Derrick Harris: Undead

By @Yoshino

Derrick Harris: Undead

By @Yoshino

A young man dies tragically by an unimaginable beast. After being brought back, he is placed in the ranks of an undead army that fights these monsters to protect the living and the dead,

Chapter 1

The Day I Die

I am no good at these things. Storytelling, I mean.

But I am going to try. Because this needs to be told.

So, I guess the question is where to start? An introduction? Alright.

My name is Derrick. Derrick Harris, but you don’t have to use my last name at all. In fact, you can probably forget it. No, seriously. It’s really a super basic name. So much so, that it will stick in your brain, but you will never remember it. You know the kind of name I am talking about.

But that is kind of how my life has always been. Super basic, super common, super average. Absolutely nothing special about me.

I have never been good at sports, but I am not bad at them either. My grades have always been average for my school, not failing, but not honor roll either. As for popularity, I have been left out of many things, and I don’t think I have ever gone to any big parties or anything either.

In the end, I am average, basic, riding along in life in the dead middle. So, unnoticeable that I end up just fading into the background. I am sure you have seen those wallflowers at least once before, but soon forgot them. Just there, barely existing.

Well, at least they are alive.

OK, maybe I am jumping a little too far ahead.

So, to start a story, I should start, eh, a little before everything just goes from bad to worse. Sound good?

As I forgot to mention earlier, I am specifically in high school. Just our local high school, nothing special. Just your average junior at your average high school

And to make everything bad from the start, it was a Thursday. Thursdays are one of the dreariest things ever. So, close to the weekend and yet, so far away. Who ever invented them should be beaten senseless.

Anyway, class was over and I was headed home. Walking along the sidewalk in the city with my friends. Yeah, I have friends. Shocker. They are Erin and Jarred, the coolest kids I know.

And these two guys, well, guy and girl, are my best friends in the whole world. They are the only things keeping me sane in the monotony that is my life.

           We were heading home and just chatting.

“Really?”

“Yeah, Really!”

           “Dude, that sucks harsh.”

           See, important discussions going on. Stuff about how much we hate school, and what to do this weekend, and the fact that fall break is fast approaching. Only the most important issues here.

           We were so deep in our conversation that I almost didn’t notice it when we made it to the front steps of our apartment building. Honestly, I almost tripped on the first step, and Jarred had his laugh on my behalf.

           In the end, we started to go up the stairs and had to go our separate ways too soon. Erin lives on the first floor. Jarred is on the third. And I get the pleasure of climbing the stairs all the way up to the fifth and final floor. It’s a work out, but it’s better than taking the elevator. It’s cramped, slow, and always smells like sour milk.

           But the effort is not all that bad. It’s a penthouse, right? Isn’t that what everyone wants?

           Either way, after a long hike up those stairs, I happily make it to the front door.

           With the door unlocked, I enter to silence and the dimness of daylight trying to seep through closed blinds. And as expected, no one was home.

           Being an only child of parents that work long hours has its perks. I come home to a quiet home after a long day of school and stair-climbing to unwind and nap easily right afterward.

           After raiding the fridge and finding nothing worth eating, I make my way to my room for a well-disserved nap. I should probably be doing my homework or something. I dunno. But since my parents get home late, are usually exhausted, and go straight to bed themselves, I can get away with putting off my work and chores until the last minute. Another perk.

           I throw open my bedroom door and toss my backpack haphazardly to the corner of my bed, yawning deeply.

           There is nothing super special about my room, just a bed, a desk, a dresser and a night stand. The balcony just outside my room is probably the most exciting part. If you step out and look straight across you get a grand view of a red, brick wall spreading out in all directions. But hey, it’s my little oasis and I can relax in the little bit of sunlight it gets daily.

           Laying down after long day of being moderately bored out of my mind is quite rewarding to me. I jumped into my bed and curled up for a nice nap. My queen-size bed was nice, soft, warm and slowly lulling me to sleep. 

           I rolled over to get curled up in my sheets, when my head collides with something very solid hidden under the covers.

           “Ow!” I couldn’t hold in my pained grunt.

           After catching my senses, I fling open my sheets to see what had smacked my forehead. My eyes grew wide after seeing just what it was.

           Under my covers was an object covered completely in grey colored fur. Or something like that; it was the strangest thing I had ever seen. Astonishingly enough, it was something that not only wasn’t mine, but also something I had never seen before.

           I hesitantly poked the furry mass with my finger, trying to see what it could possibly be. Suddenly, it moved side to side, causing me to jump back in response. My breath caught in my chest as I slowly came to the realization that it was alive. And moving on its own.

           I covered my mouth to stifle a yelp of terror as whatever it was began moving more and more, and raised slowly into the air. As it rose higher, it made a mumbling sound and began to turn about. When it finally stopped moving around, I gasped in recognizing what it was.

           It was a person, an old man specifically, and one I didn’t recognize. He moaned and groaned as he pushed my sheets, and me, off the bed. As he stretched, he let loose a massive yawn.

           Suddenly, as if taken aback, he grabbed the sides of his head with both hands and mumbled under his breath. “What hit me?” He began to rub his temples and slowly moved on to the rest of his face, as strange noises kept escaping from his half-opened lips.

           Then he stopped, almost frozen. His eyes were squinted, but they were clearly locked on me. Quickly he rubbed his eyes, and return to gazing at me with rapidly blinking eyes. His neck craned around in different directions, as if to get a better angle to view me with.

           Then he stopped, once again, and put a hand to his chin. “You’re a guy?” he muttered through slurred words.

           My voice was caught in my throat and only a trembling “huh?” came out.

           He laughed, quietly, but deliberately. “Man, you scream like a girl.”

           As he continued to chuckle to himself, his snow-white hair danced around his head as it fell about in odd tangles in every direction. His wrinkled fingers began pulling on his gnarled bread that was as white as the rest of his hair.

           He winced once again in pain, his eye sockets sunken in and dark around the edges. He murmured something again, something about “too much booze”. From the smell coming off of him, I’d say he had just bathed in it.

           He stood up and stretched, then began to saunter, or maybe stumble, over to my dresser. He fumbled over it a bit and pick up an old action figure off the top and began to study it with drowsy eyes.

           “H-hey!” my voice finally found the energy and echoed out into my room, “Who are you? Wh-What do you want?”

           He froze again, turning only his head to look at me. Our eyes finally met clearly. Though my vision was shaking slightly with terror, and his brows were bearing down vaguely on the tops of his eyes, I saw that they were an icy blue. They were so intense; they almost were burning into the back of my head.

           “I have a name, you know. It’s-,” he started, but was quickly cut off by a large blech that took both of our breaths away. His from the size, mine from the sudden stench. “Ah, dammit. It’s Archie.” He dropped the action figure and pounded on his chest.

           Almost as if he hadn’t given me another thought, he crossed my room and opened the curtain that covered the sliding door that led to my balcony. With much ease, he slid the door open with only a few fingers and stepped out into the afternoon air.

           His clothes finally caught my sight in the sunlight. They were of a strange material, black but having depth to them. His boots were big and clunky and had made a small boom with each step. His clothes almost seem to react to the light, as if they were scared of the sunlight and were hissing at it.

           “Hey. Hey!” I yelled clambering to my feet, almost tripping over them a few times. I wanted to run out to see what he was doing, but rational fear made me keep my distance, for now. “I don’t know how you got in here or what you want,” I put as much emphasis on each word as I could to keep my voice steady. I didn’t want to let him know how freaked out I was. “But if you don’t leave now, I am going to call the cops.”

           With steady hands, he reached out and grabbed the railing on my balcony and turned around the face me, “Don’t worry. I’m leaving.” Suddenly, he lifted his body up to where he was sitting on the railing, “But I am sure we will meet again, friend. Just remember, the name’s Archie.”

           And without any hesitation, he did the unthinkable. I nearly choked on my scream as I watched him lean backwards on the railing and fall, headfirst, to the concrete below.

           I rushed as fast as I could and caught myself on the railing, gripping it so I wouldn’t fall over too. I frantically searched over the edge of my balcony, expecting to see a mangled corpse smeared on the sidewalk. But there was nothing.

           People were still walking on the sidewalk. Cars were still driving in the streets. Nothing was wrong. Except the old man was nowhere to be seen.

           I backed away slowly recalling the last image of his black trench coat as it fluttered in the air around his feet as they fell down towards the street. My head was reeling, as was my stomach.

           “I don’t think I am going to be able to sleep tonight,” I muttered as I fell down into my bed. My hand crossed over something clammy and slick. “Well, not in these sheets,” I grimaced as I notice the giant grease stain over my sheets.

           I replayed the events over and over again in my mind.

           I came home, check. The door was locked, check. I go into my room and laid down, check. Old dude in my bed, I don’t know why, but check. He jumps off balcony and…

           No body. Check…

           No matter how I thought about it, it never made sense. I would have called the police, but then I would have to try and explain what happened out loud and that seemed way too hard for me to do than for them to believe it once I had said it.

           So I did the next best thing. I called Jarred.

           I probably could have gone down to his place and talked to him directly, but I was worried about more homeless people breaking into my apartment while I was out. I think things would have gone differently if my mom or dad had found him besides me.

           Unfortunately, Jarred, like normal, was no help. No matter what I said, he kept laughing and telling me the next time we hung out I should share whatever I had been smoking. Eventually he hung up on me, but I could still hear his snickering in my ears.

           With options short, I did the next best thing after the next best thing. I called Erin.

           Surprisingly, she was even less helpful.

           I told her my story as calmly and as detailed as I could without sounding crazy, but she just dismissed it. She kept telling me it was just a dream. “After all, you did say you were taking a nap.”

           But I hadn’t fallen asleep yet. Close, but not quite.

           “Maybe you could just come over and I could show you my bed? I mean there’s a huge-”

           “Derrick,” she cut me off, “I know your parents aren’t home now. I have seen T.V. dramas like this before. I am going to hang up now. I will see you at school tomorrow. Remember, it’s Friday. The weekend. Bye.” Click.

           Smooth. And no, I hadn’t hit on her before, we are friends. Not like that.

           But why did she have to remind me I still had one more day of school to go through?

           As my decisions started to fail in front of my eyes, I made one last, very rash decision. Pizza.

           Some fresh air and warm pizza was all I really needed to clear my head. Pizza was always my go to answer when life was bumming me out, or things were getting tough, or there were no more frozen dinners left in the freezer. So why change course over a simple break-in?

           I quickly changed into some new clothes, since the last pair was still soaked in sweat and probably terror. Then double checked all of the locks to make sure they were nice and tight. I made it all the way to the stairs before I freaked out and had to triple check them.

           I am just lucky that the best pizzeria in the whole city was just down the street, two blocks over from my apartment. Which meant, I was there regularly. So much so, the guy that owns the shop, knows what I want right when I walk through the door.

           “Stuffed crust supreme pizza and large cola, coming up!” Man, I am lucky.

           One thing I am good at is eating pizza in as few bites as possible and still enjoying every bit of it.

            As I tossed the empty soda cup away, I headed home.

           I didn’t want to go home, but it was my home, and no strange hobos were going to scare me out of it. Plus, my parents were probably home by now and wondering why I wasn’t there. Don’t want to be in trouble for something I didn’t do.

           As I walked in the evening air of the city streets, I kept feeling crowded by everyone milling their way home. I live in pretty much the dead center of the city so everyone is there at some point. Today seemed like everyone was out in the evening time for some reason. But who am I to judge, I mean, I am out and about too.

           But with large crowds in big cities come street performers. And I had seen plenty on the street I lived on. Some were good, like a juggler juggling like 8 flaming juggling torches. Some were average like the average guy with a guitar playing classic rock acoustic style.

           And then I came across the most… Unique act I had seen to date.

           I kid you not, there was a guy laying out on the sidewalk begging for money, by doing nothing. All of these other acts doing at least something and here this guy was asking for money. There nerve of some people.

           There was a cracked clay bowl with some coins tossed into it at the man’s feet. Which were covered in deep black boots. His body was covered in black, from his heavy cargo pants to his lighter shirt, all of which was surrounded by a long black trench coat. One arm was draped over his face, blocking the light from his eyes while he slept, snoring. The other held a cardboard sign with the words “Smile-You Are Alive!” crudely scribbled on it with a permanent marker.

           The only proof that he was alive was that he twirled his fist around in a circle with his pointer finger extended. As he twirled his finger, a coppery ring, about the diameter of a bowling ball, spun with it.

           Against my better judgement, I inched closer to him. I was then greeted with a stomach-turning stench of booze that emanated from every molecule in his body. Reaching out my foot carefully, I nudged at the clay bowl, making the coins in it jangle a bit.

           The noise must have alarmed him as he dropped the ring and started mumbling and swaying side to side in what looked like an attempt to do a sit-up but failing miserably. His sudden movements startled me, causing me to jump back in surprise.

           With great struggling, he finally finished his sit-up and huffed in exhaustion, mumbling something that resembled, “Geez, just five more minutes.” After yawning and rubbing his eyes, he finally looked in my direction.

           It was at that point I finally noticed his facial features. His messy white hair, and thick beard, and his tired blue eyes. “You!” I screamed and pointed. Best reaction I could muster at that moment.

           He continued to stare at me for an uncomfortably long time before speaking. “Do I know you?”

           His question made me grit my teeth. “Oh, I don’t know?” I most likely yelled in frustration, “You slept in my bed!”

           His eyes grew wide in shock. “Hey, hey, man!” He cried back, shaking his arms and head, “No! I DON’T swing that way. Not even that one time, man!”

           I know that people slur their words when they are drunk but what was he talking about? Do people really act this way as alcoholics? I swear to never drink a single drop if this is how I turn out.

           “I’m not talking about something like that! You were sleeping in my bed and jumped out my window, like, just an hour ago!” 

           He started to chuckle and shake his head, “Yep, that does sounds like me.” He continued to laugh to himself until he abruptly stopped and stroked his chin. “Or at least I think it does,” and proceeded to pull out a flask from his overcoat and take a swig from it.

           I involuntarily facepalmed at that. It took me a few seconds to calm my breathing.

           “Okay, I’ll get over sleeping you in my bed-” 

           “I don’t like how you say that,” he cut me off, again, pointing his wrinkly finger towards my face with the mouth of the flask still pressed against his lip.

           My head was starting to hurt again, as I pinched the bridge of my nose for comfort.

           “Whatever.” I started in a snarky voice, “Why are you talking handouts for?”

           His cocked his brow at me and shrugged his shoulders in confusion. Doing my best not to yell on the busy street I pointed furiously at the bowl and sign at his feet.

           He stared at them for a long moment before looking back at me, “I don’t remember having those before taking my nap.”

           With God as my witness, I swear to never taste the devil’s nectar.

           “Not that I care, but why are you here? Can’t you be elsewhere?” Like the other side of the world or something?

           He chuckled. “I am on a job,” he forced out through his giggling, “And the best part is, since I am on my own for this one, I get to drink without anyone nagging me. Isn’t it great?” He shook the flask towards me as he laughed out for a moment.

           I scoffed and stepped back from him, rolling my eyes. “Job, Pfft. What kind of job could a bum like you have?”

           He suddenly stood up, quite gracefully in fact, and swayed his way to me.

           I wanted to back away, keep him from getting any closer to me because of his stench, but my legs were frozen, trembling in place. I held my breath hoping he wouldn’t get any closer, until he did get right up in front of me. My stomach tightened in knots.

           Then without warning, he sidestepped me and continued until he was just beside me. “That.” He spoke and took another sip, “It’s a part of my job, at least.”

           Curiosity killed the cat. I couldn’t resist looking at him, but I only cut my eyes to do so. He stood beside me facing the opposite direction, stared out further down the street behind me, and pointed lazily with one finger.

           I felt my face contort as I wondered who he was pointing at, and turned around slowly to see what it was. Behind us was nothing.

           Seriously, nothing.

           The once busy street had since emptied to an almost barren wasteland. There were still people here and there but they were so far and few in between that they almost didn’t count. As for where he was pointing, there was no one there.

           I glanced back, as he lowered his arm and took yet another sip, making me sick at how much I had already seen him drink. His eyes though told a different story.

           They were locked and unwavering. He was clearly watching for something, or maybe just watching something, as on occasion, his eyes would move slightly and readjust on something possibly moving around on the street.

           But there was nothing. I kept glancing between him and the empty street and found nothing.

           “What are you talking about?” I asked, but as soon as I finished my sentence he cut into my words.

           “Relax and focus. I know you can at least catch a glimpse of it.”

           I gave him a sideways glance and saw how intent his gaze was. They were still dancing around slightly in his head as he watched something I could see dance around in the street, but I hadn’t seen anything. With a heavy sigh, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and looked out beyond me.

           Still nothing, but strangely, I did start to notice something. The more a relaxed my eyes and focused on nothing in particular, something unusual came into my vision. It shimmered as it moved over the street. As it moved near objects, it would stop momentarily and then buck and move to the next object. When it came to a stack of newspapers by a vendor on the sidewalk, it ran right into it and sent all of the papers tumbling through the air. The curator proceeded to curse at the wind for being the cause of him having to clean up the mess.

           Even at first, I thought it was that too, just the wind. But it clearly wasn’t just the wind. It has some mass to it.

           I turned to the old man once more in confusion and rubbed my eyes. He still hadn’t looked away and was once again spinning the coppery ring on his finger. I quickly turned back after hearing someone yell from tripping and saw that the shimmering mass had knocked him over. He hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary and check his shoes to see if they were untied.

           Unfortunately, he hadn’t been tripped by his own two feet but instead by a now very solid, shadowy creature. It moved and changed its edges, but there was clearly a full figure hiding in that shadowy mist. It kept moving in serpentine patterns and crashing into things as it frantically searched the streets

           But then it stopped. It halted and turned down the street, right at me and stared with pure hate that drove straight through me. Its crazy eyes were so red and intense my knees buckled and I scurried backward on all four.

           “Wh-What the hell is going on?” I sputtered to ask trying to make sense of what I was seeing. It was a ghost, a poltergeist, it had to be. But who had ever seen an actual ghost and had not been in a movie or going insane.

           I turned to look at the old guy. For whatever reason, I felt as though he had a way to handle whatever it was. Like he had dealt whit whatever this was before.

           But then again, why was I afraid. This mist thing hadn’t done anything harmful, maybe been a jerk as it knocked things and people around, but no one was harmed. Even if hate poured out of its eyes, it wasn’t doing any damage.

           “It’s an Anfall,” the old man finally spoke up after what felt like a mini eternity and shocked me out of whatever stupor I was it. “Seems like it has been smelling you. Finally found you, huh?”

           I might have reacted a bit exaggeratedly, but I believe I was well in my rights. “Me!?” I blatantly and openly screamed, “Why me? What do you mean smell?”

           The old guy’s only reply was a chuckle. Not helpful, not helpful in the least.

           “Well because,” he answered, as he twirled the copper ring around his finger, “You are a threat. Or maybe it’s treat. Hard to say.”

           “What!?” I yelled loudly, my voice tearing through my throat, “How am I a threat to something like that?” I didn’t want to think about the other option he had given.

           I wish he would stop chuckling but at least he was still answering, “Oh, you’ll see.”

           In terror of his words, I looked back down at the shimmering figure and about fainted at the sight. It was no longer shimmering. It had taken on a completely solid form and stood ominously in front of me.

           The only way I could describe it in its whole is that it looked like a rhino, but only smaller, maybe about 3 feet tall at the shoulder. Its skin exhibited human qualities, but completely covered in calluses and faded between pasty white and sickly green all at the same time. Its horn stuck out of its face about eight or so inches and looked deadly sharp all around.

           The freakiest part to me was its hands and feet. They appeared human only thicker and completely gnarled over.

           And it was staring right at me. It raised its head and sniffed the air as its nostrils flared. Even at about 100 feet away, I could clearly see how intent it was at getting to me. Then it moved, closer, closer than I ever wanted it to be, towards us, me.

           At that point, I was sure I was screaming, but the blood pumping in my ears was so deafening, I am not quite sure what noises were being made and what were just in my head. I was probably scaring anyone else on the street at my crazed actions, but as I looked around for something, anything, that could help, I saw no one, nothing. The street had suddenly emptied of all life except for me, the old man, and whatever that thing at the end of the block was.

           The creature now was moving very quickly at us. I jumped at a smack on my shoulder. Glancing over, I saw the old guy with his arm crooked on my shoulder, with a smile peeking out from behind his beard. He took hold of his ring and pushed it flat but hard against my chest. I caught it as he let go. The last thing that made sense was then he pushed me out into the middle of the street and yelled out with cupped hands “Good luck!” once he had made it a safe distance away.

           My breathing was heavy, and my hands felt like a ton had been dropped on them, even if it just this coppery metal ring. I looked up with shaking eyes to see the creature had stopped. It then began to pad the ground with one of its gnarled feet and lowered its head, horned angled right at me. The only thing I could compare it to was the old cartoon bulls readying to charge.

           After that I don’t know what took hold of me. Instincts, maybe? Hard to say, since everything else didn’t make sense, why not this too? But even with my hands shaking, and legs as unstable as pudding, I moved my body, into a defensive position with the copper blade (yeah, the edges were razor sharp) out in front.

           I squeezed the ring, and felt it cut deep into my palm. But there was no pain. I mean there was a stinging when I adjusted my grip, but it didn’t hurt as much as my head or my lungs.

           What the hell am I doing?

           Blood escaped my clenched fist and dripped slowly onto the concrete at my feet. And with the landing of the first drop, the beast lunged forward with great intensity. With only a few feet between us now, I raised the blade up high and brought it down hard and fast across the monster’s face, cutting a deep jagged line diagonally over its face. Black fluid erupted from the gash and splattered onto me and the beast.

           With a howling shriek, it swung its horn at me and knocked me hard in the chest that sent me flying into an alley. I crashed into a dumpster and slowly crumpled into the trash that litter the ground near it. Painful throes arced their way across my chest as a few of my ribs were broken on impact.

           I struggled to rise up from the trash and glared with great pain at the creature. I don’t know what was coming over me but I was furious, almost literally seeing red.

           Through ragged grunts, the beast was furiously swiping at its face attempting to wipe the blood from its eyes. Even from my distance away, it was clear that the cut on its eyes was healing. And fast, as a rough scar took its shape between its eyes. Once again, it turned its red eyes at me, snorted, and prepared to charge.

           It was unbelievable. I was feeling pumped. For probably the first time in my life too. It was so intense of a feeling, that I was slowly losing all other feelings to the point that the pain both my head and chest had completely faded. I struggled to stand, but then took another fighting stance with the ring, still dripping with the black fluid from the hellion and my own red blood, in front of me, ready to strike.

           “Come on,” I taunted, flipping the ring up gesturing it to come closer.

           The monster took the taunt and launched itself at full speed down the alley right at me. And I was ready for it. As it closed in, I turn the blade to the side and readied myself to rake it deep and hard straight across its face, right in its eyes, to blind it.

           Just within reach, I swung hard and wide, aiming for its glowing red eyes with as much force as I could muster.

           And missed.               

           At the very last second, the beast dropped down practically flat on the ground. It-it learned to dodge?

           Without a moment of hesitation, it sprung up from under me, burying its horn deep into my stomach.

           And at that moment, all of my strength disappeared. I was no longer pumped to fight, but actually quite terrified of dying as I felt my energy ebbing away from me.

           The edges of my vision became dark and blurry and creeped inward. I could see my life flashing before my eyes. Yeah, as I said before, nothing special, but it did bring a smile to my face. Or at least I think I smiled, I really couldn’t feel much right then. I readied myself to say goodbye to everyone I loved, not too many people, and waited for the end.

           “You got’m! Just grab its heart! C’mon, hurry!”

           A voice, quiet at first but growing louder, enter my head and began clearing my thoughts. I blinked my bleary eyes and saw that I was clinging to the head of the beast as it thrashed about trying to knock me off. It wasn’t going to be that easily as I could feel the its horn had gone completely through my stomach.

           “Go on! Reach into its wound and grab its heart!” The voice rose again cheering me on from behind.

           I couldn’t see much clearly, what with all my blood loss and being swung around like a ragdoll, but I did see one thing; distinctive orangey glint of the metal ring. The ring was stuck to the beast’s side, wedged between its ribs with black blood spurting out around it with each of the heavy breath.

           I don’t know what good it would do, but I reached over to the side as much as I could to grab the ring. My blood was draining out of wounds and covering the beast’s eyes, blinding it. Luckily, the beast bucked hard to the side as I grabbed it. It was probably startled by the sudden pain. But with that sudden movement, the ring was free with an eruption or murky fluids.

           Tossing the ring, I leaned in again to reach into its gash, to grab its heart. But the beast wouldn’t have that. It turned up its head and began whipping harder to throw me off.

           With the very last of my strength, I raised up a balled fist with my spare arm and slammed it down between the beast’s eyes, stunning it. The beast swayed and danced around incoherently, giving me just enough time to slip my hand into its chest and grab whatever I could.

           How would I know when I reach it? I have never held a heart before, let alone done a dissection in school, so I don’t know what one feels or looks like.

           Then, I flinched. Something hot touched the tips of my fingers, singeing them slightly. This has to be it.

           My fingers slipped around the object, smaller than I had expected, and clenched onto it with an unrelenting grip. I was out of energy. My body was cold and I was losing all other feelings. I couldn’t pull out the heart even if I tried.

           With each beating pulse against my palm, the beast continued to swing violently trying to get me off of it. It gave one final attempt to free it from me. It ran and slammed itself against a wall to pop me off of it. And it worked. I haven’t had too many luck breaks in my life, but I guess this counts as one.

           I fell to the ground on my back, though I didn’t feel myself land. Unable to move, I stared at the now fading twilight sky. The edges of my vision began to dissipate very fast as I looked to my side to see my fist with the small heart in it. It was still beating as fast as it was when I first held it. Through my fingers there was a dim glow escaping.

           Then a clicking sound entered my ears. A faint thudding of boots on concrete against my ear as it laid pressed on the ground. As they grew closer, they became the loudest sounds I had ever heard before.

           From the side I was facing, came a figure dressed in all black. Death? Too easy.

           I turned my eyes up towards the cloaked figured and saw the old man staring back, smiling. He reached down and picked his copper ring up and proceeded to spin it on his finger.

           “Rest, now,” he began as everything went to black. “All will be well soon,” I think he said as his voice faded and became nothing, but the beating of the heart.

                                                                             

           “Today, a very peculiar crime scene was discovered in an alley way on the south end of town,” the female reporter announced as the light blue glow of the T.V. illuminated the small room. “There was no body found, but the blood, tested to be that of young teenager, Derrek Harris, age 17, was found in the alleyway near the back with the dumpsters. Harris went missing around 5 in the afternoon after last being seen at a local pizzeria. Investigators agree by the amount of blood found that Derrek would not have survived. There is still an investigation on going to find the body and the murderer of the young teenager. If you know or have any information on this investigation, please call our hotline number at…”

           I muted the newscast as it continued in silence and studied the old man. He sat on a bar stool, arms crossed in front his chest, near the corner of the room facing in my direction.

           “So,” I started to ask, staring back at the T.V., “that’s me they’re talking about?”

           He never looked directly at me, more or less just in my direction. He gave a sullen nod, and seem to stare back into the distance.

           “And I-I’m actually…?” I asked, incapable of finishing my question. Again, he just nodded. “Well,” I shook my head in reply, “There goes the weekend.”

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