could see the way he looked at me, and I knew what he was thinking – ‘Such a pretty little girl, too young to
be walking around these parts late at night! Twelve years old; and all alone.’
I saw that his face had the look of a predator that has found its victim. He began
to follow me. I walked more quickly, my neat black shoes tapping on the pavement, my pink dress with the lace and the sash
far too thin and flimsy for such a chilly night. I could hear his footsteps, following at a distance, not so close that it
was obvious he was trailing a child, but he wasn’t going to let me out of his sight.
I took a quick left turn, away from the streetlights and the shops, into a dark
narrow alley that smelled of cats. But he saw me. He went down the alley after me, and now that there was less chance of his
being noticed, his footsteps speeded up. He was getting closer. I started to run. The alley swerved in a sort of dog-leg and
came to a dead end. I could go no further. I stood there, beneath the dim light of a single yellowish bulb.
He was behind me in a moment, already fiddling with his trouser-zip.
And then in that ghastly light, he saw me properly for the first time, the face
and form of a little girl, but eyes shining with the experience of centuries, knowing all the squalid secrets of his soul.
He saw my fangs briefly, as I took him by the jugular and drank. Another successful hunt, another meal lured into my trap.
He thought he was the predator. It turned out that he was really the prey.