—BEEP BEEP – BEEP — BEEP BEEP – BEEP—
“Shut the hell up already. I'm up, I'm up.” Stretching his languid arm toward the alarm, he tucked his phone beneath his pillow, attempting to muffle as much of the searing noise that had jolted him awake. Time passed and he sounded asleep once again. That's when his phone's alarm went off, this time near his ear.
He hoisted himself up and placed his phone near a vanity. He eases himself into his old headboard. He drew his relatively thick, plain bedsheets closer to his waist, making as little noise as possible. Fixated on the dust particles that danced around his bedroom, courtesy of a ray of sunshine that crept in through the window curtains. He was eventually able to get out of bed after groaning about getting dressed.
He takes a long, deep breath while raising his arms to the ceiling. He reached back as far as He could. Taking pleasure in the sound his joints and bones produce with each morning stretch. As he approached his window, he was met by the gaze of a familiar red rescued bird resting his wings on the window exterior.
He'd been treating the bird for quite some time and had food for the little guy, but the bird flew away from the instant he opened the window just a slight bit. His sister was rushing up the stairs to her bedroom when he heard a brutal sheer squall from across the corridor. “There was a lot of commotion so early in the morning. “As usual.” He stretched a little more before snatching his bag and flinging it to his desk.
—BEEP BEEP – BEEP — BEEP BEEP – BEEP—
“Yet another video. “What do they have in store for us this time?” Retrieving my water bottle and laptop from my desk. I immediately paired my phone with the smart TV. Logging into the college news page, and seeing live footage countdown. “No matter what time of day it is, the city always has news for us.”
I sank back on the edge of my bed, swaddling myself with the blanket. Waiting for the countdown to begin.
—3 – 2 – 1—
On the screen, a familiar face emerged. Wendy Topper was her name. The show's initial host. She was standing alone outside a fancy-looking fence from a wealthy neighborhood. “Exactly like the previous video.” She appeared troubled as she pre-read the sloppy script that the staff had prepared for her on short notice. Wendy's attention turned to one of the cameramen, who informed her that they had just gone live.
She rolled the script up and stashed it beneath her denim pocket. Her demeanor shifted to a more severe, timid gaze.
“Apologizes. Again, tragic news in the Ellie neighborhood. Just a few minutes before, several homeowners contacted law enforcement in the same neighborhood, as they had done in the previous three incidents. Around 8:27 a.m., a local homeschooler was found stabbed to death right outside her family's home.” Wendy diverted her gaze away from the camera, noting that the paramedics had just arrived. “We have yet to get authorization to release any information about an individual or her family members.” In previous incidents, investigators have concluded that this is just a random homicide. You, the viewers, have a different perspective. This is the sixth victim discovered on their doorstep, this month alone, I've been dead.”
Wendy continued to ramble for a few minutes before an officer approached and asked Wendy and her colleagues to leave the premises. Being escorted by another officer, she stood up for what is right for a full minute. The crew began fleeing towards their vehicle while the cameraman aimed the lens of the camera onto the sidewalk's pavement. Wendy, who was not visible on the screen yet was still talking, was still talking.
“If you're interested in previous cases, check the link in the descriptions.” There's a link provided in the paragraph below if you wish to read or share your theory about why the killer is exclusively targeting a specific gender of all ages.” Wendy began to catch her breath since it sounded as if she was already in the van. “More information concerning tonight's femicide case will be provided on the website.” Of course, with permission. “This is Wendy Topper, signing off.”
Following a few seconds of quiet and puffing. Wendy expressed her gratitude for being on the track team before the live feed finished.
The TV went dark on its own as he processed what was happening. He groped about in his covers for a remote. Believing he may have switched it off by accident.
The hair on the back of his neck rose as he continued to thrash about. Someone was trying to approach him from behind. Getting ready to launch an attack. As a diversion, he hurled his blanket, only to be welcomed by Loki. His sister's friend, whom she rescued, deserted in the wooded area. Loki was swaying his control sideways in his fingers, he realized.
Loki proceeded in closer, flinging the controller on the bed. His limbs and face were saturated with blood. “If cops find you like this, we're fucked.” I stared at the controller and asked Loki if he was the one who killed all those individuals. His steady demeanor transformed as he averted his sight from mine, as his grin deepened. As he grabbed both hands to his rib cage, an object emerged. It was difficult to tell what this was.
Why has this stench of blood in the air alerted me just now? That's the only odor I can detect right now. Was he out in public like this? My lungs felt clogged with such odor. It was like it was engulfing me. I grabbed my hoodie and gripped it across my face. He recalled the object he had neared his rib cage. When Loki stepped more toward me, I felt a nasty shockwave run through my body.
Should I try to run? Or should I attack my sister's one and only friend?
Loki moved his hand onto my neck. An arm's width away from me now, he locked his gaze with mine. I'm at a loss on what to do. I held my ground. I'm attempting my best to control my airflow constantly. As I watched carefully to see what he'll do or say next. His grip was forceful. It's as though I was locked into a trance. I couldn't look away, his ocean blue gaze couldn't be avoided.
This brief stillness was agonizing. My gaze wandered left to right, unsure of where to stare. The room appeared to be moving. This sensation. I never felt like this before. If he were a stranger, I would've been willing to flee. Of all people, why Loki? Why am I feeling this way? I'm not sure what's wrong with me.
His look shifted dramatically to a warm, lovely… crooked smile. He hummed an old playground rhyme into my ear, leaning forward. This tone sounded so mellow and rich, like something someone could pay any attention to for hours, yet the tremors that ran down my spine hadn't died down…
Loki drew slightly closer, taking shallow sniffs at Winston's oblivion. He began imploring him to contribute his blood to satisfy his need. Winston's delirious trance was broken by having heard this. He shifted his gaze to Loki's irises. His once-ocean blue eyes have become blazing blood-red.