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I don’t know when the murder happened. I just found them stone dead. Their features were frozen in an expression of pure terror. Hmm . . . terror . . . What terrifies a person? Scary movies? Standing on the edge of a cliff? A serial killer with a bloody knife? Deciding to focus on my last idea, I started to walk toward the City’s most dangerous district, LowTown.
LowTown was so named because it was filled to the brim with scum and villainy. It was the first place any decent cop should go looking for a murderer, but with the Police so corrupt nowadays, it was all up to me. Anyway, I was walking down the LowTown streets when out of the shadows a gang of thugs showed up. One had a handgun, the other two were unarmed, but they looked like they knew how to punch. “Hey you,” the thug with the gun said. “Give us your cash." From the way the thug held his gun, I knew it wasn’t loaded. I kept walking. Then I heard a thunderclap, something whiz past me, and a bullet casing hit the pavement. Looks like I wasn’t so right about the gun.
“I won’t miss next time,” the thug said, holding a smoking gun. I stopped. One of the unarmed thugs was walking toward me, presumably to take everything of value I had on me. I smiled. This was going to feel good. I swung around and punched the thug right in the face. The thug fell to the ground, unconscious. Wow, I hadn’t meant to hit him that hard. I kicked the other unarmed thug, and threw a rock from the street at the last one. He grunted, dropped his gun, and started to sprint toward me. I didn’t see the blade until it was too late. I felt the cold steel slide into my chest, then I collapsed. There were no hospitals in LowTown, and the wound was fatal. I would die a slow, painful death. Good thing I had one last trick up my sleeve. With a grunt I reached toward the dial on the side of my watch, knowing the clock was ticking. I touched the dial, and time stopped.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I was safe. I turned back the dial on my watch, and time started rewinding. Suddenly I was no longer hurt, and I was back at the point in time when the thug started to sprint at me, and this time I saw his hand reach for his knife. I wasted no time. Moments later the last thug was down.
I now found myself at my destination. The sign said Jacob’s Fresh Meats. I chuckled. There was nothing fresh in LowTown. The place looked cheap, but it was my only lead. I stepped through the door, and eyed the man behind the counter. “Where is he?” I said, demanding. The man looked deep into my eyes. “He told me you would come,” the man said, trembling. “Follow me.” He led me to a door at the back of the building. I opened it, and before me lay a gloomy staircase that led down into darkness. I stepped through the doorway, and looked back at the man. He started to reach for the doorknob to close the door, but the door slammed shut on its own, trapping me in darkness. I knew then that I was up against a fellow Paranormal.
I walked down the staircase, eyes adjusting to the darkness, fear beginning to creep into my heart. At the bottom of the staircase was a red door. I reached for the handle, but suddenly heard a voice that froze me in my tracks. It was Their voice. “One man will enter, one man will leave,” the voices said in the back of my mind. I couldn't let Them scare me. I opened the door.
The door closed behind me on its own, just like before. The room before me was empty except for a man sitting on a stool, hunched over a table. The man wore butcher’s clothing, and appeared to be chopping meat with a butcher knife. “I am called The Butcher,” the man said simply. “They told me I have to kill you.” I was silent. He stopped chopping. “My master’s wish is my command,” The Butcher said, and with one fluid motion twisted around and threw his butcher knife. I leaned to the left, and the knife missed. The Butcher laughed, reached out his hand, and the knife came flying back to him. Now that he had turned around, I got a good look at his face. His teeth were as sharp as knives, his face was riddled with scars, and his eyes . . . his eyes were dead.
I knew what I had to do. “Your soul has been captive far too long,” I said. The amulet I always wore around my neck began to glow as I began the incantation. “They offered you power, and you accepted,” I said as The Butcher slashed at me, each blow barely missing me. “They made you strong, but it came with a cost,” I chanted. The Butcher roared and threw his knife straight at me. I didn’t move fast enough. I collapsed -- the pain was unbearable -- but I couldn’t break concentration. “You became a slave to Their will, consumed by your own power. I command you to break free from your master’s control. Go now. Be free,” I panted. The butcher grabbed the knife from my chest, and raised the knife above his head ready to strike the killing blow. The amulet around my neck began to glow intensely, and suddenly broke from the cord it was hanging on. There was a brilliant flash of light as The Butcher swung his knife, and then everything went white.
Was I dead? Nah, being killed hurts. Slowly I regained consciousness. The amulet was back around my neck, The Butcher was gone, gone was the wound in my chest, and the red door was open. I got up and dusted myself off. I still had more work to do, more souls to free.