tagNon-EroticRathbone Alley Ch. 01

Rathbone Alley Ch. 01


The stranger woke at dawn with the thrill of the hunt already upon him, fierce and untamed; imposing on his newborn consciousness a wild hunger.

Uncoiling from the sheets with lithe, serpentine precision, the man rose solemnly, to dress in the wan half-light of early morning.

As the sun ascended, slow and steady in the clouded sky, he dressed and preened before the dusty glass of an old mirror, regarding the reflection therein with a keen and meticulous interest. He was clothed in an ill-fitted and worn black suit; the coat patched in places and moth eaten about the collar, the pants just a bit too long, lapping over the brown shoes that sat untied on his feet.

A pair of smooth and able hands passed over the wrinkled fabric of the suit, and straightened the black cotton tie. He bent to inspect

the shoes. Like the suit, the loafers were fitted improperly, and worn apallingly thin at the heels.

Nimble fingers went to work at the laces, pulling the slim leather strands taught through the rusted eyelets, evenly crossing them over one another.

When he'd uprighted himself, he paused at the mirror again to draw in the sight of a finished product; imperfect, but fortified by ceaseless preparation and consummated in it's own resolution. And the needling sensation of excitement came over him then; warming his chest in the chill of the cool morning and radiating through his body. The feeling reverberated down the length of his spine and coursed the spindle-thin webbing of nerves gathered in his hands and feet, bringing to his pallid face a rosy trace of color.

With a final glance cast over his shoulder, the stranger extinguished the lights about him, and made his way quietly into the cold stillness of a city not yet woken.


From beneath the shadowy clutches of a monstrous nightmare, the girl emerged. The remnants of which still clung to her, as tangible as the weak light that meted into the dark room. Her mouth hung open as she struggled for breath, and her heart pounded a hard, constant rhythm against her breast. She searched the room fervently, unsure that the dream had ended.

With nothing in her immediate vision, she settled back in the pillows and breathed a sigh of relief, at last contented that she was safe. Her grip on the tangled bedclothes loosened and her mouth closed, turning slightly upward at the corners as the dream at last lost its' hold. She turned over to look at the time. The clock at her bedside had stopped sometime in the night, its' hands poised vertically in the upper hemisphere; impervious to the approach of day. She'd not had the clock for very long, but she'd come to expect little of modern electronics and was so relieved to have just been unfettered from her terrible dream that she simply shrugged, not giving it another thought, and threw back the covers.

The relief that had come over her lent itself to an unhindered exuberance, and she sprang suddenly from the bed into the hush of morning, leaving behind her the unpalatable blackness of the narrowly evaded nightmare.


The bland light of midday mirrored that of the morning with such similarity, the man found himself unable to gather a time from the blanched and seamless sky above. He speculated it was sometime after noon as a number of people could be seen shuffling toward the restaurants and sidewalk cafes hurriedly, impatiently ducking into the little bistros and sandwich shops that lined the busy street.

He watched all the bustle from a nearby park bench, one hand raised to his brow in a sort of visory fashion, his eyes panning over the crowd with ease. The day was young yet, which afforded him a good deal of time, and he scoped about leisurely, but not without attention to detail. When he found something to be pleasing to him, he was prone to a low, hoarse kind of chuckle, as if privileged to some private and vulgar joke.

Outwardly, nothing about him betrayed a sense of perversity or menace. His disheveled appearance, in fact, seemed to inspire sympathy from the passers-by, some of whom generously offered up their pocket change and lunch time leftovers, entirely unasked.

The stranger could only laugh at their acts of kindness; unashamed and with mild contempt. He found human compassion a curious thing, some mutant form of weakness to which he was unafflicted. And on such a day as this, so incongruous was it with his intention, that he could only laugh.


Before she even knew what time it was, darkness was already ushering in on the heels of evening, spreading across the slate-grey sky like spilled ink. The clouds had not seen fit to part that day, and there was no sunset, just the slow onset of night, marked by the arousal of streetlamps and the sudden and profuse glow of the houses at the city's edge, brought to life like smiling jack-o-lanterns.

About her, the lights flickered and twinkled as if bestowed with a secret knowledge, beckoning to her to forget her engagements and linger in the balmy air. Enraptured in the fair mysticism they seemed to offer, she allowed they did harbor some unknown wisdom, and smiled up at them with a child's wonder, imagining if she stood there long enough beneath the beaming orbs of their mock light, they might just tell her all they knew.


With the encroaching darkness of the night, had come a sudden wind, driven from the north and bitterly cold. The girl was not generally superstitious, but something in the rising wind unsettled her. Something sinister was carried on its' haunches; some unnamed evil of the night, armed with the ability to freeze the air and blacken the stars.

It had been that wind that had woken her, shaken her violently from the trance-like peace of her reverie and wrapped her in its cold arms, surrounding her with an uneasy sense of forboding. The streets had all but emptied. It was late and cold and she felt now, with some degree of certainty, that she was somehow very lost.


From a quiet place in the vastness of the shadows, the stranger watched with ravenous anticipation. His heart drummed wildly inside him. He wrung his hands around one another slowly, enforcing patience. He quieted his breath so he might more clearly hear the sounds she made. He paused; waiting, but there was nothing.....the sound of cars passing in the distance, trash blowing in the crisp air.

She stood some hundred paces away, the wind throwing her hair in all directions, her face illuminated by the stark light of the street lamp. He could see a streak of something wet, trailing down one of her cheeks; perspiration or a tear perhaps, and it excited him, this evidence of fear that gleamed beneath the pale light; an inviting aphrodesiac, thinly painted on her frightened features. He steadied himself against the swell of desire that surged through him and retreated further back into the darkness, patiently biding his time.

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