Predator


Some evil is real - Editor

by Jack Straw

The man had been shadowing the six year old little girl for almost eight days. He felt like a patient wolf that follows an unaware fawn. The mere ebb and flow of her small chest as she breathed caused his pulse to quicken. He had gotten close enough to touch her, but he hadn’t; he thought he had smelled her though, or at least he hoped he had. There was nothing imaginable more beautiful, pure and innocent.

Today she wore a sunshine yellow dress with white lace edging and a ribbon by her throat and soft powder blue tap dancing shoes. She had large, soft green eyes and light, almost blond hair that flowed around her face. It was so naturally wavy she looked like the pictures on those posters in the windows of hair places he passed. She got it from her mother. Her mother had given her looks and love, but that was about the limit of what she could give now.  She would not be able to protect her from his kind any more than the deer can protect its fawn from the wolf.

Mothers at the Madge Jeffries Shelter for Women tried their best, but most of them had been beaten down by lives they never thought would happen to them. Even with the free help offered by shelters like the Madge and the heightened senses of those who have been victims, they were not yet ready to take control of their environment with the strength and intensity of the state of motherhood. They were sometimes occupied with treatment or counseling sessions and trying to deal with their own mental or physical abuse, or both. That could provide opportunity for their children to become vulnerable. The man had even seen young children at the center who were supposed to be watched over by the overworked and understaffed counselors wander away from the half-fenced, half-dirt tiny back yard into the adjacent alleys and seedy storage sheds. Many ignored the clichéd, but very wise, admonition to never talk to strangers.

He had taken the maintenance job at the Madge for that very reason. There was always a ready, rotating supply of damaged, vulnerable women and the perpetual enticement of their prepubescent children. He had never been arrested for molestation, so nothing showed up on the mandated background check when he applied. He intentionally didn’t mention his degree or real past jobs because he knew the Director would have felt he was overqualified and denied him this opportunity. To the Shelter staff, he was just an Army vet who could fix things and was a little down on his luck.

The young angel in front of him was especially prone to disappearing as she explored the large world she did not understand and where she should be afraid but wasn’t. It was an ideal setup for a man with a taste for the unsoiled. That’s why he had barely slept for eight days, watching her every movement and thinking about what a perfect, virgin little doll she was, and how available she was.

Her name was Lily, like the flower. He liked that. She was standing on a patch of dirt surrounded by brown grass and holding a dusty, out-of-round hula hoop against her middle. It was much too big for her, but she gamely kept trying to throw it around her waist to get it started, while shaking her hips. Every time tried, the hoop would fall clattering to the ground, where she would pick it up and try again. He wished she would not move her hips like that.

The girl finally tired of the uncooperative plastic toy and alternately skipped and shuffled as she went inside the building. At that age, they were so light they seemed to float when they walked. The man leaned against the fat oak he had been peering around, inhaled deeply from a cigarette and tried to calm down.





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