Chapter 6:

Tale Three: Painless Porcupine (1)

SupraNatural


ME: Main Character, Detective.Bookmark here

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OLIVER: Loner, Afflicted.Bookmark here

Work assignments are a pain.
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A pain, I tell you.Bookmark here

You have to arrange a meeting with multiple other people, juggling with each one’s daily schedule to make time, and in the end even when you do manage to meet, no work gets done.Bookmark here

Everyone leaves with little more than what they came in with, having lost a lot of their valuable time, and they’re left to do their part of the work by themselves in their homes. Eventually, they’ll quickly mash it all together and hope it sticks, and if it doesn’t, come up with some excuse to try to save their own butts.Bookmark here

Why was I so mad and cynical about all of this, even more than usual?Bookmark here

Because, of course, I had just come out of a meeting for one of those group assignments.Bookmark here

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School was such a pain sometimes.Bookmark here

But deep inside, I liked it.Bookmark here

I liked learning about so many diverse subjects and topics. I liked getting to meet so many people. To befriend them, to share precious moments with them.Bookmark here

So went my train of thought as I wandered through the streets, daylight starting to slowly fade.Bookmark here

Seeing as, at this rate, night would swallow me before I had gotten back home, I decided to take a shortcut through some narrower and – to be completely honest – shady-looking streets.Bookmark here

And as I went through one of those-Bookmark here

In a normal, if dimly lit alley, I was met with-Bookmark here

“Hey! What are you doing?! Stop!”Bookmark here

I ran towards the man on that corner.Bookmark here

He had a knife on his right hand. The knife was stained with fresh blood.Bookmark here

He had a wound in his left hand.Bookmark here

A fresh wound.Bookmark here

He didn’t listen to me. In fact, he didn’t even react to my words, as if he couldn’t even hear them at all.Bookmark here

He pointed the knife at his left hand again, ready to strike himself once more.Bookmark here

Instinctively, I jumped.Bookmark here

I jumped, and stopped him before he could harm himself again.Bookmark here

His right arm was now trapped in my grip, the sturdiest one I could possibly manage with my strength.Bookmark here

“Please…! Stop! FOR FUCK’S SAKE, STOP!!!”Bookmark here

Just as I was running completely out of breath, he finally stopped resisting.Bookmark here

I heard a metallic noise coming from the floor, and saw the knife right there, staining the pavement deep rep.Bookmark here

That man – no, he looked around my age – lost all his strength in a flash, and fell limp into my arms.Bookmark here

My mind was blank. I didn’t have a clue as to how I should act, what should I do.Bookmark here

I tried to confirm if he was still conscious. He was. I kept shouting, but nobody came.Bookmark here

There wasn’t a soul in the street. Bookmark here

Oh.Bookmark here

Suddenly, I realized the obvious, and took out my phone. I quickly dialed a three-digit number, as fast as my fingers would let me.Bookmark here

“Emergency Services, what’s the problem?”Bookmark here

“I found a teenager hurting himself with a knife! He’s barely conscious right now, please send an ambulance!”Bookmark here

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After giving all the details the person over the phone asked me for, all that was left was to wait for help to come.Bookmark here

I was still in a state of panic for a while, but as it subsided, so did my rush of energy, and I ended up having to sit down right next to the injured boy.Bookmark here

I felt dizzy.Bookmark here

“Hey, are you still conscious?”Bookmark here

I asked, not really hoping for any kind of answer to come my way.Bookmark here

“Y-yeah…”Bookmark here

“?!”Bookmark here

“Thanks… for stopping me, man…”Bookmark here

“I-it was nothing. I did what had to.”Bookmark here

I had acted without thinking, completely out of reflex.Bookmark here

I didn’t deserve praise.Bookmark here

Suddenly, he started getting up. I jumped in shock again.Bookmark here

“Hey! You should stay put and lie down! What the…? Doesn’t it hurt?! How in hell can you do that?!”Bookmark here

He had been getting up.Bookmark here

And he had done it – putting all his weight in his injured hand.Bookmark here

Massive amounts of blood were coming out of it. I felt a sudden urge to vomit, an urge I could barely repress for a few seconds before letting go of whatever remained of my snack from about half an hour before.Bookmark here

“… It doesn’t hurt.”Bookmark here

He said after I had finished puking.Bookmark here

He said with a completely straight face, devoid of emotion.Bookmark here

“What? How can it not hurt? Don’t go joking around, idiot!”Bookmark here

“… But it’s not a joke. I really do feel no pain.”Bookmark here

A sad smile rose to his face.Bookmark here

He extended his left arm and – started smashing his hand against the floor. Upside down. His wounds against the pavement.Bookmark here

I closed my eyes and screamed in horror.Bookmark here

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And then, silence again.Bookmark here

What… was going on?Bookmark here

“What do you mean… no pain?”Bookmark here

I asked. I needed to know. I didn’t want to see myself involved in one of those cases again.Bookmark here

Oh God, if you exist, please spare me of this. I’ve had enough. I’ve… I…Bookmark here

“I can’t feel pain. I can’t feel touch. I can’t feel heat, nor cold. I… I have lost all of that. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t recover it.”Bookmark here

“Do you know why this has happened to you? You can explain it to the doctors and-“Bookmark here

“It’s no use. This isn’t anything that a normal illness can cause. This is all because of… Because of those… ghosts and monsters.”Bookmark here

No.Bookmark here

No, no, no.Bookmark here

I refuse to acknowledge this.Bookmark here

I refuse to get involved.Bookmark here

I’ve learnt my lesson, have I not? Why must I be put into these situations again and again? What does the artificer of this want to prove to me, huh?!Bookmark here

“Please…”Bookmark here

He called to me.Bookmark here

I knew what came after.Bookmark here

I knew it all too well.Bookmark here

“Please… help me get rid of this curse… I need your help…”Bookmark here

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My fate was sealed.Bookmark here

No longer could I flee from this case. The moment I’m asked for help, that’s it… I couldn’t do anything to resist.Bookmark here

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What was I even thinking?Bookmark here

The only thing keeping me tied to this case, as well as to all other, was my conscience…Bookmark here

Hnggg…Bookmark here

Okay.Bookmark here

I had decided.Bookmark here

I would push through it.Bookmark here

I would accept this case just as I had the ones before it, and I would bring this man the peace he deserved.Bookmark here

I looked at his face once more and-Bookmark here

Woops.Bookmark here

He had finally fainted.Bookmark here

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The ambulance would no doubt still take a while to arrive, so I decided to begin my part of this story.Bookmark here

As any detective would say.Bookmark here

Nothing could stand in my way to the truth.Bookmark here

I turned on my phone’s screen at max brightness (it didn’t even have a proper flashlight), chose a white image to fill the screen in a cheap trick to manage the biggest amount of light out of it, and started pointing it at my surroundings.Bookmark here

The man who didn’t feel pain... he truly was about my age.Bookmark here

No, in fact-Bookmark here

I recognized the guy.Bookmark here

He- was in my school. He attended a different class in the same grade I did.Bookmark here

If I remembered correctly his name was… Oliver.Bookmark here

I didn’t know much of him, to be honest.Bookmark here

I could only vaguely remember some passing comments about him, spoken by Nick once. But that wasn’t detailed nor reliable enough to use as a source of information.Bookmark here

So I had no choice but to break all morality and privacy, and inspect his body for clues.Bookmark here

Though by that I obviously just meant his pockets and what I could see at plain sight. I had no intention nor wish to strip this boy of any of his clothes.Bookmark here

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It didn’t take long for me to finish inspecting all of his pockets.Bookmark here

He was indeed the Oliver from my school, as indicated by the ID he carried on him.Bookmark here

Other than that, he had a phone, a set of keys for what I assumed to be his apartment building and-Bookmark here

A backpack.Bookmark here

A small backpack, like those they sell at sportwear stores, that had been left in the floor barely two meters away from his current position.Bookmark here

Inside it were quite a curious assortment of items, seemingly random at first glance.Bookmark here

Some school supplies which included a pencil, a ruler and a notebook were all there, together with a lighter and an agenda.Bookmark here

I scanned all of those objects in full. None of them contained anything that seemed relevant at this point in time – though, by themselves, they did seem quite suspicious.Bookmark here

Or maybe they weren’t by themselves, and it was just the context that I had that made them seem so.Bookmark here

After all, knowing what I knew now, that lighter – there was no way I couldn’t have disturbing thoughts about what its purpose would have been.Bookmark here

Still.Bookmark here

I tried my hardest –Bookmark here

To not let it affect me. To prevent it from obscuring my judgement.Bookmark here

And so I continued to inspect the area a bit, and after finding nothing more, I scanned his pockets again.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

In his back pocket, I found something that immediately caught my attention.Bookmark here

Since I had already inspected said pocket just a minute ago and failed to find anything.Bookmark here

It felt to the touch like a small ticket would – a folded extra-thin paper coming out of Oliver’s trousers as I struggled to carefully extract it.Bookmark here

I slowly unfolded it, and-Bookmark here

“Hey, boy! You there! Where’s the injured?”Bookmark here

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The ambulance had arrived.Bookmark here

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