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Olamide Armstrong witnesses an unlikely murder. The problem is people that witness a man-wolf rip out someone's throat don't usually live to tell their tales. She is moments from being another animal attack statistics when fate decides to play a dangerous game.
I huddled in a dumpster surrounded by a crusty rotten smell and shaken with fear. My breath coming in quiet. As the sound of heavy boots thudded platters of water, I desperately held my breath.
Lord, Please... I begged my mother's God and prayed he would keep moving. He had to keep moving. Tears slid profusely down my cheeks as I pondered on what he would do to me if he found me. This was never how I planned to go. My heart thudded loudly just thinking of what the headline of news would be on my story. I hated myself. But what could that do? I should never have come here. If only I had almost stayed home, snuggled in bed with Zeus, and watched those sappy hallmark movies, with a bowl of popcorn in my arms. But it was too pathetic for a Friday night-especially so close to Valentine's day. The general holiday depression had already started to set in, with everyone around me being all loved up reminding me painfully that I was alone and it was only the first week of February. Grudgingly I had gotten dressed and went wild with some girlfriends at a club. But the others had wanted to party later than I wanted to. So I left alone. It was just a few blocks to the subway station. It was dangerous to walk alone at night. Especially with an outfit so revealing but I comforted myself with the knowledge that I had pepper spray tucked away in my purse-the same spray the killer was now in possession of.
I closed my eyes, trying desperately to shut out the sight of the man choking on his own blood as his throat was slit, The image of a man-wolf throwing the lifeless body into the rails. I vividly remembered his blood red irises when he heard me scream in fear. I lacked the brazen front to even pick the spray from. my bag. I doubted it would work because whatever I saw was not human. I had dropped my purse and fled for my dear life but something told me it was not enough. He was following me and with the way the night was going I might end up just like the man, another corpse if his body was found.
The footsteps suddenly stopped and I dared to peep but he wasn't within sight. I could still hear this heavy breath. It was all over the place but it implied he was dangerously close. My stomach twisted just knowing I was right. As if the cruel truth wasn't enough, the scent of rich cologne hit my nostrils, drowning out the smell of rotting food and crusty condoms. His breath sounded as if it were blowing right in her ear. I had to state the obvious. He was a professional, not some random street tough. Poor, desperate people didn't bother with cologne. And if they did, it wouldn't have been such an expensive brand. Something told me I had gotten myself into a dilemma much bigger than me and I almost felt the need to sob like a child. I bit back a loud sob until it rattled around and echoed so loud in my mind that I feared he'd hear it. There was a snick of a lighter and then cigarette smoke filled the air. It was as if he was trying to smoke me out, as if he knew I could not stand the stench. He took drag after drag as I watched the faint ember burn bright and die through the cracks of my metal confines.
He was toying with me
I heard the pull of a zipper, and for one sick moment thought it was his pants, but the sound that followed was the snap of a wallet being opened. My wallet!
"Olamide Armstrong." He said with a rich English accent stupidly reminding me of how everyone I met murdered my name at their first tries. Even my would-be murderer. "... 580 Maple Avenue. Mech." His voice was relaxed, casual, because murder was casual to him.
I didn't want to stereotype, but a nicely dressed Englishman with murder tendencies required no leaps of logic. This guy was a man of the underworld. It was written all over him. Letting go of the purse had been necessary to save me, but now he knew who I was and where I lived. For a moment I continued to pretend he didn't know I was in the dumpster. I tried to think about where she could run, how I could stay safe from someone who would no doubt relentlessly pursue the only witness to his crime.
"Pretty. You are black though. Too bad."
Not only was he a murderer, but he was also racist. A part of me told me my color might have saved me from being a trafficked bimbo but it did not matter. In minutes, my life would not be my own regardless of how the situation played at. I figured the best option was to make a run for it while screaming at the top of my lungs for help. If only I had the doggedness to even move.
He let out a heavy sigh. "All right, come out. If you make me come get you, I will make sure you beg me to kill you."
That was it! I had held it together for as long as I could, been quiet as long as she could manage.
"Please, just let me go," I begged, shivering, and mentally praying for any omnipotent being to come to my aid. But alas, the truth was bitter and the mister stalking me dropped it without emotion.
"Sorry, I can't do that. You have got too much information in that head."
"No...I don't know anything. I don't know what you are. I don't care. I won't get involved. I swear to God. Just let me live, please. Whatever happened there, it is none of my business. I don't care about it." And I was telling the truth. Even if I had to live with the guilt of keeping the truth from someone out there. All I wanted right now was to be safe at home, in the bed with Zeus.
"What I am?" He wondered aloud. I did not answer. I was sure it was not even a question. He remained silent, puffing on the last embers of his cigarette like he was considering bargaining.
"Nah, "He finally said. "I think I'll just kill you."
Although he had made a vague reference to torturing me first if I did not come to him, I could not bring myself to move. My whole system had collapsed. How could a person step outside their less than likely safe space, knowing a monster was waiting on the other side to gobble you up?
Before I could notice, the lid of the dumpster flew back making me scream for help. More than ever I wanted a savior despite knowing no one would come to my aid even if they heard me. I had heard others scream before and I had ignored it to keep myself safe. Maybe this was karma.
I looked up at the man as he aimed his gun at my head. "Shut up! You wanna be responsible for someone else's death, too? I can shoot witnesses all night."
Oh God, I whimpered. Where were the ancestors that grandpa wouldn't shut up about? Where were they when their daughter needed help?
No one would reach me before he pulled the trigger. The only option was to reach out to his humanity. It was the only thing I could think of "Please don't hurt me. I swear I don't care what happened back there. I just want to go home."
"Just shut it! You are going to die and nothing is changing that. Just suck it up and pray someone finds your body quickly so you can at least have a decent funeral." He took a step to the side, lining up his shot as moonlight from the opposite wall hit me in the face. Instead of pulling the trigger, he just stared.
No, He froze. Almost like his body was not his for a moment. I considered running but what if it was his game plan? What if he wanted the chase? I wasn't even sure my legs could sustain me. All I could do was watch him slowly regain composure.
Almost immediately, his phone rang. I heard him curse as he picked up the call from the behinds of his jean pocket and hit a button.
"I've told you to never look through my eyes." He said to the phone, keeping his gun too close to my head and I could tell he would gun me down if I did anything stupid. Like before, he went through another awkward pause before he cut the phone. I expected to be in my final moments the moment the call ended but instead of pulling the trigger, he just said, "If you wish to live, get out there right now."
Despite the warnings shouting through my brain, I hoisted myself over the piles of trash and clumsily climbed out of the dumpster. I was sure that it would never end well but I was willing to hold on to any tiny fragments of hope I could manage to survive the night if I complied with his demands.
He gave a loud sigh before smiling at me. "You may as well be the luckiest victim that has crossed my path." Then he karate chopped the side of my neck and the entire world shrank to a tiny pinpoint of light, then blinked out of existence.
I was sure that was all the world would have heard from me. I did not expect to wake up and certainly not naked and cold. My eyes fluttered close and open as I tried to picture if the maidens touching me were angels in the afterlife preparing me to meet my maker.
"Where am I?" I asked, pushing the hands of a woman scrubbing my lathered body off.
"Shut up and let us do our job!" A woman with short back hair retorted glaring at me like I was making life for her hell.
Perhaps that was true but I did not get why I was being cleaned. Did the monster from before have some demented compassion for me and decided to keep me? No. I pushed the thought off. I tried to scramble out of the tub but the short-haired bitch held me down with an iron grip and slapped me senseless.
"Keep doing stupid shit like that and you are going to wind up dead regardless of your status as the first mate. If you smell like rotten eggs, even Jonas won’t have mercy on you." She w
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