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Leather Apron

London. 1888.

The town of London was known as a utopia for many across the world. The centre of a growing empire. Tales of golden pavements and roads were commonplace. In truth, the cobbled pavements and roads were no golder than a blacksmith’s gloves. Many of these roads led to dark alleys and streets which were lined with pubs and bars filled with shady characters. One of these streets was a host to one of the most notorious killers to ever live.

It was about 5 am. A man was standing in the dark just behind backyard.

He was tired and angry. He was poor. Barely enough money to feed him for a month or so. Insomnia ravaged his mind and depression tore at his heart. For the past month, he’d been demanding money from the many prostitutes that infested the streets. He had eeked out a living by threatening and abusing the pub owners to give him their well-earned money. But that still wasn’t enough. He needed more. An urge drove him to do it.

So he did the deed. The man was educated enough in surgery. He was handy with a knife. It was simple really, slicing the woman’s stomach open and dismembering her innards.

His victim lay in front of him in a pool of her own blood. Annie Chapman used to be her name. The killer wasn’t sorry at all. She knew the terms and conditions of their agreement so she should have saw this coming. But no, she had to scream and flail while I carried out my part of it. Can’t people just die in silence?, thought he.

This was his second victim so far. Why did he do it? He didn’t know. What he did know was that he liked it. He enjoyed watching people scream and collapse as their vital organs spilled out to decorate the pavements. He also knew that he needn’t worry anymore about money. Money could only buy a person bread or a place to stay. He knew it well enough that just food and wealth wouldn’t quench his thirst for he craved something else: Life. Or rather, the removal of it. The only thing that could fuel him was a taste for blood.

That day, this man finally realised what kept him alive. That day, his heart stopped pumping blood and instead burned with fire. His blood-stained hands grew cold and his eyes lost all emotion. That day, an icicle froze through his lungs and mind, puncturing all empathy he ever had. A crooked smile colder than the Arctic filled his pale face.

He thought of new strategies. He could frame it on someone else. He could terrorise the streets of London and tear its citizens apart. He would be known as a Ripper.

The killer lay down his signature clothing beside his second victim. He would change today.

He was leather apron no more.

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You are being Hunted

He was scared. Very scared. Each breath he took resounded across the walls, echoing through the old house. Not long now, he thought. It was only a matter of time before the horrendous creature would find his hiding place. It would all end pretty quickly, in just a few blinks of an eye. One blow and his limp body would fall to the ground, ready to be devoured by the ruthless monster. Fear took over his feeble body. Horror filled the air as the monster began climbing up the stairs.

Through the door he could hear the loud banging of the hunter, constantly searching for its prey. The hair on his neck stood on their ends as the creature seemingly whispered through the door. He swore he could hear the monster cackling, taunting him. It may have just been his imagination, but he felt as if he was surrounded by the silent screams of the hunter’s other victims. You’re next, they said.

The door burst open. Now, the only thing separating the creature and him was a thin wall that used to be an office cubicle. Unfortunately for him, he could barely move his body without being detected by the hunter. There was no escape. So, this is the end, he said to himself.

The floorboards creaked beneath as the creature approached his hiding place. The atmosphere was cold, with the smell of blood and metal coating the walls. The house was hauntingly quiet, the only sounds that could be heard were the squeaks and groans of an almost collapsing house, old and rusty. The entire room was a dull brown; the once vibrant wallpaper had teared away over the millenniums. It’s coming closer, he thought. He shuddered as he heard the sound of metal scraping hard against the wooden floor. The electronic beeping sound of a scanner grew louder and louder as if it were saying: I’M HERE. I SEE YOU. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.

His breath grew erratic and his eyes watered, drenching his already sweaty face. The excruciatingly horrifying sound of eight mechanical legs scratching on the floor became faster as the scanner increased its pace. Beep. Beep. Beep beep. Beepbeepbeep. Beepbeepbeepbeeeeepbeeeepbeep. 

Suddenly, a siren blared as an electronic voice screamed out; “DO NOT ATTEMPT ESCAPE OR YOU WILL BE IMMEDIATELY OBLITERATED. ON THE REQUEST OF <REDACTED>, YOU, <INSERT SPECIES NAME> ARE BEING HUNTED.” The beeping and the scraping stopped, just before the wall behind him exploded, splintering into millions of tiny shards. Then, he stared right into the scream-inducing, horribly petrifying face of the monster.

There it was. His hunter, a large mechanical scorpion. One of its claws were replaced by a scanner and gun, the other had a razor-sharp blade that ended in a grasping claw. There was a long syringe in place of its stinger. The machine had four glowing red cameras for eyes and a cockpit in place of its body. ” <TARGET> HAS BEEN FOUND.”  The mere sight of this monstrosity would be enough to stop a heart, but what was even scarier was what was inside the cockpit. He looked past the weaponry into the cockpit and saw a hideous, lithe figure; the hunter’s driver. The driver had a strange, twisted face. It was as if he was staring into the face of death itself. It was one he hadn’t seen for a long time: the face of a scary, ugly, evil face. It was a human. The last time he had seen a human (besides himself) was before the accident. An accident he could barely remember.

As he became frozen in fear and confusion, the machine took the opportunity to grab him by the leg, its claw piercing through his foot. He was lifted into the air until his face met the cockpit’s level. The machine’s stinger bent down and aimed straight at his heart. The last thing he saw was the syringe, covered in bloodstains of its previous victims. The stinger struck his body with terrifying precision. Then everything went black.