The Threat of Loss

The man stumbled down the sidewalk towards me and I dipped my head, or otherwise meet his fiery, hazel eyes. I wasn’t sure if he had noticed me, until he looked up and froze. From the corner of my eye, I saw him clasp his hands behind his back. He pressed against the wall of a blackened stone building and waited. I considered crossing the street to avoid him. He was untidy and old. His clothes were brown and they hung in tatters around him. He was also thin; sickly thin, like a dancing skeleton from a child’s nightmare. However, I didn’t cross the street to avoid him. I was more afraid of the angry people within those cars. So, I continued walking. I worked up the courage to look up as I passed him. Without looking directly towards him, I could still see him smiling a menacing grin with his crooked, black teeth.

“Mam,” he leered as I got closer. I flinched subtly, but didn’t reply. Instead, I quickened my pace to get past him.

When he was finally behind me, I was slightly relieved, even though I could still feel his breath on my neck. Then a piercing hot pain bloomed through my back.

The knife tore through my flesh and my screams echoed down the street. My ribs cracked and crumbled around the jagged steel and my heart welcomed it, bathing it in a warm blanket of precious blood. I collapsed to the ground and my handbag slipped from my arm. I rolled over to defend myself, but my attacker had disappeared into the smoke.

I felt the stinging pain reaching through my body and the shape of the knife left an imprint of agony. Just as the bleak face of death breathed his hot, poisonous breath into my nose, the world went black.

(It's not over yet...)

The End

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