Grey smoke swirled through the air as smokers puffed away in the confines of their designated area outside the shopping mall. They were oblivious to all who shared their close quarters. Rob wasn’t a smoker, he just needed to get away from the throngs of shoppers who pushed and pulled their way, with glorious passive aggression, through the Christmas crowds. He leaned against the wall, closed his eyes and drifted off temporarily. Using a mindfulness technique he learned online, he tried to control his Other nature through calm his thoughts. Entering into a meditative state and centering himself within the world around him may prevent his change. Robs internal motor was spinning out of control, gaining strength from the encroaching crowds but more importantly it was from something or someone within those very crowds. Robs gift of change was a blessing and a curse. Today though, he wanted to simply have a nice day out with his wife without incident.
Why the hell do people not understand personal space and is it too hard to spray a little God damn deodorant before leaving the house… No, shut negative thoughts off and embrace control… embrace control
Three deeps breaths of stale second hand smoke, holding them for a few seconds each and releasing them allowed Rob to relax slightly. He could feel a calming force wriggle through him pervading each dark corner of his being. He decided to stay put a few more minutes longer before venturing back inside to find his wife, who reveled in the Christmas mash-up of religious paraphernalia, bustling commercialism and survival of the fittest in the many stores. Christmas carols assaulted Rob’s sense of hearing as he walked into each store. What assaulted Rob appeared to soothe Lauren, his wife. He put up with it all so that she could enjoy this time of year. He told her he needed a few minutes outside and that he’d call her in a few moments. She smiled, kissed him knowing Christmas shopping was always a chore for him.
They’d been married 9 years.
Rob kept a dark secret from her for many years until one day circumstances caused it to be revealed without warning. Lauren always picked Rob up from outside his office. It was their routine. They drove the same route every day without incident. Lauren had joked that they were predictable, maybe even a little boring but she wouldn’t have it any other way. They were both happy in their mundane and predictable life. One particular day as they drove home Lauren pulled into a Gas station. She said she wanted to get some milk and as it was on the way. Rob nodded, not really paying it much attention as he was finishing up some work he needed to get done. They pulled in, parked and Lauren got out, Rob stayed behind sending an email from his Blackberry.
“You want anything?” she said.
“No, thanks,” Rob said, looking up quickly smiling and staring back down at his blackberry.
Lauren closed the door and walked away. He wasn’t sure how long she was gone. As he hit send he heard what sounded like a metallic crack. As if someone had kicked a piece of sheet metal. Then it happened again and again. Rob’s heart skipped a beat as he realized what else it sounded like. It sounded like a gun fire.
Rob’s car door opened with such force that it nearly became torn from it very hinges. The email and blackberry it was send from was instantly forgotten as Rob raced to the Gas stations door. The automatic doors didn’t open as he ran towards them, the teller must have activated some security sequence that shut them closing all of the occupants inside. Rob pressed his sweating face up to the glass to peer inside. What he saw confirmed his fears, the teller lay slumped in a pool of blood, face first onto the cash register, a man lay on his back also in a pool of blood in front of the counter. His head was turned towards the automatic doors glass paneling. Rob could see the contorted face and dead eyes of a man who didn’t bargain on this. Above the dead patron stood a person, most likely a male, wearing all black and a black ski mask. In his right hand, gripped tight was a smoking gun.
Rob’s eyes darted around the rest of the interior looking for signs of Lauren. He couldn’t find her. His already paniced mind escalating.
‘Let’s tear the skin from his face,’ the voice Rob knew all too well said inside his head.
Rob stood back from the doorway a couple of feet. He allowed the raging energy course through his every fiber. It was a primal energy borne from in a basic times when survival meant being the strongest and the aggressive adversary. He opened his eyes, which had turned an angry shade of crimson red. With his primal sight he could see the beating heart beat of each individual still breathing. The killer’s beat fast and steady. A few feet from the killers stance was another beating heart. This blood course much faster. They hid behind a shelf.
It must be Lauren
When Rob allowed the primal energy to inhabit him he feared it but thrived on the power it gave him. Not only could he see life in a completely different way but he could smell their emotions. Out of the vast emotional state humans and some animals entered it was fear he enjoyed the most. It was nectar to him, sweeter than any sugary treat could ever be. The individual he assumed to be Lauren had that honeyed scent right now. The killer before him didn’t. He had the detectable scent of excitement bordering on some sexual perversion. No matter, in mere moments Rob would ensure he smelled as sweet as candied apple.
The energy grew more powerful. It seemed to swirl within Rob moving faster and faster. A preternatural perpetual force. As it reached it’s highest point a dark aura began to gather around Rob, engulfing him in an inky cloud obscuring his features a little. Now Rob was merging with his energy become something else. His physical presence in this world joining a force of another’s. As the coupling finalized Rob had become what he called ‘The Other’. A being of immense strength and speed. Rob had only a tenuous grasp of control over it. He and The Other were joint partners in this venture. Rob allowed The Other to fulfill his needs but drew the line on it’s wants/ It needed to feed. It’s sustenance was that of human souls. Rob only allowed souls of evils to be fed upon. The Other wanted the souls of innocents. Rob had prevented this but at times it was a difficult task to wrestle control of the cohabiting monster.
‘I want to rip him apart… NOW,’ the Other said.