What was it with creepy guys in this place?
I slipped my hand out of reach of the stranger sat before me and started to stand up when the man spoke again.
'I'm sorry if I scared you. I was just being friendly.' His voice was quiet, apologetic and for some strange reason I felt a pang of guilt shoot through me. He was probably just being nice, why did I have to assume every guy was a paedophile?
'It's no worries,' I sat back down again feeling stupid. 'I just, have trust issues.'
'I understand that, did you want me to go?'
I looked at the man called Jester and noticed how well presented he was. He had very striking features, dark eyes set amongst a pale face with shaggy black hair that fell across his forehead. Why did I have to leave? It wouldn't hurt me to make some friends around here.
'No,' I smiled at him. 'Sorry about that.'
'It's okay,' he smiled back at me. 'Are you new here? I don't recognize you.'
'Actually yes, I just moved here with my brother.'
'Oh, and you're liking London so far?'
'It's okay, from what I've seen. This place feels a little strange though. It's like, I can't explain it... but it's as though something, or someone is screaming danger at me, it's like there's something hidden in the shadows, in the walls, waiting for someone to slip up so they can pounce. It just doesn't feel safe to me.'
After I'd said this I realized how stupid it had sounded and I flushed bright red as Jester stared at me with wide eyes.
'What makes you say that?'
'I don't know,' I sighed, feeling idiotic. 'Like earlier when this man got into a fight with my brother, I could have sworn I saw... oh no it doesn't matter.'
'Go on,' he urged.
'I don't know. It looked like fangs. Stupid, right? It was probably just the angle at which I had seen him, my mind playing tricks on me. But it doesn't feel right.'
'Well, this place is renowned for accidents. It's a wonder it hasn't been shut.'
'Well that makes me feel a whole lot better,' I muttered.
Just then, my brother returned and came to sit beside me. Jester's eyes flickered between us momentarily and something flitted across his face, too fast for me to identify until he smiled casually.
'This is my brother, Reuben. Reuben this is Jester.'
'Hello,' my brother greeted. 'Hope you're not hassling my sister.'
'No he's not,' I interrupted, mortified.
'It's okay,' Jester laughed easily. 'Well, urm I have to go now. But it was nice speaking to you.'
He stood up and held out his hand. I took it, noting how sure and steady his grip was. I got the impression he was strong, he had muscles hidden beneath the shirt he was wearing. He shook my brother's hand before heading off.
'Seems nice,' Reuben commented. 'How did you meet him?'
'He just came to sit beside me and started chatting.'
'Well, be careful okay?'
'Yeah, right,' I snorted. 'Anyway. I think it's time we headed back, it's getting late.'
Reuben led the way through the dimly lit crowded room once more and didn't falter until we were out in the fresh night air. It had grown considerably cooler and I tugged my jacket tighter round my body, suddenly very aware of how tired I was. I hadn't slept in nearly 24 hours and my eyes were beginning to close out of my own accord.
'It's a shame I didn't bring the car,' Reuben noted. 'We're gonna have to walk.'
'Fine by me,' I mumbled, too tired to argue.
We headed off down a dark alleyway, the only available path that led directly back to the flat. Reuben stuck close by me, telling me not to go out of his sight and to hurry up. I kept tripping up over unidentifiable objects on the ground and each time Reuben yanked my arm, keeping me up straight.
Just as we were approaching the end, something clattered behind us. I stopped and turned round, my eyes searched the darkness for something out of place. Nothing was there though. However, I noticed it had suddenly fallen quiet and with a jolt I realized it was my brother.
He wasn't there.
Oh god. Oh god.
'Reuben!' I called out into the shadows, willing him to respond. He'd probably not noticed I had stopped and he was waiting for me ahead. Yeah. That's what had happened.
I half ran half walked down the narrow pathway, dark buildings looming either side of me, blocking off virtually all available light. A thin sliver of silver from the moon ahead of me. If I could just make it to that light, I'd be alright.
I was full on running now, convinced that if I couldn't get to that patch of moonlight I'd be dead. Something was behind me.
Oh god. It was following me.
Right behind me.
I screamed wildly at the voice behind me, until someone grabbed me by the shoulders and steadied me. With a start I realized it was Jester.
'W-what are you doing?' I questioned shakily. My heart was racing against my chest, blood pounded in my ears, my breath came out in short sharp gasps.
Without warning, something struck me with incredible force to the side of my head. The last thing I remember was seeing Jester's face, twisted in obvious pain. Then everything faded to grey.