The midsummer heat in Phoenix Arizona can reach as high as 120 degrees for days, or even weeks at a time. This kind of heat is strong enough to shut down airports, and make electric bills soar.
The high temperatures never bothered Nadeesh, being from a land where luxuries like air conditioning were not as common as they are here in the Americas, which is another reason he struggled so hard to move his family out here, where they could have a better chance at thriving, and providing for their children. Though he misses his home town of Hyderabad, located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, he starts each day with thanks, to those who have helped him bring to pass his attempt at the American dream...
After working for 3 years at the QuickStop owned by his cousin, he was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to buy him out, and now he owns the small convenience store located just blocks from his home.
The years of working in this culture have hardened him. His once deep smile lines that drew attention to his face years ago have diminished and replaced with the wrinkles of frustration and pain. Working as an Indian in America was not an easy task. Being made fun of daily, and looked down upon by most native American kids has made him bitter, and untrusting of the general public. A trait that he despises, but feels is worth the opportunities granted to him thus far.
This hot day had gone surprisingly well for a Saturday. It started off with an unexpected refund check from Uncle Sam related to his overpayment of taxes the year previously. That was followed up with the news that his daughter would be visiting from college for the next week. This news made him extremely happy and it showed on his face the entire morning. Not one angry or rude customer all day had helped to make this one the happiest days in recent months.
Until the incident with the two girls... a situation that would change his life forever...
Shortly before closing time, a young lady enters his store in a panic, knocking over the display of cheap sunglasses and knockoff hats he had just arranged. Her appearance being announced via the bell that chimes when the invisible line in front of the door is broken, gave no justice to the panic she was in. For a split moment, Nadeesh almost ran up to her and embraced her, she is strikingly close to his daughter in appearance. In fact, if it werent for the girls rings, and other jewelry, he would have sworn she was his offspring. The resemblance was so similar, he stood dumbfounded and stared at her until he realized that she was in need of some serious help, as noted the by her blood soaked shirt, and horror-stricken face...
The sound of screeching tires and a loud engine barreling toward the store-front was unmistakably part of the same situation that caused this young lady to turn around and scream... Her shrill cry broke his trance, like the sound of an oncoming train would perk the attention of someone crossing a long railroad bridge.
"Young lady, what is wrong? Do you require the assistance of the pol..." His question was cut-off by the sound of a car horn getting louder as a truck came to a tire-squealing halt just feet from the front entrance to his store.
The girl is now at the door trying desperately to flip the thumb-latch that controlled the locking mechanism of the door. Nadeesh is dizzy from the confusion and starts toward the door protesting her actions which still made no sense to him.
She finishes with the lock and turns to stop him from unlocking the door, looking straight into his eyes, and shouting "Call the POLICE!!!".
He immediately turns to head behind the counter, where the phone is, but before he can hit the "9", he notices something outside. A woman... no, a girl... slamming the truck door as she hastily walks to the locked door, carrying something in her hands, waving them to and fro, yelling with a ferocity he has never seen...
Her face was contorted with rage, twisted expressions of hate and fury made her look much older than she was. Reaching the door and with her one free hand, she violently yanks at the aluminum framed glass barrier with enough force that Nadeesh thinks it will at any moment give and shatter all over his wonderful day. He directs his attention back to the phone, and his shaking hands.
Glancing toward the door again he saw a sight that stopped him again as he started to dial the number that would summon help. Something he would never have guessed he would see outside his store here in sunny, peaceful Arizona, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. A girl, standing at the locked entrance to his place of business, motionless, staring into the store, straight at the other girl, who moments before came running in for solace and protection. This... thing, that stood outside his store had something hanging from her left hand, something that appeared to be... melting?
He couldn't wrap his mind around what he was seeing. The blood stains on the outside of the door, no doubtedly left during the girls struggle to try and open the door, had distorted the image on the other side until now, when she stood still, giving up on the battle to get in. Now, through the pinkish, bloody swirl left on the glass, he can see what she is holding... and it wasn't as macabre as he first imagined, though just as confusing.
It was a pair of black boots. Covered, and dripping with blood, being held up high for the girl who resembled his daughter to see. Boots. Blood. A devilish looking girl holding them up and... smiling...