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Just One Look
It all started with a single look.
I stood as I usually did, slouched low over myself, trying to become as small as possible. The air was sluggishly hot, humidity pushing down on me, making my job of shrinking all that much easier. Someone slammed into me from behind, and I went stumbling froward, catching myself on the arm of a young woman's coat.
Everyone around me seemed to freeze, too astonished at what I had done to continue on with their busy lives. I had no idea what was going on, and did something that changed my life forever.
I looked up.
I looked up right into the most terrifying eyes I have yet to see. The eyes themselves, while startlingly unique, were not all that frightening. Thick, black lashes framed a set of wide eyes that were a deep purple color, getting darker as they got closer to the pupil until they were almost black, spiking out into the lighter part of the irises. It was the disturbing emptiness within the eyes that made goosebumps break out over my skin and my stomach curl up with unease.
Time seemed to slow to a crawl as I broke away from the blank purple stare and took in the person it belonged to. Her face was round with rosebud lips, silky, pin-straight strands of black hair falling around her. She was clothed in all black, and stood tall with an air of deadly confidence that made the curling in my stomach escalate into full blown whirling. Her jacket was a rough, black material, marred only by the scarred, tan hand that clutched to it, which to my horror, seemed to be attached to my arm.
As my eyes slowly returned to those purple orbs, the woman's lips curled up into a smile that caused someone behind me to faint, and the blankness was replaced with an insane happiness that belonged on the face of a sadistic serial killer- which in all likelihood, this woman was.
That smile seemed to make time restart; a few people moved out of the way of the person who fainted, not wanting to take their eyes off the spectacle unfolding before them to help the unconscious person off the ground.
My entire life, I have cowered if anyone so much as came near me, but something in that smile made my spine straighten for the first time in years, bringing me to my full height of five foot nine. I now towered over the young woman by a good seven inches, looking down at her as I held her stare, resolutely lifting my chin.
A low gasp went through the entire crowd that was now packed around us, all of them careful to keep a five foot bubble of space between them and the woman, whose smile transformed into a full-blown grin at my defiance.
She gave me a small nod of recognition, acknowledging me as an equal, before she turned around and went on her way, the people parting for her hastily.
I looked out at the crowd, and as I met each person's gaze with my own, they dropped theirs, a faint glimmer of fear showing as they made eye contact with the one who stared down the woman they all feared.
The small amount of power that I had so suddenly and unexpectedly gained hit me with full force as I strode forward. The crowd parted for me as they had for that mysterious woman only moments before. It was such a colossal change, that everything seemed different, brighter, and the world was no longer a desolate place of suffering, but a vibrant one of limitless opportunity. And all from such a small, insignificant change.
I was not afraid.