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The Crimson That Stains The Alleyway
Rowan Crimson risked a glance from where he leaned in the deserted alleyway. There could be cops in the area.
You idiot, Rowan thought to himself, recoiling back into the shadows. You should’ve picked a better place to hide. Surely you could’ve found an area that would be more safe than this one - that is, if your time wasn’t so limited, and if you weren’t so lazy.
His vermilion gaze shifted toward the bright yellow caution tape. Instinctively, Rowan’s back pressed further against the red brick wall.
Yellow always meant trouble, in Rowan’s opinion.
Sure enough, his suspicions were correct. He knew that much as he allowed his electric-red irises to patrol the entrance of the alley.
After realizing that the police weren’t much of a threat, Rowan let his afternoon replay inside his head.
* * * * * * *
He opened the doors to a public library, his ebony-colored, military-style leather boots barely making a noise on the white marble floor. He made sure to keep his eyes locked on the computer section. The only computer available was a space between two people.
Rowan Crimson was not exactly… friendly… with people at this time in his life.
He stole a glimpse of the library interior itself, full of bookshelves and people as they came along - the people came and went, not the bookshelves, that is - and disappeared through the metal and glass doors. It was almost as if they were coming from one dimension but only to return to it once again… almost like a momentary lapse in time itself.
A woman got up from one of the computers located on the end of the table and began to check out a few books.
“Ah. ‘The Stories of Jack Blackwood’, huh? Such a nice, but slightly gruesome, story, don’t you think?” Rowan inquired, making his way over to the lady.
“I’ve never read it,” she answered plainly, swiping the book’s sticker over the red laser in the checkout machine.
She looked up at him. Rowan was at least a head taller than her.
“It’s very good,” Rowan insisted calmly. “One of my favorites, quite actually.”
“Hm. Well, I guess I’ll just have to give it a chance, huh? I’m Esmeralda. Esmeralda Mistwood,” the woman introduced herself.
“Oh. I’m Jeff Farewell,” Rowan lied, a smile playing across his lips.
“Well, farewell to you, Mr. Farewell,” Esmeralda joked warmly. “I hope that we’ll be seeing each other again.”
“And goodbye to you as well, Ms. Mistwood.” Rowan was surprised to see himself exchanging a pleasant goodbye.
Esmeralda walked out the door, her books in hand.
Rowan smiled at what was in his own hands: her library card, and a small drop of blood.
Rowan busied himself with wiping the blood on his black trench coat, realizing that he had accidentally cut Ms. Mistwood on her way out. Hopefully, she wouldn’t realize her missing library card until at least a few hours later.
But, in case she came back, Rowan Crimson would have to work quickly.
He sat in her computer spot, quickly typing in the key on her card, absentmindedly checking the card for traces of Esmeralda’s blood - or his blood.
Then, he punched in a few keys, and an internet window popped up.
He continued typing for a few minutes more, and then, Rowan clicked the “History” button in the internet browser.
He erased his - well, Esmeralda Mistwood’s - search history.
Then, he logged out of her account. He stopped by the front desk.
“Excuse me,” he told the young lady, no more than eighteen, behind the desk, “but I saw this card lying on the floor. Perhaps you know the owner?”
“I do not,” the lady admitted, “but I shall keep an eye peeled.”
Rowan mentally rolled his eyes at the young girl’s choice of words and smiled, walking out of the beautiful public library.
* * * * * * *
A man’s voice interrupted Rowan Crimson’s thoughts.
“What do you want?” Rowan replied strongly, his red eyes glaring at the man in the entrance of the alleyway.
A strip of moonlight shone upon the stranger’s clothes. Rowan’s eyes widened slightly as a golden badge gleamed from beneath a half-fold of black clothing that looked about a size too big for the man. A flash of silver metal peeked out from a black sheath.
“You’re a criminal… aren’t you?” the policeman asked.
“Who’s asking?” Rowan deflected the question. He could spot a few fakes in a crowd without fault - but, like anything, you could never be too sure.
“None of your business, Mr. Crimson. You’re under arrest.”
“Not if you can’t catch me,” Rowan grinned a rather feral grin, kicking off the side of the wall. The rooftop was just a half foot above his grasp.
His pale fingers grabbed something, and he pulled upward. He shot a few inches through the air, and that was all he needed.
He heard the sound of a gun going off.
Rowan winced as a bullet zipped past his already-ringing left ear, and Rowan let his trench coat slide off his shoulders and down onto the inexperienced policeman’s face.
“Never get too close to a suspect,” Rowan advised, his fingers taking a hold of the very same something.
He threw himself over the rooftop, and he pulled himself over just as another bullet lodged itself into the brick.
Rowan Crimson jumped over another rooftop, watching the policeman as he lifted his walkie-talkie up to his mouth, the gun pointed straight at him.
But the policeman never fired.
Rowan jumped another rooftop. And another. And another.
That’s when a thought dawned upon Rowan. He knew that the rest of his life would just be a repeat of the very same struggle that he was currently facing.