*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 8 - PORT ANGELES
I found myself on a sidewalk leading past the backs of several somber-colored warehouses, each with large 만, 베이 doors for unloading trucks, padlocked for the night. The south side of the 거리 had no sidewalk, only a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire protecting some kind of engine parts storage yard. I'd wandered far past the part of Port Angeles that I, as a guest, was intended to see. It was getting dark, I realized, the clouds finally returning, piling up on the western horizon, creating an early sunset. The eastern sky was still clear, but graying, shot through with streaks of 담홍색, 핑크 and orange. I'd left my 재킷, 자 켓 in the car, and a sudden shiver made me 십자가, 크로스 my arms tightly across my chest. A single 봉고차, 반 passed me, and then the road was empty.
The sky suddenly darkened further, and, as I looked over my shoulder to glare at the offending cloud, I realized with a shock that two men were walking quietly twenty feet behind me.
They were from the same group I'd passed at the corner, though neither was the dark one who'd spoken to me. I turned my head 앞으로 at once, quickening my pace. A chill that had nothing to do with the weather made me shiver again. My 지갑 was on a shoulder strap and I had it slung across my body, the way 당신 were supposed to wear it so it won't get snatched. I knew exactly where my pepper spray was - still in my diffle bag under the bed, never unpacked. I didn't have much money with me, just a twenty and some ones, and I though about "accidentally" dropping my bag and walking away. But a small frightened voice in the back of my mind warned me that they might be something worse than thieves.
I listened intently to their quiet footsteps, which were much too quiet compared to the boisterous noise they'd been making earlier, and it didn't sound like they were speeding up, 또는 getting any closer to me. Breathe, I had to remind myself. 당신 don't know they're following you. I continued to walk as quickly as I could without actually running, focusing on the right-hand turn that was only a few yards away from me now. I could hear them, staying as far back as they'd been before. A blue car turned onto the 거리 from the south and drove quickly past me. I thought of jumping out in front of it, but I hesitated, inhibited, unsure that I was really being pursued, and then it was too late.
I reached the corner, but a 빠른, 스위프트 glance revealed that it was only a blind drive to the back of another building. I was half-turned in anticipation; I had to hurriedly correct and dash across the narrow drive, back to the sidewalk. The 거리 ended at the 다음 corner, where there was a stop sign. I concentrated on the faint footsteps behind me, deciding whether 또는 not to run. They sounded farther back, though, and I knew they could outrun me in any case. I was sure to trip and go sprawling if I tried to go any faster. The footfalls were definitely farther back. I risked a quick glance over my shoulder, they were maybe forty feet back now, I saw with relief. But they were both staring at me.
It seemed to take forever for me to get to the corner. I kept my pace steady, the men behind me falling ever so slightly farther behind with every step. Maybe they realized they had scared me and were sorry. I saw two cars going north pass the intersection I was heading for, and I exhaled in relief. There would be 더 많이 people around once I got off this deserted street. I skiped around the corner with a grateful sigh.
And skidded to a stop.
The 거리 was lined on both sides 의해 blank, doorless, windowless walls. I could see in the distance, two intersections down, streetlamps, cars, and 더 많이 pedestrians, but they were all too far away. Because lounging against the western building, midway down the street, were the other two men from the group, both watching with excited eyes smiles as I froze dead on the sidewalk. I realized then that I wasn't being followed.
I was being herded.
I paused for only a second, but it felt like a very long time. I turned and then darted to the other side of the road. I had a sinking feeling that was a wasted attempt. The footsteps behind me were louder now.
"There 당신 are!" The booming voice of the stocky, dark-haired man shattered the intense quiet and made me jump. In the gathering darkness, it seemed like he was looking past me.
"Yeah," a voice called loudly from behind me, making me jump again as I tried to hurry down the street. "We just took a little detour."
My steps had to slow now. I was closing the distance between myself and the lounging pair too quickly. I had a goos loud scream, and I sucked in air, preparing to use it, but my thraot was so dry I wasn't sure how much volume I could manage. With a quick movement I slipped my 지갑 over my head, gripping the strap with one hand, ready to surrender it 또는 use it as weapon as need demanded.
The thickest man shrugged away from the 벽 as I warily came to a stop, and walked slowly into the street.
"Stay away from me," I warned in a voice that was supposed to sound strong and fearless. But I was right about the dry throat - no volume.
"Don't be like that, sugar," he called, and the raucous laughter started again behind me.
I braced myself, feet apart, trying to remember through my panic what litter self-defense I knew. Heel of the hand thrust upward, hopefully breaking the nose 또는 shoveing it into the brain. Finger through the eyes socket - try to hook around and pop the eye out. And the standard knee in the groin, of course. The same pessimistic voice in my mind spoke up then, reminding me that I probably didn't have a chance against one of them, and there were four. Shut up! I commanded the voice before terror could incapacitate me. I wasn't going out without taking someone with me. I tried to 제비, 삼키기 so I could build up a decent scream.
Headlights suddenly flew around the corner, the car almost hitting the stocky one, forcing him to jump back toward the sidewalk. I 비둘기 into the road - this car was going to stop, 또는 have to hit me. But the silver car unexpectedly fishtailed around, skidding to a stop with the passenger door open just a few feet from me.