The darkness is fearsome… but it will always be a part of us– just like a shadow, a concealed piece of our own humanity. However, a day will come when what’s supposed to be left hidden will be laid bare… and the shadow will overcome the light.
A silhouette hastily turned, arriving to a dark, abandoned alley. The place was murky, gloomy, despite the cacophony of conversations on the main street. The city was basked in colorful lights, overpowering the beauty of the stellar heavens. It was as if having entered an entirely different dimension. The two places were illusorily linked by a non-existent door. The night was like an incomplete paradox, painted with inharmonious hues.
Panting, the figure rushed further into the alley, eyes batting on all sides as if searching for something.
An escape route.
Unfortunately, the backstreet he had entered served as his cage– the cage of a mouse trapped on all sides with no means of escape. Death isn’t an option, either.
He still has a lot to do. He still has a lot of works left unfinished. He still has a lot to reveal to the world…
Reaching the barred end of the dark alleyway, he clasped the wire fence, attempting to climb to the other side. The boundary was about 3 or 4 meters in height, but the fact doesn’t matter at the moment. He only has one thing in his mind, and that is to run away from those dreadful eyes.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
His mind played the sound of a ticking clock– or more accurately, a bomb that has been armed– to match his palpitating heartbeat. Both were in synchrony, a horrifying melody of panic and demise.
Slowly, the sound of footsteps reverberated on the quiet surrounding. And, as each second passed, the paralyzing sound became clear… and more audible.
Red and gold eerily glowed within the shadows, and the owner of the dreading footsteps was, then, revealed by the out-of-place illumination of that night’s moon. Crimson strands shadowed the man’s face, but his youthful appearance was still recognizable. His posture was dignified, except for the slightly messed up condition of his clothes. Oddly, though, the man’s lips were outwardly curved into a smile.
“N-No…” The figure pleaded, both his feet planted on the concrete ground. He was clenching the tall fence in front of him, his face paling as he felt the presence behind him.
An amused chuckle resounded as the moon, once again, decided to hide itself behind the blanket of clouds. The crimson-haired man let out a sigh, and, finally, faced his prey. The right side of his face was concealed beneath the shadows of the tall structures surrounding them, revealing only half of his countenance for identification. His left iris, which was a luscious gold, glinted as he stared at the pitiful man in front of him, the latter’s tail between his own legs.
There was a single click.
The sound of metal clanging came, followed by a loud thud which woke the nocturnal creatures from their peaceful slumber.
From a distance a body lay motionlessly on the cold, concrete ground. The moon, once more, peaked upon the ominous clouds. White luminance shone unto the slumped body on the ground, revealing the once silhouetted figure. A pool of rich, viscous red crept its way out from the bullet hole at the back of the man’s head. The crimson liquid slowly tainted the man’s dark red hair, but because of the similarity in color, one might not notice the liquid of life which was slowly taking the man’s life away.
The crimson-haired man strode forward, looking down on the lifeless body under his gaze. “Your greatest mistake was involving him,” he spat with a glare, voice audibly laced with poison, as he began to walk away from the scene. Fetching a cloth from his pocket, he wiped the barrel of his pistol. The pastel blue fabric was simply embroidered with a black thread. Written beautifully in elegant, cursive letters is a single word:
The crimson-haired man brought the handkerchief to his lips, inhaling the lingering sweet scent on the said cloth. He didn’t mind the smell of gunpowder. It didn’t even smell like that at all. Oddly enough, it smelled like vanilla.
“I… won’t let anyone harm you, my…” The man carefully slipped the handkerchief back to his breast pocket.
Clink. Clank. Clink. Clank.
The sound of footsteps gradually died, as the pregnant moments passed. Once again, the forgotten alley was invaded by the loud discordance of the red-light district… and the night carried on its usual song of tragedy.