Gabi is an anemic from Florida who now lives in Atlanta where she suffers through her own living hell in the cold to study sequential arts at SCAD-Atlanta. She minors in creative writing and is fueled by cute things and sugar.
We know this night is different. He does not belong here, just outside our reach. We stretch, grasp at the darkness, and try to disperse it. We see the intensity of his glare at the end of our misty reach. His face denies us, covered in black matte hair. His eyebrows are thick; we cannot see his eyes.
But we know we would not shine in them if we could. We have seen this man before, and his eyes are as dim as the darkness we defend from. Each week he meets another, one he passes and touches palms with for only a moment. They then both disappear into the night, going on their way.
We have never shown in his eyes. There is no warmth from him; we see only a veil of glistening black ice.
We want him gone. We cannot make him move. For a long while he stands just outside our reach. His body is turned towards a corner on the opposite street, and we know he is waiting for something. We feel we will not like it.
We shift consciousness to the street where his gaze falls. We feel our molecules buzz as we see her coming. Her long brown hair shines with us as she hurries forward on her path. She comes this way once a cycle of dark, and us. But this night is different; darkness has taken over much more of the world than is usual for her passing.
We remember this has happened once before; the last time the man had touched palms with another. We try to remember more. A lightning bug had held our interest that night, and we cannot recall if he saw her.
She turns the corner where he waits.
We switch consciousness once more, back above him. Her gaze flicks around in fear of the dark surrounding her. We reflect in her eyes brightly. She is afraid. Afraid of the areas we cannot touch. It is a common fear with women, one we only realized after we were harnessed. The women usually have nothing to fear, but this time it is not the case. She does not know the danger she fears is really there.
We see him moving now.
He passes under us and heads for her.
A car is passing by, we want to blind him. We move to the high beams and shoot towards him. He blinks hard, but continues forward. No more cars pass us; we are forced back into the lamp high above the street. She sees him, she knows. Her fear has dissipated the glow she once emanated.
We cannot stop him.
He grabs her arm, and we can do nothing.
He has pulled her into the darkness of an alley. Her head hits the concrete. We see it bounce. We flicker madly in our bulb. Maybe someone will see. Someone will see us faltering and come to check why.
But the streets are empty, and no one comes. He has taken her clothing from her, and she flails without effect.
The lightning bugs are coming now. We enter one, by his face, and blink more rapidly than natural. He pays no attention to us.
He’s begun the deed, and we can do nothing.
He swats the bug and us into the wall. We must flee to the lamp on the sidewalk in front of the alley.
We can do nothing but watch.
She has long been limp, and he covers her in the grime covered discards scattered around the alley.
He leaves, passing under us with the red glow of satisfaction. She lies all but motionless, her chest barely moves. A couple is coming down the sidewalk. They will see her like this.
We remember the beauty who stepped beneath us, seemingly aglow.
We hate them for being too late.
We hate ourselves for being so useless.
We do not want them to see her like this. We can see her tears, heavy, silent on her dirtied face. She does not want to be seen either, we are sure.
We go out.