A dense, suffocating blackness hung over the park. The lights were faint. Dim. As if they did not penetrate the darkness, but were engulfed by it. The wraith-like trees reached from the shadows, reaching out to strangle the fragile, flickering glow. Brecht pulled his heavy coat around him. He moved slowly down the path, towards the centre of the park, where the stygian blackness was at its most malevolent. He stepped slowly and deliberately, completely aware of the horror that skulked in the impenetrable gloom.
Brecht paused. He heard footsteps. They scratched and scuffed against the path with imbalanced rhythm. Brecht slowed his breathing. He exhaled, breathing methodically to relax his body. The slightest twitch, the briefest hesitation, the shortest of pauses would be all it needed. The small, white clouds of vapor expelled from his cracked lips slowly stopped appearing. He stood deathly still, listening as the presence crept closer.
The figure came into view. The shadowy figure was barely visible in the failing light. It awkwardly stepped forward then stopped. It was a woman. She leaned forward, peering down the path. She swayed and stepped to the edge of the path. The dull lamp light swept past her and revealed Brecht standing in the middle of the path, though his face was still partially obscured, it was too late to slink into the shadows.
Brecht leaned forward, trying to assume a casual pace. He lifted his head briefly to catch a glimpse of the woman. She hiccuped and giggled while she pulled at the bottom of her dress. Brecht smiled slightly. The woman fumbled with her handbag, rummaging around, looking for something. She pulled out a pack of cigarettes. She turned the packet upside down and tapped it onto her free hand. The packed spilled into her hand and onto the ground. She giggled as she grasped one between her fingers and flicked her lighter on. The small yellow flame cast a warm glow across her relaxed features. The flame flickered as it licked the end of the cigarette.
As he passed, Brecht could smell burnt tobacco mixed tinged with vodka. She watched him and smiled softly. Brecht nodded slightly, the warmth of his return smile lost underneath the heavy, dark scarf covering mouth. He continued down the path, listening to the woman muttering to herself as she picked up the scattered cigarettes. He turned his head back slightly to watch her from the corner of his eye. He pulled the collar of his trench coat to his mouth and cleared his throat discreetly as he flicked the communicator on.
He turned his head back forward to focus his full attention back to the path ahead of him.
Joanne picked up her 7th cigarette and stood up. She swayed slightly. She closed her eyes as she inhaled from the cigarette. As she exhaled she looked back up the path. The man was crouching down, frantically grabbing at something on the ground. She started to walk closer to see what he had dropped. She closed her eyes and held her arms to the side to try and steady. As she stepped closer, she could hear him muttering rapidly, his voice was low, gravelly... though another voice seemed to speak with him, as if he were being echoed by a much higher, sharper tone.
Joanne blinked her eyes hard and strained them to focus on the crouching man. He looked different than before. Though he was crouching, his arms moved wildly forward, as if digging into the pathway. As violent as the movements seemed, his body remained balanced perfectly, as if not affected by his rapidly moving limbs.
Brecht’s eyes darted around as the flashing streams of crimson splashed across the path. He had lost control of his body completely. He felt the thick, viscous liquid coursing through the nerves and muscles in his body. He felt the sickening warmth of blood as it spattered and ran across his skin. He could only watch.
Joanne stepped into the light and examined the object that had gained the complete focus of the manic figure. She saw the pleading eyes of the man in the trench coat. Her eyes slowly moved over his supine form. She screamed in absolute terror.
Brecht’s eyes stared intently at the screaming woman. He pleaded for her to run. He tried to scream to her, but could not. The dark figure crouching above him launched itself out of his view. The blood curdling screaming increased in intensity. Brecht twitched. The terrified, sobbing cry for help rang in his ears, and made his stomach churn. The last harrowing shrieks were silenced quickly. Brecht heard her body hit the ground and her last gasps for breath finish in a disgusting gargle.
He wanted to throw up as the blood of its new prey splattered across his face.
He tried to close his eyes.