It was getting dark, the clouds finally returning, piling up on the western horizon, creating an early sunset. The sky glowed a peach-blow tint. As I continued walking down the street, the sky suddenly darkened further. The wind has turned from chilly to icy. I realized I had left my jacket in Cee' car as a sudden flurry of air made me shiver and I crossed my arms tightly across my chest.
The neighborhood was deserted, no pedestrians, no vehicles. The iron-wrought lamp-posts glowed against the patchy fog that has begin to engulf the surroundings. I continued on my way as the cold weather continued to torture me. All I could feel on my tender, fragile skin was the freezing cold air. The sound of silence was chilling and frightening, in every possible way. My home was just three streets away and I could have made it in just ten minutes before the feeling returned.
Before I start freaking out, I convinced myself that it was my mind imagining things, it's not real and I shouldn't be bothered by it. Somehow I was able to keep myself from panicking, but then I noticed the sound of footsteps, other than mine. I sneaked a peek over my shoulder and saw a man twenty feet behind me.
He was tall, around seven feet, and had a lanky build. Something about this person was eerie. He was dressed in dark clothes from head to toe and wore a black baseball cap, hiding his face. The darkness and dull light from the lamposts made it impossible for me to get the details. So I continued walking and took a swift glance again. He had his hands tucked in his jeans' pocket and walked with a long bounding stride as if he was catching up to me.
The street ended at the next corner. I continued with a steady pace, persuading myself that the guy behind me could be from the neighborhood, and I was just over thinking it all. But another voice in my head screamed run. I needed to be sure if I was being tailed, so when the street ended I took a right turn. The sound of the footsteps stopped and so did my racing heart. Apparently, I was over-reacting. I ran my fingers through my hair a couple of times and took some deep breaths before I continued around the corner. But the next second, I heard the faint footsteps again.
I risked a quick glance again. This time he was maybe just ten feet away. I concerntrated on the footsteps, deciding whether to run or not. I maintained my quick lope as I intended not to give him the idea that I have noticed him. Moreover, I was sure to trip if I go any faster. My chances of outrunning him were slim to none. Only thing I could think of was making it to home before something happens. Just then, lights suddenly flew around the corner and tires screeched.
Alarmed, I turned back and the headlights blinded me. A car passed by me and with a sudden glow of red, the brake light lit up and the car stopped right at the end of the street. It took me another second to realize that it was the same black sedan. My heart stopped and a man stepped out of it, wearing the same dark clothes, his face concealed by a similar black baseball cap.
It dawned upon me that I wasn't being followed. I was being herded. I paused only for a second but it felt like a very long time. I turned and darted to the other side of the road. I had a sinking feeling that it was a wasted attempt. The footsteps behind me were louder and faster now. Who are these men? What do they want from me? Several questions shot through my head and I could hear them closing in on me. I darted across the street and into a dark alley. The alley was dark and cluttered with trash bins and water-stained cardboard boxes. Broken glass crunched beneath my shoes as I picked my way through the alley.
"There's no way you can outrun us Katherine!" The booming voice of one of them made me tremble. His voice was inhumane. I dared not to look back and continued running towards the other end of the alley when something caught me by shirt, yanking me back forcefully. The next second, I was slammed on the cold and rough brickwall.
"What do you want?" I was supposed to sound demanding and fearless, but my voice was frail and feeble.
Both of them laughed raucously. I struggled to recall what little self defense I knew. A knee to the groin will provide me enough time to escape. Punch one of them and slip from the side. I had a loud scream. I sucked in air, preparing to use it, but the next thing I saw made my hammering heart still.
As they removed their caps, I noticed their eyes. Completely black. There was no white in their eyes, just dark black eyes staring down at me. They cackled together in a deep low-pitched inhumane voice that echoed through the alley. Are they possessed? A thought brushed and I shuddered.
"Shhh my dear, we'll be done in a minute! " The stocky one spoke.
"What do you want? " I asked again. My voice cracking.
"You don't get the whole story, luv. Now be a good girl and let's get done with it." The lanky man replied, his voice was gruff and low-pitched like the other man.
I was petrified. Everything about them was horrifying and flesh-crawling, be it the deep guttural voice and those monstrous black eyes that seemed to consume all the light, giving away nothing.
I opened my mouth to scream, praying that someone might hear me but the taller one was quick and covered my mouth with his large hand. I tried to wriggle out of his grip but he was stronger. I punched his arm but he didn't budge and with a swift move, pinned both of my arms. Whatever little fight I was putting on ceased when the other guy took out a double edged dagger.
"It'll be easy and quick! "
I froze and my knees gave out. My head went frenzy with questions. Who are these men? Why are they doing this? And is this the end? Am I going to die? I closed my eyes shut and the last of the tears trickled out of my eyes as I braced myself for an excruciating pain, for death.
All of a sudden, the man pinning me loosened his grip and then his hands were off me. I fell on the ground and a clank made me open my eyes. Both of them shrieked with their eyes scrunched, hands on their temples and they were hunched forward as if they were in pain.
"Bloody hell ... Not you again." One of them groaned as he turned his head towards the other direction and I followed his gaze.
I noticed a silhoutte of a brawny man who stood at the entrance of the vennel. As he walked towards us, I noticed his hand was extended in a gesture as if he was clutching something. He had pepper hair, cropped above his ears and a mediterranean complexion.
"Sorry to interrupt. But... Not today." He swinged his hand in the air and both men crashed onto the brickwall behind them and fell down.
I stared at him in disbelief. Who is he? How did he do it? I thought.
He stretched his hands forward as if he was holding something and the men levitated. With a swift motion, he swung his hands forward and both of them were pinned onto the wall.
"You cannot keep on doing this forever, bruv." The stocky man ridiculed.
"Burn in hell, bastards." He snapped and then began speaking in some incomprehensible and bizarre language. I concentrated on what he was speaking, but I couldn't get a single word.
As he continued chanting, both the men let out a guttural wail echoing through the alley. Suddenly, ghostly black smoke began rushing out of their mouths, disseminating into the air before finally vanishing. It looked like he was performing some sort of exorcism on those men. They continued screaming in pain inflicted guttural voices, before finally falling on the ground. Their bodies gave the impression of being lifeless.
I stared at them for a few seconds before finally shifting my gaze from them to the man.
"Can you walk?" He asked.
I lifted myself up from the ground and leaned against the cold brick wall for a second. I felt dizzy. Everything that happened tonight was too mind-boggling for me. It almost felt like the dreams I was had earlier. Surreal and unbelievable.
"Are you okay?" He asked again.
"Yeah ... I'm fine... " I said as I regained my balance, "Who were these men? Why were they trying to kill me?" I shot a series of questions at him.
"Not a great timing for answers." He replied and took out something from his pocket.
"Here! " He held out a necklace.
"What's this?" It was a pendant, with a red gemstone engraved in silver outlining.
"It's an amulet, it will protect you."
"Protect me from what?" I blurted.
"From anything that's trying to harm you! "
I gave him a confused look, "How? " I asked. "Will you at least tell me what's going on?" I was beyond frustration.
"I will... When the time comes, you'll have your answers." He said, "Go back home for now and wear it all the times." He said and then turned away to leave.
"You can't leave until you tell me what's exactly going on! " I exclaimed.
"Now is not the right time."
"And when is this right time supposed to come." I almost shouted.
"We'll meet again." He spoke without turning back.
"Can I at least get your name?"
"Finn Marshall. "