The streets teemed with people cheering; some even throw confetti in the air. My senses hone in on my next meal. The ones that stand apart from everyone else, not really fitting in with the crowd but pretending that they belong, are the best ones; no one seems to notice their disappearance as quickly. The alleys are a maze similar to the catacombs below. I’ve learned each turn and shadow to memory. Even with it being full daylight, I can hide and move around without being seen.
The back of his neck is warm from the sun. My hand takes him quickly and I pull him into the rank urine soaked alley. His cry of surprise blends in with the cheers of the masses. I snap his neck with little effort and rip through his flesh with my teeth easily. The shadows of the Dumpster’s conceal us, no will know of my meal until much later—maybe when the homeless scour the place for some left over morsel or when the garbage workers come to empty the great green bins. It does not matter when, as I will be nowhere to be found by then.
My eyes open momentarily to show me her standing at the alley entrance. I lean back into the cover of the shadows, hoping she has not seen me and what I am doing. I cannot risk the encounter. I leave my meal and rush from between the Dumpster’s away from the crowd and…her.
“Why do you worry about a spectator?” the Darkness shrieks its disapproval at my cowardice. “Whoever watches can be the second course.”
I know she watches my escape, I feel her eyes hot on my back but I do not look back—I never look back. Will my fear be recognized; surely she will turn me in? She knows my description. She knows where I…lurk. Still I run, as I always do when she is concerned. I run from her for fear of what she will do to me and not because of what I can do to her. I know I can hold off the hunger if I choose and if I did not and devour her on the spot, I would merely think her as just another meal. However, the way I feel when she is near is too reminiscent of my feelings of Fine and I cannot allow such feelings again. Those feelings only lead to hurt and pain and broken promises.
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