A Night at St. Scanett

When they tell you not to go out on dark nights and in deserted parks, they are right.-- For the Oneshot Competition

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1. A Night At St. Scanett

It was hardly 10 o’clock at night. When I left the house, I never thought the street would be so quiet. I like noisy streets- they keep my spirit up. Most girls would probably consider dark, tranquil nights so dramatic but, I was not the cliché type. I had my work and I had leisure time and I could definitely deserve to spend my time the way I pleased. The moon was enveloped in misty clouds that appeared grey under its light and the early spring breeze gently tinged the darkness with its freshness now and then. I looked at the shops on the good old Street Scanett as they closed one by one. Their bright neon lights zapped out and goodbyes were called.

I looked on as one shop, whose owner was my good friend, too darkened and the owner locked its doors and got out, her keys clinking with a timid restlessness.

“Barbara!” I called. Something urged me to make conversation – to talk and break the stillness of the queer dark.

The owner turned, her wild curls flapping from under her tiny cap. I could make out her grin as she walked to me. As soon as she reached me, she clasped my hands in her cold ones and shook them.

“My goodness! Virginia! How have you been, darling?” she cried.

Even in the darkness, I could spot her red cheeks and big eyes as she laughed in her typical cheery manner. I smiled back, brushing a streak of hair from my eyes.

“I have been very well. How are you? How is the shop? Everything fine?” inquired I.

“Yes, yes, very well! It has all been amazing, honey. Especially with Easter coming up soon, it is getting busier.”

“Oh, I am so happy for you!” I twittered, “But you are leaving early, no? Like, it is hardly ten.”

For a moment, blankness shone in her warm eyes but then she shook it off with a sudden chuckle.

“Hardly ten? Hardly ten, Virginia?” she chuckled, “Sweet-pie, it is time for all the kids to be in bed and you” – unexpectedly poking my cheek with her finger- “are tight on the same routine. You are just a lil’ sweet baby, aren’t you?”

I shrugged, pulling my chest just a little away from her long finer and sighed.

“Well, it is kinda late… I guess you are right, Barbara.”

“Uh-huh,” she nodded, “Good seeing you, Virginia… I better go home now. Hmm?”

“Oh, yes. Yes, of course! Goodbye, Barbara! Have a good night!”

I embraced her goodbye and watched as the blackness swallowed her figure as she walked off. I shoved my hands in my jacket pockets and walked towards to the lane that led to the small, local park. It had so many beautiful benches and colorful flowers that I was sure it was the only place that could outshine the silence of the night. Green dunes stretched to amazing bounds before my eyes and I smiled tightly at myself.

I let my hands heave open the cold metal of the park gates and, buttoning the top couple buttons of my jacket, stepped inside. I saw my shadow cast on the grass under the richness of the moonlight and noticed how queerly tall it appeared in comparison to my actual body chemistry. A deep, relaxed exhale parted from my lips and I seated myself on one of the pretty benches. It was a most contented sensation that washed over me, relieving me of the night’s previous frustration I had had.

The frustration was, I like to think, something any girl in her early-twenties would experience at a point- any girl that does not like to have a night out every single night. It was my friends and the fact that they had forced me to join a disco party at the regular hipster club. I, being me, had just gotten a much-deserved vacation from work because of the incredibly hard work I had been doing and I clearly deserved a break. My friends, obviously, thought that a break meant a night wasted dancing wildly and drinking like there is no other tomorrow and dragged me to the club against my will. Unwillingly, I forced myself to dance a little and have a bunch of sips here and there.

That was till my good friend, Josie, in her horribly drunk state, demanded me to entertain her. Everyone knew how Josie gets bent out of shape when her drunken demands are met with boring talent in entertainment or are unfulfilled. She would throw a fit and hit the person with her lousy fists till she got sober again. Knowing this fact, I performed countless impressions and even balanced a full wine glass on my forehead till she decided that I was not impressive enough – and guess what she did?

She began yelling at me because she had drunk too much to be able to really move. Instead, she cursed me, called me ‘pathetic’ and ‘an idiotic, clumsy excuse of a friend’ and attempted to throw her drink on me. Head fuming, I slapped her straight on her cheek and left the club immediately, just to arrive at the quiet street and meet Barbara. As for Josie, I knew that she didn’t mean what she said but, sometimes, enough is quite enough.

Breathing gently, I cleared my head and let myself get mingled in the pleasing environment of the deserted park. Gradually, when I opened my eyes, I looked around me. The park was quite the same as it was when I had closed my eyes, except that now I spotted a boy’s silhouette leaning against a tree some distance from me. I was honestly surprised as to why someone would want to go to the park at this time of the night- if that someone was not me, of course.

The boy was quite far from me but I could just make out his shirt (or jacket or coat) buttons as they glistened like silver under the moon. From the distance, I could also see that he was tall as his head was almost touching the lowest branch of the tree. I knew that because I had stood with the tree a lot of times and had to actually to grasp the branch by extending my hand.

I heard a rustle.

I spun my head in all directions, just to see that the boy was no longer standing with the tree. Oh, no, he was approaching me with a slow pace. My wide eyes glared at his clenched hand, half hidden behind his back. I didn’t even want to try to imagine what he might be holding; I didn’t want to feel sick and absolutely freaked out at the possibilities. The way he was looming closer seemed dangerous and planned and really scary. For a second, that felt like a minute, I lost the ability to think properly. Then my senses jerked back and I tried to make it seem like I didn’t notice him. Legs shaking like jelly, I stepped off the bench, making my unsteady way to the end of the park, and I scrabbled my pocket to get hold of my phone.

The footsteps behind me instantly began to follow, getting faster by every second that passed. Instinctively, I began to run too and scrambled to call my mother’s phone at the same time. No such luck, however. Obviously, she had put her phone on charge and gone to the bathroom or somewhere. I felt tears and screams building up and, panting like crazy, I tried Eden, Josie’s sister, instead.

Amidst the awfully near footsteps and the raspy wind shrieks, I heard her quiet voice at the other end.

“Virginia? Hello?”

“Eden! Eden!!!” I screamed, mentally unable to keep myself composed, “The park!! I’m being chased!”

“Virginia, what-”

Extremely strong hands grabbed my arms from behind and twisted me around, bringing me face-to-face to with a young man, comprising a pale face with an atrociously grave look and backcombed dark hair that had fell to his neck and over his forehead. Dressed in a dark leather jacket and dark jeans, he did seem composed of a gothic look. He was noticeably tall and I was roughly reaching his shoulders, despite the fact that he did not look much older than me. There was a particular hunger in his shadowy eyes and he continued glaring at me with his pale, hideous features.

He sharply looked at the phone in my hand and snapped his head at me with a growl. With an abrupt snatch, he flung it away, and bared his teeth angrily at me.

I whimpered.

“Please, tell me what you want,” I begged, “J-just let me go.”

He held my arms even tighter and closed his mouth. Then he spoke, his voice dark and deep, like wind blowing in a hollow cave.

“If,” he whispered, “I have to get what I want, you wouldn’t be let go.”

I trembled, tears filling my eyes.

“W-what? Look, I am so, so sorry for anything I have done that offended y-you but, please, I just want to go home… Please, don’t kill me. I promise I am not good enough for murder.”

I practically spoke the last line so quickly that all the words seemed one. It seemed that he wasn’t expecting such a remark and his left eyebrow went all the way up as he frowned. Then his mouth twisted into what looked like a knowing, angry smirk.

“Oh, oh, I see,” he smirked, “Is that a particular remark that you say to escape potential harm?”

“No!” I cried at once, tears spilling out. “No,” I sniffled, “I have never been cornered like this. I swear, I-I am not playing. Please, p-p-please, leave me. I will not tell anyone about this. I swear my life, I won’t.”

He chuckled in a quiet, humorless tone and shook his head at me, as if he didn’t care for what I said

“You think that would be good enough for me?” he chuckled, “You think that, little girl? Well, you are wrong. The only thing I need, and want, right now is your dead body.”

I gasped. My dead body?

“My d-dead b-b-body?” I stuttered.

He nodded, an evil smile pasted on his face.

“Your dead body,” he emphasized.

Staring at his pale face, I had no words, only choking tears. I had seen lots of murder victims live on TV, lots of murder mysteries, lots of hidden murderers. Never had I thought I would be a victim of death in such a tearful way. I didn’t think I would ever be murdered by a madman like the one in front of me. I never spared a slightest thought to the way I would die. And now here I was regretting everything I had done in the past hour – especially not wanting to go the club and slapping Josie. If I had just kept going along her wishes, I would not be standing here, waiting to be murdered.

As my numb mind slowly revolved back to the present, I saw the young man opening his mouth, baring two rows of smelly, sharp teeth, and leaning his head towards my neck. I was shocked at the fact that I wasn’t shot or stabbed. Instead, I was going to be devoured by a cannibalized maniac. That was definitely not what I thought of.

I closed my eyes, darkness engulfing my vision, and breathed my soon-to-be last breath. His breath steamed at my fragile neck and my heartbeats lashed at my chest unstoppably. The only irritating thing was how long the bite was taking. In real time, it wasn’t taking time at all but, to me, time was on an all slow-down timer.

There was a rush just behind me and I whisked my initially numb head just in time to see someone run behind me. The man looked up too and annoyance struck his face; as if he knew who was there. He didn’t seem frightened, just annoyed but I had to thank that annoyance because it saved me from being wolfed up by that man-like creature.

He looked at me and gave a low grumble.

“Pity that you can’t be a dinner tonight,” he hissed, “but that doesn’t mean I am letting you go, dear girl.”

“A d-dinner? Please just leave me. What have I done to you?” I choked.

He smirked, impervious to my question.

“You are coming with me,” he hissed.

My brain could hardly process his words when his hand suddenly clenched my mouth and there was a stunning, powerful blow on my head.

The last thing I saw, before losing my energy, was blackness everywhere.

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