It grew late, and I was tired.
I had been tutoring all over New York today-from Brooklyn to down town Manhattan and to say my feet were sore was an understatement.
I guess that's what you get being a nineteen year old early grad student who decided to make extra cash teaching others who weren't as academically equipped.
I was still getting used to this large city, it seemed such a long way from the home I was familiar with, an exact five hour time difference.
But there was a need for me to be here and an apartment with my name on it donated through my father- the perfect place for me to lay low and keep safe- to never rattle cages and to give my mother a chance to calm down. She never understood my gift anyway.
I snorted at the word gift, more like a curse
It was dark out- but for a city that never sleeps I felt safe, even wandering through the empty streets of New York at eleven, I wondered if I should stop by Denny's on the way home- I hadn't eaten since this morning and my overgrown body was starting to rumble.
I twitched inwardly and yawned walking over the bypass of empty streets where traffic lights were flashing. I cornered down a dark alley way- It was a short cut home.
The air grew thin and silent as the streets noises whipped away around the buildings. Something felt off- Like all the air had dropped its tension.
My boots clicked and tapped in the lonely night like waiting prey as I hurried through the dark air, it always unnerved me- the dark. There was something unsettling about it that didn't sit right with me.
I shook away the many images that flooded my mind and pulled my coat round tighter- it was cold to add to the effect.
"Hey…Hey baby" a males voice echoed through the night's air but I ignored it- it sounded two blocks away, hardly anything I needed to concern myself over; the cars on the street were at that length.
Instead I pulled my bag over my shoulder and kept walking straight, my brown auburn locks bouncing with each step.
I kept my large blue eyes down as I heard it echo again.
"Hey baby where you goin'" A thick Brooklyn accent hit the air a little closer than I expected as a jolt of adrenaline and shock filled me.
Keep going, there not looking for you- keep moving, calm down
Instead of searching for the voice my legs carried on moving swiftly around another corner and further into the darkness.
I froze where I stood; in front of me a group of six men, they much taller than my 5 foot eleven frame and much stronger than I looked as well- they were older, maybe early thirties and all wore the same clothing- black with purple head bands and strange Japanese markings on their bare arms.
"D'ere she is- man aint you a piece" One of the man skipped up to me towering over me with a swagger that made my throat clog.
He smelt of sweat and blood, and the markings on his face determined why.
"I like 'em tall Johnny- bring 'er 'ere- I wanna see" I back away as a pair of hands tried to grab me from out in the darkness.
I gasped out of fright but felt myself stuck to the floor.
"What do you want?" I growled in a voice unlike my own.
"Come 'ere beautiful…I jus' wanna touch ya" A larger man appeared from behind me shoving me forward and against the nearby wall, hitting my head and back. But the pain was oblivious. Too much adrenaline and shock had taken over me.
I clutched at my bag, my legs visibly shaking and vibrating my entire body. I wasn't prepared for this- six weeks in this city didn't seem long enough to have an attack- It was foreign and frightening all at once.
"Please" I whispered closing my eyes as I felt four individual males breathing down my neck and onto my face.
"She smells good boys" Another came in as I felt my eyes water with the overall fear, my chest starting hyperventilating as my heart thundered in my chest.
And that's when I spaced out; only for a few seconds, day dreaming again out of nowhere as if by magic-It seemed to happen a lot lately.
A dark hooded figure came towards me, huge- towering over the men and me before they were whipped away as if by lightning and I was left alone again in pitch dark….
My frozen face came back to me as the men's faces blurred and tumbled back to normal again.
"Think she's into this"
"I get first dibs"
"We got ourselves a real treat tonight"
"GET your hands off me!" I fought dropping my bad to the ground and using my feet to push and kick the men away.
Two backed off slightly dropping to the floor before getting back up and moving away, still crowding round me.
"Do that again and I'll push this so far into your throat- you won't be able to scream!"
The blonde man grabbed at my throat, pulling me left and right as he pushed a small blade up against my neck.
I tried not to scream I tried to remain as brave as I could but all emotions flooded out of me as a tear ran down my cheek. I grunted and huffed in fear- wishing I was home, wishing I would be anywhere else but here; I never really liked other humans- most found it odd.
In this moment I understood why.
"Come on baby, let's just get a feel"
Two hands grabbed at my top and starting pulling as my coat flung open.
"Nice pair" he mumbled as I growled and twisted in this strangers grip dying to break free.
I opened my eyes to stare at him trying to make his next move known, but it was no use.
I was trapped, I couldn't bring the daydreams on at a whim; they attacked at random. Just like these thugs. There was nothing I could do.
"I think the lady said no" A new voice entered the air, above me- near a street lamp that bored light into the situation only slightly.
"It would be wise to follow what she wishes" The voice was deep, American- not as thick as a Brooklyn accent and sweet to listen too.
I looked towards the street lamp as the men surrounding me whipped round their backs facing me as silence flooded over them.
I found myself holding my breath trying to establish what was going on. Keeping my back pressed against the narrow wall with my hands firmly planted against the brick.
"It's one o' those freaks…show yerself!" The larger man to my right demanded
And that's when everything went black- the street lamp to my side popped and exploded all over the floor nearby to where I was stood and darkness consumed us.
I couldn't see- it was odd, the darkness was too thick, too quick and had blinded me quicker than I had realised.
All I could hear were the grunts and oomph's and male voices as metal seemed to clash upon metal.
The man standing closest me- flew backwards knocking myself over and down into the burning shards of street light glass as I gasped out at the pain.
I still couldn't see- I could feel however, and I could feel, my arm all ripped and torn in several places and it was all I could do not to cry. I could feel the hot stickiness of my own blood as it mixed into the smell of the air.
Three men's footsteps flunked away heavily- they were running.
Then there were loud thuds- like dropping a heavy load of washing onto the floor.
Again, silence crowded over as I sat myself up and looked around- my eyes seemed to grow used to the dark light as I started to make out shapes and forms of the night sky that I was allowed to view.
My eyes squinted as I made out two of the men's forms lying on the ground still- unmoving, unconscious. I panicked internally cupping my arm as it shook desperately and burned from the heat.
I hissed and pulled my knees up scouring the darkness for any other men or attackers.
What had happened?
Did they fight over me?
Did the mystery voice defend me?
Did he loose?
I shut my eyes trying to find my footing but instead I found my self-frozen; my body unwilling to move at the speed my head was.
Speaking of head- mine starting swaying as the world around me rocked,
Dizziness flooded my brain as I took slow and long breaths out knowing here wasn't the time, knowing I was going to pass out.
"Miss…are you alright?" his voice had taken me by alarm as I gasped out as searched around me; there was nothing, just the blackness again.
"Miss? Do you need help? You look hurt"
Could he see me? Why couldn't I see him?
"Where…where are you?" I spoke for the first time since my voice became stolen, I sounded strong and sure. This was good I comprehended, it might scare him off.
Unlikely Nala, you're as weak as a kitten
"You look hurt miss, I need to see your arm" He said, this time his voice came from a new angle.
"Not without ID you won't" I growled back, a slight chuckle seemed to fill the air; it soothed me.
Again the air remained silent for a few minutes and I thought he had left, instead- my bag came flying over to my side again and my phone after it.
"This must have fallen out- it would be wise to ring an ambulance once you're back on your main street." His voice struck me as authorities; was he NYPD?
"I'm fine honestly, I will be okay once I get back on my feet" Through the darkness I could make out my own hands on my arm now, pushing on my bleeding arm.
In the darkness it looked like thick black ink tumbling down and spilling all over my clothes and coat.
I breathed out heavily again.
"You're bleeding" he stated in urgency as footsteps came closer.
My eyes looked for him but to my avail I couldn't see him.
"I'm going to need to do something miss, you won't be able to see me, but you'll feel me. It's just a blindfold- I need you to trust me." He spoke so softly and honestly, but my fierce senses picked up.
"Why can't I see you? Its pitch black anyway, what's going on?"
"I promise you Miss, I won't harm you- I would have done that already if I wanted to- trust me"
Instead of pondering over this strange being- Instead of trying to make a run for it, I nodded twice slowly and insanely.
There was no sound. No noise but a feeling as cloth slipped over my eyes and rendered me countless.
I panicked slightly but warmth beside me kept me still.
"Just hold still, calm" He ushered as I felt padded hands touch my head and lean my body back.
Suddenly my arm was taken into these hands and touches as light as a feather danced over the cuts.
I could hear him grumbling. I stayed silent and opened my eyes slightly, the blindfold covering my eyes starting to shade out into a colour, in the darkness it was a hue of grey-
In the light it would have been a blue. But it only covered my eyes as if it were already shaped to.
Like a mask.
"Who are you?" I murmured to which his hands froze, the heat from his body seemed to glow next to mine as I heard his breathing even out.
"Different" He decided and carried on touching my arm- I had hardly realised until he decided to pull on one small piece of glass.
I cried out quietly.
He hushed me
"It's alright Miss; I'm going to take you home- do you live round here?" He question unsure, I could tell it was because of my accent- English girls stuck out like a sore thumb round here.
"I'm not going to give you my address" I breathed out "Can't you just take me to a nearby hospital? Don't you have a car?"
"My way of travelling is a little unorthodox" he snorted.
"Just like yourself I suppose" I murmured, silence filled over the both of us and I wondered if what I had said was wrong.
Instead I felt my self being lifted from the ground and my bag thrown into my lap.
"Never mind- I got it, 33rd building near Jefferson street right?" He asked as my mouth fell open.
"How did you know…?"
"Your ID Miss, Sorry to be so forward, but I need to get you home, you're going to bleed out if I don't" he rushed as I shifted around in what felt like a hammock.
"Hold on" He breathed out as I tucked my head down into my own neck realising what I was leaning against- he must have put me in something warm and next to a wall.
I squeezed my eyes shut and gripped the hard board as tight as I could while I felt myself being shifted and moved bouncing up and down all over the place as I breathed deeply. The cold wind seemed to hit me in all the wrong places giving me numb fingers and cheeks.
After a few minutes of this endless torture, everything slowed as I looked up still wearing the mask and tried to determine where I was.
My hand instinctively reached up for the mask to pull it out the way
"Leave it" he growled as I shrunk back down.
He was in front of me, directly and it was only then I realised he had carried me all the way here, in these strong large arms and hard board chest- was he wearing armour?
"Go inside, sit down on the couch and turn the lights off" he ordered as I felt my body shifting itself and suddenly I was on my feet.
Acting on instinct, I walked forward slowly my hands out wide to catch my fall as I went, I felt for my door frame- the glass doors that lead out to the porch which I assumed he dropped me on.
"The keys are in the bag" I told him, but there was a slight noise as the door clicked open.
"Already taken care of it- go" he pressed on as I moved forward through the door, smelling the familiar scent as I went.
I'd never been so happy to be home- Even if I couldn't see it.
Taking the chance I pulled the mask down off my nose just to check it was indeed my house, the side light was on- I had always left it on just in case of burglars. The idea seemed so stupid to me now.
I looked round my cosy flat- the wooden floors still dark and warm- the cream walls decorated in my art work still looking random and perfect.
I smiled at the familiarity of it before I looked down at my arm.
It was worse than I thought it could be- my arm was completely red and dripping down my jeans and boots, the rest of me was covered in mud some way or another and my top had torn down one side.
I felt an overwhelming sense hit me. I shook my head trying to clear the thought and breathed out.
I pulled the mask off over my head spun round on my heels, trying to catch whoever it was who had brought me home.
I whipped my head round quickly eyeing up the balcony and the patio doors which were now covered.
They were empty.
The door curtain had wafted slightly as I breathed out and looked forward- curiosity getting the better of me.
And that's when everything started to double over and spin even more.
I felt sick- my body couldn't deal with all the stress I had pressed on it and slowly but surely, the floor grew closer as if to suck me up.
With a thud I landed on the floor, my body broken and sore- my arm still bleeding and my hand still clutching tightly as the light blue beautiful mask that I had wrapped around my hand.
The last thing I remember was the sound of feet trudging towards me- realising there was more than one pair this time, and nothing I could do about it.
I don't own TMNT characters, I do own Nala! (yay)
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