The Red Shoes



Little did, the ballet dancer, Anja know what trouble will lie in store by buying a pair of red ballet shoes. What secrets do they hold? Inspired by the music video "The Red Shoes" by Kate Bush.


“Now, explain this from the very beginning. From how it began till how it ended.” Spoke a young police officer in a serious controlled tone. His eyes bore a rare brown tone, a very dark brown tone that it is nearly black. His face was clean-shaven and his uniform looked proper. He had a bald head what matched very well with his strong manly face. He sat on a chair facing, across a metallic table, two young people.

One was a woman and the other a man. The woman had long wavy dark brown hair and big brown eyes but they were golden brown like honey. She looked very slim and healthy.

The man had a short-boyish haircut, straight in coal black and grey blue eyes. He too was slim, healthy and quite tall.

They both were very pale because they still had a shock from what happened before. The officer offered them a glass of water but they refused. For a moment there was utter stillness in the interrogation-room.

The officer took the two documents that lay on the table beside him and turned few pages. “So miss Anja Stranov, what can you remember of this occurrence?” Asked the officer in a calm tone looking up to her.

She hesitated to answer. She took a deep breath, as she was about to start. “Shall I start instead?” Interrupted the man looking into her eyes worried.

She shook her head. “It all started about a month ago. Thomas and I are ballet dancers, dancing in the same ballet school. We are best friends since the age of ten.” She paused. “We started a new act where we needed different ballet shoes, especially in a different colour. Not white or pink, but in red. I had the main role and needed those shoes.” Explained Anja pointing to a pair of red ballet shoes that lay on the other side of the table; far away from her.

“Thomas only needed a new pair of normal ones because the older ones were falling apart. Once we knew about it, we searched through every ballet shop here in Bern (Switzerland).”

The officer listened in his highest attention, taking at times few short notes but never interrupted a word.

“What do think of those Anja?” Asked Thomas pointing to a pair of red ballet shoes that lay on a shelf.

“They’re wonderful!” I replied cheerfully, taking them gently from the shelf, but as I saw the price-tag; my smile and a part of my hopes vanished.

“Don’t worry Anja, you’ll find the right shoes soon enough.” Comforted Thomas placing a hand on my shoulder.

I took a deep breath. Once we were out of the shop empty handed, an ice-cold wind with snow blew strong onto our faces. Immediately we tucked our scarfs tighter and zipping the coats up to our chins. Slowly we walked to the train station, heading home. We arrived home to our flat. Thomas and I share a flat that is a bit outlaying of the city center.

Many days passed without any luck finding the right ballet shoes and my dance teacher began to lose her patience. After all she is sometimes impatient at certain things. Apparently the red shoes were one of the certain things.

One day she couldn’t hear the same story that I’ve been explaining anymore and told to me that if I don’t find any red shoes till the end of the week that I will be replaced. It was Tuesday then but I was already worried about it. I didn’t want to lose the main role. For the first time having a main role after all those years of dancing and practicing.

Without a second thought I’ve decided to go to that one shop where they had it at a less expensive price. After dancing and taking a shower I immediately set off to that shop.

Along the way my eyes stopped upon a window of a second hand shop. There lay before me presenting beautiful red ballet shoes, they looked brand new as if they were never used and at a cheap price! For moment I stood before the window as if being hypnotized. I thought I was dreaming!

After a few moments I blinked, awoke of my amazement and entered the shop. The shop owner was an old lady who came to me after a few moments. She dressed in old grandmotherly dress with long sleeves and skirt went over her knees, reminding slightly of my grandmother who passed away many years ago. She was the one who inspired me to dance. After all she was a famous ballerina in Russia. “I would like to buy those red shoes.” I noted, pointing to the window at the shoes.

“Yes, just a moment.” She responded with a warm grin while heading in her slow tempo to the window.

I walked over to the pay desk, waiting patiently to pay the shoes.

The owner quickly asked if the shoes have the right size. Of course. Silly me due to the excitement. I quickly tried then on, they were more comfortable than my old ones and they fitted perfectly! I took them off and paid eagerly a generous sum and the change can be kept.

Once outside I ran as fast as possible to catch a train. The running didn’t bother me at all; nothing can let me down today for I was at that moment the happiest person in the whole world. Knowing I have in my sports bag a pair of perfect ballet shoes and couldn’t wait to tell this great news to Thomas. As I got out on the right station, I ran all the way to the flat; also running up the stairs. Nothing at that moment was fast enough, not even the elevator or the train nor myself actually.

As I entered, Thomas was watching television, without taking either my coat or boots off. I ran, standing between him and the television.

Thomas looked at me confused while I was catching my breath. “Thomas! I found. The perfect pair. The red shoes! Look!” Revealing the shoes out of the bag. “At a cheap price you’ll never guess!” I gasped.

“What! Where did you buy them?” Asked Thomas astounded, he stood up and took a closer look at the shoes.

I explained how I found the shoes while taking off my coat and boots. “Luckily you found them and now all’s well that end’s well.” Said Thomas with a contented smile as I finished explaining. I gave him a smile to his notation.

Next day I got up easily because I was very excited how my dance teacher would react when she sees my red shoes.

“Well, I must say they're lovelier than I’ve imagined. I’m glad you’ve got it in time, Anja. To be honest it would have been a shame giving the role to some one else. You dance so well, you deserve to have a big role.” Said my teacher in a quiet, satisfied tone.

I gave nod of appreciation. The rest of the day went as per usual but there was a slight change; how I danced. I felt free like bird and so light that in a jump I could fly up to the ceiling. In every move I felt controlled with elegance, even the slightest turn of my head was turned differently.

Sometimes while I danced, others stopped and stared at me in amazement. Many complimented me for my elegance; even my stern teacher was surprised. It was as if the shoes made me dance better than before. It must be my best doing, because of the role and having now the shoes. After all since I have the shoes I am very happy, maybe I show a part of my happiness to others through dancing. Dancing from the heart. As my Grandmother would say. Anyway, I didn’t think too much about it, there was nothing to worry, but I was surprised too and above all happy. My Grandmother is really beside me and never left.

Many days passed and my dancing has improved. In our act everything went perfect, too perfect actually. Then one day a reporter came to see how we dance and what our next act would be. It was no surprise that a reporter always comes and interviews us. But it wasn’t the usual reporter Mrs. Schmidt. It was some other reporter.

A stranger, a man. He was tall and lean, had short dark brown hair. From his temples grew already grey hair. His face was clean-shaven with no wrinkles and he wore clean, proper clothes. A black turtleneck jumper with a red wool scarf and long dark brown trousers with elegant leather shoes. His ice blue eyes looked everywhere, as if he can see everything, but mostly they were fixed upon me. Not only because I had the main role also when I stood quiet amongst other dancers or close to Thomas; he looks at me with a strange locking gaze.

It was a gaze that gave me a chill down my spine. Yet he looked neither the youngest nor the oldest, but many women found him somewhat attractive. I have to admit he is a gentleman, offering sometimes help and holding doors open and he is good looking to me too but, a voice inside me said to stay away from him as far as possible. He came visiting nearly everyday; sometimes with a camera or a notebook and pen to take notes.

He even interviewed few of us dancers when we weren’t dancing. I hoped he wouldn’t come to me and ask for an interview; luckily I had the main role and was therefore mostly busy. One day my teacher bid me to have a private lesson because of my role. As I came somehow did the reporter too. I didn’t feel comfortable about it and asked my teacher privately if he could leave.

“Nonsense Anja! He’s a reporter. Just imagine he’s one of many from the audience.” She remarked to my question with a comforting grin but it did not help much.

Everything went fine during the lesson, until my teacher gave a few minuet break and left me alone with him. He walked up to me, but so quiet I didn’t hear nor see him come to me because I had my back to him at that time, drinking few sips of water from my bottle. As he spoke softly to my ear he frightened me naturally.

“You dance exceptional, such elegance and perfection.” He nearly whispered.

I gasped of fright and turned round. “Thank you.” Was all I could say nearly stuttering. Luckily I didn't have water in my mouth or I would have coughed or worse squirt it out on the floor.

His voice was deep and soft. Strangely I began to blush and tried to hide it. He noticed and began to grin; in his eyes I saw and felt somewhat affection.

While deep inside me the voice was screaming to the top of its lungs, warning me that I should better run away. Yet my mind wondered what could be so bad on him? He did only good and pleasant things. Secondly I don’t know him, why should I judge him already now? Yet staying cautious is never a wrong action.

“I am Joseph, I would like to interview you after this lesson if that is alright with you?”

“Erm… Yes, it’s alright.” I gave short and nervous.

Then a familiar voice interrupted our small talk. “Alright Anja, are you ready? Let's continue.” Said my teacher while Joseph gave a smile and went back to his seat. Close at the end of my lesson Thomas came. For a moment I was surprised to see him but positively surprised. As my lesson ended I took a shower and returned, seeing Thomas and Joseph having a small talk.

“Thomas! What a surprise! I thought you would still be having a drink with your friend.” I gave surprised as I walked up to him.

“Well, it ended earlier than expected. So I thought we could go home together.”

“It’s nice to think about that but Joseph wants to interview me.”

Thomas gave a short glare to Joseph with a hint of dislike. “Ok. See you later then.” Said Thomas with a wave of his hand and a forced grin.

I waved back, “See you later.” From the tone and choice of words gave me a bad feeling. I’ll talk with him when I get back.

“If you two please excuse me, you have to interview somewhere else. I have to close up here.” Noted my teacher while fishing out her huge bundle of keys from her leathered shoulder bag.

Joseph and I went out, tucking our coats and scarfs. “Do you know a good place where I can interview you and warm our bones?” Asked Joseph.

What an old phrase to note in today's time? Oh well, maybe it's just me. I gave a suggestion of an Asian restaurant not far from the train station. He accepted my suggestion. We entered the restaurant and found a table. While taking off our coats, he was kind and helped me.

“Thank you.” I thanked.

“Not at all.” He grinned.

We seated at a small table close by a window over looking the busy street and ordered tea. Joseph interviewed me very normal, nearly like Mrs. Schmidt. Everything went fine during the interview but inside me the voice told me only to answer the questions and don’t give any extras. Keep a distance from him. At the same time I felt he was trying to reel me in from his tone at certain words. So I took heed of what my voice says. All in all it was a bit unconfortable than Mrs. Schmidt did the last time. We had a great time with a few giggles.

I came home about an hour later; Thomas was in the kitchen eating his warm meal.

“Thomas, is anything alright?” I asked as I entered the kitchen and took a seat opposite of him.

He quickly finished chewing and swallowed. “Oh, everything is alright. Except that reporter, Joseph.” And placed down his fork while leaning against the back-rest of the chair.

“What’s with him?” I wondered.

“To me he gives this, this negative aura. I know it sounds crazy but there is no better way to say it. Not because he’s a gentleman, it has nothing to do with jealousy that is guarantied." He paused and raised a finger. He's honest. "Somehow, something inside me tells me not to mess around with him and he’s hiding something. I’d guess something obvious, that others haven’t seen and I’m trying to find out.” He explained. At times giving the narrowed eyes. He thought carefully his words.

“I have to admit with the inner voice, but keeping a secret. I mean who doesn’t?” I scoffed.

“I’d bet my salary that it’s a dark secret what no one else has.” And leaned forward towards me.

“What sort of dark secret’?” I grinned with a raised eyebrow while suppressing a laugh.

“I don’t know yet, but-“

“Are you going to play ‘Sherlock Holmes’ now?”

“If I must.” He scoffed with a grin.

“Ok! Fine! Go poke your nose around with or without a magnifying glass. But don’t expect that I will help you.” I sighed, rolled my eyes with annoyance.

“Wasn’t expecting.” He remarked, I gave a nod and stood up to have some supper.

Since having an interview with Joseph, I sometimes had a small talk with him in between lessons. Once he asked if I would like to have dinner with him after a lesson. For a moment I thought about it, the voice cried at me negatively while my mind said positively. Quickly I agreed to his question.

There was a flash of happiness in his blue eyes. He told me in which restaurant at which time and day I should come. As he told me the name of the restaurant, I was surprised because it was a name of a luxurious restaurant. “This Friday, 6:30pm, ‘The Sarvoy’?”

“Sure, I’ll be there.” I answered, nearly stuttering of surprise of his suggestion.

As Friday came, I was a bit nervous. After dancing I went quickly home to take a shower and change. As I stood before the mirror I had difficulty finding the right dress for tonight. Finally I decided to wear my long dark emerald green dress made of silk, that my mother had sewn for me as a birthday present, and tied my long hair to a braid with a black silk ribbon. I had no difficulties finding the restaurant and came punctually.

At the reception they asked for reservation. Once I said Joseph’s name a servant lead me to a table where Joseph sat already waiting patiently for me. He quickly stood up to greet me and gave the servant a tip. He looked handsome in his tux.

“I hope you hadn’t waited long.” I began, slightly worried and apologetic while taking my seat.

“Oh, no. I came here a bit too early. You look wonderful, Anja.” Responded Joseph with a smile to me.

I felt immediately how my cheeks began to grow warm and grinned back. Soon came a servant handing us the menu card. Everything went fine. After a delicious dinner Joseph bid me to a dance which with some hesitation I accepted. Slowly we danced the waltz across the dance floor The way he held me and in his touch I knew clearly he loved me. I enjoyed it but the voice inside me was screaming, yelling repeating non-stop two words like a broken disc: STOP! RUN!

Suddenly while dancing I noticed Thomas sitting at a table in a corner of the hall, hiding half behind a plant with big leaves. Thomas? What is he doing here? Soon after dancing I said to Joseph I have to go to the ladies room and walked up to Thomas’s table that lay luckily along the way to the toilet. “What are you doing here, Thomas?” I asked nerved in a half-whisper.

“I told you I’ll be keeping a sharp eye on him. And what I saw till now doesn’t look good.” Answered Thomas sharply. "You should go home. Now. I'll cover your back."

I scoffed. “I'm not going anywhere and with whom I’m falling in love with is my own business Thomas, unless you’re jealous then say it now before it’s too late.”

“I told you before, it’s not jealousy.” Remarked Thomas.

I grunted with balled fists and walked away. Once I was composed I went back to Joseph. As a few hours passed Joseph was generous and paid the dinner and in our own time we left the restaurant.

“Would you mind for a short night walk?” Asked Joseph with a smile and holding up his right elbow. I smiled and hooked to his arm; very old-fashion but polite and gentleman-like nonetheless. “I wouldn’t mind, Joseph. My next train comes in an hour.”

“You came by train?”

“Yes, I don’t have a car and I don’t need it.” I Responded.

The air was ice cold and few snowflakes came floating down slowly and gently. For a while we didn’t say a word. Saw few other couples walking past us, we turned down to a deserted snowed street. We noticed at one old lamppost a man was leaning against it. We couldn’t see his face because it was covered by the shadow of his hood.

“I’m not going to let you kidnap her! Let her go!” Demanded the man. I recognized the voice; it was Thomas! “Let her go! I know what you are and what you are planning to do!”

Joseph stayed calm and threw a short glance to me and back to him. “There must be a misunderstanding. We’re only taking a night walk and then we will separate our ways. I-“ Explained Joseph calmly, suddenly he stopped. I felt his arm beginning to tremble. He pushes me away and gives an anguish cry of pain. Struggling against something inside him. His hands half contorted in agony close to his chest.

“Joseph?” I gave worried and stepped closer.

Suddenly his hands were to his head and half crouched to the ground. Fighting some inner force. His cries sounded horrible and not easily to forget. It was nearly as if witnessing how a person gets torchered or killed.

Thomas pulled me away from Joseph. “Get away from him!” Thomas remarked.

Suddenly the cries stopped and I began to hear a devilish laughter coming from Joseph. He stood slowly up right again facing Thomas and me with an evil broad smile.

“Joseph?” I asked in awe almost in a whisper. My heart raced.

“Joseph never existed, only I exist! Giving to all those meddling fools a false name to believe on.” He responded. Joseph's voice sounded lightly different.

Fear overcame me; this is not the Joseph I knew few minutes ago. I wanted to scream but I could not find my voice.

“And you my dear, you shall always be mine! Since the first time I saw you!” Told Joseph while walking slowly closer to me and reaching out a hand, his eyes fixed to mine with same broad  devilish smile.

Thomas stepped in front of me with out stretched arms to protect. “Run Anja!”

I wanted to listen Thomas and run but I couldn’t move my legs and couldn’t get my eyes off Joseph’s. I gasped in fear.

“It’s no use, little man. She’s mine and under my power!” Smirked Joseph.

“No!” Shouted Thomas and ran towards Joseph. With a single move of Joseph’s hand, Thomas slipped. He fell; hitting his head on the floor and fainted.

I wanted to shout to the top of my lungs but I couldn’t. Tears of fear came rolling down my cheeks. Joseph walked slowly up to me. Stroking my cheek, stroking away the tears and smiled. Suddenly I felt drozy and everything around me went black. Before I was completely gone, I felt how I fell relaxed into Joseph’s arms.

The next thing I knew I was waking up. Finding myself lying on a black queen size bed and wearing a different dress all in black with a few thick blood red stripes, black tights and fitting to it my pair of red shoes! I quickly got off from the bed to take a better look of myself and what was around me. The room was big and very dimly lit.

At a fire place the fire was burning warmly and few candle holders stood at dark corners. The only light providing in this room; I walked up to the fire to warm myself. I felt goosebumps on my entire body. Is it fear or plain chill?

“You look beautiful Anja.” Whispered a familiar voice close to my ear and felt a cold hand touch gently my shoulder.

I gasped and turned to see who it is, Joseph. I stepped away from him, making space.

“Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you.” He gave concerned with raised eyebrows.

“Where am I and why am I here?” I asked frightened.

“This is my home darling, our home now. This is where you belong now. Here beside me.” He spoke so softly it was mesmerizing while taking few steps closer to me. I remained on the spot.

“Home? This isn’t my home, Joseph. Where is Thomas?” I asked slightly calmer.

“Stop calling me Joseph! I’m Kastar!” Remarked Kastar lightly angered. His eyes shone for a brief moment in bright red in the dim light and his hands were balled into fists.

“What- what are you?” I wondered insecurely and made space from him. My back hit against a stony wall. A new wave of emotion filled with fear came over me.

“I am no human like you are. I’m a demon from hell. I noticed you dancing the other day and searching eagerly for specific shoes; red shoes. Dancing elegantly, gracefully with perfection and beauty. From that moment on I loved you and still love you now, onward into eternity. At first I didn’t know how to lure you, so I came up with the idea with those lovely shoes that you are wearing now. Fitting perfectly to your situation and the rest was just a masquerade.” Explained Kastar and chuckled, coming closer to me. Gently and slowly he took both of my hands, looking into my eyes.

His hands were ice cold, I wanted to shake my hands free from him but I couldn’t. I was again in a trance, strangely I can’t move at my will but still feel and think clearly with a clear conscience.

His face came closer to mine and at one point, I felt his hard cold lips touch mine.

Quickly I was able to step away from him.

“What is it?” He asked confused.

I couldn’t speak. Tears began to well in my eyes and held up the back of my hand to my lips.

He walked up and embraced me.

For a long moment I dared to answer with a trembling voice. “I’m afraid. Frightened.”

“Afraid of what?” He wondered and looked at me.

“Of you. Where is Thomas?” My voice almost trembled while speaking and started to look around. Searching for Thomas.

“Oh him. He’s taken care of. You can see him for yourself over there.” Answered Kastar pointing to one dark empty wall that transformed rapidly into a glass wall.

“Anja! Anja, can you hear me!” Cried Thomas beating with his fists against the glass but his cries and beating where muffled by that special glass.

“Thomas!” I cried of relief to hear and see him. My dear and poor friend! Quickly I ran to the wall. Placing my hands where his were placed and looked into his eyes. His blue eyes gave me a warm feeling. I grinned.

“Anja, you’ve got to get out of here or he will kill both of us!” Said Thomas in softer tone that I almost could not hear.

“Now why should I kill Anja when I love her? You should rather worry about your own skin, little man.” Remarked Kastar and began to laugh while seating into a large couch. “Enough with this chitchat. Come here, Anja.” He demanded as if I were a child.

I obeyed, walking to him. Every step closer made my heart race.

“Now that’s better. Why don’t you dance a bit of ballet?”

I wanted to refuse as the music began to play magically somewhere, yet my legs began move to the music that Kastar provided it through a snap of his fingers. I tried to stop but I couldn’t. Sweat and tears rolled down my skin. How I dearly wished to be rid of the shoes and throw the shoes against the glass wall that holds Thomas captive. Kastar sat all this time and watched with an evil smile. His eyes shining red like blood with a spark of evil adoration. As if the devil himself. Very soon I gave up struggling and after a while with a snap of his cold pale fingers I stood up straight before him. He smirked at me.

“Why- why are you doing this to me? Why?” I wondered almost out of breath, frustrated and frightened.

“You do know. You just don’t want to realize it, Anja. Out of love.” He responded calmly with his velvet voice.

“This is not love! This is possession!” I recalled with courage I was able to muster in such short moment.

“Why, don’t you possess someone when you’re in love?”

“Not like this! Not like a slave! Not like a doll! I’m not a doll!” I cried out and knelt to take off the shoes. His cold hands were faster than mine, holding tightly at my wrists that it hurt. I gasped looking directly into his blood red eyes.

“Anja, I admire your courage and your cleverness but you have to do better than that, my sweet.” He sneered, continuing to smirk. “Those shoes will stay there.” Kastar told sternly looking shortly to me then the shoe and back to me.

Suddenly I was in his embrace. More tears rolled from my eyes. For few long moments of silence held in Kastar’s cold embrace, I tried to calm myself down. Gathering strength and nerves to hold it out and not panic. I took a deep breath, closing my eyes.

“Never would I ever harm you Anja, my love.” I opened my eyes, Kastar’s eyes meeting mine. Suddenly I felt his icy hand stroking slowly through my open wavy hair, neck and cheek. Abruptly he kissed me.

My eyes widened of surprise and pushed him away with all my strength. Quickly rubbing off the feeling of his lips from my lips with the back of my hand. Before Kastar could say or do anything. I ran to the wall where Thomas is held and with a candle holder from one corner. I smashed it against the wall. Although it had the solid stone look, it shattered like glass.

“Anja!” Thomas called relieved.

“Thomas!” I cried of joy embracing Thomas, he embraced me. It felt warm and soft.

“Why you little minx!” Roared Kastar. Thomas was fast enough to push me away before Kastar came attacking. Within a flash he held with one hand Thomas by the neck high against the wall that his feet dangled.

Thomas struggled not to be choked and trying to free himself, clutching at Kastar's hand.

Kastar began to chuckle devilishly while looking at him. “You humans are so pathetic! But one thing I have to admire by you is your courage.”

“No! Please stop!” I cried as I got up on my feet and tried to help Thomas by pulling Kastar’s arm away. I nearly broke out in panic just seeing how my dear friend Thomas chokes. “Please let him live! I will do whatever you desire Kastar!” I cried and fell on my knees begging, sobbing. What am I saying? But what choice do I have to save Thomas? Tears streamed over my cheeks.

Kastar turned to me, his blood red eyes shone of surprise. “Very well.” Spoke Kastar calmly dropping Thomas immediately.

Thomas collapsed to the ground almost like a lifeless doll. He coughed and gasped, rubbing at his neck. Trying to speak but nothing came while trying to crawl on the ground like an alligator to act.

“There has been a secret desire but I thought I shall wait until you’re ready. It seems now you called for it and I will answer it gladly.” Continued Kastar walking slowly closer to me. Quickly I got up on my feet. Suddenly he took me by the waist and stood at the other end of the room. He kissed me on mouth and I felt his tongue! I tried to push him away and stop the kissing but he was too strong. The other hand stroked slowly, coldly from my cheek down my neck to my shoulder, onward over my bosom, the stomach and stopped at my hip. Then his hand continued at the back over my ass cheek, pulling slowly my leg upward to his hip. He continued to kiss me but I wanted to push him away so badly yet I couldn’t. He has set me on a trance! I wanted to scream and fight with all my strength that I have to the bitter end if it must! Instead I remained in trance on the spot and tears came rolling down my cheeks. It was a living nightmare! Over Kastar’s shoulder I saw Thomas at the back lying very weak on the ground. Fighting to stand up and speak but he couldn’t. His glance said the same what I so dearly want to do. Kastar stopped kissing and began to lick the tears from my cheeks. “So beautiful, so sensual.” He whispered while looking at me with an evil smile and kissed me again.

Suddenly Kastar stopped kissing me and I was lying on my back on the floor like a lifeless doll. My head hurt from the abrupt fall and everything was spinning like a carrousel; as I slowly got up I realized what happened. Kastar was at the other end of the room fighting against someone or something. It was all in a blur, so fast I can't follow the moves. I blinked, trying to see better but it made no difference. No matter I am free from his trance! Poor Thomas was still lying on floor struggling and on his face I saw he was relieved. I grinned and quickly I rubbed off the feeling of Kastar’s lips from my face and wipe away the tears. I was free! Rapidly I ran over to Thomas and embraced him. More tears began to well in my eyes. Tears of joy.

"Oh God. Anja." Whispered Thomas weakly.

“You two! Get out of here!” Called a manly voice that struggled with Kastar.

“But were is the exit?” Wondered Thomas hoarsely with a louder and clearer voice.

“Behind you!” Answered the dark shadow that fought wildly against Kastar. Reminding me of how two lions would fight.

Quickly I took off the shoes so that Kastar won’t get another chance to stop me and helped Thomas up to his feet by throwing one arm over my shoulder. Once we stepped into that tunnel Thomas began to recover his strength in every step we took as if some spell has been lifted as we walked.

“How we got out in detail from there on, I cannot recall. Until you found us freezing in the snow.” Explained Anja with a trembling voice. Shivering from cold and fright. Tucking a bit tighter at her blanket. Thomas embraced her to warm and comfort her.

“Interesting story, miss Stranov.” Noted the officer neutrally and placed his notes on the table.

“You do believe what I told you; do you?” Asked Anja with widened eyes. Her heart racing of bewilderment.

“Others won’t but I do and every word you said. Don’t you worry, everything’s taken care of with the demon Kastar.”

“How can do you know the demon's name? Anja never mentioned the demon's name to you. How-how can you be so sure? You only found us few hours ago on the streets with no sense of orientation.” Gave Thomas lightly angered.

The officer began to grin. His appearance immediately morphed into a black shadow. “I was the one who saved you two from Kastar.”

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