Monday, March 21, 2011

Psychflare: First Steps

[Set in the Vurok universe, but stands on its own. See comments for notes]

First Steps

There's hardly anything original about a teenager dreading the prospect of going to school, she thought. They all do it, and she didn't want to be part of the crowd, now did she? Another part of her brain noted that superficial similarities didn't change the deeper reason, and anyway the “be an individual by acting opposite to the majority” argument is bullshit of ten different kinds.

A third voice remarked that all this wasn't getting anything done, and listed the basic options. Run, deal, endure. Enduring was becoming less likely with each day and running was not a real solution. Dealing with it sounded much more like the kind of thing she should do. The analytic mind thus rested and gave way to the creative, telling it to generate possible approaches to solving the problem.

From the outside, though, all these psych-level events were invisible (were they?) and all she showed was herself walking to school. The unwelcome perspective of soon seeing him again was lightened by the fact she had made her decision, or the first step of it. Thus, her expression smoothly changed from frustrated gloom to mildly amused neutrality. No sense in giving it away.

As she approached her destination and entered the crowd, she felt the brief flashes and quiet rumble of foreign thought enter her consciousness. She didn't try to make out anything definite, it was too distracting. She just walked. Like always, he was a bellowing scream in a sea of whispers, a searing light in a grey fog. Impossible to ignore, the sick bastard.

It sometimes amazed her how everyone else just carried on, how they could be oblivious to the repulsive miasma emanating from his very person But then she remembered that, no matter how much pure evil one person can be, it doesn't give them some dark aura of terror. To everyone else, to those whose minds only harbour their own thoughts, the beasts look just like people.

There he stood, silently delighting himself in the idea of taking one of his students to a dark, secluded place, like he'd done before. To tell her that nobody would believe her, to mix in the lies and the threats, to take a knife and- fuck, no more of this. She managed to get out of his head before he got too excited. This time, at least. She was still aware of him, the fantasies were just outside the edge of her mind, but she wasn't seeing them now. Not for the first time, she wondered if he had ever fantasised about her. With a shudder, she forced herself to think of something happier, like violent murder.

Ideas, ideas, ideas. Ideas that could work, perhaps...

* * *

A few weeks later...
Aidan Lull sat in his office studying a small handwritten note. It simply said “I am a disgusting piece of shit and I deserve to die.” Nothing of much importance, were it not for the fact it was the third such note he'd found recently. A new fad amongst students, some sort of prank, or what? Absent-mindedly, he twirled the note in his fingers, and suddenly noticed it had something written on the other side. “I shouldn't have kept a memento,” it stated.

Startled, he crumpled the paper and threw it across the room. A second later, he laughed at his reaction. It was obviously a coincidence. Nobody knew, and if they did, they wouldn't be sending him notes, they'd be talking to the police. Just teenagers playing around. He picked up the piece of paper and stuffed it in his pocket, trying to ignore the small uncomfortable feeling that would keep him company for several hours

His classes were uneventful, and no test he graded that day looked like it had been written by the mysterious note's author. He had almost managed to reassure himself and forget all about the paper by the time he got back home.

It fell out of his pocket while he was looking for his keys. Worry struck again, but it would turn out to be nothing, he knew. Still, just to be sure... He checked a small box he usually kept locked and out of sight and upon opening it, all uneasiness vanished. It gave way to horror, as a new note was waiting for him.

* * *

Aidan was at the location specified, looking for a notebook. Why a notebook, he didn't know, but that was what the piece of paper said. It wasn't a large place to search, but it was dark A switch, a switch... ah yes. He finally found the light and flicked it on, and easily found what he was looking for. The first page were detailed instructions for where leave the ten thousand in cash he'd been asked for. Next, he had to write a note just like the one he'd first received, and deliver it to an address nearby within one hour. There, he'd be able to get back his “lost possession”. Hopefully, this would be the end of the treasure hunt.

Who the hell was this person? Some twisted bastard who took delight in blackmailing people into running errands? And how much did they know? No matter. He had no option but play along, at least for now. Thirty minutes later, he was at one of the many empty buildings in the city, climbing up the twelfth flight of stairs. He paused to catch his breath right in front of the room, praying nobody would jump out of a dark corner. He'd been lucky so far, but it might not last.

“I will find my lost possession taped outside, above the window. Then, I'll leave what I wrote on the desk, leave, and never come back.” was what the note had instructed him. Easy enough. He walked to the right wall and carefully put his arm through the window, avoiding what seemed like broken glass. He groped around, but couldn't feel anything. The window was big enough to stand on, so stepped up, and felt around. In the dark, he never noticed the mat under his feet. He did, however, notice the sudden pull that threw him outside, a dozen stories down, to his death.

A girl stood by the corpse, smiling with satisfaction. Murder was quite the drug, she now realised. She felt like she never had before, brimming with energy, ready to do anything. Relieved his fucked up brain was gone, and above all ecstatic by the killing rush, she noted revulsion or guilt were noticeably absent from the emotional cocktail. This was a game she'd have to play again.

1 comment:

  1. Yay, psychflare just one week after the last.

    So, those of my readers that have been following Vurok (i.e. nobody) will cleverly deduce who this mysterious murderess with psychic powers is. For the rest of you (i.e. also nobody), she's possibly the first Vurok character to form in my brain. Possibly, because I don't actually remember if I thought of Void et al. first. I blabbed about her about a year ago, before Vurok even existed as a thing. She was later transplanted there, and her backstory changed a bit, as you can see.

    More Vurok in this vein might be upcoming, but I don't know.