the first mistakeMature

The world of Nyque is a fearsome place. The inhabitants wield lethal powers and the government wields the inhabitants. The desperate have become weapons.
There are still those that lead normal lives but the margins grow narrower every year as the powerful begin to outnumber the rest.
Humanity is on the brink of a massive shift.

The rain came down hard.  The pavement was so hot that steam rose between the raindrops.  The smell of wet cigarettes and dumpsters mingled with the thick, damp air.  Guilt hung like cobwebs in his mind.  He didn’t know what it was that felt different; he’d been doing the same thing for years.  He’d thought he’d grown numb to the guilt.  Even the knowledge that he was grabbing the last of the duffle bags and he would soon be going home did nothing to assuage the bubbling discontent that percolated in the back of his thoughts.

His memory flashed back to mere moments before: feather-soft strands of chestnut hair falling into her face, her breath so slow and deep - an easy rhythm that haunted his thoughts as he began the process of erasing.  He tried to trace it back, to break it down to the simplest particles, to find the reason she clung to his mind.

She wouldn’t even remember him in the morning.  What did he have to feel guilty about?  She wouldn’t even remember.  She wouldn’t know what was missing; she wouldn’t know anything was different at all.  Even as he shut her apartment door behind him, lugging the last half dozen duffle bags along with him, something didn’t feel right.

Everything had gone as it always did – without a hiccup, without a single, miniscule issue.  His work was flawless, it always was.  But he couldn’t help the nagging itch that he’d forgotten something.  That he’d missed something.

The metal gate slammed shut behind him.  None of the motion sensor lights clicked on as he passed.  It took him less than five minutes to head into the basement and throw the duffle bags into the ever-blazing forge.  He stood for a moment and watched them burn.

The Soul Hunter sighed at the flames, shrugged his jacket more comfortably onto his shoulders, and left.

The End

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