“No Good Deed” is a serialized novelette from D.C. Phillips, author of the Frightful Fables collection. When protagonist Cam attempts to return a lost phone, she soon realizes that some lost things aren’t meant to be found. Read the chilling prologue here, and be sure to find out what happens next at Wattpad.com/FrightfulFables, where the first two chapters are currently posted.
He had been following her for the last three or four blocks, maybe more; Janna was sure of that. She drew the collar of her purple hoodie tight around her neck. Even though it was eighty-something degrees out, the hoodie had become her trademark. It was a comfort object for her, and besides, Coach said it was good to keep the muscles warm and limber.
She picked up the pace and paused the electronic beat that pulsed through her headphones. Replaced by the organic beat of her heart, the clunk of his work boots echoed behind her, and she thought she might be sick. His feet imitated the urgency of her own gait, removing any possibility of coincidence from her mind.
She had first noticed him when he sat down a row behind her on the bus, which had been the first red flag. The bus had been practically empty, and she hated when people invaded her space. She’d watched one of those late-night movies on cable as a child that had scarred her for life. A nondescript stranger sat down behind a cute, young coed in a movie theater, and – SLICE – stabbed her through the back of the seat.
She shook her head, as if to clear the swirling quagmire of anxiety that stewed inside. She wasn’t far from home now, but the closer she got to home, the further she traveled from the bustle and light of the downtown square.
Never one to shy away from her problems, she Janna steeled herself and turned abruptly. If this guy was trying to be inconspicuous, she planned to take away his advantage.
Just as she stood her ground, he stood his. He had come to a complete stop and did not budge under the pressure of her fixed, intentional gaze. His bony shoulders heaved under the shadow of a floppy hat. It was the same hat that had obscured his features on the bus, like something a fisherman or an obvious spy in a campy movie would wear, and it was now pulled even lower.
“Can I help you?” she projected from her diaphragm, just as she’d been taught to do in middle-school choir. Her voice didn’t come out as authoritatively as she’d hoped.
He didn’t answer. He didn’t flinch. His shoulders continued to heave.
D.C. Phillips is the author of Frightful Fables, the tales that will leave you screaming for more! He has received praise for his dynamic and darkly ironic style, which readers describe as “Flannery O’Connor meets Tales From the Crypt.” As a native of Atlanta, Georgia, he cites Southern culture and classic horror as two major influences.
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