The sound of crayon scraping the floor made young mother awake early in the morning and check the ruckus in living room.
– Adrian! Not again! – She exclaimed as she saw new drawings of strange geometrical obscenities on the living room floor.
Boy, aged 11 was fully taken over by what he was up to; he would not stop at nothing until he would finish this strange map or painting. More it looked like some outer space architecture drop out than a drawing, if you pay a bit more attention to it.
His mother rushed to Adrian, grabbing him tight and hugging him, but he, with all might kept on trying to escape to continue. He seemed obsessed. His mother would often say that he was “Possessed by some sort of a creature which made him do this.” Doctors would come and go, trying to figure out this strange occurrence, yet nobody had answer why every third night boy would go and draw, then forget that he did so and silently go back to sleep.
– No Adrian! Stop! You’re scaring me! Monster! You’re a monster!
Waking up with his head heavy, Adrian wiped up his face with a palm of his hand – cold sweat. His past memories would haunt him at times in his dreams, as that was not the best sort of childhood one could dream of.
He looked at the time – 7:12 in the morning. “Overslept again” he thought to himself as he got dressed. Right in the middle of buttoning up shirt knocked on the door his trusted butler: “Morning Sir. Breakfast awaits you in the dining room; may I pull the curtains, Sir?” Adrian just nodded.
Breakfast was filling, coffee, like darkest and sourest soul one can find, was just right to wake him up.
Looking up calls on the phone, he noticed a missed call from David.
Adrians eyes looked up, at the ceiling with paintings on it, the slight disgust from the dreams was still lingering somehow.
“Work. Work calls.” He thought to himself as he jumped into black car, dialling Davids number. By the way David calls, there are usually obscure little problems, which if not dealt with fast become the size of the solar system.
Few beeps later David answers and gets straight to the point: “Erick sees her, freaking out again, yet like insane does the writing. AIO might spike up.” “On my way”, – was all that Adrian replied, changing lanes on motorway.
Having the issue each time as he was getting inside the building where David lived, as the security was dense in head to remember him as well as David being called up by security to verify the identity of the guest, as per regulations regarding the visitors without the owner at side was always quite a “strange” occurrence here.
Finally getting up to the hell knows which floor, that took quite a time even by elevator to get up to, Adrian found the needed door to get into the home of his subordinate. Although it was long since they had any legit communication, Adrian was let in by the opened door, where he found in living room the two people closest to him; Erick was having some sort of breakdown, shaking and hitting back David who tried to hug Erick and contain his movements was thrown back, leaving Erick hugging himself, defending himself from unknown.
– How long is he like this? – Adrian spoke as he got out phone.
– For past thirty minutes or so; can’t get him to calm down. – David breathed out.
– Give me fifteen more. – Typing something on the phone Adrian came up closer to Erick.
Examining the obvious paranoia and fear, seeing the eyes shooting across the room, as if there was someone scouting around for bones, life at steak, Erick covered his mouth and tried not to breathe loudly, dreadful fear frozen still in his eyes, tears falling down. Erick looked at Adrian as if this creature of doom was in Adrians place.
– It’s because of Niko, is it not? – David gave judging look to Adrian.
– Most likely. Knowing how they both are synchronised.
– You sent her again? Did you not promise to stop? What the hell is on with you nowdays?
– I assume that is mainly none of your concern. Just fulfil your role.
Adrian was pacing the room, looking at things new to him in here. It was few years now, yet still it seemed like not much changed.
– Medicine will be here soon.
– If you think that being up there lets you do all this, you are wrong. – David sat down next to Erick, who sat still now – covering his mouth, crouched with his knees close to chest, crying.
– There are changes in the perspective. Data is needed. I need new people. You know yourself how it gets out there…
– It gets ugly, – David cut in, – and it’s hard, body takes up a dosage of stuff unknown here yet. You do remember what happened to me, to you, to Erick!
– And the only one with tough balls is still going on investigating. Stop whining. You know full well how the updates are vital in here. If not this, we’d be in tough spot all together, if not crucified and “purified” by fire, or what else would come up in ones head.
Phone buzzed, Adrian took a look at the screen.
– Five more minutes dear lass.
– We would be dead or experimented on by others, not our kind. That for sure. But still, if last of us would not survive, or experience memory loss, it would toss all into the pit of darkness. And comedy matter of finding new pets for experiment? To seek them out loud publically would be suicide. Have you lost your mind?
Adrian said nothing, just went to the door to pick up something from the security. Door shut, Adrian took out syringe from the bag, then in fast motion stuck needle into back of Ericks neck – making the contents pour into Ericks system, calming him down, making drowsy. Off goes the man to the la-la land.
Adrian hands out the pack of pills.
– You know how to use that. I am still sane, if you judge by our type of measure. There are things yet to be discovered, and things yet to be known, I just want us to keep on going. – He looked at Erick, – I still want to be able to submerge in there fully, not the way we still do. Dreams should not die, and there are always sacrifices, as payment due has to be sorted for what we do. David, you most of all know how everything works. – Adrian took a good look on David, – Don’t forget what you’ve learned, when you had time. And think what might happen if we lose our last resort. We need more people.
People are chatting outside his office. Faint voices are heard, but nothing in particular to be understood from that chatter. A glass of alcohol is on the table, fingers are nervously tapping on the corner of the document pile that just arrived from Kriss. Reading these files comes a bother at times. They remind a lot of things that were meant to be forgotten.
This room now seems more claustrophobic than ever, for the only window is just overlooking small patch of man-made park, rest of scenery taken over by industrialism and grotesque buildings hanging over the head. Doors and walls thick, perhaps if he screamed nobody would hear, perhaps that was a delusion, maybe reality, thoughts go wandering off.
“I won’t be the monster.” – Mumbled Adrian as he downed the burning liquid, then took bottle and poured more.
After seeing Erick, there were memories crawling out of unfathomable of deepest hell one could possess. The childhood memories came back. The horrid pictures and sounds, the face of woman who gave birth to Adrian in fear, trembling, screaming… “You’re a monster! Not my son! Monster! Get away!!!” – Were the last words he could recall hearing from her.
It was quite a massive burden, then troubles and issues rolled like a snowball, and it ended with blood. All that Adrian did was follow the labyrinth, get through the strange land of wonders and in the end kill monsters to return home, promised by the Creature that he’d be forever released from this place and returned back to “normal” to his loving parents. But when Adrian returned, he witnessed blood on his hands, two bodies beneath him, stone cold, with frozen horror on their face.
Shaking madly, screaming and pleading for parents to return, but nothing helped. Then the Creature spoke in this place too, saying it was he – Adrian who killed his parents and now was fully capable of freedom. No more craping on the floor with knife, writing on walls, mumbling the chants from Otherland – all this finished to uncover another nightmare, which has no end.
He was barely fifteen, he was unsure of everything, but then, all of a sudden, all went to blast, all had to be bombarded by the survival between worlds.
Managing to cover up the homicide of parents, staying in mental facility for just over a year, finally getting a hang of how to control “fits”, then all went off into more and more research, the priority of being the only son of the wealthy parents had its advantage, so he took opportunity to start figuring these abnormalities out.
Through multiple dissonances finally were found out some other individuals with similar issues, and that’s how he knows David and Erick.
Still, there was one image not releasing his uptight consciousness – the garden where he slaughtered the Creature, that magical place so vividly imprinted in the memory, the rose bushes blooming red and yellow, white small flowers growing as live carpet all around, wet path stones that just breathed out after rain and the dissolving clouds, leaving sunshine through, unravelling the glittery sight of raindrops everywhere sticking to petals and leaves, then there was blood, flowing ever so gently from the body of the bastard who directed Adrians movements for quite some time, this Creature then started to shed scales and someone else appeared from under the horrid appearance… Adrian murdered his other self, looked at himself laying there, dead, he was struck with shock, the kind of fear he never felt, after that – white noise.
“Everybody had their own labyrinth to walk through and their own monster to kill” – you said, and you died with a smile on your face, bastard.” – Mumbled Adrian to himself whilst downing another glass of alcohol. – “What did you knew? What were you meant to teach me by this? Creepy enough, but I miss you and that long labyrinth. I’m drunk… And such an idiot…”
Small steps towards the next room, holding hands, Doppel and Niko walked as quietly as they could, passing between snoozing monsters.
– We should be close to exit somewhere, or another thick wall room. – Niko whispered.
BTOOM! Whole building shook, monsters began fidgeting, then their screeching was heard and the flock began their movement towards the cause of disturbance.
“The hell was that?!” – Went through Nikos head, as she grabbed tighter Doppels hand. Both girls running now, paying much attention to the bloodthirsty monsters is late now, someone made quite a statement with such sudden blast. Corridors were long enough in this part of facility, yet one thing was quite a hassle – the opening of few code locked doors, the cracking took time which these two did not have. By all means in this situation it was just exactly the worst case scenario to be right this moment cornered by such door, fidgeting with wires and combinations to open up exit and monsters running towards them.
– They are going to eat us up! Hurry! – Doppel freaked out by the pressure, Niko was one to get on with the opening.
– Telling me this won’t help the case you know.
– Let me help. – calm voice takes both by surprise, yet door is successfully opened and girls get through, then run towards nearest room, which so happens to be thick walled, and hide there.
– Not even a “thank you”? – Voice keeps on going.
Niko now shields Doppel with herself:
– What do you want, you sick bastard?
– You shouldn’t be so uptight; I am not going to harm you. For now that is. – White hair and rabbit ears, his pleasant calm fake smile. This man was the definition of trouble – the keeper of Labyrinth White Hare.