The gunshot rang like a missile inside my head, practically shattering my eardrums. I watched, horrified, as my sister's body slumped lifelessly onto the ground.
Dozens of tall men, dressed in black from head to toe, stood silently on the side, their faces hidden behind daunting masks.
Before I even had the time to react, one of them strode forward. Cold hands clamped around my throat. The man effortlessly lifted me up, pressing my back against the concrete wall. My feet dangled frantically underneath me.
“S-stop!” I couldn't even recognize my own voice. Was that really me, terror submerging my form in a way I had never felt before?
My shaking fingers tried to pry his hands off, but to no avail. I cast a glance at Daphne, lying not too far away from me. Blood was seeping out of the wound she had in her head.
Daphne. Daphne. Daphne! Oh, my god. My sister was dead.
A scream started to build up at the back of my throat, yet I could utter no sound.
The man lifted his gun and aimed it towards me.
This is it, I thought. I'm really going to die.
I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable, praying it would not be as painful as to what I was accustomed to.
Another sound blasted through the silence of the night. Even with my eyes closed, I could feel the power ranging from far away, the unmistakable sound of thunderous lightning.
I waited. And waited. Then slowly, the man crumbled beneath me. I collapsed on top of him, astonished. Where his head stood only a while ago, it was gone, from the nape upwards. Blood was gouging out of the blow. He was burnt to a crisp, steam rising lazily from the decapitated body. The rest of the men had met the same fate. Clean and quick shots.
There was only one person I knew who was capable of doing that.
Bile formed at the pit of my stomach and I found myself vomiting my lunch's content onto the ground. Oh, no. No. No. No. NO!!!!!!
Now, I have gone through many ordeals throughout my fifteen years of life. Daphne and I had not always gotten along, but if there was one way for us to unite, it always related to our parents. Screaming matches all over the house, day and night, was what probably caused Mom to turn her anger on us.
One day, Dad left and things only spiraled out of control. I'd always been proud of myself for being big and strong, always on the lookout for Daphne, always protecting her from our Mom. I was the brave one. I was the big brother. Yet...
Never had I thought that a simple “hello” could cause my heart to skip a beat, could send me into such a turmoil. Could a simple word really cause hell to freeze over?
My sister was gone and I did not know what to do. I wanted to cry and scream and run away for help, but it seemed as if that person, the one whose hand was still raised, electricity crackling around their arm, was keeping me in place.
“Sorry. I arrived a tad too late. Missed my bus. Haha.”
The voice was so cold, so detached from any actual human emotion, that I wondered for a second if it was one of those supernatural things that simply contained no explanation.
“Damian?” he said.
I looked up at him. His white hair blew softly in the wind. His skin was so pale, I thought I was seeing a ghost of some sort. The electricity surrounding him started to fade away, while his steps, light and steady, brought him closer to me.
Tap. Tap. Tap...
He bent down in front of my paralyzed form and ran his thin fingers through my hair. I remained completely still. He then proceeded by slowly sliding his hand down my cheek.
“I missed you, Damian.”
I said nothing.
“Return home with me. From now on, I'll take good care of you.”
The boy leaned forward.
His lips were coming closer and closer towards mine, his breathing becoming more irregular by the second. I felt his knee pressing against my crotch. As my heart continued to beat furiously against my ribcage, I finally snapped out of the trance.
“NO!!!” I screamed, shoving him backward. Clearly, he wasn't expecting it as his calm features suddenly rivaled that of a sociopath.
“Damian!” he shouted, “Don't leave me again!” He rose his hand. I knew what he was about to do, but this time, I would not let him win.
The attack came and I dodged it, snippets of my wavy, dark hair burning and withering from the sheer impact of the electricity.
“Damian!” he said, panic starting to climb his usually calm and collected voice, “Damian, don't make me do this! I don't want to hurt you again!”
I was not having it. It was difficult not to succumb to my terror, but I managed to turn away from him. Judging by the sound and power I sensed, the next attack was coming. It would take him a while to recharge, so now was my chance.
I had to go. I had to go now!
My knees were knocking against each other, my breath felt short and raspy, yet I overcame my fear and I ran. I ran as if the devil was after me.
And ironically enough, I knew for a fact that there was no difference between Jude Malakai and the devil.
I dashed down the streets, into the darkness of the night. My red sneakers pounded against the ground, bringing me further and further away from that monster.
As I think about that night, the night where everything changed, I have come to realize that had it not been for Jude's intervention, I would have been in a much better place. Daphne was lucky she died before knowing anything.
Yes, as disturbing as it may sound, I came to envy my sister's quick death. I wish I had been as fortunate...
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