Selena had had another awful day at work. It was what she expected, every day to be awful. There was so little positive stuff for her to look forward to at the moment. One uneventful, bad day blurring into another.
It was like any other crap Thursday when she spotted a young school girl leaning against the wall, tears streaming down her face. Selena felt a little better knowing she wasn’t the only not having a good day. But as soon as she thought it, she regretted it. This young girl, all by herself, she needed someone. Selena looked around, she was the only someone there.
As she approached the girl, she noticed her school blazer was ripped at the shoulder seam, her tights torn open and blood stained at the knee. “Oh my goodness, are you okay?” she said as she rushed the last few steps to the girl.
The little waif looked up at her, tears streaming down my face. “Can you walk me home please? I’m scared.” She looked so pathetic and helpless, how could Selena say no? “I don’t live far,” the little girl added.
Selena would have walked the girl to the next town over, she wasn’t looking forward to another lonely night in her flat, she might as well do a good deed to pass the time. “What’s your name?” she asked as she lovingly put her arms around the little girls shoulders.
“That’s so sweet. What happened?”
“I’m having some trouble at school,” she started, battling through the choking feeling in her throat, “and the girls, they…found me. They were chasing me. They cornered me in an alleyway and then….” her voice trailed off into the distance. Selena didn’t want to probe her further. It was clear she’d been badly beaten. The important thing was to get her home safe and as quickly as possible.
For a time, they walked in silence while Selena tried to think of something she could connect to this young teenage girl with. She tried thinking about the last song she heard on the radio. It sounded like the kind of trash kids were listening to at the moment.
She asked Candy if she liked it. The girl looked at her blankly. Selena took that as a hard no. Candy was definitely giving off more emo vibes. “I don’t really listen to music, that’s not what I’m into.”
Well that was the conversation over. They continued to walk, the silence only broken by Candy giving directions. “Isn’t it better to go down Neston Road?”
Candy confidently answered in a clear and authoritative tone, “I know a shortcut.” Who was Selena to question it? This was where the girl lived. She was old enough to know the way.
They turned down an alley way, a wooden fence at the end. “It’s a dead-end Candy.”
“No, you can lift the fence panel up and then I live on the other side.”
It sounded right, Selena thought.
“It’s not long until the end,” Candy added.
Selena entered the alleyway first, it was dark and long and she could only just make out the fence past a large industrial rubbish bin. It was dark. It being dark meant it was late. In fact, Selena had left work late. She looked at her watch. It was 8.30pm. “Candy, when were these girls chasing you?”
She turned when Candy hadn’t answered in case she’d run off or something, it had become quiet, a hush had overtaken the alley as they turned away from the main street and passing traffic. Candy had dropped her bag, her sunken shoulders had straightened up. She stood tall, she looked older.
“What girls?” Her voice was loud and clear, she asked as if Selena had made it up.
“You said you were being chased?”
Candy stepped towards Selena. Selena instinctively stepped back. A shiver ran down her spine as she locked eyes with her companion.
“I said that?” Candy seemed shocked.
“Yes. Yes you did.”
“Shoot!” she said as she stamped her foot to the ground. She laughed a little. “It’s so hard to keep the lies straight. Last time I got this right.”
“Last time?” Selena stepped back again, further down the alleyway. It wasn’t the direction she wanted to go in but the look in Candy’s eye was like nothing she had ever seen before.
“I’m supposed to imply I’m being followed, so you jump to the conclusion wI was being followed. Then when we get to this point and you say, you said you were being followed and I say, did I say I was being followed because I didn’t, I only implied it. Or at least I wasn’t supposed to actually say it and now I’ve messed up my big villain punch line…” the chuckle had turned into full-blown laughter.
Selena looked at “the girl” and started to notice things that just hadn’t seemed like anything before. There was no emblem on her blazer. In fact, Selena didn’t recognise the uniform at all. Just at the bottom of the rip in Candy’s tights, she could see the start of a tattoo. Selena had thought this girl was 13, 14, maybe 15 at a push but now as she stood upright, the school girl’s jaw clenched and her wild eyes open and not crying, she could see the age.
Candy reached into her jacket and pulled out a knife. Longer than would seem able to fit in a standard pocket. Candy saw the puzzled look om Selena’s face and proudly showed her work. As she opened her jacket, she revealed the lining and a sheath for the knife that had been sewn in with bright pink thread. “Sewing class came in handy. Who knew?”
Selena’s eyes went back to the knife. This was surely a practical joke. This didn’t happen to people in real life. How could she have been so stupid? All of a sudden, her cold and lonely flat seemed like the most appealing place in the world. She was dying to be alone right now.
She started cursing her parents in her head, why had they raised her right? Why hadn’t they raised the kind of daughter who would see a child crying on the street and just walk straight past them? She hated them right now. SHe wanted them so much right now.
Selena ran down the alleyway, she’d just move the fence panel and run. She maybe couldn’t take th girl with the knife but looking at their physiques, she was pretty sure she could out run her. So she ran, hitting the fence full force, feeling around the edge of it, under it, trying to move it somewhere. It was fixed tight.
“You were right about this being a dead-end. Dead. End. Haha, I crack myself up.” Candy got closer.
Crap, crap, crap. Please be a joke, please be a joke. Selena repeated frantically in her head. She was so transfixed on somehow loosening the fence panel, she basically forgot about the incoming threat until the knife plunged into her side.
She had never felt pain like it. Candy’s arms enveloped her in a hug as she fell to her knees. “My name really is Candy by the way,” she whispered into Selena’s ears, her sticky lips just touching Selena’s ear. “I think my parents thought I was going to be sweet. I’d say I’m a perpetual disappointment.”
“Stop talking,” Selena was crying. Why was this crazy girls voice the last thing she was going to hear. Selena had no choice and gave in to the pain, falling to the ground. She rolled onto her side looking down the alleyway hoping that someone would see what was happening. SHe knew it was futile. This psycho had probably thought of that and picked this particular place because it was quiet. Something caught her eye as she looked back up the alley for some hope. Instead she spotted a body propped up behind the bin, clearly dead.
Candy followed Selena’s gaze. “Oh I;ve een busy today. This one put up a proper fight, completely ruined my uniform. Bitch!”
Candy stood over Selena as Selena’s view became fuzzy, the last thing she saw as her eyes closed for the last time was her own blood dripping off the end of the knife.
Candy placed the bloody knife back into its sheath in her jacket. Dragged Selena’s dying body and propped it up against the bin next to her last victim. She straightened up her uniform as much as she could, picked her bag up as she left and ran her fingers over her strawberry balm coated lips.
“I am getting so good at this, it was like stealing candy from a baby. Candy like my name. Ha. I am so funny,” she muttered to herself, pleased with the days events as she walked off into the night.
xx woeful writes xx