There are certain places a woman avoids in the dark. She might choose a lighted pathway on the sidewalk rather than a dark alley. She also might avoid walking home on the river valley trails late at night. Both are places women are often attacked or are just plain scary to be walking out late in.
Sidney didn’t care too much for her own safety. She often worked late into the evening as a legal assistant. She walked home every night no matter how late it was. She wasn’t afraid of the vagrants who roamed the streets at night and didn’t believe because some guy was walking behind her, he was out to get her. Generally, Sidney might be right in assuming she was safe walking home alone through river valley trails in the dark. She was only fifteen minutes from her apartment.
But there are things out there that are unesplicabley evil. People or creatures who prey upon the innocent and the ignorant. Sidney was both.
She was crossing the street from the sidewalks lit by lamps to the off leash trails in the park. Every now and then she would see a dog and it’s owners and they would wave and pass her by. But as she went deeper onto the gravel trail a strange sense of foreboding overtook her. The hair on Sidney’s nape prickled and her eyes searched the foliage for some form of life.
Suddenly, a large white northern dog took off down the trail nearly knocking her over. He pushed into her and whimpered. In barks and howls he talked to her, nosing her away from the trail and back the way she’d came. But Sidney crooned to the dog petting her and said: ” Oh it’s alright girl. Are you lost? Want to come home with me tonight? Maybe will find your owner on the way?”
The dog put up his ears as if he was listening before his ears went back and a deep growl came from his throat. Sidney backed away but the furry white dog went in front of her. He was trying to protect Sidney. But Sidney only paused a second before shaking her head at the dog and continued her way down the off leash trail. She stared back at the white dog who refused to come with her and was almost at the trails end when someone stepped out a few feet ahead of her in the darkness.
Sidney had never been afraid of the darkness on the trails. But the incident with the dog had made her heart pound loudly against her chest. And as she stared at the person she could barely see infront of her, all the warnings about strangers and dark places came into her mind unbidden.
The person was not moving from the place he stood on the trail. Sidney could tell it was a he from the person’s large stature and how tall he was. She casually reached for her iPhone illuminating the path slightly and ready to call 911 should she need to. “Hello” she ventured “was that your dog that came down the trail. She was a large white one, maybe a husky or some breed like that?”
The stranger walked closer and Sidney held her breath. The light from her phone illuminated the large man in a hoody now so close to her she could smell his cologne. He was what she would consider hot in a different situation. But his eyes were so dark that his pupils seemed too large. He took off his hood and Sidney saw he had short-cropped black hair. He had yet to answer Sidney and she was feeling scared. She was about to run for home when the stranger put a strong hand on her arm and smiled at her.
Sidney blew out a breath and tried to break free of the man’s grip but she couldn’t. She began to struggle and he gripped her other arm too.”Let me go!” She shouted and screamed until she was hoarse. The man only smiled alarmingly at her. Her Iphone fell from her manacled sweaty hand.
” Are you done?” He asked quietly. She shook her head and tried digging her nails into his arm but he didn’t budge. “That wasn’t my dog Sidney” the man said “but it was a good opportunity to go back and take a taxi.” Sidney stood in shock, a tear escaped her eye. “We should get going” he said.
“What, where?” Sidney cried. “How do you know my name?”
He shrugged. “We’re going to my place” he rasped. And before her eyes the man transformed into a giant creature, half eagle and half beast. He scooped Sidney up with his claws and she screamed and cried as they flew through the air and into the ever-deepening night.