The Red Sunrise

the black, stone* ground* shone and blinked with frost*. it was still dark. the street lights cast an orange glow. infrequently, a freak car whooshed across the deserted roads. in the corners, yellow, brown, orange and red leaves lay literred, frosted* a sparkling white by the nights frost*.

it was cold. when the alarm rang out, i was already awake, waiting. i shot out in the dark and turned it off before it woke anyone else. pulling on my warm flannel jacket, i padded over quietly to the window and looked out.

in a few mins she came into sight. she was regular, like the days. come rain, come snow, or an ordinary boring day, she was there. at a few minutes past five, every morning, she walked up the deserted street-corner, outside my window. i had seen her by accident, a first. Then curious about why someone was out so early, in the cold, i kept looking. Fascinated, I kept looking on. She went through her stretches. i couldnt see her face from where I stood, but she had an elusive grace about her. an air of a love song, in her every movement. Or so it seemed to me; i was half asleep.

we fell into a routine. every morning, i set the alarm and waited for her. every morning, i watched her in the dark. at first, she fascinated me. then, it became an obsession. i wanted her. after a few weeks, i felt that the time had come to go after her.

she gave the impression of a lonely song bird. existing, as if in a world of her own. a creature of the early morning darkness. to fade before the sun rose and shone. there was a halo of sadness and tragedy about her. i could feel it. she was someone who wa born to die; beautifully; poignantly; dramatically. she was seeking a grand end. i was born to give it to her.

i had everything ready. it was all in my pocket. the rope; the nails; the blade. sharp, shining, pure. it would be a glorious. a sypmphone in red. A Red Sunrise.

It was still dark. The orange lights, from the faithful street lamps, collected in tired pools at intervals; their glow making the paved streets, slick with dew, glow in shiny black.

It was very cold. Winter had begun earlier than usual, this year, and the cold had sprung up, almost overnight, with precocious vengence.

Somedays, it was really eerie. Some mornings, it was a pain, to get out of a warm, snug bed, and throw herself into the cold morning air. Usually, however, it was just exhilariting. It was the best part of the day. It felt like the world and she were sharing a few quite moments, before the hum of another busy day began. She was alive. She was thinking clearly. Her best ideas came to her at moments like this.

A sharp wind rose, clean, fresh, new. It stirred the dried leaves in the street corners in little dancing balletts, swirling and flying like playful children. Brown, Orange, Yellow, Russet; a symphony in Red.

The whole world seemed breathtaking sweet, and life, infinitely beautiful. At moments like this, she wanted to live forever.

She had finished her run and come back to her starting point. Checking her watch, she smiled; she had done good time. She pulled out the nozzle from the water carrier on her back and drank as she slowed to a walk.

The shortening days meant that it wasnt fully light yet, though it was past six o'clock. She felt a little nervous about going into the heavily wooded Water of Leith walk-way, but it was a shortcut and it was pretty walking through, with the river gurgling next to her as she walked, swollen with a nights rain.

The carpet of wet autumn leaves below wupid out any footsteps. The tree's joined overhead to block out any light there was in the sky. There were no steet lights in this stretch.

She was always felt a little uneasy crossing this stretch, today, for some reason it was hightened. Was she being intuitive or just silly. Probably the latter. She tried to shrug off the feeling, but walked faster all the same.

Halfway down the path, she had an unshakeable feeling that someone else was there, nearby. She turned and looked. Atfirst, she didnt see anything, but then she could make out an outline. There was a figure in what looked like a hooded jacket with the cap on, some distance behind her.

She told herself that it was just another jogger. She tried to calm the voice in her head which had a distinct urge to panic. But there was no helping it, she was really, however illogically, scared!

She walked faster, trying to reach one of the exits, but the nearest one was still several minutes away. She looked back again, and this time, the figure was a lot closer, just behind her. She forced herself to be calm and slowed her walk, so that the other walker would overtake her, and she could tell herself "look, you were making a fuss out of nothing!".

As the hooded figure approached her, she had a strange, surreal feeling. There was a sense of fatality in the moment. She could feel her hair on the back of her neck standing up.

She turned, one last time, when she felt the figure right behind her, about to pass her. As she saw the other joggers face, a wave of relief washed over her: it was just another woman! There was an added brightness in the smile she threw over her shoulder, as she silently greeted the lady, because she was smiling at herself and how 'sure' she had been that something was dreadfully wrong. The other woman smiled back at her.

Still smiling, she kept on walking. She had been so silly. It was just the atmosphere of the place and her imagination, playing tricks on her, after all. Like a trick of light.

Suddenly, she felt the other girl close in on her. Before she even realised what was happening, she had been pushed into the greens on the side of the path. It was so cold, it took her a few seconds to feel the blade slice through. It felt wet. And warm.

TO BE CONTINUED ... (and edited - the stars need replacing) :)

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