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A Woman in Scarlet

A woman in scarlet with auburn hair and caramel eyes stalks the streets, restless. Today’s mission wasn’t successful. A shame, really. If only it had gone perfectly as expected by her dutiful instructor, then the impending end of a youth’s innocent life would continue as fate intended.

She eyes the passing pedestrians, all who mind their own business and pretend her presence is non-existent. In a city this large, the locals knew that if you didn’t want trouble, you do not make eye contact at any costs. A young man with black hair and matching eyes, probably around her age, meets her piercing gaze. He immediately looks away, anxious, but it’s too late. She purses her painted carmine lips. First mistake.

And so it begins.

He looks around the scenery as if he’s never seen it before, and he probably hasn’t – he’s very much a tourist. His outfit doesn’t adhere to the societal standards around here and his eyes hold an uncorrupted innocence she hasn’t had since childhood. It almost makes her jealous and she smiles, wryly. It seems at this time, he foolishly decides that the best course of action would be to duck away into an isolated alley way where no one else would be lurking in the shadows. Which also means it’s the perfect place for her to strike. Second mistake.

She nonchalantly follows with a spring in her step, humming the theme song of the newest Pillowy commercial. Damn, that jingle is catchy. “Hey there, sweetheart,” she greets, her voice as sweet as honey. The man freezes. He takes forever and a day to turn around.

“What do you want?” His body is quaking, eyes desperately darting around and looking for a way to escape. He looks akin to a mouse caught by the cat.

“Not much, just to talk,” she soothes, but his posture remains rigid. “Don’t believe me? It’s a pretty good city, you know.” “That’s not what I’ve heard,” he nervously says. This poor naïve fool.

She laughs. It’s a beautiful noise and she knows it. Plenty of men have told her how lovely it sounds, like bells and other flowery prose that she cares not to remember. “Please, there’s many people here and we’re not all bad apples.”

“Uh huh,” he murmurs. “Well, I’ll just be on my way then.”

He goes to move past her, but she’s not ready to say goodbye. She flashes a glimpse of silver at him beneath her sanguine peacoat and he stops cold in his tracks. “Not so fast, honey.”

“W-What do you want?” the man repeats, and his shaking worsens. “I’ll give you my wallet, I don’t have that much money, but if that’s what you want, please just take it—”

“Oh, I don’t want your money, darling,” she simpers, openly wielding the knife. With a flick of her wrist, she draws the tip of her blade delicately along his pale cheek and he sobs. The line of scarlet that it leaves in its wake is electrifying, setting the blood in her veins on fire as it burns her core. “Don't you know? Girls just want to have fun.”

He holds his tongue, tears steadily starting to stream down his face. The salty liquid trickles into the cut. How much does it sting? she giddily wonders. The irony.

After what feels like an eternal silence shared between them, he makes the desperate motion to grab her wrist and rip her knife away from her. Third mistake.

And as everyone knows, three strikes and you’re out.


written for day 1 of the literal challenge's like the prose event.

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