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The Promise

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A young couple were out driving through the woods late one night, down a narrow road surrounded by tall trees. The boyfriend was behind the wheel, when he suddenly looked uneasy and pulled the car over to the side of the road. He undid his seat belt and looked at his girlfriend.

“I have to do something, and I need you to promise me, whatever happens, you do not leave this car,” he said.

“What do you mean!?” She panicked.

“Why are you getting out? Why can’t I come with you?”

He didn’t reply at first, but simply opened his door and got out, only before stopping to stare at her one last time.

“Look, don’t worry, there’s nothing to be afraid of, just please promise me no matter what happens, you will NOT leave the car.”

“I promise.” She gulped.

“But how long will you b-” He closed the door.

After 10 minutes, he still wasn’t back. She grew impatient and began fidgeting, as she tried to rationalize her thoughts. He had been acting so weird lately as if he was hiding something... always checking if they were alone, always asking exactly where she went, and now he goes and does this!? She began to worry if she could really trust him.

Another 15 minutes passed and he still wasn’t back. She tried calling him, but he didn't answer. She began to fill with worry. She undid her seat belt and wound down her window slightly to allow some fresh air to roll in and help relieve her anxiety. Suddenly, through the open window, she began to hear a faint whimpering noise coming from deep in the woods. It sounded like someone in pain…

She thought for a moment about what she had promised her boyfriend, but decided to act on her gut instinct. After all he might’ve been hurt and needed help, and she wasn’t going to just sit there and let him die. She got out, and slowly crept between the trunks of the large trees and into the woods. “Hello?” she kept calling out, praying to hear her boyfriends reply.

She followed the whimpering sound for a few minutes, until she could no longer see the car on the road. She was completely engulfed in the darkness of the woods, when finally she could see the source of the noise. There was a man tied up to the base of a tree with his head hung down, whimpering.

The man looked somewhat familiar, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. He saw the girl and sat up in excitement and began pleading with her.

“Your boyfriend is in danger!! Please untie me! They’ve got me and him trapped. Thank god you're here, let me free so I can go save him!”

Simply hearing her boyfriend was in danger was enough, as she hesitantly untied the man who rose slowly to his feet and raised his menacing eyes to look at her. She knew she had seen this man before, in fact, she could have sworn it was the guy who had returned her lost phone just the other day. His face contorted with a look of insanity, and a smile grew as he ran off into the darkness.

Confused at what had just happened, and growing in dread, she slowly backtracked towards the car. Where was her boyfriend? Who was that man? Was he going to help her boyfriend? Why did he look so evil?

Suddenly her phone rang. It was her boyfriend, he seemed out of breath but was sounding safe and alive.

“Look babe, everything's going to be alright now."

He panted, "I couldn’t tell you before because it would have frightened you too much. You see, I've noticed that a man has been stalking you these last few weeks, and I mean a completely obsessive freak. He’s followed you everywhere.

He’s been growing confident and has been getting closer too - a bit too close, I've been afraid of what he might do soon. Remember that man, who returned your phone? That was him. And I don't think you lost it at all. So just today, I hid some rope and a knife out here in the woods. I knew if I came out with you he would follow, and sure enough I saw him running along in the darkness behind the car tonight. But its OK! I caught him and tied him up.”

She slowly turned numb as her mind processed the words in disbelief as they flowed into her ear.

He continued, “I think he’s been trying to get you for weeks, but he’s never had the chance. That's why I've been making sure you've always stayed in public places for safety. I guess he thought tonight was it, but I outsmarted him babe! We’re going to be fine now! I just went to hide the knife then and we’ll call the police to come and take him soon. Sorry I took so long, is it cold in the car?”

She felt nothing. She stood there motionless and couldn't move or talk.

“Babe? I'm coming back now. You're still in the car right?”

She began hyperventilating. “I-I-I I'm so sorry, I-” but it was too late. She was cut off by the swift sound of a knife slicing through skin on the other end of the line, and the gasps of someone painfully choking to death. This was followed by a splattering sound that continued for a long time. She had just heard her boyfriend being murdered.

She was hysterical in her tears and thoughts, as she dropped the phone and stumbled back towards the car like a zombie. She managed to open the door with her trembling hands as she crawled back into the safety of the vehicle and locked the doors.

That’s when she realized she didn’t have the keys.

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