Sweet, sweet night air, thick with soot, ozone and sulfur dioxide; the ripeness of rot; the richness of rancid piss, and the squeal and snarl of recent death by tooth and claw. I inhale. Draw in deeply the rich prurient ambiance.
In my alley, in my alley, in the high dark hours, some savage beast is feasting on a still-warm kill in the oozing, overflowing dumpster to my right. To my left a dead rat gives birth to a hundred ravenous maggots.
Some dark, pungent syrup drips from the bottom of the dumpster and slithers like a snake toward the maggots.
In the far distance, a distressed thing squeals in unbearable agony and sudden death. All action in the alley ceases for a second. Time to get a fix on the location of the death hymn, in order to flee in the opposite direction, or move rapidly in that direction to share in or claim the spoils.
I'm not a scavenger, I'm not. I hunt and kill. My reward, my sumptuous feast of release, is in the killing. I'm not a greedy robber or lurking thief or degenerate molester, not at all. I hunt and kill because that is the song I sing. I'm hunting now, singing a song for the lost, inebriated, ignorant or greedy trespasser in my night kingdom.
I'm a gliding shadow slipping from alley to alley until I spy my prey. She is thin, too thin by far with a short dark skirt and light colored top.
She stands just inside the other end of the alley and peeks around the corner as if she is being pursued. She slumps back against the wall. She appears exhausted.
It is an easy kill, a bare handed, flesh-to-flesh satisfying kill. But, but I pause -- instinct, I suppose. Something is off just a fraction, a hair.
I wait too long. Two buffoons in local gang colors spy her as they walk by the alley. It is too good of an opportunity for the perverted predators to pass up.
One gangster steps into the alley and faces her. The other slips behind her and pins her skinny arms to her sides with one arm. He covers her mouth with his other hand. The grabber easily carries her deep into the bowels of the alley. The larger attacker is already ripping at her shirt. They have done this before, many times before.
I could take them both, but there are three of them ... it is too unpredictable. I start to turn away to sing my own dirge when the thin woman abruptly steps backward and slams her captor so hard against the wall that he loses his grip.
With one impossibly long, thin arm, she reaches out and grabs her other tormentor by the throat and drags him toward her. The shirt-ripper looks to be over six feet and at least 250 pounds. He cannot break her grip or stop her from dragging him.
The grabber is recovering. As he reaches for her, she turns and reaches her pipe cleaner arm down the front of his pants and yanks upward. The grabber screams and screams and the alley echoes and amplifies and hurtles the screams up and out.
She holds her bloody trophy high over her gaping mouth.
The other gangster is now a hysterical maniac in his frenzied efforts to escape -- all in vain.
I turn away as she drops the ragged bloody balls and torn penis into her eager mouth.
I seek the light. I race to the well-lit liquor store blocks away. I pause there in the light; catch my breath. The foul night stinks of fear that I cannot outrun, and now, and now, a dark narrow shadow falls across my path.