Word Count: 923
Tara kept to the shadows as she stalked the figure, her body hunched low and on guard for any sudden attacks. He had disappeared through the doors of a tall, grubby building and hadn't emerged until thirty minutes later. All this time she had hidden round the side of the structure, kept well out of sight.
He had emerged looking a fraction more aggravated and a little hostile. Impatiently lighting a cigarette, he made moves to indicate he was going to set off on his journey once again and Tara rounded the corner, ready to follow him.
Until he turned round and confronted her directly.
Before she had time to even react he spoke. 'Why have you been following me so insistently?'
She couldn't even speak. She was completely unprepared. He looked even deadlier up this close, dangerously handsome but utterly lethal. The sharp metallic glint in his eyes flashed and muscles in his jaw twitched. Tara couldn't help but shrink back ever so slightly.
'I-I.. I was...'
He inclined his eyebrows, waiting for a coherent answer. But she couldn't offer him one. Besides, even if she did it wouldn't matter. If he wanted to hurt her, he could. She had already displayed her fear and vulnerability, it was only a matter of time before he acted upon it. Careless slip-up, she cursed herself. For her entire life Tara had been told not to be afraid. To be ruthless and merciless. Her parents had drilled it into her from such a young age that when they died, she was practically dead inside herself. Completely numb from the years of torment.
But something about this stranger churned feelings inside her that she hadn't felt in a long, long time. He was frightening, and no matter how many years of training she had given herself, right now she was reduced to a stammering wreck.
She tried to remember where the weapons were that she kept stashed upon her body. Knife...inside my right boot. She could feel the cold metal against her skin, providing her with some form of comfort. Gun...waistband of my trousers. It dug into her lower back and she began moving her arm to get it, but he spoke again.
'You'll be dead before you even touch the gun.'
She froze. Her heart was pounding, blood rushed in her ears. She wasn't going to make it out alive, what a stupid mistake she had made, following him. He was obviously much more powerful than her.
'If you're sensible,' he spoke slowly. 'You'll turn around and go back the way you came.'
Whilst the idea sounded incredibly inviting, she wasn't sure if she could get her muscles to work. They were still firm and rigid, locking her in place. Move Tara. He's giving you a chance. Get away. She forced her feet to move, and without looking back at him, dashed round the corner and started to run.
A few minutes later when she was convinced she was far enough away, she stopped against a brick wall, panting for breath. Her heart was racing and her legs were shaking. When had she ever been caught off guard like that before? Realizing just how much danger she had put herself in, Tara began to head home to rest up.
So she didn't see the demon until it crashed right into her, sending them both to the floor.
Her senses came to a still for one wild second and her mind went blank. Her body was crushed beneath the snarling beast on top of her. Taken completely by surprise, she tried shoving it to the side but the damn thing was too heavy. The gun was digging into her back painfully and whilst holding the thing away from her face with one hand, she tried reaching beneath her to retrieve the weapon.
A sharp, agonizing sensation tore through her stomach as the creature sliced her flesh. Warm, sticky liquid quickly pooled against her shirt and she let out a cry. This was it. She was going to die.
Razor sharp teeth snapped dangerously close to her throat, lines of saliva hanging from each fang, burning red eyes lost in a demonic craze fixed on its prey. Tara finally managed to grab her gun but it was knocked to the side as a heavy claw dug into her forearm, tearing the skin. The arm holding the creature by the throat buckled under the pain and the head of the demon came rushing forward.
She closed her eyes and waited for death.
It never came though. The weight was lifted off her and air rushed into her aching lungs. Her eyes flew open and she saw who her savior was.
The stranger. The angel. The one that had fallen from the sky. He had thrown the demon against the brick wall of the alleyway and in a lightening fast move had produced what looked like a samurai sword, slicing through the creature like it was butter. The body fell first, accompanied seconds later by the head which was still locked in an expression of raged hunger and crazed rancour.
He silently sheathed the deadly weapon and extended a hand out towards Tara.
She must have been in shock as she took his hand. He pulled her to her feet and glanced at the torn material of her shirt. She wrapped an arm around her stomach uncomfortably.
'It's not life threatening,' he said. 'Patch it up. And stay out of danger.'
Then he took off.