Joel’s eyes open, and he notices he isn’t in the train station anymore. The room is extremely bright. The only thing that stood out a man sitting in the corner of the room reading a book. He looked like he was a little older than Joel. Actually, Joel noticed that the man looked a lot like him. Joel tried to move, but his body felt like it was weighted down by rocks.
“About time you got here. Always late, Joel. That’s rude, you know,” The man smiled. He put down the book and walked over to Joel. When the man got closer, Joel could make out the man’s features better. The man had a long scar running down his face and tattoos going down his arms. His eyes had dark circles around them. Making him look like he was wearing a black mask. He wore a black leather jacket with jeans and sneakers.
“Welcome to the End. This is it. Yeah, I expected more too. Everyone hypes it up, and this is what we get. Talk about a letdown,” The man sat down next to Joel. “So, how are things on the other side?”
Joel’s eyes widened. He tried to speak, but he couldn’t.
“Oh, yeah, that. I should explain. You’re in the middle of life and death right now. Your body is still in the real world. This is your spirit. So, no. You’re not dead…yet. Since you’re not dead, you still have your voice. Not all of you is here…yet. If you don’t do something about those spirits that are killing you right now, well, we’ll have a lot more time to chat.”
Joel adjusted himself and leaned against the wall. “If I’m a spirit, then why can I lean against the wall?” Joel thought.
“Why indeed?” The man asked. He picked up his book and threw it at Joel. “Read it.”
Joel picked up the book and looked it over. His heart nearly stopped.
The book was made up of different articles. Most were about the murders that Mordecai had done. “There’s so many,” Joel thought.
“Keep going,” The man yawned.
Out of curiosity, Joel flipped to the end of the book. The last article was titled “Tragedy at the Station. Over two hundred dead.” Joel almost dropped the book. “That’s today!” Joel thought.
“Yep, in about one hour. Since it hasn’t happened yet, that’s all we can see. What a cliffhanger!” The man laughed.
“How are you so calm? A bunch of people are about to die.”
“Well, I died too, so it’s fair game.” The man looked at his watch. “Alright, here’s what’s about to happen; you’re going to go back and stop a mass murder from happening. You need to stop it before Lorelei has to. Trust me, that’s for the best. You need to do this before those delayed trains get to the station. Once that happens, it’ll be too late. I will lend you my strength. You’re strong, but even you need the help.” The man stood up and held his hand out to Joel.
Joel took it and noticed his body start to disappear.
“One question: Who are you? Why do you look like me? How did you get this book?”
“That’s three questions, and I won’t answer any of them. Just know that I’ll be watching. I’d appreciate it if you save us before you know what happens.” The man picked up the book and handed it over to Joel. “Keep this safe. Don’t let anyone know you have it. I’m serious, Joel. No one can know this exists. A lot of people would kill for this book. Hell, they have. Not even Lorelei can know you have this. Got it?”
“I knew I liked you for a reason. Get ready to start swinging when you go back. You surviving this is a crucial part of the plan. After you get out, go look for Thomas. He should be close by.”
“He’s okay?!” Joel thought. He couldn’t believe he was actually okay. Not after Mortdecai literally crushed his spirit.
“He’s in pieces. You need to find them. We still have some time before the trains arrive. Thomas can help you. Hurry, Joel. We’re counting on you. You have a performance to get to. I want to be there when you start playing.” The man smiled. Something about his smile was familiar to Joel.
“Hold on, are you…” Joel thought but was cut off when the rest of his body disappeared.
“Heh, good luck. You’ll need it.” The man said as the room darkens.
Joel’s eyes opened. It was much harder to do since his face was swollen. Every time he tried to move, a wave of pain rushed over him. Joel saw three spirits hovering over him.
“How’s he not dead yet? Anyone else would have been dead ten times over by now. So, what the hell?” An orange spirit asked.
“He’s like Mortdecai. There kind are very hard to kill. I don’t know why you’re complaining. This is the most action we’ve seen in years. I’m enjoying myself. I want to try him on. It’s been so long since I’ve had skin,” The yellow spirit said. It started looking Joel up and down. “Yeah, he’ll do.”
“Why the hell do you get to go first? I want a body again too! Who died and made you leader anyway?” The gray spirit asked.
“He’s mine! Go find your own!” The yellow spirit said.” You’ll have plenty of choices soon. I want him.”
“Do I get a say in this?” Joel asked, pulling himself to his feet. “I ain’t done using my body yet.”
“Look at what you idiots did? He’s up now.” The yellow spirit hovered closer to Joel. “Don’t make this harder than it has to be, boy. You should feel honored. I don’t just possess anyone. I just need to make some room inside you. Once your spirit is gone, there should be plenty of room.”
“Joel, hurry!” A voice came into Joel’s mind. “Lorelei is in danger.”
“Connor?” Joel asked.
“This is so annoying.” Joel shook his head. “Back off! I’m not the same guy you beat up a minute ago.”
The spirits started circling him. Despite the situation, Joel felt calm. He didn’t feel like he was in danger. In fact, he felt excited. “I did warn you. You guys never learn.” Joel said. He realized that his words weren’t his own. It was the man from the white room. Joel’s arm shoots out and grabs the yellow spirit and slams it into the wall shattering it to pieces. “All that talk, and that’s it? How disappointing.”
“What the hell is this guy? How’s he so strong?” The orange spirit asked. “No way, I’m getting shattered.” It turned and was about to run. The gray spirit stopped it.
“Are you insane? If we don’t kill this guy, what do you think Mordecai would do to us? We’d be hunted for the rest of forever. I’d rather die a thousand more times than keep looking over my shoulder for that psycho. Get your **** together!” The gray spirit turned to Joel and noticed that Joel’s injures disappearing.
“That’s better. I can’t move around with that kind of pain. Did you really have to kick his ass that hard? You guys are horrible killers.” Joel said, laughing. “It’s pathetic. You both were notorious killers when you were alive. Such a letdown.” Joel took a step towards them. The spirits backed up.
“You’re not the same guy as before. Are you? Did he get possessed already? How’s that possible? Hey! Whoever you are, get out! He’s ours.” The gray spirit said.
“Well, since you asked so nicely.” Joel disappeared then reappeared inches from the gray spirit. “No.” Joel hits the grey spirit in the face. Punching a hold right throw it and shattering the rest of the spirit. “That’s two.”
“H-Hold on! We can talk about this. I can tell you what Mortdecai is planning. Let me keep existing, and I’ll tell you. Deal?” The orange spirit asked.
“Aw! Poor thing. So big and bad earlier, and now you look like a scared little child. Since you’re about to be shattered, I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m not the same guy as before. I’m something much, much worse. However, we made a deal, and I intend on seeing it through. I don’t need you to tell me what Mortdecai is up to. I know full well what that ******* is planning.” Joel pulled back his fist. “Next time you want to mess with me, don’t.” Joel punches a hole through the orange spirit.
“Don’t worry; I’ll tell Mortdecai you failed. Even this won’t stop him from coming after you. Look forward to running for the rest of forever.” Joel smiled as the spirit shattered. “Well, that was fun. Alright, Joel, you’re up.”
Joel could feel the man’s presence go to the back of his mind. “The **** just happened?” Joel looked at himself and noticed that he didn’t have a scratch on him. “Hey! You still there?”
Joel didn’t have time to ask questions. He needed to find Thomas. Joel walked out into the hallway and noticed he had never seen this part of the station before. It looked abandoned.
“Turn left and go down to door three,” The man said in his head.
“What are you, a GPS now?” Joel said, running down the hall. He opens door three and notices it’s stuck. “Now what?”
Joel pulls at the handle and nearly rips the door off. “Jesus! How’d I do that?”
“I told you. You’re strong.”
Joel looked back to the door and noticed a familiar white room inside. He steps inside and sees Thomas facing the wall. “I’m sorry, Lori. I couldn’t save him. You were counting on me, and I failed.” Thomas said, punching the wall. “Why can’t I do anything right? You probably hate me too.”
“Thomas?” Joel asked.
“I won’t blame you. Everyone I’ve ever met hates me sooner or later. I thought I could help you. I thought things could be different. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry, Joel. I tried.” Thomas said. Joel could hear him start to cry.
“Tom! Hey, can you hear me?” Joel put his hand on Thomas’s shoulder. A wave of energy filled the room, sending Joel crashing into the opposite wall. “That hurt.”
“What was…Joel?” Thomas asked. He hurried over to Joel. “You’re alright? How? I heard them killing you. I thought…how are you okay?”
“I could ask you the same thing. I thought you would be in pieces when I found you. What is this place?”
“I don’t know. It’s just nothing. Forever. Endless nothing. I didn’t even know there was a door. It felt like I was in here for weeks. How long has it been?” Thomas asked while helping Joel to his feet.
“A couple of hours, I think. That doesn’t matter. Listen, we need to find Lorelei and Connor. I think they’re here somewhere.” Joel stuck his head out the door and looked around. “Cool, no one’s around. We can make a break for it.”
Joel looked at Thomas. “No?”
“I’m staying. I can’t face them again. You nearly died. I can’t face either of them.”
Joel rolled his eyes. “For the love of…, we don’t have time for this pity party. A lot of people are about to die, and we know how to stop it.”
Thomas tilted his head. “We? Who’s we?”
“I mean, I know how to stop it. First, we need to find Lori and Con. They’re in the most danger. Mortdecai has them.” Joel said.
“How do you know that? Have you seen them?” Thomas says skeptically.
“Tom, we don’t have time for this. I need to save my friend and my brother. Please, if you want to make it up to them, let’s save their lives. We need you.” Joel said. “Come on.”
Thomas thought for a moment. “Fine, but I know somethings up with you. You’re hiding something. I want to know what later.”
Joel nodded, and they both headed out of the white room.
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