*The following scene contains nudity, violence, and profanity. You’ve been warned!
“Take off your clothes.” The gun was barely a few inches from her face. She glared directly into his eyes as she unbuttoned her blouse, taking as long as she could on each button, trying to think of a way out of this. She looked over her shoulder at the street below. “Don’t get any ideas,” he warned. “There’s nowhere for you to go.”
As she stripped down to her bra and panties, she closed her eyes, wanting to escape to another place. The hair on her arms was starting to rise as she felt the cool air of the spring night. The man in front of her stepped up to her, and she felt his hot breath in her face. Then the cold metal of the gun touch her skin and she jolted her eyes open, pleading with her assaulter. He leaned in and tried to kiss her. She fought as hard as she could to turn away and she felt the barrel of the gun dig harder into the side of her neck. She gave in.
“See, that’s not so bad.” He slowly slid the tip of the gun down between her breasts. “This too,” he said fondling her bra with his gun. “I want it all off. Nothing but skin.” She hadn’t stopped glaring at him. She wanted to flip him the bird, she was doing it in her mind. But doing it for real might end her life and she wasn’t ready to do that yet. By the time her bra and panties were in a pile at her feet, he had his fly undone. He grabbed her wrist and forced her to feel his bulging penis. She closed her eyes, trying to numb herself, trying to leave her body. He pressed his groin into hers and pinched her between the railing again.
In the background, she could hear Vivian pleading with him to stop but she wished he would just get it over with already, so she could put this whole night behind her.
“Jesus Christ. Shut... Up.” He said to Vivian as he turned his attention back to her. She felt his fiery breath for a second, and then she felt him stop and step back. She opened her eyes to see what was going on. Vivian had left the chair she was sitting on and was stomping towards them.
“I’m not going to sit here and let you do this.” Vivian pointed her finger at him like she was scolding a child. She was crying again. “I’m so sorry. Sorry for everything.” As Vivian stepped within striking distance, he lashed out and backhanded her across the face with his gun, sending her to the ground.
“Nooooo!” The one that was pinned to the railing shrieked at the top of her lungs. She started screaming for help like she was suddenly released from the trance he held her in.
“Shut. Up. Why won’t you women listen to me?” He tried to cover her mouth and she started swinging at his hands, trying unsuccessfully to bat them away. She lifted her knee, hoping it would hit him in the groin hard enough to make him sick. He caught her ankle in his grip instead and shoved her as hard as he could over the guardrail. She let out a piercing scream that faded quickly as she fell to her death.
He did up his fly and turned and walked over to where Vivian landed on the rooftop. She was unconscious. “You’re welcome,” he said as he stepped over her and continued to the door.
Booonnggggg-ooonngggg! A loud gonging sound vibrated the railing of the balcony outside. Cynthia and Ben could hear the vibrations as they looked at each other and towards the balcony.
“Did you hear something?” Cynthia asked puzzled.
“Yeah, but what was it? I’ve never heard anything like that. Like someone took a large sledgehammer and smacked it against the balcony railing. My ears are still ringing.” Ben got up and hurried toward the balcony doors as Cynthia braced herself on the couch, fearful that someone was outside. She knew this was impossible. How on earth would they get up here? Ben slid the glass door open as the full-length curtains followed him out onto the balcony. There was nothing on the balcony, so he leaned over to have a look below.
All Cynthia could hear from inside Ben’s apartment was, “What the fff . . . ?” Cynthia jumped up from the couch and started to call out to Ben, but he was already on his way back inside.
“Don’t go out there.”
“Why not? What’s going on? Did something hit the balcony?” All the colour had drained out of Ben’s face, and Cynthia could tell he was processing what he had seen below. Slowly Ben started to speak.
“I think . . . it’s . . . a body.”
“What?!” Cynthia wasn’t sure she heard correctly. “A body?”
“Yeah, I’m going to go find out what’s going on.”
“Do you think they’re okay?” Cynthia knew the answer but didn’t want to think about it. Ben looked at her and shook his head.
“We’re seven floors up,” Ben said, raising his eyebrows.
“Should I call 9-1-1?” Cynthia asked as Ben headed towards the door.
“Let me check it out. Maybe it just looks like a body. I’ve got my cell phone.”
Cynthia wanted to go with Ben to find out what was going on, but he left so fast she didn’t get a chance. She took a deep breath and walked towards the balcony. The sliding glass door was still open and the curtains were blowing into the living room. It reminded Cynthia of a creepy scene from a movie. She intended to close the door but found herself walking out onto the balcony instead. She held onto the railing and peered over the edge. She could see where the body rested. It looked like a blurry blob and if Ben hadn’t said it was a body, she probably would have thought nothing of it.
As sirens blared, Cynthia saw people moving around on the ground near the body. They looked like ants scrambling around, looking for food. She saw what she thought was more people and assumed they were emergency personnel. Realizing nothing could be done at this point, Cynthia turned and went back inside, closing the door behind her.
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