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I knew he was following the moment I turned off of the main road and headed towards downtown. I ignored his loud footsteps and continued to tap my leg in time to music that was not actually playing through my headphones. As much as I loved my music, it left me oblivious to the outside world and I could not afford that at the moment for obvious reasons.
I wandered into the small subdivision park and sat down on one of the swings. He sat on one of the park benches underneath a tall spruce. Out of the corner of my eye, I examined him, hoping he didn’t know that I was watching. I had expected him to be taller, more intimidating, not this average sized, brown haired, brown eyed male in his twenties or thirties. Of course, looking different would make him stand out and that is what no serial killer wants or needs. I decided that if I stayed in this park for the rest of the day one of two things would happen. He would either wait here as well until it was dark or he would approach me beforehand. He glanced at me and knew now that I recognized him for who he is and couldn’t let me go. I had just doomed myself.
I stood up from the swing and walked toward the nearest house from the playground. The slushy snow soaked through my boots finally and I shivered as my socks clung to my feet. I heard the snow crunch behind me and slowly backed away from the house but froze as I ended up backing into something, or more specifically someone.
“You are a smart one aren’t you?” he said as he took my hand. I pulled away quickly but he merely widened his superficial grin.
“Let’s go sweetheart,” he said loudly as he slipped his arm around my waist, “or else we will be late for that movie.” I stiffened as he pulled me close to him. He lowered his voice, “I have a knife in my back pocket and I will kill every person we run into if you struggle.” I nodded as he led me down towards the back roads. Time seemed to pass slowly and my heart raced in my chest. The houses gradually got smaller and smaller as the sun set and the street lights got farther and farther apart. Eventually we turned down into a dark alley and he shoved me against the back wall.
“Y-you’re,” I stuttered, “th-the Ebony Butcher?”
“Maybe I was wrong about your brains sweetheart,” he laughed. “But yes that is me. I have been the killer of twelve women to date. Sylvia White, Ella Charmy, Rose Spinner, Belle Beasle. All of them tall, black haired demons.” He said the last part with such fire that I felt a whimper work it’s way up my throat.
“Please,” I said in a wobbly voice. He laughed loudly and insanity lit in his eyes.
“I prefer when you beg,” he sneered. I took a deep breath and fell to my knees. I couldn’t die, not here, not now. I couldn’t disappear like all of his other victims.
“Please,” I let a tear slip down my cheek, “please don’t kill me.” I regretted not paying better attention in freshman theater about crying and hiding emotion. The man laughed as he took a step forward and grabbed my chin roughly.
“No,” he said before chuckling and placing the gun against my head. “Now, how did that line go, ‘Eyes look your last, arms take your last embrace.’” The cold metal made me shiver as it brushed the scar that lay on the left side of my head from a surgery when I was young. I looked up into his cold apathetic eyes and felt a strength surge from deep within me.
“Bite me!” I snarled through my teeth. The glee in his face turned to rage and I waited for him to pull the trigger. It never came. Instead the gun was forcefully torn from his hand and away from my head by a tall figure.
“Willowy, black haired, female with green eyes,” a woman’s voice came from the shadows. “You sure fit the profile sweetheart.” The man got over his shock quickly and lunged toward the woman.
“You interfering whore!” he screamed; the woman laughed as she pointed his own gun at him.
“The police will be here in less than five minutes and I have enough video evidence to get you put away for four lifetimes.”
“Well, I will just have to destroy that evidence then,” he took a step forward only to rear back with a howl as the woman shot his foot.
“Don’t mess with me, monstrosity,” she hissed, “I have no mercy for creatures like you.” I finally took a step away from the wall but almost fell back as a loud siren sounded and then filled the alley. The police headlights filled the dark alley and back lit the woman’s face. Or they would have if the woman had been there. Instead I found myself holding a smartphone with a video of the man and I in the park. I clutched the phone to my chest. This was the killer’s ticket onto death row. Now, I wondered where the woman who saved me went.