The next day, Esther is wondering about the tall man again. She thinks she may have approached too strongly, but she was determined to talk with him again. She had the day off today, so she planned on looking for him again.
* * *
Esther walked around the park that she had seen the tall man in. It was still early in the day, but she wanted to see if she could find him. She passed by several people, but not the tall man. She thought she saw him once, but it turned out she was wrong. Plenty of times she smelled smoke, but they were just regular people smoking.
Then she decided to go deeper, Esther found the little dirt path that he was walking the other night. She followed it into the woods to look around. She didn’t want to get lost, so she stayed on the trail. Esther searched the trees and looked for a sign of him, but she found none.
She saw several animals, which was nice; a large stag, a frisky squirrel or two. Esther decided to try the more urban areas. She walked out of the forest and through the park to reach the sidewalk.
She decided to check areas where she had previously seen him. She checked the area where he had struck her, he wasn’t there. She checked the area where he had pushed that man into the road, he wasn’t there either. Feeling discouraged, she was about to go search random areas, but then she remembered something. Esther quickly walked over to where the tall man had stood; he may have been in the shadows like he was last time. But when she got there, it was empty. The only things there were a few tools lying on the ground.
Esther sighed and leaned against the wall. She didn’t know where to look, and she certainly didn’t want to walk every block of the whole city. She picked up one of the tools, a large hammer. It was a bit heavy, but she managed to hold it. Looking at it, she thought about the tall man. Thinking about what he does, what he must like.
If she couldn’t find him, then she would make him find her. Esther thought to herself; how could she draw his attention? Preferably something that would impress him. An idea came to her mind. Esther got off of the wall and started to walk back home. It was a crazy idea, risky too; but it was worth a shot.
* * *
The next day, time to get back to work. On her way to work, Esther walked by the park again. Hoping to see the tall man she looked at the assorted trails again; only a few citizens on the normal paths. She looked towards the dirt path with high hopes; but he wasn’t there.
She started work like normal. Everything was normal; she was content because she had more time to think. Then Ron arrived. Esther tried to avoid him, but he confronted her.
“What was that all about?” He asked with a slight annoyed tone in his voice.
“Hmm?” Esther casually replied.
“You slapped me! And that monster could have killed you!” Ron ordered a beer, and then waited for her to reply.
“Probably my fault.” Esther mumbled to herself.
“By the way; what were you doing!?” Ron received his beer.
“That’s none of your business.”
“You said ‘You could have killed-’. I remember, because then you slapped me! What? Were you worried that I shot that thing? It’s a monster, it deserves to die!” Ron took a drink; Esther felt like slapping him again. She controlled her anger.
“What I meant was that you could have killed me if you missed him.” Then she forced herself to say “I know it’s a monster. And . . . and it deserves to die.”
“Well, I’m not THAT bad of a shot, I didn’t miss my target.”
Esther got up and began to walk away. Ron saw her leaving and shouted after her.
“Hey! I saved your life! You didn’t even say thank you!” Esther didn’t stop, Ron continued “Don’t I receive some kind of prize? Maybe, uhhh, maybe we could have dinner?”
Esther sighed, frustrated; but she didn’t give him an answer. Then she remembered something, but she didn’t want to seem odd, so she continued her work.
About half an hour later she walked over to Ron.
“Yes.” She said simply, nothing more.
“Huh? ‘Yes’ what?” Ron looked at her, confused.
“Yes, we can have dinner.”
“What!? Really!? Finally!”
“But after work alright?” Esther got up to start sweeping the floor.
* * *
It was late; they had just finished having dinner at a restaurant. Esther thought it was decent, although she didn’t really care for Ron. He had a bad habit of interrupting, and didn’t really listen.
“I had a good time,” Ron commented, “maybe we could do this again sometime? I’ll see you again tomorrow probably.”
“Tomorrow? It’s kind of late, want to stay over at my place?”
“W-what!?” Ron paused “You’re pl- . . . Sure! I’ll drive us!” Ron reached into his jacket to take out his car keys, but Esther stopped him.
“It’s only a little ways away, you can come back for your car later. I think walking would be nice.”
“Alright then.” They began walking, Esther leading him towards her apartment.
On the way there, Esther stopped them. She pointed towards an alley.
“Hey, did you see that?” There was a hint of worry in her voice.
“What!? What is it!?” Ron grew anxious.
“I thought I saw a tall guy go in there! The one with the tendrils!” Esther took a few steps towards the alley. Ron took out his gun and ran towards it; he pointed his gun into the alley and walked in.
“I don’t see anyone in here.” Ron scanned the alley, “You sure you saw that monster?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.” Esther walked in after him; she reached down and picked something up off of the ground. “Go a little more; stand next to that pipe on the wall, you might be able to see him then.”
Ron walked over to the pipe, but he still didn’t see the tall man. “I don’t see anyone!”
“Well, it might have been my imagination.” Esther walked towards him; Ron noticed that she was holding a chain.
“Well, should be continue to your apartment then?”
“Why? This place is dark; we’re the only ones here.” Esther gazed at him. He realized what she was talking about and grinned.
“Yeah, I guess we are.” Esther took the gun out of his hand and set it on the floor. Ron held out his arm to put it around her, but suddenly she ran towards him with the chain. Before he could react, she wrapped it around him and locked it against the pipe on the wall.
“H-hey! What are you doing!?” Ron shouted, confused.
“You’ll see.” Esther walked towards something on the ground; it was a newspaper with something under it. She lifted the newspaper revealing the items underneath it; a hammer and a rag.
“I’m a little sorry that I have to do this; but then again I’m not. You weren’t exactly a gentleman tonight. Too bad you won’t have time to reform your ways.”
“What!? What’s wrong with you!?”
“This isn’t something I’d normally do; but I can’t think of anything else.” She walked over to him and gagged him with the rag. “I had a chance to talk with him, and you kind of ruined that. Consider this payment for that.”
Ron struggled to release himself, but was unsuccessful.
“Also, you trying to catching him isn’t really a good thing either.” Esther held up the hammer. “Well, enough talk, goodbye Ron.”
Esther swung the hammer towards him.
* * *
Esther leaned against the wall, exhausted. The hammer was pretty heavy, but it worked well.
Ron was now on the floor, trembling. All of the bones in his hands were broken, along with his arms and legs. He was bleeding heavily from several areas where Esther had used the other side of the hammer; the one used for taking out nails.
It had been about twenty minutes. Esther decided to finish it. She picked up the hammer and walked over to Ron.
“By the way; I don’t think he’s a monster. And I don’t think he deserves to die.” Esther swung the hammer. The side of the hammer used for taking out nails stabbed Ron in the temple; killing him instantly.
Esther pulled the hammer out of his head and dropped it to the floor, breathing heavily. The excitement of the situation almost made her forget why she was doing this. She leaned against the wall to rest. A familiar smell was in the air. How long has that been there?
Esther got off of the wall and turned around, only to become face to face with the tall man.