Auburn Part 3 (The Dark Universe)
I heaved…and I heaved until there was no more air within my lungs. Gasping for air, I couldn’t stand anymore, I slumpt into a pile on the floor. My heart thumping in my chest. My leg pulsating softly with the pain from the prick. My foot, however, was numb just as he mentioned it would be. My mind began to be filled with turbulent waves for thoughts. Who? What? Why?…Why?…Why?! “Who is this woman I am in here with?” “What is going on?” From the corner of my eye I see pieces of the phone lying on the ground. “Why did I throw that phone?” “Why is she dead?…No why was she killed!?” The questions just kept coming and I let them. I had no answers. I let them wash over me, drowning me. Unanswered…
My foot started to tingle. Rudely bringing me back to reality, to what was happening right here and now. I heard the faint sound of a car speeding closer accompanied by a “wee-whaa, wee-whaa” that is all too common in this town. It dawned on me that I would not want to be around if cops were to come into this room. How would I explain this? This auburn haired lady bound to a chair, dead. It doesn’t look good at all. I need to get out of here and I need to get out quick. I began to look for my socks again, right next to the chair I was bound to and a meter from my ‘lucky’ pair of shoes, shirt and hoodie. I pull my socks on and my jeans down to cover the ‘present’ on my ankle and then tie my shoelaces. As I put my hoodie on I notice what is written on the back “There is no place like 127.0.0.1”, my friend gave me the hoodie as a gift, he explained that it was some geeky reference I can’t remember what though. I looked at the women in the chair. Was this why she shoved the laptop into my arms? She thought I was some sort of geeky guy that could do something with it? I put it on; hood up warmth starts to return to my body bit by bit.
I look around the room, just in case there was something, anything I could use as I leave. There is something sticking out from underneath the lady’s chair, must have dropped out of her coat. I move closer, trying not to gag and not to touch her, I reach for it. The chair creeks, I jump back my mind panicking. Only to realize that it must be the wood settling. I quickly grab for the item and snatch it up. It is cold; looking at it I realize it is an expandable baton, just like the ones used by the UK cops. This lady meant business. I stash it in my hoodie pocket and head for the door.
I duck out the room quick. I look around and move towards the stairs to get out. The corridor walls are covered with peeling paint that at some stage must have been white but now they are just dirty. Down one set of stairs and out the front door. As I walked out into the cold night I knew I was nowhere near the elegant Y hotel anymore. Those dark brown walls with gold diamond-shaped lines were on the other side of town. This was not a side of town I knew very well. I just knew that it was the side of town you avoided, especially at night. “Great”…I thought… “I better get out of this area before anymore trouble finds me.” There is a sign for the subway on the block opposite. I stick my hand into my back pocket. I have a few coins; they should get me a ticket. I enter the subway and head towards the Kiosk to buy a ticket. There is a man sitting behind what looks like tinted bullet-proof glass that someone has graffitied. I make him out, slumped in his chair, snoring. I knock on the glass “Excuse me, can I get ticket?” He startles awake. “Hey punk I’m trying to sleep! Just use the machine, what’s wrong with you!?” He mumbles something to himself that I can’t hear as I walk away. “If only you knew.” I thought to myself. I walk towards the machine. It is chained and bolted down and has a camera pointing directly at it. This part of town is something else. I keep my hoodie up and avoid the camera. I put my coins in and get the ticket just as I hear the train arriving. I dash towards it and climb in. The cab is deserted, except for what seems to be one other person asleep on the chairs. I sit down and let the train take me in the direction of home…I don’t know where else to go so why not?
The words of the man from the room come back to my mind. “…go back and live the miserable life that you’ve been living…” Could I do that? Could I just carry on and wait for death? After all, what else could I do? Staring at the chair in front of me I saw words that someone had inked into the back. “I’d ratha die on ma feet than live on ma knees”. Yeah! I am not going to live on my knees! I can’t just lay down and wait for the cold hands of death to close on me! I’m going to do whatever I can to track this guy down! The train screeched to a stop, and I decided I am going to that hotel, maybe there is something I can learn there.
I come out of the subway about three blocks from the hotel. There is a car at a set of traffic lights as I begin my walk up to the hotel. I recognize the man inside! A certain individual with short black hair, peppered with streaks of grey and his eyes, with the addition of black bruising, grey right below large greying eyebrows! That’s him alright! The security guard that knocked me out! I am right at the driver’s window when he glances at me and waves me off! Like some sort of beggar! Then I see it, on the back seat, the laptop bag. Why does he have it!? “Forget this!!” I think to myself. I grab the baton out my hoodie pocket and with one rage filled swing smash the back window and grab the laptop out. I run into the first building I see ducking the ‘caution’ tape on the front door. As I do so I hear the man scream at me “Hey that’s mine you are not….” He fades into the distance.
I hide in the corner of one of the rooms in the building. He is chasing me. I haven’t thought this through! I don’t know what to do. I look around, there is a part of the floor that has collapsed and it seems like a long way down. Do I try hide in there? I hear his footsteps getting closer. It’s too late he is right around the corner. I wait, hoping he walks past the room. My heart is beating so fast. My grip tightens on the baton. He walks in. I can see what must be a gun in his hands he walks towards the hole. If he turns around he will see me. It’s me or him. Without thinking I sneak quickly behind him. *creek* “Stupid floor!” He starts to turn. I swing and I strike him, hard, in the shoulder and I hear a crack. The gun drops to the floor. He is in pain and angry! I swing again and he jumps back to dodge and he lands just in front of the hole. He starts to yell at me…”I gonna kill…” the floor creeks and he vanishes. The floor collapsed and gravity took him into the deep hole. I hear a thud and a groan. He is still alive at the bottom. “Help! I think I broke my leg” he calls out. I grab the gun off the floor and aim at him, “You want help?! How about you answer some of my questions and I will think about not killing you.”
“I don’t know anything!”
“Don’t lie to me! You had that laptop! You must know something.”
“All I know is that he wants the laptop and that it is important to him.”
“You knock me out and take me across town with a lady and you don’t know anything besides that?! Who is he?!”
“I was just following orders! You know, for the money.”
I thought to myself, is the world that messed up, we do anything for money? Like it’s a god of some sort. “WHO IS HE?!’
“Please I can’t tell you he will kill me! Please help me out of here.”
“I WILL KILL YOU! TELL ME!!!”
“Rather you than him! You see what he does to people, shoot me or help me!”
He wasn’t going to tell me anything more. But I couldn’t bring myself to shoot him. But that didn’t mean I needed to help him out either. I took the clip out the gun, threw the gun at him. “Good luck”. I put the baton back in my hoodie, and retrieved the laptop from the corner. Hood up, and walked out of the building. Ignoring his angry screams behind me.
[Confused? Read this post to see what is going on. Complete with links to the first two parts]
The alternative universe can be found here enjoy! Let us know what you think.