It was dusk. I was casually strolling down 17 Street; the air was filled with haze, thick enough that I could barely see ten feet ahead. Besides the occasional passing car, the only sound to be heard was coming from my own leather shoes.
Hm…San Francisco isn’t ever this quiet... I thought.
“Sam… “A voice muttered from behind. I quickly turned and gazed into the fog. Nothing there. I only heard the faint click- clacking of someone’s footsteps, not too far behind.
“Who’s there?” I called. No reply. The footsteps became louder, the stranger only getting closer by the second. Then suddenly the click-clacking quieted; no sound to be heard.
“Sam, I’ve been looking for you everywhere.” A deep voice called from only a few feet away.
Who could possibly be looking for me?. A lump formed in the back of my throat. I knew. My mind raced with anxiety.
They’ve found me…How did they find me? Here of all places. I looked around, there was no way the stranger would be able to tell if he had left; there was too much fog. I walked forward, carefully placing each foot quietly on the pavement.
“Sam!?” The stranger called out. The voice was becoming farther and farther away. I picked up the pace and sprinted around the corner.
CLICK. CLACK. CLICK. CLACK. CLICK. CLACK.
“Sam! Give me the necklace… Just GIVE it to me!“ The stranger was following me! I teared down a dark ally way; my throat dry in agony and my heart beating rapidly.
How could this stranger possibly be following me? There is stinking fog and you can’t even see, but yet he is still able to keep up. I raced ahead, searching for a diversion to try to get away. He quickly turned the corner onto Main Street, swerving in and out of people trying to lose the stranger.
“Excuse me! Pardon me! Sorry Ma’am!” I yelled while running into a nearby plaza, where the humming of hundreds of voices filled the air. As I ran through the swarming crowd, he saw blurs of brilliant fabrics, meats and jewels. Trying to blend in with the crowd, I slowed to a walk hoping that the stranger hadn’t followed me here. I felt for the necklace in my coat pocket.
Good, still there. I have to do anything I can to try to keep this necklace away from him and whatever. I quickly sneaked around the corner hoping to escape. Before I knew it, someone was grabbing me by the neck while thrusting their knee into my back. Falling to the ground, everything around me blurred.
“Now where is that necklace?” I looked up to see a man, wearing sunglasses and a dark jacket which was zipped up to his neck.
“I-I don’t know,” I lied. The man kicked my side, my ribs burning with pain.
“Are we going to have to do this the hard way…or are you going to tell me where that necklace is because I know you have it!” the stranger yelled angrily.
“I-i don’t have it! I swear!” I cried wearily.
“Sam…I know you have it, so just kindly hand it over,” the stranger said in a nice voice. I painfully grabbed my side and trying to stand up.
“Give it to me!” the stranger screamed. He kicked me again several times in the ribs, this time I yelped with pain. I closed my eyes trying to escape the pain and dozed off, silent.
“Sam? Sam?” the stranger was holding him by my shirt collar, jerking my neck forward. I slowly opened his eyes. I saw that behind the strangers right ear was a tattoo of star. That is a weird tattoo to have, especially for a man.
“I’m going to ask you one more time, give me the necklace.” The stranger demanded. I was still silent. The stranger pulled my shirt collar back and then suddenly let it go, my head smashing into the pavement.
“I can…” I muttered, while yelping in pain.
“What? Are you finally deciding to tell me?” I slowly sat up, clutching both my side and head in pain.
“I said, I said I can’t give it to you…” I trailed off.
“What!? You are going to wish you never…” Before the stranger could finish I sprang to his feet, trying to look for a way to escape. My head throbbing with pain, I need to… I need to find a door, the only way I can escape…
I raced around the corner, the stranger following close behind. There, a few yards away was a door leading into Chang Wu’s, a local Chinese restaurant…
What felt like a few moments later I opened my eyes to see a bright blue sky. I wasn’t in Chang Wu’s restaurant anymore; I was lying on soft sand while the smell of salt filled my lungs.
“Hello? Dude are you okay?” said a voice, sweet as honey. I looked around but didn’t see where the voice was coming from. I tried sitting up, unaware of the pains in head and ribs.
“Ooh…Ouch!” I yelled in pain.
“Here let me give you a hand,” said a young girl with golden skin, long, brilliant, brown hair and brown almond eyes that sparkled like diamonds.
“Thanks,” I replied, “um…”The girl stuck out her hand to shake.
” My name is Alee” she said with a bright smile. I shook warm hand.
“Hi. Nice to meet you…um Alee,” I muttered, “I’m Sam.” She smiled again.
“So… what happened to you? You have a huge bruise on your forehead!”
“Oh,” I replied casually, “nothing really...”
“It looks really bad! Come on let me take you to my house and get you fixed up!” she said cheerfully. I groaned. The last thing I need is for something to detour my mission.