Thirty seconds is how much time you have left until you die. It has been two months from when the countdown started. Dreaming could happen and nightmares didn't exist. You could still breathe the earth air but ,somehow, it didn't last forever like everyone thought. Your name is Klaus. You never knew who you father really was but your mother was good to you. Forever is a big word. Be careful when and where you use it because in this time anything can become a curse.
-Two Months Earlier-
In the dark corner of an abandoned street crouched a figure. With everything it had, it tried to stop shaking. The cold of the night was nothing like it had been like last year. Even as the moon was bright that night, you still could not see even the shadows of what was dead or even alive.
Stars, what were left of them, hung up in the dark blue sky. Eyes, that were full of guilt, watered the pink cheeks beneath them. Fear, sat in the minds of the strong, and called to the weak. The figure closed its eyes hoping for when they opened them again everything would change. The wind was picking up and yet the figure never moved or showed its face. It was hidden by the shadows of the dark city while others walked on not even realizing that the figure was sad, lonely, and hungry.
Finally, after what seemed to be a life time, the figure moved. The streets lights hi the ground beneath worn out shoes covering bruised and blistered feet, at that moment, just seconds, lives were being taken away and given. In just that little of time people were being married and children were crying. All those things were happening in the world and yet this figure, a person who had no life, family or home, was freezing and thinking about everything he wasn't doing.
This is you.
Just two weeks ago you mother passed away. She always took care of you, making sure you had enough to eat and was warm when you stepped outside that front door.
Then it stopped.
She could not look you in the eye anymore. She was late getting home from her job and she never fixed supper again. You wanted to say something, anything to know why she was acting like this. The time finally came.
\"Klaus, I made supper.\"
You had look up from your math book. She didn't look at you but instead found interest in the pasta she had prepared. She was a good cook. Excellent in fact. She didn't like to boast but she could make anything. You had always like that. The homey feeling your mother carried around, giving the empty house feel more like a home rather than a two bedroom shack. In fact, you had almost forgotten you father was missing from the picture. He had left last summer when he found out there wasn't enough money to support all three of you. It seemed you father had a gambling addiction on top of his smoking and drinking. He wasn't mean or uncaring. He was everything you could ask for in a dad except...responsible. It just seemed he was still trying to live back in the past, like he was still in high school. He was on the football team and was popular. You had asked him how he met your mother and he had shrugged his shoulders and laughed.
\"She was working the food stand at our last home game. I had never met her before, just thought she was new or something.\"
He had scratched his head, a tear streaking down his cheek. You had thought he was sad from remembering that moment but he wasn't. In cases like these, you can't just see someone's feelings. You have to understand, hear what they are saying first. His voice was breaking and you watched as he crumbled down into the mess he was.
\"Your mother was a beauty. Black raven hair, and dark brown eyes. I don't know how I had missed her before.\"
His voice had cracked and he embraced you into a hug. A look of obliviousness was written all over your face. Even if you had wanted to know what your father was secretly trying to tell you, you wouldn't have understood. Not even now, would you be able to understand.
\"Yes, I'll be done in a second.\"
You had shook your head. These flash backs had been happening lately, slowly devouring your mind. They twisted your thoughts and confused you. You were counting the days, the hours and even the minutes of how long your mother would stop the whole depression act. You wanted to believe she was just playing a game but deep in you heart you knew this wasn't a game.
Taking your sweet time, it seemed you had a lot of time those days, you packed up your school books and tossed the backpack beside the couch. Racing through you mind wasn't anything special. You weren't worrying about he Russian bombs killing thousands in Iran or how many women were killing their babies. You weren't even thinking about you dad. No, what you were thinking about was how to ask your mother what was wrong. A simple question you couldn't even ask you own mother. This is you, a teenage boy frightened at what you mother might say and...you had a good reason to be.
How many hours are in a day? Twenty-Four. Half of that time you waste- sleeping, eating and just sitting around doing nothing. Thinking of nothing and not worrying about the world outside your house walls. If you know what was about to happen would you have done something differently in you life? You can't go back and fix anything, it is set in stone. Could it be that you are afraid that if you did fix everything it would just turn out the same way? As if this situation, this nightmare, was meant to be or possibly be fate? Slowly the walls will close in on you and you won't be able to escape. Your life will be nothing but sand in god's hands. This was never suppose to happen you say? You can't predict your own future as no one can predict anyone else's.
You slid the chair back and away from the kitchen table. It was nothing fancy. The chairs didn't even match each other, random cheap sitting tools your mother found at a garage sale or the Salvation Army. The table that you two ate off was cracked from so many years. On top were rings where cups sat with no coasters.
She still wasn't looking at you.
Could you really have ashamed your mother this bad? So many years trying to keep your grades up while also trying to endure the pain from insults and put downs by your fellow class mates, did it all go to waste? You tried so hard to at least be someone in your mother's eyes yet you could not even accomplish that? Sometimes, you thought, that you could change things but what if god was against you? What would you do then?
At school you might have talked to people but you felt so out of place with them. It was almost as if there was a glass wall separating them from you, they couldn't see you but you could see them. Their smiles shining too bright and blinding your eyes and their laughing growing louder and louder by the second.
It was like they didn't want to see you. You were a wall blocking the window they were desperately trying to see out of. And you just knew when senior year rolled around and graduation came up, they wouldn't remember you. There wasn't anything special or unusual about you, so why would they want to remember you?
Just when you think you have the answer another question is asked making the answer invalid. You are just wasting your time, those seconds you need to live. A ticking bomb, counting down until the exact moment it will go off. Those numbers flashing are deciding your life. Everything and everyone is deciding your life. You want it to stop so bad but...you can't stop time.
\"Mom...is there something wrong?\"
You curse at how desperate you sound. A child tugging at his mother's skirt, begging for attention. Helpless just like a child or a stranded dog. So many questions running through head, they keep asking the same thing.
Who are you?
I set my hand down onto my lap. This is effortless, wasn't it? Trying and hoping to get to her but never succeeding. It was all for a lost cause.
\"He's come back. He wants me to keep my end of the bargain.\"
She covers her mouth with her hands, almost not believing what she had just said. I didn't know what she was talking about. If she had just revealed a terrorist secret I wouldn't have known because at that moment I wasn't listening. Hearing her words but not actually knowing what she meant by them.
\"What do you mean?\"
I lick my lips, glancing around the room before focusing back on her shaking frame. Her teeth are chattering, filling the silent room with sharp noise.
This time I stand up walking over to her. She's sorry? For what? After ignoring me for days this is what she says to me? Time after time of wanting to know what I did wrong she gives me nothing but a sorry? I love my mother. This I have known since I was bornShe he gave birth to me but the woman sitting in this chair is not my mother. My mother would never say sorry.
\"Who are you?\"
Those gaping holes I am looking in are not a humans. They hold nothing but death. Touching her cheek, I feel only cold skin. What life she used to hold is gone now. What must be going through her mind at this moment as I frown down at her with angry eyes? Does this hollow person ever feel the hatred I bare in my heart for her? I hope she does because that will be the only emotion I will have for her after she has taken my mother.
I drop my hand and back away from her. I don't want to even look at her. The emptiness and the pain are too much to take knowing she will never come back.
But then a hand grabs mind, stoping it in mid-air.
\"Don't leave me.\" Her voice tells me she wants me to save her but I can't. She has been lost in her own depression and none of it can be salvaged.
\"I can't.\" I whisper to her and its the truth. What she wants me to do is not possible. If some how she could be saved I would have done it a long time ago.
\"Then you are not my son.\"
Tightening her hold around my wrist she knocks me done onto my knees. With wide eyes I try to pull from her hold. By now her nails are digging into my skin. This was not my mother. Looking up into her yes I knew something wasn't right.
A gust of wind blew through the room blowing my hair back. The locks to the windows rattled and the lights dimmed. The figure that used to hold my mother's should looked straight into my eyes. What is saw was something I would never forget. Those eyes were as black as coal. They burned my eyes to appoint I had to look away. I had to escape whatever was keeping me here.
Then just as I was about to make a run for it, a voice spoke out to me and a form started to appear behind the old corpse of my mother.
\"She kept her side of the deal, didn't she?\"
Thin fingers grasped the shoulder of my mother. There was so much fear in me I could not muster enough strength to look up. I didn't want to know what these things were.
\"Look at me.\" The voice called out.
It was so soft but I could tell it was a man's voice. His feet had formed on the ground and I could see his feet. It was weird staring at the shoes. They looked like something seen on any other person's feet. No shoe laces but...yes, they were dress shoes. And he was wearing slacks. Both were the color back, one could tell he kept them in shape. The dress shoes polished and the slacks ironed. They bother were eye catching and before I knew it, I was reaching out to them.
Over the shoes, I traced with my pointer finger where I thought his toes were. His big toe to his little pinky toe.
When I was just a toddler I would play this game with my mother. How much do I love you? As much toes as I have on my foot times ten. It was years later that I finally realized my mother had a limit on her love.
A growl rippled through the room. I stopped my tracing catching on to what I had been doing. I was on my hand and knees to a stranger.
\"Such an odd reaction. I was expecting you to start begging for your life.\"
The right shoe moved backwards and the man bent down on one knee. Kneeling he cupped my chin with his bony fingers, raising my head to his level. Quickly I closed my eyes. I couldn't. I just couldn't look him in the eyes. If I did there was no telling what he would do to me. And somehow I knew it would be worse than my mother's fate.
\"Are you scared? A beautiful young boy scared of a man life me? I hope you get over that fear real soon son because this will not be the last time you see me. No, I will come back for you.\"
A cold digit ran up the outline of my jaw and up the side of my face. Quick breaths were escaping me. Not able to contain them I let them go free. Surely I was going to hyperventilate but whatever I did, I never opened my eyes. That was one thing I could not do. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder bringing me closer to the man. On my face the finger kept moving closer and closer to my left eye. I shut my eyes tighter.
\"You don't have to be afraid. You are mind and I would never hurt anything that was mine.\"
The finger turned into a hand and it cupped the left side of my face. The man's thumb brushed over my left eye-lid then pushed it up. I tried my hardest to keep my eyes shut but after I felt him open my eyes I could not keep them shut. His face was perfect. Something that no human could ever look away from. And his eyes were just the opposite of my mother's. They mad me want to follow him wherever he went.
\"Hello.\" He spoke, a smile sprouting over his face.
That look was all I needed to see to know I had lost. A silent game that had no rules I had lost to this man. His hands fell from my face and my shoulder down to his sides. With the smile still on his face, he stood back to where he had once stood behind my mother.
\"I knew she would do well at creating you. Her beauty was something I could always count on.\" He brushed a stand of black hair behind her ear. No fails expression could be seen on either of their faces. They were like two ghosts lost in the living world.
A cracking of the windows strained my ears. The man faded away, his eyes never leaving my own. What used to be my mother, reached out trying to grab the man. She let out a per icing scream.
\"Come back! You said I could leave if I brought you a child!\"
Tears started to flow down her cheeks. Digging my fingers into the tiles of the kitchen floor, I watched as the man disappeared back to where he had come from. An explosion of glass flew above my head from the windows. The body of my mother covered her face, blocking the shards of sharp glass before it could harm her.
The man laughed before he was gone but in his place was a black blob. Covering my ears, I swear I was dreaming. The black blob looked liked something seen from a comic book or a child's Saturday cartoon. From its mouth sharp teeth protruded from its dark blue gums. A faint growl came from its mouth and is targeted at the shaking from of my mother's body.
\"Stay back! No!\"
She crawls back, going so far back that she is trapped under the kitchen table. My heart years to help her even though my mind tells me not to. This isn't your mother, I tell myself. But when she looks at me, her arm stretching out for my hand, I want to think she is the same person. That she was the same woman when she was raising me. That all those winter days spent outside in the snow, making igloos, did not go to waste.
And be use of that nagging guilt, I reach out my hand. Slowly creeping toward each other our finger tips brush over one another. I feel her warmth and her love.
For only a few seconds though.
Not even a scream or a gasp could have been released before the black blob but down onto her form. One bite and a swallow, she was gone.
For a moment I sat there staring wide eyed up at the monster. Then I finally realize its coming for me. My legs couldn't carry me fast enough to the living room. The sounds the blob made kept me alarm that it wasn't going to stop until it had me too.
I skid to a stop in front of the front door ready to fly out onto the moonlit street.
And before the black monster could eat me, just like my lifeless mother, the front door busts open. Splinters of wood swarm around me, cutting open the skin on my arms and legs. Ducking, the monster misses me by an inch as it swings is translucent arm. When I finally get a chance to look at what had busted the front door wide open, I am already being dragged away from the monster and out the door.
A large hand covers my mouth, while I am are also being pushed down behind the alley way dumpster. I can't believe what you have just witnessed. My mother was killed.
\"Hey, you! Look at me.\" A pair of fingers snap in front of my face. Crouching down beside me is a man who looks no older than twenty. I can't really see his face but I can make out the shape of his figure.
\"You saved my life.\" I barely whisper out.
Just seconds ago, I was almost killed. Blood was just rushing through my mind. The man that had just magically appeared in front of my face didn't show any emotion that this was abnormal. It was almost like he had seen things worse than having a woman get chewed on by a monster or really a thing.
\"Yeah, I did.\" He rolled his eyes, turning back to the door we had just came flying out of.
\"I need you to do me a favor.\"
I sit up, sliding closer to the man. I should be freaking out right now but all I could do right then was stare at the man's face. Then a roar came from the empty house.
My eyes flash to the monster who was making his way toward the two of us that were hiding. Even in the dark I had to wonder what it actually looked like. In the house you were just too busy trying to save your mother than really trying to see how ugly the thing was.
\"I need you to run.\" That was when the monster lunged.
The man threw his arm in front of me before stepping in front of the monster. His hand reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out a gun shaped object. It wasn't a gun, that I was sure of. The thing was shaped weirdly in the front, most likely made for larger bullets.
Another roar was heard from the monster. That was when I decided to run.
My feet were going faster than they had ever went in their lives. Shaking my head, I could not help but feel like a coward. I had just left that guy alone there with that monster! Even though he had told me to run, I should have just refused. Helping another was better than just running away.
Having made up my mind, I circled back around. So many choices and I could not figure out which one was the best.
Stopping I looked around for any sign of the monster and the man. In the distance, up the street, I could see them. The man held the weird object in front of him aiming it at the monster but the monster moved.
\"Stay still!\" The man yelled.
And then there was a blast.
A fire red lit up my eyes and on instinct my hands flew to my face. I was blown backwards and blacked out.
But not before I heard the man curse.
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