The figure was slight, pale, rain-soaked and frail. The shape of a young girl, silhouetted against the dark ground. But her face….everything came rushing back, as if time’s arrow had suddenly pierced me from behind, tipped with poison memories.

The knife clattered to the ground.

I fell to my knees.

“ My God, you’re alive…”.

Matteo stood behind me, white as chalk, face clouded with resignation. His slick black curls crept down his face, his angular jaw locked in distress.

Trying my best to recover, I struggled to my feet, rushing to the side of the young girl. She was as badly injured as I, croaking weakly and shaking violently with tremors. I gingerly put my finger to her trembling lips.

“Don’t talk. It’ll be alright. Promise.”

How long had she been here? I wondered. Days, weeks?

Suddenly, I heard the clicking. Someone was loading a gun. Footsteps.


The dark figure walking down the aisle already had the pistol loaded, aiming directly at the injured girl. It walked brusquely with a slight limp, draped in a black trench coat. The squared shoulders and thick legs were obviously those of a young man. His face, ghostly pale, was beset with two dark eyes and mop of thick orange hair that hung limp on his head.

“She has the fever. There’s no help for her,” he barked. “We can’t risk her. She has to die.”

Not bothering to wait for a response, he pulled the trigger.

The End

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