Traces Of Red

The mind contains many horrors, Paranormal Investigator Ezekiel King has seen many of them. In his search for clarity and purpose, he has stumbled into something far more foul than he could imagine. As this evil coils within the city streets, King most travel through the shifting prisms of terror it leaves in its wake if he is to understand avert a looming catastrophe.

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1. Prologue

Death.

The permanent termination of the biological function that defines a living organism. It refers to both a particular event and the condition that result thereby. I believe in the former, the particular event. I see that moment as a defining point, the point you either loathe your existence or yearn for the ends dark embrace. Take this moment for example;

It’s amazing; my fists are a blur, neck, sternum, groin hit instantly. He barely registers them, sending me like a swatted fly across the room with a swing of his arm. The glass shelf shatters against my weight, I’m flooded with pain. But what is pain when death is at your door. I spring at him with a flurry of attacks, dancing around him, hitting nerve points, calculating strikes, punch after punch, kick after kick.

He is fast but not as quick as me; I am strong but not as sturdy as him.

The wall explodes where my head used to be, cement dust mushrooms into the air. His other fist whistles past me taking another chunk of the wall with it. I carve some space between him and me, thrusting my feet at his knee, my elbow smashing his head. He buckles as his cranium assisted by his weight demolishes more of that mutilated wall. Yet with his face pasted white and clinical indifference, he returns to the fight.

I need more than skill to battle this animal.

I rush to the opposite wall and pull off an ornate halberd. I hold it offensively - or in a way I deem offensive, for I have no skill or knowledge of medieval weapons apart from what I see on the History Channel. And even that is pedestrian. I’m forever thankful for Molly insisting on Karate classes after my rehabilitation, it seemed to have saved my hide more times than not - I swing the pole reaping into his chest as he barrels towards me. Blood splatters the marble floor and I hack into him some more to add texture and colour to the crimson mosaic.

Seventh stroke, his chest was shaping up into a nice mess of ragged flesh and muscle when he snaps the pole and throws me head first into the kitchen worktable.

Black from white, up from down, sound from silence, I struggle to put them all in their right places. My mouth tastes of blood and my head is wet; I know my skull is cracked at some point. In those moments he is upon me, wrapping his arid hands around my throat and dragging me to my feet. My vision boogies in and out of focus as I frantically hurl my hands about looking for something to grab on to. My heart is pounding, breath restless. Death was no more at the door, it was in my room, my personal space.

My hand latches on to something and I swing it at his head -or what should be his head- it makes contact, the impact feels good. In one motion I rise up into the air and go straight through the worktable cracking the marble floor. His hand is still firmly on my neck but I can’t feel anything on my right side. My ears are singing, I can’t breathe, my nose is trickling blood from my punctured lungs and the irregular inclination of my limbs tells me they are done for the day.

Yet again he picks me up, this time I dangle like a broken puppet from his arms and repeatedly he drives my head into the reinforced picture window. Blow after blow, the window cracks, my sight dims until it becomes a haze of hue, flashing brightly at each impact. Finally he draws me close and I hear his breathing; deep pants. I smell his breath; sweetly pungent. I try to focus, take action move something. I try...I really do try.

‘See you in my Nightmares!’ He yells flinging me like a baseball through the picture window. I don’t feel the impact just the rush of air as I plummeted from the penthouse.

And that’s how I died.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, Let me tell you how it all begun, that particular event that lead to all this.

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