I stepped out into the cold light of day. In an instant, the soft feeling of the whispering wind brushed against the side of my face, sending a slight shiver down my spine. The cold made me feel safe. I knew no warmth, only heat- the heat caused by the adrenaline that pumped through my veins while I ran. What I ran from, I don't know, nor do I know what is chasing me now. I only ran if I had to, though I hated it- hated feeling weak, like I couldn't do anything else. My dad always taught me that there was never only one option. Never. Had he gone through what I've been, maybe he would have thought differently, though that hardly mattered, because he hadn't, and there was nobody to turn to for help. They wanted me- no, not just me, they wanted my soul to claim for themselves; to make me one of them.
I bolted down the street, my head aching because of the faint smell of death. Looks of concern and disgust aimed towards me. This was a good thing: these were real people. It was the ones who gave me empty stares of hunger and greed who chased me. I turned a street. The smell was getting stronger. Hundreds of faces pointed in my direction as if they were waiting for me. They were. Quickly, I glanced behind me, looking to turn back. A small yellow house sat suspiciously quiet with its dead grass blowing in the wind. It was the only one of its sort, as all the other lawns looked as if they were tended to regularly; then I spotted why: A small girl, who couldn't have been older than nine, stood in the dirty, beaten window. With blonde, braided hair and pale blue eyes, she wore a white dress with red spots, and only stared in my direction as everyone else did. Suddenly, animals of different species littered the lawn. A large dog, a ginger cat, and a small parakeet began to take after the girl, creepily staring me down. I decided I didn’t want to take any chances with the house, and began to sprint down the street in front of me.
As fast as I could run, the human figures ran faster. They ran without emotion as if the idea were foreign to them. There stream of them behind me, some jumping out in my face in an effort to stop me in my tracks and do whatever it was they wanted with me. Two cold hands grabbed my shoulders. Two inescapable hands squeezed my arms like they were trying to pop them off . This is it for me, I remember thinking. All these days of running, worthless. I wasn't ready to accept that. Not yet. I haven't gone fourteen years only to be taken by some hungry, unconscious thing.
I threw my head back, scanning my attacker. A man about six feet tall, with a GI-Joe cut, wearing a casual white t-shirt tucked into his jeans. If he were once a normal man, I felt sorry for him. Something had turned him into this. something had turned all these people into this, but as long as they were after my life, that didn't matter.
Another quick glance: a steel silver wrench tucked into his belt. My shoulder throbbed in pain, but I managed to reach my arm back in attempt to grab this conveniently placed tool, or in my case, a weapon. More of them started walking towards me. I had to do this quickly. I wrapped my fingers around its handle and pulled it from it's resting place. The man moved his grip further down towards my wrists, squeezing tighter, no doubt knowing I had stolen his wrench. My whole body was trembling. I wanted to cry for help, but it would have only made things worse. I dropped the object, falling to my knees. This is it... This is it.
Swish. His grip eased until I could no longer feel any pressure against my arms. A decapitated body hit the street, dissipating into dust as it made contact with the ground. Everyone else around me did the same, though there was no visible explanation why. Soon, the street was cleared: not a soul left in sight. I was saved!
Wait. I was saved? By who? Whatever was capable of doing this was far more powerful than any man or woman that could of just harmed me. Had I just been rescued, or were they just saving me for last?
"Umph!" I sounded as I was blown over by an invisible force. Yup. I had a bigger problem on my hands now. But this time? This time I couldn't even see why!
Not wanting to wait to find out what wanted me now, I rolled onto my back and limped down the neighborhood until I came across a traffic light. Cars zoomed up and down the road, honking their horns, yelling out the window, nodding their head to the radio. It was these little things that made me feel less alone. Just the small things, things like a little homeless camp, or a guy digging in the trash. Why? because these were all things I could relate to. I can't say it makes me happy to see others going through the same thing, but selfishly, it does make me feel a little better about myself: like I wasn't the only one struggling to get a bite of food, or finding a place on the street where I can rest my head without being kicked in my sleep.
I pushed the button on the stoplights. Right away, the lights turned red, the cars stopped, and the countdown began for me to cross the street. Fifteen seconds on the clock. The light flickered. I third of the way to the other side. Ten seconds left. One car started honking at me, as if I were being to slow. There were five seconds left on the clock. I jogged the rest of the way across. The clock was at one second. I touched my right foot to the sidewalk. Zero.
In an instant, the sounds of glass shattering and people screaming rung in my ears. I found myself back in the middle of the street. There were no cars, no trees, and no sidewalk. As far as I could see, everything was cloaked in pitch black.
"He- help me. Please!" A mans voice panted on the floor. Blood poured from his mouth. A leg lie next to him, in a puddle of dark red. He looked up at me as if I were his last hope, and Hell, maybe I was, but what could I do for him? He looked like he was in his early twenties, with short black hair and brown eyes, and a scar the stretched from one corner of his face to the other. No, that wasn't a scar... His face was peeling open! Blood dumped out of the mark as he cried for help, "Please! Please, hel- help-" until I could only hear him gurgling on his own ichor. Suddenly, he was dragged into the darkness, leaving behind only a trail of his lively essence.
"This is all that's left for you, Zane. Nothing more, nothing less. Endlessly, for the rest of your sad, miserable life, you'll fight what lives forever. The inevitable, the inescapable. Death." A deep, dark voice recited. I couldn't see where it came from, but I knew it surrounded me, and if it didn't let me go, I would do exactly as he just described.
The light came back. I was on the sidewalk again. The breeze of the fast cars brushed my skin. I was breathing heavily. My head hit the concrete, and once again, the lights went out.
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