The Step


The man stood in the shadows. He felt most comfortable there, safe, because if no one could see him, they couldn’t hurt him. He observed the people as they went along with their busy lives. Talked on their phones, drank their lattes, chased their kids, cheated on their significant others, everyday things. He felt alive as he watched the normal people live their lives. Everything made sense in his world until the day he saw her, the day she walked by his shadow, ruined any hopes he had for happiness. That day he couldn’t stop himself as he stepped from the safety of the veil of blackness he wrapped himself in.

The rays of sun burned him as he took the first steps in thousands of years into the world of the living, the world she was in. The sizzle of his skin, the smell of singed flesh, quickly dissipated as his ancient body readjusted to the fieriness of the sun.

“Excuse me, ma’am.” He said as he picked up a piece of paper off the ground. “I believe you dropped this.” He handed it to her.

“No, that’s not mine.” She said as she looked down at the paper. “Thanks.” She turned to walk away.

“I’m sorry to bother you.” He took two large steps in the direction she was headed. “You look so familiar to me.” He matched her pace.

“No, I don’t think I’ve met you before. I think I would remember that.” Her eyes sparkled, and she tucked a piece of chocolate brown hair behind her ear.

“We must have met somewhere before. I feel like my soul knows you.” She stopped walking and turned towards him.

“Does that line actually work on people?” She sniggered. “Look, you’re sweet really but I’m running late.”

“Line?” He rubbed the whiskers on his chin. “I’m not sure what that means.”

“Here.” She handed him a business card. “My cell’s on it. Call me later, Okay?” She turned and stepped off the curb to cross the street. Screams of agony and pain filled his ears. A car had come around the corner so fast the driver didn’t have time to register the woman who stepped in front of it. The black car sped from the scene down the deserted road, no one around to call for help. The woman laid in the street. Blood dripped from her nose. Her eyes stared vacantly as he knelt down.

“You’re going to be alright.” He assured her.

“Please, it hurts.” Her voice creaked, tears rolled down her cheek.

“Trust me, this won’t hurt a bit.” He smoothed her hair and wiped the tear from her face. He opened his mouth, canines extended, and bit down on his wrist. Her eyes went wide. He held his wrist over her mouth. The blood flowed, and a drop fell free from his wrist. She turned her head.

“No.” She closed her eyes. Her heart stopped.

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