I’m used to people touching my wheelchair without asking. People will coo “Just popping past!” as they yank me from a conversation to move me out of their way, or will start pushing me at crossings, because I suppose they think my arms aren’t capable of getting me and the chair across the street. It shouldn’t happen, but it does, so when it happened today, I just assumed it was yet another “well meaning” arsehole who needed me out of their way, and had decided that my autonomy just didn’t matter at all.
I turned in the chair, with my usual “Get the fuck off my wheelchair!” speech, but for the first time in my life, I was speechless.
His black robes billowed in the wind, with a hood covering most of his face, except shockingly red lips. He didn’t speak, he just pushed me slowly along the street.
“Can you stop please?” I tried to sound assertive but my voice was as quiet as a mouse. He took no notice and began hurtling me forwards. The wind whipped against my face and the once calm autumn rain was now harsh and unforgiving against my skin. “Let me go!” I managed a bit more volume but he said nothing, pushing me faster and faster.
We were approaching a hill and I felt my stomach in my throat. I was going to die. There was nothing else for it. I was going to die. The world shot past, the sky grew dark and I could hear torment in the air, tortured groans and screams all around me. At the last second, he turned my chair towards a side street, and began wheeling me down past all the houses.
“Shall we play?” A chilling voice. Otherworldly in a way that sent panic coursing through my veins. The chair stopped, and I looked around. Everything was calm. The rain had stopped. The world was normal again, but my heart still raced.
“Please let me go.” My voice was nothing but a tired whisper. I leaned back in the chair, too afraid to close my eyes. “What do you want?” I felt his hands on my shoulders, as cold as ice, and the sudden realisation that my chair was free spurred me into action. I fought against my fear and my exhaustion, and grabbed the rear wheels, pushing myself forward with all my might. I didn’t stop to think. I didn’t look back. I just pushed myself as quickly as I could.
I could hear him behind me, his footsteps seemed so loud, and he called out to me, but I just kept pushing forward, steering a little closer to the houses, wondering if I had time to stop and try and knock on any doors.
“It’s a little game!” His words echoed, bouncing, with a sickening glee to them. “It’s all just a little game.” Then, suddenly, there he was, looming a few feet in front of me. I tried to stop but the chair sped forward, and he approached me. He removed his hood with a flourish, and smiled widely, blood dripping from his crimson lips.
“No fucking way…” I whispered. Tight corkscrew curls surrounded his head, a deep, dark black, contrasting his deathly pale face, white with painted on blushes. A clown. He threw away his robes to reveal a white jumpsuit, covered with pretty red patterns. As we finally met, and he leant down towards me, I suspected the patterns were painted with blood.
“We’re going to play a game.” My blood ran cold, and I knew I was trapped. He just smiled, and smiled, and smiled…