Finally.

The word hung strangely in his mind as he flopped onto the ground, a breathless laugh fluttering from behind his lips.

A breath of cold wet mist expelled slowly from his mouth, congealing lightly into the freezing cold night air of the strange, dark streets, dissipating into the thin gust of wind that danced through the narrow alleyway and up into the fresh air of the cold, metallic city, the sound of wailing sirens piercing through the air not so far away.

The man swallowed lightly as his vision tunnelled, blood bursting in a myriad of exotic, metallic, flavours deep in the chambers of his mouth, bitter, but yet strangely sweet as he bit down hard on his bottom lip to stop himself from crying out.

He blinked lightly, lashes flickering and dusting his cheeks as his eyes stung in the freezing, icy night air, his nose souring for a moment—were those tears and regret for an ending life?

His fingers raised themselves to the corners of his eyes, sliding away smooth, yet heated and wet against the pads of his fingers, so stained with the rich red velvet of freshly stained blood.

Every breath in his chest felt as though there was a cold metallic knife stuck between the ribs of his chest, puncturing deep into his lungs and robbing him of his air.

Perhaps it was because he had run too fast moments before, every inch of his muscles screaming in fervour as he stumbled down the alleyway, almost drunk with thrill and fear, his eyes gleaming and flashing in the darkening light. And yet perhaps…it was the residue of something else, that he couldn’t think of, his thoughts scattering away like grains of sand with every breath he laboured from his chest.

“Ah. Damn.” The deprecating mockery of lamentation spilt from his mouth, a nearly strangled sob catching within the confines of his parted lips. “So close.”

Blood dripped from the knife that had been viciously removed, the red jewels of fresh blood plopping like a strange musical beat on the frozen hard ground—like an impending symphony of a death march of someone standing at the gates of death.

Help!

Someone got stabbed!

Help!

Screams of fear, mixed with crying voices of fearful agony pounded like waves against his eardrums, causing him to curl his lips almost in annoyance at the sudden disturbance of the quiet peace that had once permeated the night air.

Humans. His eyes flickered genially in the direction of the scattering crowds.

Always far too late.

A low sigh wrenched itself from his dry, pale lips, the stars blinking in the night sky, seemingly shining a pathway to something more than what he could see in the blanketing darkness.

Finally.

Verna

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