It really had not been my intention to harm the lady. And never, under any stretch of the imagination, was it my intent to kill her. I just wanted to stay as close to her as I could… to watch over her… to protect her from all the beasties of the night on this All Saints Eve of 2013. I could never understand that name…All Saints Eve? A night dedicated more to witches, goblins, werewolves, bloody zombies and vampires? What’s missing in this picture? I even knocked off early from my night-job just so I could get here early enough to be in place before she left her house.
Eve… that’s what I had been calling her... from the time I had witnessed her coming out of her street-front apartment wearing that filmy outfit of white gossamer, rising with each breath of wind, making it look as if she had wings preparing to fly off to heaven at any moment. She was such an angelic sight amongst the dark and threatening shadows around her along the dimly lighted street. She had with her a three year-old boy dressed as a knight complete with a one-foot sword at his side. She was his princess and he, her shining knight in armor.
I had been waiting in a darkened doorway just down from her building and it felt good to be walking now. My now circulating blood warmed me up from my half- hour vigil in the night’s chill. She had no clue I was there. I watched her as she nervously glanced around from time to time as if assuring herself that she was safe, all the while allowing her son to enjoy this ‘Trick or Treat.’ rite of passage. Others had tried to dissuade her from coming out tonight but she would not hear of it. Little did she know she would later regret not heeding their advice. Her little knight would only briefly enjoy what other kids got to enjoy each year at this time, even though there were very few homes or open businesses in her neighborhood amenable to giving out candy.
Did she see me behind her? Did her pace pick up just a bit? I continued keeping my eyes on her while trying to survey the others on this almost deserted street making sure I wasn’t being too conspicuous. I crossed to the other side of the street to escape her direct line of view. What if something did happen to her? Any observers might describe me as the most obvious threat and likely suspect.
Having walked this street before at night, I knew we were almost to the place where several street lamps had been intentionally knocked out, turning this dim street into one of almost total darkness. I recalled that we would soon be approaching an even darker and more imposing alley, so I tried to shorten the distance between us. When the time came I would want to be able to get to her before she knew what was happening. A lot of bad things could happen in a long dark alley. She was going to be so surprised to know she had been watched over by her… what would I call myself… her guardian angel. I laughed at the irony of the thought.
I would reveal myself to her, but only when suitable for me to do so. My time… a time that would not allow her to avoid me, or slip away. I knew that at first she would be angry with me for doing what I was doing. But I knew I could make her see why I had done it. Her anger would eventually go away. I kept telling myself that I did not want to hurt her, but this had to be done. I loved her and many times I had studied her from a distance, wishing I could find the words to tell her the full measure of my love. Maybe tonight I could show her in a way that would take away all doubt. We’d see. She was so beautiful… I wanted to reach out and touch her. No, not touch her… caress her… softly, lovingly like no other man could or should. No one loved her as I did.
As we approached the dark section of the street, I began to prepare myself for what I had to do. I, again, increased my pace ever so slightly while staying on the opposite side of the street, being sure to keep in the dark shadows. I had to be close enough to get to her quickly, without hesitation. I was now almost directly across the street from her and as we approached the cavernous alleyway just ahead, I started over to her side of the street to be directly behind her. I pulled my dark coat tighter around me and tilted the fedora hat down to cover my face.
When I reached the middle of the street, Eve glanced around; and because we were pretty much the only two people out now, she saw me coming. She increased her pace and I could hear her son complain about not being able to keep up with her. I could see she was going to get to the alleyway before me, so I had to begin walking faster. Eve kept looking behind her and going faster and faster until she was in an all out run. Her little knight was almost being dragged now, his bag of candy bouncing off the pavement, spilling, making him whine and cry all the more.
She was approaching the alley and I wanted to shout out, “Eve, please stop. I’m here to help you. Don’t run anymore.” That would just make her run all the faster, so I whispered, aloud, “Eve, it’s me… stop running. Please!”
Eve turned as she was streaking down the street and stared a little harder into the misty darkness, slowing somewhat as she did. This gave me a chance to gain on her, so I pushed a little harder. Eve’s hesitancy slowed her to almost a walk just as she reached the darkened alleyway and I was almost close enough to grab her. I could see the terror on her face, but before I could tell her not to be afraid I saw another form begin to emerge from the alley. He was heading for her!
Turning my attention away from her and onto the other person, I ran as hard as I could toward the other figure and leaped the final five or six feet, wrapping my arms around a man with a lead pipe in his raised hand, preparing to hit Eve over the head.
My 200 pounds hit into the man like a cannon shot and threw his body backwards. His head pounded into the wall of the brick building, immediately knocking him cold. I grabbed his pipe away from him and turned my attention back to my original target… Eve and her little knight.
I slowly walked toward them with the pipe in my hand and with what could be called a menacing grin on my face, panting heavily. Just as Eve began to run again, the small knight yelled and pulled his hand out of his mother’s grip! Raising his tiny sword he started running at me as hard as he could…screaming,
“Daddy! Mommy, it’s Daddy! Look at all the candy I got tonight, Daddy! This was the funnest night of my whole life!” Eve fainted.
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