The rain pelted against the metal staircase. Bailey barely had time to brace herself before she fell and slammed against the bottom of the concrete floor. Her body trembled as pain soared through her limbs and icy drops assailed her from above. She tried to calm her breathing and regain the strength she needed to stand up again. Her clothes and hair were becoming drenched in a mixture of water and blood.
Further ahead, the concrete walkway was littered with the corpses of the victims who were not able to escape unnoticed. She pushed herself up with shaking arms. She wouldn’t be dying here after surviving such a hellish day. Bailey stumbled forward, close to losing consciousness. The sickly-sweet taste of blood lingered in her mouth – she was not even completely sure if it was hers. She was not completely sure about anything anymore. On her way out of the building she had deliberately avoided looking at her reflection in the glass, it thoroughly terrified her. She was convinced that if she saw it, her reflection would somehow gain a life of its own and attack her. Paranoia was eating away at her mind like a parasite after everything that she had witnessed.
A sudden click, followed by steady footsteps, caught her attention. She froze as she recognised the figure blocking her only chance of freedom. Of all people, it had to be the madman himself. Clay Slater. Even though she narrowly evaded death because of his timely interference, she would not dare to drop her guard around him. Something about the way he laughed and his casual demeanour in a situation like this, made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She was most definitely just an object of amusement for him. He would only tolerate her until she bored him, then he would dispose of her like a used toy.
She noticed that the sleeves of his jacket were rolled up to his elbows. It seemed as if he did not want to ruin it with the excessive amount of blood on his hands and arms. He was sizing her up as well, with his bloodshot eyes, glaring at her through the flattened strands of his brown hair.
“Where are you going, honey?” Clay smiled while he raised the gun and cocked it towards her. "Boo."
Hailey screamed as he fired. The gunshot rang in her ears, and for a moment she wondered whether he had missed. No. He did not miss. He never missed. Despite the flurry of unpredictability, one thing was sure, he was a damn good shot.
When she did not feel the sting of a bullet, she opened her eyes and inspected her abdomen. She looked up at him in surprise. He lifted the gun and blew at the tip. Bailey turned around to see a man on his knees with a knife in his hands, and a hole in his forehead. She backed away instinctively, distancing herself from the gruesome scene.
When she turned to look at Clay again, he had already lowered the gun to the floor and raised his hands in surrender. He started laughing, enjoying the expression of bewilderment on her face.
“Police! Put your hands in the air!” cops burst onto the premises, aiming their pistols at both of them. The cops removed his weapon and proceeded to search them for more weapons.
One of the cops approached her. “Are you Bailey?”
Bailey nodded. She was in shock.
“You are the last one unaccounted for. Are you hurt?”
She shook her head, unable to take her eyes off Clay’s intense stare.
“Did he try to shoot you?” the cop asked.
“No… he shot him,” she stammered, pointing to the dead attacker on the floor.
“Take your time,” The cop offered his arm in assistance, and they started walking past Clay who was still chuckling to himself. When they had passed him, he whistled once more – that same haunting whistle.
“See you soon, Bailey…What fun we are going to have…what fun…what fun” he added in an audible mutter.
Bailey froze at his words, but the cop tugged her away gently.
“You will never have to see him again,” he squeezed her arm.
Bailey closed her eyes and nodded, but nothing would erase the image of him in her mind. His gleeful face right before he made a kill. Despite her better judgment and the cop’s reassuring remark, she did not doubt Clay’s words. He had not been wrong about anything so far, why would he be wrong this time?
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