“One, two, three and four!” Anza yelled to the beat of the loud hip hop music, clapping her hands in time. “Get that leg up Morgan!” She yelled at a girl dancing in front of her. Walking along the line of dancers the 5’6 blonde with the piercing olive eyes appraised and corrected the group of dancers as they went through their daily routine. “This is a dance studio not a hockey rink Mr. Tricket, stand up straight!” She glared at a tall mousey looking boy.
Anza was 21 and already owned her own dance studio, she was a prodigy. Her slim body was usually covered in a pair of black track pants and some sort of ripped t-shirt. She knew contemperary, hip-hop, ball room, jazz, and much more, if you could find the music, she could dance to it. So what was she doing with a dance studio in the run down ghetto of New Jersey? Easy. Anza particularly loved finding new talent… and rubbing it the faces of the many other dance teachers in New York. What better way to rub it in people’s faces then to get talent out of the most run down place in all of New Jersey?
Shutting off the pounding music Anza turned to her class. “Great work guys, now get outa my studio and go home, I expect you all back here this time tomorrow!” She heard a few moans from her students. She was a tough teacher. Of course she knew a certain student who wouldn’t be going home, partly because they didn’t have one. That’s why she let Aaron Tricket stay in one of the many rooms just above that dance theater, which also doubled as her home.
“Yo teach!” She heard one yell.
“What is it Jamar?” She asked, flicking her blonde curls and turning to face a tall, very intimidating looking African American. His onyx eyes stared down at her from under the rim of his base-ball cap.
“I won’t be here tomorrow; something’s going down with the gang.” The 19 year old said, removing his hat and running his hands over his corn rows.
“I don’t give a shit what’s going on with the gang Jamar, I expect you to be here tomorrow, end of discussion.” Anza replied.
“Aw come on Teach.” Jamar said placing his hand on top of her head, being 6’2 he could do it easily.
“Don’t ‘come on’ me Mr. Davis. If you miss one more class without a valid excuse you’re out, I can’t get funding for students who never turn up. There are a million other kids out there who’d kill for the chance I’m giving you, and if you don’t buck up, one of them’s gonna get it.”
“Whatever.” Jamar replied turning and walking towards the door.
“I mean it Jamar! Once more!” Anza called, cupping her hands around her mouth. Her long blonde curls bounced as she angrily spun around to look at Aaron, He was tall, with a feminine figure and startlingly sharp blue eyes, his nose was long and hooked slightly, giving him a sly appearance. His blonde hair was slick with sweat from the two hour work out, but it was usually kept out of his face with lots and lots of gel, except for two stubborn pieces on each side of his forehead, which never seemed to stay in place. And usually flopped down over his face, just tickling his cheek bones.
“Uh Ms. Anza, can I use your shower?” He questioned, tilting his head to the side, he was just slightly taller then her, by no more then an inch.
“Aaron, you’ve stayed here long enough to know you don’t need to ask.” Anza said sighing and massaging her temples. She really needed an Advil.
“Ok Ms. Anza.” Aaron replied.
“And just call me Anza Aaron.” Anza added. “I’m only 4 months older then you.” She reminded him.
“Right.” He said, turning and walking out of the dance studio. Anza shook her head; as much as she loved teaching some kids just rubbed her nerves raw. Like Jamar, he was one of the most talented people in her class, he could change from Hip Hop to ballet in a heart beat, but he lacked devotion to anything but his gang.
“I need a break.” Anza groaned.
“How ’bout a coffee?” A male voice questioned from behind her.
Anza screamed whipping around to glare at the man standing by the front door to her studio. “John Myers, what did I tell you about knocking before entering the studio?” She glared at her tall brown haired brother.
“Oops, sorry.” John said, running his fingers through his hair. “…So do you want to go get a coffee with me?”
Anza sighed, but she couldn’t help grinning up at her brother. He shifted from one foot to the other, mostly out of habit, and managed to knock a picture off the wall, luckily he caught it, placing it lightly on the floor. Anza always got a kick out of how clumsy he was, especially, it seemed, around his little sister. “Sorry John, I have a lot of work to do. Some little punk decided to throw a rock through one of my car windows; I was just about to go get it fixed.” That was the one thing she hated about living in the ghetto, they seemed to have a strange fascination with breaking glass.
“Oh yeah, I noticed that.” John said, looking apologetic. “Well, anyways…I should probably get back to work if we’re not going out.”
“Oh yeah, their probably real strict at the waste management office.” Anza snorted. She actually thought he worked as a director of… whatever went on at the “Squeaky Clean Waste Management Services” building, she had no clue what he really did and he wasn’t planning on telling her.
“Hey! Waste management is a very important part of the way society functions!” John said, pretending to be angry.
‘Ok, fine, fine, fine, whatever you say.” Anza said, chuckling.
“See ya later then, squirt.” John laughed ruffling her blond curls. Oh she hated being shorter than him!
“Don’t do that!” Anza laughed but hugged him anyways.
“Bye.” Johns said before finally turning and leaving. Anza heard his car start and then watched through the glass door as she sped away. She shook her head, laughing to herself. She wished she’d been able to go do something with him, but first thing first, she had to go get her car fixed. She trudged up the stairs and grabbed her brown trench coat from its usual place on her bed room door before walking next door to the bathroom and knocking hard on that door.
“What?” She heard Aaron call out.
“Aaron, I’m going out to get my car fixed, don’t let anyone in ok?”
“Ok Miss… I mean Anza.”
“Oh and there’s a picture on the floor in the front that got knocked down, the nails been pulled out of the wall, can you fix it if you get the chance?”
“Thanks!” Anza called before hauling her coat on and tromping down the stairs. She paused to look around at the bottom floor of the three story building she rented. It was large and decidedly square with periwinkle blue walls and scratched hard wood floors badly in need of repair. The back wall, which was the wall the stairs were located on, was mostly covered in a huge mirror; the only part that wasn’t covered was on the far right where it opened onto the stairs. The front wall had a rather large window on it, and as the building had been used as a store before she moved in it jutted out like a display case. It was where she put all her advertising. The glass door next to it opened out onto a busy street. This is where Anza was headed now; she walked across the floor, stopping to pull on a pair of fur lined boots before stepping out side, locking the door behind her.
She scooted down to the curb and clumsily unlocked her car door. She could see her breath in the cold December air. Finally managing to get the key into the lock she yanked opened her car door, shutting it as quickly as she could, trying to keep out the fridged air. She sighed as she put the key into the admission, turning the car and turned the dial that controlled the air conditioning, sending a blast of cold air down towards her feet.
Anza speed off, the air coming from the air conditioning slowly warmed as she drove and soon she was comfortable, watching as the sun began to set. She was glad it was a long trip to the garage, that way she would get to see the sun set and still have some time to drive in the dark. Oddly enough Anza loved driving in the dark, she felt so peaceful in the night and it calmed her somehow to see the head lights of the on coming traffic. She now watched happily as the sun fell in the sky, sending peals of molten gold down to pool on the streets. She reached out and turned on some music, stuck between watching the road and glancing up at the sky. Choosing to concentrate on the road she scanned for traffic. The sunlight was now a beautiful red color, bathing everything in scarlet light. Anza hummed happily in time with the music on the radio as she drove down the road.
It took a few minutes but the sunset finally ended, leaving everything black, she was now driving down a rather empty road, it would be another 15 minutes before she reached the garage and she decided to put in her favorite Billy Talent CD. Cranking up the volume on her car stereo she began singing along to her music, soon she was belting out the words, hardly concentrating on the road. She didn’t notice when a car zoomed past her. Anza finally snapped out of it when a solitary driver behind her leaned on his horn.
“Oops.” She said and began paying attention to the road again. She laughed softly and switched off her music. The car behind her passed, leaving her alone on the road again. “I wonder what John’s doing now?” Anza wondered out loud. With out warning a red… thing ran into the road, pausing in the middle to look around. It was big, tall and dressed in a brown trench coat not unlike her own.
“FUCK!” She screamed, swerving madly to the right, narrowly avoiding the red thing. “The hell was that?” She yelled, looking over her shoulder.
20 seconds was all it took, 20 seconds of pure horror. Just as Anza finished her sentence her car hit a slick patch of ice, sending it spinning, she turned around and grabbed the steering wheel in order to stop the spin, but by that time her car had already reached the edge of the road. Just Anza’s luck that the road she was driving on was on a hill, the car rolled down the side, gaining speed until it crashed into a tree. The last thing Anza saw was a huge red stone hand reaching toward her through the mangled metal and then she blacked out.