There is no way this could be happening.
That was the first thought that ran through my mind as I stared out the window. My eyes were fixed on what could only be described as my worst nightmare come to life.
I stood in my room, my hair wet from the shower I had just taken, my body tightly wrapped in a towel.
In my hand, I clutched my phone, but it was all forgotten in my dream-like trance- though this was not a dream; this was a nightmare
Glowing eyes stared back at me, swirling silver orbs that could only be described as evil. That thing had been staring at me for just over a minute, but it felt like hours.
It took a step closer to the window where it lowered itself to the ground, its eyes staying on me the whole time. I took the time to look the thing over. Silver eyes were surrounded by midnight black fur, snarling fangs slipped between its lips in a horrible grin that made me shudder. It had the body of a wolf, huge, muscled, so much so that with every movement its body seemed to quiver, but somehow it was thin, scary thin, I could see its ribs protruding, its spine showing through inky black fur. It was an image right out of my worst nightmares, and it was laying outside my bedroom window.
I inhaled after what felt like forever. Its eyes followed the movement before darting back up to meet my petrified gaze. Its head moved to the side like it was questioning me. I was questioning myself, I must be going insane, no I must have gone insane.
I raised my phone, keeping eye contact with the beast in front of me. I opened my phone and without looking snapped a picture of the thing laying outside my bedroom window. Absently I wished I had closed my blinds before going for a shower, but I live so far from town, and nobody comes by this way.
I glanced down at the photo and confirmed that the thing was indeed there. It was no trick of the mind.
My eyes snapped up when the thing moved, though it had only stooped to run a thin long tongue across one of its front paws. When it noticed my sudden attention, it seemed to laugh at me, its eyes shining and its lips peeling away from sharp long fangs in a menacing grin.
“Scared?” it mocked, scaring me to Hell, or maybe I was already there? Its voice was thick, sounding like it was gargling the words through something thick, ‘blood’ automatically came to mind but I shook it off. My sight was becoming blurred, my body becoming heavy, black spots consumed my vision as my ears started to ring.
And then I was on the floor, my eyes unable to stay open a moment longer as I slipped into a frightening darkness.
My eyes opened, slowly, still heavy from sleep. I stretched out feeling my tense muscles relax, I smiled lightly as I listened to the rain, it was winter, so that meant that almost every day was wet and cold, but I loved it, it was my favourite season.
My phone came to life, classical music spilling into the air, it was my alarm, but I never really needed it, it was there as a precaution, in case I slept in.
I rolled over and turned off the alarm. Through the floor-length window, I could see the sun rising, barely peeking through the thick dark clouds.
I was a morning person, I had to be considering from the moment I got to work I had to be bouncing around; attending to the early morning customers.
I jumped out of bed, noticing I was wearing nothing but red marks, left from the fluffy towel I was wearing last night. Nothing new, sometimes work left me so tired that I didn’t take off my uniform, just collapsed in bed.
I walked into the small walk-in wardrobe across from my bed and pulled out my uniform, a white button-up shirt, and black pants that fit nicely. I grabbed some underwear and a white bra before exiting the wardrobe, flipping the light switch with my elbow.
I dumped the content onto the chair that sat next to my bed and adjusted the sheets so that my bed was now nicely made, I tossed the crumpled towel in the washing basket in the corner of my room before pulling on my undergarments.
I headed to the bathroom, finding my hairbrush and dragging it through my knotted hair until it was smooth, falling in waves of brown down to mid back. I applied light makeup, lip gloss to make sure my lips didn’t crack while I was at work and mascara to outline my purplish-blue eyes.
I walked down the hall of my house to the kitchen to make myself breakfast.
I live alone, a few miles out of a small town. I have been living here since I was 17. My parents had given me some money and moved to Australia to ‘live their lives’, I didn’t mind; I was never very close to them, of course, I love them, but I was never close enough to need them to hang around.
I plated up the two eggs, bacon and toast and waited for the coffee to brew. While I waited I pulled out my phone, quickly putting in the password with a few swipes of my thumb.
What I saw shocked me, last night suddenly came back to me. I stopped breathing, so it was real?
The coffee machine started to beep, telling me it was done. I snapped out of my horrified stare and turned my phone off; I don’t have time for this.
I poured my coffee and sat down to eat the food I had made; though I no longer felt hungry. I thought about last night, how had I gotten into bed? What happened to that… thing?
I stood from the table and made my way up the hall, suddenly feeling jumpy. I jumped as my cat; ebony darted between my legs, darting through the cat door and outside. I scolded myself for being so easily spooked.
I shook myself and headed back to my room. I shrugged on my shirt and stepped into the pants. I did up my first button and grabbed my white tie from the back of the chair. I pulled it around my neck and tied it expertly. I have been doing this job since I was 16 and was good at getting ready, I had a routine and was good at it.
I finished buttoning my shirt, my eye catching the silver belly ring that I got with my first pay, 4 years ago. I smiled at it and tucked my shirt into my pants.
I went and brushed my teeth, grinning at my reflection to make sure that my teeth were white.
I grabbed my bag from next to my bedroom door as I walked through, slinging it over my shoulder. As I walked past the kitchen I put my plates in the dishwasher and grabbed a bottle of water, taking a few vitamins and grabbing a snack bar in case I got hungry.
I sat on the small stool next to the front door, pulling on black canvas shoes before standing back up.
I left the house and locked the door behind me, the thought of that creature still hanging in my mind. Maybe I should move? I shook the thought off, I love living here.
I opened the garage to see my car, it had cost me just over 4 thousand, it was still my first car, I didn’t have the money to upgrade it now, I rarely used it anyway. Next to it was my motorbike, my baby, which I used it as much as I could.
I looked outside to see if it was still raining, and to my luck it had stopped, only a light drizzle remaining. I grinned and walked to my bike. I swung my leg over it and pushed my key into the ignition. I turned it and felt the bike hum beneath me, I heard the usual roar of the engine.
I kicked up the stand, securing my helmet and then I was off. I made my way through the slightly muddy dirt tracks, being careful not to go fast enough to splash mud on my uniform.
I reached the main road that led into town, I checked for traffic on the rarely busy road before pulling out into the empty road.
I revved my bike, taking the chance of the quiet road to have a little fun. The damp air whipped across my face, leaving me numb from the cool air. I grinned as I picked up speed again, the straight road allowing me to go faster than I normally would.
I slowed as I came to the entrance of the town, shop fronts with sleepy workers, morning walkers stiffly striding through the cool air.
I came to a stop in front of a café, the sign out the front announcing today's specials, the door was open letting the comforting smell of baked goods and breakfast foods drift out, enticing in hungry customers.
I swung off my bike, cutting the engine and left it standing. As I walked in I took my helmet from my head and tucked it under my arm.
“Alex!” came the silvery call of my boss; Madeleine. I turned to find her, behind the counter, her plump cheeks coated in a rich shade of red.
I crossed the laminated floors, which squeaked underfoot. Madeleine was like a mother to me, her brown eyes were warm and always inviting, her lips almost permanently stretched into a wide welcoming smile.
“Oh, how good it is to see you” she gushed, grabbing my hands over the counter only to retract them immediately. “my Dear, your hands are like ice!” She scolded, her eyes holding concern “I thought I said to wear gloves, you’ll get sick if you don’t look after yourself.”
I smiled at my Boss as she shuffled over to the barrister, who was quietly making two cappuccinos to go, she murmured something to him before wandering back to me. I think his name is Mark, he’s new but knew his way around the café almost like second nature.
I walked behind the counter and into the staff room, I opened my locker and pulled out my apron, I placed my bag and helmet inside before closing the door again.
I walked back to the front, a few customers sat in booths, steaming cups of coffee gripped in cold hands. a couple stood at the serving counter waiting for their coffee, chatting happily together.
I tied my apron around my waist quickly, shoving a pen and pad in the pocket and damp cloth in the other plastic lined pocket, for wiping tables.
A group of school students bustled in, some bleary-eyed and others humming as they chatted among themselves. They sat in a corner booth, filling every available space. I occupied myself with wiping the counter while I waited for the students to decide what they wanted.
Mark, the barrister, came shuffling over to me, a blush tingeing his cheeks as he handed me a steaming takeaway cup of coffee, I smiled at the boy, he was maybe 17, no doubt this was his first job.
“Thanks, Mark” I smiled, blowing at the hot liquid to cool it down. Mark blushed deeper, but simply inclined his head and stumbled back to his position making drinks.
I took a sip and cringed as I felt the hot liquid burn my tongue. Deciding to come back to it when it was cooler I placed it under the counter where the workers could place their drinks and made my way over to the teens, who were getting louder and louder.
I pulled my notepad from my pocket and poised my pen, ready to jot down their orders. “Ready to order?” I asked, making sure my voice was inviting and lively.
The group went quiet, turning their attention to me. I fought the urge to drop my head as I make eye contact with the large group.
“Sure thing.” one of the boys said, ordering a mocha. The rest of the group followed, telling me their order and soon I was heading back to the counter, notepad in hand.
“It's a big one” I murmured to Mark, who carefully took the order from my hands and read it. Mark sighed, looking up at me, he gave me a tired smile.
“It’s too early for this” he joked. It was maybe the third thing he had said to me in the month that he had been working here. I was surprised, maybe he was getting used to me.
“It’s okay” I replied a grin coating my lips “only 6 hours to go.” He groaned and started on the order.
I looked around to see one couple get up and leave. I made my way over to the table and picked up the cheque. I checked how much money was in it, making sure we got the correct amount. I wiped down the table and headed back to the counter to put the money in the till.
I headed back behind the counter and took a sip of my coffee, which was no longer scalding hot, but still stung my already burned tongue.
I stacked dished while I waited for the group's drinks to be ready.
“Coffee up!” Mark exclaimed, one of the other waitresses strutted over to the counter where two serving trays of drinks waited, she gave me a hard look before grabbing one of the trays and jerking it into the air so it was balancing on one hand.
I never figured out why Cassandra seemed to hate me so much, but ever since she started working here a year ago she seemed to disapprove of everything I did.
I took the other tray, smiling at Mark and lifted the tray carefully into the air, making sure that none of the drinks would spill.
Cassandra was strutting towards the table, her head high, uncaring of the drinks sloshing out of the cups and onto the tray.
What happened next seemed to go in slow motion: I saw her foot catch on a chair leg, her eyes went wide, a gasp falling from her lips and she went down, slamming into the ground with a cry, but that was not what shocked me, the 5 drinks she had been carrying fell with her, spilling over the floor and Cassandra’s arms, which turned instantly red, glass shattered, spilling across the floor.
I quickly placed my tray on a table that wasn’t occupied and rushed over to my co-worker, who was hissing in pain.
I reached for her, trying to pull her up from the broken glass and burning liquid, but the moment I touched her she turned to shriek at me.
“Get your filthy hands off me!” she screamed, her eyes filling with tears, her cheeks burning with embarrassment. “It’s not like you’re so fucking good!” I pulled back from her, shocked by her words.
She crumpled into a ball, wrapping her arms around her legs as she started to sob. I looked around, confused, unsure of what to do with myself.
Absently I noticed a man standing at the entrance of the café, looking at the scene before him with distaste.
I dropped to my knees, feeling glass cut through the fabric of my pants and slice through my flesh. I started to gather shattered glass in my hands, trying to clear the mess that lay before me, unable to do anything else.
One of the shards slipped through my quivering fingers, slicing the tip of my finger open.
Red ribbons dribbled down my hand as I brought it to my face, inspecting the deep cut.
“Are you okay?” a rich voice inquired from above me. my eyes flicked up to meet the eyes of a stranger, he was scary, his eyes such a rich brown that I questioned if they were brown or red, his hair was a lustrous black, cut just below his ears. There was a thick scar, running from his Adam's apple and disappearing into the collar of the suit he wore. He was tall, much taller than I could ever wish to be at about 6”4.
“Uh” I murmured as he scooped my bleeping hand into his. He inspected my hand, his eyes intense as they followed the crimson lines falling down my skin. I couldn’t help but notice that he was attractive, in a dark mysterious way, yet all my senses were screaming for me to run.
Catching my gaze, he gave me a grin, it was meant to look friendly I think, but instead it looked more like he was snarling at me. I got the feeling he didn’t smile much at all.
“Ember” his voice was thick like he hadn’t been talking for a few hours, he cleared it. “My name’s Ember” he corrected.
“Alex” I replied, feeling like I was drowning in his eyes, but it wasn’t the sweet kind of drowning, where you could look into that person’s eyes forever, no it was nothing like in the books. I felt like I was drowning -like I was being sucked in by the flames that leapt in his eyes like, I couldn’t tear myself free.
Word count: 2970
Thanks for reading
Work had seemed to go by in a blur, I had spent the day trying not to aggravate the new wounds on my palms and knees, Cassandra had disappeared, more than likely had headed home after her outburst. Madeleine had been far from happy with the early disruption and pointed the blame at Cassandra.
"Your shift is over Alex" Madeleine announce as she wondered out of her office, tying an apron around her waist, smiling sweetly at me. "thank you for not going home today, I would have struggled to hold this place together without you" She chuckled.
I smiled at her, glad that I could go home. I wiped my hands on a cloth and walked back into the change room where my stuff way, I untied my apron with a heavy sigh, my legs hurt from standing all day, the best thing that had happened to me was my lunch break, where I sat of a squeaky wooden chair on the staff room, which was the size of a cleaning closet and ate a sandwich, curtsy of the chef Randy, who had been working here for years.
I picked up my bag and slung it over my shoulder and pulled my hair from it’s tie. I ran my hands through it impatiently as I walked from the room and to Madeline’s office, I knocked once before cracking the door.
“I’m going now” I told her with a smile, she looked up from the paperwork on her desk and grinned at me.
“ok sweetie, I’ll see you tomorrow.” She told me and glanced down at her desk “before I forget, here is your pay for last week, there is the extra $180 for filling in for Addison, you are an Angel” she told me as she stood from her desk and wondered over to me, she handed me the envelope signed with my name and the amount in it. I smiled at her and took it from her hand.
“Thank you, I’ll see you tomorrow” I told her before exiting the room.
I shoved the3 envelope in my bag as I walked from behind the counter. It was now 2 pm, I planned to hang around the bar, I didn’t want to go home till I had to. My brain was still struggling to process what I had seen, if not for the photo I would have thought myself insane by now.
I Pulled my helmet over my head, ignoring the strap and swung my leg over the bike, I fished my keys from my pocket and jammed it in the ignition, not particularly thinking about the bike but more what I had seen last night. The more I imagined that hellish thing outside my window the less I remembered of it, which was strange because it was only hours ago that I had seen it.
Wait, how had I gotten into bed? I strange shiver ran down my spine and I quickly started the bike, not wanting to think about it.
I quickly pulled out of the parking space and into the road, not looking to see if I was pulling out in front of someone and took off, hanging just over the speed limit as I rode down the busy road; or what passed for busy in this town.
I tuned out thoughts of the people and shops as I made my way to the bar. About half way there, down the main stretch of the town I noticed red and blue lights turn on. I glanced in my mirror to see one of the few police cars in this town behind me.
With a grunt of annoyance, I pulled onto a parking bay next to a park, the large expanse of grass was mostly used for the school, currently there was a group of teenagers a hundred meters from me playing football.
The police car pulled on behind me, turning the lights off before the driver’s door popped open, I Pulled off my helmet and ran my fingers through my hair.
“Alex?” a deep voice inquired from behind me, I mentally cringed as I turned around, and of course it was the one person I was hoping it wouldn’t be.
Brown hair curled under his police hat, his warm brown eyes gazed into mind for a second before pulling himself back into a professional façade.
“Felix” I sighed, I turned off the ignition to the bike, I stretched out my back a little and waited for the lecture to begin. My ex-boyfriend Felix, high school sweetheart, I was sure we would be together way after high school, but that was until I found photo of said Felix making out with one of the sluttiest girls in school, safe to say I broke his phone and our relationship was not so far behind.
With I heavy sigh Felix started “It’s Officer Felix, Alex” He looked me in my eye, ever since that incident as few years ago he started to try almost anything to be around me, to ‘make sure I was safe’, I never paid him much attention. “you were doing 4 over Alex” he told me, my mouth fell open.
“you pulled me up for that?” I scoffed. I glanced over the field to find some of the boys from the football team looking over at me and rolled my eyes. “do you have something against me Felix?” I asked bitterly, emphasizing his name.
“you know that’s not the case and for the last time it’s Officer” Felix seemed to be getting irritated with me and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Mind of I smoke?” I asked but didn’t wait for his reply, I pulled a pack of cigarettes from my bag along with a lighter.
“That’s no good for you Alex, you need to quit that” Felix replied as I lit the cigarette, blowing out a puff of smoke; Felix scrunched up his nose but didn’t comment.
“Sorry dad” I bit back sarcastically, I never acted like this to anyone else, I’m normally a very nice person, but Felix wasn’t on my nice list, and if there was one thing people should know about me is never to piss me off, because I hold grudges.
“Alex” Felix said in a warning voice, I smirked and put my hands up in the air, my cigarette between my lips.
“Officer” I replied, letting my voice drop into a flirtatious slur. His eyes seemed to soften a little.
“Do I have to book you for this or will a warning do?” He asked, softer than before. I dropped my hands, pulling the cigarette from my lips and exhaling.
“You’re the authority” I told him sweetly “Felix” I added just to spite him. He huffed in annoyance.
“Go before decide you are worth the paperwork” I chuckled and tossed my helmet into my bag, along with the pack of cigarettes and lighter.
“Have a nice day” I said and turned on the engine, blocking out his reply, I threw him a sugar sweet smile before taking off. “Pig” I muttered to myself as I rode away.
I took one hand off the bike and continued to finish my cigarette. Inhaling one final draw before putting it out and dropping it onto the road.
When I reached the bar, I pulled into a parking space, going through the steps of getting off the bike, throwing my bag over my shoulder and wondering into the bar. It was still close to lunch time so the people at the bar itself was limited, there were a few couples at tables, families chatting amongst themselves and the odd person at the bar; enjoying a quiet drink.
I inhaled the smell of coffee and lunch time foods, wondering if I should get myself something to eat.
I found a seat at the bar, near the corner and sat down throwing my bag next to me on the floor.
“Alex” The bartender announced as he sassed over to me, his white button up shirt undone to the first button, his black hair combed to the side neatly.
“Gabriel” I exclaimed, I smiled brightly at him, thrilled to see a farmiular face. I received a blinding white smile from the man himself as he leant across the bar.
“And what can I do for your sweet face today?” he asked me, his head cocked to the side, his eyes darting over my attire before skimming back up to meet my eyes “coming from work?” he queried, I nodded my head in response and lifted my head to look at the drinks menu above the bar, this was a habit that really wasn’t necessary since I already knew exactly what I would be having.
“A beer, thank you” I finally said with a nod. Gabriel chuckled at me before pushing himself off the bar, He grabbed a glass and pushed it under the tap, letting the beer run into the glass. I turned my head away looking at the other people at the bar, I quickly got bored.
“It’s rude to stare,” Gabriel said behind me, his voice held humour. My head snapped in his direction and I quickly smirked at him.
“Jealous?” I asked, raising a questioning eyebrow, Gabriel responded with his own smirk, one that most woman would find intoxicating, I, on the other hand, found it simply amusing.
“Very” he huffed, he put my drink down on the bar, pushing it across to me before leaning himself across the bar. “You should let me take you out gorgeous” he murmured to me, that smirk still gracing his lips, he looked like an angel.
I snorted my lips pulling into a grin “Please!” I exclaimed barely suppressing a laugh “You wouldn’t touch a woman with a 10-foot pole, let alone date one!” I cackled, Gabriel was less than straight to say the least, even if most other woman didn’t realize it.
“You wound me” Gabriel huffed but his lips spread into a grin. “Enjoy your drink Doll, call me when you want more” Gabriel winked at me before he sauntered back across the bar to serve other customers.
I took a sip of my beer, the slightly bitter taste making my cheeks tingle. I licked the foam from my upper lip and smiled, this was the best thing about the end of the day.
After a few drinks and few hours, i found myself getting bored, with a half-full drink in one hand and my nails drumming against the bar with my other hand. I was staring down the drink menu, reading every word over and over again.
"Long day?" a masculine voice spoke from behind me, I jolted in my seat, tipping my drink slightly and whacking my hand on the bar as I sat up straight. It only took me a second before the pain of banging my injured hand caught up to me and I found myself clutching it, a quiet string of profanities falling from my lips.
"Didn't mean to scare you" This time I didn't jump at the voice, instead I turned around, looking up into the almost red eyes I was hoping I wouldn't see again.
My brain ran blank as I tried to remember his name, all I could think about was the fire in his eyes. Ember, it suddenly popped into my head.
"Ember, right?" I Inquired, I huffed and looked back at my half-spilt drink, Gabe would kill me for that.
"Right" Ember chuckled; it sounded unnatural. I glanced up at him for a second, not to sure what to say next.
“let me replace that drink for you” Ember slipped into the seat next to me, his action drew the attention of Gabe, who quietly raised a brow at me as he strutted across the bar to me.
“It’s fine, I can buy my own drink” I told him, not really liking the idea of him buying things for me. Ember didn’t reply instead he waited for Gabe to get to us, he stopped in front of us with a smile plastered on his face, it was almost impossible to see the apprehension in his eyes, but if you knew him enough then it was clear as day.
“What can I do for you?” Gabriel said in a smooth tone, his eyes held fire, masked behind a sweet smile. I wondered quickly what was up with him, I had never seen him look this agitated by someone in the whole time I had knew him.
“Beer for her and whiskey for me” Ember announce, his eyes taunting, I found myself wondering what was going on with this man, why he was so different.
“That all?” Gabriel responded, his words clipped. I looked across at Ember to find him smirking at Gabe.
“Actually, I’ll have whiskey as well” I told him with a smile, I would need as much alcohol as I could get to deal with the man sitting next to me. Gabe tossed me a grin before walking off the get our drinks, grabbling my mostly empty beer as he went.
“I took you for the cocktail kind of girl” Ember chuckled, I cringed at the gravely sound of his voice, it would have been attractive if I knew more about him and he wasn’t so scary.
“What makes you think that?” I scoffed, a slight glare falling onto my face as I studied the drinks menu.
“You are sweet and little, guess I just assumed” Ember replied, I cocked an eyebrow but didn’t reply. “and you smoke too” he observed, the smile in his voice apparent without even looking at him.
“What of it?” I asked, feeling myself get agitated, I was glad when Gabe came back with our drinks, he set them down before us and walked away without saying a word.
I grabbed my drink into my hands and took a sip from the warm burning liquid, I glanced down at the liquor and found it the shade of Embers eyes, I looked away fast.
“How are your hands doing?” Emer asked his own drink swirling in the bottom of his glass. I looked over to him to see him leaning back slightly, he looked completely at him in the stool he sat on, one hand in the air holding delicately onto his glass, the other resting on his leg.
“Fine, thank you” I luckily remembered my manners, it had been a long day and I hardly was in the mood to interact with people, especially after Felix showing up.
“I get the feeling that you aren’t in the best of moods” Ember murmured, taking a long sip of his drink “want to vent?” he added, turning slightly so he was facing me more.
I don’t know what it was, but I didn’t refuse, I turned to him, feeling like I had to tell him everything, I told him all about Felix, about us dating and what’s going on with us now. He looked me in the eye the whole time, never looking bored or diverting his attention from me, and before I knew It I let out a deep sigh finished with my rant.
Ember looked infuriated, his eyes darting over my face, he sat up straight, his lips pulling into a firm line, I studied him cautiously, like a lamb regarding a pacing lion.
“He sounds like a royal prick” Ember finally replied, his words sounded strained, like he was trying to hold himself back.
“To say the least” I chuckled, finding myself relaxing around him, no longer fearing the fire in his eyes as we spoke, but I was still wary.
“And he still tries to get you back?” Ember asked, his fist clenching on his lap, I nodded taking the last swig from my second whiskey, I put it down on the bench and pulled my phone from my back pocket, I regarded the time with surprise, it was now 6 pm, and I really needed a smoke.
“I need a cigarette” I said with a sigh, getting to my feet and grabbing up my bag. “I’ll be back” I told him with a smile.
“I could do with one myself, mind if I join you?” Ember asked, I nodded absently, and he stood as well.
I headed out the door Ember following close on my heals, I silently wondered where this man had come from, and not for the first time wondered how someone so scary could be so attractive.
Word count: 2760
Thanks for reading.
I took a long drag of my cigarette, Watching as Ember did the same, his eyes were dropped to the floor seemingly uninterested. he kicked a beer bottle across the floor, the sound of the glass bottle skittering across the floor broke the quiet of the side ally we were currently stood in; it clanged loudly before hitting the wall with a final sharp smash, glass breaking across the floor.
“Why haven’t I seen you around before?” I mused, blowing out the smoke I had inhaled as I did so, his eyes finally met mine, looking dull and bored.
“I’m visiting,” He replied, no emotion in his flat voice, “with friends” He added after a hesitant pause, something in his voice told me that his statement wasn’t partially true, but I shook off the need to question him feather on it and instead nodded.
“I didn’t take you for the smoking type” He commented dryly, looking down at the half-finished cigarette between my fingers, I chuckled in response, nobody ever did, I thought cautiously, looking up at his dark form as I mused over how to respond.
“It’s a habit left over from my high school days” I told him with a small quirk of my lips, I took a final drag before putting it out on the wall behind me; dropping it to the ground and exhaling.
Ember didn’t say anything back to me, he only nodded slightly as he put out his own cigarette.
I noted that he had a ring on one of his tanned delicate fingers, the thick gold band held a blood red stone, it glinted in the little light that was offered in the ally, a shiver ran the length of my spine, something about the ring had my skin crawling.
“Can I buy you another drink?” Ember offered, his eyes flickering like a lit match in the shadowy ally, I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, something in this man made me think that I didn’t ever want to know what he was thinking.
“I should be getting home,” I murmured, pushing myself off the dirty wall, finding I was slightly more intoxicated than I had thought. “but thank you for tonight” I offered once I got my feet under me. Ember stayed silent, regarding my slightly swaying form with a blank face.
I had come to realise he rarely showed much emotion, I had never seen him express joy or sorrow, never in the hours, I had spent with him seen him show me more than a light smile or a soft frown. I wasn’t sure if I was unnerved by his lack of expression or not.
“I don’t think you should drive” he told me after I moment of silence, I couldn’t help but get trapped in his eyes, swallowed by the dancing flames of his eyes, I lost the thoughts in my head, finding I simply couldn’t hold onto them while my eyes held his.
I stayed quiet, simply staring at him. He seemed to do the same, the rest of the ally turned into a shadowy whirl, the corners so dark a person could hide in them and go unnoticed.
With that disturbing thought, I noticed a slight swishing motion in the quickly blackening ally, my eyes remained locked on Embers, taking note of the swirling shadow to my right.
I had defiantly had way too much to drink, that must be why I’m getting dragged into this man eyes and seeing things in shadows.
“I need to get home” I told him suddenly, looking to the opening of the ally, suddenly I was feeling claustrophobic, Ember was taking up all my space in the cramped ally and I felt like the shadows where watching me, I had to get out of this ally or I would surely pass out.
“I’ll take you” Ember told me, turning to walk from the ally, I quickly glanced back to the shadows, finding them too inky and black to see into, I turned on my heels and quickly hurried after Embers retreating figure.
“I can’t leave my bike here” I stated as I stumbled behind Ember, for someone who had been drinking for a good few hours he was sure and steady on his feet, he made me seem pathetic; tripping every few stumbled steps as I puffed to keep up with him.
“Then give me your keys” Ember called back to me. his voice almost getting lost to my drunken ears in the soft breeze that whispered seductively to my senses.
“keys” I muttered to myself, I was too intoxicated to consider the fact that getting a lift from my new acquaintance was probably not the best idea I had made tonight, my mind instead wondered to how this man looked in his tailored suit; like something you would see in a magazine, yet so much better.
I was so caught up in my boozy thoughts that I had not noticed Ember come to a stop in front of my bike, his eyes skimming over the sleek black bike with a look of approval.
“Excuse me” I muttered, tapping his shoulder, not noticing the way he tensed slightly under my touch. His eyes shifted to me, his thick brow raising questioningly at my actions.
“You are drunk” Ember stated. His upper lip curling in distaste but his eyes softened slightly. I scoffed ever so slightly at his attitude.
“For your information Mister…” I trailed off realizing I didn’t know his last name, I looked up at him expectantly and waited for him to give me the information I needed to complete my sentence.
“Faye” Ember replied dryly, looking vaguely amused as I started to speak again.
“Well Mr Faye, I normally hold my liquor exceedingly well” I informed him, but I wasn’t sure he believed me or even understood what I was trying to say.
It was true, I was very good at drinking, in high school while most of my friends were throwing up in the bushes at parties, I was drinking brandy and laughing at their drunken states.
“May I have the keys?” Ember prompted me, ignoring my rambling, making me frown. I fished around in my bag for a minute, muttering incoherently to myself until my finger scraped across the metal of my keychain.
I yanked them from my bag and held the triumphantly out to Ember; like I was presenting him with a gold medal. Ember smirked mockingly at me and delicately picked the keys out of my open hand, his large hands moving smooth and nimbly much to my surprise.
“Thank you” Ember said. I smiled up at him, my drunken state eager to please.
Ember turned from me and swung his leg gracefully onto my bike, he turned the bike on a revved it a few times, his eyes bright with something I couldn’t identify, he turned to me.
“Are you going to get on Alex or are you going to stand there with drool running down your chin the whole night?” Ember inquired sardonically, my lips turned down into a grimace, rude.
I shuffled over to the bike, and swung my leg over so I was perched behind Ember, only able to see the back of his suit, I subconsciously marvelled at how perfectly he filled it out. I swiped at my chin with the back of my hand and cursed silently when it came away wet, he wasn’t joking about me drooling I thought darkly.
The Bike revved under me as Ember pulled away from the parking spot we were in. I quickly gripped onto his torso, finding myself gripping what felt like rock hard flat surfaces beneath my fingers.
Soon the bike was flying down the quiet street, I wasn’t paying much attention to anything other than the fact that I was sure we were moving at such a speed that I was unable to focus on one thing as it flew by in a blur.
All too fast we were out of the town, roaring down the highway away from the bright lights and into the dark of the forest surrounding the quiet town.
I looked up to the stars and grinned, the soft light coming from them lit up the trees around us, casting a blue light upon everything.
Ember slowed down, I was able to focus on each tree as it passed my field of vision, I was enchanted, the thick shadows that danced between the branches had me trapped in their dark beauty, it felt like the shadows were moving with us; leaping and bounding between the tall trees to keep up.
I noticed one of the shadows break away from the rolling mass of black, a sinister shadow I recognised, but just as soon as I saw it the shadow was gone again. I rolled my eyes at myself, I’m paranoid.
All too soon we pulled up in front of my house, the engine was cut; leaving us in the silence of the woods. I inhaled the fresh rain and dirt smell and instantly felt more awake.
“Are you going to get off?” Ember muttered from in front of me. I quickly released my hold on his abdomen and flung myself off the bike as if Ember had burned me.
“how are you going to get home?” I asked timidly, fiddling with my fingertips, we were out of town, there was no way he could walk back.
“I have my ways” was his simple reply. I don’t know what it was, but for the hundredth time that night I felt like I shouldn’t question him.
“Okay” was all I said in response, I was still looking down at my hands, playing with my fingers. What was it about him that made me so nervous?
“Bye” was all Ember said to me before turning and walking back down the dirt road that leads to the highway. I was too stunned to react, I simply watched as he faded into the shadows.
“What?” I murmured into the dark, I wasn’t sure how to react, so I turned on my heels and walked to the front door of my house, unlocking it and quickly locking it behind me. call me paranoid but if you woke up to images of things outside your house, you wouldn’t want to spend more than I minute out there alone in the dark.
I made my way to my room, stripping my clothes and quickly getting into the shower, not caring if the water was cold.
I washed my body, trying to get rid of the strange fuzzy feeling the alcohol had created in my body. Once I was clean I turned off the water, getting out and wrapping a towel tightly around myself.
I walked back to my room and frowned when I saw the curtains open. I rushed over to them and yanked them quickly closed, but it wasn’t quick enough, I caught a glimpse of that thing, the one from last night, it was by the treeline this time, watching me as I yanked the curtains between us, its gums pulled into a wicked grin.
I fell onto my bed, my heart slamming erratically in my chest as I stared up at the white seeling.
Then a thought crossed my mind: Ember is out there.
I don’t know why but this caused me to peep through my curtains, as if I would see Ember walking around my backyard. But what I did see made me regret even thinking about touching the curtains. It was still there, still staring at the house, its eyes locked on me as it grinned like a manic: but that wasn’t what scared me so much, it was the fact that there were two more sitting next to it, they all looked the same, same malicious grins on their lips same bloodthirsty look in their eyes, the only defence was that while the first one was black and much larger than the others, the other two were a muddy brown. The black one cocked its head to the side, its eyes never leaving mine, I knew it was mocking me.
I quickly pulled the curtains shut, I rushed to my bed and threw myself under the covers like a small child afraid of the dark, and that’s where I stayed for the rest of the night, listening to the things tormenting me from outside my window, howling to the moon in tones that sounded like nothing I had heard a wolf use before, sometimes scratching on the glass of my bedroom window.
It was around 4 am that it stopped, I sighed and shifted slightly in my bed for the first time in hours, it didn’t take me long after that to fall asleep, exhausted and scared.
I was in the woods, stumbling down the dirt path in nothing but a large shirt that I normally slept in, my feet were getting scraped up and I was developing a limp, but I wouldn’t let myself slow down, not when those things were right behind me.
I was breathing heavily my lungs burning as I struggled to inhale enough air, I refused to look behind me, scared of what I would see, knowing I was better off not knowing.
I sobbed as I felt a greasy pelt brush my leg, one of those things had decided to get closer to me, they never hurt me, only tormented me, made me shake with fear before falling back with a dark gurgling laugh.
“Alex?” I heard Embers voice call, he emerged from the shadows before me, dressed in all black, his hair slicked back.
“Ember!” I called the panic in my voice evident, what if these things attack him? I stop in front of him, spinning around to find the wolves backing up into the sooty shadows behind them, their eyes the only thing that told me there were even there, to begin with.
“Alex?” Ember asked. I looked over my shoulder at him, his blazing eyes study me calmly “What are you doing out?” he queried, his tone growing deeper than its usual rumble, his fiery eyes bleeding into a crimson red.
I tried to stutter out a response, but he cut me off “Don’t you know little girls should be afraid of the dark?” he growled, his lips peeling away from his white teeth in a menacing snarl, his normally perfect teeth were now jagged and undeniably sharp.
I gasped in horror and looked back up to his eyes as they bleed from red to black. He took a step toward me, his pale hand reaching toward me. I was frozen in place; my legs wouldn’t listen to my internal screaming to run- run and never look back.
Too soon he was leering over me, the world was getting darker, his eyes sent my brain into a frenzy of sheer panic.
Ember placed a cool hand over my neck, brushing delicate fingers over my slamming pulse. A sob broke through my chest, I was shaking, every part of my body flowing with adrenaline, yet I couldn’t do anything but stare into his black eyes.
Ember chuckled, sounding like he was gargling blood. I watched as he leaned down, his head tilting to the side as he stared deep into my eyes, his gaze was mocking, amused by my horror.
“Don’t you know you should be afraid of me?” He murmured and lunged at my throat as a scream tore from my lips.
Word count: 2600
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