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An Alleyway at Midnight
“I’m sorry I lied.” The whisper had pained her as a thought, and hurt her more as it left her lips. “I’ll be home soon Nathan.”
The resounding click on the other end of the line echoed in her ears as she continued on her walk home.
She was down, coming off of her high. Those precious hours with the angels were gone again. It had lasted longer than ever tonight; it must have been hours and hours. To her, it still didn’t feel long enough. It was cold on the city streets, and as the chill began to set in her bones, she was left with a broken memory, the gore of a glorious euphoria come and gone again, a broken memory that decayed with each passing second.
Her focus was shifted now, though. She needed to get home to Nathan. He needed her. He needed her to tuck him in, read him to sleep. He needed her to hold him and tell him everything would be ok, that the noises in the other apartments shouldn’t scare him, no matter how much of a lie that was. Nathan was alone, engulfed in the shadows of a dark apartment in the worst side of town. It was all because of her night out.
She turned into an alley. This way would get her home quicker. Somewhere, bells began the first of twelve chimes that would tell the dark city that it truly was the middle of the night.
Shadows coated the alley. They danced on the walls, given life in the light of a passing car. They hid behind dumpsters and trash cans. As she gazed at the wondrous shades of gray and black perform there silent recital, one particular shadow leapt away from the others to block her path.
He was thin and his face was an ashen gray. In the alleyway, he more resembled the dancers on the wall than any other man. She knew this man, and knew why the darkness clung to him like a dear friend. She knew why anger burned in his dark eyes.
“Please just let me-“she half whimpered as she tried to turn, tried to return to the beginning of the alley.
In an instant his lean, languid form seemed to fill the alley. He lashed out, grabbed her by the arm, not letting her turn, not letting her move. The bells continued to ring through the night
“You know I can’t give you what you want! Just let me go.” His unwavering stare was her only answer. “You can’t take anything away from me! You can’t!” His grip on her arm tightened. Now it truly hurt. “Ow! Let me go!” With the last word, she lashed out with her free arm, aiming for his eye he caught her though, and pulled her close, putting his lips to her ear. The eleventh chime sounded
“He is only eight years old” he hissed.
She felt a familiar pain in her elbow.
The twelfth chime smothered her scream.
The investigator was looking at her file. A few accounts of possession. She looked ragged, just like other girls of the night. She had a kid. Nathan.
“Forensics says she was dead three nights ago” his partner said over his shoulder. “They think sometime around midnight.”
The investigator was troubled. “Why did it take three days for us to find her? That’s a long time, shouldn’t somebody have seen her?”
“Take a look around” his partner said, making a sweeping gesture to the entire alleyway. “This alleyway is a paradise for trash and filth”
“So you’re saying that she was covered by it after the overdose? Hidden from view?”
“No. I think she just blended in.”