The Divorcee is a Wicked Black Belly Chapter 16: Two incidents

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The ages of the children who were playing in the park ranged from a young teen of 13 and five. The youngest were on the slides; the eldest, a young man carrying a backpack, was on the swing, feeding a small dog by his side.

It was very noisy because the young children were aggressively elbowing each other to get to the slide first. Two young boys were arguing with a girl who was trying to shove them off the stairs so she could get to the top before them. It was really noisy, which started to annoy the young man.

He got off the swing and snapped his fingers. The dog stood in attention and docilely followed the young man to the edge of the water. The beach was nearly empty. It wasn't as popular a destination as the other beach on the next city but it was still a favorite amongst the old timers in the small community.

There was a long walk from the park to the edge of the water. The young man changed his mind at the last minute and walked the other way, following instead the path to the lighthouse which stood some distance away.

The sun was going down and it was starting to get chilly. The dog howled as it gave chase to the young man who disappeared behind a thick copse of small trees. The young man sat on a rock, watching the swell of the tide and the last burst of sunlight as it enveloped the lighthouse in its rays. It was truly a beautiful sight.

The little dog had by now reached him. The young man called out a greeting and throw some animal crackers in its direction. The dog barked and eagerly devoured the crackers. The wind whipped the young man's hair against his face. The tide rolled mightily on the waves with a whooshing sound while the lighthouse silently stood its ground.

The young man stood up and called for the dog. The two of them walked on the sand, the dog sniffing the gound and the young man looking at his phone.

The shadow, when it collided with them, smashed the young man's ribs until it cracked. The sickening sound was lost in the sound of the waves, as were the whimpers of the dog, who had its tail down in fright.

The young man fell back on the sand with a loud thud. His eyes were wide open, an expression of surprise in them. He was in so much pain but he was still alive. The dog whimpered softly beside him and licked his hand, its tongue warm against his skin.

A weight suddenly landed on his body. He screamed agonizingly as something pulled at his tongue and his throat. He could feel something warm and liquid pool down his neck. The weight lifted and transferred to his head. His temples were on fire. He gurgled a scream and finally lost consciousness.

The terrified dog watched as the shadow sat beside the young man's unconscious body. It seemed to be waiting for something. Finally, it watched as a ghostly spirit peered out of the boy's body until it hovered on the air like a wisp of smoke. It looked down on its body, seemingly bewildered and confused. It was almost blind; it kept blinking its eyes like it was tearing up and was about to cry.


The ghostly spirit continued to hover above the boy's body like it didn't know what to do or where to go. The shadow that silently watched it drew nearer. It reached out and in one snap eagerly devoured the ghostly spirit which struggled futilely, the last gasp of its consciousness manifesting in a small and bewildered cry.

The beach returned to its normal pace. The waves continued frolicking to and fro on the sand. The wind picked up speed and the sun happily went down for the night. The boy on the beach opened his eyes and sat up.

He struggled to his feet. The dog gave a little bark and put his front paws on the boy's legs, looking up at him with his tail wagging happily. The young man lifted the dog by its collar and held it before him. The young man and the dog stared at each other.

The young man drew nearer to the dog and with a vicious bite snapped the little dog's neck in half. The little body convulsed horribly until it stopped. The young man then proceeded to gnaw at its torn body like a rabid wolf.

Bones and hair and blood went down his throat like tofu. When the dog was completely devoured and eaten, the young man staggered back on the sand in a dead faint. Tiny web-like veins popped out of his skin until it covered his face, neck and the rest of his body in seconds. The body then deflated like a punctured balloon and caught fire.

The ash mixed with the sand. The blood was washed away with the oncoming tide. There was nothing left anywhere to indicate that the young man and his dog were ever there.

******

An Ning woke up from the same nightmare. She was in the hospital and a man was hovering above her. He was begging her not to let him go. He sounded so desolate and so lost she could feel her heart constrict in pain. She couldn't see his face; could only hear his mournful voice and it bugged her that he sounded familiar.

She reached for her phone in the darkness and looked at the time. Nearly two o'clock. She had been sleeping for an hour. She looked at the blue light coming from her computer in the next room. She yawned, suddenly feeling exhausted. She had been forced to bring home some work lately ever since Sam announced his intention to unveil one of their designs in an upcoming tech convention six months away.

There was not enough time, she wanted to say, but she saw the excited faces of her staff and just nodded her okay. She decided to trust Sam, who preened like a peacock after having gotten his way. He might look like a wannabe magician cum rock star on and off his computer but he was also one of the most talented game designers An Ning had ever met.

He was also hardworking. If he says he wants to do something, that something was done efficiently and with a minimum of fuss.

They celebrated by calling Moira, who came by a few hours later to drop off a box of the most succulent chocolate cake An Ning had ever seen in her life.

Meynard, who was a health nut, grumbled good-naturedly, but it wasn't long before he, too, succumbed to the temptation. He accepted a slice from Shan Shan, a new girl recently hired by An Ning, and ate it with his plain tea.

An Ning's mouth began to water when she thought of the same chocolate cake waiting for her in the kitchen. Feeling the familiar hollowness in her stomach, she decided to go to the kitchen and cut herself a slice. The covers were thrown away, she got off the bed and reached for the light.

The wind that blew on her back alerted her to the presence. She was slow to turn her head so she only saw the glint of something about to reach her back. An Ning instinctively grabbed the blanket and threw it in that direction, entangling the intruder in the thick bedsheets as she hastily scampered away.

An Ning turned on the lights and came face to face with a masked intruder who again came at her with the knife and a loud grunt. An Ning lunged forward and met the lunging knife by bludgeoning the hand holding it with a baseball bat.

The intruder staggered backwards with a yelp, dropping the knife and cradling the now useless hand. An Ning again hammered at the intruder with a vicious blow on the stomach and head. The intruder dropped to the ground with a whimper and was still.

An Ning reached for the whistle around her neck and blew hard. The sound penetrated the night like a banshee's wail. Footsteps sounded outside. The door opened and a young man barged in.

"What the hell happened?"

"This happened," An Ning said, indicating the intruder. "Where were you?"

"Outside. Must have climbed up the back window, huh?"

"My god, An Ning! What happened? Are you alright? What was that noise?" An Ma entered the room like an angry whirlwind. He stopped when he saw the young man and was about to speak when he caught sight of the body on the floor.

"What's going on here?" he asked. "Who is this young man and why is there a dead body on the floor?"

"I don't know if it's a dead body or not. Matt, check it will you?"

The young man named Matt crouched down on the still body, lifted a hand and felt its pulse.

"Just out for the night," he said, turning to An Ning. He smiled mockingly. "You didn't need me at all."

"You were the back up," An Ning said. "And the hound dog if you want to call yourself that."

"Who are you? What the hell is this about?" An Ma was getting angry.

"You remember him surely, dad. He witnessed your will and testament. His name is Matt and he's a private detective I hired."

An Ma was shocked speechless, staring at his daughter then the young man who mischievously saluted him.

"I don't understand what this is about," An Ma complained. "Why hire a private detective? And who is this idiot sleeping on the floor?"

Matt laughed and with a flourish reached down and tore off the black ski mask hiding the intruder's face from view.

An Ma gasped loudly and staggered backwards. An Ning cooly looked down at the woman splayed on the ground.

"Call the police," she said, turning to Matt. "Tell them a murder was about to be committed but it was foiled."

An Ning again looked at the woman on the floor.

"Tell them a mother was about to kill her daughter but that the daughter fought back and knocked her own mother out cold."

There was a loud gasp of surprise. An Ma slumped on the ground completely and utterly stunned.



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