When Darkness Rules The Light
The street light flickered as a pair of shoe kept crushing the dead leaves on the concrete. The distant sound of vehicles, the honking of cars filled in the silence of the area as a shadow walked close to the darkness.
Soon, the lamplight of the street fell upon the shadow showing the tall and lean figure of a woman. Her chocolate brown eyes looked up at the building in front of her. Her face pulled up in a soft smile.
Her eyes went down toward the entrance. There was a small room protected by the glass around it. There were a small black leather chair and a black table. On the table, there laid a bunch of keys, a telephone, and some files scattered around it.
A bald and burly man wearing a light blue shirt was leaning against a small leather chair. His fat nose scrunched up, brows furrowed as he kept snoring obnoxiously loud. How he didn’t wake up the entire neighborhood with that noise was the question of the decade.
Sara shook her head as her smile widened. She sighed softly before walking close. She looked around for his possible partner but it seemed he was alone and knocked out already. So, it should have been easy to do the job.
Sara carefully stepped closer to the glass door. She went to turn the steel knob but found it locked.
She frowned as she looked up to see him stir a bit. He must have heard the noise. Standing there for a few more minutes could be risky. But, the keys were important as well. How was she supposed to open the gate or even the door to the apartment without the keys?
Sara bit her lips, a permanent frown marred her features as she kept looking around for a way in. She sighed with slumped shoulders when she found no way in. Frustrated over the situation, she got out of the building and that was when she saw it.
Her eyes looked at the thing and the building. When she thought the distance between them was enough for her, a smile graced her lips again.
Sara looked around for the CCTV cameras. She smiled wider when she found herself perfectly hidden from their view while clinging to the cream wall of the building.
Sara walked toward her only way to get in and touched the dark brown bark of it. The surface was rough and solid enough to take her weight. The height of it was favorable and the lowest branch would lead her to the second floor while the highest branch would most probably take her to the fifteenth floor. Her destination was the seventeenth floor of the building. Sara bid for the higher one.
“Let’s do this,” She whispered as she touched the bark.
With a deep breath, she wrapped the hands around it followed by her legs. She pressed her body tightly with the surface and started pulling herself up. A thin coat of sweat was visible with every inch she went up. It had been years since she last climbed up a tree.
In her spy career, she had aced climbing up the building floors by pillars or sunshades, she could even add the glasses. If she had the chance she had broke into the building with gadgets and stuff. But, climbing up the tree was one of those rarest moments.
She shook her head of the distracting thoughts as she found herself close to the lowest branch. She quickly hopped onto it. Her eyes searched for the closest route to the next higher branch. Once she found it she tiptoed around the branch and jumped on it before quickly pulling herself up.
Her movement was swift and eyes were sharp with a bone-straight concentration on the task. With the pace she moved, Sara was soon closer to the highest branch of the tree. She slowly crouched down on the thick branch and moved to the thin tip of it. The branch bounced with the rhythm of the movement.
Sara gasped when she heard a faint crack. She didn’t get the time to breath when her body moved faster than her brain. She jumped and grabbed the closest sunshade of a window of the fourteenth floor.
She looked back to see the tip of the branch dropped down to the ground before looking up. Sara pulled herself up with a soft grunt. And sat on the barely spacious brown concrete. She breathed in and looked at the tree once again. A soft chuckle left past her lips. Who knew a near downfall could bring genuine amusement to someone? She must have gone crazy!
Sara shook her head and licked her lips before carefully standing up. Her eyes moved toward a seventeenth-floor window up there. She had no time to waste.
The window slid back far too easily for Sara’s liking. It was like someone carelessly left it open.
Or perhaps still living in the apartment. Who knows?
The thought made Sara frown as she got inside the room. It was darkness all around here. But, the presence white shined enough to see even in the dark. Sara had almost forgotten that this apartment was insanely covered in white material.
However, in this room, Sara could see more colors than she had seen in the entire place that day. And, the only room with more color was the library.
Thankfully, there wasn’t a rule to color all the books in the world white. Otherwise, the variation of book covers would be lost, much to Daniel Roger’s pleasure. So, the books were safe from the white attack but the same couldn’t be said about the shelves. Those poor unfortunate pieces of woods were colored in a gloomy shade of the off-white color.
The exercise use of white in Roger’s apartment always made Sara cringe and her own apartment had the majority of that white theme in it.
Sara smirked. “Different people, different taste.”
She got back to work and started searching through papers. And, what better place would it be to start searching for clues other than the library. Each library reflected the taste of each personality. It brought out a fraction of a person’s soul for the world to see.
The calm environment helped to sooth even the most disturned of the souls. People felt the safest in this place and confessed the deepest and darkest secrets in the form of books. That was why a library was the best place to research something or somebody.
Roger’s library had a personality too. Most of his books were about ancient mythologies, supernatural creatures. Others were dark magic, dark energy, quantum science, medicines, and psychology. She even managed to find some books on various precious gems and diamond from all around the world. This was one hell of a collection!
“Too much darkness in a place of white,” Sara muttered as she flicked through the pages of a book on supernatural creatures, Mythical Beings.
She closed the book with a soft thud and placed it back in the shelf. There wasn’t much else to see in the room. But, she gathered the knowledge that Daniel Roger had a huge interest in dark things. The thought had made her frown that day and even now. But, during the first visit, she didn’t give much thought into it. She had assumed Daniel was a man with different taste.
Now, she understood the seriousness of the matter in a new light. It wasn’t just his different taste of interest. It was deeper than that. He didn’t only research the forbidden darkness but lived for it. Who knows, he might be one of that serial killer group who gave birth to a vicious beast or some?
Sara knew the root of this crime was deeper than a banyan tree but she never thought it was that dangerous. Who were these people? Were they a part of some cult? Why did they kill the innocent girls on every 14th of the months? What was even the origin of these beasts? And, most importantly...
“Who is the leader?” Sara muttered as she heard a lightning strike somewhere outside.
It was a moonlit night even just a few minutes ago. Now, the only thing Sara could see was darkness. Darkness ruled even in the pure presence of light. And, it was a scary, frightening thought. Sara felt a chill run down her spine. Cool sweat broke off as she saw another lightning strike out there. Another storm was coming. This was not good, not good at all.
Sara went out in the hallway. Silence engulfed the space like a heavy blanket. The air was thick with tension. The anticipation of expecting the unexpected made her back straight and shoulders stiff. Something was going to happen tonight. She could feel it in her bones. But what? Would turn for the better or for worse or both?
Her heart drummed against her ribcage no matter how many time Sara took deep breaths to calm it. Her senses were on high alert. It was an instinct, a dangerous instinct that never failed to put her in the worst of the situation before. Why was she feeling like this tonight? What was the danger here?
The loud sound of some metal colliding with the tiled floor made Sara jumped. She missed a heartbeat there.
Get a grip, woman! Don’t let things distract you.
But, what if the thing leads me to a clue.
Want to face an early death?
I’d never been afraid of my death.
What about others?
What about them?
Don’t be reckless! You’re feeling things for nothing.
And, that’s why I need to check it out. Good or bad; I don’t care as long I get to confront it.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Sara took a deep breath. Her inner self rarely poked it’s head out. And, when it did, nothing turned out good. This was another indication that tonight was ominous.
Sara walked toward the kitchen. The sound probably came from there. When she entered the place, she found it empty with a silver glass leaning against the countertop on the floor. The window of the kitchen was wide open as the furious wind rushed in the place.
Sara sighed in relief and walked toward the fallen glass to pick it up. She put it on the glass stander and turned around only to gasp. Her eyes bulged out to see a familiar figure standing close to the window.
A smile adorned his wrinkled face as his grey hair waved furiously in the air. He was wearing the same brown attire he had worn in the morgue that day.
Once the initial shock had passed, Sara wondered if he was that much of a piss poor to own just a single piece of an outfit. She was tempted to ask him but settled for a more serious question.
“What do you want now?” Sara crossed her arms.
He just smiled and blinked at her while tilting his head.
Such an epitome of innocence!
She quirked her left brow. “Are you here to waste my time on another empty threat?”
Now, he responded with a raised brows.
“Empty? I thought I proved you that I don’t give empty warnings, Saravi Hussain.”
Sara let out a humorless chuckle. “You bring no goodness, Madman.”
Sara moved to leave the kitchen. She was just about to cross the door when his words stopped her.
“It is destined, Saravi. You are destined.”
Sara frowned as she looked back. “For what?”
He smiled. “Your destruction and others. Go ahead and try keeping the end of your bargain. I hope you know that you are gambling on innocent souls. Purity is poisonous indeed. Only the evil of darkness can balance it. Which side are you on?”
What the gobsmacking world did he say?
Sara opened her mouth to say something but her jaw hanged in the air to find the space empty in the next second. He vanished with just a whiff only for the air occupied to the shadow of his presence.
Sara was right. This man was ominous for her. But what he said was what riled her up the most.
“Purity is poisonous and only darkness can balance it. What could it mean?”
Sara huffed, not finding the answer and looked around. Only white covered her vision wherever she looked. The presence of serene color made her realize something.
“White. Purity. That’s it! White resembles purity and poisonous... Wait! Why white should be considered poisonous or evil?”
Her eyes roamed around the room. “What sin this white holds and why it needs darkness to tame it? Is it an indication that I need to change my perspective? Hmm... If so, I should look at the thing from a different angle to understand it. Looks can be deceiving, after all.”
Sara sighed and decided to think the matter later despite a nagging feeling itching inside her. Right now, she had an apartment to search. She decided to go to the master bedroom first.
The room was the same as she remembered. The tastefully decorated mid-century interior was a breath of fresh air in the crowd of modernized designs. The uniqueness of the room was admirable even though Sara didn’t waste much time on it. She was quick on her work.
She combed through the entire area starting from bedsheets to the closet and even the bathroom. But nothing came in her hands. Sara, at least, expected to have a hold on the medical reports of Daniel Roger or his wife. There was no luck!
It could be either him removing the evidence himself or someone had already gone through this place. The open windows should have been a better explanation for that. But nothing was certain yet. She needed to keep searching.
Sara double-checked other rooms including Anita’s but she came with no luck. She came out of Anita’s room and breathed out. Cool sweat ran down her back.
“This is becoming an annoying chore! I should demand payment from Roger for making me go through this irritating house hunt.” She chuckled.
Her eyes landed on the door at the end of the hallway. That intricately designed red, floral printed door had been on her mind since the first time she crossed the place. She made her way to the door. Her ears perked up to listen to any kind of noise or a growl or a grunt perhaps? Didn’t Roger had a dying dog there? Was he dead already?
The last time she was here the door was locked. She decided to test the lock and turned the knob. Much to her surprise, it opened with one click. Now, that was something to frown upon. Why would someone so protective like Roger carelessly leave the door open?
She pushed the door and got inside. The room was filled with the stench of vomit and poop. Sara immediately felt her gag reflex starting to work. She somehow managed to swallow the rising bile down the throat and walked further into the room. This room was dark and seemed empty. She pulled out a torchlight from her backpack and turned it on.
The room was in a devastating condition. The whole room was covered in stale vomit and poop and some other gooey thing she couldn’t put a name on. But, she noticed one thing that the room had both black walls and black tiles. There was also no trace of fur, no proof that a dog or some animal lived here. Then, those shining blue eyes... What did she see that day?
Sara frowned. Her lips pressed into a thin line. Her eyes roamed around the room when Sara found that door. It was almost blended with the wall. Sara wouldn’t have noticed it for the slight discoloration.
Sara walked toward the door. It had no handle, nothing to grab. How was she going to get in? Sara looked at the door up and down before lunging at the door.
The noise and the cool, hard texture of the door, assured her that it was a metal door. She stepped back and lunged again. Nothing. She breathed in the stale air and grimaced. She distanced herself again and closed her eyes. She concentrated on her brain to let her energy flow through her upper body. She could feel the thrumming, electrifying effect in veins of her arms and shoulders. Once Sara was certain that she was ready, she rushed forward with everything she had.
The door burst open with a loud boom and Sara slipped her footing and fell on the floor. A scream tore through the silence of the environment. But, it wasn’t Sara.
Someone else was in the dark there. Sara could point out a trembling figure in the shadows. With a soft grunt, she sat up on the floor. The stench in this room was stronger. Sara didn’t dare to take in any more breath.
Sara fetched her torch from the floor and directed the light toward the balled up figure in the dark corner. She gasped when she saw the mop of a light brown-haired, lanky boy. He was wearing a torn green t-shirt and dirty blue baggy jeans. By the looks, he was a teen of, what, 14 or 15. His face was hidden as he was looking away, shielding himself with limp arms against his face.
Another teen in the last two days.
Sara smiled inwardly but her face remained stoic. She slowly got up, not wanting to scare the poor guy. She saw the boy flinch at her movement. Sara walked toward him. Her steps were slow but firm. She leaned down before the kid. She was contemplating whether to touch him or not.
She decided to test the water first. Sara cleared her throat and put on her best comforting smile.
“Hey there, no need to be worried. I’m not going to hurt you, okay. You can look at me.”
The boy didn’t respond and kept shaking like a leaf. Sara waited for a few more seconds before daring to touch his shoulders. He screamed and moved away. Sara frowned. Did she not sound convincing enough? It must have been the reason he couldn’t trust her. Sara sighed and smiled again.
“I know it’s not easy for you. But, I’m here to help you, really! I don’t know what happened to you but please try to trust me for once. You don’t have to be afraid of me.”
He just moaned in response and shrank into a ball. Sara frowned, wondering what happened to this poor lad? Did Daniel torture him that bad? Why? Who was he?
“What’s you name?”
He moaned again and said something incoherent like yom.
“I’m sorry, come again?”
He again said something that ended with yom.
“Is it yom?” Sara thought about it for a moment. “Are you trying to say Dom?
Sara saw him slowly shake his head up and down. His gesture made Sara frown for a moment before her eyes widened as she realized something.
“Why didn’t I notice it before?” She whispered to herself as she looked at those deep blue eyes and swollen face.
She reached forward and touched his shaking shoulders. When he tried to flinch away gain she gave him a light but firm squeeze on it. His eyes teared up as he tried to swallow the lump in his throat.
Sara had an instant urge to tear Daniel apart into pieces for making him go through this. What did he do to deserve this? Was it because he was mute? How inhumane could one be?
She pressed her lips in a thin line before closing her eyes. She took another whiff of the bothersome air but the blazing fire inside her dimmed down the senses of her nostrils. When Sara opened her eyes to take one last look at the boy her voice was as freezing as ice.
“Come on, Dom, get up. We’re leaving.”