In the darkness of the night, the boy stood on a balcony. His eyes skimmed at the dark night sky, over the rooftops of the surrounding buildings. Searching for an easy way out, just encase he needed to build away from the woman.
The boy glimpsed at the rooftop of the building next to the side of the apartment. He guessed that he could make do with jumping off of the balcony if he absolutely needed to.
A smile went across his face. He heard the woman's voice coming from inside the apartment. She stood behind the kitchen island with a cellphone up to her ear. The boy listened closely to the man on the other side of the phone line. He spoke about how long the boy would be staying with the woman.
The woman smiled nervously, unsure if what she heard was real. She took a deep breath in as the realization hit her.
Her head turned slightly towards the boy. Her hand moved her cellphone away from her face. The woman saw a slightly worried look, on the boy's face. She wanted to talk to him, but the news about his father was the only thing she could think about.
A thought came to the boy's mind. He wondered if she even knew how to take care of herself. The boy guessed the woman did not know what to say to a child who just saw his father get murdered in front of him. He wondered if the trauma would make a normal child shut down completely.
“So,” the woman placed her cellphone into her pocket, “you can stay here for the night. Tomorrow the police officers will want to have a word with you.”
The woman headed over to the sofa in the living room. She grabbed a blanket from the side table beside the sofa. Placing the blanket on to the sofa, the woman took a deep breath in. She was nervous about taking care of the boy.
Staying quite seemed like a good solution to the boy. He knew the role he needed to play for the woman and the police officers. Putting on the doll face, the right amount of emotion to make the woman feel like she was doing a perfect job. He was unsure about one thing and only one thing. If he could keep this persona going for his whole life.
He knew the answer was unflattering. The boy took a step away from the balcony. He saw the woman leaving the blanket on the sofa in the living room of her one room apartment.
Knowing where the woman was going to be sleeping for the night, made the boy feel comfortable with his persona. He wanted there to be a reason for him to break his illusion.
The boy took a deep breath in. He placed his hands carefully into his pockets, hoping he did not draw any attention to himself. Not more attention than he needed.
“Would you like something to drink?” She asked him, “I have…”
The woman opened the refrigerator door. A slight dip in the temperature told the boy that the refrigerator was half full. He felt the breeze slithering past him towards the balcony door.
The woman reached her hand into the refrigerator. Her hand touched the plastic container of juice. She looked stern as she lifted the orange juice up from the shelf.
Her mind began to race around about what she saw in the alleyway. A scared boy standing a few feet away from the feet of his father. He took a few steps away from her, into the darkness. Revealing the hand of his father.
She tried to think of something besides the man's mangled face of the boy's father. Her eyes darted away from the refrigerator at the boy. She wondered if the boy saw what happened to his father.
The woman closed the refrigerator door, with the container of juice in her hand. She placed the container on to the counter next to the refrigerator. Her body was telling her to run for her life.
A thought in the back of her head told her to go with her instincts. She reached her hand for the cupboard in front of her. Reaching for the glass, the woman thought about the scene again.
Her hands were gripped tightly around her umbrella. She walked down the sidewalk, with the neon lights shimmering in the rain. The woman felt calm before she heard it.
A screeching sound, like a stranger in trouble. She headed down the street towards the direction the sound came from. The woman thought the sound was from someone older. She was surprised to see the child standing in front of her.
She remembered the words one of the detectives said to her, “Did you hear a man screaming?”
The words that came out of his mouth seemed off to her. She knew the boy must have been the one that screamed. Her head began to spin.
A slight motion of her hand, made the boy notice her. He looked across the apartment towards the woman. He knew his time was almost up.
Stepping out into the darkness, the boy felt calm. He heard the sounds of the city echoing in his ears. Sirens blared from the streets down below.
The boy jumped over the railing on the balcony. He fell down towards the ground, knowing the woman would not even notice he was gone. The boy wondered what kind of emotion she would feel. He guessed she would be relieved.
A vine raced up from the ground below the boy. Looping around him, like a safety-net as several over vines came out of the ground. The vines joined together in time to catch the boy before he reached the pavement. His head softly grazed the pavement. The boy climbed down from the vines.
His smiling face was pleased with his performance. The boy had a feeling that he could have done better. He took a minute to look up at the balcony above him.
A head appeared over the balcony at the boy. He knew the woman was probably thinking he was dead, from the fall. However, the boy had no time to double guess himself.
He darted down the street, running off into the night. The woman closed her balcony door, gently behind her. She reached her hand into her pocket. Her lips touched the glass in her hand.
The woman took a sip of the orange juice in the glass. She pulled her cellphone from her pocket up to her ear. The sound of her phone dialing the number rang in her ear. She thought of what to say.
A man's voice answered the call, “What is it now?”
He seemed angry with her, “The boy's heading down Fifth-avenue.”
“What,” his voice rung in the woman's ears, “you let him get away.”
"No," she sighed, “he jumped.”
"So," the man's voice changed into a lighter tone, “he's one of them.”
“Yes,” the woman told him, “he's one of the infected.”
“Did you get a sample?” The man's voice was eager for her answer.
“Yes,” the woman looked down at the needle in her purse.
She remembered when she stabbed the needle into the boy's arm. The woman distracted him with a light touch on his shoulder, before welcoming him into her home.
“I'll test it in the morning,” the woman told him.
“You know,” the man reminded her, “ten million people will be dead by then.”
“And a million more will be dead if I faint from exhaustion.” The woman reminded him. “Unless you have someone else who can make the vaccination, without the side-effects.”
“Fine,” the man let out a harsh sigh, “but I want you to come in, first thing in the morning. And Emily, don't be late.”
"I'm never late," the woman smirked, “everyone else is just simply early.”
Her posh British accent came out with the ending of the phrase. The woman moved her cellphone away from her ear. She touched her finger gently against the end button on her cellphone's screen. The call ended once her finger slide away.
With her arms crossed over her chest, the woman stood in her kitchen. She placed her cellphone on the kitchen island in front of her. Her lips touched the glass.
Swallowing a mouth full of orange juice, the woman felt pleased with herself. She stared over at the glass balcony door. The city skyline outside shimmered for her before she decided to call it a night.
Running down the street, the boy stopped to catch a breath. He glanced over his shoulder a holographic projection on the story window. The hologram shimmered as a picture of the alleyway flickered behind the story window. His eyes darted away from the hologram when the picture of the old man appeared on the screen.
A police officer draped a white sheet over the man mangled face. This made the site easier for the boy. He forgot for a second about the news reporter, and what he was saying.
The words caught his glance, but only for a second. He read the words that the news reporter was told to the audience. Trying to keep them aware of the state of the crisis, without causing too much panic.
“Another innocent citizen was killed tonight.” The news reporter said as he appeared on the hologram behind the window. “His name is still unknown. It appeared that a victim to the virus had attacked the man.”
Snickering at the word victim, the boy knew he was getting too much attention. He walked down the cold city street. Thinking about why the news reporter would call the man innocent, without knowing anything about him. For all that the news reporter knew, the man could have been the one who had the virus.
Grinning at the thought, made the boy feel comfortable. He thought back to how the old man jumped in front of the other man. The old man had no idea that the boy was infected, but the disease. If he did, the boy guessed he would have never spoken to him.
The boy continued walking down the cold street. The night breeze kissed his face, causing a chill to race up his spine. A small shack slithered down his spine from the cold. He felt every hair on his body beginning to stand. His senses picked up something else.
An alert, like a warning before a storm. His eyes darted around the street, towards the darkened alleyways. Hoping to find someone like him, another person who was, infected by the virus. He had no luck.
Strangers passed him on the street. Unaware of whom the child was, with their attention on a mobile device or on the person next to them. The boy knew where he was. His eyes shimmered with joy, once he spotted a sign.
Neon letters on the sign glowed in the night. The letters spelled out a word, ‘Labyrinth'. One of the places the boy had called his home over the years. Along with a few others, who lost their parents to the virus.
The boy darted across the street towards the sign in the window of an old warehouse. His eyes glanced down and up the street for any traffic. However, there was none, just like the boy thought.
Reaching the side of the street, made the boy's stomach growl. He shrugged his shoulders. He slouched slightly, hoping he could just ignore the sound of his stomach until he got to the alleyway.
Dashing into the alleyway, with a look of discomfort on his face. The boy walked up to the dumpster. He smelt the stench right away, but the pain in his stomach grew louder.
The boy took a deep breath in. His hand touched the side of the dumpster as he mentally prepared himself for what would happen next. The grip of his hand stayed firm. He knew someone would spot him on this street. Maybe even someone with money. He knew the chance of someone with money walking by was slim. The odds of winning the lottery was even higher.
Leaping up from his feet, the boy felt a tug on his shirt. He turned around with his widened frightened eyes, unprepared to see the face of a child like him. Seven years old with no parent around for miles and what looked like new clothes, a few days old.
His butt slammed against the ground in front of the boy's sneakers. A smile greeted the boy as his light blue eyes shimmered down at the ragged child he just stopped from jumping in the dumpster.
“Ken.” Crossing his arms over his chest, the boy with the new clothes reminded the dumpster kid. “Where have you been?”
The dumpster kid brushed the dirt off of his ripped jeans as he stood up to his feet. “How many times do I have to tell you.”
Ken glared at the boy with the new clothes. “I don't need your help.”
“Come on,” the boy reminded his friend, “do you even know what inside that dumpster?”
“No,” Ken told the boy, “and I don't need a big meanie like you pushing me around.”
The two of them exchanged looks for a moment. Hoping to break the ice between them, the boy reached his hand into his pocket. He pulled out a bar from his pocket.
Breaking the bar into two with his hands looked simple to Ken. He knew the boy's power must have to do with strength. None of the normal children would be able to break a bar and the wrapper in half without struggling. At least none of the normal children, he knew.
“A piece for you,” the boy passed Ken half of the bar, “and one for me.”
Ken stared at the bar in the boy's hand. He felt the pain in his stomach growing with each second that passed. Ken reached his hand for the bar.
He stopped himself from grabbing the bar from the boy. Ken took the second to think about what the boy might want in return for him. There was nothing worth stealing on him, not even some spare change.
The boy's hand dropped with the bar. His happy smile changed into a look of disappointment. Ken knew his chance was then.
He moved quickly, gripping his hand on the dumpster. Ken leaped from the ground into the dumpster. His eyes wide open for what would happen next.
In a flash, he was transported somewhere else. His eyes burned from the burst of light that engulfed his body. Ken rubbed his eyes a few times as he heard a suction like sound coming from behind him. He knew the sound from somewhere before.
His eyes took a few minutes to adjust to the fluorescent lights around him. One of the lights flickered, from the old wiring in the building. Ken noticed the bricked walls in the tunnel. He began to walk down the tunnel, with no idea where he was going. Hoping for a place with food to appear in front of his eyes. Nothing like that happened.
Ken heard the roaring sound of his stomach echoing down the brick tunnel. There was a moment of silence afterward. Before he heard a sound returning to his ears. The sound of a droplet falling from the ceiling in the tunnel echoed in Ken's ears. His ears picked up another sound.
In the distance, above the ceiling of the tunnel. A siren blew in the air, shattering the sounds of the city during the middle of the day. Ken listened carefully to the sound. His heart raced in his chest, once he realized what the siren was a warning for.
The ground above quaked from the impact. Causing the tunnel to shack from the strike above. The sound of rubble falling echoed down the tunnel as Ken curled up into a ball.
His hands wrapped tightly around his knees. Pulling them closer towards his frightened heart. The sounds above rang louder in his ears, as his eyes stayed clenched shut.
A dust cloud drifted down the tunnel. Covering Ken from head to toe with dirt and dust from the collapsed section of the tunnel.
The humming sounds echoed in Ken's ears. He took a deep breath in, opening his eyes to the sight of rubble around him. Ken's head grazed against the wall by his side. He stared at the rubble of brick and stone in front of him.
There was a soft noise that rang into his ears, like a soothing voice telling him a secret. Ken listened carefully to the voice, hoping to not misunderstand what the noise meant. His eyes widened, once the noise became clear to him.
A single thought raced around into Ken's head. He glanced over his shoulder, at the pathway in which he came from. The tunnel was dark with the flickering of the fluorescent lights glowing the path, only for a second before flickering out again.
Ken let out a deep sigh. His only way out was back the way he came. He wanted to avoid talking to the child again. However, the boy also was not fond of the idea of being buried alive.
The sound got louder with each step Ken took. His body was telling him to go back, to the dead end. And wait to get rescued with the other survivals. His mind was telling him to continue back the way he came.
A second quake went off on the surface. Sending a slither down Ken's spin. He kept on walking down the tunnel. Covering his eyes with his arms as he walked. Hoping he would reach the end of the tunnel sooner than later.
Before he knew it, a burst of light glowed at the end of the tunnel. Ken knew he was almost at the end. He would have to see the boy against. And this time, he would engage with him.
Ken took a step closer to the light. He felt something strange coming from behind him. His eyes darted behind him, like a reflex. Ken saw a flicker of the fluorescent lights before a darkness. His eyes widened with fear.
Every part of his body began to shake. His human instincts to run away from a predator began screaming at him. His heart was racing in his chest, faster than ever before. Telling Ken to run anywhere he could.
His eyes kept on the darkness in the tunnel. Something dark was down there with him. A monster he could not see, but his body could sense.
Ken took a step towards the glowing light behind him. His eyes on the darkness in the tunnel. Hoping whatever he saw, he would never see it again.
Back in the alleyway, Ken clawed his way out of the dumpster. He saw the boy sitting down next to the metal sides. He greeted Ken with a friendly smile.
“I knew it would scare you too,” he told Ken, “it always does.”
Ken dusted off his clothes, as he stood on the pavement out of the dumpster. He waited for the boy to explain what he felt in the tunnel. However, he wondered if the boy even knew what it was.
“Don't worry,” the boy told Ken, “it's protecting something.”
“But, it's...” Ken tried to search for the right words to say. His fingers shook together, from the fear of the monster.
"I know," the boy warned him, "unspeakable.”
He waved his hand slightly in the air, “It has that kind of effect on everyone.”
“What is it?” Ken yelled down the alleyway at the boy.
He waited for a minute, then two. There was no reply. The boy was gone, just as quick as he came.
Ken looked over his shoulder at the dumpster. He wanted to go back inside. To see the monster he was afraid of.
“Wait...” Ken looked at the dumpster.
His mind began to wonder why the vines did not appear to his rescue. Ken touched his hand to his head. Think of why the vines would not come to his aide, was making Ken feel weak.
“Dammit.” He yelled at the top of his lungs.
His voice charmed down the alleyway. Echoing up the sides of the surrounding skyscrapers towards the sky above. His voice traveled far enough for him to hear the echo return to his ears.
Ken clenched his fingers towards the palm of his hands. He knew what he needed to do. His body shook in fear of the vine not appearing.
The pavement across the alleyway split open, as vines slithered out of the cracks like snakes hunting for prey. Ken's eyes shimmered up at the sky. He felt his power racing in his veins.
Being afraid of the monster in the tunnel, made Ken realized something about himself. He thrived off of what other people were feeling. Pretending to have emotions like them, to manipulate his victims before a kill.
And for the first time, in a long time. Ken felt an emotion. One he hadn't felt in many years.
He glared up at the glowing window in the skyscraper above him. Focusing on the man who just turned on the light in the room. He was staring out at the city, without a care in the world.
Ken knew what he wanted to do to the man. He flexed the muscles in his arms, as he commanded the vine to bring him up into the sky. The vine did as Ken commanded it to.
The vine slithered around Ken's body like a harness. Lifting him up into the air. High enough to stare into the window at the man's stunned face.
Ken saw the look on the man's face. He guessed the man never saw a boy being held forty stories into the air by a vine before.
A smirk grew across Ken's joyful face. He lunged forwards towards the glass. Commanding the vine to penetrate the glass before his body reached it. Ken landed on the floor of the man's apartment. He felt the cold breeze coming in from the shattered window.
The look in the man's eyes was a sight Ken thought he would never get to see again. He saw a look beside fear in the man's eyes. An emotion he never saw before. Like the man was expecting someone else to be standing in Ken's place.
Ken cared less about what the man was expecting. He reached his hand towards the man's chest. Commanding the vines to rip into his body. His eyes screamed with joy at the sight of the vines slithering around the man's bones. Slowly twisting and twirling under his skin. Dicing his muscled into small fine pieces.
The man tried to speak, but his voice seemed to vanish with his last breath.
Ken glared down at the twisted remained of the man. He tilted his head to the side. Wondering why he felt bored with the kill. Ken admired the shards of glass on the floor. He saw his own reflection in the shards. His darkened eyes staring back at him.
And then Ken saw the monster in the tunnel. He saw what he was afraid of. The monster he feared was himself.
Echoing into Ken's ears was the sound of a woman screaming. She stood across the room with a bottle of wine in her hand. And in her other hand, she held two wine glasses.
Ken was surprised by the site. He understood why the man was standing proudly by the window like he was on top of the world. The man found an attractive woman in her late twenties. She was desperate enough to take him home with her.
Her lungs emptied with air, as the sound of his scream vanished. The woman's body fell down to the ground on the apartment floor. Shattering into a million piece of frozen shards of ice, during the impact. The wine bottle shattered on the floor of the apartment, spraying wine over the surface before the wine glasses break.
The sound of shattering ice and glass, charmed into Ken's ears. He glanced over his shoulder at the window behind him. His eyes lit up at the sight of him.
A seven-year-old boy, around his age, stood behind him. Ken held a blank expression on his face. Hoping what he was seeing in front of him, was a fragment of his imagination.
The boy touched his hand on Ken's shoulder. Sending a numbed feeling though Ken's shoulder towards his back and chest. He took a deep breath, as he felt his lungs begin to burn from the numbing cold from the boy's hand.
In the second it took the boy to realize, he was harming Ken. The boy also noticed the distinct facial features him and Ken both seemed to share. He eyed Ken up and down as the numbing sensation disappeared from Ken's body.
Ken remembered the boy in front of him, from a while back. He thought the boy died along with the rest of his family, but he must have had mistaken him for someone else.
“Brother,” the boy smiled, “it's been a while.”
“Yes, Frank.” Ken agreed, “It has.”
The cold night breeze drifted over Frank's pale body. His hair rustled in the breeze, before kissing Ken's forehead. Ken smiled with joy at the sight of seeing a face he had buried once before. He wondered what he would do next.
Non-Humans: Surge - C1 (Chapter One) The Storm, is a new project that I'm working on. This is section two and I hope you enjoy it.