There was nowhere for me to run. The rain had gotten worse. I could hear the sound of thunder in the distance. We were sitting on the floor, facing each other. The blonde-haired woman put the set of three keys inside one of her many cargo trousers’ pockets.
“Okay, so let me explain to you what you got involved into and what’s going to happen. I’ll try and make it short and simple. Only the important bits.”
Lightning struck over the room and for an instant it was engulfed in a white light. It startled me and I bent over.
“You are probably wondering if what you saw and experienced was real or not. It was. The general public is unaware that certain people with certain attributes exist. These attributes differ from person to person. The only organization that knows about it are the higher ups in the government departments. And if you think that we belong to one of those departments, then you are correct. We are a special force task that works closely with either the military or the police. Well, it depends on the case or mission. Anyway, any questions so far?”
“Yes, a lot but first, what do you mean when you say attributes?”
“If I had to compare them to something, it would be something similar to superpowers.”
I didn’t really know what to make out of her answer.
“Okay. But why am I here? What does it have to do with me?”
“You are one of those people with one of those attributes.”
“No, you’re wrong. I don’t have any powers or whatever you call them.”
She laughed out loud and spread her legs out.
“You’re joking, right? Who do you think caused that huge gap in that creepy caterpillar?”
I got on my knees and slammed my hands against the floor.
“What the hell are you talking about? It was not me. How on earth would I even manage to do that?”
“With your attribute. I can prove it to you. Let me show you.”
She stood up and gestured with her hand for me to do the same.
“I should apologise for what I am going to do beforehand. So, I’m sorry.”
I took a few steps back and watched as she took out a tactical knife. Without any other thought, I started running towards the round, metal door. I looked back and saw her casually walking towards me.
“Look, your attribute is a bit different than others and it won’t come out until you’re hurt. I’ll have to stab you. I don’t have any other choice.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about but don’t come near me. Stay away!”
I repeatedly slammed my hand against the door. The handle wouldn’t budge.
“No one is going to come.”
I started running again. Somehow, I needed to defend myself.
“I’m not in the mood to play tag with you.”
She didn’t give me any time to think or come up with a plan. I heard footsteps coming towards me and in the blink of an eye, she was standing in front of me. I tried to jump back but she was quicker. The knife pierced my skin and went inside my body near my stomach. Everything happened in slow motion. My hands were trembling as I grabbed the knife’s handle and pulled it out. I was sweating from the pain.
“Ah, you shouldn’t have done that. You’ll bleed to death.”
I stumbled back and fell on my butt. The blood was gushing out of my body. I pressed down on the wound with both of my hands, but the blood wouldn’t stop. I looked up at her.
She looked nonchalant and picked up her knife to then start cleaning it with a white handkerchief that slowly turned red.
“Don’t worry. You won’t die. Haven’t you noticed yet that all of your other wounds have healed up?”
I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying to me. My legs were shaky, but I managed to stand up. Drops of blood fell on the floor. My body had gotten cold, and I was having difficulty breathing. Was it because of the blood loss? My heart was beating faster too, and my chest started to hurt. I felt nauseous and faint. I was losing my balance again. My body was slowly getting covered with goosebumps. I felt like someone, no, something was watching me.
“Look, there it is. Your attribute.”
I knew what was staring at me, without even turning around. It was the shadow that visited me in my dreams. I was scared of it. It had never done anything to me, but my body froze up just by thinking about it. How could it be real?
“Phase one is complete. Now, how are we going to complete Phase two?”
She walked past me and in the direction of it.
“Wait. Aren’t you scared?”
“No. Why would I? If it’s going to attack anyone, it’ll be you, it’s host.”
My mouth dropped open and my eyes widened. I carefully turned around and saw her standing in between me and the big, black shadow that was staying motionless in a corner.
“Why would it attack me?”
She grabbed her ponytail and went through it with her fingers. Her eyes were fixated on the corner.
“Ah, I should explain this bit properly. An attribute is born from a person. So, essentially it is a part of you that was materialized into our world.”
“Wait. That thing is a part of me?”
I shook my head in disagreement. There was no way in hell that it was a part of me.
“Yeah and only you can control it, but to do so you need to figure out its name. An attribute is called a Paroxys and has different stages. Yours is still in its raw form.”
I wasn’t following her words. My whole attention was on that shadow. I moved my foot back a little and was shocked to see that it moved closer to us at the same time.
“It’ll follow you no matter where you go. And it’s not like you have the option of running away. You’re trapped in here with me and that thing.”
“No. Let me out! You can’t keep me in here!”
I made a run for the door again but had completely forgotten that I was injured. The shadow caught up to me within seconds and grabbed me by my throat. I was lifted up into the air and then tossed to the ground. A scream escaped my mouth. I tried to crawl away, but it grabbed me again. This time by my leg and flung me into the other direction. I was expecting to hit the wall and die but instead I was caught by the woman.
“Why do I have a feeling that this will be more difficult than I expected.”
She had a nervous smile on her face.
“I guess I have no choice but to use it.”
She grabbed the set of keys from her pocket. They were different in colour. One was red, one was yellow and the last one was blue. She snapped her fingers and the chains on her cargo trousers started glowing in an orange light.
“Imoris. Confine thy enemies.”
A room appeared within the room. And we were inside of it. The walls of it were translucent but the space had a strange, orange tint to it. The shadow charged towards me again, but the woman helped me get away from it. Our backs were against the wall.
“This is my Paroxys. It’s a room where I can bring anything to life just by imagining it.”
She wasn’t lying. Out of nowhere, two Dobermans appeared in front of us.
“They will distract it while I figure out how to use these damn keys.”
The two dogs circled the shadow and kept trying to bite it. The woman was fidgeting with a walkie-talkie that she took out of one of her cargo trousers’ pockets. I was surprised to see that my bleeding had stopped on its own, but it was still painful to move around. A voice answered her and gave her some instructions.
“Got it. Thanks.”
She grabbed the yellow key and then proceeded to stab me in the chest with it. I expected it to hurt. But it didn’t. And no blood came out either. The key smoothly went inside of me. The woman twisted it once and a yellow light escaped out of my chest where the key was inserted. The dogs started barking and the shadow howled. It became smaller and smaller and then disappeared. And so did the dogs with the room.
“Ah, what a hassle.”
The rain had stopped. The clouds were covering the night sky. And the moon was shining down on us.
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