Bradley was waiting in the elevator going to the third floor. He was making a visit to his girlfriend Cindy at her apartment. When the elevator reached the floor the doors opened and he stepped out into the hall. On his way to the door Bradley passed by several unfamiliar people but didn’t stop to greet them, he just kept walking. When he arrived at her door he reached out to knock but stopped. There was a note on her door addressed to him:
Bradley, Meet me at the park. ~Cindy
It was a little odd, but Bradley shrugged it off and turned to leave. He paused for a moment, he thought he smelled something. It was a faint sinister smell, like smoke. One of the residents of the apartment building must be a smoker, he thought to himself. He disregarded it and walked back to the elevator.
* * *
Bradley arrived at the park. He got out of his car and looked around, it was dark; about eight pm already. He was wondering why Cindy would want to meet him here, and at such a late hour. Bradley began to walk along a path and look for her. He approached a park bench and sat down, wondering when she would show up; or if she was already here. He looked up at the lamp overlooking the park bench. There were moths flying all around the light, wanting to get at its mystifying glow. About ten minutes pass. Then he heard something.
Bradley sat up and looked around. He thought he heard Cindy’s voice. After a few moments of nothing, he decided that it was just his imagination. He leaned back and looked at his watch, it was nearing eight twenty. Bradley sighed.
“Bradley over here!”
Bradley jolted to a stand; he definitely knew that that voice just now was not his imagination. He looked around and called out her name,
“Cindy where are you?”
“I’m over here!”
Bradley started towards the sound of her voice when his phone rang. He picked it up and stared at it, the person who was calling him was Cindy. He was confused, but then he just figured that Cindy might have thought that he needed more help finding her so she would call him. He answered it;
“Bradley? Why do you want me to meet you at the park?”
“What? But aren’t you the one who-”
“You sent me a note a few hours earlier remember? It said that I should meet you at your apartment at an earlier time, so I went out to go to your apartment. When I got to your place you left that note on your door saying to meet you at the park, what’s so special at the park?”
“But Cindy I- . . . Cindy?”
Noises on the other end stopped, and he could hear something else on the other end growing louder, it wasn’t from Cindy. It was quiet, but slowly grew louder and louder; static.
Bradley ended the call and tried to call her again, when he tried to talk all he could hear on the other end was static. The static slowly got louder and louder until it was blaring into his ear. He put his phone away; maybe she was just playing a prank. It was a good set up, in a dark park, alone. He knows that he didn’t send her a note saying to meet him at his place; a few hours before he was out doing something else.
“I’m over here! Hurry up!”
Bradley heard her voice again.
“I’m coming!” He shouted and walked quickly towards the sound of her voice. He got to where he thought it was coming from, but there was no one there. It was near a small brick building, probably restrooms.
“Cindy are you here?” He walked towards the building, trying to adjust his eyes to the dim light that was emitted from the buzzing light bulb of a lamp near the front of the building. He could hear the crickets chirping and wind rustling the leaves in the trees. And he smelled smoke.
The crickets in the background stopped chirping. Bradley looked and saw someone leaning against the brick wall, it was dark and he could only make out the fact that there was someone there. He walked towards her and extended his arm. She also held out her hand and took his in hers.
“Cindy why are we-?”
Her hand clenched his, and he pulled back a little. Now in the light he saw that the hand was wearing a dark reddish glove, and was larger than a normal hand. It was not Cindy at all. He gasped and tried to pull away.
That voice, it started as Cindy’s but ended up as a dark and sinister voice, the likes of which he had never heard before. He tried again to pull away when suddenly the gloved hand clenched his hand tightly. So tightly he felt his fingers go numb.
“Let go of me!” He shouted, still trying to pull away. The owner of the hand stepped out more into the dim light. He was tall, taller than anyone Bradley had ever seen. Somewhere between eight and nine feet, he was dressed in a black outfit, with a black trench coat and a white tie. His face was covered with a bandanna that had a horrifying face of piercing yellow eyes and a large grin of sharp teeth painted on it.
Bradley screamed, and the strange man was silent. Bradley jerked his hand back but the man kept his grip, and tightened it more. The man leaned down and stared at Bradley, and everything seemed to stop. They stared at each other in silence.
Suddenly, with a flick of his wrist, the man twisted his hand and broke Bradley’s wrist. Bradley screamed, and the man squeezed his hand again, breaking the bones in Bradley’s hand.
Bradley shrieked, hoping that someone would hear and come to his rescue, but no one was around. He reached out his undamaged arm and grabbed the man’s wrist to try and pry it off his ruined hand. The man made a dark growling noise and shot out his other hand, seizing Bradley’s arm above the wrist. He pressed down with his thumb, and the bone in Bradley’s arm snapped. Bradley screamed yet again.
The man let go of Bradley’s arm, and lifted him by his ruined hand. The man lifted him until he and Bradley were eye to eye; Bradley’s feet were no longer touching the ground. Bradley had stopped screaming, he was only gasping for air now. The skin on his wrist was ripped and blood was running down his arm. The man stared at him, the face on the bandanna covering his face grinning; those unseeing eyes glaring at Bradley’s own eyes. The man raised his other arm, and reached towards Bradley’s face.
“Please! Let me go!” Bradley pleaded; the man put his hand on Bradley’s head.
“If you let me go I promise I won’t tell anyone the truth!” The man gripped down on Bradley’s hair, his fingers digging into Bradley’s skin.
“I won’t even tell the police or my girlfriend or even the doctors the truth!” The man flexed his fingers, once, twice, three times.
“I’ll say it was an accident! Like maybe I was walking and a rock fell or or-” The man stopped, and so did Bradley. They stared at each other once more. A flicker of hope sparked inside Bradley, maybe the man would let him go! Maybe he could escape! Maybe he could-
The man gripped down and clenched his hand, crushing Bradley’s skull. He let go of Bradley’s ruined hand, holding him only by his crushed skull. He seemed to watch in pleasure as blood ran down the fresh corpse’s neck and stained its clothing. After around a minute he let the body drop from his hand. The corpse fell onto the cement and blood sprayed onto the man’s shoes.
The man reached into his coat and pulled out a lighter and a pack of cigarettes. He took one out and lit it, and put the lighter and other cigarettes back into his jacket. Using his other hand he adjusted the bandanna on his face so that the part covering his mouth was rolled up. His skin was a pale white, and his face was blank; the skin around where his mouth should be seemed to rip, bleeding black blood and revealing sharp red teeth. He put the cigarette into his mouth and leaned against the brick wall.
* * *
After a little while someone else was walking along the path which the now deceased Bradley had walked earlier. The man looked over and grinned when he saw. He took the cigarette out of his mouth and flicked it away; it landed on Bradley’s corpse and went out. The man reached out one of his long arms and grabbed the corpse, pulling it behind the building to hide it. He readjusted his bandanna so it hid his ‘face’ again and reassumed his position of leaning against the brick wall, concealed by darkness.
* * *
The person approached closer, she seemed to be walking quickly. She was looking for someone.
“Bradley? Bradley are you here? Why would you want to meet me at the park this late? Why did you hang up on me earlier? Where are you!? ”
Cindy looked around in a hurry, she was getting frustrated and worried. She grimaced and fanned the air around her face when she suddenly smelled tobacco smoke. She called out again:
“Bradley where are-”
“I’m right over here.” She heard Bradley’s voice.
Cindy saw the brick building, and she saw someone leaning against the brick wall in the dark.
“There you are! Shame on you; you had me worried sick!” She walked quickly towards him, standing beside that brick wall. She was angry at him, but at the same time very relieved that he was alright.
“What are we doing here? Why do I smell-” She reached out her arm to pull him away from the wall and into the light.