In the darkness of a world close to death a single light flickers. A world choked in the killing vines of the near triumphant Dark. A girl child is born free of malice, hatred, and rage. Born without a corrupted heart. A unique child, the final pulse of an all but hopeless world. Innocence and light radiate from her. A single candle shining bright, in the world’s endless night.
Eva, was like any other alley scrap, dressed in dirt covered tatters, her lungs choked by smoke and the ever-present ash of the world’s burning as the last nations raged and crumbled. Her honey brown hair was matted and grimy, her green eyes bloodshot and darkly ringed. She was a beautiful girl underneath it all, though not remarkably different.
Except that she drew the eye, and the heart, and the last vestige of the soul, a broken man carried with him. She pulled that toward her, as if a light shone from within. Drawing to her those lost moonless moths back from the edge of the abyss. Back to the light.
That night it drew two cut-purses with loathsome desires. In the deepening dark of night, she hurried home, feet finding purchase on the concrete wall she ran atop. Her pursuers following her at street level like hungry beasts. They hunted at the same time but not together, competing to draw closer to her as she fled as fast as she could.
Dammit. I should have left earlier.
Eva thoughts raced, her heart thumping as she pumped her arms to run faster.
I should have left when it was still light. Damn Devon and his meddling!
She sprinted and leapt from the end of the wall to a crumbling shell of a building. She landed on the second floor but slipped, her legs flailing over the edge. The two boys made cat calls and slavering barks at her. Cheering her on as they closed in. The two came up the stairs, and she looked over her shoulder. They drew closer, and she let herself drop. Their smiles faded as she slipped away, landing in the dust and rubble below with a crunch.
Eva stifled a cry of pain, her ankles ached. She waited just a heartbeat and then she moved again.
Run Eva, run.
“Here now sweetie, we’s just wanna have a talk. Nothing sinister like,” called Creb the bigger of the two.
She’d known Creb her whole life, seen this world corrupt and twist him. He wore the facial tattoos of his gang now, red spirals from his eyes outward. Bound to them for life.
Eva ran from Creb’s voice ducking into a darkened pass to her right, and took a turn to the left. There was nothing in front of her but a concrete wall.
Shit. Dead end!
Scraping footsteps over the dust and gravel announced the arrival of Creb and his accomplice. Eva turned to face them as they came around the corner grinning. They split up slowly advancing, hemming Eva into the corner.
“There we are love, no need to go jumping off buildings like,” Creb drooled as he spoke, dry washing his hands as he approached her.
Eva crouched into the shadows, her eyes locked on Creb, frantically feeling around on the floor. Her hand found a rock.
“Hey now deary, no need to hide,” Creb said moving closer, the other boy held back a bit looking directly at Eva. His eyes seemed to glow faintly in the gloom. Then it was gone. Eva’s eyes shot back to Creb as he drew close enough. She flung her rock at him. It struck him solidly on the side of his head with a sickening sound and a trickle of bright red blood dribbled down. He swayed for a moment steadying himself on the wall. Creb looked at Eva and grinned, and then his rage consumed him.
“Come here!” he roared at her, lunging for Eva as she tried to evade his grasp.
Damn he was fast!
Creb grabbed hold of Eva’s hair as she made to pass him. He yanked it hard, pulling her off her feet and onto her back with a thud that sent up a cloud of dust. Eva lay winded, fighting to regain her breath and her senses, as Creb slowly circled round.
A knife flashed into his hands out of nowhere, he tossed it from hand to hand as he circled. He touched his head wound, licking the blood from the side of his cracked skull. He lunged again, grabbing her throat and sliced and tore her shirt off throwing it to the side, exposing her breasts.
“Let’s see just how pretty you are then Eva,” Creb whispered, as his free hand felt her up, his other holding the knife firmly to her throat.
“Who said you could go first?!” shouted the boy behind Creb grabbing his shoulder and pulling him backwards.
“This knife says I go first, that’s who,” Creb said. He swung at the other boy as he stumbled backwards scoring a gash across his ribs. The blood bloomed on the boy’s dirty shirt, sticking the fabric to his skin.
Creb moved to strike again as the younger boy staggered back, seeking to plunge his knife into the boy’s belly. But the boy moved suddenly taking Creb by surprise. Sidestepping Creb’s thrust the younger boy grabbed Creb’s knife arm and spun him. Using the momentum of his charge, he flung Creb toward the sharp edge of a pillar. Creb’s skull broke like a ripe melon, the knife skittering on the floor.
Eva scrambled back into the shadows, zipping up her jacket, and pulling away from Creb’s killer in terror.
“Wait,” he said, his hands out, palms up.
Eva paused for a moment, his voice sounded different from the others.
<<<< fin >>>>
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