The city of shadows
“Well, have you killed him?” he looked at my expression. “When will you kill him”? Shawn asked.
“Sir.” I hesitated, “I tried”.
“Well, obviously not since he’s still alive, and what were you really doing on your mission”?
“Sir, I was doing nothing, the only thing that I did was stop to rest because I was wounded by a gunshot”.
“What? YOU WHAT?” his face turned a blistering blood red. “So your telling me that you wasted valuable time because you were ‘injured’”? The last part he said in a childish snobby voice.
Mr. Shawn S. Knebly is bothers with the person that I am trying to kill, but for me, I am a hit man.
Mr. Knebly has always loved his brother, but it wasn’t up until a few years ago that Mr. Knebly shared with him that he had a way to change the world, and not for the good. He found a way to fold time and space without actually going back to the past, but when you do that, it takes a miraculous amount of lives in less than a few minutes, and that is the one thing that his brother doesn’t know.
We accidentally found this out when we were seeing if this procedure worked, and while checking the procedure, we found this out unknowingly. He had tripped over a wire with no electrical cap on it, when he tripped, two wires had connected together and created a link that had bonded an electrical current form wire to wire and then, the whole city blacked out. The back up generator had kicked in and the machine turned back on.
All we could see was a hazy picture of the city, and that’s when we saw, right in front of us, the World Trade center. Bright as day, we were standing at the base of the building and we saw the two planes crash into the top of the first tower, smoke bellowed everywhere. We watched in amazement not sure if we were still in the lab or not but we couldn’t take our eyes off of it. It wasn’t until the building started to come down that we started to back up, and that’s when he fell over his computer chair and the scene was gone.
A few days later, after figuring out our mistake, we had looked at video footage from 9/11 and saw both of us, standing right at the base of the building, then a split second later, we were gone, we had actually been there, but we weren’t because we were still in the lab. We were both very confused but we came to the conclusion that we were on the fold of time. We were there but we were not.
When he had tripped over the wire, we had been on the crease, half way between one world and another, that’s why we had disappeared form the footage that was captured that day, it was because we had come back to our side of the fold. That’s when he fell, and canceled the effect.
The year is now 2011 and it has been ten years since 9/11. I still wonder how we ever stood at the base of the building on that day, even though I know, it still puzzles me. But that doesn’t matter now, I have quit the business I was working for, and became a hit man. Yeah I know, it does sound weird, a nerdy scientist being a ‘hot looking’ hit man but I’m not that much of a dork.
I was walking along the street, I was on duty, but I was on break. Of course, with my luck, my target walked by me. He had aged so much, ever since that day, Mr. Knebly and I both know that he has done things to try and get back on the fold of time again. But it has only added stress to his life, and with that he looked much older.
We brushed shoulders and he kept on walking. He didn’t even notice me. I stopped and watched him, he turned into the alley. I knew what street the two alleys linked to. I took off running to try and catch up to him; I went around to meet him face to face on the other street.
When I reached the alley on the other side, he was gone. I was confused, and it was then that I noticed that the air in front of me was pulling me in. Almost like a miniature tornado. The ground was pulsing, At first I thought It was my heart, but it couldn’t be, I turned around, I felt someone behind me, someone hit me with a crow bar. Pain, nothing but pain, my vision went hazy, I heard laughter, and then everything turned black.
When I awoke, I looked around to find myself in a meadow, but I wasn’t alone. There was a young man, not much taller than I, so about 5’11. He had brown hair and blue eyes; he had high cheekbones and full lips, his skin tone wasn’t too dark but tanner than one who looked like they never got sun. He also had a strong built for his age. But there was something about him; you couldn’t exactly put a label on him. I almost felt like I knew him. I guess he heard me get up because he walked over. It was at that point that I realized that I was wrapped up in a blanket.
It was either sunset or sunrise, I couldn’t tell. It was slightly cloudy so I couldn’t tell if there were stars or a moon. The sky was a deep pink, with mixtures of purple and blue hues.
He was observing me, probably seeing if he could trust me or not.
I moved my elbows in a way to support me as I sat up but was still half like lying down. The ground was cold. I felt my pockets for my wallet, but as I did that, he unzipped his pocket on his coat and pulled it out.
“Yes”, he must have looked in my wallet and looked at my ID. That was my ID for America ‘Christopher Johnson’, being a hit man; you have to have false ID’s for numerous countries. I wonder if he’ll lie about his name, I just decided to straight up ask. “…And who might you be”?
“Clayton… Clayton Morris”
“Pleasure” I leaned over to shake his hand, but he did not respond. Instead, he threw the wallet onto my stomach and sat down. “So… what time is it”?
“No clue, feels like I’ve been here for days, yet realistically, it’s probably only been a few hours, minutes, I don’t know, hell I don’t even know where we are”.
“You mean…” I looked at him, was I dead? Injured? Married? “We’re it”?
“Looks like it.”
“What were you doing before… you know, you ended up here”?
“Well, it was a normal day, wake up, go to work, go to the gym, and then after that, I was going to take my girl Amanda out to sushi. But…”
I looked at him, he seemed troubled. He was looking in my eyes, but then he turned and started to speak again.
“We were crossing the street, I thought she was right behind me. But then I heard her scream. I turned to look but all I saw was her falling, and then this… ripple effect seemed to pulse through the city. I knew she was dead, I had no choice but to run, all around bodies were falling. But while I was running I seemed to run into something. I was knocked out, but when I woke up…”
I cut him off in mid sentence “You were knocked out too”? This was strange, we were the only two people here, and we were both coincidentally knocked unconscious. “You were going to say something else”?
“Uh, no never mind”.
“You got something to hide”?
“No, it’s just not important and it doesn’t make sense”.
“Well what is it”?
“When I woke up, the city was destroyed. The survivors looked, dead, and devastated. They were mourning over their losses”.
“Did you ever go back to find Amanda”?
“No… I was going to, but when I stood up there was a huge willow tree”.
“Where? In the city park”?
“No” Clayton seemed to be insulted. “It was growing by the second, roots billowing out of the concrete. But I was the only one who seemed to notice. I went through the branches of the willows, it seemed like an endless forest let me tell you. But I fell, and when I did, I just kept falling, and falling. When I stood up after falling, I saw this girl, she seemed to be floating. She ran, so I followed, there was nothing else to do, but she disappeared when I ended up here.”
“A girl, floating? Man you’re crazy”
“Yea I think so too”
“Hmm” I mumbled, as I snuggled down into my sleeping bag.
“I’m going to go check things out” Clayton looked at me, but I couldn’t tell his expression because I was looking at him through half closed eyes. I watched him walk away, and within seconds, I was out like a light.
This time, I think I’m the one that’s crazy, She was beautiful, and she was floating. She had blonde hair, and her skin was so fare, she was, a site to see, she was so gorgeous that you were almost embarrassed to look at her.
The weird thing was that she was acting like she wanted me to follow her, we went from this place, in the meadow, I watched as Clayton had a concerned look on his face, but it almost looked like pain itself. I didn’t seem to care though, I wanted to follow her.
She brought me to this place; it was dark, pitch black even. But she was glowing. It was like looking at a light underwater, the way the light caressed off of her, it reminded me of the moon’s glow.
I felt her pull on me, her touch, so gentle. But so strong, she pulled me up, and I looked around. I realized that there was a slight breeze on my face, something that I hadn’t felt in a while. Fresh air. I opened my eyes, and I had to squint at first, the change from dark to light was overwhelming.
Strange, there were branches, dejavu. Where had I been? What had I heard? This was weird and seemed all too familiar.
I pondered this thought for a moment, CLAYTON!!! Wasn’t this what he was talking about? Something here? That’s right! This was where he was when he started, before he was knocked unconscious, I looked to my left, and the look on the girls face was grave and almost as if she was angry. It was almost as if she could feel my tension, I don’t think she liked that.
In a matter of a blink, her face turned from grave to pain, she opened her mouth, almost as if to scream, but nothing came out. She was clutching her stomach and she fell to her knees, I staggered forward to try and help, when I fell, she was gone. I felt this sharp pain in my side, I rolled on my back and then sat up, trying to breath in but it came out as a gasp
I woke up.
It was a dream?
Are you serious?
Damn, what was that? Where was Clayton? I needed to ask him exactly what had happened, who was that girl? Was Clay crazy? Or was I? Too many questions, way too many. I needed to get my mind off things.
I got up and went for a walk.
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