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Category Archives: Auburn

Auburn – The Dark Universe: Final Chapter


I look towards the familiar intruder to this private meeting, feeling a budding anger at the  man who had so easily turned against me.

“I’ll be there soon” Sinister says without turning his head. He raises his hands in question at me. His offer played over in my mind once again, that and the option of receiving the cure for the sake of survival. Also, the very idea of using evil to create change as a necessary evil…well that was so sinister I couldn’t imagine a better way to display the injustice others suffered, by letting them suffer the same injustice themselves. At the same time, now that Sinister was being called outside, escape swam to the surface of my mind before sinking into my skull like a cement brick in water. Mr Sinister stared down at me from behind his mask as though he could see my dilemma and as a challenge to this I attempted to project my thought at him louder, ‘Escape to death or life at your hands, I will come out on top’ but it was stupid to think he could read minds. Nonetheless I felt better knowing that he was not invincible, at least not in this sense.

“If you will excuse me,” he says finally, to me “apparently I have some business to attend to. I shall not be long.”

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Auburn Part 7 – Unhinging Light


It’s quite an interesting feeling when it hits you, that sense of deja vu; it’s like reliving a dream and all the pieces of the puzzle fit together seamlessly as you would expect them to – except this time I am not woken up by screaming, nor am I rendered panic stricken by the darkness that covers my eyes. There is fear, yes, but everything seems too surreal to be…real. There is a distinct smell of coffee rising from in front of me and a somewhat sanitary smell permeates the air. I test my hands to find that they are not bound and proceed to untie the cloth wrapped around my eyes, stopping from removing it in anticipation of some sort of protest but when none comes, I remove the cloth and blink. The table is grey – metallic – and sitting atop it with a tendril of steam rising from the dark liquid is a mug; the smell has already told me that the dark liquid is coffee. I look up, past the second cup of coffee and almost fall backwards in shock, as I come face to face with a bright pallid face, high cheek bones lifted by the extended smile and framed with a handle-bar moustache; an unnatural sheen glimmers across its surface. Dark piercing eyes stare silently at me as the smiling face continues to watch me.

“Now that’s not the look of a hero…” a voice speaks from what I now perceive to be a mask; the voice is decidedly that of Mr Sinister. I sit up on the hard chair, attempting to stretch but an uncomfortable tingle courses through my body stopping me in mid-stretch. Sinister sits there watching me with his arms folded casually on the table, an uneasy feeling rising in my gut, followed by a sudden sharp pain in my ankle. I gasp and reach towards my ankle, pulling the cuff of my pants up to see that my ankle was severely swollen, dark purple veins crawling up my shin and calf like vines. I shoot an uninhibited look of anger and disgust at the man across from me, but the disconcerting mask hides any emotion he might be showing and that leaves me unsure,

“Your coffee is getting cold” Sinister speaks, a little too chirpy for my liking.

“The laptop is already on its way to the police.” I lie – it’s the first thing that comes to my mind, something to unnerve him. I can’t even see if he reacts to this or not but I sense that he is smiling behind the fake smile of the mask.

“Oh no” he says with what I know is sarcasm “Not the police, gosh darn it and my plans were moving along so well too. I guess I’ll just give up or something.” He stands up, and I notice his white shirt collar has the top two buttons undone where a metallic glint catches my eye. He spins slowly away from me and I watch apprehensively, until movement catches my eye from behind him. A shadowy figure is standing behind the screen of the door and I recognize it to be the security guard. A sudden flare of anger rises and to curb it, I look around the room. The place is definitely unused, probably abandoned too if the thin wooden boards across the windows is anything to go by. What light filters in through the cracks in the boarded up windows, display a linoleum floor etched with scuff marks. The room is clean but shabby and I’m brought back to reality by a voice


“Your coffee…, please, drink. Its not poisoned or anything, there would be no need to because, well because you are already poisoned. So drink up, please, we have much to discuss and I wouldn’t want your parched throat to prevent us from bantering a bit. I even made us cookies but I guess I’ll leave them for my next…contingency” There is no mistaking the intelligence that the man exudes even with his voice muffled behind his mask. I reach for the mug and take a sip; its perfect. He claps once and laughs heartily,

“Surprised? Well I don’t blame you. Though, honestly, you shouldn’t be by now. I know everything about you even the way you like your coffee…then again, anyone can know anything about you, what with all the amount of rubbish you so carelessly share on all those social media platforms, I mean come on young man, wake up!” He lunges for the table suddenly, striking it hard with both hands that it clangs loud. I flinch back as his masked face leans in towards me to peer at me between those thin eye slits; the table still reverberates from the strike. He laughs and slowly lifts himself up from the table, and proceeds to pace around the room.

“Good seeing that you are now genuinely awake, lets cut to the quick yes? I bet you’ve got some questions that have been plaguing you during this entire fiasco? Why this, why that how this how that etc etc”. he twirls his hand in the air to emphasize his point, “But rather than me assuming I know what you want to ask…I’ll let you ask the questions, whatever you want I’ll answer.” I wait a while, still recovering from his random outburst but more so thinking about the predicament I was in. I mean, who would have thought that one minute my life would be moving along normally and the only care I had was what I was going to eat when I got home and the next thing I know I’m thrust into this crazy escapade that has me sitting in this dodgy room with the windows boarded up, with the smell of disinfectant and mould rising to my nostrils while the man who has orchestrated all of this, including my poison riddled body, stares at me from behind an Anon mask. Oh I have a vendetta against him for sure.

“What’s up with the mask?” I finally ask. He walks to the other side of the table and sits on the chair there. He pulls a straw out of his shirt pocket and sticks it into the coffee which is rather comical.

“Well” he begins “To friend or foe, some things must always remain hidden, it is safer this way. In fact, many of those who know this face do not know the other…I ensure that it remains a secret for…well, obvious reasons.”

“Fair enough…especially for some demented psycho like you huh?” I replied, unable to keep the anger from rising, “and whats the deal with you kidnapping me and sticking poison in me. Who does that anyway? Oh yeah I forgot, psychos.”
He sighs heavily,

“I guess kindness to strangers has never been your forte…then again I wouldn’t be kind to anyone who has done to you what I have. That is the joy of the power that I hold.” He chuckles softly to himself, taking another sip of his coffee and breathing out satisfactorily,

“As for your initial kidnapping, I guess it was a misunderstanding riddled with so many uncertainties outside of my knowledge that I was forced into action.” he leans forward on the table clutching his hands together. “I was completely unaware of you nor of your involvement with the auburn haired woman. There she was, sticking her nose into my business with her in depth journalistic ways and horrendous photography skills which pushed me to, well, motivate her to bring what she’d dug up on me. En route to our meeting, who should show up but you my hooded friend clutching the very bag I sought in your arms. So you can imagine my concern. Who were you? How much did you know? How connected were you to her? So I made a plan. Turns out you were a random stranger she chose, providentially in the end.”

“That explains why I’m still alive.” I said, thinking out loud.

“Indeed…temporarily of course. Time is a’tickin young man, drink your coffee, probably the last luxury you will enjoy before you succumb.”

“Unless you get me the antidote.”

“In exchange for the laptop – of course.”

“Which is how you motivated the auburn haired lady when she was most probably in this very situation.”

“Ah that is indeed a sharp mind you have there sir! I couldn’t have some journalist coming in and ruining all my hard work for some story she wanted to publish, about justice and what not.” We sit facing each other, not moving but his masked face unsettled me and so to calm my bubbling nerves and anger, I take a sip of my coffee, still genuinely surprised at how good it tasted. The fact of it gets me thinking about how much this man knows about me. There is no doubt that he is powerful and well connected which plays out well with his intelligence but all he’s used those for is evil. Then again what evil was it?

“So what’s your plan?” I ask him. I hope he can divulge enough information for me to take to the police when I go get the laptop. I too will get my chance as she did and instead of getting some random person involved, I’ll go straight to the authorities. That would have been the right thing to do rather than get innocent people involved, playing with their lives like they were clay pots. And he shows no remorse for his killings, what kind of monster is he?

“My plan is simple really. I surmise you are aware of the broken system we live in, infested with people unwilling to think and falling into old wives tales and second hand garbage spewed out by the media and those in power above them.” He leans back on the chair, placing his hands behind the back of his head while he tilts the chair back and balances the rocking chair by its two back legs.

“This is a quote from a man who has inspired much of what I believe, he says

The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

and I, if you haven’t figured it out yet, am the type of man who thinks things out. The very people who are in power in this city do nothing while evil continues to strangle life out of the people and the city and do they even seem to care? Of course not!” He rocks back down with his fists raised to slam them hard against the metallic structure sending a ripple through it and the coffee. I flinch back involuntarily. He clutches the edge of the table and I see his knuckles turn white, “Oh they have failed this city, this whole system is failed. Corruption, apathy and lethargy at every level and you know what, its time for a change and not just of upper management but of the whole system and it will be I who will usher this new system in.” His hands relax on the table but the fire burns in what little I see of his eyes. He finally slumps back in his chair, his hands trace along the top edge of his coffee mug.

“You, like many others, are stubborn and stuck in your ways, and I know this change won’t be easy to accept but with my devices, I will see to it that my plan comes to fruition.”

“And where do I fit, in this grand scheme of yours?”

“That’s an interesting question isn’t it. As with every other person who has ever found themselves in this situation, I offer a choice of join or die. And as with them too, time was hardly ever on their side.” He rose from his seat and walked around the table, causing me to tighten up in anticipation of an attack. He grabbed my arm and put it on the table, rolling the sleeve up to reveal the already thickening purple veins on my arm. “The difference, however, between you and them is the fact that you have proven yourself worthy to me. Worthy enough, in fact, that I’m willing to let you join my cause. You have been quite resourceful I must say, so what say you?

The mere thought of joining his cause sickened me. The thought that others would suffer the injustice I did and that I would be behind it all, I could never be part of that. But death? Was I willing to die? If I joined I’d live longer and get this poison out of me. Seeing my dilemma, he spoke up again, a sense of joy oozing out of his voice as he did,

“The beauty of this poison is that it doesn’t cause lasting effects once the antidote takes its course but until then…”


“Yes, death indeed.”

I considered the prospect of death, my death. I also considered joining him even with his proposition, my fear was the poison and of course, death. Would I let this man win, or would I have enough time on my watch to expose him, have one last heroic act before curtain call. Ha! I would die a better man, unlike him the fiend. The choices I’d made in life surely have put me on the good side, on the right side; the side of justice. I opened my mouth to answer but a loud knocking stopped me and the door to the room opened revealing the traitorous security guard. He peeked his greying head into the room and spoke rather anxiously,

“Sir, I know you are busy but there is something out here that needs your urgent attention.”


The Alternative Universe (The Dark Universe), can be found here.  Enjoy and please let us know what you think.

All the previous posts of this story can be found on on my blog if you click here and you can find all of my fellow writer, Tyron’s, posts for this story here.

Auburn Part 6 – The Dark Universe

If one were to look into the eyes of the man holding the key to salvation, the only key, the natural inclination would be to worship that man or at least show a deep level of commitment to him; an obligation that transcends the norm. When the man that holds that key is supposed to be dead…by your own hands…but is instead staring down at you intently, offering you salvation – well only one response is suitable.




He asks. I think about it for a few seconds, wondering to myself why I would offer the man who almost snuffed me out, a solution to his predicament. I can see that the ankle bracket doesn’t really fit around his ankle; it squeezes the skin tightly, pulling it taut above the folded leg pant. His eyes are a puffy red though one of them is almost closed to a slit thanks to the swelling rising from his cheek – a thin red line runs around his neck. The bruises and marks on his face bathe my chest with a calm rage, and a single word rises to my lips.


“Revenge?” He cocks his head to the side, his foot with the bracket shaking either from the pain or from the toxins creeping through his blood stream. “On…him?” He smiles but its not an amused smile; his eyes are emotionless . “There is no way you can find him.”

“There’s no need to find him. He’ll have to find us.”

“And why would he want to find us? We are as good as dead to him…like your auburn haired friend.” I cringe at the mention of that instigator; a part of me is angry at her for dragging me into this. Instead of answering him, I hold my hand out,

“Pass me your phone.” He eyes me warily as I descend the stairs until I am just one above him, taller for the moment. More out of curiousity than anything else, he reaches into his back pocket and produces a small black phone; the bright green screen and black font greet me. I bend down and grip the ankle bracket

“Lift your ankle.” I say. He grunts in dismay but concedes, holding on to the wall for balance. I dial the number on the bracket and after a few seconds, static bursts against the phone speaker, followed by the *click* of the bracket releasing its hold. Standing up I come face to face with his relieved and somewhat open face,

“Okay then hooded fellow,” he grunts out, rolling the pant leg back down, “What’s this revenge plan you have?” he asks. I hoist the laptop bag a little higher on my shoulder, feeling the weight of the baton in my pocket.

“I’ll tell you over some food. I’m starving.”


We arrive at my friends house just as he is about to leave the house – where he is going is obvious but he quickly hides the pipe and syringes into the kit bag in his hand. He is also, quite obviously, not pleased to see me and the tape over his nose doesn’t hide the blueish-purple bruise that has spread over it.

“What do you want?” He spits at me standing by his door – he pays no attention to the security guard even as the guards phone suddenly bursts to life in a melodious 8-bit ringtone; the guard reaches into his pocket and shuts the phone off.

“Do you want to get paid for helping me or not?” I ask my friend. He glances quickly at his watch, gives the security guard a cursory look and with a sigh steps aside to let us in,

“I got places to go so be quick about it… and it better be cash.”

“Its going to be delayed.” I reply, stepping into the cool interior. I’d barely made it in when he grabs me by the collar and begins to haul me out but the security guard steps in, breaks his hold and sends him sprawling into the house – the guard closes the door and stands in front of it.

“He’ll pay you triple…if you help us.” The guard says. My friends looks at each of us suspiciously, sniffling habitually, shaking miserably, his nose flaring angrily.

“You pay up front or forget it.”

“Fine” I reply, “You got some food?” He lifts himself up and gives me a dirty look that would have killed me on the spot had it been a weapon, but he moves to the kitchen anyway.

“What do you want?” he asks opening the fridge but I shove him out of the way, picking out a few things from within, though there isn’t much to choose from and most of the shelves are holding frozen bags of powder. I ignore them completely and put the food on the table,

“We need a favour from you …”

“As usual…” he cuts in, leaning against the fridge door protectively with his arms crossed.

“yea…as usual…but this isn’t like last time.” I butter the bread. “…yeah this is a bit riskier…” I put cold meat and cheese on the bread “…yeah we need you to be a decoy…”

“…for whatever trouble you were in?” He asks fearfully, “No ways. That thing I pulled off your leg was dripping some crazy toxic substance I’ve never seen before. Don’t want that running through my blood stream.”

“Yeah there’s better things running through it yeah?” I replied immediately without thought and after a while without remorse –  I saw him cringe.

“It’s a somewhat simple plan” the security guard chipped in, producing the ankle bracket that was once clipped to his ankle. “You will use this…”

“No freaken way is that thing touching my body! Didn’t you hear what I said about the poiso…” my friends interrupts, breaking away from the fridge to animatedly show his refusal.

“Would you shut up and listen!” I muffled out from between bites – his mouth remained open for a while as though he was going to say more but he shut it, his arms folding back against his chest defensively. The guard continued,

“You will use this as a sample to attract the attention of our guy, explaining to him that you found some guy in a hoodie delirious and clutching the laptop bag while his thickened veins pulsated, close to bursting. The evidence on the laptop, coupled by the amazing handy work of this toxin was enough to convince you – as a doctor – to seek him out as a potential business partner or something of that sort – you should be able to be convincing enough given your knowledge of the medical field.” The guard looks at me as though to corroborate the plan; I nod with a mouthful of what was left of my sandwich. The guard continues. “The idea is that you look to meet him face to face, discuss details…and that’s when we jump him. Simple enough yes?” My friend looks at each of us as though we are crazy but our determined faces must have convinced him – well either that or the wad of cash the security guard pulls from inside his shirt. With glazed eyes, staring at the bank notes, my friend nods in agreement. The guard sighs as his money lines the kitchen counter. I chew on.


Of course when one has a plan in his head, the plan never fails. Everything is counted for, probable situations countered and overcome with a simple conversation here or a baton to the back of the head here or a good beating there. The plans always come out positive for whomever is doing the planning, but reality tends to throw in unassailable curve balls that don’t merely tip the scale but crush it into a twisted ball of metal; and the first curve ball appeared the moment we stepped off the train.


My friend steps off the train first, the dark suit that drapes over his skinny shoulders glimmers somewhat – his graduation suit. He looks the part too, young entreprenuer seeking to make it to the big times by any means necessary – including a history of drug trafficking which is what we hope sets him up as a suitable candidate. Does it concern me that a childhood friend has become what he is today? A little bit, but the purple tinge that lines the veins on both my arms and on legs, pushes away any sort of sentimentality that would cloud my desire for revenge. He walks amiably through the crowds and I step into the crowds with my hoodie up, following far behind, so as to not attract any attention to myself as we head to a local Plaza that the guard says is one of Mr S’s hang out spots. My nerves are already strung out, I’m sick with worry as I realize the flaw in our plan and my stomach tumbles in my gut insistently – I’m hoping its not the sandwich. My gut makes another lurch once we approach the plaza, my hand is sweaty and slips around the handle of the baton which I am clutching tightly in my pocket; everywhere I look, men wearing chino pants and carrying briefcases make their way up and down the cobblestone pathway, laughing benevolently or talking animatedly into the devices against their ears. Anyone one of them could be Mr S. I scan the area and a groan escapes my lips as I realize even the guard looks lost and confused amongst the group. I turn around only to find my friend walking up the small set of stairs with a man holding a briefcase – they enter a side door and disappear behind its glass facade. With a wave, I alert the guard and we rush towards the entrance, past the irritated faces and into the cool dark interior.

“Damn!” I shout; my voice echoes down the passageway; the laptop bag lies empty on the floor. The guard and I run in. I am unaware of where we are but the guard takes lead, twisting and turning and leading us deeper into the building; I assume its because of his knowledge of the the place. A scream breaks the sound of our footfalls against the tiled floor. Rushing through we turn a corner and find not my friend or Mr S but a speaker against the wall, next to it a camera. A voice booms from the speaker, its Mr S

“Well well well, look what we have here, an unlikely alliance. I must say that this has been quite an excursion hey? How did you enjoy my 5 star hotel? Nice ey? With people who oh so generously leave their clothes out for you to change into. How nice.” The condescending voice breaks the paralyzing fear that had glued my feet to the floor. With a shout I pull the baton from my pocket, ready to bash the camera and speaker only to have it pulled away from me.

“Hey now, that would be rude of you to break my stuff. Gosh, it must be that hoodie. Hmm so yes, unfortunately there is no alliance here, you are alone surrounded mb people who have betrayed you, isn’t that right partner?” The speaker fizzles with static and I hear my friend over the intercom.

“Hey bud, listen, I’m not sorry about this. You freaken broke my nose and you just carry on, on your stupid high horse, rocking up at your leisure, drag me into this hell and I’m supposed to just jolly-well play along? Ha! End of the road for you buddy, I got quadruple what you were going to pay me and I get to see your fall!” The shock that fills my chest is unbearable and with no fight left in me, I watch the guard swing the baton towards my face.



The Alternative Universe (Unhinging Light), can be found here.  Enjoy and please let us know what you think.

All the previous posts of this story can be found on on my blog if you click here and you can find all of my fellow writer, Tyron’s, posts for this story here.

Auburn Part 5 – Unhinging Light

You can find the first 4 parts of Auburn in the links below including the Alternate Universe versions. I would recommend you read those first if you haven’t, to catch up on the events leading up to Part 5.
I stared at the computer screen for a while longer, wondering what the password could be. Frustration poked at my chest in random emotive stabs that ranged from anger and bewilderment to relief and joy. However, the severity of the situation and all the events that had transpired since the auburn haired lady handed me this dreaded laptop, had frustration boiling to the surface. The urge to throw the glass of water on my desk against the far end of the room, bubbled up to the surface and only the sudden itch in my leg diverted my attention away from the glass. As I reached down to scratch the now swelling ankle, my eyes fell upon the laptop bag by my feet and immediately hope surged through me. I delved into the bag, my hands rummaging through the compartments in search of something, anything that could elude to a password but my hands found nothing. Despondent, I dropped the bag back on to the floor with a frustrated sigh. I turned back to the laptop and stared at the screen. Password. What could it be? I sighed, reached for the glass and took another sip of the cold liquid within, my mind already sifting through possible password combinations but I knew that the chances of getting it right were low if not improbable. I placed the glass back on the table, somewhat precariously which caused the glass to tip off the table. I instinctively caught the glass before it could topple over, though droplets of liquid splashed onto my pants and floor. I sighed out loud again, standing up to go find a cloth, only to notice a torn off piece of paper peeking from within the laptop bag. Hope once again thrummed through me and as I picked the piece of paper up, the writing on it confirmed my elated disposition.
red fox final
I typed the password in and was greeted by the remarkably contrasting image of an individual looking up a beautiful green hill however, behind the picturesque hill, a dark grungy wasteland stretched off into the distance; the words “nothing is ever as it seems” emblazoned against the image. How true that was…on the surface I probably looked like any other person on this broken world we live in but below the facade, a desolate wasteland spoke of my approaching death. Death. To get my mind off the thoughts about death, I scanned the laptop desktop for anything that would pertain to the ankle bracket, the auburn haired lady, the poison in my system and the sinister individual that put me in this situation in the first place. A series of folders lined the one side of her desktop: Referral articles, Sources, Newstories etc. I began to wonder if she was a journalist of some sort…could this have been a lead she was following; suddenly things were starting to make sense. She probably gave me the laptop hoping I’d expose the secret to the world before she died and I was probably chosen randomly because I wouldn’t be associated to her and I could expose whoever it was she was trying to expose. Whoever this guy is…he means business. But why the whole “choice” thing, why the ultimatum – live the miserable life I’ve been living or be a good person for God. Why go through all that trouble when he could have simply killed me and moved on. With these thoughts reeling through my mind, I noticed that on the other side of the screen, well “hidden” in the background were two more folders: Feature-Sinister Suitcase and Journal Entry. I hovered over the folder that referred to her journal but my conscience wouldn’t allow me to pry into someone’s personal life like that – especially when she was dead. There could have been clues in there but I suspected that I’d get far more info from the “Feature” folder rather than a diary entry. True enough when I’d opened the folder, a series of files and large picture thumbnails began to populate the screen, one in particular catching my attention. It was simply a picture of a hand holding a black briefcase against grey chino-pants. From what I could see in the other thumbnails, this was as good a picture of the individual I would get. The others seemed blurry, out of focus and some too far away to make out the person’s features but it was clearly a man – “Mr Sinister” she had chosen to call him. I chuckled at the idea, though my smile faded as I nonchalantly clicked on a document that revealed more about Mr Sinister…and his ankle bracket of death. The first thing that I read, written in bold red font at the top of the document were the words “There is no cure”. The words hit like a sledgehammer. My stomach clenched, my chest seemed to hollow out into a deep black hole that shook the very core of my being. There is no cure. No hope. Nothing – but death. The anguish and despair I felt at that moment…it was indescribable. I read on nonetheless, my vision blurred but my hands wiped away the formed liquid. The words “fiend” and “monster” appeared quite a few times in the document as well as information pertaining to “Mr Sinster’s” apparent plot to sell devices similar to the ankle-bracket that would hold people hostage – and he could, from anywhere, get them to do what he wanted…or face a slow painful death.  Anger and despair fought for precedence as I read through the article a second time – this man, whoever he was, had to be stopped. How many lives could be ruined by his selfishness!? How many lives had been ruined and for what? Financial gain? Power!? What!? But wait…I had sufficient evidence right here to at least get him incarcerated and maybe the suitcase would reveal the plan to be true and he would be held accountable for the auburn lady’s death. Surely that would be something!? And if I died? Another sentence for murder, surely! A sense of justice permeated my thoughts, fueled by my desire to exact some kind of revenge for what Mr Sinister had done to me…to us…and who knows how many others. I rose to my feet, thinking that a shower would help clear my thoughts.
I returned to the room feeling fresh but nauseous – I hoped it wasn’t the poison in my system. I dressed in the clothes I’d taken with me from home, the reality of that situation reminding me of the depth of my predicament. I quickly rummaged through the pants I’d been wearing before, my fingers feeling a thin smooth object within the pocket of the pants. I pulled the object out and almost cried out in a victorious exclamation of joy – it was the auburn lady’s sim card. Now I could get all her contacts, including someone who could use the information she’d compiled to expose Mr Sinister. Yes, things were finally taking a turn for the better – one heroic act of vengeance before I died, then I would escape into a heavenly domain while he rotted in jail before eventually rotting away in hell. Ha! Justice. I quickly shoved the sim card into my pocket, shutting the Laptop down while I thought about where I could get a cheap cellphone to put the sim card in. The shops were my best bet and so with a slight skip in my step, check to see that everything was fine, grabbed the keycard and headed out the room.
I arrived at the lobby somewhat apprehensively, wondering if someone would recognize me if I appeared. Thankfully no-one even took notice of me as I headed out the revolving doors and out into the warm day. I tried to think of where I could find a cellphone shop as I descended the stairs, walking to stand below the giant Y to gather my thoughts. I looked down the street, remembering that I’d come from that direction previously and I did not remember seeing any shops that sold cellphones, so I walked the other way, already plotting in my mind the conversation I would have with whoever it was that I would give the information too – she probably had her editor as a contact, that would be fantastic! I wondered if people on the street were wondering why I was smiling to so much, that was why they were eyeing me so curiously. It was only when a lady screamed “look out!” that I found out why. I was knocked forward from the back, sending me sprawling onto the concrete floor scraping my arms and knee. A heavy weight rested on my back and a familiar voice spat into my ear,
“Yaaaa its you, filthy creep! Yeah, now that I have you, its over! If it wasn’t for you, I’d be living it up elsewhere! Oh but now, I’m going to take it out on you!” Although the voice was familiar, I couldn’t put a face to it, until the man rose up and allowed me to turn around. The grey hair and bushy eyebrows were tinged with red, his left cheek and the left side of his lip was swollen while a red line ran around his neck. I’d barely taken in all these features before I cried out loud from a boot to my side. I tried to roll away from his second attack only to roll against a wall. I managed to block his next kick, my hand gripping his foot and pulling on his swinging foot. The action caused him to flail backwards before toppling back onto the floor. More screams arose from the surrounding people who were shying away from us, but my attention was not on them, or on the security guard – my attention was focused on the black plastic bracket that had been attached to his ankle. He was sobbing too, lying sprawled out on the floor on his back, mumbling something about money and family and work. I rose to my feet, moved towards him and offered him my hand. He looked up at me from the floor, eyed my hand but didn’t take it.
“Look” I said to him, “We are in the same boat now…and I am fighting every urge I have right now to fight you – but I know what you are going through. Instead of fighting one another…why don’t we join forces.” he squinted at me through his one decent eye, rolling onto his knees to pick himself up,
“No. We are as good as dead.

“But if we can work together top stop him we can…”

“There’s no way we can beat that guy, let alone find him.” he moaned. He rose to his feet, arching his back with a painful sigh and a sniffle, “That toxin is in us…there is no cure, sonny-boy, no cure.”
“Yeah I know…but I have information that could help catch that guy, enough to get him into jail at least. He’s got one person dead, that’s murder. With the two of us, that’s another strike against him if…”
“That man is well connected and he knows what he is doing. That’s why he moves around so much and all he needs is that briefcase of his…no. We can’t.”
“Are you not listening! I have evidence! We are evidence!”
“No you are not listening! That man is a ghost! I don’t even know how he found me after…” he looked me straight in the eye, the disgust and loathing visible in how he looked at me, “…after I lost the laptop to you.”
“Exactly! That laptop has the evidence we need, that’s why he wanted it back so badly! We can use it to our advantage! Come on! How many people will die because of him, and yet here we are with enough evidence to stop him!” I knew he was thinking about it, something I said must have changed his mind, given him some hope.
“Uhhh I don’t know…”
“Come on man…one heroic act before we fall.” The older man gave me an unsure look. I wondered if he would  join me. Its was either this or a meaningless, painful death and I was choosing to make use of what little time I had in my life to do something meaningful, even if it meant bringing justice to a murderer through my death.
“I know some of his hang out spots…maybe we can pass that on with your info…and maybe…just maybe we could get this guy.”
“Yeah!” I exclaimed with more vigor than I’d anticipated. He suddenly shoved me against the wall hard, enough to knock air our of my lungs for a few seconds,
“But that doesn’t make us partners, ya hear!?”
“Yes sir” I managed to breathe out, but the smile on my face didn’t fade and after a while, a grin broke out on his face.


Links to previous parts.
Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Part 3 –
Part 4 –

Auburn Part 4 – The Dark Universe


It was only when I stepped out into the cool air that I felt the fatigue that was pulling my shoulders down into a slouch and making my feet drag across the concrete paving. I wondered what time it was, assuming it was early morning. Sleep. That was what my body kept screaming at me as I trudged through the streets, going back around the  building hoping I’d circle back to where I was in the direction of the hotel. My walk proved fruitful as the large illuminated Y appeared as I turned the corner. I knew that eventually I would have to go back there, something about how the Auburn haired lady had run there got me thinking about the place; why was she running there? And what happened at the hotel that I was dragged away along with the lady to be stashed away where we were. I couldn’t piece it all together, I couldn’t understand why the man was after me, why he’d injected me with this venom and why was she dead! It was then that I noticed how tightly I was clutching the laptop bag across my chest. What did it hold? Maybe a cure! I stopped, pulling the hoodie off my head to feel a breeze brush against my heated cheeks. >Maybe if I opened it now…< I looked around. This was not the best place to open a laptop bag – my only option, was home. A sense of deja vu struck me as I continued down the road. A car stood in front of me and to confirm my thoughts, I saw a cordoned off entrance into a building…the very same one I’d run into earlier. I hurried on towards the car, peeking in curiously to see what was inside. A glint caught my eye and my heart rate suddenly kicked up – keys? I peered through the window to see a set of keys hanging precariously on the edge of the driver’s seat. A thought crossed my mind and I quickly brushed it off, but it came back stronger. I reached into the back pocket of my jeans, pulling out the now frayed piece of paper; my train ticket – expired. I looked around the area seeing no one. My throat was suddenly dry and I felt my hands shake in anxiety, fear and…yes excitement. I pulled my hoodie up and tried the door. The satisfactory *click* of the door opening sent a pulse of excitement. I took the keys off the seat and stuck them into the ignition, turning it to hear the engine roar to life. I didn’t even notice that I was smiling until I looked into the rear-view mirror. The bloodshot eyes staring back at me startled me. >Its just fatigue< I thought, not wiling to accept the look of the man staring back at me. With that thought in mind, I drove away heading towards home.
I pulled up to the street and thought about where I’d park the car – it would be stupid to park it in my driveway..stupid to have taken it in the first place but it was too late for that. Suddenly the thought of finger prints and policemen raiding my house flashed through my mind and a stab of fear pierced through my heart. I carefully drove outside my neighbourhood, and parked the car in the parking lot of a local grocer. No one would think…>wait the window is broken< Damn. I sat in the car a while. >what now…ah!< An idea came to mind, a friend actually…one who wouldn’t ask any questions; he was shifty like that. But first I needed sleep. I drove back into my neighbourhood, thankful that at this late hour no one would be picking up on this suspicious movement. I pulled into my driveway, searching my pockets to realize that I did not have my keys – or my wallet. It seemed like everything was just not going right for me tonight. Luckily, I kept a spare key in an inconspicuous place close to the door for emergency situations like these but before I’d even taken the key from where I’d hidden it, I noticed that my door was partially open – spare key still in the lock. >Aw no I’ve been burgled too!? Can’t I just get a break!< I opened the door, seeing the room in a mess in what little moonlight shone through my opened curtains – but then again my room was already a mess and everything seemed to be where it was supposed to be…or was it rearranged? I cautiously walked in, treading lightly in case the intruder was still in the house. I made my way through each room to find nothing. I hurried back to close the door, flicking the switch up to see the room better. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that nothing had been stolen or broken, however there was a note on the table. I apprehensively moved towards it, leaning over it to read it without touching it
“Welcome home”
Panic. This note could only be from one person. I couldn’t stay here, it wasn’t safe – who knows what he may have found out about me or left behind for me here. Maybe he’d released gas and the house would…no that was stupid, this wasn’t some B-rate movie where bad guys blew up peoples houses. No. This was reality and I had toxins streaming through my body and maybe a cure in the laptop bag clutched in my hand and now even my home was unsafe. The panic I felt became paranoia; suddenly my light bulb and lamp and TV were eyes, watching me, waiting for me – I bolted out the house and back into the car. I sped out and away, tearing through the roads, heading in the direction of my friend, the shifty one who wouldn’t ask any questions – and wasn’t he a doctor too; maybe he could help me get this bracelet off my ankle and quite possibly know a way to get the toxins out of my blood stream. Feeling somewhat reinvigorated by the positive prospect ahead, I draped the hoodie over my head and gunned down the accelerator.
I pulled up to his house, banging the car door as I jumped out, laptop in hand; there was no way I’d leave it in the car. I rushed to his front door, pounding on it as soon as I could. When he didn’t answer after a while I ran around to where I knew his bedroom window was and knocked on the glass heavily.
“What the…who the heck is that!” I heard him call from inside. Instead of answering, I went back to the front door and knocked hard on it with the side of my fist. I heard the sound of bare feet slapping against hard floor from behind the door, the rattling of the door chain and a click before the door swung open and a baseball bat half swung at my face,
“What the heck do you want” his bloodshot eyes were wide and afraid, his dark brown hair a tangled mess and his nose wide, flaring. Recognition lit his eyes up and he breathed a sigh of relief, sniffing as he did
“Dude! Do you know what time it is! You can’t be pounding on people’s doors this late at night…I thought…” I pushed past him, maneuvering around the somewhat familiar setting of his place, turning on the light in the lounge and moving towards his couch where I sat down.
“I need you to do something for me” I said to him as he appeared; he squinted apprehensively at me – he always looked weird without his glasses. I placed my foot on the table, rolling my jeans up to show him the dark plastic that was the ankle bracelet
“House arrest?” He asked, coming closer to stand over me.
“No…and you won’t believe me when I tell you” he gave a look that said ‘try me’ “Its a long story. Just – just see if you can get it off. Also…something else I’d like you to do for me…”
“Wow aren’t we demanding today” he said, sarcasm and a hint of anger escaping his now pursed lips,
“This thing…” I said, pointing at the bracelet, “…its injected some sort of…poison I guess…yeah some sort of poison into me and I need to get it out or get an antidote or something for it. I don’t know how long I’ll live for if…if it stays in me. I know you’re a doctor or something. Will you check it out?” he looked at me curiously, his dark green eyes serious
“What have you gotten yourself into – this sounds…serious” he sniffed and I noticed his arm shake slightly
“Don’t ask questions man, just…just help me here.”
“And why should I help you…and don’t play the friendship card on me.” I thought about what I could offer; I remembered his addiction.
“Money…” When his eyes lit up, I knew I had him “I’ll give you money if you do this for me”
“How much are we talking”
“Who cares!” my patience was running thin and fatigue was settling in hard. I could barely keep my eyes open. “We’ll talk details later okay!?” his arm twitched and his lips pursed until all I could see was a line “Fine. A thousand.”
“Deal. Let me get my tools.” I watched him take off and I leaned back into the couch. One moment I was looking up at his ceiling fan, the next I was out.
I woke up with a start, jumping to my feet with my heart thudding in my chest – where was I? The room was brighter and sunlight filtered in through the open curtains. The room was somewhat neat, furnished at least and everything came crashing back to memory. I fell back onto the chair, as the memory of the past events played through my thoughts. I realized that my foot was feeling…better? I looked down at my ankle, fighting the bubbling excitement when I noticed that the bracelet was off and in fact lying on the table, open. I picked up the bracelet, seeing the tiny pins that lined the entire bracelet – the end of the pins seemed to be dulled as though coated in blood. Some sort of LED lights lined the bottom of it, though only a single red light was on with the others dark – below them was a number. Fear and hope surged simultaneously at the sight of it. I looked around for a phone, seeing my friends phone near a desk against the wall. I rushed to it, hurriedly dialing the number. With the receiver in my ear I waited, wondering if I’d hear his voice – shocked, surprised maybe? Yes catch him off guard, he wont be expecting… I pulled my ear away as the sound of static blasted into my ear –  at the same time, the bracelet suddenly clicked shut. I dropped the bracelet in shock. I watched it, wondering if it would open itself again…or maybe it was on a timer or the battery had run out but that single LED light was still on. >The number!?< I dialed the number again. The bracelet sprung open > was that how he got it out? < I dialed the number again, watching the bracelet click shut. Joy filled my chest, the bracelet was off! Now the laptop and maybe the toxins had also been extracted. I looked around the room for the laptop, hoping to finally figure out what exactly was on it or at least a clue to the guy who did all of this to me. I moved through the room, my eyes scanning every inch of it. The bag should be near the couch if not on it but it I couldn’t see it. A thought crossed my mind. Anger followed it. I headed through the house, straight to the back where I knew he had a den that he worked in. I barged through the door. He startled in his chair, the laptop out of its bag and a familiar screen asking for a password,
“Oh hey I was just…” I didn’t wait for him to finish as my fist connected with his nose. He fell backwards completely out of his chair with a thump.
“Hey man what the heck!” He bubbled through his hands; blood seeping through his fingers in rivulets.
“Don’t you dare touch my stuff!”
“I get that thing off your ankle and this is the thanks I get!”
“What the heck are you doing going through my stuff!?”
“Its just a laptop!”  I shut the laptop, noticing a card lying within the bag, the familiar pattern adorned on its laminated surface with a big Y on the front. I zipped the bag to close the laptop before taking it with me.
“Hey! Where’s my money for the bracelet.”
“I’ll get it to you.” I hissed. Without another word I exited the house, getting into the car and hiding the laptop bag underneath my seat. Now with the knowledge that I had a key card for a room at the Y hotel, I decided that that would be my next stop. Maybe in there I’d find a clue, something the auburn haired lady had left behind…anything.
I stopped a few blocks away from the Y hotel, aware that I was driving the vehicle of one of their security guards and driving in with it would be asking for trouble. I stepped out of the car, drawing my hoodie over my head and checking to see if the baton was still in my jacket pocket. Satisfied, I took the laptop bag with me and began walking up to the hotel, clutching it tightly in my hand. As I neared the entrance, I saw a group of what looked like tourists ascending the stairs heading up to the hotel. I quickly join the entourage, remaining at the back as they entered the building and slipping off past them towards the elevators once we were in. I stepped into the cool interior pulling the key card out from the laptop bag to see the number of my room. 42. I pressed the appropriate floor number, tapping the key card on my leg to the tune of the elevator music. Arriving at the floor, I began to move through the corridor looking for my room number, finding the door with the number 42 emblazoned on its front. I swiped the card and entered, immediately noticing the ever present smell of hotel rooms and the neatly arranged interior, just as elegant as the hotel itself. I placed the laptop bag on the desk, finally able to see what was on it – hopefully something. I flipped the lid of the laptop up, seeing that the screen hadn’t changed from when I’d taken it from my shifty little friend earlier. The screen still displaying the varying gradient of purple to peach and the bottom of the screen validating my thoughts “Ubuntu 13.04” > just like at work<. I saw the jug of water from my peripheral and to help me think, I poured myself a glass, sitting back at the desk and wondering what the password would be. The answer were so close and yet so far so I leaned back in my chair, staring at the screen – waiting for the answer.

Auburn Part 3 – Unhinging Light


Image courtesy of erez-nusem (

My chest continued to heave even though nothing was coming out, and the viscous splattering on the floor did not help in keeping my lungs in my chest.

I closed my eyes. > What now. <

Death had made himself visible to me, his grip tight around my neck.  My knees wobbled in fatigue and it took what little strength I had to remain standing, moving away from the dead girl and my liquid lunch at my feet. I moved towards the wall where I’d thrown the phone, looking to see where all the pieces had fallen. Despair escaped my lips in the form of a drawn out groan; there was no way that phone could be repaired. I finally let my weakened legs slump and I fell onto the floor, dejected – broken. “What in the world is going on!” I wanted to scream. This is one thing I could never have imagined to happen. The events just happened to so quickly, so suddenly so…coincidentally? Was this all out of coincidence? No it couldn’t be, surely there was a reason to all of this. Surely!

I felt my foot surge with pins and needles, drawing me back to the reality of the situation, to my impending doom, and the sudden sound of a car whooshing by followed by sirens filled my chest up with panic again. As quickly as I could I rose to my feet, ignoring the numbing sensation in my foot as I began to search for my clothes again. I moved back towards my chair, my eyes picking out the scattered items strewn all over the floor. Hurriedly I began to dress, my socks and jeans covering the dark plastic of my “present”. Picking up my hoodie, I saw the phrase written at the back “There is no place like, wondering if maybe the auburn haired lady had thought…but neh it couldn’t be because of that surely. Though the notion didn’t leave my thoughts, I drape the hoodie on and began to look around the room for clues. Something caught my eye under the chair where the auburn lady was still tied , something dark. I hurriedly reached out to take it, cringing away and holding back a scream as her chair creaked but the action changed my perspective and I see something smaller, flat… plastic at the foot of the chair. I tentatively reached out to take it, finding the urge to heave rising up again at the sight of those thickened veins. I took the object and immediately hope began to rise in my chest; its a SIM card. Maybe the man’s phone number was stored on it! Yes! I rose to my feet quickly, stashing the card in my jeans pocket and with one last sweep of the place, rushed out.

I ran through the corridor with its dirty peeling paint, down the stairs and towards the EXIT door. Two things struck me as I pulled the door open and stepped outside: the night was cold and this was not anywhere near the Y Hotel. I knew vaguely where I was but I was not deterred. Sure it was a bad part of town, especially at night, but I felt invigorated by the card in my pocket and the sense that despite the toxins in my blood stream, I could get this fixed. My eyes fell upon the various signs that light up the street, on of them for the Subway but I instead continued to walk down the streets glowing in bright neon signs. I shoved my hands into my jacket pocket, walking towards what I hoped to be the direction of the hotel; that way I could get back to my way home. I began to think about the events that had occurred, the dull throb in my ankle a constant reminder that all this was real…but now what? The man’s words replayed over in my mind “…go back and live the miserable life that you’ve been living…” – was my life really miserable? Quiet maybe but miserable? “…So what will you do with the remainder of your time…” – how much time was there really before the toxin left me cold and dead. I didn’t know the answers to these questions nor did I want to. Who cares how I’d lived my life up till now and why would God care…if there was a God and if there was, why would he let some crazy maniac do this to me! “…you never know if this is all part of God’s redemptive plan…” Redemptive plan? Please.

I was brought out of my thoughts by a group of loud individuals walking down the street towards me, their demeanor playful and somewhat…drunk? I walked further away from them, keeping my head down and avoiding even eye contact with them.

“…and then he said ‘duh its because I’m drunk!’ ” the crowd broke into loud laughter, obviously finding the statement extremely funny. I walked on, aware of how quickly they quietened down as we passed one another. The words “…play with him…” drifted over their hushed tones and without a second thought, I took off running.

“Hey! Come on buddy! Don’t run” They shouted, their footfalls thudding after me, catching up; there was no way I would outrun them with this numb leg. >This is the last thing I need!< I cut through a side alley, bashing into a door that spilled me into the building on my side. I scrambled up to my feet, taking off down what looked like a lobby and towards the back – the place was dim and dilapidated, the tiles gone, rubble and dirt all over the place. I jumped over what remained of the receptionist’s desk at the same time hearing the wails and whistles of my pursuers, bashing into the door like I had.

“Don’t worry, we won’t hurt you duuuuude! Quit running!” Their laughter followed me into the narrow corridor. I rushed on past closed doors, not knowing where in the world I was going but running nonetheless. I did not want to find out what those guys would do if they got to me. I reached the end of the corridor, which turned out to be a dead end and at the same time, the group appeared at the far end. I turned to face them at the same time they all turned to face me. Even from this distance I could sense their demeanor changing from one of mere playfulness to something more…sinister.

“Nowhere to go! Punk” the one in the front shouted. Simultaneously we took off towards each other but I was heading towards the various doors on either side of the corridor trying each one with a turn of the handle and a hard shoulder budge. The first didn’t move. I rushed over the door opposite, shoved. Nothing. Panic began to seep in, slowly, gripping my chest, tightening my lungs. I rushed to the next set of doors. Nothing. The group was closing in faster and I saw a glint of metal that sent me into frenzy. I rushed at the next door, bashing into it with all my might. The door squeaked and yeilded, throwing me into the room. I looked around, saw a window, ran towards it and as the group barged into the door, I flung myself out of the window. If the window wasn’t already cracked, I think I would have hurt myself more than I had as I landed on the pavement with a thud and the sound of glass hitting pavement echoing into the dark street. Screaming suddenly filled my ears but I was already up and moving, only to see bright lights appear, the sound of screeching tires and a familiar face gripping a steering wheel, looking at me with both fear and anger as the car stopped inches away from my shaking knees.

“Hey! You! From the hotel!” >Ah no! Not more trouble!< The older man in the car sure enough was the security guard from before. Not waiting to see what he wanted, I dashed off across the road into the other building, its front doors cordoned off. I heard the raucous laughter of the gang that was following me, followed by the loud yell of the security guard, but I continued on, stopping only when the yell of the security guard became a cry of pain. I stopped dead in my tracks.

“…gaaah…no! That’s…”

“…too late now old man…pay for what that punk….”

“…wait you don’t understa…” My conscience told me to go help, everything else told me to run. I turned back, heading towards the voices and the sudden rush of footfalls heading towards me. I turned a corner and at the same time watched the security guard look up at me and suddenly he was gone. The leader of the gang came to a skidding stop, holding his friends back as they looked down at the floor; a hole stood gaping in front of them. I looked up at them as they looked up at me

“Yo man, I’m getting outta here!” One of the group said, taking off alone. The rest of the members looked at their leader, uncertain, before each one took off leaving the leader standing alone at the edge of the hole. I saw him look down at his feet, a canvas bag of some sort lay there but instead of taking it, the man ran off too.

“Help me! Please!” I heard from within the hole. I ran to it, looking down into the darkness and could barely make out the man. I also noticed that the canvas bag was in fact a laptop bag – the same one that was in my hands not so long ago. Fear, anger and hope surged through me at the same time,

“Hey! I can see you up there! Please help me!”  I looked back down at the man

“This bag! Who?…where…?…How…” I tried to form the question in my mind but couldn’t. Was this man related to the incident with the auburn lady and my condition now?

“Listen, I…I can’t help you but I’m hurt here. Please! Help me!”

“Wait…why do you have this bag!?”

“I…It’s complicated…” I bent down and picked up the bag slinging it around my shoulder, unsure what to do. I scanned the area, looking to see if there was rope or something to help get the man out of the hole. A piece of rope, frayed but steady, hung off to the side so I ran to it picking it up and moving back towards the man,

“Tell me more…who was that lady, why do you have this bag! What’s this all about!”

“Throw down thee rope and I’ll tell you…”

“No!” Anger began to boil as I found someone to point a finger at for this mess I was in “No! No! No! Tell me what this is about!”

“I can’t…he’ll tell you himself…”

“Pass me the rope and I’ll tell you!” I was torn…I wanted to find out who the man was but I was unsure if the security guard would tell me if I got him up here. Finally, with a sigh I dangled the rope over the edge


I threw half of the rope down but as I was, I heard the sound of gunfire. In my shock I let go of the rope completely, looking down into the dim hole to see that the man was holding a gun pointing up towards me. I dodged back at the last second, the moment he let off another shot, a piece of the ceiling above me fell to the floor at my feet. With my rapidly beating heart thumping against my chest I turned away from the hole and ran out the building, wondering who the security guard was and why he was trying to kill me now all of a sudden. With a loud huff I left the building, hearing the man shouting at me from behind and hoping that I’d experienced the last of the drama.

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