His shadow was projected high on the wall as the light beamed in his back. He was still hunched over, paralysed as if his body had frozen dead.
‒ Hey, what happened here?
Cid was walking down the street, carrying his nicest saber in his back, handle behind his head. Destination: the annual martial arts and sword’s fest downtown. He had waited so long for that festival. He had spent every seconds of spare time honing his sword skills. He couldn’t help but smile, a chill ran up his spine and he started jumping around as he walked. Never did he do such a silly thing, scared of other people’s opinions. But today, he felt different, he felt light and free. He greeted every person he went by. Though not all would salute back, most had the decency of smiling back. Except for one. Cid was still jumping around, walking as he did so when the man bumped his shoulder. He was about to apologize, but the man yelled at him: “What’s your problem?”.
‒ I’m sorry sir, please excuse me, he said, on his way again.
But the man wouldn’t let go. He groped the teen’s backpack and pulled him closer.
‒ Apologies aren’t enough! he fiercely yelled.
Cid could now smell the alcohol in the man’s disgusting breath.
‒ You hear me chump? he then scolded.
“Yes, I hear you” thought Cid, “Quite clearly”. Again, he felt a chill through his nerves and felt better for a second. The man raised his fist. This was enough, Cid thrusted his knee in his antagonist’s stomach. The latter bent over, in pain. An elbow struck his nape, making him fall to his knees. The protagonist took a step back and walked away, slowly.
The adrenalin was still washing away when he reached the festival. Proud of his self‒defence skills, he walked into the fight simulation stand.
Dusk was falling as Cid walked back toward his house. As he passed the spot where he had kicked a random guy’s ass, he heard screams from a nearby backstreet. He looked down the alley but saw nothing. A scream was shouted again, triggering a reaction in Cid’s mind. He started walking between the buildings. Shadows seemed to move, black over black. He was drawn forward only by the pained screams that echoed in his ears. They were getting scarier, weaker also. Each one seemed to count down to some horrible act. Cid suddenly thought about what could be lying wherever he was going. Why the hell was he going? What was he doing running straight into the shadows? But a pained scream reverberated in his mind and he rushed ahead.
His sword was drawn out. The close‒to‒raped teenager girl was in a corner, weeping. While the other man stood there, laughing. Cid was not controlling his body at all. All in his mind told him to play it safe, go to the girl, and get her out of here. But his body maintained its threatening position, and he could only try to imagine what would happen.
‒ I’m not letting you go this time, snarled the man.
He drew a switchblade from his pocket and stabbed it forward. Cid had no difficulty dodging the weapon. He then slashed his sword upwards, cutting the man’s forearm off. Blood flowed from the wound as the man fell to his knees, once again. Pained screams echoed into the night. It was enough, the man is down, he could leave with the girl, and it would all be over. But something wouldn’t let him do so. He stared at the blood and the man in atrocious pain. A rush raced through his entire body as he sent down his blade on the defenceless neck.
His shadow was projected high on the wall as the light beamed in his back. He was still hunched over, paralysed as if his body had frozen dead, just like the body he’d been staring at for a while, a girl weeping in fear in a corner.
‒ Hey, what happened here? shouted the officer flooding Cid with light.
He walked closer.
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