Torn by Autumn Larrow

Fear tickled the back of John’s throat. He didn’t want to be there, not tonight, not in that dark alley. A warm fire, a good book and smooth whiskey waited for him at home. He swallowed back the tickle and twitched the stress from his shoulders. It didn’t matter what he wanted, he had a job to do.

Heavy foot falls echoed down the brick walls and his pounding heart fell in sync with the frantic beat. He pressed himself into the deeper shadows and waited. As the foot steps grew closer his hand wrapped around the hilt of the knife he kept hidden at the small of his back. Cold sweat sprang up to coat his smooth face seconds before the runner stopped in front of his hiding place.

“Who’s there?” A man called out, his voice strained and breathless.

Before John could act, a shadowed body jumped out of the darkness around them. Tight fitting leather hugged the new comer’s body, and highlighted her curves. She had her back to him; it would be a simple thing to shove the blade into her ribs.

Careful not to draw attention to himself, he pulled his knife free. A slight hiss whispered as the blade slid from its sheath. The woman spun around to face him and with eyes as bright and cold as sapphires, she glared into the darkness.

For a fraction of a heart beat, their gazes locked. Josh’s throat swelled shut under her defiant stare. It felt like he had to breathe through a straw. The woman’s pale lips pulled up into a smirk that froze his heart and turned his knees to jelly. The knife fell to the ground and sparks flew out where the blade struck the pavement.

She took one step towards him as she reached for something at her hip. Hunger burned in her eyes. Suddenly, her body bowed toward him as if something had struck her from behind. Josh’s bladder released as her agonized scream cut short.

Blood ran from her gaped mouth in a foamy river as she tore at her chest is frantic fingers. Inch by inch a sharpened spike bloomed out of her leather corset. It pushed out of the woman with excruciating slowness. Bile rose to John’s mouth, but he could not look away.

Her blue eyes, rounded with shock, brimmed with unbearable pain as they burned into John’s. As desperate as he was to close his eyes and block out the gruesome scene he could not remove his eyes from her face. Like a flame at the end of its wick, her life flickered out. Her knees gave and she slid from the weapon that had impaled her. Only then could he look upon the Killer.

Over the corpse of the woman he looked onto a face so familiar that his mind refused to believe it. How often had he studied those same green eyes with just a hint of blue at the edges? Had he not traced that same faint scar over those same pale eyebrows every time he was deep in thought? Didn’t he hate that same dimple low on a rounded chin that had earned him that disgusting nick-name in school? The Killer couldn’t have his face, could he?

With an evil grin the Killer winked and touched the side of his nose with one long finger.

On little more then a whisper Josh asked, “Who the hell are you?”

The Killer made no reply. He just winked again and stepped over the dead woman.

“What do you want?” John demanded as he retrieved the knife from the ground.

The grin never left the Killers face as he cocked his head to the side and took another step closer.

In a move he instantly knew to be stupid, John struck out at the man in front of him. The blade bit deep into the man’s chest, and blood stained his white tee shirt. John watched in horror as the Killer’s grin grew.

A blinding pain ripped through John’s chest. With a gasp that stole his breathe, he fell to his knees and clutched at the horrid burn. His shirt clung to his skin as blood saturated the fabric. He tore it off and fought against the urge to vomit. The top half of his breast hung free as if it had been craved like a turkey dinner.

The Killer knelt down, his face level with John’s and with a cold hand he forced him to look into his face.

“You can’t hide from me John,” he purred. “You might as well embrace me.”

John shook his head as the burn in his chest flared and darkness seeped into the edges of his vision. “Never,” he croaked out.

“It’s too late. It has already begun.”


The Killer forced John to look at the blank face of the woman. Her empty eyes stared back and taunted John. “It has begun. See what you’ve already done? You can’t deny that when the proof is right in front of you.”

“I didn’t.”

“Oh, but you did John. Remember the indescribable pleasure it brought to us as her life stubbed out by our hand!”

The Killer laughed cold and hard before he dropped John’s face and went over to the woman. He stroked her check with all the care and devotion of a lover before he picked up the sharpened stake. Josh closed his eyes and willed the darkness to take him.

Sirens filled the air then, and a spark of hope extinguished the blaze in his chest. The Killer would be brought to answer for his murder. John filled his lungs with air with the intention of calling out to the cops. He opened his eyes as the alley flooded with light. For a brief moment, confusion washed through his mind. He stood over the young woman, the bloody spike in his hand and his chest uncut.

Panic danced in his head as he threw the corner a quick glance. Huddled in the darkness, blood seeped from a gash on the young man’s chest as he lay on the pavement. John had never seen that man before.

Quicker than lightening, he remembered the smooth feel of the spike slowly working its way through the woman’s body. The scent of her fear had warmed him to his very soul and when her life ended pure joy had filled his heart. A thrill shot through him as he relived his sweetest moment and a grin crept across his face.