((WARNING: VIOLENCE AND STRONG LANGUAGE))
Healing and learning the fine arts of Mixed Martial Arts, honing skills to not only protect herself but also learning self-control. She amazed her coach with her diligence and willingness to push herself to the limit. Excelling at knife throwing, hand to hand combat and mastering the target practice at a shooting range, she also got her pistol permit. Buying a Smith and Wesson 9 mm and a nice holster for easy access, Raven felt safe and secure when out on the streets. No one was ever going to hurt her again.
Looking at her watch, Raven knew she had to hurry if she was going to catch the sixth season of the Walking Dead. Putting the last of her groceries in the cart, she looked up the soda isle of the Mini Mart and there he was. Paling, she abandoned her cart and hid behind an end cap of Dr. Pepper bottles. Breathing heavily, heart palpitating like crazy, she peeked around and a second look confirmed the man she’d just seen was her attacker. She put the hood of her jacket up, boldly walking by him out the door to her car. The groceries could wait.
Raven watched as he paid for a blunt wrap and a forty-ounce bottle of Rolling Rock. White-knuckled hands gripping the steering wheel, her body trembled with anticipation. When he came out, she started the car, waiting until he was a safe distance away before following him. Funny, she thought, he didn’t seem as tall as she thought he was. The thug walked in the direction of East and Patton Street, over by the projects. Stopping to unscrew the top of his beer in the brown bag, she watched as he took a long swig, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. It was now or never.
Parking the car, she got out and followed him on foot. At one point, he stopped as if he knew she was there and turned around quickly. But she anticipated it and had already ducked into the nearest doorway. Funny how calm and collected she felt, touching her sidearm for comfort. Peeking around the doorway, she saw him just as he turned the corner and ran to catch up. Turning into an alley, Raven felt a moment’s hesitation when she saw how dark and desolate it was. She knew she was taking a big risk, but couldn’t stop herself. Heart pounding, she started walking between the old brick buildings. She could hear the sound of people going about their daily lives; yelling, arguing, dogs barking, babies crying and she almost jumped out of her skin when a garbage can tipped over revealing a feral cat running for cover. Her attention disrupted by the cat; she didn’t see him until he stepped out from the shadows.
“Well, what have got here?” he growled, his lips curled into an ugly sneer, “You’ve been following me. Why?”
Trembling, Raven wanted to kick herself for her stupidity.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” she argued, “I always come down this way! It’s not my fault you just happened to be ahead of me.”
“Oh, really?” he drawled, “Where’s your car, bitch? I saw you get into that nice little Nissan back at the Mini Mart. Why’d you park it?”
Taking another long swig from his beer, he set it down on the pavement and lunged at her, slamming her back against the brick building.
“I know who you are, lady,” he growled, “I should’ve killed you that night! What are you looking for? Some more of what I got?”
Pressing his face against hers, she could smell his fetid breath and gagged. Raven brought her knee up, slamming it into his groin. Moaning in excruciating pain, he doubled over, and she brought her knee up again to smash into his face, breaking his nose. As he fell to his knees, blood spurting from between his fingers, she got behind him, pressing her knife hard against his throat.
“Don’t fucking move,” she whispered, “You move, my hand just might slip.” For emphasis, she pressed harder, drawing blood.
“No, I’m good, lady, I ain’t moving,” he said calmly, holding out his hands, “Hey, it’s all good, right? No need to get all bent just because some dude took your virginity. I bet deep down inside you enjoyed it, right?”
She planned on scaring the shit out of him, but what he said put her right over the edge. In one swift motion, she slit his throat from ear to ear. Getting close to his ear as he lay dying in a pool of bright red arterial blood, she whispered, “No, I didn’t enjoy it, asshole. But I sure enjoyed this.”
Laying him down, she kissed his forehead. “Thanks for the good time. Bitch,” Raven said, kicking him viciously in the ribs. Surveying the alley, seeing the coast was clear, she jogged back to her car, sitting inside of its comfortable interior and closing her eyes. She wasn’t sure how she felt or if what she felt was normal. It sure as hell wasn’t remorse! To be honest, she felt elated, powerful. More in control of her life than she ever felt before. Driving home, she knew what she wanted to do with her life.
“In the local news tonight, authorities are investigating a rash of murders throughout the city. What makes them all extraordinary, Chief of Police Brian Adams told our reporters, is that each of the victims are reported to have rape charges that were at some point dropped for lack of evidence. Chief Adams stated that in all his twenty years on the force, this has been the first time vigilante activity has been reported. Now, on to the weather….
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