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He smiled, tongue peaking curiously along his bottom lip. "I didn't expect to run into you. Did you, perhaps, lose your way? I wouldn't be surprised if you did. There are far too many places to explore around here."

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"Can't you let me go? I-I'll do anything. Just p-please let me go. I won't wander around. I'll be good. P-please stay away." He liked it when she pleaded. He was in control; she was helpless.

He knelt, his fingers coming to rest along the woman's jaw. Her skin was smooth, clear of imperfections. He preferred it that way. He'd mark her, taint her skin the same shade as her soul. "It's a little too late for that now, don't you think? You promise to not wander down narrow streets that you've already explored. You promise to stay in the light, even when you're already in the darkness. You should've stayed away from the beginning. You've sinned."

The air was chilly that night, frigid from winter's edges. The woman shivered, fear gripping the corner of her vision. "Can y-you tell me I've sinned when y-you're out here chasing innocent people like me? Aren't you worse?"

The man grinned down at her, his face hidden by the black hood that covered his head. She didn't need to see his face to know this was the end. She'd be dead before the sun came up.

"Close your eyes - it'll be better that way," before the woman could speak, beg for her life, the man lifted his arm, a hammer clutched in his palm, "Die."

A shrill cry rang through the night.

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