PROVIDENCE

n. divine guidance or care

"Silver hair dancing in the wind, she stands guard."

The woman stared down at the city below her, amethyst eyes sharp and contemplating. There were a lot of things that needed attending to, but the night was still young; she had time.

Night-crawlers flitted through the corners of dark alleys, their shadows dancing in what little light the worn out street lamps provided. Houses and businesses alike had long before closed for the night in that part of the city and their occupants lay asleep, safely tucked in the comfort of their beds.

She stepped to the edge of the rooftop and welcomed the cool December winds that greeted her. Standing sixty stories up the tallest building in the city surrounded by the quiet semi-darkness calmed her.

For the past years, business tycoons had built structures after structures of towering residences and office spaces to accommodate the growing economy and population. It made her job a little more complicated than it would've been – empty construction sites, alleys, and parking lots were the Corrupted's all-time favorite places, and there was no shortage of it in the city – yet she couldn't find it in her to detest the glass curtain walls reflecting the moonlight in different, hypnotic shades of blue. It fascinated her how something man-made could cause such a seemingly magical display.

In the absence of the noise made by the array of human activities in the day, the city was a sanctuary of tranquility. She'd long preferred it that way. Except for the occasional delivery trucks and the few public and private cars taking advantage of the lack of the usual hellish traffic crowding the concrete roads in light, the avenues and streets were as empty as the paved sidewalks, steel over passes, and old underground passageways used by the people on foot to get around the city.

Activities were limited to commercial spaces holding satellite offices for businesses in countries across the globe and twenty-four-hour convenience stores during her time of night and she was grateful for the bit of privacy it granted her. If it were not for the sudden trend in the business process outsourcing field a few years back, she would've had the nights all to her own. But she didn't like to linger on what-could've-beens. It was not the city's fault that man-hours came cheaper from their country and the people themselves would've preferred not to labor the nights over. So instead she learned to work around the circumstances.

Doing what she did, being seen was one mistake she wasn't willing to gamble making. There was a certain oddness in the way she appeared and her presence was not something any mundane creature could handle. However small the risks had evolved into with the change in her charges' routines, she had always considered the probability of exposure a shadowing threat to each and every one of her kills.

A subtle movement right below caught her attention and her eyes focused to slits at the unnatural size of the dog-like creature peeking out of a corner of the smaller building.

Her senses were sharp and sensitive – a necessity for whatever version of a hunter – that even from up the rooftop she could see the blood red eyes of the creature darting around the streets looking for prey. Its fur stood on ends at the back of its neck, tips glittering an otherworldly silver.

She could feel the power tingling in her fingertips now, her blood screaming to deliver punishment to the corrupted creatures lying in wait in the shadows.

The thin material of her dark shirt and skin-tight jeans did little to protect against the cold, but the sudden surge of energy did more than make up for it.

Gathering the mass of silver hair to the back of her neck with a band, she looked down to the alley below. It was a long way to the ground, one that could kill her if she was human.

But she wasn't.

A normal person would've trembled in fear at the mere sight of the drop. One step into nothingness and gravity would claim anybody with its strong arms into the last scream-filled seconds of their lives.

She smiled, one foot dangling over open space.

The creature was still waiting for an innocent passer-by, probably one of the few who had just finished their work and on their way back to their homes for a much welcomed rest, and hadn't realized she was about to fall in and have him meet his maker.

Her eyes glimmered with anticipation as her other foot left the edge of the rooftop.

The moment for thoughts had passed. It was time.