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Urban Jungle

Urban JungleThe paths through the park were easily accessible making the leafy arbor along its central avenue a popular spot for couples seeking a romantic twilight stroll that offered the illusion of privacy from the surrounding city. The gardeners had created a spectacular walk, with multi-level plantings of dense foliage that had garnered several awards, making the park a draw card for tourists and plant lovers of all kinds.

As the last of the daylight bled from the sky, the ambient mood lighting that drew young lovers was not enough to keep the shadows of the lush man-made jungle at bay.

Hidden in the undergrowth, a stone's throw from the famous avenue, were the remains of a man. A trip wire still caught about his ankle, the only clue to what brought him down. His expensive suit was ripped open, his killers not interested in the niceties of undoing buttons. An ultra thin gold watch had been flung aside with disinterest, in the next few days a curious magpie would add the item to its collection of shiny treasures.

The dead man's flesh had been treated with the same eager fumbling as his clothing. Skin had been raked back with whatever sharp implements were to hand — a broken bottle, pilfered razorwire, a small pocketknife — allowing his attackers to scoop out his still warm internals with their small hands.

A bloody child looked up from the meal she shared with her three small companions, her eyes reflecting the diffuse light. She sniffed the air, searching for the scent of stray dogs that could compete for her meal.

The hunting was good in the city, the careless businessman was a nice change from the usual homeless people and passed out Friday night drunks her kind usually fed on. No one noticed the small grubby children that played in the park during the day, and no one seemed to notice the occasional disappearance of one of the city's millions of inhabitants to feed them.