Jaden and Marvin find themselves trapped behind a dumpster in an alley, and they’re not sure what to do. The guy that Jaden recognized as his classmate starts walking into the alley more. Jaden and Marvin can hear his footsteps getting closer and closer to them. Marvin looks under the dumpster, and he can see the guy’s shadow getting closer to them. Jaden starts shaking and trying his best to control his breathing. Then, they hear more footsteps approaching.
The shadow figure that was drawing near Jaden and Marvin stops in his place. He’s begging and pleading for his life to be spared.
“P-p-p-please, p-p-please, please leave me alone. I-I-I-I I’ll give you my wallet,” the guy stutters.
Jaden and Marvin hear the guy crying and pleading for his life to be spared. Jaden wants to do something, but Marvin stops him.
Jaden whispers, “We have to do something. We can’t just let my classmate get hurt and beat up like this. I can’t listen to this”
“We don’t know what’s going on or how many people are trying to hurt him right now. We need to be quiet and protect ourselves first,” Marvin whispers back to Jaden.
Suddenly, something hits the dumpster that startles Jaden and Marvin. Then, they hear something hit the ground. They both decide to look underneath the dumpster and see Jaden’s classmate’s body on the ground. Jaden’s eyes meet his classmate’s eyes, and his classmate is reaching to him for help. He’s begging and hoping Jaden will help him out of this frightening, horrific situation. Jaden does not know what to do, but he does not have time to do anything.
Pocket knives are stabbing Jaden’s classmate’s body. The stabbing is loud, true and unbearable. Blood starts creeping and slowly moving closer to Jaden and Marvin. So much blood is being lost now. Jaden is close to throwing up, while Marvin is in shock with what he is witnessing. Yet, Jaden’s classmate still reaches for him. Despite the suffering and pain he’s enduring, he still reaches out to him. Jaden still watches in horror. Marvin and Jaden hear laughter from the attackers for this is simply a fun, sick, thrilling game that they never want to stop playing.
“We have to do something, Marvin. I can’t keep watching and not doing anything about it. This is sick and wrong, we have to put in an end to it. I’m calling the cops,” Jaden whispers.
Jaden reaches for his phone, but Marvin quickly stops him. Then, he whispers, “We can’t do anything right now. It’s too late. Even if we did call the cops, they would get away and we would be the ones in trouble somehow.”
“You don’t know that, we have to do something. They’re murdering a guy right in front of us.”
“I know, but we gotta think about ourselves right now. The best thing we can do right now is stay hidden and be quiet, Jaden.”
“I can’t just be quiet, I have to do something. Do you not see a guy being stabbed over and over again? Do you not care at all?”
“Of course I care. But what are we going to do about it? Join him and die with him because it’s the right thing to do? No, I don’t know this dude and neither do you. He’s just a shadow in your class, but if you want to die with him too. Be my guest.”
The stabbing comes to an abrupt stop. Marvin and Jaden kneel down again and see Jaden’s classmate’s body lifeless on the floor. Then, they hear footsteps walking away from the alley. They wait a few minutes before doing anything at all. Marvin eventually gets up and takes a quick peek to make sure nobody else is around. Marvin sees that no one else is around and assures Jaden that the coast is clear.
They get out from behind the dumpster and find themselves stepping in a pool of blood. Jaden sees his classmate’s body with multiple stab wounds and almost throws up. Marvin tells Jaden that they need to hurry up and get out of here.
Jaden replies, “No, we need to call him an ambulance and—
“You’re still trying to save this dude! We don’t have time for all that. We need to get out of here and get back home where it’s safe,” Marvin interrupts.
“What are you talking about, Marvin? He needs medical attention, we have to do something.”
“Bro, we need to leave! If somebody sees us right now, we’re going to be in some deep and serious trouble.”
“We didn’t though, and we can prove it to them. We can just explain that we—
“What did we do exactly, Jaden? Oh yeah, we watched a person literally get murdered and did nothing about it. We’re technically accomplices to murder, I think,” Marvin interrupts and yells.
Jaden does not know what to say, then Marvin continues, “Plus, we don’t even know where his attackers are or anything at all. They could still be in the city. They could be waiting for us right now because of all that whispering you did behind the dumpster! Maybe we should stop wasting our time trying to save a dead man! Maybe we should be thinking about getting out of here and worry about saving our own lives right at this very moment!”
Jaden understands where Marvin is coming from and agrees that they should get back to campus. Then, Jaden feels a hand on his ankle. He looks down and sees it’s his classmate’s hand. He’s still alive.
He whispers to Jaden, “Help me, Jaden, please.”
Jaden is shocked that his classmate knows his name, but he can’t believe he’s alive. There’s blood all over his classmate’s face, so he can’t really see him at all. Jaden is not sure he can help his classmate, Jaden does not know what to do. Marvin quickly comes over and kicks his hand off of Jaden’s ankle. Then, Marvin kicks him in the face. Jaden is stunned.
Marvin turns to Jaden and says, “Let’s go, Jaden. We don’t have time for this. We need to get out of here right now. Come on.”
Marvin runs out of the alley and yells back for Jaden to follow him. Jaden quickly kneels down to his classmate’s level and whispers he’s sorry. Before Jaden can leave, his classmate points at the wall. Jaden looks and sees a mural of some woman in a black veil with purple eyes. Then, his classmate whispers to Jaden, “So beautiful.”
He starts coughing up blood, and Jaden wants to help him more than anything. Instead, he runs away from him and follows Marvin out the alley. As he’s running, Jaden hears his classmate calling and begging for him to help him. Jaden ignores his classmate’s call for help and continues running out of the alley. Never looking back once.
This is the end of part three of “A Familiar Shadow.”
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Part Four of “A Familiar Shadow” will be posted next Thursday.