By J. A. Weymouth
It was a cool night. Stone buildings were somewhat eerie in the dull street lights as shadows danced along the sombre walls.
The town’s narrow alley ways slowly diminished as sinister figures ran towards an open field. A man with white twisted hair seemed somewhat feline in the shadows, as the girl running in front of him, attempted to escape his sight. Her red scarf teased the man as it dangled in front of him, just out of his grasp. The cat was chasing the mouse.
He was desperate to catch her scarf, for then he could pull her to the ground, and then have her, the man thought as the scarlet material flapped mockingly in front of him.
The girl’s breath felt short, and her legs struggled to maintain the race. She could hear his raspy breath as he fought to catch up to her.
Several ominous faces looked down at her passively as the she ran by their windows. She noticed them, and could not hate them. The town’s red warning sirens had sung. People were too scared to leave their loved ones and too afraid to risk their skins. Shouts could be heard in the background, explosions; dull and distant. An air raid was imminent. Whispers and prayers could be heard in the dark. War posters caught against the wind.
All emotion turned to terror, terror by the thought that evil was chasing her and by the horrifying realisation that nobody would try to save her. Her only sanctuary was the lone semi-derelict mansion that stood clear just beyond the town’s edge, pass the stony walls. Two dangers chased her, the bombings and the evil man behind her. She was vulnerable from both.
A light shone through a window in the raggedy mansion. It was a beacon of hope. It was also a dead end. She ignored the thought as she ran for her life.
Pain shot through the man’s side. A stitch pulled his chest. Age was against him but his longing for young things and the thrill of the chase was as fresh as the day he first started his game of cat and mouse. His hunger and neediness helped him draw his hand closer to the red scarf only to curl his fingers over a loose thread. He missed. The girl had taken a sharp turn into a deserted mansion making him lose his chance of catching her then.
Up the stairs they ran and towards the door. A light shone through its cracks. If someone was in there, he might lose his chance to play with his young toy to save himself and flee. If not, it would be the perfect mouse trap. The cat licked his lips.
The girl screamed as she felt the man draw closer, her heart pounding in her ears. Adrenaline pushed her forward, faster, dulling her senses and making the world seem slow. She grasped the door handle and forced herself through while she heard a triumphant and despicable laugh from behind. The world was still slow but she soon felt something pulling at her throat. The man had caught her scarf and the thing was chocking her as it slowly unwound.
Seemingly innocent, a broken floorboard tripped the girl as her scarf loosened and came free. And just as the adrenaline subsided, the world caught up to her. She fell to the ground in pain. The room went dark as she heard a horrid noise. The man was triumphant, he had caught his prey. And then she forgot.