She Had Been Warned

Another writing challenge! This time from Haley Whitehall on her blog ‘Soldiering Through The Writing World’. The challenge was to write a short story (500 words or less) that started with – ‘She had been warned, but now it was too late.’

She Had Been Warned

She had been warned, but now it was too late. Nobody could say he hadn’t given her plenty of chances. How many times had he sat on the next table at the coffee shop or followed her shopping or sat outside her house for hours? He’d even smiled and said hello to her once at the bar in the local wine bar. Yet she totally ignored him.

They’d first met 18 months ago. He’d been in a hurry picking up some last-minute shopping when he literally bumped into her. His  apology had been genuine and she had smiled and been so gracious. He could still remember that smile. It was then that he knew she was the woman for him.

After that he just couldn’t get her out of his mind. He would find himself driving past her house on the way home from work in the hope he might catch a glimpse of her. At weekends he would follow her shopping or sit in his car outside her house. The more he saw her the more certain he was that she was the woman for him. There were only two obstacles standing in their way – his wife and her husband.

Getting rid of both of them had proved to be much easier than he first envisaged. His wife died in a tragic accident in the Lake District. On one of her favourite hikes she  slipped and fell down the mountain to her death. That was the story he had given to the police and they believed him. He could still see that look of surprise and horror on his wife’s face as she tumbled over the edge. Disposing of the husband had also been relatively easy. This time a quick push in the back on that crowded platform and the next thing you heard was the screech of brakes and screams from people who witnessed the tragic accident. The coroner was undecided whether it was an accident or suicide, apparently he had been under extreme pressure at work.

So why, after all he had done for her, did she still ignore him? In the end he decided to go and ask her. When she opened the door it was obvious she didn’t know him. She looked so alarmed when he told her all that he had done to ensure that they could be together forever. He hadn’t meant to hurt her but if he hadn’t hit her she would have screamed the place down.

When the police found his car it looked like a joint suicide. A classic case, the car parked up in a deserted spot, a hose pipe from the exhaust pipe in through the driver’s window. What the police couldn’t fathom out is why the pair of them had decided to take their lives? According to all the friends and relatives they interviewed it seemed that the two hadn’t even know one another.




    1. Mike

      Thanks Pen.
      I looked at the prompt – the opening line – for days before anything came to mind. I nearly abandoned this story half way through – glad I didn’t now.


  1. KenBroad

    Excellent read! Scary to think there are people like this out there right now. This is why I always stand at the back of the platform :). Haley says she is challenging us again next month, so I hope you write another story then.


  2. badluckfairy

    When I read the first paragraph I found my natural cynicism kicking in hehe. I suppose for me that opening line seems aggressive and doesn’t conjour up a happy progression of the story which follows.
    Beautifully, cunningly and chillingly written, well done 🙂


  3. Sandra Bell Kirchman

    Very nicely written. It seemed very real and could happen so easily. Given the type of man he is, so convinced he is right, that story could probably be told with variations all over the world. Yet here it is, so smoothly and nicely done, that the man almost convinces you. As it progresses, you can’t believe he will do these terrible things that he dismisses with a paragraph and a mental wave of his hand.

    The final paragraph, as so many have said, is chilling. And so beautifully written. Bravo!


    1. Mike

      Glad you enjoyed it Sandra.
      Thank you for your kind comments.
      I’m thinking there’s still a lot of April left for me to have another go at Haley’s April Challenge!


  4. Julie Glover

    Seriously creepy story! Tied up with a ribbon at the end. You did a great job of pacing with this piece.

    I won’t be hiking for a while. And I’m warning my husband not to stand on platforms. (Not that I can actually imagine anyone stalking me. Maybe Angelina Jolie.)


    1. Mike

      Thank you for your comments Haley, I’m glad you enjoyed the story.
      I enjoyed the challenge you set and I’m already looking forward to the next one.


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