Stray

Here’s a writing assignment I did for my English class earlier this semester… It’s called a character sketch, which basically is providing basic outlines or first impressions of a character without actually meeting them in the story. The characters I used in here are completely original, created by a friend and I. 

***

I remember the day I first learned of him.

About Stray.

My friend, Aaron, was the one to bring it to my attention that he existed; I picked up other stories from everyone else along the way. It seemed to be that I was the only one that didn’t have some kind of knowledge about this person- if you could even call him that- besides the information told to me by others, and I was determined to find out everything I could.

I heard stories about his odd appearance, or about his horrible habits during certain nights. Legends saying that no one knows what happens to him during the daytime, yet others saying that he has the manner of an alley cat while he’s still half sane- aloof and wild. I’ve had many nightmares about him, waking up with the image of those red eyes burned into my mind. I vividly remember his pupils, a darker shade of red rather than black. I grew scared of the streets at night, worried that I would be subjected to one of his rampages.

I don’t want to die.

When I first heard of Stray, it was late evening, and Aaron and I were walking down the sidewalk towards my house. The sky was growing darker with every step, clouds drifting across my vision towards the mountains in the distance.

“We should hurry up,” I murmured to myself, glancing around warily as I ran a hand through my long, black hair. I wasn’t scared of the dark, no, not at all; I was just terrified of what’s in it.

Aaron grinned, pulling his earphones out. A few strands of dirty blonde hair flopped into his eyes as he turned to look at me. “What, worried about Stray?”

“Who?” I asked, racking my brain for any recollection of that name… it did sound quite familiar to me.

“The street legend,” Aaron replied, his grin growing wider as he shoved his hands into his jacket pockets. “You’ve seriously never heard of him?”

“Not that I remember,” I said, making a face.

“Stories say that he broke out of a nuthouse with the highest level of security there is,” Aaron said, blue eyes glinting. “Apparently, once in awhile he has a monster craving to taste blood, and he goes on a killing rampage. There isn’t a single person that’s survived being within a single-mile radius of him during one. They say that the last thing you see before he finishes torturing you is his eyes- his gleaming red eyes.”

I raised an eyebrow at my friend, not wanting to believe him. “And how exactly do you know this, considering that there shouldn’t be a person alive to tell the tale?”

Aaron blinked. “Well… I… uh…” He paused awkwardly for a second, then shrugged and said simply, “I know him.”

The sky had turned almost completely dark at that point, and I could barely see my own feet. I was almost home though; only a couple more blocks to go.

I rolled my eyes, sticking my hands in the pockets of my shorts. “Sure, you do. And you’re currently an undead person that’s been somehow revived, because everyone within a one-mile radius of Stray dies, right?” I said, smirking.

“Aw, shut up,” Aaron grumbled, face turning slightly red as he looked away from me. I just laughed at him. There’s no way that all this “Stray” nonsense could be true at all.

We reached the steps in front of my house, and I waved goodbye to Aaron as I climbed them to the porch. As I opened the door to walk inside, I snuck a glance over my shoulder to see where Aaron was going. He sauntered along the sidewalk casually for about half a block, then he suddenly stopped, looked around him to see if anyone was there, and then dashed into the nearest alleyway. I knit my eyebrows in confusion. Where’s he going…?

An idea crept its way into my brain, but I shook it off. That isn’t even possible… Oh, well. Maybe I’ll figure it out eventually.

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