TITLE: Out of the Ashes
GENRE: YA Paranormal
I was used to being followed. That was the whole point of wearing the cape. The red seemed to draw them out; it was like a beacon in the night, a bull's eye screaming: Come and get me.
And that's exactly what I wanted.
Don't get the wrong idea. I'm no hero. The cape is just for show. Attracting trouble isn't hard when you know what trouble looks for. By now, I had my act down to a science: young girl walking the streets of DC at night, red short cape with the hood pulled up for visibility, add a dash of helplessness in the form of a limp, and there you go. Instant damsel in distress.
Not that I was expecting any princes to jump out of the shadows. No, night after night, I hoped for just the opposite, looking to have a run-in with something far more fearsome. And wouldn't you know it? Tonight the formula worked like a charm.
There were at least two maybe three. I could feel their eyes on me as I turned to walk down the alley. About midway, I pretended to trip, dropped my keys to the ground. As I bent to pick them up, I heard footsteps approaching.
"Hey there, Red," one called in a rough grizzly voice.
I smiled to myself. It was almost too easy.
Acting like I hadn't heard, I straightened, walked faster.
"Where you going in such a hurry?" A second voice, this one lower than the first.