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“Do you ever feel like you’re being watched?”
Alicia walked down the stranded back alley. It was creepy, but there was no one in sight, so she thought she was safe. She was going to finally get away from her abusive stepfather. She should have felt guilty because he was all she had left to call a family, but she only felt relieved.
Her back pack filled with clothes and other necessities was starting to feel like a pack of bricks. Her shoulders were aching. It felt as if she’d been walking for miles, and when she looked at her watch she realized that she had. She’d been walking for two hours.
She stopped behind the library, where there was a bench, and sat down. She took the water bottle out of her back pack and took in a mouth full of water, and then replaced it back in the pack. She sat the back pack down on the bench next to her.
As she sat there, she started to get this nagging feeling that she was being watched. As if there were a set of eyes on her. She stood up and looked around her. After about a minute of looking around, she realized that exhaustion was starting to get the better of her.
She turned back to the bench to grab her back pack. As she reached for the strap, she noticed the note laying on it. It was hard to make out the letters because it was dark, but she was sure that it said: You’re being watched.
In shock she dropped the note. She lugged the back pack on to her back and started running down the alley. As she turned a corner, she reached into her pocket for her cell phone. She pulled it out and started pushing several of the buttons, but it wouldn’t turn on.
As she turned another corner she ran straight into something solid and recoiled backwards to the ground. “Ouch!! That hurt”, she said as she looked up to see what she’d run into. It was a man. He was tall, a little heavy set, and his hair was shaved in a sort of buzz cut. “Ahhh!!!” she screamed as he reached down and grabbed her arm.
He yanked her to her feet and it felt as if her arm was coming out of the socket. Tears were streaming down her face as she cried out in pain. He started to drag her, but before he could pull her more than a few feet, something flung him as if he weighed no more than a little boy against the brick wall.
She heard him grunt in pain, but she didn’t even want to look up. She was petrified to pull her face out of her hands. She heard fists connecting with flesh and bones crunching. It was surprising that she could hear it over the sound of her own crying, but she heard it, and it made her cry even more. Hadn’t she left home to get away from this type of thing.
She heard a loud snap and something fall heavily to the ground. Slightly opening one eye, she looked around. The man that had grabbed her before was on the ground and his neck was at an unnatural angle. It took a couple seconds for her to register that he was dead.
An arm snaked around her waist and helped her up from the ground. “It’s alright. You’re safe now”, a masculine voice whispered in her ear. “That man won’t hurt you any more, or anyone else for that matter”
She pulled both of her hands from her face, wiping the tears along the way. She looked up at that man who had saved her. He had long raven black hair to his shoulders and his eyes looked almost as if they were carved from stone. Looking at his face it was almost impossible to guess his age. The lines etched in his face told her that he’d seen too much, and his eyes looked ancient.
Something wrapped around her and enveloped her in warmth. She wasn’t sure what it was, but it felt soft, almost feathery. “Are you hurt?” he asked.
“No, I’m fine. Thank you so much for saving me. I don’t know what would have happened had you not shown up”. She still couldn’t believe all that had happened tonight. It had all just started with her running away and ended with her almost getting killed. “Who are you?”
He backed up a couple feet. It was dark but she could have swore that she saw something retract on his back. He bowed almost to the waist. “Byron Aristaeus”, he told her.
“I’m Alicia”, she told him. She didn’t want to be rude, but she didn’t want to give out her full name to someone she had just met in the back alleys.
“I know”, he said and disappeared into the shadows as if he was never there. She looked around, trying to find where her mysterious hero was, but he wasn’t there at all. The only proof she had that he was there was the dead body only three feet from her.
He watched her walk away, but he waited until she was out of sight before he disposed of the body. He stretched his wings to their full length as he glided between the building, staying in the shadows, to catch up with her.
He flew higher to see the position of the moon in the sky. Only three hours more until the sun came up and he was turned back into stone. The curse of a gargoyle. “I will find you when I wake from my slumber and continue to watch over you my daughter. Fore soon, the curse of the gargoyle will be awoken within you”