Tuesday, 1 December 2009
It was a cool autumn evening. Bethany was making her way home from her boyfriend, Liam’s flat. She pulled her jacket in close around her as a shrill breeze kicked up. Wiping a solitary tear away from her cheek she tried not to think about the argument still ringing in her ears. Normally she and Liam couldn’t see enough of each other, but every now and again. . . Tonight had been a complete disaster; she’d gone round his to get ready before going out. Bethany had been under the impression it would just be the two of them there for a bit of take-out before going to the pub. As it has turned out Liam hadn’t had the exact same idea. There was a take-out meal but Liam’s friends were round and they were already drunk. When she let herself in she’d had to shout over the noise of some video game they were boisterously playing to get his attention. He got pissed off at her for distracting him and then even more annoyed when she kept pestering him to go out! Eventually while he opened at least his eighth can he’d turned to her and said.
“Cant we just skip going out tonight?”
Bethany started having a go at him. About how he had promised they’d go out tonight. That it just be the two of them. That the meal he’d not even bothered to cook for the two of them had already been raided by his drunken, inconsiderate friends! He said to stop embarrassing him in front of them! That had been the final straw and she’d left, slamming the door behind her. She heard Liam’s friends cat calling after her and teasing him. What bastards! Especially Liam for not running after her to apologise, he was clearly the bad guy here, not her! They had argued like this before and patched it up within a day or two, but this time. . .this time felt different. There was a finality about the way she’d left. Maybe her mother had been right about Liam, she had never taken to him. She was a good judge of character like that.
Bethany turned down a long narrow ally that she used as a short cut back to her place. The wind had died down now but for some reason she felt a chill that gave her goose bumps. Her footsteps echoed hauntingly around her making it sound like she was being followed. Her paranoia got the best of her and she couldn’t resist looking over her shoulder. As she turned she could have sworn she saw something dart across the entrance to the ally. Bethany stopped to look, no, there was no one there; just a trick of the light. She hadn’t been scared of walking down this ally for years. Up until the age of fourteen she’d skirted round it adding on another twenty minutes to her walk. That was till one night she plucked up the courage to walk through the ally. Well, the first time she actually ran as fast as she could to the other end, but after that she’d walked all the way. Her mum had told her that ‘nasty’ men hung round down there but Bethany had never had any trouble. She was tough enough anyway, with two older brothers she knew a swift kick in between the legs could work wonders. Still, she felt that she wasn’t quite alone. She turned to look behind her again. This time her heart caught in her chest as she saw a figure at the entrance of the ally-way. She couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman; it was shrouded in shadows. Bethany began to get scared, the figure, whoever it was, just stood there absolutely still. Even though she couldn’t see its face she could tell it was staring at her. She carried on uneasily and at a brisker pace not sure what to do; maybe she was just being paranoid. Fumbling around in her bag she found her phone and dialled 999, just in case. She glanced behind her a third time and saw that the figure was gone. Her fear started to dissipate but immediately rose again as something landed heavily and scrambled across the sheet metal roof of a garage next to the path. Icy fingers of terror rapped round her stomach now. It was a cat, it must be, she tried to reason, but then whatever landed on the roof sounded much heavier than any cat. Her thumb hovered over the dial button on her phone. Turning to carry on Bethany took two steps before stopping again and was rooted to the spot in horror. A few feet in front her stood a man, at least she thought it was a man. The light distorted his features casting shadows and making his savage grin even more terrifying. Bethany knew instantly that he meant her harm.
“I have mace!” she threatened, feigning confidence but couldn’t help her voice shaking.
The man just smiled at her all the more. She could see his front teeth now, they were sharp and yellow. His clothes were tattered and dirty like he’d been living off the land and his breaths came in deep, short, excited rasps. As he took a step toward her she hit the dial button and put the phone to her ear.
“Hello!” she said desperately when the operator answered. “There’s a man and he’s. . .” she stopped. The man was at arm’s length from her now. He stared into her eyes, it was deep piercing glare. His eyes were an ice cold blue, as cold as his purpose, she understood from the way he was looking at her; like a piece of meat. It was that stare! It froze her completely, it felt as though he had somehow reached into her mind and had complete control. The phone slipped from her hand and broke into pieces when it hit the ground. He circled her now sniffing at her and caressing her skin with his fingers, they were dry and rough. After circling her a couple of times he stopped in front of her and brushed her blonde hair to one the side. Putting his fore-finger on the soft skin of her neck it felt like he was searching for something. It came to rest on her artery, where he scratched at it slightly. It tickled a bit at first, had she not been frozen in terror Bethany might have laughed. The man then brought his left hand up in between their faces so she could see as his nails elongated into blade like spikes. He chuckled deeply when her eyes widened in fear and threatened to free themselves from her skull. She wanted to run, to scream, to do something, anything, but she couldn’t. With a flash her tormentor brought his hand down across her throat ripping it wide open. She heard a sloshing, gurgling sound. Next thing she knew she was laying on the ground, the man’s face buried in her neck, slurping away on her blood! Slowly her conciseness ebbed away, her final thoughts cursed her inability to escape and Liam, if he hadn’t been such a dick she wouldn’t have died like this. Then they settled on her mother, her mother being informed that her only daughter had been found brutally murdered in a ally-way five minutes from home, from safety. Finally she knew nothing and was gone.
Her attacker carried on drinking until it was satisfied, when it was finished it stood over her for a second, blood dripping from its chin. The creature then leapt up to a chimney. Gazing back down at the scene it took in a lustful breath of the cool night air. . .and smiled.