Available Darkness: Chapter 37
(Serial and Milk: Available Darkness is a serialized horror thriller co-written by David Wright and Sean Platt. A new chapter appears here each Friday. If you missed previous chapters, you can read them here.)
Los Angelas, California
Jacob stood on the building’s ledge, wind whipping the loose charcoal suit against his wiry frame. The city view from 50 stories in the sky personified his feelings about humanity: almost beautiful, from a distance.
He’d been on their soil, mingling among the insects for far too long. His body was starting to show signs of human frailty. His face was sunken and pale. His hair had all fallen out years ago. His pain was constant.
Of course, Jacob could regenerate at any time, but his desire to feed had faded a while ago. A few months earlier, he’d started to widen the gap between feedings. Now he was trying to see how far he could stretch the rubber band before it finally snapped. Though he’d not given it much thought, he supposed he was trying to see how close he could drift to death before she finally circled her fingers around him.
Death was an inviting mistress, offering sweet release from breathing the breath of a world in which he didn’t belong.
When he first crossed over, thirsty for vengeance against his mother and brothers, the idea of a new world seemed to harbor eternal wonder. It was the world’s initial beauty and seemingly endless possibilities, actually, which had caused him to spare his young brothers’ lives so many years before. He had planned to kill them all, planned to make them pay for their treachery. There was however, something about this world, a chance to reinvent himself, create a new life away from his father and his expectations, that seemed liberating.
Of course, his singular act of mercy was a splinter of resolve that had haunted him for years. Because, ironically enough, his brothers were the only ones on this planet who knew of the one way back home. Of course, he had not known that back then. And now they were now beyond his reach, hidden by the conspirators who sought to rid the world of all of his kind while he remained stuck in eternal purgatory.
Though he knew better than to believe in such human constructs as Hell, Jacob surely felt as if he were stuck in his own version of it. He was tired of this world and its people; narrow-minded, petty creatures with such limited intellect. They did serve their purposes, though. They were such wonderful fun to torment. And the pleasure of a good hunt was universal, regardless of the animal. Frankly, Jacob was amazed humans had gotten as far as they had as a species—not that they hadn’t had some help along the way from his kind.
Jacob creased his face with a slight smile as his memories drifted back to his first home, the true one. Though it had been two decades since he’d last laid eyes on it, Earth, for all its incessant assaulting of the senses, could not erase the nostalgia for home from his mind. The spiraling snow capped mountains, the lush green and blue forests, and the sky at night—a dizzying array of colors and shapes. He also longed for Other World’s denizens, a rich diversity of species which made Earth seem like a small fish tank in comparison. To think that he would never lay eyes on another Allutroch only made him sadder than he already was.
He glanced again at the pavement below. Given his weakened state, he wondered if the fall would finally do it. His foot inched forward, seemingly with a mind of its own. He laughed at the thought that his body was willing to do what his mind had not found the strength to carry out.
Perhaps I should listen to my body.
His right foot was hovering in midair, 50 stories above probable death, when a ringing from his pocket suddenly whispered above the wind’s cry.
He laughed again. Cell phones, always interrupting him from important tasks.
He looked at the screen. It was Davis, a man he had not heard from in more than a year. Davis was a descendant of one of The Pioneers and wouldn’t be calling Jacob to exchange pleasantries.
No, this was important.
Jacob turned, leaped to the rooftop, then dangled his legs from the ledge where he’d just seconds ago been ready to jump.
“Yes?” Jacob answered the phone.
“It’s Davis,” the man on the other line said. He sounded excited. “I found him!”
Jacob said nothing. The words had paralyzed him with something he had never felt before—hope.
Davis continued, “I found John.”
TO BE CONTINUED…
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