Immediately after waking up, the body’s first reaction is to open its eyes, but this wasn’t
the case with Heather, at least not this time. She knew something bad had happened to her and
keeping her eyes closed gave her a fake feeling of safety. When she came back to her senses, she
didn’t know if she had been out for ten minutes or ten hours or even whether she was in the same
place. What woke her was a strange voice whispering close to her. Her last memory was of
walking with Apollo to his car. Then he started acting really strange and pushed her.
Was this his plan all along? Or did something else happen?
Her dark thoughts were interrupted by the strange voice. Heather perked her ears. It
wasn’t Apollo, she concluded. She couldn’t understand what the voice was saying but she knew
it wasn’t English. Her ears finally caught something vaguely familiar.
“In nomine Patris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.”
Latin. It’s a prayer. Someone is saying a prayer. Maybe I’m in a church.
The drop of water that hit her forehead startled her and brought back the memory of
Martin, the sexual predator who’d kidnapped her when she was a child. She’d been rescued
before he could molest her, but he’d woken her just like this, with drops of water to her forehead.
Since then, having water dropped on her forehead was the thing she hated and feared most in her
life. Once she’d fallen asleep outside and a rain drop had fallen on her. Another time, a college
friend had done it as a joke. Each time, Heather woke up screaming and crying, with images of
Martin flashing through her mind. Heart racing, Heather quickly opened her eyes, only to see
Martin standing over her.
No it can’t be him. Martin is dead. He was executed a long time ago.
She blinked and when she opened her eyes the second time, Martin was gone. Instead, a
bald man appeared in front of her. He was chanting the same prayer over and over again. His left
hand was right above her head, holding a small bottle, which looked just like the ones flight
attendants serve. It was tilted slightly and with every “Amen” spoken, the man let a drop of
liquid fall on Heather’s forehead. As it hit her skin, the liquid mixed with the blood from the cut
on her forehead, oozing over her nose and eyes. Heather wanted to move, to get up and run away,
but the fear paralyzed her.
The strange man had no reaction when she opened her eyes. He remained still and kept
staring right at her, chanting, like he was hypnotized.
“In nomine Patris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti, Amen,” he repeated.
But he stopped before dropping the liquid on her forehead with the ‘Amen’.Then, she
heard a muffled sound and blood started dripping from the man’s opened mouth right on
Heather’s face. He collapsed next to Heather, his head hitting the asphalt near her left ear. In the
few seconds of perfect silence that followed, she couldn’t hear him breathe. He was dead.
Heather started screaming. The loud noise filled up the narrow dark alley. Out of the same
darkness, a man’s silhouette appeared in front of her. Before she could realize who it was, he had
his hand pressed tightly against her mouth.
“Be quiet,” Apollo said as he looked beyond the dumpster like he was searching for
A muzzled sound came from her mouth.
“Are you okay?”
Heather shook her head.
“Listen to me very carefully,” he continued while his hand was still pressed against her
mouth. “Your life is in danger. If you want to get out of here alive, you have to do what I say,
when I say it. Do you understand?”
“I’m going to take my hand off your mouth, but you have to stop screaming.”
She nodded again.
Apollo removed his hand. Heather didn’t make a sound. She looked left, at the dead man
lying next to her. Just as she did, his hand twitched. Heather screamed again. This time, her own
hand covered her mouth.
“Here’s what I want you to do,” Apollo said, his green eyes glinting in the faint
light.“When I say ‘now’, run to the car, get into the passenger seat and put the key into the
ignition. Stay as low as possible. I’ll be right behind you.”
“What if you don’t make it?”
“If I don’t, neither do you,” he replied with a calm voice.
He peeked over the dumpster.
He handed her the car keychain and she nodded.
Apollo stepped out from behind the dumpster and started shooting in the direction they
came from. Heather got up and started running straight to the car. She got in and, as instructed,
placed the key into the ignition. She curled up on the seat and waited. The few seconds she
waited seemed like minutes. Heather moved her head between the front seats to see what was
happening behind her. Apollo was moving slowly toward the car, his back to it, shooting down
the alley. When he emptied his clip, he ran and got into the driver’s seat. He reloaded his gun,
dropping the empty clip on the floor of the car, and placed it in his lap.
Before Heather finished her sentence, a bullet came out of the darkness, shattering the
rear window. The bullet missed Apollo’s head by inches and exited the car through the
windshield, cracking it. Heather screamed again, this time without bothering to cover her mouth.
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