Jessica Kenzie – Dead Birds
The air felt cold, just like the night before. The moon was big and bright in the cloudless twilight sky, casting gentle light into the alleyway. I could tell it had been raining as the concrete walkway was layered in a fine wet mist that glistened ever so slightly. I didn’t recognise this place, seemed to be in the middle of a city centre possibly, hard to tell as this alley was so condensed by its surrounding buildings. Must have been early hours of the morning as all I heard was the sound of my own breath, I took a glance over my shoulder, more alleyway. Then footsteps, distant and getting louder.
In the quiet they sounded much louder than expected, still nobody. I glanced up and down the alley to find an owner for the noise, then a dark figure emerged distant in the alley in front of me. Blurred by night’s mist, the shadowy figure grew bigger and nearer to me. I realised the sound of the footsteps belonged to a woman wearing heels, the clip-clop is far too distinct to be of a man’s shoes.
She came more in to view until I could make her out visually more clearly. She wore a large thick coat as the night was so cold, I could tell underneath she was quite slender as her long legs were bare, and tall high heels. She was glancing down at something in her hands, a mobile phone most likely.
The little amount of light emanating from it partly lit up her face, she looked to be 20 something and fairly pretty. She also wore a woollen hat with a bobble on the top. I kept expecting her to fall over, but she seemed to have walking down wet alleys in heels whilst looking at her phone down to an art form. I can’t say I wasn’t somewhat impressed.
Then the dread feeling kicked in as I remembered why I was here in the first place.
She was still a good few metres away from me when I made out the other figure coming up close behind her. The second figure’s shoes made no sound, and seemed to be dressed entirely in black.
I held my breath as the shadowy figure made a grab for the girl, one hand went over her mouth and an arm across her chest. Something in the other hand glinted as the moonlight caught it, a knife.
The girl dropped her phone to the ground with a clash as she tried to look over her shoulder to view her attacker. Before her head got half way, the knife was drawn up and met her neck deeply.
The sounds she made were terrible, something only heard in nightmares. The knife went deeper and dragged across, her crimson blood started to pour as her body went limp. She was trying to reach, hold on to something, she clung to her killers arm as she slumped to the damp concrete floor.
By the size and shape of the attacker he was male, I tried to make out his face, and of course it was covered by some sort of balaclava. He grabbed her handbag that must have fallen from her shoulder and vanished as silently as he appeared. I stared in horror at the girl, now laying on her side bleeding uncontrollably by the gash in her neck. The puddle she lied in was red. Her hat had fallen off and I could see that her beautiful long hair was almost as red as the blood. This was the first redhead.
You’d think I’d be used to seeing death by now, but not like this. This was the first murder I had witnessed, the first redhead, the youngest, the first to look back at me. It was hard to tell through the blood and darkness, but yes, she was definitely looking back at me. My mouth fell agape as I clasped by hands up to it and let out a small whimper. She could see me. I fell to my knees still holding in my shock with my hands and stared back in to her gaze. She was gasping quietly, trying to reach out an arm in my direction, but I felt dead inside, a living corpse. She fell silent quite quickly and stopped moving completely. Her dead eyes were still open and locked on to me. I felt so helpless.
I should have said something, anything, if she could see me then she probably could have heard me too. After a while I was able to stagger back up on to my feet. It would be over soon, but it felt like I was waiting here in this dark dead alley for a life time. I made my way closer to her, and noticed that her phone was still laying on my ground. I stared at it, hopeless, was she texting her boyfriend? Her mother? Now she’s just another dead body, to be found when the moon falls back to sleep. Sleep.
My body and eyes feel heavy, finally. I fall to the floor and lose consciousness. When I rouse again I’m back in my bed, in my room, in my little apartment. Why does this keep happening to me? After the first time, I thought it was just a bad dream. Bad dreams that come so frequent that I’m afraid to fall asleep every night.
Last night was different, last night got me wondering whether they were even dreams at all.