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He looked like the chicks who always died first in slasher movies, Colin reflected as he rubbed gloss onto his lips in front of a grimy storefront window. The napkin like, skintight black dress he wore hit mid-thigh and rode up with the slightest movement of his hips. He tucked the gloss into his bra and adjusted the smooth, gel inserts. Colin fluffed the blond curls on the wig he wore, and preened for all the world as if the deserted, trash filled street were his personal catwalk.
Bells tolled the hour eleven times a few miles to the west, temporarily muffling the sounds of drunken revelry just a few streets over.
If he were lucky, the revelers would keep to the brightly lit, well-populated thoroughfares and not interrupt his business. Hell, if he really got lucky, he'd probably have more clients than he could handle after tonight. Halloween was a boon for his kind of business.
A cheer went up and sounded like the participants were moving off, toward the center of the city, and taking the noise with them.
He could feel a pair of eyes watching him, tracing his form.
Colin smiled at his reflection, smoothed his hands down the sides of the dress, and began a slow, deliberate sashay down the sidewalk. He alternated between scanning the sidewalk ahead for any dangers capable of bringing him down in the stilettos strapped to his feet, and checking the pools of streetlight for movement.
Nothing and no one moved behind him but he could still feel the weight of a considering stare travel up his legs and linger on his ass.
He felt the kiss of cold steel against his inner thigh as he gave a suggestive roll to his padded hips.
There! Colin felt a heavy pulse of movement before he heard boots scrape against the pavement in a heavy, hurried stride.
He glanced over his shoulder and saw no one in the lights behind him, but the footsteps persisted.
Colin stepped off the sidewalk and trotted across the street, careful to avoid any pools of light. He moved like a doe at the first scent of a predator.
The boots matched his pace and now he could hear excited breathing ripple out toward him.
The streetlights became brighter. One dead lamp gave a pop like a firecracker going off and the bulb guttered to life.
Colin hugged the wall, keeping to the shadows. The left heel of his stiletto caught in the teeth of a small metal grate, almost felling him. Colin yanked the heel out and stifled a curse as three of the rhinestones dotting the base and heel, fell off. There went his refund.
A couple blocks ahead, bright lights and the sound of laughter beckoned from the avenue.
Colin turned down a dark alley and raced to the back.
"Looks like you're a little lost," a voice said from the mouth of the alley.
At the end of the alleyway a wall of bricks stood stalwart against further passage.
The voice continued, "Come out of there. I'm not going to hurt you."
Colin reached beneath the hem of his dress and withdrew from a pouch strapped to his thigh, a small vial of thick, nacreous fluid. He palmed the vial and fixed his eyes on the vacant pool of light at the mouth of the alleyway. He could hear the impatient tapping of one booted foot, the sing-song voice promising safety if only Colin would come out, come into the light.
"Okay, please don't hurt me," Colin recited while he unstoppered the vial and poured the liquid onto the floor.
"What's that?" the voice said slowly, speaking as if transfixed.
The liquid hissed as it mingled with the dirt and pieces of refuse scattered in the alley. It spread a basketball sized circle that illumined a small patch of the floor. Then it steamed and gave off a vapor, like a lick of warm, fetid dog breath.
His lips turned up in a grimace and one foot poised to enter the cloud of vapor, Colin caught a gold flicker of light from the corner of his eye as it winked in and out like a firefly.
"Sonofa-’" his words were lost as the vapor snaked around him and swallowed him whole. When it cleared seconds later, he was gone.
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