Eternal darkness, torment… it hurts… why does it hurt so much? I… I can see people… dying… I'm killing them? Why am I killing them…? I don’t want to kill them! It hurts… it hurts! Stop it! Stop! Please! STOP!
“Are you ok?” I heard a voice say to me. I opened my eyes briefly, I can see light. I can see things. I'm breathing. I see a man with light blue eyes. He’s wearing something I haven’t seen before… he has brown hair… there are others…?
“What happened here?!” Somebody yelled. I can barely understand them.
“He’s hurt bad, please help him” I heard that same voice say.
“The students are scared of him, sir. He was that creature, there’s no telling if he’ll go on a rampage again.” I woke up to hear somebody say.
“We don’t kill people. Not in my school” I heard the voice again.
“We had the funeral today” a woman said sadly.
“Jaxus was… a good student… a kind boy. It’s such a shame” said that voice.
“Bensinse is insisting we hand this guy over to the authorities” she continued.
“He’s hurting. But we can’t abandon this guy” the voice continued.
“Remarkable, all wounds have vanished… and he seems to be reducing in age” a man said.
“Where do you think his age will stop?” Another said.
“I have no idea” the first one said.
“Jas, get some rest. The only time you’ve left his side is to go to class” I hear once again.
“I can’t leave him. I won’t” that voice came again.
“He’s in a coma, he was like that when we brought him in a month ago, and he’ll still be like that in a month I'm guessing. The creature inside him, it’s malfunctioning his cognitive abilities. He won’t wake up until we can perform successful surgery” somebody said.
“How many surgeries have you tried?” The woman said.
“Eight, each time it latches itself onto his heart. It’s a bio organism, a parasite. It needs a host” a man said.
“I’d say he has the body of an eighteen year old now” somebody woke me up.
“How old was he when they brought him?” Another said.
“Well into his sixties, that thing attached to his heart. Not only has it reduced ageing, it’s reversed it. Back to when the body was at its peak physical performance I think” he explained.
“Sir! Sir! Call Professor Xeninta!” Somebody came in yelling.
“What is it?!” Somebody yelled back.
“Bensinse is here! He’s come to kill him!” He said in a panic.
“Please wake up… please…” the female voice said.
“I don’t get it; this guy must be a vegetable by now. None of our systems work because there are two life forms on that bed and none of them are responding to the medications” I was woken up again.
“Hey, somebody has been spreading the info about this guy, did you hear about it?” Somebody said nervously.
“No, what was it?” Another said.
“This guy killed loads of people. He was that monster on the news a few months ago that killed Jaxus. Apparently he’s spent decades killing people” he whispered.
“And we’re keeping him alive…?”
“This is not up for negotiation, he is military property and we will retrieve him” someone said sternly.
“I don’t care! He’s a person, he doesn’t belong to anyone!” That woman’s voice came again.
“Not him, that creature he possesses. But that’s tier one classified, Jas. I'm allowed to take him with me” he argued.
“I won’t let you” She said defiantly.
“HOW DARE YOU BARGE INTO MY SCHOOL AND MAKE SUCH DEMANDS!!” That familiar voice roared.
“Please… wake up… please… just wake up…”
I woke up; it felt like I hadn’t used my eyes in years. I was alert, responsive, and everything was numb. I rose up; I was in a bed wearing some sort of blue robe? There was all kinds of equipment around I had never seen before. I tried to move my legs but they wouldn’t respond. I focused on them, focused on moving my feet on the bed, it took me a few minutes to do but I did it.
Standing up was harder, but I balanced on things to help myself. I had no idea where I was or what had happened. Actually… I couldn’t remember anything? Was I just born? Why can’t I remember anything?
I stumbled over to the wall and found a mirror there. I looked at my reflection but I didn’t recognise who was there. I can’t remember what I used to look like, but I could tell I never had pitch black eyes, or spiky black hair with red streaks. I had pale skin, with boyish looks, and hands as white as chalk. Something was so different about me.
Ouch! Something hurt my chest! Ow! It’s very painful, like something is in there. I bit my lip and dealt with the pain, I had to find a way out of here. Find out what’s going on… I stumbled over to the door and it opened without me having to push anything or do anything! I went through that door and came across a dark blue corridor.
I limped down it, trying to make sense of my surroundings. I had no idea who I was or where I was, all I knew what that I had to get out of there. Quickly. I could hear things; I didn’t know what they were. I just had to keep moving.
I turned a corner and I walked into somebody. We both fell backwards. I looked and saw a woman. She was wearing strange clothes, clothes I had never seen before. She had long red hair, her eyes were brown, and she was very skinny and tall. We looked at each other and I remained silent.
That was when a bunch of other people in long white coats came; they reminded me of something… doctors? Scientists? Didn’t matter. I panicked; I jumped to my feet and grabbed her to use her as a shield. She didn’t try to resist, the men in white coats began yelling but I backed away. I had no idea where I was going; I just kept my arm around her neck and my other arm across her waist.
I backed up to a point where I hit a wall. I looked around; I was in a dead end. There was no way out. I began to breathe heavily, fear consumed me. What was going to happen? That was when I heard her speak again, and it was a voice I knew all too well.
“I know you’re scared. We’re not going to hurt you” she said softly.
I didn’t know how to respond, by my grip loosened. She wiggled away and turned to face me with a smile. I fell to the floor and hugged my knees. What was going to happen now?
“What’s your name?” She asked me.
I tried to speak, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know how… I had forgotten how to say words!
“Mines Jas Dryg, but you can just call me Jas” she smiled.
I struggled to find words. I looked around me, trying to remember the names of things. I think she understood this. I meekly pointed at the wall and tried to speak but only incoherent gurgles came out.
“Yes, wall. This is a wall” she said softly and nodding at it.
I pointed at her red hair next, edging closer so I nearly touched it.
“Hair. H-A-I-R” she explained.
She went on to point at many things and gave them names; I looked down at my feet until she stood over me. The ground around went dark as the light was blocked out by her. She bent down to point at the darkness.
“Do you know what this is?” She asked.
“…S…Sh…Sha…dow…Shadow” I responded.
I woke up on the bed again, and I was surrounded by doctors and Jas. I was no longer in what Jas called ‘hospital clothes’ anymore. I was in blue trousers and a black shirt. I rubbed my head in confusion, like everything I knew was one big dream.
“How are you feeling?” Jas asked me.
“Terrible” I responded.
“It’s good to see you talking finally” she smiled.
“It took me a while to… to remember things… like talking” I explained.
“Boy, we have to ask you a few questions” one of the doctors spoke up. He had brown hair and light blue eyes, he seemed familiar.
“What is it?” I replied.
“Can you tell us anything about you? Anything at all?” He asked.
“No… I can’t remember anything… I can’t remember my name or where I came from… I just know I was in darkness… pain… for a long, long time” I answered.
“Do you know how long you were unconscious?” Jas asked.
“No…” I said with a shake of my head.
“Six months. You were brought here six months ago. Professor Xeninta and Jas here have barely left your side” another doctor spoke.
“Professor Xeninta?” I repeated.
“Oh, that’s me” the doctor I vaguely recognised smiled. “Anyway, when you were brought here, you had the body of a sixty year old man. Over time you reversed in age. Do you know why that is?” Xeninta asked.
“What?” I asked confused.
“I understand this is pretty overwhelming, let me try to explain in simpler terms. When you were unconscious, you became younger. I was hoping you could tell us why that happened?” He said with a softer tone.
“No… I don’t know anything… I just have this pain… in my chest… my heart” I said, clutching my chest.
“That’s because something is inside you. A few months ago you were something else… how do I explain this? There is a small creature living in your heart, living off of you. A parasite. That darkness you described, that was when you were this creature. I have been able to ascertain that you share a dual life with this creature. When one is active, the other lives inside their heart as a small organism. I have no idea how this is biologically possible. It defies everything I know. We tried to remove it in surgery, but the thing showed us it would take you with it. We weren’t going to let you die, not when you were the medical mystery of the century, and as far as we know; you’re not an EX Gene” Xeninta explained, it was a lot of information.
“I… don’t know what you’re talking about… deaths! I remember seeing a lot of death!” I suddenly remembered.
“That was the creature. We followed the trace it left behind. I'm sorry to say boy but that creature has caused deaths as far back as the 1970s. The deaths you remember was probably them” he explained.
I froze… this creature that lives in me… killed people? How can this be? I felt like it was my fault… somehow… someway… what am I supposed to do?
“What should we call you?” Jas intervened.
I racked my brains for an answer. I tried to remember my name, but no luck. I searched hard, and something did come to mind. Somehow I knew about an old culture that would name people after the first thing they see. I thought back, I remembered my first word.
“Shadow” I answered.