She fumbled at her belt for her mini baton and ripped it loose. She leapt back and raised her weapon threateningly above her head and cried out "Stay back!" The man hesitated for only a moment. Starla was ready to swing. The man leapt, reaching for her arms and just barely missed her as she sprang away. He was getting angry. He struck out, his fist just barely missing her ear as she darted to the left. He whirled, swinging his arms wildly as she tried to slip past him and Starla was jolted by the shock of his fist slamming into her shoulder. It nearly knocked her down.
Come on Starla, honey, there's no point in having self-defense tools if you don't have the balls to really use them! She chided herself.
When he came at her again she was ready. As his hands closed around her throat she jabbed hard and fast at his temple and he grunted as he fell to his knees. She danced back a few steps and her foot left the ground to collide harshly with his face, sending him over backward. Starla stood over his still body, breathing hard.
"Ha! Not so tough are you?" She said, her chest still heaving. She gave him one last kick and stood back silently for a moment, trying to catch her breath. I've won again, she thought.
She was about to walk away when something stopped her. Colors and light obscured her vision and a searing pain paralyzed her. What a horrible sound. Is my skull broken?
She felt her legs go out from under her and she cried out as she hit the ground.
This can't be! she thought. Oh no, I've been cocky, haven't I. This is what happens to people who are cocky.
When the ringing in her ears stopped and her vision began to clear she could hear the shuffling of footsteps and could just make out a pair of dirty black boots moving away and then back toward her.
Such big dirty boots could only belong to a big, nasty man. And look how he struts... Starla thought.
She knew she should try to get up before he reached her. She lifted her throbbing head slightly and then, pressing the palms of her hands against the rough, filthy ground, she slowly lifted herself up. She had just started to pull her legs up under her when the man reached her. He kicked her hard in the chest, sending her to the ground again and when she tried to crawl away he pressed his foot against her neck.
"You're not going anywhere, little girl." A gritty voice said.
Pain hit her first, spreading through her neck and shoulders, and then a burning surge of anger. "Don't call me little girl..." She said between gasps. And in her head, How dare he?
"You're pretty brave for someone who's about to die. You gonna feel so brave when I'm crushing the life out of you? Somehow I don't think so." He said, and Starla felt his boot pressing dangerously down.
He's going to break my neck... Starla thought desperately. She cried out when the pressure became too much and she was sure she was about to break. This seemed to please the man and he lifted his foot just slightly.
"That's right, let me hear you cry. You should be crying, you know that?" He drawled.
Jesus, he hasn't called me a bitch or a whore once. So calm and cold. This guy is going to destroy me and mutilate my broken corpse... Starla thought.
Just keep him talking... Her mind cleared a little and she squirmed, her hands inching toward her belt.
I smiled when I heard the girl cry out. She was in pain and probably scared out of her mind. In way over her head. She may be a right little hellcat, but I have the element of surprise on my side.
Not to mention the two dumb brutes who are at this moment bumbling down the alley toward me and my prey. I press my foot down on her little throat and I'm again rewarded with a cry of pain and fear. So tempting to crush her neck right then and there, but that wouldn't be right. It just wouldn't be right to kill her quickly after what she did to the boys.
They had been idiots, just like the two morons behind me are idiots, but they were as good as family. Jake still drinking his food through a tube and Richard dead... Richards corpse had looked a god awful mess. She'd got him good, that's for sure, but now I'm going to get her. No one messes with my family. No one. I don't care if she is freakishly good at what she does. I'm better.
She curses like a sailor. "Lay the fuck off, will ya?" she says, or something like that. I tell her how it is. I tell her what I'm going to do to her. I tell her how I'm going to make her pray for death by the time I'm done with her. She whimpers, or makes some small sound, and asks me "Why?"
So I tell her. I tell her all. She squirms the whole time, obviously terrified out of her weak little mind. She's clawing at herself. She knows she's about to get it. The two idiots behind me are restless for blood and it distracts me for a moment.
"Man, let's get on with this before someone takes notice of our little get-together." One of the idiots says.
I turn myself halfway around to give him a look of disgust. I don't like interruptions. I'm about to turn back to the little girl when it happens.
ZZZAAAAAAAAAP and then WHAM.
I don't understand why my feet are in the air and my body is screaming with pain. I don't understand this shit...
I'm not sure what's happening. I thought I was standing above the girl like a god, but if I am then why can I see the fucking sky? Why can I hear sickening thuds and cracks coming from somewhere far away? Why can I hear deep voiced cries of surprise, anger, and fear from the two mountainous morons?
Why is the whole fucking world going black?
Starla stood shaking and panting above the massive forms in front of her. She swayed for a moment, then regained her balance. The two forms shuddered, one of them emitting grunts and choking sounds. She shivered and one of her hands absently stroked her face. Her face was wet and her touch stung.
Home. I need to get home... She thought. No time to look for the stun gun... Shouldn't have dropped it...
Starla stumbled out of the alley and into the wide open world. Buildings loomed over her and every sound rang violently in her ears. A man in rags reached out to her, begging, stretching, and twisting into a monster.
He wants my blood... They all want my blood....
Lights blinded her for a second and a sharp, loud sound rang out and then rang out again. An angry voice collided with her thoughts. The road. Something about the road... Starla recoiled, stumbling over the curb and collapsing against a brick wall.
Someone was coming toward her. He turned into two someone's and swept past her in a noisy rush. Starla whirled around but he was gone. The buildings were leaning towards her, creaking ominously. They wanted her blood.
Home. I need to get home fast... She thought.
She started to run. She wasn't sure where she was going, she only knew that she had to run. Her lungs began to ache and every muscle in her body burned and tingled. She stopped, panting heavily, and saw something welcoming in front of her on the ground. A spray painted design. Something blue and messy and close to home.
She pressed on, taking slow but firm steps. She worried for a moment that she might fall into the sky.
That can't happen. That's not possible. I'm almost home. My building is just around that corner. Now it's just ahead of me. Look, there's the door... If I can just reach the door... I need the key...
Starla fumbled with her boot for a second and then produced a scratched silver key. She put it where keys go. It turned. The steps flew beneath her and she was at her door before she remembered what she was doing.
She closed her door behind her, locked it, and crumpled into a heap before she reached her bedroom.