Love Me to Death by Marissa Clarke
This couldnâ€™t be happening; things like this happened to other people.
The skinny guy in the black baseball cap leveled the gun at the clerk behind the counter and without a word, pulled the trigger. Elena dropped to the floor between the candy shelves and car care products, ears ringing.
She studied the manâ€™s reflection in the circular convex mirror above the beer cooler as he rummaged through the cash register, stuffing his pockets with bills. His reflection was distorted, but she could still make out enough to give a description to the police. It was impossible to tell how tall he was, but he had black tangled hair and unnaturally pale skin. His blue flannel shirt was filthy and torn. More animal than human, he cocked his head to the side in a swift, jerky motion, then stared into the mirror. His eyes wereâ€¦red?
The slam of the cash register drawer made Elena flinch. In horror, she watched through the mirror as the killer stalked to the far side of the store, passing the milk cooler one aisle over from her. Without a sound, she slid out of the center of the aisle, flattening up next to the metal shelves of candy, hoping he wouldnâ€™t spot her in the mirror. He paused, met her eyes in the reflection, and laughed. It was a hideous, feral laugh that made her body tense in a terrified rigor. Sheâ€™d never heard anything like it. Almost metallic, it sounded like more than one person laughing. In the mirror, she watched him round the corner of her aisle.
Run, her body screamed. Elena leapt to her feet and flew for the door. Run! As she skidded around the corner at the end of the aisle, a gunshot rang out, followed by a searing pain as if her shoulder blade had exploded. Her knees gave way, and her head hit the floor with a sickening crack.
Footsteps. A pause.
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