Raindrops fell from the sky, blowing sideways from gusts of wind. Felix took cover under a large oak tree and glanced at his watch: 4:20 a.m. An evil smirk spread across his face. He slipped the black hood over his head and walked through the rainy darkness toward Mara’s car. She never locked her Land Rover. Ever.

After stalking her for two weeks, he knew she’d come out from the house at 4:33 a.m. with a coffee in hand. Today, however, she’d also carry an umbrella. Her routine became ever so predictable: her shift at the storage facility began at five, she took an hourlong break at nine, then left promptly at two.

With nine minutes to spare, Felix reached for the handle on Mara’s black Land Rover. He pulled it open with ease and slipped into the backseat. The scar on his face ached—almost as much as his desire to harm Mara. He cackled and ducked down to lie in wait on the floor behind the driver’s seat.

“Today, you die, Mara,” he muttered through clenched teeth.

Felix ran his gloved fingers through his salt and pepper goatee, then reached into the pocket of his jacket. He pulled out a string of rope and grinned. A bolt of lightning flashed, illuminating the dark, chilly morning. He watched and waited.

Felix stole another glance at his watch: 4:33. His heart raced, and he squared his shoulders. Anticipation over ending Mara’s life caused his excitement to swell. He forced a gulp down his throat and lifted his head above the seat to peer outside.

Mara rounded the corner of the house and dashed through the rain to her vehicle. She opened the door and leaned in to place her coffee in the holder. Then, she closed her umbrella and hopped inside.

Felix heard the car door slam as Mara exclaimed, “Whew!”

After a quick sip of her coffee, Mara started the engine of her Land Rover, then backed down the long driveway. She zoomed along the slick streets and hummed to herself.

Felix gave a mirthless laugh under his breath as he pulled the rope taut in his gloved hands. He readied himself to jump up and strangle her.

Mara slammed on the breaks, then jammed the car into park. She reached over and whacked his head with the blunt end of the gun.

“Surprised?” Mara shouted, glaring down at him. “Did ya think I was unaware of your presence? I’m not as stupid as you think, Felix!”

His upturned lips revealed yellowed teeth. He swiped a hand under the hood and realized the top of his head oozed blood.

“Don’t blame me for losing your job. Your psychotic ways got you fired. Now get outta my car!” Mara demanded.

Felix stepped out and trudged along the bridge’s railing.

Mara narrowed her eyes. She shrugged a shoulder, then shot Felix. He fell off the bridge and landed in the cold, deep water below. She drove away, humming to the music as she headed to work.