She smelt competition dripping from his bones. The boy was in pain, but not a word or a sigh escaped his mouth. She twisted and bucked his body in her hands, in her domain, the world of nails.
Nails dug into Nife's body, bleeding him towards a slow and horrible death. There were small pins stuck in his legs and large nails in his hands. But he glared at the Nailwidow with hate in his eyes and a sneer on his face. The pain was killing Nife but it was also making him angry. His hands were pinned to the ground by the nails that the old woman had thrown at him from her bag. He moved one bleeding palm to and fro to move the nail it was stuck with. The thick nail gave way and Nife freed one hand from the ground. He brought his hand to hit face and grabbed the nail with his teeth. With an agonizing pull, he yanked the nail out of his hand.
The Nailwidow watched him do all this with amusement. He lunged at her with the nail in his hand, but she was just out of his reach. She flinched for a bare second, by the force of his action, but regained her composure.
"Calm down boy. The more you move, the sooner you will die. Don't make it so hard for yourself."
Nife said nothing.
"I don't like the way you look at me," she said, "I am almost as old as your mother, if you ever knew her, show some respect."
Nife spat at her and the globule of spit landed at her feet.
"Today's kids..." she sighed.
Her fingers moved, and two large nails rose from her bag as if lifted by invisible strings. And they floated right above Nife's eyes.
The Nailwidow fixed Nife with her stare.
"Beg." she said, as she lowered the nails on Nife's eyes.
Nife said nothing. And the nails kept getting closer.
Meanwhile, the darkman, who was now sated on Nife's kill moved out of the alley and into the morning sun. He looked at the watch that was looped around his wrist and saw that it pointed him in the same direction he was heading to. He put the watch in his pocket and started to walk. There was lot of distance to be covered and the heart was calling out to him now.
In the small shop, the shop owner's body was starting to rot. A dog smelt the stink of meat and made its way into the shop from an open window. It started to eat the decaying body of the shopkeeper. The glow from the jar scared the dog a little bit, but it's hunger was more scary. It continued to eat. The heart pulsed a little harder now that it could feel the dark man coming for it.
Part 9 Tomorrow!!