I was turned around violently, forced to face an officer.
"You will come with me," he addressed me, then turned toward Haruto and Xenia, "you two stay here." He dragged me to where Vlad and Liam were standing, they were confronted by a massive officer of rowdy appearance.
I saw two officers disappearing inside Abandon district. The rowdy officer, Breaker, was demanding an explanation for the murders. I heard him mention Vlad's family, then a fight erupted. Vlad was holding Breaker in the cold ground, hitting and kicking him. Liam and Desoto were in struggle too. I screamed, fearing for Vlad's and Liam's safety; Padhllum had pushed me away from the fight. Tears erupted.
In a blurry sight I saw an officer with a taser walking to Vlad and Liam, next thing I knew, both of them where on the cold snow. Breaker took hold of Vlad's neck and heaved him off the ground, the radio blasted to life with screams. Breaker dash toward the district, with Desoto and the officer. I scrambled toward Vlad and Liam.
"I am okay," he assured me. Something was broken inside him. "We have to go after the murderer." His eyes were fixed with determination, and Liam returned him the same firmness. Liam was ready in his four paws, despite his minor wounds he was fit for a fight. Vlad was getting up, I pulled the sleeve of his jacket.
"You cannot be serious," my voice cracked, "it is very dangerous."
He closed his eyes, in meditation. "I am sorry, Chrystel."
I stood up, my hands were still grasping his arm. "Then I will go with you!"
He gave me an incredulous look, his eyes were brimming with anger. He vigorously shook my hands away, I collapsed to the floor. Padhllum snarled at Vlad. A surge of guilt crossed his eyes, he glanced away from me, "please wait here." Vlad and Liam sprinted toward the Abandon district, after something they had seen.
Haruto and Xenia crouched beside me. "What happened? Where are all the officers?" Xenia asked.
"Call 911, tell them to send more officers to the Abandon district..." I said rising. "Let's go after them." Padhllum nodded in agreement. Both of us ran after them. Once inside the sense of dread increased, the bricks from some buildings were gruesome. Many of the buildings had cavities for windows and doors, it gave a sinister appearance. Anyone could have hid in the shadows of the buildings.
We walked silently, cautiously turning our heads around to spy the slightest of movement. We approached the heart of the Abandoned district, marked by a plaza surrounded by more appalling buildings. A shadow hustled to the shadows behind us. We turned around, Padhllum's fur was bristled. He gnarled at the perilous surroundings.
I walked backwards, keeping my eyes open. As I moved backwards, my foot had bumped into a snow-covered heap on the ground. I fell backwards onto the snow, my foot was trapped. I sat upright, wriggling my foot free, the snow was slowly being tainted in a crimson color. My eyes widened in fear, I caught my breath in horror, I had fallen on a body, my foot was entangled with the limbs of a human body. I screamed. Padhllum rapidly reached to my side, crouching low as if expecting an enemy.
I hastily clambered backward, violently shaking my foot out of the dead officer's body. I stood up abruptly, gasping for a steady breath, still shaken by what had happened I took strides backward. The officer has been murdered, was all that I could replay in my mind. I hit something hard behind me. My heart stopped beating, a dire feeling possessed my body.
Padhllum had reacted, he was assailing in my direction. From above me, a black panther had lunged itself and pounded on Padhllum, who grated harshly against the ground, heaving a cloud of dust. The black panther was standing erect and powerful, his golden eyes glinting with blood-desiring pleasure.
"Run Chrystel!" Padhllum was on his paws and stampeded at the panther.
I was ready to run without daring to look behind me. But a cold and clad-like hand hold my wrist and twisted my arm painfully, my whole body had been spun to face a man. A man with a scar running the length of his face, I gasped. His left eyes were glazed, a glassy eye with a tint of gray in it. His right eye was missing, in its place was a pinkish scar, recently healed.
He is blind! I thought in horror. I was facing the murderer, I could smell blood in him, his jacket was soaked with it. I flung my violin case to the man's head in an attempt to set my hand free. It hit his head hard, his hand releasing my arm, I clumsily ran some steps away from him. The crack of wood made me stop in my tracks, I turned around in time to watch him stomp his foot on my precious Stradivarius. My heart sank.
He sneered at me, I saw a glint of a blade strapped on his belt. Padhllum was struggling with the panther, several times I heard him whine in pain, with every blow he received I felt weakened.
The man licked his lips. A foreboding sense of death hung about me. I could not run away and leave Padhllum, lost in reverie, the man took advantage of it. In a split of a second he had clutched my hair, forcing me to kneel. He took out the dagger from his belt, he pressed the cold, bloody blade on my cheek.
"Last words?" his voice was heavy with bitter, emotionless excitement.
Tears flowed, silent in prayer. This is the end. From the corner of my eye, I could see Padhllum suffering in the ground, the powerful panther had overpower him. I closed my eyes.
I heard a roar, then the hand on my hair loosened its grip. I opened my eyes, the murderer was on the ground, a white leopard had his fangs on the arm holding the dagger. The black panther shifted his attention from Padhllum to Liam, the panther tackled Liam away from his master. Liam rolled on the ground, he was barely standing up when the panther was about to make another assault. Before the panther even placed a paw on Liam, Vlad struck the panther with a crowbar.