November 18, 2013

#MyFirst... Moment of Terror

Each Monday I will be writing about a First. I will choose the First (first kiss? first drink? first fight? first phobia?)
I will post the topic here and write my own little piece about it. And I will invite YOU to write about your own First on your blog anytime during the week. If you have never experienced that particular first, write about why not. And how you feel about that.
Then add your blog post via the linky below, and/or tweet it under the hashtag #MyFirst.

Today's topic is My First... Moment of Terror

I don't remember the party at all, but I remember the events afterwards with crystal clarity.

I had just turned sixteen years old, and I was coming home from the wrap party of the TV mini-series I had starred in. I can't recall what I was wearing, but it was probably similar to the 'Relax' t-shirt and leggings I wore to the premier. My hair was short and a weird dyed-blondey colour, my skin was tanned from six weeks on location in Queensland, and I was plump after eating my way through the catering services.

It was late, about two in the morning. My parents had excused me from my normal curfew because it was such an exciting occasion. And I was with adults. I was being dropped home in a cab. There really was nothing to worry about.

Of course, I was a little bit drunk, because this was a film crew, and people in film crews drink. And the actors drink, even the teenage actors, even the ones who had barely turned sixteen. I was a little bit drunk and I was in a taxi and it was two in the morning and it was time to go home.

I can't remember who I was in the cab with. I do remember that I wanted to be grown up like them. And so, when the taxi reached the corner of my street, I offered to get out right there, and not be driven to the door. It would have been no trouble at all for the cab to make that right hand turn, to travel the extra 150 metres to get me to my house. But no, I said, this was absolutely fine, even though the streets were empty and it would have taken all of two minutes.

And so I hopped out of the cab on the corner of a main road, shut the door and waved my chaperone goodbye, and headed up the street to home.

It was 2am, I was a bit drunk, and I was sixteen. I heard a car behind me, the only car on the deserted road. And then I heard the car slow down, and stop altogether, and then turn slowly into my street.

And as my whole body went cold, and the terror rose in my chest, the car pulled up beside me, and began following me at pace.

I could barely breathe. I was bathed in fear. My alcohol haze was lifted and all was crystal clear. My vision narrowed to myself, the street, and the car. I was aware of nothing, not the past, not the future, not my life, just my home up ahead and the distance I needed to cover.

The fear. The fear. I wanted to run and keep running. But I wasn't a great runner and I knew I couldn't outrun a car. And I knew the car door could open and a hand could reach out. I could feel the emptiness of the streets, and the silence all around.

I considered bolting into a stranger's house, but it was 2am, and I could bang on the door, but what if nobody heard? I figured my only chance was to make it home. And I knew I couldn't sprint the distance, so I had to play it smart.

I wanted to run but I couldn't. Not yet. And so I forced myself to walk normally as the car trailed beside. I kept my eyes straight ahead, agonisingly aware of the vehicle, and calculating how many steps it would take to get me to safety.

And when I thought I was close enough, I broke into a run. I ran as fast as I could run, frantic with fear. I ran with eyes fixed on my house, terrified that any second that car would stop and a hand would reach out and I'd be gone gone gone.

I ran full pelt to home, and as I got through the gate I grabbed my keys from my bag and slid them into the door. I was ready to pound and scream and ring the bell, but I got the door straight open, and I slammed it shut behind me.

And then I was there, in the hallway of my parent's house. The fear drained away and I stood shaking with relief. I looked down the hall at the home in which I grew up, and I had never felt more safe. I had never felt more secure. I kissed my parents goodnight and I went to bed and I was so happy to be home. I never wanted to leave.

To this day, I don't know who was inside that car. Whether it was one person or six, whether they intended to scare me or worse. But it was the first moment of sheer terror I had ever known. I need only to close my eyes, and it is just under the surface.

I've had other moments of fear since, in many different forms. But none have resembled that night in the street. It has only been replayed in my dreams.

Next week's topic: My First... Obsession


  1. Gonna get my daughter to read this.

  2. I wish my moment of terror had the same coda as yours, but sadly my tale is the opposite... you'll understand when you read it...

    I should warn people that my post could be a trigger for some people, so be careful.

    My First Moment of Terror: Drowning, Not Waving:

  3. Holy hell! That is terrifying! Glad it all worked out okay though.

  4. Crap!! Recently, I was home alone, (outside sneaking a filthy cigarette) it was really dark, and I noticed a man wearing a hooded jumper, not unlike the unibomber, pacing out the front of my house. I watched him for a bit, then he ran down my front yard toward me. Everything slowed down, I could hear better and think quickly. I thought I was going to die. I mentally calculated how long it would take me to get to my front door, and bolted. Just as a slammed the door and heard him on my porch, I realised that I left the keys in the front door, it was like a horror movie, and I was the stupid woman who left the keys!! There was no time to get them, so I ran and let our enormous dog in. A few seconds later I heard a knock, and I wondered why this serial killer wouldn't just use the keys in the door, so I opened it. It was my neighbour, who was pacing my front yard as he believed he may have run over my cat, and didn't know how to tell me.. He ran down my front yard because it is steep. I was shaking and my face was grey. I survived,( and so did the cat) I am now watching far fewer real crime documentaries. Xx

  5. I was holding my breath reading that. Petrifying. xx

  6. I think I would have had to run from the get-go. Love that you played it cool...

  7. Actually I might get my daughter to read it too!

  8. Oh dear god. Oh how AWFUL. I can just see it!!!!

  9. I was holding my breath writing it. Seriously x

  10. I promise, next week's "My First Obsession" is going to be a happy post!

  11. Damn - I am now breathing... again. And having a hot flush lol. Thanks for the hot flush. Don't you just hate stupid neighbours?!!

  12. DD home alone, age 16-ish. FIL comes to visit, finds the security & front doors unlocked, lets himself in... did NOT knock or ring the doorbell... DD comes out of her bedroom to see a man walking down our dark front hall...she'd only just dressed after her shower. We no longer leave her home alone without locking the security and front doors now.

  13. What a terrifying story - being followed by a (sinister) car late at sounds like a movie! My own moment of terror was a Boat Trip that Wasn't Fun

  14. Hey Kerri,

    Can I say that one of the best things about these #MyFirst posts is all the new connections I'm making with some great bloggers!

    So glad you started this! :)

  15. Rushing to read!!! Next time, love, add it to the link embedded in the post. Will make it come up all nice!

  16. I really wanted to join in last week's link-up but failed to get the words out of my head! :)

    This week they came easier - but I'm totally with you, Kerri...all you have to do is close your eyes and you're straight back there.

    Channelling all my happiness into next week's post, I think x

  17. Merciful gods! I would have wet myself all the way home... glad it worked out without further incident. Honestly, I must be really good at blocking scary stuff out because I know I've been there, I've just spent much of today running a background search in my mind. I've come up with nothing! Blank. Just like the aliens wanted it.

  18. Scary! I think that fear is always in the back of a woman/girl's mind. I remember a friend and I (barely out of primary school) riding our bikes in the bushy back roads where we lived across the road from each other. A 4WD started slowing down and happened to be going wherever we were. We pedalled like bats out of hell and took a turn towards a property where we knew we could hide out until the car left. We'll never know if it was an innocent resident going home or a lost visitor to our area, but in hindsight I'm glad we followed our guts. Who cares if we were wrong! We're OK now!

  19. Of course you will never know but it might have been the taxi driver, upon second thought, doubled back to see that you got down the street to your house. It's going to bug you now, isn't it?

    Of course I would rather think that happy scenario than other possibilities!

  20. I am sorry for your hot flush!! I have a plethora of stupid neighbours, sadly enough, Unibomber guy is one of the good ones.. Sigh, I will move soon.

  21. Here is my first - the stuff of nightmares

  22. No! It wasn't the taxi driver! I was right next to it!!! Trust me. Not the taxi.

  23. Thanks for the sharing your blog post "
    #MYFIRST... MOMENT OF TERROR...". Really very very helpful and useful tool. tHNAKS -
    Relationship counselling, Troubled TEENS COUNSELLING ADELAIDE, Teenagers
    counselling Adelaide


Thanks! Love hearing from you.

Like it? Share it!