Chapter II: Night Stalker, page 1Mature

The man lit up a cigarette and smoked idly, his mind lost in contemplation of the lights of the pub's front and the mundane chitchat of the other smokers around him. This November night was freezing like every other November night in London, but that would never discourage the smokers who would venture outside between two rounds of beer to get their nicotine fix. They would just put on thick coats and scarves. Except for the man, who was just wearing a light leather jacket. The cold was not a problem for him. He didn't feel it. He was waiting for his girl, a pretty blonde he had hit on, inside. Like a lot of Londoners on a Friday night, she had come to the pub to gulp down a few pints with her co-workers, to celebrate the end of yet another week. She told him she was single and never expected to meet someone as interesting as he was tonight. He told her he liked her. She told him she liked him too. He mesmerized her. A lot of people, would say the man had a gift for mesmerizing. He was tall, slim, dark-haired, of pale complexion, and always had a mysterious air, a random passer-by would call self-confidence, but a keen observer would rather describe as an air of utter detachment, as if he were from another time or another world, that girls found fascinating.

So he mesmerized her, and the next thing she knew, she was picking up her stuff and saying goodbye to her co-workers, while he was smoking outside, waiting for her. When she appeared, smiling coyly, they went on their way.

"This way," the man instructed as he took her hand and led her to an alley a few streets from the pub.

"Oh, we're going to your place, then?" she asked, anxious but anticipating what was next with delight.

"You can say that..."

They took a turn, then another, disappearing into increasingly dark and narrow alleys. The girl's excitement slowly gave way to anxiety. She saw a rat run before them. There was not a sound but the rusty screech of an abandoned bicycle's wheel, and the squeals of the rodent as it disappeared in a gutter. She didn't like this place.

"You know what, I think we'd rather go to my place if you don't mind..." she began, her voice trembling. Her new friend responded by forcefully shoving her against a wall, a hand on her mouth to keep her quiet. He had been so swift she didn't even have time to scream. And damn she wanted to. A rapist, a sadist, a killer! She tried to struggle free, but his grip was one of iron and he wouldn't move an inch.

"Actually," he whispered to her, "I don't think I could wait that long. I'm so hungry..."

She struggled against her own brain, to keep the panic from taking over. Her legs were still free. She rammed her knee into his crotch, as strong as she could. She knew he would let go, by reflex, and then she would have to run... but he didn't move. Not an inch. It was like she had kicked a statue. Then she looked up again and suddenly she turned limp, her body and her mind frozen still in abject terror. His face had changed. His eyes seemed as though they were gleaming with a hideous red colour, and he now had two long, white fangs protruding from where his canine teeth were supposed to be. The face of a monster. Little by little, she felt were limbs getting numb, and she began to see shadows dancing in front of her eyes. The monster talked to her but she couldn't hear a sound. She was fainting. She knew she was done for, and as a last protection, her mind tried to escape from her destruction...

A sudden wet sensation roused her from her torpor, and as she came back to her senses, she heard an inhuman shriek of pain, and felt the monster's grip release her. Her legs still numb, she fell on her knees, against the wall. She opened her eyes: the monsters was on all four, screaming like a thousand damned souls, white smoke seeming to come from his head. A sickening smell of burnt meat overwhelmed her senses, and when the monster looked at her, she saw with horror that half his face had melted off as if sprayed with acid. The wet sensation? She could still feel it on her face, she lay a finger on her cheek and examined the liquid: it was clear and looked and felt just like water. But how could water do that? Then a sudden memory resurfaced, a memory of her teenage years of watching Buffy. A monster with red eyes and fangs. A vampire. And Holy water burnt them.

"Run," a deep male voice ordered. She looked to her right and saw a large, hulking man in a duster and a fedora. In the darkness, she couldn't see his face. She kept staring at him for a moment, bewildered. "Run!" He ordered again. "Run as fast as you can, and forget this ever happened. Now!"

The End

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