“I-I already did what you asked! Just let me go!” I wanted this to end; I couldn’t take the guilt any longer.
She shook her head. “Ah, ah, ah. Not yet, dear one. I never said you were finished. Ever since I found you, I knew you were special. You’re not like the others. You are not like your ancestors, who cowered before me at first glance.” She took a step forward. “I never expected such bravery from a small, frail girl like yourself. Even now, as I move closer, you stand your ground. Why is that?”
I didn’t answer. She was much more powerful than I’d expected, and I was no match. It surprised me she was alone, since Grandpa Ray said they always traveled in packs. Curious as to how Anita was all by herself.
“Choosing silence, aren’t we, Riley? Well, if you think I’m going to kill you now, I won’t. Not yet anyway. You’re still a great deal of value to me and I will not let it go to waste. You are not free. There are a few more tasks I need you to perform and time is running short. What?”
I was shaking my head. “I’m not your little bitch anymore. It ends now.”
Anita laughed, clearly amused by my defiance. “Really? You think you are in a position of power? Child,” she cooed as she glided closer. “Oh, poor little child. You have no choice. You know that, don’t you? For… if you refuse…” she dug into the pocket of her coat, “I’ll just have to have some fun with your friend a little sooner.” Anita held up a picture of Sean, my recent ex-boyfriend, but she didn’t know that. She smiled. “You don’t want that, do you?”
It was my turn to smile. “Is that how you compensate? Because you can’t find a lover on your own, you decide to take mine?”
Anita’s carefree expression started to fade. “What did you say?” she hissed, fire in her black eyes. I struck a nerve.
I took a step forward; we were inches apart. “I don’t have to do anything you ask. I can see through you. Your centuries have caught up, and you’re as fragile as I am.” I let the dagger slide down a bit. “Nice knowing you.” Then--as quick as lightning--she grabbed my throat as I stabbed her heart.
I’d plunged the knife so deep, all that stuck out was the hilt around which my hand was so tightly clasped. Blood like dark poison oozed out her chest and over my hand, leaving her body as if in escape. Her hand, which was around my neck, went stiff and still, no longer tightening. Her eyes, two pitch-black caves, widened. Her lips, a seductive red, were parted as blood trickled down her chin. Anita fell to her knees in front of me, pulling me down with her, for I still held the dagger.
She leaned in, her ragged breath in my ear, and said, “I… will come back… for you.”
“Good luck, bitch,” I said. Then I twisted the dagger and she croaked, her face contorted in pain. She started to fall back as I slid the dagger out. Anita crumpled to the ground, looking like any other human: weak. And dead. I wiped the blade on her pant leg, then got up and went home.
* * * * * * * * *
It has been one whole month, and I’d thought I’d been doing much better.
I was doing much better in school. Sean and I had even made up; I had to feed him a lie about my sick Aunt Benita. Things around me went on as normal. But at night….
At night… I was pulled back. She never left. There were nightmares in which… she would always run after me, catching me, biting me, then ripping me apart. Sometimes, when I’m alone in my room trying to do my homework… I hear her… hear her whisper…I… will come back… for you…. Then, I would have to check every inch of my room--under my bed, the closet--then lock my window before I could start to calm down.
I was edgy all the time. Everywhere I went, I was constantly vigilant, always making sure I had an eye on everyone I encountered.
The fact that I couldn’t see her frightened me more. She--like the rest of her kind--never went away. They were always here: physically or spiritually--if they even had a soul. Anita was always there, always in the back of my mind. I never stopped thinking about her, even while I laughed with friends, she was there.
I’d told Grandpa Ray that I’d killed Anita; he’d said he was proud of me, that I was able to handle myself at my age, ‘a true Slayer’ he‘d said. When he passed away, I realized that I was truly alone now. Mom and Dad dismissed Grandpa’s legends as simply stories. They didn’t know that Slayer’s blood coursed through our veins. Only I’d chosen--sort of--to accept it.