The Hollow and The Saint

"The world we live in is no different from Hell; there are those who are tortured by the fire, there are demons who carry out orders, and then, of course, there is the devil himself. Well, I plan on turning hell into heaven."

Wounded, heartbroken with a hollow void filling down his soul, Logan Hayz is lying down on the ground, in front of him the corpse of his son, with a bullet stuck in his skull painting such beauty on his face. A bullet fired from the same Glock pistol Logan is holding in his right hand. Blood covering his left mechanical arm giving it an exquisite look with the rust of steel. Water drops touching down his flabby skin, in one eye he can see the past along with all the hardships and sufferings he had to endure to achieve his ultimate dream of creating the perfect world. In the other, he saw the reason he pursued that dream, Elizabeth Rose, his long-lost beloved.


Cover by INFINITE_EXHO

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2. Mr. Colt


     

     

     

The next day, I was woken by golden threads of light illuminating the hell hole where I slept. Despite being a storage room for old furniture and tools, the Kagibi feels peaceful in the day. Stream of sunlight fell through the window, gently warming up my skin. The sound of rats vanishes from the floor, and replaced by a magical birdsong almost similar to a flute.

Just when I was about to enjoy my morning paradise, the sound of Ms. Marie’s loud footsteps on the wooden floor echoed like the booming heartbeat of a condemned prisoner. She opened the door, and its creaking noise brought a chill to my spine.

"Rise and shine, Logan, rise and shine. You can come out now. Funny though, I almost think that you like this place,” said Ms. Marie, laughing.

I stared at her, rubbing my knuckles onto my eyes. I was only concerned about Elizabeth. I didn't care what that old hag had to say. I was about to leave.

"Hey, wait! Before I forget, a man named Mr. Colt wants to see you. He also filed for your release, so this may be your last day in here. He sure looks classy and rich. Don't know why he would bother adopting someone like you. This room will surely miss your ugly mug!”

Thinking about leaving Elizabeth devastated me. Still, I wanted to meet this mysterious man. Deep down, I wanted to know about my past, and I thought that maybe he has some answers, maybe not. And so, I went to meet him up in Ms. Marie’s office.

***

Walking behind Ms. Marie to the second floor, I couldn’t shake this unpleasant feeling in my heart. We arrived at her office, she opened the door, and for me it was as if bright light struck down my eyes blinding me for a second. At first glance, he was a good looking, middle aged man. Tall, about 6.3 feet, quite muscular for someone in his forties. His clothe were neat, wearing a black suit with a black hat, adorned with a gray strip.

As I sat down before him, I was met by a sudden sense of disquiet that only grew with time. My body flushed hot, and then cold. I held my breath. I could sense a dark, cold aura coming out of him. I was sweating all over, intimidated but boiling with excitement.

His eyes were navy blue, and empty, except ‘empty’ couldn’t begin to describe it. Looking at his eyes was like staring at the ocean, an infinite view, lost in the middle of nowhere. He was staring at me. I feared he would pounce. Instead he lowered himself to my height and without expression told me the reason he was here.

"Logan, I am your father."

"No! You are not my father!" I answered defiantly.

Mr. Colt smiled.

"I should be clear. I am not your biological father. You resemble him, boy, especially with that big mouth of yours," he responded, “I am your guardian. Your father now.”

"I don't know you, and you don't know me!"

"Well, you don't know me, yet. However, I know you very well. Your father entrusted you to my care when he died, so I let them put you in this orphanage until you had grown up a little," he replied.

"The world we live in is no different from Hell; there are those who are tortured by the fire, there are demons who carry out orders, and then, of course, there is the devil himself." His voice was low and dry as he said the things I had been thinking all my life.

I was so mesmerized. Despite being only seven years old, I had always thought of this world as unjust, and in need of a radical change. Not a savior, it wasn’t a question of good and evil, or right and wrong, it was about what I wanted and what they wanted, and I wanted to be a harbinger of change. This world needed me. Did this evil seeming man understand?

"Now tell me, do you want to follow the rules like all these sheep? Or, do you want to be the one to write the rules?" He gestured in the air as he outline my options.

To the untrained eye, he was an ordinary man. To me, he was like an apostle. His words touched the very depths of my soul.

"You must become strong and you must adapt. You must become one with the crowd, you must learn to hide in plain sight, among humans and demons alike: in their world but not of it! You must become more than human or demon-you must evolve!"

The burden of his words weighed heavily on my conscience, as though my very existence was dependent on it. Any young boy would have stared back with an open mouth hearing about this world, but not me. I made the decision that I could only live in the present, and would write my future. I had no past. Now, with the help of this man, I could break free from my cocoon. I could fly! I would create my own world... for me and for her. I knew what type of answer I would give him.

 "Mr. Colt, I-" he interrupted.

"Mr. Colt is just a name that I made up for this meeting, my real name is Brian, but I prefer to be called Doctor."

"Well, Doctor, my answer is this: for the sake of my dream, I am prepared to face even the devil himself.” I had given my answer.

***

As I made my way away from him and down the hallway, I could see the kids’ envious eyes following me. Elizabeth was waiting for me at the other end.

"Logan! Is it true? Are you really leaving for good?" her voice pitched with emotion.

I laid my hands on her shoulders.

"I may be leaving you right now, but I swear upon the stars, I will protect you forever, and I shall make you see the beauty of this world again!"

I saw two pearly tears coming out of her eyes and falling all the way down her cheeks.

She wiped the tears from her face, and raised her head towards me as if she was looking straight into my eyes.

"Before you leave, I want to ask you,” her gentle mouth twitched into a broad smile, “how was the sky last night?"

"In the dark purple skies, all the sheep gathered beside a mystical light. It was a full moon," I replied. Those were my farewell words.

 

 

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