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Superstition

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It was dark. Really dark. There were dim streetlights scattered about the alley almost like afterthoughts. It was completely silent, save for the howl of the wind and the buzzing of the streetlamps. With my hands in my pockets and head pointed down, I tried to look as inconspicuous as possible. Judging by the decrepit street signs, I had about a mile to go. A fierce wind violently whooshes through me, and a shiver travels through my body. I hasten my pace.
Suddenly, I see a black figure dart across the street ahead of me, making my heart do its' own leap of faith inside me. I take a minute to catch my breath and look behind me, making sure nothing else pops out. Then I slowly approach the spot where I saw the figure last. Once I'm within a few feet of it, I stop and listen. I hear almost a low groaning sound. Almost like a purring sound. I know what this is.

      "Here, kitty kitty," I quietly call out. Isn't that what you're supposed to say to cats?

     While I waited for a response, I take another quick glance around. It's just me, the cat, and the alley. I try calling out to it again, but before I get the words out it pounces on me. Desperately, I try to pull it off my face, but it has a grip of iron. It's scratching and clawing and biting and I'm using all my strength to pull it off me. Then the black cat abruptly stops attacking, looks off into the distance for a full thirty seconds, then darts off into some bushes nearby. I just stand there in awe for a second before continuing my long walk home. I don't usually consider myself a superstitious being. Those kinds of things just aren't something I believe in. I've always held a firm belief that we are the ultimate deciders of our fate. Inanimate objects and other phenomena merely lay the groundwork of a puzzle that we ultimately piece together ourselves. So, It had hardly registered with me that this was the third black cat I had seen that day.

       It's a full moon tonight. There are several persistent clouds that hover near the moon, as if they are conspiring to cover it up. Nonetheless, it breaks through the clouds with an intensity that casts various twisting shadows onto the street ahead of me. Instead of letting superstitions get the best of me, I marveled at the sight of it. As I walked further along the alley, there became increasingly more shadows. The shadows danced across the street as the gusty wind blew them in every direction. Some of the shadows looked serpentine-like, writhing around the street as if it were a field. Others could have easily been mistaken for human figures.
Another set of shadows was moving in a particular disturbing way. One shadow seemed to be protesting against another shadow. The other shadow seemed to be forcing the protesting one into doing something it clearly didn't want to do. I watched in awe as all of this went on. This can't be happening, this can't be happening, I told myself. Then I started to hear what sounded like subdued sobs. The sound seemed to be coming from around the corner of the nearest alley. Everything in my body told me to run, but a smaller, more persistent part of me was more curious to see what was happening. I held my breath and peeked around the corner.

    There was a man and a young woman. They were doing what the shadows had been doing. The woman stopped protesting, and quietly sobbed as the man raped her. I watched in utter horror as the man pulled out a sizable knife that glinted in the moonlight. After he raped her, he began to slowly raise the knife over her body.

   "Please, no please!" The girl screamed. The man ignored her protests.

     Before she could open her mouth again, he swiftly plunged the knife deep into her stomach. He repeatedly stabbed her until she could no longer call out, blood squirting out of her with each subsequent stab, until she became completely silent. The man paused for a second, apparently admiring what he had done. The only audible sound was the stream of blood steadily flowing from the girl's lifeless body. I stood peeking from behind the corner, frozen with fear. I told my legs to run, but they stood as still as the lifeless body that lay merely ten feet ahead of me. Then the man slowly lifted his head, and glared straight in my direction. I quickly pulled my head back, hoping and praying that he somehow didn't see me.

    "Hey!" The man yelled.

     I heard him get up, and this time my legs responded. My legs ached with the sudden push, but I forced them to go as fast as possible. I ran past trees, streetlamps, dark streets and I didn't stop. I began to think I may have lost the man when I risked a glance behind me. He was gaining ground on me. I devoted my remaining energy to a desperate last push forward, but it did little to change the outcome of the chase. One last time, I chanced a look behind me and I knew it was over.

    Before I knew it, he tackled me from behind. We were both on the ground now, and I desperately tried to scramble away from the red, dripping knife. Moments later, a shooting pain traveled up my leg, and that was all it took. I couldn't get away even if I tried. So as I layed there being repeatedly stabbed, blood gushing out from all parts of my body, I supposed that maybe some people were superstitious for a reason.



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