Another nightmare, this one far worse than the others had been. The only reason Bonnie didn’t appear, seconds after I woke up screaming, was the fact that she wasn’t home. She and her business partner have an on again, off again relationship and tonight it was on.
I waited until I’d stopped shaking enough that I could navigate my way to the bathroom, where I puked up my guts. After brushing my teeth and rinsing with mouthwash, I took a scalding hot shower in an attempt to wash away the horrors of my dream. When the water finally turned cold I stepped out, drying off with shivering hands before getting dressed.
There was no way I’d get to sleep unless I found a way to unwind. But not at a club. Right now that wasn’t something that even began to sound interesting. So I put on my jacket and headed out for a long walk through the dark streets of the city.
By the time I became aware of my surroundings again, I realized I was in an area I’d never seen before. Not that that was too surprising. I tended to stick to the neighborhood around the diner and the apartment as much as possible.
From what I could see I was in the backwaters of the city. The buildings were rundown and many of them looked vacant. Graffiti covered the walls and windows. Trash filled the alleys and to a lesser degree the streets. Stopping, I looked around, wondering which way would lead me back to something resembling civilization.
The sound of approaching footsteps had me moving fast to the nearest doorway where I tried to blend into the shadows. Two men, no I take that back, two punks came into view. They paused a few feet away, laughing the way people who are stoned or drunk do as they talked about the man they’d just robbed. Then the taller one looked around as if he sensed new prey—me to be exact.
He grinned when he spotted me. “You shoulda covered that mop if you didn’t want to be found,” he said as he came towards me.
I felt the fight-or-flight instinct assail me. Flight was the better option and I knew it but I had the feeling getting past both of them probably wasn’t happening as the other punk moved closer to his buddy.
“Come here cutie.” The taller one said as he reached for me. “Let’s see what we have to play with.”
With no recourse at the moment, I let him pull me out into the dim light on the street. Still gripping my arm he spun me around like one of those ballerinas on a music box.
“Nice bit of work, we can have fun with you.”
I so didn’t think that was going to be an option. Now I’m not stupid, even walking from the apartment to one of the clubs I make certain I have something to defend myself. It’s just knowing when to use things to their optimum advantage. In spinning me around he made it easier for me to get the pepper spray from my pocket without either of them being aware. As he stopped me I was facing him. Seconds later he was screaming as he clawed his eyes. His pal, being the dumber of the two, just stood there wondering what was going on. So I showed him.