I was freezing my ass off, waiting for Alex to pull up outside my apartment. We were supposed to be heading to the thrift market, and my main purpose was to keep Alex from going broke.
I looked up from my phone at the sound of a honk, and Alex was across the street, waving at me frantically through the windshield.
“Finally,” I muttered as I crossed the street, my head bowed against the wind.
I could already hear her music blaring even before I opened the door, and I grimaced slightly.
“YO, YOU READY TO GO?” I could barely hear her question over the music, so I only nodded in response. I slid in, hurriedly buckling my seat belt.
She slammed on the gas, and I jerked against the seat. I’ll never know how she managed to pass her driving test, but I do know she’s one of the biggest menaces on the Chicago road.
I reached over and turned down the music a good six notches, and she pouted.
“What was that for?” She jerked the wheel, narrowly avoiding a pedestrian.
“I couldn’t hear myself think. ALSO, WATCH OUT YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!”
“Whoops!” Another jerk sent my head towards the window.
“Jesus Christ, are you sure you don’t want me to drive?” I rubbed my head, frowning at her.
She rolled her eyes at me. “Fine, you can drive after we stop for coffee.”
I resisted the urge to celebrate. Instead, I focused on bracing myself for the mile it took to make it to the coffee shop.
“Okay! I’ll be right back, do ya want anything?” She hopped out of the car, grinning.
“Nah.” I got out of the passenger side, closing the door behind me. I was getting into the driver’s seat when I saw the body.
“What the… ” I paused, my hand on the door handle.
Is that a … person?
I let go of the door handle in what seemed like slow motion, and without even realizing it, I had started walking over to where a shadowy bundle lay in the bushes. I looked around nervously as I approached it.
I leaned over it cautiously and when I saw what it was, rubbed my eyes, sure I was seeing things.
It was a person all right… just not a normal one. It was a guy, I thought, and he was wrapped in a cloak of sorts, except the cloak was charred and blackened, and looked like it might fall apart any second.
That wasn’t the weirdest thing, though. The weirdest thing was the guy himself.
I stared, unable to look away. The cloak covered the top of his head, but it didn’t hide the fact that his skin was blue.
His skin was a pale blue, and maybe I could have written it off as a costume or even the cold, depending on how long he had been lying there, had the guy not had three closed eyes. Two of his eyes were exactly where mine were, but the third one was between his eyebrows, just a little higher up, to where it was smack dab in the middle of his forehead. He was curled in on himself, and he almost looked peaceful, as if he was sleeping.
Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit.
What do I do, What do I do, What do I do.
I shrieked rather loudly at the sudden feeling of a hand on my shoulder and jumped away from both the guy and the hand.
“Dude, what are you doing?” I sighed in relief when I saw it was Alex, then flushed when I realized I had screamed like a frightened child.
“Wait, what the hell is that?” She peered over my shoulder, and I moved slightly so she could see.
“I have no idea.” She gasped sharply when she saw him, and I almost thought she was going to scream.
“It’s a person!” She immediately moved to kneel next to him.
“Alex wait! We don’t know what that thing is…” I grabbed her shoulder to yank her back, but she shrugged me off.
“It’s obviously a guy! He looks hurt, we should help him! How long has he been here, he must be freezing!” She tapped the form lightly.
“What?! No, we should go! This is weird, let’s just leave.” I tugged on her shoulder.
“No way!” Then she turned to him, completely ignoring my protests. “Hey, dude, wake up.”
She started shaking what I assumed was his shoulder, but he didn’t move at all.
I watched silently, waiting for a sudden movement, but even when Alex used both hands to shake him, the guy didn’t move a muscle.
She paused, and I took that moment as my chance. “See? He won’t even wake up, let’s go, come on!” Something in me was screaming this was a bad idea. “We probably look really suspicious anyways, not to mention it’s cold.”
She turned to me, her eyes lighting up, and I already knew I was going to hate whatever she said next. “Exactly! Which is why we should take him to your place!”
“What?! No! Are you crazy? He could be dead for all we know! Or a serial killer!” I took a step back, waving my hands around nervously.
Is she absolutely insane?
“He’s alive, I know he is! Please, Felix, your place is closer, and we have to help him! He could die out here, and then his death would be on our hands.” She looked up at me, her eyes pleading. I could already feel my resolve starting to crumble.
“No. Absolutely not. It’s dangerous. We should be calling the police.”
She continued to look at me, refusing to say a word.
“Stop looking at me like that! I said no!”
And then her face crumpled in on itself, and she looked so heartbroken, that all my willpower fell to pieces.
“Fine goddammit!” I yelled, and she immediately jumped in, all traces of sadness gone.
“You’re the best! Come on!” She danced over to her car, and I grumbled to myself.
Dammit, now look. You’re literally setting yourself up to be killed or worse. This is such a bad idea.
I continued mumbling as I leaned over, scooping the guy into my arms. He weighed next to nothing, and it took almost no effort on my part to lift him. He was freezing, but I could tell Alex was right. The guy was alive, that or rigor mortis hadn’t set in yet.
The cloak felt scratchy, and it smelled like burnt clothing. I wrinkled my nose as Alex held open the backseat door for me.
What on earth happened to him?
I leaned in, depositing the guy on Alex’s backseat. I couldn’t help taking a second look at his face, and I stared for a moment longer than I needed to.
He has three eyes. THREE EYES. There is something weird going on here, and I’m not entirely sure I want to find out what.
I shut the door and cast a glare at Alex as I got into the driver’s seat. “We’re not gonna be able to go to the thrift market now, you know.”
“Yeah, yeah. Now come on, step on it.” I made a disgruntled noise and started driving back to my place.
I cast an eye at the guy in the back seat from the mirror and felt a sense of dread set in.
We’re going to regret this, I just know it.