The decaying leaves form thick layers on the asphalt, crusted and sick as a leper’s skin. The streetlights only paint insufficient patches along my path, and where it doesn’t reach the shrubbery is darkly menacing.
I’m not in a hurry and have no goal except an itch to keep moving.
In front of me I notice the teenage girl, her blond hair cascading over a tan trench-coat; I can see that she is aware of me, but when she looks over her shoulder I merge with the shadow.
Her body is lean and muscular, and tightens like the spring of clockwork.
I hasten a bit and she follows suit.
A little bit faster playing hunter and prey.
She reaches into her pocket and I know that her fist has tightened around her keys. It feels exactly the same as last time.
They are always so cock-sure but eventually she will panic and run. That’s when I will let her go. I’m not that bad, just a bit bored. I smile.
Suddenly I see the shadow of a man approaching from the left. In his right hand a flick-knife. He only has eyes for the girl.
I feel his intentions, urges that could have been mine.
We share the same dreams, but tonight I will be hero.
I cry: “Watch out”, and the girl starts to run. She is too fast for both of us.
The other man turns.
He is wearing a black ski-mask but through the slots I can see his eyes.
Amber and almost catlike. A predator’s eyes.
I know those eyes well. I see them every morning when shaving.
I go down on my knees pleading for mercy, but at the same time I reach into my pocket for the flick-knife.
He gets closer and when he’s within reach I lash out and plunge the blade into his body.
The pain is excruciating, and I watch the hilt of the knife extruding from my chest. The man has vanished.
It’s his blade in my body, and my death is his as the knife is mine.
Alone, my blood pools in the leaves, and from far away the sirens approaches. I take off my ski-mask and sigh.
A piece of chilling fiction for Magaly at Poets United.
November 3, 2019