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Chapter 5 (v.1) - Into Winter’s gray sky

Submitted: January 09, 2019

Reads: 226

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Submitted: January 09, 2019




Esper Chapter 4: Into Winter’s gray sky


Part 1

Katie Vang and Nicolaus Thompson sat totally dumbfounded at the sight of Amala Singh, floating in midair, levitating. She sat over forty feet in the sky wrapped in purplish mist, looking off into the distance towards the city of Trenton. Vernon Marino pulled himself up from his recent fall to the dirt covered ground, knocking debris off his once clean tracksuit.

“Yo! Amala, they’re here! Mind coming down for a second?” Vernon cupped his hands over his mouth and bellowed upward to the petite, young Indian woman. She took notice of her name being called, then gracefully descended, landing in the clearing with her stylish black boots as the purple haze faded.

Amala cleared her throat and spoke. “Hello, Everyone.” She said with her winningest smile.

“W-What on earth…” Before Nicolaus could finish his sentence, Vernon lifted his hand as to stop him.

“I know you’ve got questions, but we’ve got to welcome the rest of our company first. Follow me!” With a cheerful stride and glee filled expression Vernon silently read something on his smartphone while walking the group to the front of his property.

“Hey…uh, what happened? How were you flying?” A fair question posed by Katie into Amala’s new ability was met with her cutting her eyes toward the perky redhead and then back without an answer. “That’s pretty rude.” Katie exclaimed.

(Katie really isn’t good at holding back what she thinks.) Nicolaus was aware of the young woman’s bad habit of speaking her mind, even if it were to her own detriment. He expected an animated response from Amala, but she didn’t react at all. Katie turned to her spiky haired pessimistic ally seeking some form of support. “Uh…Amala, come on. Give us…something…”

It was clear by the sigh that she gave that Amala was uncomfortable in some way, but she still gave them an answer. “Just wait. It’s better if we’re all together. That way, I won’t have to explain this theory Vernon and I have been talking over twice.”


“It seems like we all have these…powers. I’m not sure about the details, but we all had those…dreams and visions too. I guess Vernon’s at the point where he wants to test them.” Nicolaus and Katie were still clamoring for information but knew that Amala wouldn’t offer any more. Upon reaching the front of Vernon’s property they reunited with their two youngest members; Harper Wolf, the stubby young Asian boy, and his much taller, lankier pal, Vergil Trask. The young men both looked tired as they trudged up the hill.

“Alright, everybody! Follow me back to the woods!” Harper and Vergil groaned as they seemed exhausted from walking. Enthusiastically, Vernon brought the group back to the clearing. “So, as Katie and Nico’o have already seen we’ve figured something awesome out. Amala, if you would…?”

Amala sighed and lifted her arms whilst shutting her eyes. Gravel and dirt on the ground surrounding her began to bounce and shake. After a few seconds the purple mist once again engulfed her body. Harper and Vergil, who looked so tired less than a few seconds beforehand were either speechless or totally elated as Amala began to float upward. At first it was a few centimeters, then inches, then over six feet in the air.

“Holy shit!!! That’s so cool!!!” Harper exclaimed so loud that Nicolaus, who was standing next to him, had to cover his ears. Vergil began to stutter; unable to compose himself enough to even get a single word out.

Amala continued to levitate for a few more seconds until she took a deep breath and slowly lowered to the ground. “Is that good enough, Vernon?”

“Excellent!” As if the Cheshire cat had replaced him, Vernon’s smiled a smile like no other.

Hoping to finally get some information about this new unknown ability, Nicolaus stepped forward with his head full of questions. “This is just too insane. Where do I even start…”

“It just happened while I was walking to my room in my apartment. I missed a step and almost fell back down the stairs, until this power kicked in. I just floated at first, but then after messing with it a bit, I was able to completely levitate.” Amala explained.

“We met up after the doctor examined us, and she showed me this power. I decided that showing you guys would be cooler than just telling you over the phone. Surprised, right? Cool, right?” The others all blankly stared at Vernon as he was acting like a child who’d gotten a hold of some cool new toy.

“Okay…” Running his hand through his hair, Nicolaus collected his thoughts. “Look, this is nice and all, but we’ve got a lot to talk about-”

“Before that!” Harper shouted cutting Nicolaus off. “Come on Nick! You can’t tell me that you don’t want to learn how to fly!”

“What makes you think we can all fly?”

“Well, Vernon can.” Katie spoke up. “Spike, worry about things for past few weeks. Don’t you think we could use a little distraction?” The normally perky redhead pleaded with Nicolaus. He gave in almost immediately with a sigh and wave of the hand. “Yes!”

“Alright, listen up, I’ll explain the theory…or you know the theory that Amala explained to me.” The always assertive Vernon walked over to one of the many trees near him. “Alright! First, you’ll want to grab hold of a tree, trust me on that. My back is still hurting a bit from the fall. Anyway, take a deep breath and close your eyes.” The enthusiastic young Italian-American man really got into the explanation. The others listened closely, despite Vernon’s apparent giddiness being a bit off-putting. “Now…this part is where things get a bit abstract, so pay attention. You’re going to use your mind to move a part of your body that doesn’t exist.”

“What?” Confusion overcame the whole group at Vernon’s description. It was Nicolaus who attempted to get a more concrete explanation. “You can’t be…” Before he finished, the memory of using the odd mist to attack the police officer reminded him of how he felt back then. It wasn’t dissimilar to the concept that Vernon was trying to push, that being, moving and more so feeling with a body part that doesn’t really exist. “Never mind, continue.”

Amala jumped in, taking her boss’s spotlight. “It’s simple and at the same time a little difficult to explain. You need some semblance of imagination to make this work. Close your eyes and I’ll try and make a visual with you.” The gaggle of young people followed Amala’s orders which frustrated Vernon a bit. “Imagine…steam, exiting your body. That steam is a long trail leading upwards, you have total control of it. It’s almost like another arm. No matter where it’s coming from…make it wrap around your body. Engulf your body as if you were to be covered in a thick coding of…let’s say honey.”


“Quiet Nicolaus. Stay focused.” That chastising of Nicolaus made Vernon snicker openly. “Move it slowly…over every part of your body…on every limb. Now…once you’ve got that done, I want you to use it to lift your body…do it as if you were lifting a baby bird…don’t squeeze! Remember, this is your body.”

Sighing, Nicolaus completely gave up on making the method work. “Amala, I don’t get this. It’s not working.” Minutes went by and no one was able to make the abstract concept work.

“Maybe I’m not communicating this right…” Amala pondered aloud.

“Worked fine for me.” Vernon chimed in. “Hmm….” The young man schemed. He slowly approached Nicolaus from behind, unbeknownst to his co-worker and wrapped his arms around the other young man’s waist, tightly.

“V-Vernon what the hell-” Before he could even properly react, Vernon took off floating upward in the air with a translucent burgundy mist enveloping him. “AHHHH!!” Terrified and flailing about, Nicolaus screamed and bucked trying to break Vernon’s vice like grip.

“Best stop moving! I don’t know how much weight I can support.”

“Vernon, put him down, now! What are you doing!?” Amala yelled.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea.” As the eager man hoisted his co-worker farther and farther up Nicolaus’s stomach sank. “Chill out, I’ve got you. Just don’t move. Alright, I’m going to drop him. Get ready, just in case Amala!”

“What!?” Everyone reacted in shock as Vernon released his hold on Nicolaus, who plummeted toward the ground. Just as Amala got ready to leap to Nicolaus’s aid, the blue mist began to envelop him. The young man began to slow just short of the ground and landed with a very light thud.

“See!?” Vernon exclaimed. To everyone’s astonishment, the experiment was a success! But Nicolaus was both astounded and clearly livid.

“Are you fucking insane!?” The young man jumped to his feet and screamed at Vernon.

“I was thinking you just needed a little push, like before at the ridge. Also, that’s how Amala’s power first activated.” With a smug smile of success, Vernon drifted back down to the ground. Nicolaus got ready to punch his co-worker, however Amala pushed by him and slapped the young man right across the cheek.

“What kind of idiot are you!? He could’ve been killed!!” Amala’s normally solemn demeanor was totally broken. Everyone was surprised, including Amala who blushed and looked away. “…Sorry.”

Vernon stood stunned with his hand to his face. After swallowing his pride, the young man apologized. “…I’m sorry.” It was an earnest apology. “Nico’o, I’m sorry.”

“Well…” The awkward pressure to forgive someone can be difficult for most. Nicolaus didn’t want to accept the apology, but everyone looked at him awaiting a response. “At least it worked.” It felt like the air had been sucked out of the entire clearing.

“Can…we try? You know, just a little less dropping.” Harper, whether it be from wanting to break the tension or pure ignorance, spoke up. It worked by giving everyone something else to cling onto for the minute.

Part 2

It looked more like the ground was slowly drifting away as opposed to being able to fly, Nicolaus thought to himself. He was floating without anyone’s assistance, which felt so weird to the young man. “Hey Spike!” Katie called out to him from below. “How does it feel up there?” She, as well as Harper and Vergil had yet to be able to fly themselves.

“It’s…weird. It feels like I’m being pulled up by my back…or something.” (It’s like before. Even though there’s no actual body part, I can feel some sort of weight. Like…my mind is being weighed down. This mist - it’s like the mist is a part of my body; the mist feels like an outer layer of skin.) Nicolaus didn’t want to admit it, but Vernon was right with his earlier example. Blue haze continued to emanate from Nicolaus. He looked over at Amala and Vernon who were also airborne and compared the mist around his body to theirs. His was a strong, translucent azure blue. Vernon’s mist was burgundy and Amala’s was a deep mauve. “Hey Amala, Vernon, why are these mists different colors?”

“No idea.” Amala replied.

“Hm…before, Amala mentioned that you move it like you would another arm. Remember last night that you said you felt weight when you used the mist? How about we give that experiment with the tree another go?” Vernon pointed at one of the many saplings littering the woods. With a nod Nicolaus tried to focus.

“Everyone, watch out! I…can feel something.” (This is different…this feeling. I can feel the weight of something moving on my body.) The blue haze surrounding Nicolaus began slowly reaching toward the ground. “It’s working!” An amazing sight, as the mist advanced onward. A slight migraine began to erupt in the young man’s head, but he persevered. He was as excited as the others at this revelation and he wanted to see what could be done. The haze wrapped around a small, slightly wilted tree. “I…feel…something…it’s heavy!” The young man focused intensely, his head now beginning to roar in pain.

“Nicolaus! Stop!” Amala called out, but Nicolaus pushed on unabated.

“Not yet!”

“Nico’o relax! Your nose is bleeding!” Even Vernon warned, with genuine concern in his voice.

“No! Al…most…there!!” Nicolaus grabbed his own wrist as if he were lifting an extremely heavy dumbbell. With an exaggerated thrust the blue mist tore the tree from the ground and tossed it upward past all the flying members of the party. “S…s…ee…” Nicolaus said as he lost consciousness, blood dripping from his nose and plummeted back toward the earth.

“Nicolaus!” Amala flew rapidly after her co-worker, grabbing him just short of hitting the ground. “Nicolaus! Nicolaus! Say something! Hey!” She screamed in fear hoping for a response.

“Look out!” A cry came from above the two. Amala looked up and saw the tree from before falling back down, barreling toward them. She quickly flew backward to avoid being hit. It wasn’t until she’d already cleared herself and the barely conscious Nicolaus of danger, that Amala noticed Harper, Vergil and Katie were still in the falling tree’s path.

Amala didn’t have the frame of mind at the time to do anything, and simply fell to the ground clutching Nicolaus tight in her arms. The tree crashed into the ground kicking up dirt and debris everywhere. “Oh shit…” Amala said in shock.

“Katie, Vergil, Harper!” Vernon yelled out diving into the dirt cloud. As the dust cleared what looked like black mannequin faces could be seen. “What!?” Vernon said as he backed away in fear. Black mannequins, all awkwardly posed with their hands extended up, were holding the tree up from reaching the ground. The disturbing things were all shaped like women, and all had a single blue eye staring blankly ahead.

Off to the side of the pile sat Harper and Vergil looking confused and scared. “Vernon, o-over here!” Vernon got back on the ground and ran over to the boys as the tree slowly rolled down the mass of mannequins and hit the ground.

“Where’s Katie? Katie!!” Just then the sound of glass cracking came from behind the young man. The mannequins began breaking, and then suddenly shattered like glass, fading away like they were never there. Beneath the pile, Katie’s unconscious body lay. Vernon ran up and checked on her. “Thank God, she’s breathing. What the fuck was all that…?”

Part 3

Time ticked by as Vernon brought Nicolaus and Katie some medical supplies. Nicolaus was busy trying to stop his nose from bleeding while Katie laid on the couch with her forearm covering her eyes.

“I feel like shit…” Katie said in a very downtrodden way. “Tell me what happened again.”

“…I don’t know. I guess…you used some kind of power.” A shaky and all be it unsure answer from Vernon was all that could be given at first.

“It was ultra-weird!” Harper spoke up. “I saw you put your arms up and then out of nowhere a bunch of clones came out of you, but they weren’t clones, they looked kind of like you, but they were completely black! I mean, like beyond black.”

“…Can we all do that?” Vernon started trying to make clones himself, but Nicolaus stopped him.

“Vernon can you bring up your mist really quick?” Vernon obliged and covered himself in the haze once again. Nicolaus reached his hand forward into the mist and held it there for a second. “Hmm…Amala, can you do it now?” Without explaining himself Nicolaus then went over to Amala who also brought up her mist. He once again stuck his hand in the haze and then nodded. “I noticed it before I was completely out. When Amala grabbed me it felt really warm, like an oven. Amala’s mist is different from yours Vernon, and I’m guessing mine too, not just in color, but in what it does. Maybe…we do all have different powers.”

“I knew it!” Harper said jumping to his feet. “I’ve been thinking about it, but now I know for sure then!”

“What have you been thinking about?”

“Oh…uh…just that you guys must have telekinesis!”

“…Telekinesis? You mean like the power to move things with our minds?” Nicolaus asked as he fell back onto the couch from getting lightheaded.

“Yeah! I mean, it makes sense! You were able to lift that tree up out of the ground!”

“Then, why is mine…warm?” Amala made her mist disperse.

“No idea. Vernon, how about you try using your mist - er, telekinesis…to grab something small. Like the remote, grab the remote off the table.” A small television remote sat on Vernon’s living room table. Vernon didn’t say it aloud, but he was really excited to try the power out.

“So, Nick’o, you tried thinking about it like a hand or…what?” With a simple wave of the hand as a lackluster confirmation, Vernon focused making a small sliver of the burgundy haze reach out and grip the remote. “I’ve got it!” Vernon’s elation quickly changed when the mist pushed down on the remote and cracked the table’s glass surface. Vernon stopped immediately by dispersing his mist. “Well…guess I need more practice.”

“This means the three of us have similar power then. I still wonder why my mist is warm.” Amala said pondering.

“I wonder why you didn’t help us…” Katie said aloud.

“Huh?” Everyone went silent.

“You saved Spike but didn’t even bother with us.”

“I-It wasn’t on purpose. I was just thinking about getting to Nicolaus at the time!”

“…Yeah, okay…” Katie rolled over onto her side and started massaging her temples.

“It’s true!” Amala yelled.

“Come on you two, that’s enough.” Vernon tried to help the group regain composure. Vergil’s phone started ringing. When the young man looked at it, his normally pale complexion got even more ghostly.

“U-Uh, Harper…” Vergil leaned over to his best friend and showed him the screen.

“Seriously? Alright, let’s go…I guess.” With a prominent sigh, Harper pulled out his phone and started calling for a ride.

“What’s wrong?” Vernon inquired.

“Vergil has to go home, and my parents know I’m with him, so if I don’t go too then we’ll get in trouble.” Harper finished with his phone. “Alright, the car should be here any minute. Looks like this is all for the night.”

“Wait! Don’t you two want to figure out your powers?”

Vergil nodded, but Harper raised his hand and stopped him. “Nah. Any later and we’ll not make it home on time. Come on, Vergil.” The young boy and his friend walked toward the door.

“I’ll walk you guys out.” Vernon said. He walked with the young boys to where the driver was supposed to pick them up. After they were safely in the car, he bid them farewell and reentered his home. “…So…is this going to be another impromptu sleepover?” He asked jokingly.

“Hopefully not.” Nicolaus said as he sat back up. “I wanted to discuss this with the other guys here but now we’ll just have to go without them.”

“Can’t it wait?”

“…I really want to get this out of the way.” He urged. Nicolaus briefly explained the day’s events. He spoke about the doctor’s visit, the missing bodies of the police officers and general confusion as to what was next for them.

“What you’re saying boils down to is that you’ve brought us more questions and no answers.” Vernon said in a slightly smug tone, upsetting Nicolaus.

“I mean…” Vernon cut deep with his response but was right. “No matter how bad the police in Trenton are, they don’t suck enough to miss dead bodies! All of this just doesn’t sit right with me. Where did the bodies go?”

“Maybe…a bear or coyote came along.” This casual shut down by Vernon agitated Nicolaus enough to make him snap back.

“Will you take this seriously?!”

“Excuse me!?” Vernon stood up, making Nicolaus feel he was being both metaphorically and literally looked down on, so he also got to his feet. “Maybe you’re too busy pouting and brooding to realize, but I am taking this seriously. Very seriously! I’m trying to keep everything together. I’ve got to account for everyone, and everything.”

“No one asked you to! You’re just trying to take charge for no reason and if you haven’t noticed, it didn’t work out that well before, when you nearly killed me!”

“I’m trying to take charge because no one else will!”

“Enough infighting! Holy shit!” Katie got up off the couch and pushed the two men apart, who were so close to bumping heads that they looked like animals squaring off. “What the hell are you two even fighting about? This dick measuring has got to stop!”

“…” Nicolaus looked away realizing that he wasn’t even arguing about how things were being done, but more about Vernon being in charge. “…Whatever. I just want to know what the hell is going on. We don’t even know the extent of these… ‘powers’ for God’s sake! First, we were having the same dreams, then we could throw people around with telekinesis, and now we can fly, and Katie can make these weird mannequins? I mean, shit guys! Six people, six damn people died, but we survived! Carl…Carl and Teddy died!! Aren’t you all freaked out?!”

“…” Amala got up from the couch and raised her hand getting everyone’s attention, then nonchalantly stated… “I killed someone yesterday.” Everyone was shocked at how casually she admitted to that. “I’ve been thinking about that nonstop since it happened. Someone pointed a gun at me, called me some racist stuff, said they were going to kill me and somehow…somehow…I killed - no, destroyed him. I haven’t stopped thinking about it for a second. My mind is buzzing with constant images of a man’s body folding, and contorting, and snapping, and breaking, twisting, and popping, and tearing - do you see what I’m getting at?!” Amala’s eyes began to redden and puff. She was holding back tears as she opened up to the group. Nicolaus thought back to their car ride from earlier that day. Treating the events as if he were the only one affected was a selfish move in his mind, especially after promising that Amala could talk to him about any problems she was having.

“…I’m sorry…”

“…Me too…” Both men lowered their heads in shame.

“Spike…Vernon, we’re all dealing with this. I-I can’t stop thinking about…having a person’s body destroyed and blown all over me!” The usually perky waitress’s pale hands shook like the legs of a new born deer. “I know you two are having a hard time, but we all are!”

“…” Nicolaus opened his mouth with the thought of responding, but immediately realized that there was nothing he could say in his own defense. Heavy tension filled the room. Nicolaus felt sorry about how insensitive he was being and thought it may be best to just leave for the night. On his way toward the front door however, Vernon grabbed the now disheartened and slightly humbled young man by the shoulder and stopped him.

“Wait.” He pulled Nicolaus back into the living room. “You are such a drama queen, man.” Vernon walked to the kitchen and brought out a bottle of Vodka. “Everyone, sit down. Let’s just get it all out, let’s just get all our shit out on the table.” Pulling the living room table with the broken glass into the center of the room, he sat down and gestured for everyone else to join him.

“What is this? Some kind of peer pressure?” Despite his pessimism, Nicolaus sat down at the table. “Fine. If we’re going to do this, then let’s do it right.” Katie took a seat next to him and Amala sat down at the table as well. “Let’s try and keep this civil though.” Vernon pointed the bottle at Nicolaus and reluctantly, he took the first drink. “Agh! Holy hell! That’s strong.”

“Is it? I haven’t even had any. It was a gift from…from Teddy.” That sour note halted the conversation until Vernon grabbed back the bottle and took a swig himself. “Wow!” Katie reached for the bottle and Vernon quickly yanked it away. “It is pretty strong…”

“Come on, dude. Hand it over.” He relented by handing the Vodka over as she downed some without hesitation. “Wow! That is really, really strong. Don’t know how much more of that I can take.” The spunky lass passed the bottle over to Amala next. She sighed, then took some of her dress to wipe the lip of the bottle and took a big gulp.

“Buhha!” Amala was barely able to keep it down, being totally choked up. Katie snickered under her breath. “W-What is this stuff? Aren’t e-expensive drinks supposed to taste good?”

“Alright, everyone had a sip. So, can we start now?” Nicolaus got back on subject. Vernon handed him the bottle and he took another unenthusiastic sip.

“We should get to know each other better first. It’s a technique I learned in management training.”

“This is going to go great!” Nicolaus said sarcastically.

Part 4

(This needs to stop happening…) The strong hangover and cold hardwood floor being far from comfortable, offered little support throughout the long night to Nicolaus as he pushed himself upright. It was the second time in two days that he’d slept in the house of a person he wouldn’t consider a friend, or barely even a co-worker. Looking over to the couch he saw Amala curled up in a blanket. Vernon was snoring, completely asleep with his back leaned against the couch. Light footsteps heading towards the door caught Nicolaus’s attention. It was Katie, trying to sneak out. She looked back, giving Nicolaus a smile, a wink and holding her finger to her lips to signify he should remain quiet. The bright red hair of the young woman disappeared as she closed the front door behind her, leaving without waking the others.

Nicolaus’s bad hangover started setting in again, so he laid back down on the floor for a few more minutes until he heard groaning come from the couch. Vernon sat up and kicked over the two empty bottles that were next to him. He noticed that his not so friendly acquaintance was also awake. They stared at each other for a second, both scowling as they tried to remember if their night of drinking caused either of them to say anything unsavory to or about the other.

“Nick’O…I’ll just come out and say it. If I said anything messed up, my bad.” Surprisingly humble, Nicolaus thought of Vernon’s statement as being less than genuine.

(Probably another tactic he learned in management training. ‘Immediately seize the moral high ground’.) “Same…” The pessimist countered and then held his mouth as he felt vomit build up in his throat.

The also hungover but clearly less so Vernon took notice of his co-worker’s face taking a sickly color. “Bathroom’s upstairs, first door on the left.” Nicolaus got up at that and ran for the restroom.

After barely making it to the bathroom, Nicolaus’s stomach felt a bit better. When the spiky haired youth finished washing his hands he walked out into the hallway and noticed some pictures of what seemed to be a much younger Vernon and his mother. The pictures depicted the Italian-American man through the years growing up. Holding a baseball trophy with a team of other children surrounding him, snowboarding with his mother, graduating from high school with a valedictorian sash on, and even in front of his house, hugging his much older mother. There was only a single photo of what appeared to be Vernon’s father. It showed what looked like him as a newborn, his mother having had just given birth and his father leaning over into frame looking happy.

As Nicolaus walked down the stairs he was pushed aside, nearly being thrown off the steps by Amala as she ran to the bathroom holding her mouth shut. Vernon chuckled and called out to Nicolaus. “Guess you two aren’t hard drinkers, huh?” He replied with a simple shake of the head. “Know where Katie went?”

“Uh…yeah, I saw her leave this morning. She looked fine, so don’t worry too much. More importantly we should report to work ASAP, right?” Nicolaus checked his phone and noticed that it was already ten in the morning.

“It’s not like we have to go back immediately, but you’re right. I’ll E-Mail them for myself. In the meantime, do you want me to call a taxi for you?” The kindness that he was being shown, again surprised Nicolaus.

“Before any of that, let me check on Amala.” As he said that, the little Indian woman walked out of the bathroom. Her normally vibrant brown skin had lost a lot of it’s luster, and her formally tied up hair hung over her face. “Hey, you up to share a ride back to…”

Amala raised her hand to stop Nicolaus just short of finishing his question. “Y-Yes…whatever…okay?” Still clearly not feeling well she sat down on the stairs.

Everyone gathered up their things and a car drove up to the road that ran nearest to Vernon’s house. Amala and Nicolaus filed into the car as Vernon walked back up to his house. It took Nicolaus a second, but he realized it was the same driver that’d driven him and Katie up to the house originally.

“Hey buddy, how ya’ doing?” He called to Nicolaus in the backseat.

“…Alright I guess. Would you mind keeping the radio down? We were drinking pretty hard last night.”

“Sure, sure, no problem. New friend?”

“Yeah…I guess.” Amala had fallen asleep in the car. The driver took notice and kept his voice down with his next question.

“There a reason you ditched the one from before?”

“Mind…your own…business…” Those were his last words as he also drifted off to sleep.

Abruptly stopping the car at its first destination unintentionally woke the groggy young man in the back seat. “Sorry pal. Didn’t mean to wake you up like that.” The skinhead looking chauffeur called to the back. Even though it felt like a few seconds, the car had been driving for nearly thirty minutes as it reached Amala’s apartment. Nicolaus felt a small weight pressing on his shoulder. It was the still sleeping Amala. With a nudge, her eyes sprung open. Embarrassed at her unflattering appearance, she pushed away from Nicolaus fast enough to hit the back of her head on the car door window.

“My bad…” Amala stated, getting out of the car and rushing for the door to her apartment, but then suddenly stopped and turned around to the car door she left open. “Here.” Amala said as she attempted to hand Nicolaus some money from her bag.

“Don’t worry about it.” He replied.

“Just take it, okay?” Amala shoved the money into her carpooling co-worker’s hands and then left. Laying back in the seat, Nicolaus began to rest again as the driver brought him back to his apartment.

When he got back to his apartment, Nicolaus bid a farewell to the driver who yelled out to him from the car. “Don’t forget the rating, kiddo! Also, that young lady was pretty nice too! Good job!” The young pessimist lost his already shaky composure and stumbled as he walked up the stairs to the second floor of the complex.

As soon as the door to his place opened the young man was greeted by the smell of food being cooked on the stove. The strong and savory aroma filled the entire flat. His sister’s boyfriend, the suave and friendly Alonso greeted him on the way in. As for his sister, she laid stretched out across the couch.

“Dani, you will make an excellent mother.” Nicolaus’s obvious sarcasm made Alonso laugh as he invited his soon-to-be in-law to sit down for breakfast.

End of Chapter 4

© Copyright 2019 Angelo Kingston. All rights reserved.


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