• *crunch* *crunch* *crunch* *crunch*. Collin listened to the sound of his shoes on the concrete. He liked the small crunching sound his shoes made against the sand on the pavement as he stared at the starless sky. He used to live up north and there had been millions of stars visible every night, but here he was lucky to see more than five. He bobbed his head along to the tune that was blaring in his headphones while he contemplated why he outside anyways. There was no wind, but the night still made it chilly enough that he could see his own breathe as he huffed in tune to the song. It was almost 3am, most kids his age would be sleeping silently at home, comfortable in their beds; but not Collin, he was antsy, he always took walks this late at night, smiling as he walked down the street, these walks always put him in a good mode, and calmed his nerves.

    His right hand drifted from the pocket in his sweater to the small bulge underneath his sweater. He liked the feel of the knife handle he had hidden in his belt loop, he had convinced himself it was a good idea to take them with him at night in case he got jumped. He didn’t look it with his slim figure and long hair but he was fairly proficient at fighting with knives, a rough childhood in the violent north does that to a kid. He knew it was safer down here, and there wasn’t any need for him to bring his knives with him, but old habits die hard. Well that’s what he told himself.

    He watched light slowly cast itself across the fence beside him as a car drove by. The dead winter trees, the darkness, the cold, the emptiness around him, for some reason Collin loved it, he felt at home, it reminded him of his home in the north. Well that’s what he told himself. Collin turned his head sideways and tried to walk normally in this inverted world, it caused him to stagger around a little but he was able to do it. He thought about how silly he must have looked and burst into laughter, he stopped walking and held his stomach as he laughed at how strange he must have looked to someone watching. At least that’s why he hoped he was laughing.

    His eyes were wide now, and a massive grin spread across his face. Somebody was walking towards him from the other direction. Their shadow looked quite intimidating, Collin places his hands closer to his knives, who knew what kinds of nuts were out at night these days. As the person came closer Collin let out a burst of laughter, this person was trying to kill him, surely anyone watching could see it! He had to defend himself, he was just an innocent teenager! His eyes wide now with pure ecstasy, his family had tried to attack him too, and his friends, that’s why he’d left his hometown!

    He walked up to the person, his head down, as they were passing by him he placed a hand on their shoulder
    “You’re an eyesore”
    was the last thing Collin said before slashing the person with both his knives, one covered in bacteria, the other poisoned. Even if this person survived Collins slashes they would die from poison and infection in the next few hours, it was more natural to go that way. Collin's face twisted into a grimace, he was irritated. His slash at the throat had not killed the man, and there was a small gurgling noise coming from behind him. He continued walking, placing the knives back into his belt loop and calling a taxi to pick him up. He’d defended himself again, but just to be safe he should go on to the next state, the police never believed him anyways. He kept walking *crunch* *crunch* *crunch* *crunch*, oh how he loved that sound, and on such a lovely night too, the black sky with no visible lights, he loved it.