The gunshot rang out into the cold night air. It sliced a clean line towards me. I pumped my legs harder and tried to brace myself. But, honestly, how do you brace yourself for getting shot? The bullet hit me from behind, cutting harshly into my unsuspecting shoulder. I howled in pain, felling to my knees. Palms scrapped against the asphalt of the road I'd been running along and my knees ripped open as they caught my fall. I acted without thinking and brought my hand up to clinch my shoulder. That was a mistake and only added to my pain.

A laugh thrilled from somewhere behind me. I whipped my head around, looking for the laughter's source. Though I couldn't see through the thick darkness, I knew who the amusement and the bullet belonged too. I struggled to my feet. My breath came out fast and made puffs of white in front of my face. I turned, facing the direction I'd been running from.

Gulping down gasps of pain, I called into the darkness, "Come out and face me, you coward!"

Another bullet ripped through the winter air and sailed past my ear. The sound caused me to flinch. I patted at my ear to ensure he'd missed. I swallowed hard, unable to feel relieved the bullet had missed me this time. My shoulder throbbed and cried out complains of pain that felt like bursts of fire on my left side.

There was a beat. And then a figure I couldn't see the face of materialized out of the darkness. My heart rate picked up as my breathing did. The most amused smiles fixed upon his lips as he took small steps in my direction. Despite myself, I shuffled backwards. Though the air was thick with cold and winter weather I found my bleeding palms start to sweat. I scrubbed them on my jeans and tried not to flinch at the short pain it caused in my hands.

"Looks like that hurts," He said with a nod at my shoulder.

It did. I wanted to fall to pieces and cry my eyes out from the pain pulsing where he'd shot me. I wanted to beg him to let me live and to leave those I loved alone. I could plead and gravel all I wanted though and he'd never change his mind. It was a pitfall of having a psycho as your killer. I wasn't about to give him the satisfaction he craved, the thrill of seeing me fearful. He'd kill me long before I let myself show him any kind of weakness.

"Not at all," I replied in the most even voice I could manage. "You don't aim too well."

His eyes narrowed. He brought the gun up so that it leveled for my head. My feet, having been inching away all along, came to a halt. Heart stilled and breath caught. One corner of his mouth smiled in pleasure. Without meaning to, I'd shown him some of the very thing I'd just told myself I wouldn't. I tried to remind myself anyone with common sense would show a degree of fear at the sight of a gun being pointed at the space between their eyes. It was a natural reaction. A reaction he lived for and had seen more times than once.

"Nowhere to run," He reminded me.

I balled my hands into fist, nails digging into palms. "You gonna shot me or what?" I snapped, growing irritated at his drawing this out. Couldn't he just pull the trigger and get it over with?

As if reading my thoughts, the man before me smiled a cruel and evil smile as he applied pressure to the trigger of the gun. I stared straight ahead, determined not to flinch away from my death.