Supernatural Fiction posted January 4, 2017


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The Walker

by mbroyles2


The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

I walk in the shadows, but I have no fear of being seen.  I remember so little. There were screams and a gunshot, and I can still smell the remnants of gunpowder and the taste of metal forming in the corners of my mouth.  I do not know why I’m alive, or even if I am.  My senses are active enough.  My heart beats against my chest and the sensation on my skin is like a thousand needles, almost as if it were asleep. My gray hoodie and bomber jacket offer little protection against the cold rain that is falling, and each drop hits me like a razor, biting and cutting.  I do not know my purpose or what I should do.

So I walk.

The night is busy around me.  Smells of jasmine, nutmeg, and lavender greet me as I walk past a candle shop, now closed, and make my way through the streets. With indifference to the rain, people move along the sidewalks.  A portly man with no neck and two chins strolls by, pausing long enough to tip his black top hat to those who pass.  He ducks into a local eatery where I suspect he’ll be for the next several hours.  It is a lively place that specializes in Italian cuisine and features a live band.  I follow him.  The music is soft and peaceful, and for a moment, I take comfort in the soothing rhythm of the lute and mandolin. 

The fat man doesn't take a seat, however, and continues through the dining room and makes his way to the kitchen. I feel compelled to go with him.  I observe as he picks up a long serrated knife, used to cut loaves of bread, and stops just outside a door with the gold-lettered “manager” written on it.

He doesn’t knock and enters slowly.  I follow.  Once inside, he locks the door.  A woman occupies a small chair behind a large oak desk.  Piles of paper are stacked neatly to one side, and she is busy writing figures in a black accountant’s ledger.  She has black hair with gray streaks.  A pair of thin reading glasses rests on a thin nose.   She has tired eyes and says with a tired voice:  “Yes, who are you?  What do you want?”

“I’m here only to deliver a message, madam.”  The fat man removes his hat, and for the first time I see his eyes.  They are black, almost soulless, and I can’t see the whites. They sit deep in his round face, and their sunken features give the impression that you are looking into an endless stretch of shadows.

“Message? What message?”  The woman rises from the chair and starts to move towards the door.  “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to leave.”

The prickly sensation throughout my body intensifies, and a sweat starts to form on my brow.  My heart begins to race and I instinctively move forward.  The fat man comes closer to the woman and raises the knife.  “You have been warned not to cross us,” he says, “now you pay with your life.”

I yell, "No, stop!” But they do not hear me.  I reach out and grab the fat man’s arm and stop him from bringing the knife down.  He turns and tries to find me with those dark eyes.  He can’t, and confusion is etched on his face.

The woman begins to scream, and the kitchen outside goes silent.  She shrieks again and there’s movement.

The fat man tries to free his arm, and when he fails, he turns pale with fright.  I remove the knife from his now shaking hand, and with a force not my own, plunge it into his blubbery flesh.  I continue until I can see in his widened eyes that I have pierced his heart.  I give the blade a sharp twist. The warm blood oozes from his chest and runs down my arm. When he tries to speak, he can only manage a gurgle before he is overwhelmed and choking on his own blood. He falls to the floor in a heap.  I hear the final gasp for air, and as he dies, a cool sense of calm rushes over me, like the summer whitecaps on a deserted beach.

The woman is in hysterics as the kitchen help arrives.  She faints and collapses on top of the dead assailant.  I turn to leave.

When I enter the dining room, the music suddenly stops, and inexplicably the crowd clears a path like the red sea. They can’t see me, but I sense they know I’m there.

Once outside, I notice the rain has stopped. I don’t know what drew me to that back room, or how I found the courage to intervene.  But for once, since the day I was murdered, I feel a sense of belonging.  I turn to the east and hear a faint cry for help.  I can’t quite make it out.

So I walk.
 


Write About This contest entry

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I wrote this in the present tense to try and project the real time thoughts of the Walker.
I hope it reads okay.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Contests at FanArtReview.com

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© Copyright 2017. mbroyles2 All rights reserved.
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