Suddenly, the phone rang.

‘Blast, why do people always ring when I’m in the middle of something?’

Hair dripped down her slender neck as she rushed into the bedroom to pick up the phone.

‘Hello.’

There was just silence at the other end.

‘Hello, is there anyone there?’

There was a click at the other end and then the dialling tone.

Rachel slammed the phone down with annoyance and went back into the bathroom to finish washing her long blond hair. She had just finished drying it when the phone rang again.

‘Hello,’

‘Look is there anybody there!’

Still nothing. Rachel put the phone down with an oath and her heart thumping in her chest. She didn’t know whether she was scared or just angry. Maybe it was a bit of both, but she wasn’t going to let some weirdo get to her. Anyway, she calmed down a bit and continued to get ready.

Fifteen minutes later, just as she applied the final coat of her lippy, there was the sound of a car horn outside. Rachel went over to the window and saw David waving from his open topped sports car down below. She waved and then picking up her handbag, went out, making sure to double lock the front door of her flat. Then hearing the impatient sound of the horn again, she ran downstairs to meet her lover.

They had a lovely meal and talked about the future. A future that they had been planning for two months when David popped the question on bended knee in the middle of Trafalgar square, with all the pigeons and sightseers looking on.

It was sad that David had to be away for a while but that was life and they just had to accept the inevitable partings as just one of those unavoidable things.

David had to be in Brussels at 10.0 am for a meeting, so Rachel returned alone by taxi to the flat in the early hours. Rachel was a bit tipsy and exhausted from her night out on the town. She fell onto the bed still clothed and immediately fell into a deep sleep.

~*~

The phone rang suddenly next to the bed. It was 6.30 am.

‘Hello, who is it?’ said Rachel sleepily.

There was the sound of breathing at the other end.

‘Hello, who’s there?

The breathing got heavier and then she heard a whispered, ‘Rachel, Rachel, Rachel,’

‘Yes it’s me. Is that you David mucking about, do you know what the time is?’

‘Rachel, Rachel, Rachel,’

‘If this is some sort of joke, it’s not funny.’

Rachel put the phone down with a bang and with all thoughts of sleep gone; she got up to make a cup of tea.

She sat down in the kitchen and then heard the phone ring again.

‘Oh God, I’m getting fed up with this.’ She ran into the bedroom and grabbed the phone.

‘I don’t know who you are, but if you call again I’ll contact the police,’

‘Is that any way to speak to your one and only love?’

‘Oh it’s you David, sorry love I thought you was someone else.’

‘What do you mean someone else, don’t tell me I have a rival,’

‘No, of course not, some pervy creep keeps phoning me and either giving me the silent treatment or whispering my name.’

‘That’s a bit grim, you’d better tell the phone people, there’s a lot of strange characters out there.’

‘I will if it goes on much longer. Anyway, why did you ring?’

‘Just to say goodbye, I have to catch an earlier flight so I won’t be able to ring you later.’

‘When will you be back?’

‘Next week, with luck, I’ll miss you.’

‘Me too you: ring me when you get to your hotel.’

‘OK, Bye Sweetheart.’

‘Bye honey.’

With a sigh, Rachel drunk her tea and then went back to bed.

No sooner had her head hit the pillow when the phone rang yet again.

‘Hello, David?’

‘Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.’

She hurriedly put the receiver down and then dialled 1471 to find out what number kept calling her.

‘I’m sorry the caller did not leave their number.’

‘Damn it!’ said Rachel slamming the receiver down. She then lifted it off again and left it off the hook while she tried, not very successfully to get some sleep.

Eventually she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.

An hour later, Rachel started as she awoke to the sound of the alarm clanging in her ears.

Feeling more tired than the last time she woke up, she eventually struggled out of bed and went into the bathroom. After using the loo, she washed her hands in the basin and looking up, screamed loudly as she saw scrawled across the mirror in vivid red lipstick the words, ‘Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.’

Forty minutes later, a near hysterical Rachel let D.I. Pippa Thomsett and Sergeant Phelps into the flat.

After showing them the mirror, Rachel said, ‘I keep getting these weird phone calls that are either silent or a man whispering my name three times, like on the mirror. Who is it, what can I do to stop this creep?’

She started crying. She was a strong personality, but all this was a bit more than she could cope with. She dearly wished that David was with her, but that wasn’t an option.

‘Now don’t worry miss,’ said the Sergeant, ‘there’s a lot of strange people out there who get their kicks from frightening young girls like yourself. It very rarely gets any further than that. Now can you tell me, does anyone else have a set of keys?’

‘Only the landlord, as far as I know.’

‘Who’s the landlord?’ said the Inspector.

‘Mcpharland and Webb in the High Street.’

‘I know, they own a lot of property in this area and it’s likely that a number of people may have access to a set of your keys. It might be an idea to ask the landlord if you can have the locks changed and the keys only be kept by yourself and in a secure place at the landlord’s office. In the mean time, I suggest that you either get your number changed or all calls re-routed through the operator. If you have any more problems after that let us know, OK?’

‘Yes, thank you Inspector I’ll do that.’

Before going to work, Rachel contacted the phone people, who agreed to intercept incoming calls. She also spoke to the landlord who was happy to sort out her locks, at a price, of course.

Rachel then went to work as usual, catching the bus at the end of the road. She kept looking at the men on the bus. Was one of them the creep that was stalking her?

They all looked normal, but what was normal and the man wouldn’t have weirdo tattooed on his forehead.

She began to wonder who it could be. She hadn’t any enemies: or at least, didn’t think so. Could it be someone from work?

She shook her head: that was impossible, or was it?

He was getting to her. She was chasing shadows and trying to second guess who the man was. It was a game to him, she was sure. Rachel wondered how many other girls that he had done this to.

All this wasn’t helping. She wasn’t going to play his little game.

‘Maybe,’ she thought, ‘that I could just ignore him and show him that I didn’t want to play.’

This comforted her. The locks were being changed that morning and her phone calls were being sorted too. Perhaps he might just give up and go and pester someone else. Not that Rachel wanted that, but her thoughts were not that logical after the night that she had just experienced.

Soon, she arrived at work. She was sitting in her office in the small advertising agency she helped run with her best friend Sandra, when the phone rang.

‘Hello, Newhope Advertising, can I help you?’

‘Hello, sweetheart, it’s David.’

‘’Hi. You made it then.’

‘Yes I got in about an hour ago. How are you, any more funny phone calls?’

Rachel explained all that had happened.

‘I’m coming home. I’m worried about you. There is no way you should be alone at home. If I find out…’

‘Don’t be silly David. I’ve sorted out the phone and the locks are being changed today. I’m leaving work early to pick up the new keys from the landlord. I’ll be OK.’

‘Why don’t you go and stay at my place for a bit?’

‘I’m not going to run away, that means that he wins. No, I bet that is what he wants. He probably gets a kick out of frightening women and I wont give him that pleasure.’

‘Well, if you’re sure. If you have any problems, ring me on my mobile, promise?’

‘I promise.’

‘I have to go now. I’ve got a meeting in 10 minutes. I’ll ring you tonight, OK?’

‘Yes, speak to you soon. I can’t wait for us to get married. The sooner I get out of that flat the better.’

‘Well you can move in with me now. You know that.’

‘Let’s not get into that argument again, I’m an old fashioned girl I want to get married before all that.’

‘I know, I know. Anyway, I must rush I’ll be late. Bye love.’

‘Bye.’

She put the phone down, feeling all the better for speaking to her lovely man.

A lot of mail had arrived and it was her job to open them and sort out what went where.

Near the bottom of the pile, she noticed that one had been hand delivered and it had her name, Rachel Stevens, printed on the envelope. She pulled out the sheet and saw written in red lipstick the words, Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.

The phone rang and she picked it up, saying shakily, ‘Hello Newhope Advertising, can…can I help you?’

‘Rachel Rachel, Rachel.’

Rachel hurriedly put the receiver down and then phoned the police.

She was very upset when she finally managed to get through to the Inspector.

‘He’s found out where I work. How can I get rid of this creep? He’s writing to me as well as phoning now.’

‘This is getting a bit more serious but don’t worry,’ said the Inspector, ‘I think that we’ll have to put a tracer on all the phones you use. I’ll see if I can get permission and if I can we’ll catch him eventually.’

Rachel arrived home at about 4 o’clock after her boss Margaret said that she should go home as she was in a bit of a mess emotionally and too upset to do much work. Margaret was a lovely woman and a bit motherly towards her and Rachel didn’t need much persuading.

Rachel opened the front door with the brand new key that she picked up from the letting agents on the way home. She knocked off her shoes and went into the bedroom, immediately lying on the bed. The day’s events had drained her and she felt so tired…

She fell asleep, only to be woken by the sound of ‘Rachel, Rachel, Rachel,’ being whispered into her ear. Her eyes snapped open and she screamed with terror. It was a man and he had a stocking mask on. A wide piece of tape was roughly put over her mouth cutting off the loud scream. There was horror and revulsion on her face as she struggled to free herself from her captor.

Hands were put around her throat and squeezed tighter and tighter. Her eyes bulged and her lips started to turn blue as she heard the whispered words.

‘Rachel, dear, dear Rachel. I’m sorry it had to end like this. I’ve loved you ever since you walked into the office to pick up your flat keys. I rented a flat opposite you to be near you. It was so easy to get into the flat and to bug it. I’ve been watching and listening to you for a long time and I heard you say to your stinking boyfriend that you’re getting married. Now I can’t let that happen and if I can’t have you, no one can.’

The hands gripped tighter around the throat and the life of Rachel Stevens was slipping away fast. As darkness overtook her, she saw the eyes of the man through the nylon of his mask. She recognised him…

Just then there was the sound of a door crashing open and the heavy thud of boots running into the bedroom.

The man was grabbed by the neck and pulled off the now still body of Rachel. As he struggled to free himself, a policeman was giving my Rachel mouth to mouth resuscitation.

‘She still alive,’ said the policewoman as the struggling man was pushed out of the room by two burly coppers.

‘She can’t live without me,’ the man screamed, trying with desperation to get back to his only love.

‘Want a bet,’ said the Inspector, ‘it’s a good job we had this place watched. Take him away Sergeant.’

The Sergeant hustled the desperately struggling man away from his darling Rachel, saying, ‘It’s all over son. Stop struggling or get yourself hurt.’

As he was taken away in the police car, he looked up at Rachel’s bedroom window and could see clearly the face of Detective Inspector Pippa Thomsett, looking down at him. Their eyes met fleetingly and the man admired the clear blue, eyes and wide, sexy mouth of the policewoman.

He could see could see that he had been a fool to get caught like that. Next time he would be more careful. Rachel didn’t deserve his love. She wasn’t in his class. Now that he realised that, the man thought more about the Inspector. What a lovely face. It was a face that he could easily fall in love with. Perhaps, he mused, one day he would get more intimately acquainted with the lovely police woman and he eagerly looked forward to the intricate planning and then the day of his release so that he could once again see that face with it’s slender neck and lovely long blond hair…


The End


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