My Worst Nightmare

Chapter 1

A small girl of about 15 looked around the empty street. Standing at the end was a tall, lanky man, grinning wildly at her. Wind blew her long black hair around as the girl glared back at him with cold violet eyes.

"I'm not afraid of you anymore," she shouted. The man only laughed.

"Aawww, but that's what made it fun!" he shouted back. "You were afraid of me the whole time, even knowing that I couldn't kill you if I wanted to."

The girl's eyes betrayed her surprise for only a second. "What do you mean?"

The man laughed again. "I came from you. If I killed you, I wouldn't exist anymore. The longer you stay alive the more people I get to kill!"

"But if I kill you, no one has to worry anymore." The girl held out her hand and a small pistol appeared in it. "I kill you, and this whole thing ends."

"Ha! Even if you kill me, you'll just think me up again. And the time after that, and the time after that! You can't beat me!"

Keeping her cold stare the girl pulled the trigger letting loose a loud BANG! The man slumped to the ground and she started toward him. Finally, she stood over him, slightly surprised to see he was still grinning that horrible, manic grin of his.

"Looks like you win this round..." he started hoarsely. "..but just remember, I'll come back to get you...Holly Dorado..."

And with that his body went limp in the small pool of blood that was forming beneath him.

Three years later...

"Rumors are that the killer is back. Though thought to be dead for three years, the man everyone's calling 'Ripper' seems to have returned with a vengence..."

Holly sat in the small cafe, barely paying attention to the newscaster, holding a styrofoam cup of coffee in her hands, calmly watching the steam. She started to take a sip when the newscaster's next words caused her to freeze.

"...I'm just getting a report...I don't believe it! He's killed another one. Jamie Andrews, a boy of about six years old, has just been found dead in his room. Ripper seems to have left his signature mark written in blood on the wall and-wait, hold on, I'm hearing something else..." The newscaster, held the receiver in his ear. "It appears he's left another message as well. It says...'Tell her she's next'..."

Holly's eyes widened while the newscaster looked confused.

"It doesn't say who 'she' is, but whoever he means, might be watching at this very moment. Whoever you are, I wish the best of luck to you."

The TV snapped off and Holly looked down at her coffee again, her fear obvious in her eyes. The one night I forget to take the pills, she thought angrily.

"Are you alright Miss?"

"Huh?" Holly's head snapped up at the sound of the waitress's voice. "Y-yeah, I'm fine. Just a little jumpy 'cause of the news report I s'pose."

"Mm. I would be too. S'not me he's lookin' for, but, better safe then sorry, yeah?"

"Heh. Yeah, right." Holly pulled a few coins and bills out of the pocket of her long jacket. "Sorry about staying so late. Lost track of time."

"Oh, it's fine. Just means I get payed overtime. You're doin' me a favor," the waitress replied brightly. Holly shoved her hands in her pockets, pulling the blood-red scarf higher so it covered the bottom of her face and stepped out into the cold, London night. She missed the tall man in a trench coat passing by her, and going into the cafe.

Once inside, the man removed his fedora to reveal matted brown hair that came down to cover one of his red eyes on a pale face.

"Sorry sir, we're closed," the waitress said, looking warily at him.

"Oh, s'alright. I'm not lookin' to buy nothin'. I was just wondering if you've seen this girl?" he pulled a picture out of his pocket, and held it out to her.

"Yeah, actually I have. Just missed her, you did. Left not five minutes ago."

The man smiled, showing a mouthful of fang-like teeth. "Well, that's good. Means I'm getting closer. Do you know who I am?"

"No, I don't think I've ever seen you before in my life. Why're you lookin' for her anyway?"

"I have my reasons." he pulled back a part of his coat to reveal the inside covered with pockets that had a different type of knife in each one of them, along with a belt containing even more. The waitress backed against the counter.

"Y-you're-"

"I hear they've been calling me 'Ripper' these days. I kind of like it." His hand traveled over almost all of the knives before finally choosing a wickedly long and jagged one. He held it up so that it glinted in the light.

"This one's always been my favorite, y'know?"

The waitress didn't respond, her hands discretely trying to find the silent alarm button. She found it about the same time that Ripper saw what she was doing.

"Oh, no you don't!" He threw the knife at her arm with amazing precision. It caught her in the wrist and pinned her to the wall behind the counter. Ripper grinned, showing all of his fangs. "Was that your plan? Did you think you could hit that silly little alarm and I'd run away like a frightened little mouse. Oh, no. Not a chance. Y'see," he pulled the knife out of her arm and her arm fell limply back to her side. Ripper held the knife up to her face, the jagged weapon cutting into her cheek. He sounded like a child in a candy store when he spoke. "I'm havin' too much fun to run away."

The waitress started to scream when Ripper put his gloved hand over her mouth.

"Aww, now don't do that. We wouldn't want to wake the whole neighborhood, would we?" He pulled the knife down her face making a large cut, then did the same to the other side of her face. The whole time his hand muffled her screams. What scared the waitress the most wasn't that a man was slashing her with a knife. It was the fact that he seemed to enjoy it so much. In fact, Ripper was humming an upbeat tune while he ran the knife slowly down her arm. He pulled back his arm and swung forward, leaving a long, bloody gash on her stomach. He did the same to her legs and kept moving down until her knees buckled underneath her. Still grinning like a mad man, Ripper stood over her, his blood-covered knife dripping onto the white, tile floor.

"Please..." the waitress begged quietly. "...don't...kill me..."

"Heh. Y'know, I never did ask you your name, did I? How rude of me."

The waitress looked up at him with wide, surprised eyes. "W-what?"

"Well, come on," he said kneeling next to her, "out with it! What's your name?"

She blinked at him. "Em-Emma," she stammered.

"Emma the waitress, eh? Well, I'd tell you my name, but I don't really have one. See," he leaned in close so that he could whisper in her ear. "I don't exist! Ha! Isn't that amazing?"

He set the long knife against her throat. "Now, I'm not gonna kill you, Emma the waitress. Y'wanna know why? 'Cause I need you to deliver a message to those idiots you people call police. Right? I want you to tell them 'I've almost found you, I told you I'd come back for you.' Can you handle that?"

Eyeing the knife nervously, Emma nodded. Ripper smiled broadly at her.

"Brilliant! Always trust a waitress, yeah? Well," he stood up, wiping the knife on his jacket before placing it back into his pocket, "I best be on my way now haven't I? Got a girl to catch an' all." He started toward the door before he stopped. "Oh, and go ahead and tell the police what I look like. I rather enjoy being a nightmare."

And with that, he strode proudly out the doors in search of his next target.

"I told you I'd come back," he muttered to himself with a mad giggle. "I told you I'd come back, Holly Dorado!"