Prologue

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Life's Little Quirks

Elizabeth Webber stepped off the city bus and looked around her neighborhood with trepidation. Her first goal was to move out of her apartment on Courtland Street and find some place a little safer to live. She shifted her purple book bag higher on her shoulder and pulled the flaps of her leather jacket closer to protect her from the biting January winds.

She was a senior at Port Charles University with no clue as to what she was going to do after graduation. She knew she had to decide–or she was going to be a screwed college graduate with a liberal arts degree. Some times she thought she might want to teach–but after spending most of her life baby-sitting her younger brother, Elizabeth had decided against it.

Courtland Street was mostly populated by prostitutes and drug dealers, all of whom were out in full force tonight. Elizabeth gripped her book bag tighter. She was only a block from home when someone grabbed her and dragged her into a nearby alley.

At first Elizabeth was too stunned to struggle but she managed to scream. She knew it wouldn’t do any good–residents of Courtland Street learned early to ignore screams.

The guy grabbed her book bag and flung it to the ground. He gripped the bottom of her shirt and started to pull it up.

Elizabeth had been frozen in fear until she felt the bitter wind on her skin. She drove her knee hard up into his groin. He stumbled back and Elizabeth made a run for it.

She barely made it three steps before he grabbed the back of her jacket and she felt a sharp pain explode in her lower back. She screamed again and fell to the ground. She heard footsteps running vaguely but all Elizabeth could concentrate on was the shooting fire in her back.

—-

Jason Morgan was heading towards the bus stop on Courtland Street when a scream ripped through the air. He stopped and waited to hear anything else. When he didn’t, he continued.

He’d walked a friend of his home–he never trusted Carly Benson to get home safely. He kept asking her to move away from Courtland Street, but Carly refused. She couldn’t afford it and adamantly turned down his offers to help with rent on a better apartment.

He was just a block from the bus stop when he heard another scream. He stopped again–it was closer this time. He had only taken a step towards the alley when a man rushed out. He nearly knocked Jason over, but he wasn’t paying attention.

Jason entered the alley and immediately spied a woman lying on her stomach, crying. She was small–he put her in her late teens. She was wearing tight pants and a black leather jacket. He kneeled next to her.

“Are you all right?” he asked, putting a hand on her shoulder. It wasn’t the first time he’d found a crying girl in an alley on Courtland Street–walking Carly home as often as he did, he’d found three other girls who’d been raped.

“My b-back,” the girl gasped through her tears. “I t-think–he’s s-s-stabbed…” she trailed off and closed her eyes tightly. “Oh god…it h-hurts.”

Jason’s eyes darted towards her lower back. He couldn’t see anything through the dark jacket. He pulled the jacket up and swore. Her white t-shirt was rapidly becoming with blood. He pulled his cell phone out and called 911.

After hanging up the phone, he turned his attention back to the girl. “Hey, stay with me. The ambulance is coming.”

The girl’s were closed and her breathing was ragged. “Oh god,” she choked. She gritted her teeth. “I’m going to d-die.”

“Hey, you’ll be okay,” Jason said. He took her hand and squeezed it. “Stay with me. Keep talking. What’s your name?”

“L-Liz,” the girl managed to say.

“Hi, Liz. I’m Jason. How old are you?” Jason asked, trying to keep her awake.

“22,” Liz said. She managed to open her eyes to try and focus on the man next to her.

“Really? You look younger,” Jason said. He could hear the sirens. He didn’t want to be here when the police arrived–they’d take one look at him, realize he was a friend of Sonny, and he’d be arrested. He also didn’t want to leave her unless the paramedics were here. “You go to school?”

“Y-yeah,” Liz said. She suddenly arched her back. “Oh, god!”

“Hello? Where’s the girl?”

Jason looked up to see the paramedics starting to flood into the alley. He let go Liz’s hand and stood up. He faded into the background as he waited for the paramedics to concentrate on her. Then he left through the opposite entrance of the alley.

Elizabeth was taken to the hospital and had surgery to stop the bleeding. She’d survive–and the only reminder of her attack would be a thin scar on her back. She’d asked everyone about the man who’d stayed by her side until the paramedics arrived, but no one remembered seeing anyone.

She wondered if she’d dreamed his voice–but someone had called the authorities, so someone had to been there. But who was he? And where had he gone?

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