And so, by choice or chance, here she was.
After yet another university interview that she’d only had half of her heart in, Nessie had decided to vent her silent frustrations by walking back to her hotel instead of taking the tube. The air was bitingly chilly, but not freezing, and the streets were a uniform grey and white, with varying shades in between, a dull setting that allowed the young redhead to stay within her thoughts. It was bitter weather, not unlike Nessie herself, who was yet again confused and annoyed at her own dissatisfaction.
She had moved to London in search of a path she could see herself happily taking to move on into her future, or at least an indication towards it. But so far it was fairing no better than her previous home in Edinburgh. It just felt as though something was missing, a craving for something that she hadn’t found behind any of the doors of options available. And there were many options. After all, she had fairly outstanding grades in a wide variety of subjects, enough so that almost any university would froth at the mouth to have her apply. But nothing they could offer, nor anything she could think of herself, could rouse or convince her. There was still something missing.
Perhaps it was her? Maybe she was expecting too much from the choices she had before her, or her desires were simply just out of anyone and anything’s reach, including her own. Perhaps it was just time to re-evaluate, to get real. After all, what if there was no end to this if she didn’t change? She didn’t want to be considering this sort of thing into her twenties, she hadn’t worked hard in school just to end up nowhere-
Speaking of ending up nowhere, where was she?
It turns out that trekking through a large city like London on foot with barely any navigational reference, other than a surface level understanding of the London Underground, is not the most practical idea, especially while in thought.
So, with the sky having darkened without her noticing, Nessie found herself standing by a large construction site. A fence that was fairly tall, but easy to clamber over, separated the outside world from the site, which was filled with its own structures: cranes that waved to the skyscrapers that they rivalled in height, scaffolding that lined most of the site itself, supported by an array of planks and beams that served as the foundation from which the builders themselves worked off of. Not to mention the vehicles and the soil on which they stood. What the site was for, the girl wasn’t sure, but that didn’t take away from the feeling that what laid beyond the fence was a small world unlike anything else.
That was when a shadow out of the corner of Nessie’s eye broke her out of her train of thought once again. And then another shadow. And another. Every time just out of sight, always flashing past before she could get a proper look at whatever it was, her bright green eyes always a split second behind. Funnily enough, this was becoming quite a regular occurrence for the young lady, at least it had been ever since she’d moved to London a few weeks before. Every so often she would catch a patch of darkness teasing at her peripheral vision wherever she went: in the street, on the train, even in some of the university campuses she’d visited. A shadow that followed her wherever she went. But every time she turned to see what it was, she was met with nothing. A blank space that teased her even more with its innocence than the shadow itself. It had gotten to a point where she’d begun to ignore it. Perhaps she needed to get her eyes tested or something.
Today though, of all days, she wasn’t having any of it. Her frustrations from earlier became a surrogate for her fury, triggered by those damned shadows that wouldn’t leave her alone. And she was well aware that a young woman like herself was a prime target for any perverted stalker that might get their kicks from persecuting and irritating her like this.
“Oi! Stay away! Whoever you are! I’m fed up with this!”
Her accented voice rang out harshly in the evening air, though it seemed like there was no one to hear it given the silence she was met with in response. Just stillness for a few seconds... until another shadow whistled past her eye once again, this time as though it were moving over the fence into the construction site.
At that point she considered just walking away. Whatever or whoever this was, they were clearly playing with her. Walking away would just end their fun, for now at least. But Nessie was still angry, and with anger comes a tendency to act on impulse. And so that’s what she did.
“Oh, sod this...”
The girl sighed before throwing herself at the fence, launching her lithe body on top of it just barely and then finally lowering herself down to the earthy ground on the other side.
After gathering her bearings, the first thing the young Scotswoman noticed was just how large of a plot this construction side covered. Mounds of dirt like miniature hills prevented her from seeing to the other side of the site at all, essentially enclosing her unless she went over them, but she wasn’t about to get a good set of clothes dirty. What she could see though were multiple and various flashes of light that shone over the reach of the hills, almost like silent fireworks. In fact, if she really listened, she could perhaps even hear voices emanating from roughly the same place as where those flashes of light were popping up, but soon enough Nessie would have other things to pay attention to.
She almost dismissed it at first; another stupid shadow in the corner of her eye that would be gone within a second. Until she realised two things. It wasn’t in the corner of her eye at all, in fact it was dead centre, just on top of one of the dirt mounds. And it wasn’t moving, at least not in the same way the shadows had before. It took its time, and headed straight for her.
“Hello...?” A nervous attempt at getting a response from who or what was approaching her came out strained and quiet. And even if it had heard her, the shadow kept on with its approach. And now it wasn’t alone.
More shadows, roughly of the same shape and size, came up over the hills of soil at varying degrees of haste. But it wasn’t just their speeds of approach that concerned Nessie as they got closer to her. It was their features, which she now could just about distinguish in the low levels of light. A dark blue alien figure featuring sharp, sickle-like red eyes with even sharper claws at the ends of each arm, and a twisted heart-like symbol on their chests. But there was nothing to love about these creatures.
Confused but with no time to question Nessie tensed up in panic, beginning to back away towards the fence with wide eyes fixed on the monsters before her.
“Oh... oh shit...”
She gasped as she felt the cold steel of the fence tingle against her neck, a frosty hand holding her in place as she was left powerless to do anything but watch as her impending doom slowly closed in on her.
“Fuck, just... Just fuck off! All of you! Just fuck off!”
Fear was mostly substituted for anger as Nessie sensed her last moments coming, a slew of yelled out curse words against her multiplying assailants. Well, if she was going to go out, she’d go out fighting. A true Scot to the last second.