Prelude (An Alec Winters Series, Book 1)

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Chapter 17

On this evening, and on his own, Alec eagerly returned to find the two rapists, Dwight and Maroky. Alec was determined to put an end to their activities before his enlistment began. Once again, they were at the same dive bar where he’d previously found them. At this point, Alec’s ability had grown immensely. Now, he could read everything about the two men and what he interpreted sickened him. He allowed the waves of pure disgust to wash over him and then dissipate.

These two revolting men had actually killed a girl who threatened to go to the police after they raped her. In a panic, and to make sure she didn’t, they had used their bare hands to choke the life out of her. Then, they callously tossed her body in the river. It was only one of many unsolved murders in the Crescent City.

Alec had already learned that as long as he kept his composure, the demon and angel personas didn’t materialize. As he managed his emotions, Dwight and Maroky only saw him as a young man, if they noticed him at all. Their attention was on their newest victim.

Whenever he moved through the city to fulfill his destiny, his appearance became unremarkable. While tracking down evil men and women, he seemed invisible. This aspect of his ability allowed him to go anywhere without drawing attention to himself. As a high school senior whose face was on the front page of every local newspaper, Alec was grateful for that anonymity.

On the night when Alec once again found Dwight and Maroky, the men left the bar with Anita, a tipsy, unsuspecting female patron. They slowly walked through the French Quarter towards the river. As they passed Decatur, which leads to Jackson Square, Alec followed stealthily from a distance. At the river’s edge, the threesome turned right toward the ferry station, but Alec circled to the left to make sure there would be no witnesses to his own vengeance.

“What are we doing down here,” Anita asked as a chill washed over her. She was finally concerned about her welfare in the company of two unknown men she’d only just met. “I don’t like this…It’s very isolated and a little creepy.”

“Oh, I thought we’d catch the ferry across the Mississippi River to Algiers,” Dwight volunteered.

“Shush,” Maroky hissed and then laughed. “It’s supposed to be a secret. We were going to surprise her.”

The men laughed together. They knew that in that sector of the city, they could take their time with Anita and not have to worry about being caught. However, upon hearing those plans, suddenly Anita was no longer eager to be in their company.

“No, I don’t want to go to Algiers. I don’t feel safe there. Besides, you said Maroky was going home and we’d get something to eat,” she protested. One look at Dwight’s face told a different story and it frightened her. “Please, just help me find a cab,” she nervously pleaded, beginning to sober up a bit. Without the alcohol buzz, Dwight wasn’t quite as charming or appealing as he was in the dimly lit bar.

“Aw, it’ll be alright,” Dwight attempted to smooth out the situation. “Relax and we’ll have some fun.”

“No, I’d like to go home now,” Anita insistently voiced.

“We spent a lot of money in the bar buying you drinks,” Maroky said. “Did you think that was free? Did you think you were so charming that men are willing to pay for the privilege of your company? There ain’t no free lunches, baby. And,” he drew the word out for several seconds as emphasis, “you aren’t any better than a prostitute, a street whore. We bought you and now you’re going to give us what we paid for.”

The gloating of his tone provoked a new kind of fear in the young woman. Anita stumbled as her knees locked in terror. Every part of her body wanted to run, demanded that she run, but her legs refused to take flight. Looking around, she realized the entire area was quiet and deserted. Except for Harrah’s Casino, which is usually bustling with activity, no one was around. The casino patrons were too far away to notice as the two men grabbed her arms and roughly pulled her along towards the back of a warehouse.

“She doesn’t want to ride the ferry so we’ll do our business over there behind the warehouse,” Maroky announced.

“Yep,” Dwight agreed. “That row of dumpsters will just about do it. It’s dark and secluded. Help me get her over there.” Dwight forced an arm behind Anita’s back and then grabbed a handful of her long, dark hair. He used that leverage to twist her head, forcing her face upwards in order to kiss her.

“No!” she yelled out, pushing him away with the hand he had freed, but both of the men ignored her protests. They only laughed as if privy to a private joke. “Let me go!” she cried out as Maroky sandwiched her from behind. She felt his hard cock against her buttocks and his hands ravaging her breasts. “No! I said no! Leave me alone!” she screamed again, now completely terrified. “Get off me!”

“It’s exciting, ain’t it couz?” Dwight asked as he locked eyes with Maroky.

The woman’s terror fueled their deviant desires to rape her and then do each other. Maroky grabbed Dwight’s head and pulled him forward for a passionate kiss. Anita, pressed between them, couldn’t breathe. She fought harder and screamed louder.

“Yeah, but you need to keep her quiet,” Maroky gritted out.

“I’m trying,” Dwight exaggerated as if playing at some game. “She’s a slippery one. I can’t even get a kiss planted on her. If I could, that would shut her up. I’m a good kisser, Anita. Just ask Maroky. You’ll like it, I promise,” he teased as he tried to force her face up to his again.

“I don’t want to kiss her. I want to fuck her,” Maroky clamored as he hunched against her from behind. “And then, I want to fuck you, couz.”

“Me too,” Dwight laughed raucously, “but she’s so scared her legs have quit working. If we’re going to get to it, I’ll have to drag her.”

Anita felt as if wild animals were after her. There was no help in sight. Even her piercing screams were drowned out by a passing riverboat cruise. The double-decker party barge, filled with gaiety and mostly drunk tourists, held a loud band on the open-air deck. It was too far out to notice her struggles. Genuinely petrified, Anita feared that she would never escape and she screamed even louder.

“Let’s just knock her out,” Dwight advised, worried that her high-pitched cries would attract unwanted attention. “Pussy is just as good even when they’re unconscious.” Unaware that they were no longer alone, both men laughed at the crass comment. Alec was closing in, but didn’t get there before Maroky hit Anita upside the head with his beer bottle. She instantly went down, and it was just as well that she didn’t witness what happened next. The men laughed even harder.

“Here, help me get her pants off,” Dwight suggested as he moved her body closer to the dumpster. “We’ve had to work hard for this and now she can pay extra for our efforts. I’m going to fuck her every which-a-way but loose.”

“Use my knife to cut off her pants,” Maroky offered.

Almost immediately, Dwight was yanked away from the unconscious woman and thrown through the air like a sack of potatoes. He landed with a loud thunderous thud on the hood of a utility vehicle parked several yards away. The sound of shattering glass and a sickening crack of bones were soon followed by Dwight’s screams of pain. It seemed to happen all at once, which startled his cousin. Maroky, fumbling with his own clothing in preparation for the imminent rape, jerked his head around looking for the reason behind Dwight’s outcry.

“Where did you go, couz?” Maroky called out in surprise, but before he could figure out what had happened, he stood face-to-face with the most terrifying monster imaginable. He tried to scream, but no sound came from his terrified throat.

A giant of a red devil, at least two feet taller than he was, stood in front of him. Its mouth was open wide and hot fumes of sulfur blew into his face. Three-inch fangs were only inches away. Maroky cringed in terror. They’d caught a glimpse of the same red demon weeks ago. The sudden realization that the monster was real, and had been stalking them, terrorized him. Now, like Anita, he was too stunned and weak-kneed to effectively react. He lost control of his bladder and urine trickled down his useless legs and over the end of his cowboy boots.

“Wh-what do you want?” Maroky croaked, but the red-eyed demon didn’t respond. Instead, a huge clawed hand reached for his throat, sharp talons pierced his skin. The monster picked up Maroky, as if he weighed no more than a toddler did, and then it slammed him headfirst onto the pavement. The force of the impact crushed his skull and ended his sorry life. A roar of satisfied rage filled the air, but if anyone heard it, no one dared to investigate or intervene. Getting involved wasn’t a common notion in New Orleans.

While Anita was unconscious, Alec went through Dwight and Maroky’s pockets. He took any money found for Anita’s cab fare. Then, in a blind rage, the demon persona finished off the two men. With relish, he tore their bodies into small parts and distributed those parts into the various dumpsters, stuffing them deep within its contents. In a day or two, Dwight and Maroky’s body parts would end up in a massive landfill along with the rest of the city’s discarded trash.

Unlike the angel of mercy, the giant red monster knew no bounds or limits; he had no conscience or moral command. He only knew retribution and fiery vengeance. Without restraint, he was fueled by dire and just punishment for the heinous crimes the two perpetrators had committed. He felt rage and pure justification as he dismembered the bodies. When the demon’s revenge was sated, Alec’s breathing slowly calmed, returning to normal.

Alec had accepted the destiny that had become his new life. Knowing he couldn’t hate either part of himself, either the demon or angel persona, he accepted that he had done his job. During the long weeks of training, his grandfather had suggested that he always stage a murder scene to look like a robbery gone wrong. It was what he usually did, but since the bodies where no longer present, that was unnecessary this time. In most situations, he was to leave the pockets turned out and empty. With slightly less than forty percent clearance rate on citywide murders, it was well known that New Orleans cops would never look much further for a motive.

When she came to, Anita was in the backseat of a taxi sitting at the curb near Jackson Square. With one arm over the backrest, the Middle Eastern driver looked at her curiously. “Where to, miss?” he asked in perfect English.

“How did I get here? What happened?” Anita shakily cried out, clutching her torn blouse together in a bout of sudden modesty. She ran her hands along her body, checking for injuries while she recalled some of the scene along the river’s edge. Most of it was a blur, but replaying the events in her mind, Anita counted herself lucky to be alive. She tremblingly whispered, “I have the worst taste in men. I’m lucky to be alive!”

“I don’t have an answer to any of that,” the driver replied. “All I know is that a young man brought you here and gave me enough money to wait for you to regain consciousness. He said to either take you home or to a hospital after you woke up and assessed your condition. Do you need a hospital or to go home?

Anita felt a bruise on the side of her head, but it wasn’t anything that required medical attention. Besides, she was too embarrassed to explain any of this to anyone. “Just take me home, please.”

“Of course. Where is home?”

From a distance, and hidden in shadows, Danaé Chisholm privately observed Alec as he stood outside the bar. Then, when he trailed the two men with the tipsy woman after they left the bar, she quietly followed him. She watched as the two men led the woman down by the river, but her eyes were glued on Alec as he circled the area and made his way down to the water from another direction. She lost sight of all of them, but as she lingered near Jackson Square, she heard thunder. It was so loud she felt the sidewalk move under her feet. Danaé stayed out of sight, but she saw Alec bring the unconscious woman back and put her in a cab. She wanted to question the woman, but she didn’t want Alec to see her there. Danaé, always believing in Alec’s goodness, knew he had rescued her from something terrible. That was enough for her.

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