The scorching Hades’ vapors rose throughout the concrete jungle of countless miles of shabby homes, and boarded-up buildings. At the corner, filled with vulgar men and teenagers displaying their herd mentality: sexual gestures, hooting, and hollering to the streetwalkers. The prostitutes moved on, taking their cue; I did too.
Droplets of sweat dripped on my back as I strolled. My mother’s voice nagged at me, wearing Daisy Dukes, a short tight top, and my dirty white tennis shoes. For I was proud of my slender physique and my plump breasts.
But I couldn’t change my clothes. My boyfriend and I had a violent argument when his unstoppable wrath erupted. That’s when I scrammed from our apartment. On my way out, I snatched my purse.
I spotted trouble. Piercing eyes generated a frigid chill, seizing my spine. A shadowy figure emerged a half block away. Creepiness rushed into my skin forming goosebumps. I wished I hadn’t sold my pistol. My boyfriend had persuaded me; I regretted that decision.
The silhouette approached.
Panic engulfed me; I searched for refuge. Paradise Diner across the street with faded ocean waves painted on the windows. I dashed. A brand-new 1990s Cadillac whizzed by me. My heart pounded.
Air whooshed. “Hey, Dumbo!” I shouted.
I entered. The realistic paintings of palm trees on the walls, multi-colored lights of seashells hung from the ceiling, and beach decor. The relaxing atmosphere calmed me. On a business trip with my dad in Charleston, we ate at a local seaside restaurant, and this cafe reminded me of the place.
I stopped, before crashing into the waitress in a bright-white, tidy, uniform with her brunette hair in a tight bun, and wore nurses’ shoes.
The woman zoomed by me.
“Am I invisible?”
At a corner table in the back, a tall, stocky man in a gray T-shirt and tan Khaki shorts stood. “Miss, are you okay?”
She rammed into me and I collided with the floor.
“So sorry! I didn’t see you.” She offered her hand. “The hot weather is making me crazy.”
I took her hand. “I’m fine. The heat is from Hades.”
The man appeared. “My father told me demons come out to play causing chaos to us.”
“I can believe it.” My legs shook, and everything spun.
A softness touched my arms. I missed that. My boyfriend’s rough hands carried such harshness just like his words.
“Please, my dear, come sit at my table. Alice, bring a glass of water?”
He tucked his arm under mine. I was safe from the evil lurking in the shadows outside. A few seconds later, I sat, sipping on the water.
“Are you feeling better?”
My body slowly relaxed, and I was protected in the cafe. “I walked for hours in this part of the city. I must have gotten lost somehow.”
He smiled. “It happens on a hot day like this, but you’re safe here.”
“My mind must play tricks on me. A shadow that looked like a man coming towards me.”
The waitress placed another glass of water on the table and stared at Sam.
A wave of dizziness hit me and everything spun as I placed my hand on my head. My fingers were wet. Blood was on my hand. It was my blood!
“What is going on?” I asked as panic filled me with dread.
Sam touched my arm. “Our time is short.”
“I don’t understand…”
“What do you remember?”
“Thomas, my boyfriend, and I had a nasty brawl. I refused to have sex with him. He tried to rape… A pain in my head.” I sobbed.
“He took his trophy, struck your head several times out of his rage.”
“I’m not dead!”
He patted my hand. “Not yet.” He sighed. “The hospital staff has worked hard to save your life to ensure your choice.”
“Are you death?” I studied him.
“Your Guardian Angel.” He paused. “You need to decide.”
A powerful desire to be a wife and mother filled me. Revenge pulsed through my veins for Thomas needed to pay for his crimes too.
In a bright room, shrieking alarms surrounded me, my body ached, and an exhausted man with a receding hairline wearing a pair of dirty scrubs examined me.
“I’m Dr. Morris, your physician at the ER.” He squeezed my fingers.
“Hospital?” I mumbled.
He nodded. “You’re recovering from a serious head injury. Relax, to allow the medicine to work.” He smiled. “You’re a lucky young lady that you survived the head trauma and the severe beating, but in time, I believe you will make a full recovery.”
“Where’s my mom?”
In the doorway, stood my mother in her sloppy clothes with dark bags under her eyes. She bolted to my bedside and held my bruised hand.
In the bed, I vowed to make a full recovery and hunt for Thomas to give him my revenge!
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