Esper

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.2) - Directionless

Submitted: September 09, 2017

Reads: 60

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Submitted: September 09, 2017

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Esper Chapter 2: Directionless

 

Part 1

Buzz…buzz…buzz…click!

“Hello, 911. What’s your emergency?” The voice of an older woman spoke from beyond the speaker of a payphone.

“Y…*Cough*…” A cough to clear one’s throat came from the young man on the other end of the line. When he spoke again, his voice was much deeper. “Yes…t-there’s an officer at Newtonville rock. I’m not sure, but I think he may be seriously hurt. I don’t know what happened! There were some gun shots and…something just threw him from on top of the ridge!”

“Please calm down, sir. We’ll send some cars out immediately. Sir, what is your name…?”

“…”

“Sir…?”

“…”

“Are you there? Hello?”

Click…buzz…buzz…buzz…

Part 2

Harper Wolf rushed back to the ridge as fast as his chubby, short legs could carry him. What he returned to could only be described as a bloodbath. Katie Vang, the young red-haired waitress, sat on the ground desperately trying to wipe pieces of the formerly living cop, Niles off her person. She’d thrown her jacket to the side, despite the cold while attempting to clean every part of her body that she could; as the gore had seeped into every nook and cranny.

Vernon Marino walked up to Harper and grabbed him tightly by the shoulders, locking eyes with the boy. “Did you do what I told you, kid?”

“Yeah…I mean, I didn’t know what I was supposed to tell them though.” Sweating bullets, Harper replied while trying to avoid eye contact.

“Hey, hey! Up here, look me in the eye and tell me you followed my instructions!”

“Yes! I did, okay?! I called the police, I used a fake voice, I didn’t leave a name, I used my jacket to avoid getting finger prints on the phone, and then walked on the rocky path to avoid leaving tracks!! Are you fucking happy; man!”

“Ecs-fucking-tatic, kid!”

“Enough!!” Nicolaus Thompson yelled at his two hysterical peers as they argued. “Look…I just…we just need to do something.” Attempting to remain unnerved, despite his own actions no less than a few minutes ago, Nicolaus sat down on the ground attempting to regain his composure.

“I think I’ve got it covered. All of you need to work with me. Understand?” Vernon pulled a knife out of his jacket pocket. As the cool headed young Italian-American man made his way into the woods he stopped and called back to the others. “Nick, you come with me! I need your help. Harper and Vergil, get the girls back to my car and wait for us there. Get a move on, Nick!” Vergil Trask was still stuck in a daze until Harper gave him a swift smack to the back of the head. The young men then moved to carry Amala Singh back to Vernon’s car. She’d passed out earlier from seeing the body of a man explode, with her possibly being the direct cause.

Nicolaus and Vernon walked through the woods attempting to leave as few foot prints in the mud and dirt as possible.

“Vernon, what are we doing?”

“There isn’t much time, so we’re going to mess with this area as much as possible. Break branches, turn up dirt…whatever! We need to throw the police off our trail.”

“We’re really not going to turn ourselves in?”

“Turn ourselves in? Are you kidding me? We’re done for if we get caught with all the laws we’ve broken. Probably won’t even go to trial. Bet they’d just throw the book at us.”

“We killed people, man! We need to…do something…”

WE shouldn’t even be here in the first fucking place! What do you think the jury will think when they hear our side of the story, huh? That we came up to this deserted mountain ridge for answers about the voices we’re hearing in our heads? If I were them, I’d think we were some weird cult or something. And if you happen to forget, it was whatever the hell you and Amala did! I’m just trying to help you here.”

“I…I don’t even know what I did.” Nicolaus looked down at his trembling hands. (I killed a man…right? I didn't mean to…)

“Quit standing around Nick’o, we don’t have time!” Breaking branches and slashing at tree bark, Vernon rampaged through the forest doing everything he could to destroy the trail. Nicolaus joined in and the two wrecked the path that ran around the ridge. They finished and ran down towards their cars. In Vernon’s car Amala sat, still unconscious while Katie sat shivering in the backseat from the combination of the cold air and the shock she’d experienced. Harper and Virgil sat in Nicolaus’s sister’s car, calling out for the others to hurry and join them. Nicolaus and Vernon got into their cars and sped off.

Part 3

Everyone, apart from Katie, sat in the front room of Vernon’s house. The fiery redhead scrubbed vigorously in the shower, to the point that her normally pale, freckled skin started to redden like a tomato. Vernon turned on the TV to break up the dead silence that’d engulfed the room. Some time passed, and Katie meekly entered the room, urging Vernon to sit up getting everyone’s attention.

“Alright, let’s get this started; we all need to talk about what just happened. We’re all freaked out, I get that, but we can’t just sit here.” No one responded, causing Vernon to pace back and forth across the soft white rug underfoot. He placed his hands over his face and unleashed a muffled scream into his palms. “Okay, you know what?! I’m not asking anymore. I’m telling you; Amala, Nick, what the fuck did you two do up there?!”

“What makes you think we know!?” Nicolaus metaphorically exploded in his retort. He looked over to Amala who’d awoken from her fainting spell. She sat lifelessly staring at the floor.

“What about you, Amala?” No visual or verbal response was given. “Amala!!” Amala cut her eyes to Vernon, then back to the floor without a word. “None of you understand how serious this is! This isn’t a joke! We need to get our stories straight before the police get here!”

“Get our stories straight? That’s what’s on your mind?” Massaging his temples, Nicolaus pressed his back against the arm of the sofa. Katie sat grasping her knees tightly whilst rocking back and forth. Vergil was pulling at his long white hair making strands fall to the floor. Amala watched the floor catatonically. And Harper, with his back turned to the group seemed to be typing things into his phone nonchalantly.

“Harper, what are you doing? Give me whatever you’re playing with over there.” Vernon called out to Harper nearly making him drop the device.

“Will you just chill out!?” Harper snapped back, then showed Vernon his phone. The screen displayed a website with accounts of paranormal activities ranging from possession to spirits attacking people.

“Let me see that.” Vernon snatched the phone. “…This also lists aliens and stuff. This is nonsense.”

“Coming from you? That’s funny.” A snarky and ill-advised rib came from the spiky haired pessimist. Vernon took umbrage with said chastising.

“Okay then, how about it, Nick’o?”

“What?”

“How about you tell us what you think?”

“Well…I...”

“Wow, funny! It’s almost like you’ve been opening your mouth all this time and nothing but blind cynicism has been coming out. Some things never change.”

“Okay, fine then…um…”

“What? ‘Um’, what?”

“Give me a second! It’s…” Nicolaus took a minute to gather his thoughts. “I don’t know if I can convey this the right way, but it was definitely me. My hand… there was some weight when that blue misty stuff came out of me. …I don’t know. Never mind, it’s dumb.”

“…Do you think you could do it again?” Quizzically, Nicolaus tilted his head at the proposal made by his typically detested peer.

“…Maybe…” Both men made their way towards the front door.

“Wait up, guys!” Harper got up and quickly followed suit. After a minute, Virgil stood up and joined them outside of the house. The four men walked into the wooded area close to Vernon’s home. Said homeowner looked around and set his sights on a tree roughly twenty feet away.

“Alright Nick, try and…I don’t know, knock that tree over.” Indeed, it was a rather sizeable tree, however it leaned significantly. If a car were to collide with the tilted sapling it could easily be uprooted.

Nicolaus sat focusing for a few seconds, trying to imagine the tree moving. Nothing happened. “Agh!” He began fussing with his hair in frustration.

“H-how about trying to think back to how you felt before?” That was the first time that Virgil could chime in, surprising the others who’d forgotten he was even with them outside. “You know, when A-Amala was about to get shot…”

“I’ll give it a try.” Nicolaus closed his eyes and tried to picture the scene from before. He extended his hand again and tried to move the tree. Once again, nothing happened. “Hang on…wait…” He tried to concentrate, furrowing his brow, almost to the point of connecting the tips of his eyebrows. Unfortunately, the tree remained motionless.

“*Sigh*…maybe I should get a gun and point it at Amala to see if that gets a reaction.” A joke, all be it in bad taste came from Vernon. “What, not funny?” Nicolaus gave Vernon a disapproving look and tried again. “Look…it’s not working.”

“Stop it, will you? I need to focus.”

They gave it a few more tries, but after a couple of minutes Vernon gave up completely on the experiment. “Alright boys, let’s pack it in for the night. You kids called your folks and told them you were staying over a friends’ house, right?” The others seemed done with their test, nevertheless Nicolaus remained steadfast in his belief that whatever the phenomenon from before may be, was controlled by him.

“Wait!” He shut his eyes as hard as he could, focused his mind trying to make even a single leaf around him move. “Well?”

“Holy…”

“D-Did anything move…?”

“…” Vernon let out a gasp. Nicolaus turned to face the group. “…nothing moved. Alright, let’s go!” They left Nicolaus outside feeling dejected and annoyed.

(That…asshole…) Even though Nicolaus thought of punching Vernon in his smug face, knowing it wouldn’t change anything stopped the surly young man. “*Sigh*…”

Part 4

A powerful silence blanketing the group of anxious young people was only pierced by the sounds of the large television. Laughs from a stand-up comedian’s routine inappropriately resounded throughout the dead air of the house. Be it from fear of nightmares or that something may transpire while they defenselessly slept, not one of the participants of the impromptu sleepover could manage to sleep. As the clock’s hands ticked past midnight Vernon got up and grabbed some blankets for the others and then sat back on the couch.

(Even he can show some compassion, I guess.) Nicolaus thought; then took notice of Katie laying within ear shot. The bright red hair atop her head fanned out across the carpet like a drop of paint. Her eyes were locked on the ceiling so firmly that it looked like it wouldn’t break even if the house came crashing down. “Hey, Katie, you feeling any better?” Nicolaus whispered trying not to disturb the others. Katie rolled over to make eye contact.

“…I…” She started to say something, but stopped before getting the thought out. She was still shuttering slightly. Nicolaus reached out and grabbed her hand softly. His hand easily eclipsed hers, wrapping it in a secure net of warmth. The young red haired waitress stopped shivering, letting out a sigh of relief.

“Sorry, I just…you know…”

“…Thanks, spike.” Katie pulled her hand away. “You’re pretty cheesy, you know?”

“Yeah?” Nicolaus chuckled.

“…I just can’t forget that sensation. His body…it was all over me?”

“…”

“Spike…Nicolaus, what’s going to happen to us…?”

“I don’t know…”

“Could you lie to me…and tell me everything’s going to be okay?”

“…No, sorry.”

“Hehehe…you really know how to spoil a girl.”

“Glass half empty is kind of my thing.”

“I can see that. Thanks, all the same. I may actually be able to sleep now.”

“Cool. You should get some sleep. I think the others have all nodded off too.”

“Seems like it. Night, Nicolaus.”

“Good night, Katie.” Katie shut her eyes and almost immediately drifted off to sleep. (…I wish I had a clue what was going on. How am I even supposed to look myself in the mirror? I killed someone…and just left the bodies there. I haven’t felt this hopeless since…high school.) Despite being able to provide Katie with some solace after the night’s events, Nicolaus was still anxious. He didn’t sleep much that night. Instead his mind was filled with thoughts of the officers, death, and the past.

Part 5

Vernon was the first of the group to be awoken by the sun’s powerful rays breaking through his curtains and landing directly onto his closed eye lids. Taking special care to avoid stepping on the others that lay sleeping, sprawled out across his floor, Vernon made his way to the kitchen. Coffee was his objective and he was determined to get some. As he started up the coffee pot an alarm sounded waking the sleeping freeloaders. The alarm originated from Katie’s cell phone; she grabbed it and shut off the phone as quickly as possible.

The others looked at her, all angered by the rude awakening. “Uh…” She started. “It’s so that I don’t over sleep and miss my shift.”

“Geez…is that all?” Vernon went back to his seat on the couch next to Amala. “Okay, so what are we going to do now? Come on, people! We can’t just sit around all day!”

“Will you shut up?!” The jarring roar of irritation that erupted from Amala surprised everyone, as she hadn’t said much since the whole escapade began. “I…I mean, please, my head hurts. So, can you stop yelling?”

“O-Okay.” Vernon was visibly shaken which made Nicolaus chuckle to himself.

“I guess we should go back to our own houses for the time being. I’ve still got to drop off my sis…” Nicolaus stopped half way through his sentence. He’d forgotten Katie was in the room. (I’d rather not look like any more of a dork in front of her. She doesn’t need to know that I’m driving my sister’s car around.) He restarted his explanation. “I’ve still got to drop off my sister at her job.”

“I’m still concerned about what happened yesterday. Honestly, I didn’t expect the police to just show up in the middle of the night and arrest us, but even with that said, we still need to stay on our toes.” Vernon’s coldhearted calculating nature wasn’t a surprise to Nicolaus as he’d already associated it with his character; though he never would’ve thought that his co-worker would be able to remain calm in their situation.

Harper held up his phone and showed it to Vernon. “I’ve been looking at all the news sites and they haven’t said anything yet. You think, maybe they haven’t found the bodies?”

“That’s impossible. That ridge was covered in gore.”

The room returned to it’s all too familiar uncomfortable silence. Suddenly, Katie’s phone began to ring. When she looked at the caller I.D. it caused her to jump up and exit the room in a hurried fashion. A light tapping on the shoulder caught Nicolaus’s attention. Amala leaned in close to whisper something.

“You’re dropping me off at home, right?”

“Huh?” Even though Nicolaus acted surprised, he knew this was coming. He’d given her a ride to Vernon’s house in the first place, so taking her home was an obvious part of the informal agreement they’d reached.

“Don’t, ‘huh’! I need to get home and you brought me here, so take me back home.”

“You’re really freakin’ bossy, you know that?” He said whilst running hands through the quill like spikes of his hair.

Katie returned to the room looking a bit distressed. “I’ve got to go. Someone’s looking for me. Can we maybe talk some other time?”

“Alright. I see everyone has got to get back to their normal lives now. But just remember, we need to stay in contact with each other. If anything else happens, like the police call or come to you, or even more so if that mist stuff comes out of anyone else, contact the others. Let’s exchange numbers, people.” They started exchanging phone numbers, then gathered their things and headed for the cars.

“We can actually walk from here.” Harper spoke up for himself and Vergil, who’d remained totally silent the entire morning.

“Nah. Hop in; I’ll drive you kids home. Yo, Katie, what about you? Need a lift?”

“N-No… I’ve got to run. I’ll see you guys later.” She quickly sped off on foot despite Vernon’s offer.

“Okay…Amala?”

“No. Nicolaus will drive me home. He doesn’t live too far from me, so it shouldn’t be too much hassle on his end. Also, I’d hate to cause you any extra stress, considering how accommodating you’ve been to this point.” The amount of politeness Amala exuded made Nicolaus gag. Amala jabbed the overly expressive man in his side with her elbow.

“Okay. I see. Well, if you’ll excuse us. Come on, kids, let’s go.” Vernon was blushing a bit. It was clear Amala struck a chord with him, though he still tried to play it off coolly.

Nicolaus started up his sister’s car, and with Amala in tow, drove off. They made their way to the highway without a single word between them. Amala slouched down in her seat and closed her eyes.

“…Uh…” Nicolaus took notice of Amala and began to worry. “Hey, are you okay?” He reached over and touched her on the shoulder, but it elicited a reaction he wasn’t prepared for.

“AGHH!!!” Amala began flailing her arms causing one of her fingers nails to cut across Nicolaus’s face, just below his eye. This caused the young driver to temporarily lose control of the car, just barely being able to pull over to the side of the highway.

Other drivers drove by honking their car horns and cursing, as Amala and Nicolaus sat on the side of the highway catching their breath.

“Ugh…” The cut on Nicolaus’s cheek was deep and bled down onto the young man’s shirt. “What the fuck was that for!?”

“I’m…” Nicolaus demanded an explanation from Amala as she backed into the car door, looking like a frightened animal. “I-I just…” She scrambled for the door handle. Once Amala got her hand on it, the young woman bolted from the car.

“Wait!! Amala!!” After putting his flashers on and setting the car in park, Nicolaus got up and ran after Amala. “I said wait!” Once he caught up to her, he grabbed the small woman by the wrist.

“Ahhh!!” Again, Amala backed away in terror, falling to the ground with a feral look in her eyes as she shielded herself.

“Sorry…I didn’t mean to…”

“No…just…” A car slowed down behind them. An older, large woman got out.

“What are you doing to that poor girl?!” The woman came up pointing her finger, looking positively livid. “You get away from her, right now!”

“I didn’t do anything, I swear!” Nicolaus and the woman bickered for a few minutes until Amala got back to her feet.

“I’m fine, ma’am. Hey, come on.” Amala shuffled back towards the car and Nicolaus followed suit.

“You better watch yourself, boy!” The woman yelled as she got back into her own car.

Nicolaus sat in the car with Amala as the one woman from before drove by, looking angry and gesturing that she was watching him. The two remained totally silent for a few minutes without so much as making eye contact. Nicolaus pulled a napkin out of the glovebox and pressed it over the wound on his face.

“Sorry.” Amala sincerely said as she lowered her head.

“It’s okay. Do you want to explain why you freaked out like that?”

“Should be pretty obvious…”

“…Yeah, I guess. You didn’t freak out this morning though…”

“Probably because, I didn’t sleep yesterday. Every time I got ready to close my eyes…I kept seeing it happen over and over again.”

“Wait, are you saying you didn’t sleep at all last night?”

“Nothing more than a few minutes. I was starting to fall asleep in the car before…then when you touched me…” Amala covered her eyes and started wheezing. “I-I’m sorry…I don’t…I don’t think I can take it…”

“…” Nicolaus sank down into his chair. “I don’t know what to tell you. I did the same thing, kind of.” He said while reaching for a new napkin to help his cut. “Seems like the both of us spent last night trying to figure out what we’d done. Ouch!” The pain of the gash on his face caused Nicolaus to abruptly end his attempted expression of empathy. “I need to get something for this cut…”

“I think there’s a gas station just up the road.” Nicolaus noted Amala statement and drove up to said gas station.

The two arrived at the gas station. As Nicolaus got ready to exit the car Amala stopped him. She got out herself and walked into the store as the young man waited, nursing his wound. Amala returned to the car window and handed Nicolaus some medical supplies. “Thanks.”

“Pop the gas cap. I owe you gas money…” He obliged and waited for Amala to finish filling the tank while tending to the cut on his face. She finished and rejoined Nicolaus, who then parked the car in a nearby lot. “What’s the matter? Just drop me off at home.”

“Hang on…” Nicolaus started playing with his hair.

“I’m sorry. I know it hurts, ok?”

“It’s not that…what I’m trying to say is…”

“…Out with it, dude!”

“Ok, ok, ok! I was going to say…” Nicolaus took a deep breath, making Amala get nervous and back away slightly. “…We…meaning you and I…went through a lot last night. I was thinking about it while you were in the gas station and realized that even though we did two different things, they were kind of similar. And we’d probably not be able to talk to anyone of the others about it - or anyone for that matter. I’m trying to say…that if you need to talk to somebody about the way you’re feeling, about…you know, stuff, you can talk to me…”

“…”

“Or you don’t have to…whatever.”

Amala snickered. “You’re really a rare type of person, Nicolaus Thompson.”

“…Is that a good thing…?”

Amala smiled, not like her previous smiles Nicolaus had seen before. This smile was less model like and more…goofy and wider. “Thanks. Maybe another time though. I’m barely keeping my eyes open right now.” The bags under Amala’s eyes were hidden by makeup, but Nicolaus knew that in the last few days she had slept much.

“Right! Well, let’s get you home then.”

Part 6

Nicolaus drove up to Amala’s apartment.  She got out of the car and prepared to wave goodbye, but she stopped and leaned into the window signaling that she had a question.

“I forgot to ask, do you remember that chubby kid from earlier?”

“Uh…yeah. What was his name again?”

“Harper Wolf…right?”

“Yeah, that’s it. You know him?”

“Oh, no. I…had a friend with that last name a couple of years ago. Just thought maybe he was a cousin…or son maybe.”

“Ask him next time we meet up. I’m sure that Vernon will make us all have another meeting.”

“Yeah. Probably will. Anyway, thanks dude.”

“Yeah. See ya’.”

Nicolaus drove off, leaving Amala shrinking in the rearview mirror until she was out of sight. A sudden ring on the young man’s cellphone surprised him. It was Dani, Nicolaus’s younger sister. Nicolaus audibly sighed as he expected to be chastised for not returning home the night before.

“Sup, Dani?” Rustling came from the phone speaker. Nicolaus could make out what sounded like his younger sister talking to an unknown man with a heavy Spanish accent.

“Dani, come on. I don’t see why…” The voice of the man sounded distressed.

“Just not yet, okay? My mother would flip. But since you’re here, I’ll introduce you to Nick…whenever the hell he gets back here with my car. You know what? Let me give him another call…” The rustling came again, then prolonged silence.

“What’s up, Dani?”

“…Hi, Nick.” Dani’s voice trembled.

“Something you want to tell me?” Nicolaus replied in a snarky tone.

“W-When’ll you be home?”

“Soon.”

“I’ll…tell you when you get here?”

“Sounds good. See you then.” Nicolaus hung up the phone. (Whatever this is, it can’t be good.) Another call came in. Nicolaus pulled over to the side of the road and prepared to answer, scoffing when he noticed it was Vernon. “Yeah…?”

Vernon started off sounding troubled. “Listen up Nick’O, I just got a call from the cops so you’ll probably be getting one soon too. They’re most likely going to want you to come down to the station.” Nicolaus’s heart jumped in his chest. The thoughts of blowing that officer off the side of the ridge resurfaced. He felt almost like throwing up due to the sudden overwhelming anxiety, but held it back. “Hey, you still there? I need you to listen. Remain calm and don’t…”

“I know, okay! I’m headed home for now. If they call me…and only if they call me, I’ll go.”

“Fine…keep in contact. I’ll let you know if anything changes.” The phone call ended.

Nicolaus sat in the car off to the side of the road. With the radio turned off the cars whizzing by filled the dead air. He placed his head on the wheel, and then undid his seat belt. He cranked the car seat back and stared at the ceiling. (And I’d almost gotten that crap out of my head. I’m saying that was ‘crap’ now…what’s wrong with me? How can people live with themselves after killing someone? I should just turn myself in. No, I can’t. If I did, then…everyone else would get in trouble too. And, it’s not like we meant for that to happen. I…I just…I’m making this worse. The longer we wait, the worse it’s going to get. Damnit all! I don’t know what I’m supposed to do! If only I had an answer or…knew what the hell I was supposed to do. That Vernon could remain calm this entire time is so…unnerving. The more I’m around that guy…the more he confuses me. At work, he’s the type to come up with a plan; the others would rely on him for answers. Years later, and I still don’t trust people like that…people who can always remain calm and try to maintain control. It’s so unnatural.)

Nicolaus looked at his phone and noticed it was over an hour since he’d spoken with his sister. (She’s probably still waiting for me.) He still had a twenty-minute drive ahead of him. After taking a few deep breaths he resumed his trip home.

End of Chapter 2


© Copyright 2019 Angelo Kingston. All rights reserved.

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