Being manhandled again wasn’t as bad as the first time now that Nathan knew they wanted him alive; it gave him time to think about what just transpired. There was always a nagging feeling in the back of his mind that Alice may have been the hook killer but he never allowed the thought to linger. The months before her permanent residence in Harmony Heights she started acting strange; he caught her fixing up Melody’s room as if she were coming back, she’d mutter to herself more often than not, and most of the time she was barely there at all.
If I find out they had anything to do with her breakdown I’ll kill them before the police can arrest them. Nathan thought to himself. There was nothing he could currently do though so he just allowed himself to relax as the car drove onwards. The drive back to his house seemed to be much longer, there shouldn’t have been traffic though as the car only stopped every so often.
Finally, the car pulled over and the men killed the engine. This time only one door clicked open and Nathan was picked up and tossed to the street. He heard a metallic clang beside him. The man quickly untied his hands and feet and then got back in the car. Nathan ripped off the sack just in time to see the car speeding away.
He looked around, what he assumed to be his driveway was actually a grimy alleyway. “First they drag me from my house, then they drop me in an alley,” He said miserably. Beside him, he saw the dagger had been dropped carelessly. “And all for this silly little dagger and a crazy man chasing fairytales.” He picked up the dagger resolving himself to turn it into the police along with Joseph.
To Joseph’s credit the dagger had an enchanting quality about it; as soon as he touched it he couldn’t help admiring its jewels. But then he remembered how many people the dagger had killed and felt only disgust for the tool. He could faintly hear voices in front of him so he moved that way hoping to find his bearings. The alley let out to a bustling city street; people moved rapidly up and down the street entering and exiting buildings at random. He saw wearied officers eyeing the crowd with scorn and concealed the dagger beneath his shirt; he would take it to their office himself later.
“Watch out dude!” A man yelled before sloshing his drink down Nathan’s side. “So sorry man, I warned ya didn’t I?” The man slurred before staggering away.
Why won’t this night fucking end! Nathan asked himself as he wiped beer off his shirt. At the very least I know where I am. Drunks, crowds, police, and a bar on every corner, this must be Pyro street. He managed to bury his anger for the time being, he had his bearings and Alice’s parents didn’t live far from where he was. Asking the Spencers for help felt disgusting for some reason but he couldn’t place why. For that matter he didn’t know why he didn’t stop and ask for help, normally he was lost without his phone but at that moment he felt asking for help would be an affront to his pride.
Taking care to conceal the dagger he made his way down the street ignoring the stares and jeers of stumbling drunks. Once he got home he planned to sleep away the entire weekend, and stay inside besides taking the dagger to the police.
He turned on Melancholy lane and smiled. There were only 6 blocks between him and a good night’s rest.
“Hey man, you lost?”
Nathan spun around quickly. The man who called out to him had greasy black hair and a devious smile. If it were the fifties he would have assumed he was some kind of gang member. As it was, he still wanted no part in whatever help the man could offer and continued his stride.
“Wow, that’s cold. I offer you help and you don’t even have the decency to talk to me?” The man yelled still following Nathan. “Come on I’ve got a car; I can get you where you need ta go!”
So annoying. Nathan thought. Without thinking, he turned down a side street continuing towards the Spencer’s house. He didn’t like the idea of showing up unannounced and with a stranger tailing him.
The man turned too still hollering offers. He mimicked every move Nathan made as if he had nothing better to do. Finally, Nathan turned down a dark alley and turned towards his pursuer.
“What do you want?” Nathan demanded.
“What are you deaf? I want ta help you out. Think of me as a taxi,” The man said. His beady brown eyes flicked down to Nathan’s pockets. “And if you wanted to show your gratitude with your wallet I wouldn’t say no.”
And now they had reached the heart of the matter. Apparently being kidnapped, ditched, and spilled upon wasn’t enough for the terrible night. Now he was to be robbed of belongings he didn’t have.
“Look just get out of here before I call the police.” Nathan said threateningly. He said this but he had no intention to call for help at all. He felt the odd need to take care of this himself.
“Yeah with what phone tough guy?” The man said drawing closer. He fished around in his pocket and drew out a folding knife. “Easy now, easy. All I want is your wallet, no need to get cut.”
Nathan held his ground. Even as his brain screamed for him to move and cry out for help a different part of him told him he could handle this alone. “Leave now or else.”
The man laughed again and dove his hand towards Nathan’s pocket. Before he could enter Nathan grabbed his wrist and held it to his side.
“Let go of me!” the man snarled. He slashed at Nathan’s hand.
Nathan let go just in time to avoid the knife’s tip. Before the man could strike again Nathan barreled into him, grabbing his arm as they fell. The man’s head hit the concrete with a heavy thud as Nathan moved to get the knife. This dangerous overconfidence surprised him; he had never been in a fight before that night.
Suddenly the man’s eyes came back into focus and stared at Nathan with the venom of a viper. He kicked Nathan off and slowly got back to his feet breathing heavily.
“You’re fucking dead,” He breathed.
Nathan rolled as the mugger lunged at him; the knife nicked his shoulder but he was able to roll away. Before he could get up the man straddled him against the cold street. The man stabbed at his throat but Nathan caught his hand before the knife could pierce him. He could see the man’s face growing red with exertion as he tried to overpower him. With his right hand, he fought to keep the mugger’s free hand away from his throat.
Even with his previous gusto, the knife was edging closer to his throat. The man smiled and grunted as he pushed harder; the knife was now inches from its mark.
Through his struggle he heard a voice sounding much like his own sound off in his head. He’s trying to kill you. It’s self-defense, no one would blame you. The voice whispered to him. No one would miss scum like him.
On any other day he would’ve noted the voice as an intrusive thought and went about his day. But his life wasn’t in danger on any other day. Swift as he could, he released the man’s right hand and moved for the dagger beneath his shirt. It pulsed in his hand as he grabbed the hilt as if it knew and wanted what was about to happen.
Before the man could grab his throat, he exposed the dagger and thrust up into the mugger’s chest. The dagger’s pulse quickened as warm blood flowed down its side to Nathan’s forearm; it was pleased.
The man’s smile lasted a second longer before he realized what happened. His grip on his knife vanished and it fell to the wayside. Clutching his chest he rolled off Nathan, his breathing became labored as he gasped for air.
Nathan got up panting looking down on the pitiable assassin. He knew what was happening from writing about the dagger’s previous victims who made it to a hospital. No matter if he made it to a doctor or not his fate was sealed; the wounds wouldn’t close, the blood wouldn’t clot.
He watched as the man began to tremble and spasm as the dagger did its work. To his amusement, the man’s eyes widened as his gasps became more desperate. “This is what you were planning to do to me wasn’t it?” he sneered. “Would you have cared? Would you even have had the decency to call an ambulance? And for what? A wallet that’s not even on me.”
One of the dull jewels on the dagger’s hilt lit up blood red and somehow Nathan knew it was time to reclaim it from the man’s chest; proof of his triumph. Strangely enough the dagger lifted out of the man with ease, he assumed it would have caught somewhere inside him. The pulse was stronger than ever now, satisfied with its kill. As soon as it left the man’s body the pulse died and with-it Nathan’s elation.
Nathan looked from the convulsing man in his death throes to the bloodied dagger, to his own bloodied hand. The dagger nearly slipped as his hands began to tremble. It was as if all reason had temporarily left and returned with the speed of a bullet.
He killed someone. Even if he were to call someone the man was beyond anyone’s help. He backed up against the side of a building as panic and anguish began to take hold of him. All sound seemed to void the world as the man’s gasps began to slow before they finally stopped, forever.
Everything came back to him as a metallic smell reached his nose; he began to retch.
“No, no, no, no!” He nearly yelled. He wanted to scream out and cry but he knew he couldn’t; not yet. Without thinking he ran to the end of the alleyway abandoning his shirt and stuffing the dagger against his waistband in the process.
Nathan didn’t worry about how he got to Alice’s parents so quickly, nor did he worry about showing up on their doorstep half-naked. He furiously rapped on the door until a light came on inside.
“Hold on, hold on,” He heard Jane call. She threw open the door and raised an eyebrow at the shivering man on her doorstep.
“Jane, I know this is weird but-” Nathan began.
“Come in before someone sees you,” Jane said pulling him by the arm. “Heavens above what happened to you?”
“I was robbed,” Nathan said. He didn’t like how quickly the lie sprang to his lips but that was something to worry about later. “I’m sorry but could I use your phone? It’s kind of an emergency.”
“Sure, just try not to wake Erik,” She said handing over an old cellphone. “Knowing him he’ll probably try to hunt down whoever did this to you.”
“Too late, let’s go hunt the son of a bitch down.” Alice’s father said as he entered the room.
“For heaven’s sake, it’s nearly eleven! Go back to sleep and let the police take care of this.” Jane said.
“And let the filth get away after beating up my son in law? You don’t let that happen to family!”
As they bickered Nathan excused himself to their bathroom and locked himself in. There was a body lying in a cold alley and his DNA was all over it. Even if the police believed he killed him in self-defense they would want to know how he came to possess the famous murder weapon. He only had one recourse left; he would have to call Joseph. The idea nauseated him, but he dialed quickly.
“Nathan, didn’t expect to hear from you so soon,” Joseph answered before the first ring ended. “Although I’d prefer you to call from your own phone I assume you’ve reconsidered our offer?”
“Of course not!” Nathan said quickly. “I was attacked, there was an accident, the dagger it- I-”
Joseph laughed sharply. “Say no more. It’s only been a couple hours and you’ve already got your first taste. It took Alice a week before she even warmed up to the idea.”
“Will you stop! She was-”
“Yes, yes. Believe what you want, it doesn’t really matter. Where are you Nath? We can have a cleanup crew there in minutes.”
Reluctantly he gave him the Spencer’s address and told him about the alley.
“Don’t worry Nath, any connection to you will be gone before sunrise. Don’t bother trying to contact us, this number will be disconnected so your in-laws don’t catch wind of us. We’ll contact you with an update in the morning.”
He breathed a sigh of relief as he went to end the call.
“Have a good night. Killer.” Joseph said before hanging up himself.
Nathan nearly flung the phone into the wall. He collapsed before the Spencer’s toilet and threw up.
And here we are at the fourth chapter! A bad night that only gets worse leads our titular character begins down a dark road that. Will he be able to take back control of his life? Did he ever have any control? Let’s find out.
In me news I’ve hit a rhythm with editing lately, it’s actually been fun lately in a relaxing sort of way. I think it’s because of how methodical editing is. Currently, with collage and other ventures, I’ve been investigating I’ve only been able to manage editing two chapters a day. But I finally graduate next month! There won’t be any walking across stages or anything of course due to the virus but I’m excited about this next chapter.
That’s all really the only other random thoughts I had were being twenty-four feels weird for some reason and I started reading a book called Unf* yourself. I don’t usually read self-help books but this one has been resonating with me so far.
If you like what you read here follow the blog for more, leave a like, and leave a comment telling me what you liked and disliked. Writers only get better with feedback.