Tuesday, December 6, 2016

One Breath

She walks down the sidewalk, on her way home from work. The street lights are just starting to turn on. She steps a quick, lively pace. Almost running late, she starts to think about dinner: fish or chicken? Maybe a couple steaks would be nice. Bottle of wine, a few candle, a little music. She smiles to herself and brushes a curl of hair away from her eyes. Her only worry is at which store to shop at.


She didn’t know he was there until he’s just a breath behind her. She only sees a flash of metal; a gasps escape her lips, then his right hand, hot wet, and grimy, covers her mouth, and a sharp knife is pressed to her delicate throat. He pulls her backward into a shadowed alley. She staggers back to keep up; She feels cold metal on her throat. Panic rises and instinctively she grabs at his hand, but he grunts and deliberately jerks the knife. The tip of the blade, jumps and nicks a neat little prick in the side of her neck. she cries out through his meaty fingers and try to lean away. But the knife tip is against her neck on the right, and his head presses into the left. Tears come as she realize: there nowhere to go.

His grip shifts only slightly, to better hold her with the knife. Hot breath smells bitter, almost sour as he pants in her ear. His right hand comes down, yanking her arms down with it. Fear driven now, and she beg.

“Please, no,” she whimper, her body stiffening. His rough tongue licks the side of her neck; his right hand grabs her breast and squeezes. “You can have my purse, just please don’t–”

He growls in frustration and jerks the blade up again, harder this time. The smell of sweat, dirt, and filth assaults her nose. She tries to wail, but the sound doesn’t come out, pressing her head back, but his shoulder catches it. Not just a dot now, there is a short, vertical line on her skin that burns hot. Weeping, her hands ball into fists and she begs for release. Fear begins to ebb as despair gently settles in. He pulls the ear rings and necklace, as the knife presses harder against her skin.

But the instant before he releases her, the knife flicks back in a practiced, circular motion. Knees weak, she drops to the ground and her hand comes up to her neck. A long line burns, and her hand comes away sticky wet with blood. She stare up at her attacker, seeing for the first time that he wears not rags, as she assumed, but a expensive suit. Instead of filthy dirt, and disgusting, he is handsome and stylish.

He stares down at her and their eyes lock. Still panting, he watches intently as she collapse to her elbows, holding her bleeding throat. He made sure to catch both arteries, so it won’t be long. Despair rears its ugly head one last time as blackness creeps in at the edge of her vision. Blood, her life. drips from the knife he still holds in his right fist. His eyes are black pools, reflecting nothing but madness, and his lips part into a slight smile.

She’s sprawled full-length now, not even your arms will work. Her hand falls limply next to her ear. Her eyes meet his and a whisper escapes her lips: “Why?”

His answer, ”Because I can” His glares at her as her eyes quiver shut and she breathe her last.

“ Doesn’t matter. He adds with a chuckle, “You didn’t know I was there until I was a breath away”.

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