www.whyville.net Oct 20, 2013 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

Into the Darkness

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A cold, uncaring wind whipped through the lights of the Halloween carnival. I glanced back at the car; my Little Red Riding Hood dress had me wishing I'd picked a warmer costume. It took a moment, but I pushed back the urge to go home and headed toward the gate to immerse myself in the crowd of zombies, witches, and monsters.

While squirming my way past the street vendors, I did my best not to acknowledge the annoyed looks of the people I'd brushed while trying to text Peter. We were supposed to meet up at 7 and I was a running a little late. I didn't see him anywhere, so I decided to get in line for a ride wristband to save some time.

The man in the booth had a big, prickly goatee that reminded me of the time our cat ate some straws off the broom and puked it back up. He wore a ridiculous happy werewolf suit and clearly did not want to be there. I gave a smile and asked for a wristband, hoping to cheer him up a bit as I handed over the money. My phone buzzed, a text from Peter, and I opened the message as I held out my other arm.

"Now, COME ON!" the man said, as I looked up startled. "Put down the phone for TWO SECONDS. IT'S THE LEFT HAND!"

I blinked a couple times, astonished at having been yelled at for something so simple. I quickly stuffed the phone away and held out my left arm, wanting to just get away from this bitter old man and headed in the other direction as soon as he stuck the stupid thing on.

I took my phone back out as I wandered over to the side of a vending machine and read Peter's message.

Peter: Dove, text me when ur here. i'll be by the skee ball. pumped to see you :)

Looking up, I was gladly surprised to see the lights of the skee ball game across the street. I put my phone away while walking over to find Peter, but a hand reached out violently to grab my arm and stopped me in my tracks before I got too far. I spun around to see a dark haired boy who looked slightly older than me. He looked greasy and needed a shave. Even if I had seen this guy in other circumstances, he would have given off a creepy vibe.

"Excuse me," he had a deep voice, "I saw you walking by and couldn't help but notice how beautiful you look," he said, "What's your name?"

"Dove," I mumbled. I wrote it off as harmless, if not incredibly lame, attention and started to walk away when he grabbed me by the waist.

"So are you here alone tonight?" he asked persistently, his eyes narrowing. I uselessly tried pushing him away.

"Um, no. I'm with a friend." Where, oh where was Peter?

I was starting to get a bad feeling and looked around to see that a couple people noticed us, but decided to keep walking.

"Funny, I don't see anyone around," he said. I struggled some more and he gave a low chuckle. I was getting fed up.

"LET ME GO, YOU CREEP," I screamed, hoping someone would help me.

Some stopped to look, but mostly everyone kept walking and no one came to help. In my desperation of kicking and squirming, I finally noticed Peter walking from the skee ball tent and screamed over to him for help. But in that moment, my attacker slapped me across the face, pushing my alarmed body away with a disgusted gruff. My head met hard and fast with the corner of the vending machine and I collapsed onto the pavement, putting my hands out to break my fall.

In my final moments of painful consciousness, I looked up from the concrete. Again I noticed Peter and our eyes locked, but I didn't see anything in them -- not worry or concern or any flicker of emotion. He was an unaffected bystander, like everyone else. These dim-witted, self-absorbed jokes of the human race didn't feel any obligation to care about what happened to others, and as Peter walked away I realized that I really was here alone tonight.

As I lay crumpled on the concrete that Halloween night, I smiled at my bloodied hands and vowed my revenge on all of them before slipping into the darkness.


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