My chest felt like it was going to explode but I didn't slow down, I didn't look back. If there was one thing growing up in a world like this taught you it was to not look back because when you looked forward again all you would see would be your death. Not exactly the most optimistic of lessons, but I'd rather be realistic and live than optimistic and die. That's just a personal preference though.
I carried on running through the maze of alleyways that made up the town and had never been more thankful for the fact that we'd all gone around and memorised them the day that we'd moved to town. It had been one hell of a boring day but it was currently the only thing saving my life so I guess it was worth it.
I could no longer hear footsteps behind me but I still didn't slow down or stop, if anything I tried to push my body to move even faster, the only sound around being my trainers as they slapped against the ground. The danger wasn't usually when you could hear footsteps behind you, it was when you could no longer hear them. Yes, it could mean that you'd lost them, or it could mean that you'd just run in to a trap or that they'd found a short cut and were now waiting in hiding for you. So I kept on running.
At the speed I was currently running I was fairly sure I could be out run by a five year old. I was panting with my body's need to draw more oxygen in to my body, my legs felt so weak that they were shaking with every step I took and I was always sure that each step I took would be my last. I continued pushing my body past its limits however, because I just needed to make it that little bit further and I'd be safe. Safe for the immediate future anyway, I'd never be completely safe.
My feet managed to continue pushing my body forwards however until I reached a dead end. The dead ends and mazes of alleys were part of the reason we'd chosen to stay in this town for a while. It was a lot easier to lose an enemy in alleyways that twisted and turned and had dead ends than it was to lose one when you were running on a flat, open area. However the plan had been that the enemies were the ones in the dead ends, not us.
There was no where left to run any more so I turned around searching for my would be attacker. He didn't disappoint and a moment later he was stood casually opposite me, no more than a couple of meters away. I took a bit of pleasure noticing that although he appeared casual his chest was moving just about as fast as mine was so at least I wasn't the only one having trouble with keeping up with the running. For a split second nothing happened and I felt sure that I'd gone wrong and ended up in the wrong place. Then everything moved at once.
Hands grabbed me from behind and pulled me back against the wall but I didn't scream, I just kept my eyes focussed on the man that had chased me as awareness flitted through his eyes and he realised that he'd run straight in to a trap. I didn't allow myself any satisfaction yet though and I wouldn't until he was no longer a threat.
I watched as two pairs of hands grabbed him from behind and he struggled to escape them before freezing in fear when he saw another approach him with a silver knife. He renewed his struggled but it was no good and the knife was stabbed through his heart. His body shook a few times and then the knife was withdrawn and blood started covering the floor around him. But it wasn't left there, the knife was then used to slit his throat as well; we had to be sure he was dead.
The body was dropped to the ground and had finally stopped jerking even as the blood continued to pool around it. The worst wasn't over yet though, we may have survived but our job wasn't done and we couldn't leave until it was. The body was covered in petrol and set on fire leaving the immediate area smelling of burning flesh, and then we covered every space of the dead end that we could with bleach, we then retraced my steps and did the same to the alleys that I had run through.
The bleach wouldn't completely cover my scent and it definitely wouldn't stop them from finding the blood and the body. The aim was not to stop them from finding out that we'd killed one of them, they'd know that when he failed to return to them at nightfall. The aim instead was to make it harder for them to realise who had killed him. They'd still be able to pick up traces of our scents but it would be a lot harder for them to distinguish between the scents of those that had been there for the murder and the scent of tourists that had mistakenly come down the alley in search for a café or whatever last week.
Our job done we split in to two groups and walked back home, or what had been called home for the last couple of weeks, both groups walking in a separate direction. We were now walking in paths that were regularly followed by those that lived nearby so there was no need to cover our tracks any more because even if they picked up our scent here there was no way to connect it to the killing that had just taken place. Splitting up was merely a precaution, two or three people together were less noticeable and memorable than a group of five together.
We walked in silence, no one feeling particularly chatty. It didn't matter how many times we'd done it in the past, it still didn't get any easier. I could still smell the burning flesh and wanted nothing more to jump in to a hot shower and curl up in a warm and cosy bed with Marc but that wasn't possible. Where we lived there was no shower and the beds weren't cosy. And I couldn't curl up with my boyfriend because he was dead, because he was now a vampire.