It was a deafening sound. The ticking clock, which hung directly above Artemis' head, grew louder with every passing second. Her breath synchronised with each strike. Her vision blurred, unable to comprehend the shattered reality.
"Artemis, honey, can you hear me?"
The voice of Sharon, felt distant and muffled. Present yet not acknowledged. Her words unable to phase Artemis out of the shock she was in. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get through and break her from her trance.
What is… How can she be… Kidnapper…? This can't be possible. This is bullshit! It has to be. They have the wrong person...
More and more she became submersed. She wanted to just stop. To shut her brain down completely and stop thinking about it. But the thoughts would not stop creeping in.
Suddenly, a knock came from the door.
Sharon then got up and left Artemis' side to go and open the door.
"Yes?" She asked
"We're ready to take the girl with us," Said a man.
Artemis looked behind her and saw a tall, thin man. He was wearing a cap and sunglasses which obscured his appearance.
Sharon looked at the man confusingly and then looked back at Artemis
"I didn’t call for anyone to ta…"
Before she could finish that sentence, the man grabbed Sharon and placed a white rag over her mouth, seemingly putting her to sleep
"What the hell…"
Artemis' voice drifted off as she stood there, horrified, watching Sharon pass out on the floor with the man standing over her body.
The man went around Sharon and proceeded in my direction.
"Come with me. We don’t have much time before she becomes conscious again," said the man, extending his hand to Artemis.
His raspy voice sent chills down her spine. As he grew closer she could make out more details. He had a scar on his left palm. She could see a blond hair sticking out from the cap and his face was so pale, he seemed like a ghost.
"W-W-Why would I come with you?"
Her words were so quiet she was surprised that he could even hear her.
"Look, it’s a long story and I really don’t think this is the best time frame to explain it. Trust me, please," said the man.
He took off the sunglasses and the cap revealing a deep wave of blue eyes and his curly hair where part of it covered his left eye.
Looking him in the eye, and the way he said those words, Artemis felt like she could trust him for some reason.
But then her eye wandered back to Sharon and instantly washed that trust away. She knew that if she didn’t go with him willingly, he would try to force her to come along.
"Okay…" She said.
She gradually reached towards him and grabbed his hand.
"Thank you," Said the man with a smile.
But just before they could move, Artemis quickly gave him a lean kick in the groin.
The man yelled in agony, falling to his knees. With the pain distracting him, Artemis ran towards the door and sprinted across the hall
"Come back please!"
The man yelled as loud as he could but Artemis was already halfway to the exit door.
Amidst all the running, her brain was trying to process a million thoughts at once. Trying to comprehend the situation as best she could without slowing down.
Who the hell was that guy?! What did he want with me? Did he have something to do with my mom's disappearance? He might have planned this all for all I know!
As she ran, she saw more officers passed out on the ground. She counted about six or seven.
He knocked out all these people on his own?! Just what kind of shithole have I gotten myself mixed up in?!
She arrived at the door, taking a long and deep breath before forcefully pushing the door open and running out into the pouring cold rain.
Outside was dark and foggy. Artemis could barely make out her surroundings. The chilly wind and zero degree temperature made her feel like she was going to go hypothermic. She needed to get as far away from the police station as she could.
She fumbled around hitting into rocks and signs, trying to find the road back to town and just go back to her home.
Dammit I forgot my phone back there. Can't go back now or I'll get caught by that guy. And I don’t think that trick will work the second time around.
With no avail, she decided to take a shortcut through the woods. Hoping it would make it harder to be discovered while also not getting lost herself.
Okay so if I walk straight for a couple of minutes then take a left, I should end up back on Pearson Street and get home from there.
She set off with her plan in my mind and luckily, succeeded in getting back on the main road
"Finally!" She said aloud this time.
Relief filled her lungs as she took a big gulp of air. But, in the end, that relief quickly disappeared in a matter of seconds.
For only a few feet away from here, she made out two shadows in the fog that were narrowing in on her. They moved with such calmness, like a predator homing in on it's prey, ready to snatch the kill.
Artemis slowly backed up, her muscles too tense and tried to allow her to run any further. And even if she could there was no where she to go. She knew the guy from the station was surely catching up to her and that these two wouldn’t let her get away.
"Stay back! Leave me alone, Please!"
Artemis begged them to stop but they kept getting closer and closer.
At that point she just fell to her knees. Losing all hope and faith that she would ever make it out of this awful situation.
Then the ringing started.
Her skull began to pound severely. She wrapped her hands around her head, screaming in pain.
"What's going on?!" She yelled to herself
The phrase came from one of the shadows.
"Your body is getting ready to accept the upcoming changes." It said.
"Changes…?" She whispered to herself.
"Look at the sky."
Tilting her head above, she saw that the moon had turned to a pure red. Blood red.
What the hell? An eclipse?
The throbbing grew stronger. She couldn’t bare it any longer. She knew she was going to go under any minute now.
Before she did, she felt something different. She looked at her hands and saw them shaking. They were vibrating intensely.
But that wasn’t the strange thing. The bizarre part was that she her hands were changing. As if they were being replaced by something completely different.
Then she saw what they had become. Her arm was made of wood now, the tips of her hand had become the end of a barrel. Her initials inscribed and carved on each of arms.
And that’s when she realised. Her hands had become a weapon. They'd become shotguns.
"Huh, well that’s a new one" Said one the shadows.
And with that she fell on her side onto the wet road. Her eyes on the verge of closing.
Last thing she saw was the man from station running towards her and yelling her name. The men stood in her line of vision and blocked the view.
Then darkness engulfed the scene.
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