The sky was gloomy over Star City, clouds swollen with the promise of rain. Annabelle walked quickly, increasing her stride as the sun began to sink behind the surrounding office buildings. The sounds of work on the docks was slowly diminishing. The last thing she wanted was to be caught out on the street after dark. A thin, average height seventeen year old girl equaled perfect victim status, and she was acutely aware of the fact.
"God, why did I have to finish that shot today? It could have sat in the dark room over night." she whined softly to herself, grasping the yellow envelop that held the developed filmstrips closer to her chest. She glanced at her wrist watch and walked even faster down the deserted street, pulling her raincoat snug against her small frame as the wind whipped violently. Five minutes until sundown. As she rounded the corner, a clap of thunder announced the rain.
"Shit…" she hissed, shoving the envelope into her jacket and ducking her head to the falling rain. Her short copper hair was quickly drenched and her bangs fell into her eyes. She was still two blocks from the subway station that would take her home, if you could call the one bedroom shack of an apartment 'home'. Suddenly, Annabelle heard gruff talking ahead. She glanced up and began to curse inwardly. A few feet in front of her were five figures, undoubtedly male. Their conversation stopped as they noticed her, eyes watching silently as she approached.
Don't show fear, just keep walking… Annabelle could feel the men's eyes burning into her skin. As she passed, she was forced to walk between the group. Just when she began to skirt around the last one, just when she began to fell safe, the man grabbed her arm roughly.
"Where's a pretty little thing like you going on a night like this?" he asked her, and she could smell the alcohol on his breath. He had a angry scar across his right cheek.
"Let me go." she stated clearly, glad that her voice didn't betray her. The mans companions converged closer, forming a broken circle around her. She tugged her arm away from him quickly. As she tried to back away, she ran into another man, shorter than the first, but towering over her regardless. He put his hands on her shoulders forcefully. This man wore a battered, old hat that covered his eyes.
"Get away!" Annabelle shrieked, beginning to panic. She had heard the horror-stories of women getting attacked on the streets at night, but she had hoped that it would never happed to her. She was totally unprepared for this. Annabelle surged away from the circle of men and began to sprint down the street.
"Hey! Get back here, we want to have some fun!" one of the men called after her. To Annabelle's horror, she heard the group chasing after her.
Two blocks, two blocks, two blocks! she screamed frantically in her head as her gray converse slapped the sidewalk, unheeding of the forming puddles. Someone at the station would help her, or at least act as a witness. Out of the corner of her eye, Annabelle saw a hand fly towards her face. She flinched away instinctively, turning in the process. She kept running, realizing that she had gone into an alleyway. Another turn opened up on her right, and she took it hoping that it would lead her back to the street. She whimpered as she saw the chain link fence that blocked her escape route, a faint streetlight flickering above it. She twisted around quickly to see the men stalking towards her slowly, knowing that she had been caught. The raindrops pattered down on the scene loudly.
"Look how our luck has changed boys, she's led us to the perfect place for some fun." the man with the scar said. Annabelle turned back to the fence and started to climb wildly. She had barely pulled herself up two feet when she felt someone grab her around the waist roughly and drag her down.
Instead of screaming, Annabelle lashed out, catching her captor in the jaw with her elbow. He dropped her and stumbled back, rubbing his chin. Annabelle was surprised at herself, she wasn't the violent type, but she wasn't going down without a fight. The man she hit was wearing a red plaid shirt that reminded Annabelle of a farmer. She took a second to study the others. One was rather fat and breathing heavily at the back of the group, obviously tired out from the chase. The other had a thick mustache, and a cruel glint in his eyes. Annabelle's eyes switched from one man to the other, frantically awaiting the next move.
"Come on girly, why don't you play nice? We promise we wont hurt you…" the man with the scar said. Annabelle singled him out as the ringleader since he talked the most. In a moment of panic, she tried to barrel past them, but the man with the hat grabbed her and threw her back towards the fence. It rattled loudly as she collided into it. The moustache man pulled something out of his pocket. As it glinted in the streetlight Annabelle stiffened. He had a knife, a sharp knife.
"Lets get this over with, I'm tired of messing around." he growled, walking towards her. Annabelle backed into the fence as the moustache man pressed the knife against her throat.
"Take off the jacket." he ordered. The other men came closer, watching in anticipation. The knife pressed harder against her skin as Annabelle fumbled with the buttons and tie with shaking fingers. The manila envelope holding her photographs dropped to the ground as she let her black jacket fall. The men's eyes roamed her body quickly, clad in a grey, form fitting v-neck shirt and dark blue skinny jeans.
This cant be happening….this cant be happening! Her thoughts screamed. But it was happening, and she had to do something to stop it. While moustache man was looking her up and down, Annabelle grabbed his wrist with both of her hands and twisted sharply. She heard a sickening crack and let go, nose scrunching in disgust. The blade clattered to the ground and the man yelped in surprise and pain. Annabelle leaned back against the fence and kicked him away from her with both feet, quickly bending down to grab the knife as he fell.
"Stay away from me, all of you!" she shrieked brandishing the knife as they began to approach her. The man in the hat rushed at her. Annabelle swung the knife at him, screaming when a spray of blood hit her face. The man cried out, clutching his arm and scurrying away. The man with the scar tackled Annabelle, pressing her body against the cold ground. Annabelle hit the ground on her side, hard. Quickly, she tried to scurry out of the scarred mans grasp. He pushed his knee against her spine and stepped on her wrist that held the knife with big, bulky boots . With a cry of pain, the knife fell from her grasp. Her face was smashed against the gravel and tears began to sting her eyes. The men behind them were speaking, but Annabelle couldn't make out their words. She could feel hot breath against her ear, someone caressing her short hair. Her body was cold and wet from the rain. When a hand trailed down her side and grabbed her pant hem, Annabelle's body stiffened. She felt like an animal caught in a cars headlights. She couldn't move, couldn't scream, could barely breath as she felt her skin become bare. The scarred man was still sitting on her back, forcing her to stay down. All the fight left her as fear took firm root in the front of her mind. With numb realization, Annabelle knew one of the others pulled her jeans away from her legs, leaving her in her shoes and panties.
"Please stop…" Annabelle whimpered so softly that she doubted anyone had heard her. Her body began to shake from the cold. Annabelle tried to raise her face from the ground, getting dirt smeared on her cheek. Tears blurred her vision as rough hands stroked her bare legs. The scarred man was rising on her body, trying to lift her shirt.
"Just cut it off!" a deep voice said exasperated, probably the farmershirt. Annabelle felt the chill of the blade against her skin, heard the tear of fabric as her shirt was cut away. The scarred man trailed the knife down her back a second time, harder, drawing blood. Annabelle was sobbing now. She felt the rain and blood run down her sides. The men behind her started trading vulgar banter; complementing each other on the thrill of the chase, betting on who would make her scream first. Annabelle tried one last feeble attempt of escape, digging her fingers into the ground and trying to pull herself away from the men's grasps.
"Don't make me hurt you." the scarred man growled in her ear, pulling his fingers roughly through her hair. He pressed the knife tip against her face, tracing the side of her cheek with it. Annabelle whimpered as one of the men began to grind up against her exposed ass.
Suddenly, everything went still. The disgusting conversation behind her stopped, the man grinding against her paused mid thrust. The scarred man stood up, reliving Annabelle of his weight. One of the other men took his place, straddling Annabelle's back dominantly. The scarred man walked closer to the fence, knife in a defensive position.
"What do you want? If you've come to join the fun, you're out of luck. Just keep walking bud!" he called out, puffing up his chest. Annabelle rose her head from the ground in hope. Someone could save her….but, as fast as the relief had come, it vanished. Only one lone figure stood before the scene, streetlight flickering above them, but hiding the figure in shadow. No one man could help her.