Sarah pushed her children behind her as the maniac waved his knife around. "Oh yes, you bitch, gonna get what's coming to you... you and your little dogs too!" The man giggled as he contemplated the boy and girl hiding behind her legs.
"Get away from them, or so help me!" the woman blustered desperately. The man saw right through the bluff, and continued to advance.
Seeing no other choice, the woman leaped forward with a screech, hoping to grab the knife. It was futile, the man set himself and slashed for her throat with lightning speed. She saw her death, and the death of her children, in that moment, and screamed. Or tried to: a hand grabbed her by the collar and threw her backwards as a steely ring filled the air with the song of a sword being drawn.
"Back off, now," a tall man, dressed in black leather, ordered harshly. The maniac in front of him just giggled as he slashed the knife around. "By the Grace of God, I command you to back off. In memory of what once you were, in knowledge of what you yet are, and in hopes of what you might one day become, I give you this chance. Back. Off." The maniac stopped giggling and cocked his head. "Jeremy James Powel, please, back off. Don't make me do this."
The second man's voice was almost hypnotic, but it had no real effect. The maniac resumed giggling, and then charged.
With a single swift motion, Sarah's rescuer grabbed the knife arm and twisted, and suddenly the maniac was flying the other direction, without the knife. Their rescuer just sidestepped around them, keeping himself between them and their attacker.
Who came back, again, without his still missing knife. "Final chance, Jeremy, please don't make me do this."
Jeremy again went flying into the darkness, helped along his way. "I, Eric Nicholas Stephens, do hereby command you to cease and desist in your current action, lest the Powers that Be, through me, reconsider their relationship with you. Desist, or die!"
The maniac just charged again. Eric met the charge with a bellowing roar, and darted forward. His sword flicked out smoothly, slashing his opponent, as he darted aside at the last second. He scrambled over and took the maniac's flailing hands in his own. "I'm sorry Jeremy, you gave me no choice. I'm so sorry..."
The woman stared at the blood soaked ground beneath his feet as Eric rose. "I'm sorry you had to see this."
She simply stared, still in shock.
With a sigh, Eric vanished into the night.
A few weeks later the woman saw the picture in the obituary section of the newspaper, and ignored it. She didn't know the man after all, even if he did look really familiar... a face out of a nightmare, something that never happened, that's all.
She did not attend the funeral.