Chapter 7:

Double Kill

A Place between There and Now

I straightened up and opened my eyes. My gaze swiveled to the bridge and across the lake, the four shadows came again, they would notice me if I stayed here. I quickly jumped into the water and swam into the fog. I hid under the bridge.

To my surprise there was a fifth shadow, I seemed to have missed it the last few times, maybe because of the dense fog, it walked over the bridge and disappeared out of my field of vision. The other 4 shadows followed about 5 minutes later. I could hear them as they walked over my head, they didn’t say a single word, they just walked in silence. Luckily, they didn’t notice me. I considered walking over the bridge, but it was way too risky, so I just swam next to it all the way to the shore.

I slowly crawled out of the water after making sure that not a single shadow saw me. I used some boulders as cover and walked along the shore to another road left from the one, I came from a few days ago. I wasn’t being watched so I went for a run, which ultimately worked out for me, and I luckily got out of there save.

I walked further around the left side of the lake past some boulders, but my steps were getting slower, and my body felt way heavier. I held my hand in front of my mouth and coughed hard several times. My hand was red and covered in blood. I felt so dizzy I immediately plummeted to the ground and leaned against one of the stones.

I remembered what they told us back then in middle school about the bombs and their black rain. Back then before the middle imperial states treaty was signed. Who thought that some class on the management of crisis situations during a war would ever be relevant, I certainly didn’t, that’s why I didn’t pay attention.

I crawled a few more meters until I could see the lake again. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my back. I couldn’t move my head, but I already knew what just happened, a shadow walked around me, smiling. He pulled his knife out of my back and looked me dead into the eyes and slowly opened his mouth and started counting down “5- 4-” He stood back up “3- 2-” He turned and looked somewhere behind me down the street “1.”

I heard a scream somewhere behind me and heard steps in quick succession. A second shadow who I’m just going to call shadow two from here on stepped into my view and tried to hit shadow 1, but it avoided each of its swings with a certain elegance. Shadow 2 then charged at Shadow 1 with its knife, but 1 jumped to the side at the last moment and grabbed 2s jacket. It then stabbed 2 in the back once, twice, no three times. After that, it got back up and walked over to the cliff which led directly down to the lake.

It stabbed itself in the front and dropped down. 2 slowly crawled over to me. 2 smiled though not like the other shadows with their sadistic mad smile, it was a sad smile, I could clearly see its pain just from its eyes. I could hear it say three last words before reality faded away.

“I hate fate.”

- booting #008

- repeat

I woke up. And looked at my clock, it was 6:30 am. I got up and walked around for a bit without any plan. I checked what seemed to be shops, but they were sadly like everything else all empty. As I walked further down the street, I saw a shadow slowly walking towards me, though it seemed to not have noticed me. I quickly ran back into one of the shops as silent as possible of course. I hid behind a rock next to a half-broken window. I heard someone cough outside. I looked out of the window next to me. The shadow was sitting down, leaning against a boulder.

I watched the shadow as it crawled along the floor knowing what would happen next. 1 just stood there waiting for that shadow, no, me as I crawled directly in front of it without even noticing. He stabbed the shadow, and everything played out like last time.

Dying wasn’t a fun experience but having to watch your miserable self get absolutely fucked by a shadow while not being painful is even more infuriating. I had enough, I was going to show that shadow what death was like and how the humiliation that came with it felt.

I ran over to 1 as it just stood there smiling as usual. I tried to hit shadow 1, but he avoided each of its swings with a certain elegance. I understood what I was, and I understood how this would play out, I was 2 and I would lose. I charged at Shadow 1 with my knife, but 1 jumped to the side at the last moment and grabbed my jacket. It then stabbed me in the back once, twice, no three times. After that, it got back up and walked over to the cliff which led directly down to the lake.

I crawled over to the other shadow, my past self. I didn’t know what to say so I just said the first thing that came to my mind.

“I hate fate.” 

- booting #009

- repeat