Outside, it is still dark.  The sidewalk puddles reflect back the tall buildings towering above the dark alleyway.   The sidewalk and street several hundred feet away are wet and dimly lit by the yellowish cast of the streetlights.  You look around, trying to recognize some landmark that will tell you where you are.  You are startled by a movement to your left.  You spin around, terrified that you may find your attacker lurking there in the dark.   A vagrant in a cardboard box rolls over onto his elbow and looks at you.  He points a grubby finger at you and begins laughing hysterically.  

 

"Whore!  Whore!  Fucked in the ass!  Fucked in the ass!" he wails, cackling uncontrollably.  

 

You try to choke back the tears as you turn and make your way down the alley towards the lighted street.  The old man's cruel laughter follows you until you turn the corner and step onto the sidewalk.  You breath a sigh of relief as you spot your own car parked down the road, about a block away.  You quicken your pace and limp down the street, tripping over several large cracks in the concrete.  You fish through your pockets and realize dishearteningly,  that you have no keys.  You reach your car and kneel down on the wet asphalt, ducking under the wheel well and retrieving the idiot key that your father insisted you keep in a little magnetic box.  You've never been so thankful for your parent's good sense.   Your knees ache and burn as you rise back to your feet.  You glance down the street and see a group of people walking towards you.  They are giggling like a pack of hyenas, obviously drunk.  You drag yourself as quickly as possible to the driver's side door and fumble frantically with the magnetic box, dropping the enclosed key as you slide the lid open.  The key drops and bounces with a tink tink tink sound before coming to rest in a muddy puddle next to your car.   You thrust your hand into the cold water and retrieve the key, slicing your finger on something sharp in the process.  You attempt to jam the key into the key hole as the inebriated group approaches.   You gouge a chunk of the paint off as the key slips feebly off its mark. Fear grips your heart.  What if my attacker is in that group?  What if he wants to finish me off.  Your hands shake uncontrollably.  You steady yourself and finally manage to slip the stubborn key into the latch.  Just as the group reaches you, you are able to slip the key into the door.  Your eyes meet those of one of a young woman in the group.