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Soul Hostage
Jeffrey Littorno
Do you think evil is always easy to recognize?

During a robbery, two small-time criminals take a hostage. The old man turns out to be much more than expected and could hold the key to a big score. But as things begin to spin out of control, it becomes clear that nothing is as simple as it first appeared.

"I am hoping for your assistance in restoring the balance in the universe."

I was unsure for a moment whether he was being serious. Once it became obvious he was,a huge laugh erupted from my throat. Not the happy kind of laughter. This was colder and harder than that.

In an instant, Stoaffer was no longer leaning against the wall. He was close to me with hisface only inches from mine. I never saw him move, but somehow he did.

The old man was close enough for me to smell peppermint on his breath and also a not so pleasant odor, the stink of rotting things. His lips rolled back in a snarl. His face appeared sharper and more threatening than moments before.

Right then, I was more scared than I had ever been.
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