Prey

I can’t see him but I know he’s there. I’ve never been afraid of the dark so I don’t mind cutting through this alleyway; I do it everyday when I’m coming home from work. Perhaps he knows that as well, maybe this isn’t the first time he’s watched me walk alone; maybe this is just the first time I’ve been aware of his presence. Perhaps he had followed me from the diner where I work, walked slowly behind us as Mary and I casually chatted. I hadn’t realized his presence until after a couple of blocks after I had parted with Mary at her bus stop and by then I just decided that my best shot was to just keep walking.

I keep walking. What’s a girl to do? I can’t turn back; there’s no where to go but forward. But I know he has different ideas about how this night is going to end. It rained all afternoon today and the streets are still wet; my heels splash in the little ponds of water as I step on them. The floor is slippery but I can’t slow down my pace. I know falling down doesn’t exactly help my odds but if I slow down I know I am done for. I hear the splashing sound his steps behind me and I know that he’s also sped up his step. I’m not slowing down but looking up for anyone who can sop what now I know it’s coming. The walls from the buildings on each side of the alley seemed to have no end, no windows, just two large black walls. Isn’t anyone around here? No, no one is watching us and he knows it, that’s why he chose this place.

Keep walking, just keep walking and it’ll be alright I tell to myself. I just need to get to the other side; all the while the dim yellow light from the street lamp ahead of me, but instead of shortening the distance betwen us I feel every step takes me further away from it and the comfort it would bring. Should I run? how far would I get wearing these heels? I take them of and throw them aside and this gives me a few seconds of advantage from my stalker. Why did I think my best shot was to keep walking? why didn’t I stop? Why didn’t I go into the convinience store a block back and asked the cashier for help? I hear his breathing speeding up and my hearts stops. The splashing is even louder now; I want to turn back but I don’t know if I should.

I can’t help it, I turn and I see him sprinting towards me. I don’t stop walking, but I don’t stop looking back either. He’s just a big black shadow with no discearnable features but a shiny object in one hand and a roll of something on the other. I can’t even see his eyes, but I hear his breathing and I hear his heart beating. He’s not stopping, he’s made up his mind and he’s charging at me full speed. So I run too, I just have a few more feet to go and I will be out and then there’s nothing he can do to me. My feet are wet from stepping on the rain puddles. Sudenly I slip and fall down into one of the big puddles and then it’s not just my feet but my entire body what’s soaking wet. I see him stop and I try crawling away until my back is pressed against one of the walls. He starts walking slowly towards me and I know there is no stopping it now. He smiles with the satisfaction of victory and I take a deep breath and close my eyes.

The silence of the night is broken by the screams but no one is listening. He raises his knife and stabs and blood starts running down the street, mixing with the water on the floor and building these burgundy pools that glimmered like rubies in the moonlight. After a few minutes de screaming stops and the business is done. I get up from the floor and wipe the blood off my mouth. I look down at him and see nothing but his eyes, frozen in a single expression of fear. I hate it when they look like that, makes me feel like a monster. He was going to kill me, or kidnap me or God knows what; he was the real monster. Me? I have no choice, am just what I am.

I leave him there; they’ll say it was a wild animal attack, a rabid dog perhaps. Finally I step out of the alley and stand for a few seconds under the yellow halo of the street lamp. I look back once more at the mangled corpse of my stalker and I recognize him. A patron from the since, I believe his name is, well was, Bill something. He would always sit on my station and wait there for hours. Gordon had kicked him out a week before and he hadn’t come back after that. I guess now I know what he was up to.

I button up my black coat to conceal the blood drenched uniform, put my hands in the pockets and start walking down the road. The fangs are hard to retract but they’ll be gone by the time I get home.

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