By this point, Jackson’s hands were all over me, hungry and desperate. Hot tears were spilling over my cheeks and I was putting all my strength in trying to shove him off to no avail. I was pinned in an iron grip against the wall, completely terrified.
His hands reached the waistband of my jeans and he hooked two fingers through the belt hoop, pulling my body even closer towards his.
‘GET OFF ME!’
His body inched away slightly as he began to fiddle with his own jeans. Without thinking, I brought my knee up and slammed it with as much force as I could muster into his groin. He fell backwards, his grip on me loosening for an instant. It was all I needed. I slipped away and started to run. My feet pounded the concrete and my mind was screaming at me to get help. Find someone. Anyone. Call the police.
I darted round the corner of another narrow alleyway and ducked behind one of the larger trash cans. I could feel the blood pounding in my ears, my breathing was coming in short, sharp bursts and my vision was blurring at the edges.
All I needed to do was get my phone.
I jumped at the sound of Jackson’s voice and tried to shrink closer into the darkness whilst simultaneously patting my pockets for my phone.
It wasn’t there.
‘Shit,’ I hissed under my breath as it dawned on me that I had left it in my bag. The bag which I must have dropped when Jackson had grabbed me…
‘Come out come out wherever you are…’ His footsteps were definitely getting closer. I shifted position slightly, so that if he did find me I had a better chance at getting away. Surely there must be something around here that I could defend myself with.
I didn’t allow myself to think about why he was acting this way, I only had one sole focus: to get out unharmed.
But suddenly he was in front of me.
I held my breath.
‘There you are.’ He reached down towards me and grabbed my wrist, yanking me upwards sharply.
‘Why are you doing this?!’ I cried out.
He smiled at me, keeping one hand on my arm and grabbing my chin with the other, forcing me to look him directly in the eye. His mouth opened, and I waited in fear for his answer. It never came though.
Because at that moment, another set of footsteps joined us. For one horrifying moment, I thought that one of Jackson’s friends had come along, but when I saw the confusion on his face I knew he was just as clueless as I was.
‘Now, is this any way to treat a lady?’ The stranger’s voice was smooth as he stepped from the shadows and revealed himself.
I had never seen him before in my life. He couldn’t have been much older than me, perhaps eighteen or nineteen and he wasn’t any taller than Jackson. His eyes were a startling shade of grey, almost like molten metallic and his hair was jet black, framing a rather pale looking face.
Overall, he didn’t look exactly welcoming. But anything was a relief from Jackson.
‘Who the fuck are you?’ Jackson let go of me and stepped towards him.
I stood there feeling extremely helpless, unsure if I should run and get help or make sure this stranger didn’t get hurt. I had seen Jackson when he was angry before and it wasn’t a pleasant sight.
The guy laughed, not out of mirth but almost…savage delight. He was very much enjoying Jackson’s temper. I noticed how his eyes were now narrowed, almost like a predator stalking its prey. His top lip curled up and it took me a moment to realize what I was seeing.
Two long, sharp canines protruding from his mouth.
Suddenly everything was spinning. An alarmed cry pierced the air and it took me several moments to realize it was mine. I backed up against the wall, almost tripping over my own feet. Jackson took longer to see what I had but when he did, he threw his head back and laughed.
‘Nice Halloween trick, freak. Did the mask come with the fangs?’
My legs chose that moment to give way and I ended up a crumpled heap on the floor, watching the scene before me unfurl in what seemed to be slow motion.
Jackson tried to throw a punch. In his drunken, riotous state he had somehow gotten the idea in his head that he was invincible. Because anyone could take a look at this stranger that had just emerged from the shadows, and know that if they got into a fight with him it sure as hell wasn’t going to be even. My mind was refusing to allow me to comprehend what I had just seen; instead it focussed on the present, what was happening right now.
In one swift, fluid motion, the guy had blocked Jackson’s punch, twisted him round and grabbed him in a headlock. Jackson’s eyes darted wildly, vacantly, as though he was trying to assess how he had just gotten like that.
‘You know, some may argue that it would be unfair to attack you while you’re in this state,’ the guy murmured into Jackson’s ear. Then his eyes flickered to me and my breath caught. ‘I think your girlfriend might have something to say about that, don’t you?’
Everything that happened next seemed to slow down even more, and yet I could do nothing to stop it. Jackson’s green eyes fell onto mine and all the wildness had gone. He was back to his normal self. He looked resigned and apologetic. I’m sorry he murmured.
The stranger jerked his arms, a sickening crack ensued and Jackson’s body fell to the ground. All the while, his eyes were still focussed on me but the light had disappeared.
He was dead.