The Shimmer Project

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Into the Darkness

Caleb

Eris looked severely shaken after the phone call. She’d handed me the phone then shut the door in my face. I panicked for a good five seconds then went downstairs.

Dangerous? That was ridiculous, Eris always felt so soft and in need of protection. She was far from dangerous, mysterious yes but not dangerous. And that man had called her Number 5. How ridiculous was that? Was she the fifth child? Nothing made much sense, how did her father get my number and not hers?

The next evening when I rang the bell Eris answered the door breathless and wrapped her arms around me tightly.

“We’re moving,” she informed me. “But I want to spend today with you.”

I had so many questions, but I could tell she wasn’t going to answer any of them. Instead, wrapped my arm around her shoulders and took her out to the beach. She walked silently, her head bowed. We stood on a dune staring out at the dark ocean. The beach was deserted. She seemed a bit disappointed.

She turned to me, wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me down to her. I didn’t need any encouragement, my arms slid around her waist, I plastered her against my body, deepening our kiss. She arched her body, I run my fingers down her waist, over her hips, cupping her soft bottom. She let out a little gasp. I hadn’t touched her like that before.

Encouraged by her moan I allowed myself to pull her hips to mine, rubbing myself against her while moving a hand up to my stomach to cup a breast just lightly.

Eris gasped and moaned, her hands moving quickly, clutching at my shirt, dragging me closer to her.

“Caleb, what is that?” she asked suddenly pulling back, her hand flying down to grab my hard cock. I couldn’t help the groan I let out, she stared at me with wide eyes.

“That’s my penis Eris,” I was able to say. “And the way you’re grabbing it right now is not helping me control myself!”

Her eyes shone. “Wow,” she pulled back looking a little sheepish. “Sorry. I liked what you were doing,” she nodded with a small smile. “It felt really good.”

“Yeah, I’m glad. It felt good for me too,” I told her. She blushed.

“Caleb I want you to know everything about me,” she admitted. I held her close to me pressing our bodies together.

“Yeah. Me too.”

“What did my father tell you? Did he tell you where I’m from?” her eyes were wide, almost with fear. I paused letting her go and sliding down into the sand. She sat next to me her white hair shining the moonlight. She wasn’t wearing her cap, her hair slithered down her back straight and beautiful.

“He said you were from an island off the coast of Miami,” I admitted. She nodded slowly.

“Anything else?”

“He said you were dangerous,” I told her.

She bowed her head tracing circles in the sand. Her hair fell forward covering her face. I quickly brushed it out of the way.

“Caleb, I how much you mean to me,” she told me, then looked up the silver in her eyes glowing. “I love you. I do.”

I stared at her, her words enveloping me like a warm cocoon. I could feel my heart racing, it had been since she’d kissed me.

“Yeah. Me too,” I smiled, she bit down on her bottom lip and bowed her head again.

I leaned over, cupped her face in my hand and pulled her towards me. She melted against me. I grabbed her thigh and flipped her over me so she was straddling me. I felt her plastering her body to mine, her fingers digging into my hair as I trailed kisses down her throat. She shifted her hips, I could feel myself hardening again. She let her head fall back, her chest heaving with breath. Her skin seemed to me emitting a faint shimmering light.

“Eris?”

When she looked at me again, her eyes shown with tears.

“What’s wrong?” I asked pulling her face down to me, wiping at her tears with my thumbs. She shook her head slowly.

“Nothing, they are happy tears Caleb,” she admitted. “I’m an so happy with you. Which is why I don’t want to loose you.”

“You won’t loose me Eris. I promise. I love you.”

She hugged me tightly. I could feel her breath as her chest heaved.

“I know. I feel that telling you will be too hard. I’ll have to show you. Come,” she got up wiping the sand from her black jeans then held her hand out to me. I took it. We walked across the beach and up the dunes again. There were a few people mingling in the streets, enjoying the hot summer air.

A little old man was passing with a sour expression. Eris ducked behind the dune.

“I’m so sorry I kept this from you Caleb,” she breathed.

“What-” I was cut off, her finger was placed against my lips. I watched as her eyes turned completely black. Two utterly black orbs stared back at me. Her bottom lip was trembling. She bit down on it furiously, she looked like she was fighting something.

“Watch,” she breathed then stood up and approached the old man slowly. He was stumbling along half bent over. Eris stood in front of him. I watched, unable to move, as the old man caught sight of her, then his back cracked backwards and he fell in the ground heavily.

She immediately knelt down next to him, I rushed to her side, confused, my mind spinning with the research I’d done.

“He’s probably-” I started but got cut off again.

“ Shhh,” Eris placed her pale finger up to her pink lips then turned back to the old man. “I’m sorry. It’ll be better soon,” she whispered.

I noticed a slight tremour then the ground slightly shaking under me as large hunks of grass and weeds were ripped from the earth, and flew through the air. They weeds all somehow found their way towards the old man’s mouth.

I couldn’t move just staring at the grass flying above my head. Then a loud crack sounded and the man cried out despite the weeds. His hand was cracked in a horrible position. I watched with wide eyes as it slowly ripped away, blood splattered against the pavement. Eris kneeled next to him holding her legs up to her chest hugging them. She was glowing, dimly, but more than before for sure.

A sudden images flashed in my mind. The library, the beach. The bloody murders that had been going on. They all looked like this. The people torn apart and killed.

My whole body started shuddering. The old man lay in agony. The invisible knife I had imagined. My head churned. Eris was staring at me her eyes still completely black.

“Do you understand now?” she asked in a harsh voice. I stared at her, she had been there every time there was a murder. Every time, she was the murderer. I was starting to feel sick. I loved her. How was this even possible. She didn’t even touch the man, yet her hand lay two feet from his bloody stub of an arm.

“What the fuck?” I breathed taking a step back. She looked after me her eyes overflowing with tears.

“I can make it better now,” she told me placing her palm on the old man’s chest. I watched slowly as the hand was pressed back against his wrist the blood evaporated and the arm cracked back into place. It happened in a matter of seconds. Soon the man wasn’t wriggling in pain anymore.

“I’m sorry. Go home now. I’ve gotten rid of your arthritis. I’m so sorry,” she said aloud then stood up smoothly. I crept back into the shadows so that neither she nor the man could see me. The old man sat up straight staring at Eris with wide eyes. He blinked once and stared around him.

“Who are you?” he asked getting up smoothly, his arms seemed stronger, he stood up straighter. He seemed to notice this. He did some squats then turned to Eris again but she’d disappeared, hiding behind a car.

Confused, the old man ran off down the road without his cane. I stared gapping after him. Eris appeared in front of me silently. Deadly. My mind spun. I had no idea what to think.

“Arthritis?” I asked, my brain only making sense of the medical diagnosis she’d given him.

“Yeah he had it bad time. I fixed it.”

“What are you?” I breathed.

“Human, I wish. I don’t know. I could be many things, a mutant, a an alien, a goddess maybe, the devil, an angel. James always said we were from the stars,” I glanced up into the sky. The stars shone brightly and beside me, Eris shone just the same.

“ It started with my great great grandmother we believe. The scientists found her when she was pretty young. It’s been passed through the generations, getting more and more powerful. It’s a mutation. A mutation gone very wrong. I never wanted you to know. And I’m sorry you have to. Concordia and Vigdis will kill me when hey hear about this, literally.”

She took a step closer to me, I didn’t move. “I was born off the coast of Miami on a small island, there’s only one building on that island. It’s a laboratory. I was born there, a lab rat. My mother died in childbirth. It’s part of the mutation, we can’t reproduce without our daughters killing us. I don’t know why, I’m not the scientist, I’m the experiment. My mother was forced into pregnancy, not raped but put under anesthesia. The guy you had on the phone, my father, he’s the chief of that organization. He’s also the monitor. They did test on us, worse than torture, they shot us, drowned us, poured chemicals that burnt us. Every other day it was something different,” she paused stroking her arm. I gazed at it. I couldn’t concentrate on her words.

“What?”

She gave me a small smile. “I know it’s a lot,” she shrugged. “But it’s al true Caleb. We knew that our mother was enseminated at sixteen, so we knew our turn was coming soon. We didn’t want that, to die, to conie as experiments, for our daughters to have the same lives. So we escaped. But we had to kill so many men. Well I did.”

She paused, chewing on her bottom lip. “But we got away. I had to hurt Concordia and Vidgis, but they understood and they made me stronger. This thing to understand Caleb, is that our mutation gives us powers. They’re not superpowers. They’re powers of death. We thrive on pain. We can move things without touching them, inanimate objects, also some of the elements. But we have to ask for their permission. Our powers allow us to communicate with nature that way. I ask the waves to move how I would like, they can refuse me. but usually they don’t,” her eyes were pitch back again, I watched as the waves behind her lifted higher and higher into the air, six feet, seven, eight. They it just stayed there, a wall of water before it crashed down again. Eris was shimmering, her skin letting off a bright silvery glow.

“It works the same for disease, I can sense them, my powers tell me what’s wrong, what hurting the person in front of me. and I can fix them. Be it a broken arm or meningitis. My powers are stringer than Concordia’s and Vidgis’. In the lab, they called me the Queen Bee. The downfall to our powers is their thrist for life. We are intrinscally linked to our powers. They thrive on pain, we thrive on pain, they survive by killing, we survive by killing. Hurting something, human or animal, gives me strength, give me more power. It’s not something I can let die, my powers drive me to kill, I need to take life to stay alive. In the facility they gave us animals to kill, our powers were subdued. But here, here my powers have grown so much, I’m not even sure I’m still in control.”

“Eris,” my mind spun with the new information. “I-”

“Please, let me finish, then you can leave me,” she nodded sharply. “The research started because of our healing powers, the fact that we can heal broken spines, cure cancer,” she paused. “Obviously, that’s very interesting. The thing is, when we fix something, we lose strength and power. It’s not sustainable for our species. The more reasrch they did, the more interesting we got as weapons more than healers. By the time I was born, their primary research was pushed to the side, the fact that I could make a tank exploded or create a barrier for bullets, were much more interesting. More money in war than there is in healthcare.”

“That’s for sure,” I murmured in agreement.

“Chimeramortus,” she said. “That’s the name they gave our mutation,” she bowed her head slightly. Her silver hair hung down in front of her face. My heart was beating rapidly in my chest, I stared at her, I couldn’t move my eyes away.

“Concordia and Vigdis want to leave. To move to some other small city and stay undercover, try not to kill, and keep moving when they slip. I will never be able to do that. I’m the one holding them back, they could live a normal life if they wanted to, if they really tried. They could be the ones to survive. I could never. I didn’t think, Caleb you’re my antidote. They never tested for falling in love in the labs,” she gave me a shy smile. “When I’m with you, I can pushed my powers away, push them deep inside me. They don’t bother me. When I’m with you, I’m human,” she paused taking a deep breath then looked me in the eyes. Tears were spilling over running down her cheeks. I felt like my heart was being crushed inside my chest. I wanted to reach over and hold her against me. To stop her crying, to make her happy again but I couldn’t.

“Eris…” she held her hand up.

“Number 5 is my real name. I was the fifth mutant to live in the lab. Eris is just a name I chose. It helped me dream when I was chained up. Anyway I just told you all this because I hope it’d be useful to you. Maybe when the time comes you’ll be able to learn more. I hope I will be there when it happens. Uh but I might not be able to be there, or to stop it. I’m so sorry about all this Caleb.”

I stood in front of her just not touching.

“I need to get this straight. You kill people.”

“Yes.”

“Because you have mutation that makes you want to kill people.”

“Well yes, my powers they don’t only make me want to hurt people, they don’t give me a choice. They will destroy me if I don’t.”

“Destroy you?”

“They burn, if I don’t kill, or hurt enough, they with eat me up from the inside. Melt my organs, boil my blood. I would die.”

“That’s really fucked up.”

“Yeah, well, it balances it with the whole healing thing.”

“Why don’t you kill me?” I demanded. She laughed without humor.

“Kill the man I love? I could never lay a wrong finger on you Caleb. If it’s any comfort at all, you’re safe from me.”

“But you wanted to. When we met in the library. Your eyes went black, and that woman died.”

“You were our first human encounter since the lab, one that we hadn’t killed. I hated you,” she stared out at the ocean. “I used to think all humans were evil. I left the lab planning to kill you all and to create a new world where I would be safe and no one would come after me, would hurt me ever again. If this world couldn’t accept me, then I’d destroy it. But I realized, I could never do that. Because most, people are good. We try to only kill the bad people, the ones committing crimes. But that didn’t work out in the long term. James told me that we were put on earth by God, to help the human race. I heard others say that we are here to destroy it, angels of death sent by God, I don’t know,” she shrugged. “I don’t want to know either.”

“I…” I stared at the ocean. “I need to think,” I breathed.

“I understand,” she nodded. “Caleb, I want you to know. We are leaving. I’m breaking up with you, I don’t want you to be any more involved in this. But also, know that I love you,” she nodded to herself. “Good bye Caleb,” she turned quickly.

My heart raced, I felt myself grabbing for her. I grasped her shoulder and spun her back towards me. She gasped, landing against my chest. I held her there, the seconds ticked by. I didn’t even know why I was holding her. My mind was spinning. Notihng seemed to make sense. Nothing, expect the fact that I didn’t want her to leave me.

I felt her arms locked tightly around my waist, her face was pressed against my chest. I could feel her frame shaking, her tears dampening my shirt. So was so much more complicated than I had expected.

“I don’t want you to leave me,” I breathed. I heard her breath hitch and she buried deeper into my chest. I held her tighter, burying my face into her neck.

“I wish I could live you you like this forever,” she breathed.

“If your powers go away when you’re with me, can’t you?” I heard myself ask. She looked up at me, her eyes sparkling with tears, her nose red. She shook her head.

“I will always need to take life to stay alive,” she breathed. “I’m sorry Caleb. We leave tomorrow morning,” she pulled away form me suddenly, wiping at her tears. She took a few large steps away from me, then turned on her heels and ran. I couldn’t move, I watched her until her glow disappeared into the darkness.


I walked home slowly. Images flashed through my mind, the scene at the library, she was crying out, in pain, staggering to get out. On the beach she screamed. She hated killing that was obvious. If she had a choice she’d stop. But she didn’t have a choice. Yet what was the point of having powers to heal if you were driven to kill? The old man, she had stopped his arthritis, given him his strength back. I stared at the stars. A star, that’s what seemed the most probable. She was a star. A burning, consuming light, that brought death and life.

I turned when I heard the sound of a van approaching. It slammed to a stop in front of me, before I reaslied what was happening, two men appeared, one grabbed me while I swung a punch at the other. He went down, but the first guy kicked me in the back. I went flying forward onto the pavement. The guy I punched kicked me into the side while the other grabbed my head and pulled it up. I watched as a needle was pressed into my throat. Soon things got blurry, their voice were slow and muffled. They were shouting orders and I was being moved. I couldn’t even lift a finger. Soon my hearing stopped then my sight and I was in uttered darkness. Something was moving though, a silver light approaching. A girl wearing a long flowing white dress with silver hair and large black eyes. She smiled and reached her hand out to me. I couldn’t take it, she hesitated, casting her eyes down then she walked off. I cried out after her, I struggled to move but it wasn’t possible. I woke up again still calling her name.

I was on a metal bed with a thin worn mattress. I could feel cuffs around my wrists and stared in horror at the complicated knot they were connected to. The chains hung from the ceiling, it was high up and completely black, I could see mechanisms, chains wrapped around them. There were hooks in the white walls, and a very small window at least three meters up. It cast a little sunlight in but most of the light was from the blinking yellow light just above the door. It was a very big door, metal with concrete all around it I could guess the bolts behind it. The light was giving me a headache, I stared around the room some more.

The walls were covered in dents, large dents that looked like a canon ball had been thrown into them. It was clean but I spotted, just next to the bed a large piece of concrete had been written on. Lines were carved into the concrete, it looked like drawings, but I couldn’t understand exactly what they were supposed to represent.

I sat up slowly my back aching from having slept on the metal springs. Almost as soon as I moved a video camera appeared popping out of the wall and looking at me. I stared at it fiercely. Suddenly there was a click from the ceiling and my arms were wrenched up the chains puling me so I stood with my feet strong on the ground but my arms pulled up above my head. I grimaced in pain. I heard more clicking noises then slowly the door slid open. A man appeared with salt and pepper hair, dark eyes and a short trimmed bread. He was tall and typically handsome but his face seemed more aged than it should have been. Next to him stood a young lady with blond hair in a tight ponytail and sparkling blue eyes. She smiled at me.

“Some great prison you’ve got here,” I muttered darkly. The man chuckled shutting the door behind him. He walked around the room for second then looked towards me.

“This isn’t a prison Caleb Matsumoto. This is a bedroom,” I recognized his voice almost immediately. I had had him on the phone the night before. Eris’s father. James. “Number 5, this was were she grew up. You’re girlfriend’s bedroom. Like it? She got to design it. I think she did a good job with what she got,” he chuckled. I glared at him.

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