A Midnight's Prey
He stood on the ledge of the window sill, looking down into the darkness below, and grinned. Tonight would be a great night.
A shadow was distinctly behind him. He felt something. There was something watching him. Somewhere. Somewhere he couldn’t pin down. He glanced behind him, but there was nothing there. Nothing but seemingly never-ending darkness. He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. He must have been imagining things again. But the feeling lingered. Despite all his efforts to persuade himself, there was that feeling that something was there.
He picked up his pace. There was a persistent feeling that something stalked him. The feeling felt closer. His walking wasn’t enough to separate him from whatever it was. His breath quickened, and his heart pounded in his chest as he broke into a run. There’s nothing back there. There’s nothing back there. The feeling wasn’t going away. He stole a glance back, clutching his satchel closer to his chest.
Nothing. Could it be that he was imagining it? But anyone, anything could be out there, hiding in the darkness, hiding where he couldn’t see. He pushed himself, running faster, the bottoms of his feet pounding as hard as he could against the stone path. He needed to get out of here. Out of the open. He needed to get home. The clock behind him ticked. It was midnight.
Ahead of him, black splotches coated the ground. Shadows? Doesn’t matter. The feeling…The uncertainty overwhelmed everything else. He pushed forward, continuing to run. He needed to get home. Away from that feeling. Away from whatever it was that might be out there. Splosh! Something below his feet splattered upward. He looked down, as he reentered the light. The bottoms of his pant legs were coated in red.
Blood. Something. Something died back there. He needed to get out of this place. Maybe he wasn’t imagining it after all. He needed to get home. Somewhere. The police? Would the cheftain do anything? Somewhere, somewhere other than here.
His feet pounded on the ground, pushing him forward. Home. He just wanted to be home, and safe. Buildings and trees flew by. He passed shadows and dark alleys, one after another. Finally, the cheftain’s mansion came into view. Perhaps someone in the law enforcement would be there. It was night. Perhaps someone would hear him approaching.
He stopped right before the building, to catch his breath. All he needed now was to knock. A metallic noise rang behind him. An unmistakable sound of a blade leaving its sheathe. He stole a glance behind him. A hooded figure. A nasty smile. He pounded at the door. Too late. The figure pounced, shoes clinking against the rock. It was over.
He watched his panicked prey, reading the thoughts going through the man’s mind, and feeling a sense of perverted satisfaction. A grin spread across his face. It was over indeed.