Powder Burn Flash #375 - M. Allman
by M. Allman
A strange sound echoed through the alleyway. It seemed to emanate from the back of the abandoned building. At first, the screams startled me. I bolted for the nearest lit street, but my conscience wouldn’t allow me to run away. I turned back, stepping lightly as I approached the alley. I didn’t have any idea what I was getting myself into, but if I needed help, I’d hope some good Samaritan might do the same.
The screams, now muffled, were coming from an empty warehouse. I heard a man’s voice, but was unable to make out what he was saying. Crouching below a broken window, I discreetly raised my head to peek inside. A little girl lay on the filthy, concrete floor. She couldn’t have been more than seven years old. Her auburn hair was in pigtails with a blue bow on each side. The same robin's egg blue as the flowers on her dress. She was bound with rope at her wrists and ankles. A dirty red handkerchief stifled her screams.
I had lived on the streets for many years, witnessed many crimes, but this situation was different. What I saw made me sick. The thought of the heinous acts she might be forced to perform made me realize I had to help her.
The sweaty, pervert guzzled whiskey straight from the bottle as he sat staring at his victim, most likely envisioning all the naughty things he’d do to her. After taking his last drink, he threw the bottle against the wall. “I’ll be back, sweetie.” He dug into the pockets of his jeans and found a wad of money. “Don’t go anywhere." He chuckled at himself, as he staggered out the door.
I broke out into a cold sweat. This was it. If I was going to save her, it had to be now. I tip-toed around to the door, made sure he was gone and went inside. The girl tried to scream. I'm sure my ragged clothes and unkempt hair frightened her.
“Shh, I’m here to help you.” I whispered while searching for something sharp to cut the rope. I found a piece of glass and sawed at the rope to let her free.
She stared up at me. Tear-soaked eyelashes framed her hazel eyes.
“I’m going to remove the handkerchief, don’t scream.” I carefully pulled it from her mouth. “Run to the nearest building and have someone call the police.”
She sprang to her feet and fled.
I walked out into the alley, watching her. I wanted to be sure she had gotten away. Suddenly, something struck my back. I struggled to keep my balance.
“I'm gonna teach you to mind your own business?” He said.
As I turned to defend myself, I saw two arms swinging a piece of pipe toward my head. I knew a fatal blow was inevitable. I didn’t care. That child likely had a family tormented by her disappearance, but the world would be a better place with one less drug addicted, derelict –like me.
BIO: M. Allman holds a BA in professional writing and works as a freelance writer and author. Her first anthology of speculative fiction Tales from Imagination's Closet is available on Amazon.com. She also has a self-published short story for young adults, "Ally Ally Oxen Free," available on Kindle. She welcomes you to visit her blog or website to learn more about her writing and upcoming publications. www.authormallman.blogspot.com and www.m-allman.com