Auburn Part 6 – Unhinging Light
He stopped pushing me against the wall and we stood there. He still had a small grin on his face but that was fading fast and my smile doing likewise. My arms and knee were burning from the scrapes I had recently received. I could see bits of gravel sticking in the wounds. I looked at them closely, I could see purple veins near the the wound on my knee. It was spreading. I flicked a stone off my knee and looked at the scrapes on my arms. No veins there, that’s good. I brushed my one arm to get rid of the dirt which made it burn even more and caused me to let out a very small whimper of pain. My new ally cleared his throat. “Sorry about that, now that we working together I feel little bad about roughing you up like that.”
“Umm…ya. It’s ok lets not talk about it.” It was an awkward thought that just a few minutes ago he was beating me and now we working together.
“So…” He looked at me, “What now?” “You do have a plan right?”
A plan? I have motivation, I thought to myself, I want justice served! I want him exposed! I knew I need to get hold of the auburn lady’s people at least but that was all. There was no real plan beyond that. My stomach growls loudly. I am hungry. When was the last time I ate anything? I see a fast food restaurant just across the street. “Yeah, how about we discuss it over something to eat?” I gesture across the road. “I could use the bathroom to clean these scrapes up at the same time.” I begin to walk across the road. I then realized I actually don’t have any money, my wallet went missing the night this all started. “Would you…uh…mind paying? My wallet has been missing since all this started.”
He follows after me,”Wait, what? That’s not…I aint…Why should I?”
“I can get that thing off your leg at the same time. Think of it as your way of saying thank you maybe.” I hear him speed up at the promise of having the bracket removed. We enter the restaurant and the smell of food hits me, the smell of chips. Ah, delicious food. People look at the visible scrapes on my arms. “Could you please order? I am going to clean up in the bathroom. Don’t like people staring at me.”
My wounds burned as a rinsed them with toilet paper and clean water but at least they were clean. Last thing I needed was an infection, my body already had enough to fight off. Stepping out the bathroom I see my ally, sitting at a table, eating his meal while mine waited for me. “Thanks so much.” I took a big bite of the burger. My taste-buds leaped for joy, I was not a fan of tomatoes but that didn’t matter to me right now, food! Finally! My ally ate his last bite, swallowed and then looked at me. “Right, you have food, Now tell me…” He lifts up his leg and puts it on the chair next to him. “…how do I get this thing of my leg.”
Looking at the ankle bracket on his leg it looks like it is a size too small. It barely fits around his ankle, it is squeezing his skin tightly. I think I can see a hint of purple as well. “Let me just finish this quickly and I will help you.” I say with a mouth full of chips and burger. “As far as the plan goes by the way…I don’t really have one.” His eyes widen. “Not a complete one at least. I have evidence, like I said. But I need to get it to someone that can do something with it. I have a sim card from the auburn lady’s phone, she was a journalist so I assume it must have someone we can get hold of to help us. That’s all I got, it is a shot in the dark but its a start.” I finish the last bit of my meal. Satisfied.
He nods, “Alright, Its a start but how are you going to back up what you are saying to whoever we get hold of. I notice you don’t have the laptop with you.” He scratches his ankle and I see the same thought come to his mind as it comes to mine. “Hey, if you get this thing off my leg we can give it to them as proof!” He tugs at it.
“That’s a brilliant idea! I was just going to talk to them but if we can show them that thing and what its done to our legs they will be forced to believe us! Give me your phone.” I get up and move across to his side of the table. He looks puzzled but he reaches into his pockets and hands me his phone. I can see that the falls he has suffered recently has added some scratches and chips to the phone but its still working. I look at the bracket on his leg and punch the numbers into the phone. They are different to mine, most likely unique to each device. He still looks at me rather puzzled. “You will understand in a sec.” I hit dial and put it on loudspeaker, the sound of static erupts out of the speaker which is soon followed by a *click* from the bracket as it comes loose. A smile of joy breaks out on his face. He takes it off his leg, and sighs happily.
“This thing bit into my skin something awful when I first tried to get it off.” Looking at it I can see that the blinking lights are like mine. Which means he most likely has the toxin in his blood stream.
“There is a good chance that the toxin is in your body then, that’s how it seems to work from what I understand so far. Do you know that?”
“Yeah, when I saw it on my leg I thought that I was a goner anyway but like you said we are walking evidence so lets go out with a bang. Lets expose this man to the world. Lets take a look a that sim card.” We switch off his phone and pull the battery out and swap the sim cards. We power it on and both of us wait for it to load, staring at the screen. Hoping that we will find a contact we can use. Once the home screen appears text messages follow soon after and pop up on the screen. The first one to come up was from mom; “Hey dear, haven’t heard from you in a while how you doing.” and then another from brother dear “Hey sis, we were supposed to meet up last night but you didn’t pitch. What is up?”. I cringe at the realization that this lady had a family, a family that may or may not know what has happened to her. Dead in that apartment. A text message from ‘accounts’ pops up; “Good day you currently have no airtime, please recharge.” No airtime, great. Another text message then pops up this one is from ‘Boss man’ , “Hey minion, why haven’t you arrived at work today? You ok? No one in the office has heard from you. I hope my best journalist hasn’t gone AWOL. Let me know, your most favorite (and only) boss.” My heart leaped, this is definitely someone that can help, her boss must be some sort of editor, he would love the story and want to expose it to the world. First page type of exposure. I open his contact and begin to take down his number to try and call him. Half way through taking the number down, the phone rings. It is him boss man. Calling. I answer.
“Hey you! I have been trying to call you all day! Where you been.”
“Who is this? Why do you have this number!!?”
I didn’t plan this call yet, this is strange. “Look this is a really long story, I didn’t steal it. There has been a murder and I am on the run. Are you her boss or something”
“Yes I am the editor at the newspaper she works for. What do you mean murder? Does this have something to do with the story she was writing? I thought she was being paranoid with all of that!”
“I don’t want to talk about this over the phone but yes. Can we meet? I can explain it all in person. I also have evidence with me.”
“Ok sure I am at the office lets meet here. Umm…its the building by the uhhh…with the big eye and megaphone logo, you know the one?”
“Oh yeah, I am not too far from there right now. Ok I am on my way”
“Wait..!” I hang up. I don’t want to say too much, I know Mr Sinister has this number. For all I know he could be tracking or listening in. “Its time for us to move out you ready?”
“Yeah lets do this!” We swap the sim cards back around just in case we need to use it. I put the auburn lady’s sim back into my pocket and we walk out.
Ten minutes away from our meeting. The phone rings <private number>. My partner looks nervous but answers it.
“Hello?” His eye’s widen and he puts it on loudspeaker. “Sorry say that again, I didn’t hear you.”
“Don’t try play games with me. You are already on thin ice with me. I said where do you think you are going?” I recognize the voice. It is him…Mr Sinister. “I see you have managed to remove my method of incentive from your leg. Too late as you had already triggered the device though. But that is not the reason for my call I see you are heading in the direction of that menace’s work place. Are you trying to turn on me?”
“What, you are tracking me?! No I’m not trying to turn on you. It’s the kid!” I look at him feeling somewhat paranoid. He motions to me to keep quiet. “I spotted him walking this way and I am following him.”
“Very good that is pleasing to hear. I assume he must be going to see her employer. We shall intercept him there first though. Stay on him I will meet you there.” He hangs up without any further words
“Look kid, sorry I panicked a little there but then I thought what better evidence can we get than the man himself. We can jump him when he tries to go for you and then the cops can sort him out.”
I had just become bait. But there was no turning back now. If we grab him then all of this will end the way I want, exposure and justice can be dispensed. “Ok yeah you have a point. Lets keep moving. Stay behind me.”
I can see the steps of the building. My heart is beating fast, I got to keep our eyes open for him. He could be anywhere right now. In any of these side paths, any one of the cars parked on the side. We just got to react quickly when we see him. Approaching the steps I see a man leaning on his car, his face hidden by a paper he is reading, wearing chino pants just like Mr Sinister’s. I chuckle at the thought as I pass him. Then next thing I feel and then hear is electricity follow through my body. My muscles tense up unwillingly and I fall to the ground. The world begins to go black and I feel a bag being pulled over my head. “Grab his feet and put him in the trunk.”
The alternative universe can be found here. Enjoy! Please let us know what you think.
If you are totally confused. Read this post to see what is going on.