A woman is attacked in a shady neighborhood. A hero comes to her rescue and discovers an unsettling secret about her home life.
I could no longer see the black sky, all I saw was the hellfire that awaited me.
I was out later than I should have been. I knew this was a shady neighborhood. I thought that during my departure from work, I would stop and pick up something sweet. I stopped at a dingy convenience store on Martin Luther King Jr Highway to get a box of honey buns. It was a peace offering of sorts. Honey buns are his favorite snack, and I thought maybe the sweetness of the pastry would somehow run deep into his blood and make him kinder towards me. It made just as much sense as trying to cut the tension at home with a knife. But I digress, while I was walking out of the store, into the dark of the night and the shadow of the evening, I dropped my purse.
This was partly due to my trembling hand, as I’m not native to this part of Maryland. I quickly dropped to the ground to try to retrieve it as a hulking figure emerged from the wall. I had no idea he or it was even there. His trumpet of a voice boomed out these horrifying words to me.
“ Let me pick that up for you little lady “.
I’m not sure whether it was his acknowledgement of the drunkening size difference between us or his mischievous tone that made me feel like prey, but his predatory act of hiding in a corner wall by a door certainly contributed. With arms like an ox and the frame of a bull, he knelt down and lifted my purse and handed it to me.
Slightly over thinking, and pumping with adrenaline, I snatch my bag with cowardice and try to make a break for it to my car.
My first mistake. I should have let him keep the purse.
Before I could even make a full movement from grabbing my purse to even lifting a leg to run, the beast has his dirty fingers clutching my ponytail and holding my hair so tight that my head felt like it was splitting. I heard his trumpet of a voice again, I could hear his rage.
“ Damn bitch! You don't know how to say thank you, huh? I gotta teach you then “
My stomach dropped.
I almost sensed a bit of nefarious pleasure in his voice.
I begged him and pleaded with him to let me go while squirming and frantically trying to break free like a little bird desperately trying to escape the horrors of the teeth of a crocodile. He began to take me away, dragging me by my head around the back of the store.
His hands were gripping my scalp, yet, I could have sworn that he was strangling me from behind. All the screaming, wailing, crying, begging and praying I thought I was doing, I never made one noise. My throat had closed up, I was silent.
I closed my eyes but I couldn’t stop the down pouring of tears on my face as this beast of a man had pinned me to the ground, clutching my hair with his dirty fingers, telling me every vile act he planned to perform. This scum, this satan spawn, this mindless beast had my life in the palm of his hand and he loved every second of it. He laughed. He laughed as he wrapped his sweaty, crusty, leathery hands around my throat and choked me until I could no longer hear his loud breathy inhales and exhales. I could no longer smell the prescription pills, cheap wine, and cigarette smoke that stained his skin and clothes. I could no longer see the black sky, all I saw was the hellfire that awaited me.
The beast let me catch my breath for a split second. I gasped. Maybe the beast had a bit of remorse? Empathy?
He did this to prolong my suffering. He began choking me again, his sweaty, crusty, leathery hands around my throat for a second time while he violently and viciously smashes the back of my head into the concrete.
Once, twice, and as the beast pulls my neck to smash it against the hard, black ground a third time, a beast slayer emerges.
Out of the dark, like the beast before him, he surfaces out from the shadows. He draws the beast off of me as I watch in shock, laying on my back, lifting my head up to bare witness. He draws the beast further into the darkness, behind a dumpster, into the abyss.
I see not what he does to the beast, I hear it only. A crippling crack, a thunderous thud, a barrage of bone breaking blows. You can smell the rage and blood from their exchange.
I hear a final impact. A deafening strike with the power of an earth quake that very well could have sent its victim to the next dimension.
I recall the beast and the beast slayer alike going behind the dumpster, but only one returns. The last I hear of the beast is his frantic breathing, the anguish, the humiliation on his conscience. Someone had done to him what he had done to me.
The aggressor became the victim one thousandfold.
In a pool of my own sweat, I look up as the beast slayer treads toward me. A taller fellow with guns as biceps.
He lowers his hand to me.
“ Are you alright? “ he says to me.
“ I’m...I’m um..I’m alright, just a little shaken up “. I said to him.
He helped me up and then told me to relax.
“ Do you need a ride home? “ He asked.
“ Um...no..no thank you, I have a car here. It’s...it’s right around the corner “ I say to him.
“ Alright well let me walk you to your car, it's not really safe around here as you can see. “ He says.
“ ok “ I mumbled.
He walked me to my car and I began to fumble with the keys and dropped them.
He knelt down and picked them up for me and said “ Hey, you seem really unsettled, your hands are trembling, maybe I should just drive you home and you can have someone pick up your car for you, an uncle, a brother-”
“ I have a boyfriend “ I interjected.
“ Great “ He says.
He walks me to his car, which is parked in the front of the store, like mine was. I picked up the box of honey buns and my purse that I dropped when---when my night turned sour. I still haven’t even begun to process everything that just happened, it was all going so fast.
He opens the door for me and I sit back into the seat of his car. As he’s going around to the other side of the car to get in, I breathe a sigh of relief for the first time all night. Matter of fact, it felt like I BREATHED for the first time all night. I had finally began to feel safe, which I hadn’t felt...in months. As I watched him enter the vehicle, a million questions entered my mind.
“ I never got to properly thank you Mr….” I said.
“ Nathaniel “ He said.
“ No last name? “
“ Absalom “
“ Interesting, where are you from Mr Absalom? “
“ A better question is where are you headed? Miss…”
“ Colleen Lakes. And I live in Capitol Hill, DC “
He starts the car.
“ Do you mind me asking why you’re down in Seat Pleasant “
“ I work here “
He starts driving me home.
“ What exactly do you do Ms Lakes? “.
“ Well, aren’t you the nosy one? “
“ Hey if I’m going to be burning gas to take you home I might as well get a nice conversation out of it right? “
Smirkingly, I say “ I’m a teacher, I work with kids. “
“ Nice “
“ It's a lot harder than most people give me credit for, kindergarteners are no joke “
“ Yeah, it must be a world of pain having to pass out crayons and have nap time “
“ Shut it, my job is--”
“ Not that hard at all? “
We stop at a red light while he chuckles as he completely brushes off my insignificant job and then looks at me to see if I’m laughing, which I kind of am.
But he notices something.
“ How many times did that creep hit you? “
“ All he did was choke me and slam the back of my head in the ground“
With a perplexed and dissatisfied gawk at me, and a careful stare at my eye, he makes his deduction. My eye had been blackened far before I was attacked by the crackhead. In fact it was blackened before I even left for work this morning.
With the drop of a hat, his entire demeanor switches, he firmly grips the wheel and stomps thunder out of the pedal while the engine roars and flames cascade behind his metal carriage.
I’m afraid for what he is about to do, but also exhilarated.
In an instant he returns to the dark, brooding, fiery eyed man I know as the beast slayer. Gone is Nathaniel Absalom, this is an entirely different creature, one who seemingly has a bloodlust for those who evade the confines of moral principle.
In what felt like less than a millisecond, we arrived at my home. Without asking a single question, without the slightest hesitation, the beast slayer thrusted his car door open, leaving me in the passenger side and flying out of the vehicle, up the steps to my home and began banging on my door. I could hear my boyfriend’s lethargic, unemployed, grumpy ass begin to open it, already cursing my name before he could even open the door.
“ Damn this bitch is home late, Colleen you better have some fuckin’ foo--”
As the door slid open, Nathaniel dropped the hammer of thor on his jaw.
He stood over him as he fell on his lazy unemployed bum and said
“ IF YOU EVER PUT YOUR HANDS ON HER AGAIN I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL BREAK EVERY BONE IN YOUR DAMN BODY AND RIP THE HEART OUT YOUR FILTHY CHEST. “
He hit him with another blow so hard that it made my boyfriend’s nose erupt like a volcano.
Nate came back to the car, opened my door, walked me up the steps and said “ Sorry for the mess. It's been a long evening, have a good night Ms Lakes “.
He handed me a business card and within a moment’s notice he was back in his car again blazing a streak of glorious flames behind him.
And as for me, I was standing out in front of my door with the wind pushing me every which way, with my deadbeat boyfriend behind me knocked out and with red dripping down his shirt and his arms stretched out across the floor.
I closed the door, put the box of honey buns on his chest, and went to bed.
What a night.
Writer's note : Hey thanks for reading, if you enjoyed please comment. Alternatively, if you disliked the story, please tell me why. This is an excerpt from a novel I'm writing and the story WILL continue, and this is only a small taste of what's to come. Once again, thanks for reading.