It is alarming that they come so close to me and find places to hide. Do they not feel my eyes burn into them? Do they not hear my pounding heart? Two of them closest to me whisper. I strain to hear their words, through hissing lips and cut short giggles. What are they doing? Quietly, I maneuver myself closer, never leaving the solace of the shadows. The Darkness is puzzled at their game as well.
I smell them and my eternal hunger ignites. I fight back the demands to take them, out of curiosity. The Darkness does not urge me otherwise.
“He’ll be coming this way, I tell you,” I am able to make out what one says.
“Were they preparing a surprise for him?”
“A surprise fit for us,” it says.
A shadow appears, elongated on the paved street intersecting with the alley. It bounces forward and stretches across the intersection. The boys hiding in the shadows with me quiver. The footsteps clack louder and louder. A foot appears as though out of nowhere at the corner of the building and they lunge forward.
Their victim shrieks his surprise as the boys begin punching and kicking him. Yelled taunts circle in the air. My time has come. In a few steps, I am at the intersection. I do not mean to be the hero of the boy but the hunger has gone out of my control. I snap the assailants’ necks as he escapes narrowly from my reach.

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