The tall man stood there, the yellow glaring eyes on his bandanna staring at her. He didn’t say anything, just looked. Esther saw him turn his head slightly, looking at the dead body of Ron, and then back to her. Finally her took the cigarette out of his mouth and flicked it to the ground.
“H-how long have you been standing there?” Esther asked. The tall man stared at her; she was beginning to have a small doubt that he even could talk at all. But then he uttered a short laugh and responded.
“About the time you started shattering the bones in his left hand.” He laughed again, and then was silent. He stared at her, as if waiting for something.
“Well?” He said impatiently.
“Huh?” Esther looked up at the tall, intimidating man.
“You got my attention. What do you want? One does not simply follow around a sadistic being without wanting something.” The amusement had gone out of his voice.
“Well, do you remember me?”
“I remember when I ripped your face. And I remember you that other night at the park when that fucker shot at me.” He growled.
“No, I’m not talking about that. It was twelve years ago, I was a little girl.” He remained silent, so Esther continued.
“I was with my father, and someone pointed a gun at us. He saw you coming so he went into an alley and . . . and he shot my father.” A tear came to her eye, but she wiped it away. “And then you came along and you killed him. You saved me that day . . .”
“I can remember all of my kills; but I don’t remember a little girl.”
“Whether you meant it or not; you saved me, and I’m very grateful.”
“ . . . ” He looked around at the alley they were in, “Strangely enough; this is the same alley.”
Esther looked around; she hadn’t noticed. The memory played back in her mind. She saw her father again, alive. And then she saw him fall, dead. Then the tall man came and killed that man. She paused, staring at that spot where her father had fallen.
“Well,” The tall man broke the silence, “is this all you wanted me here for? To tell me your life story?”
“Not exactly . . . My father was the only one that I had in the world, and when he died you avenged him. You’re the closest thing I have in this world because of that, and . . .” Esther paused and gathered up her courage, “I want to be with you.”
The tall man stopped and stared at her. If he had a face, she was sure that it would have shown a bewildered expression. Then he took out another cigarette and lit it. After thinking for a moment, he took a drag on his cigarette, and then looked back at her.
“You know,” He put his lighter back in his pocket; “you’re not like most humans I’ve met.”
Esther felt her hopes rise.
“For one thing,” He flexed his hand, “you’re still alive.” Suddenly he struck out his arm. Esther gasped and dodged, his hand slammed into the wall, causing it to crack a little. Esther stepped back from him; she stepped over the bloody hammer.
Barbed tendrils projected from his back, but, surprisingly, he didn’t use them. He took a step forward, a growl rising in his throat. Esther looked down quickly and grabbed the hammer. Clutching the bloody tool, she took a step back as he took another one forward. He lunged forward again with his arm, she dodged to the side and his hand slammed into the wall. He took a few steps forward, and then turned around to face her. Then entryway to the alley was now wide open.
Esther took a look at the alley’s entrance; she could get away if she ran. She looked back at the tall man, his malicious tendrils swaying in the air. She had the chance to run, but she stood her ground.
The tall man took a few steps forward; with his hand he hit the wall again, cracking it more. The growl grew louder, but still she did not run. He stepped closer, and his growling stopped; but then it turned into a horrifying roar. Esther was frightened, but still, she did not run. The tall man lifted one of his red-gloved hands as if to strike again. Esther clenched her fists and pulled her eyes shut, finding it ironic how her first encounter, and her last encounter, with the tall man was in this same alley.
Suddenly, the tall man put his hand down. His stance changed from aggressive to normal, and his tendrils receded into his back. Esther opened her eyes when she realized that the death blow wasn’t coming.
“Hmm, you had the chance to run, and you didn’t.” The tall man took the cigarette out of his mouth and blew smoke in the air, and then replaced it in his mouth. “That either means you’re incredibly stupid, or you’re serious about this.”
“Yes, I am serious!” Esther replied, putting down the bloodied hammer. “But, that was just some sort of test?”
“Oh please, if I wanted to kill you then I’d have killed you.” He scoffed, but then turned back to the matter at hand.
“And you didn’t fight back, which probably means you won’t oppose me if you disagree with my methods.”
The tall man walked over to Ron’s dead body. “This, while not bad, didn’t seem to have been thoroughly thought through. If people saw you with this guy then you’d be a top suspect; not to mention fingerprints.”
The tall man took the chain in his hands and broke it easily, and then he tossed the chain to the floor. Then he picked up the dead body in his hands. He grabbed it by its back and neck, and in one quick motion snapped its spine. Dropping it to the floor, he looked back at Esther.
“Now people will think I did it, you can just say you saw me and ran.” He pondered for a moment. “I guess you could become an asset to me.”
Esther waited patiently, wanting to hear the final answer desperately.
The tall man took another drag on his cigarette. Then, finally, he answered; although with a bit of a reluctant tone in his voice.
“Fine, you can tag along.”
Esther gasped in joy, and ran towards him with her arms out; but he stopped her.
“No, no hugs. I hate hugs.” Esther stopped and just looked at him, smiling.
“However, if you go against me, you’re dead. If you mess me up on a kill, you’re dead. If you rat me out, not that the police could take me on, you’re dead. And don’t think that because of this that makes up friends. I’m not waiting for you, if you become a casualty during one of my kills, I’m not mourning you; and if you can’t keep up, I won’t slow down.” The tall man turned and started walking towards the entrance of the alley.
“Hey, we never introduced ourselves; my named Esther, what’s yours?” Esther began to walk after him.
The tall man stopped at the entrance of the alley and turned his head slightly towards her.