Notorious

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Chapter 4

The midnight air brought ease into Damien's mind as he took a different route to his apartment.

After the last table left, Michael ranted on the impostor incident and vowed vengeance to the greased hair prick who took off from his restaurant.

Damien wandered aimlessly in a different part of town when he spotted a man in a familiar dark jacket entering a tall building with glass doors.

The solitary was replaced by rage that slowly surged from his feet to his belly when he saw the impostor shook hands with a man holding a cigar in hand.

The cigar man turned to the side bringing a familiar image to Damien's mind of an old rival of Michael's who disappeared years back after a falling out with one of the man's business partners.

Suddenly everything else went out of focus except for the greased hair man in a dark jacket and the distance between them.

Damien couldn't feel anything but the darkness around him as he blended into the night and turned into a breathing shadow.

The following days Damien went back to work as if the chaos on Saturday night never took place. Michael's relentless plea brought Paul Word to return to his restaurant where Damien served the five course meal himself as if his life was at stake. Paul Word was not much of a chatter not that he wished otherwise. At the end of the meal, Paul promised they would be hearing from him soon. Paul kept his promise when both Michael's and Damien's name were mentioned on a culinary magazine bringing a new wave of curious foodies to their door, burying the word impostor behind the walls of M's. It was after midnight when Damien passed a newstand on his way home, the headline on the front page was about an unidentified, severed body parts found in a trash can and the return of a slasher preying on the city streets. The sound of two incoming text messages from Brenda caught his attention. One was about Paul Word calling for another reservation and the later was an invitation to drinks after work. Damien replied with Thank you and hit send despite how tempting she might've looked in all her entrapments in bed. Damien arrived in his apartment to a thunderous voice from across the hall followed by weeping from behind door 110. But their lives were none of his concern, he repeatedly told himself before he went to sleep and entered a dream where he couldnt see anything past the darkness that enveloped him. It was pungent with a foul odor trailing under his nose. He called the darkness to meet him face to face when he caught a whiff of fear and alcohol that wasn't his, before it turned into a stench that lingered for too long. There wasnt any body or shape that it came with but a silhouette of an anguished face that disappeared in thin air. The nightmares came and went frequently, Damien was accustomed to its presence as soon as he closed his eyes. These days, Damien looked forward to the quietness during the day.

One afternoon, Damien was coming back from an afternoon run when he passed a woman and her two kids climbing into a cab parked on the curb. They didnt mutter a word let alone spared him a glance, not until the cab made its turn and blended into the afternoon rush.















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