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The darkness surrounded the skies as an overbearing, grey-cloud streaked across the world millions of miles away. The dusky beach lay ensnared by multitudes of particles of the darkness, camouflaging rocks in the sand and blacking the blades of grass. Waves of the water burst against the rocks, the sand crumbling underneath it. With no moonlight in sight, the sea remained only treacherous, swirling the mass of dark blue wreckage. Not a hint of sound could be heard anywhere, save for the roaring of the seas and the gusts of wind scattering overhead.

A beacon of light shone like a candle flame far across the beach and as Zoey panted and clambered through the mounds of sand; she kept this flame in her mind. She saw the fire was coming from a campfire near the water’s edge. She urged herself to reach it with every breath she exasperated. There had to be people still near it. It was her best bet. It was past midnight, not another building for miles. If there were still people here, they were the only way she could make it out alive. The beach was barrenly deserted but there was every chance that whoever had built that campfire could still be there. With a phone, and a close-by car, perhaps.

Light footsteps sounded across the sand over her shoulder. She didn’t look behind her, but they were just as hastened and urgent as hers. As she fought down tears, she sprinted across the sand, praying for those steps to get quieter and quieter. The campfire was burning brightly and she only had to get there in time. The sting of saliva filled her mouth, her feet losing their battle on the sand. She couldn’t head for the water… the waves were too rough and he was a better swimmer than her.

‘You come back here right now or I’ll get you anyway! And when I do, I’ll make sure you hurt for the rest of your life!’ The vicious voice tore past her ears with resonance she didn’t fear to doubt. The footfalls accompanied by it sped up, getting louder and closer with each passing second. A speed that her own feet could not match. ‘I’ll make you pay for this!’

Anger. And when it came from someone like that, all you could try was to get as far away as you can. Her legs grew strained and fitful, her breathing more uneven and rapid. The fire was nearing in sight. Her vision was shaking in her strides and she couldn’t yet make out if there was anyone still there. Maybe a young couple who’d had the same idea as Zoey and Warrick; to come out here and make love.

But it had turned so predatorial when he tried it with her… when Warrick dug his nails into her thighs it had felt less like an act of passion and more like he didn’t care about her. That he’d take her in any way he wanted and she was only along for the ride, that it wouldn’t matter about her feelings. He had no sensitivity in his heart. He’d practically torn at her bra, reaching inside her shirt and trying to wrench it forcefully away. She’d felt queasy, powerless, shaken and when she lashed out with her foot in his chest, there had been no mistaking that she could only run away from him after that, for fear of a worse fate. That look on his face had told her all… a harsh, ugly scowl that made her know she’d messed up. If he caught up with her now…

‘Stop running and get back here!’ If he was still injured, it wasn’t slowing him down. There would be a saviour by the fire. A heroic man who would come to her rescue, subdue Warrick with his strength and let her call her mum whilst keeping an eye on him so that he didn’t wake up.

She didn’t try to say anything. She focused on the fire; on hope and on the run to get there. But she couldn’t help the echoes of her friend’s voices making their way into her head – he’s a creep… Sonia says bad about things about him… don’t go out with him… don’t trust him… he’s the type of guy you need to stay away from.

She hadn’t listened. Rumours, lies, wrong guesses… she had presumed all of their comments to be any of those because how, in her mind, was the guy she was so interested in going to try this against her?

But he had fought against her with all his might and no sense or thought going her way. Just untamed, animalistic lust and his claws digging deep into every inch of her body. The thought of him smiling at her sweetly at her the other day, with an ice cream in each hand, filled her head with nonsensical outrage. Her mistake. She had not seen it in him, in his smile. And now he was chasing after her with hell in his desires.

The fire was close. He shouted after her once more. He wasn’t giving up. He was coming after her with everything he had. She reached the fire, her mind screaming in her ears. The burning, streaked red embers flailed about on the ground – slabs of firewood slotted underneath.

But there was no one there. No one was as stupid as her. No one had come out here at night with someone she’d known for a few weeks. And now she would pay the price for being the only one around to make that mistake. She collapsed to the ground, gasping for breath, the soft sand pushing up against her body, itchy. A silent scream echoed from her lips, her eyes zooming madly about from one side of the fire to the other in case she had missed someone sitting there.

But whoever had built that fire was long gone. It was just a flame on the beach and nothing more than that. No one beside it. And that meant only she and one other person were all alone on this beach…

‘Zoey,’ an out of breath voice wheezed, hissing disdain, right behind her. ‘You’re going to pay for that.’

Tears filled her eyes, no more desire to fight left in her lungs as she felt his presence past her shoulder. She’d given up, hands falling uselessly to her side. She didn’t know what she would do now. She didn’t know what was going to happen to her. But a growing horror of a sensation filled her stomach as her mind screamed mentally and the only thoughts she could muster together said that for her, only hell could ensue.

Against her body; inside her mind. In the hands of the man already gripping her body and dragging her closer, closer towards the open, roaring fire inches from her head until her head broke out in sweat and singing heat, and her eyes felt blinded from staring straight into the bright embers. Ready to tear her apart.

Written by Jrickayzen
Content is available under CC BY-SA