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He didn’t know whether it was just the gathering clouds that made the evening seem darker than usual, or if it was something more.

A brief shiver ran down his spine and he pulled his jacket tightly around his body. There was definitely a chill in the air, and his gut told him it wasn’t natural.

“It’s just the weather.”

He turned with a jump and swore at her.

“Why do you always have to creep up on me like that?”

She laughed. “I creep up on everyone, my dear. You know that. So tell me, what brings you to this particular dark alley tonight?”

He frowned at her. Something nagged at the back of his mind. “Doing my job,” he snapped.

“Oh, I see,” she said, with a wink. “So that means homicide. Who’s the victim?”

He shot her a baleful glance. “Why would I tell you anything?”

She shrugged. “I might just have something to reveal to you.”

His head began to throb. “There’s no victim. Not yet.”

“A threat, then.”

“Anonymous tip off,” he muttered, not entirely sure why he was telling her. “A girl called Summer.”

The woman laughed again. Who was she, anyway? His throat went dry. She was so familiar but he realised with a sinking feeling that he actually didn’t know who she was.

“Summer dies tonight,” the woman said. “I know. I’m going to end her.”

She swept away from him and he stood helplessly in the alleyway, as he did every year, as Time brought Summer to an end.

© Kari Fay