Weekly Writing Contest

Immortal Contest

Jan 27-Feb 1, 2020

Current Standings

  • 1.

    Jonathan VanRy (4pt)

  • 2.

    Stephen O'Pry (2.5pt)

Read The Story
ROUND 1

They Are Lying to Us! (Prompt #7 BYOP)

I don’t have much time to get the word out to as many people as possible. The reports of ‘climate change’ & ‘global warming’ isn’t from pollution or fossil fuels, I mean don’t get me wrong the problem is man made. See our world has it’s own seasons it goes through and not just Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, these Seasons are drought, famine, Artic blasts and it also changes it’s rotation and tilt of the axis.
When the axis shifts, it throws off temperatures and moves the tectonic plates which results in major earthquakes and dormant volcanoes waking up angrily destroying everything in its path. Like I said there is a 2,000-3,000 year shift that 1 anyway, but the shifts we are seeing now are accelerated.
In doing my research, I found the cause … CERN! That’s right the Almighty Hydroncollider is responsible! This quest to find ‘The God Particle’, this man made ‘marvel’, creates its own gravitational pull, so it is pulling against the Earth’s natural gravity.
When Stephen Hawking’s warns that by pressing the boundaries of space, time and the laws of quantum physics we run the risk of destroying our one and only planet. Also by pushing the envelope, these scientists have punched through dimensions without a full understanding of the ramifications. They create portals to glimpse into alternate realities/dimensions but as they are dazzled by looking at one thing, what else is creeping into our world?
In the last few decades, we’ve had an increase of ghost sightings, paranormal events & supernatural occurrences more than any other time in our history … hell, we even have reality shows about it.
We have phenomena such as Mandela Effect, so is it bogus or could our reality have overlapped a similar one and what if as these two touched could each have rubbed off the other? Can you explain this? What are your thoughts? Could we be just gearing up for a catastrophe or could we be about to see an emergence of a whole new reality full of supernatural experiences?

I slowed the car to a stop just outside a little blue house. The neighborhood wasn’t exactly upper class, but it was nice. Blue with white trim, single family house, seems to be two bedrooms, possibly three. I checked the time on my phone, and the neon numbers showed 11:45 PM. It’s still a little early, but my cool off period has been far too long. My bag is in the back seat. I reach back, located the medium sized duffle bag, pull it to the front passenger seat and examine the contents. Duct tape, scissors, zip ties, a hunting knife, a 9mm Ruger, an extra magazine and rounds.

I pull out my 9mm from my bag and check the magazine. The six rounds should be enough. I pull my black leather gloves on, grab my bag, exit the car and close the car door, quietly. I chamber a round in the pistol, and briskly walked up the walk to the front door. I tested the doorknob. Unlocked, how lucky. I opened the door, and quickly surveyed the inside. From what I could tell, there was no dogs, but I could hear a TV on somewhere in the house. I closed the front door and placed my bag on the ground next to it. Pistol in hand, I followed the source of the noise.

In a small living room, there was a man in his mid-60s asleep under a blanket on the couch. I chuckled. Tonight, is just going to be too easy, I thought to myself. Walking up to the man on the couch, I felt that high I was looking for. The high no drug or drink was able to give me. I aimed the pistol at the man’s head and fired twice, enjoying the sight of blood spattering on the couch and blanket the man was laying under. My head dizzying with satisfaction. I heard someone stir in one of the bedrooms and a woman call, “Russell? Was that you?”

My senses went from a great high, to alert. I was no longer relaxed, and it annoyed me more than scared me. I walked toward a hallway to the left of the living room and turned a corner towards the voice. I heard the familiar chu-chunk of a shot gun being loaded. I happened upon an open door of a bedroom, just in time to see an older woman, in her mid-60s as well, aiming a shotgun at me.

Shit. I thought to myself. I imagined the police coming and finding my body. The love of my life, Annie, finding out. Of course, she would be distraught, but part of me wondered if her obsession with serial killers would make her a little intrigued. I can imagine her talking about it on her serial killer podcast, Killers and Tea, almost in a boastful manner. The woman pulled the trigger, and clink. There were no rounds.

The woman’s eyes widened, and I started to laugh. In irony, I pulled the shotgun from her small hands, and bludgeoned her to death with it on her bed, and then kept going, long after she was dead. This caused my high to return which thrilled me. I went to the bathroom sink and washed the blood from my gloved hands and face and made sure I cleaned up any evidence I could leave behind. I went into the kitchen, feeling hungry. I noticed the woman recently went grocery shopping, I pulled out a Tupperware container of homemade chili and a bag of leftover corn bread. I heated up the chili in the container, located a spoon, and began to eat. My cellphone rang, startling me. I pulled the phone from my pocket, and my caller ID showed Annie was calling me.

“They hate you, dont bother, you’ll make it all worse”
“Stay at home in your comfort, cause you’ll only find hurt”
“See you want but you cant cause of your mental health”
“Just listen to me and trust nobody else”
“Cause I know you better than you could know me”
“Thats why they call me Anxiety”

“C’mon guys….Dinner!” Mom called out from downstairs. Looking over at James I started saying “You gotta go man… Im” but before I could go any further James cut me off with a smile “No worries I know” he whispered putting down his comic book and heading to the window to ready himself for the move. Once there he waited on me to give the signal, which was a salute farewell which I now gave. And like clock work I closed my door walking heavy and pretending like I had a big sniffle, while James hopped through the window walked down the awning and jumped to the side of our front yard where he could sneak away undetected.

“Are you getting sick my little Peatwee” Mom said as if she was talking to a baby. “Dont call me that Mom!” I retorted quick, and she turned back to dishing the family up with a sigh and click of her toungue, muttering under her breath “Someone’s moody…” Saying nothing more I made my way through the kitchen to the dining room and started setting the table. Sunday dinner had really become a love hate relationship to myself, as my family were all superheroes!

Now to most people this sounds like every childs fantasy, but to me the fantasy was always a normal life. My mother had been “The Terrific Tight Roper” a terrible name I had always thought, and my father was local hero turned superhero “Gran Gorilla”. And dont get me wrong I loved them both very much so and as heroes they were super! But as parents they were not there… Even now that the world is saved and only local distress’s really bother their days there is code of silence to all outside the ability of super hero. And that brings the worst thing about being in a super family… and that is I am NOT One!!

“Oh my God! Sharon, that purple spandex just keeps looking hotter. Listen baby, I’m gonna take my special rope here and tie that sweet little bionic ass of yours to the bed and” …..”Oh you think, Paul?…even with amazing strength, your no match for my super six sense which is always three steps ahead. So guess whose going to be tied up first?” Giggles were audible from outside their bedroom.

Rodney had been listening to this shit his whole life, no wonder he spent every waking hour, headphones in, playing video games. It just wasn’t fair that he was ordinary, even his teenage sister, Tiffanny donned her sparkly little outfit every night and was off to save someone or something or whatever the hell she did. He never really knew what they did, secret, crime fighting stuff, that’s all he knew. Rodney stayed immersed in his video games.

Sandwiched in a family of super heroes was challenging and depressing, so Rodney hatched a plan.

One Saturday night, interrupting the giggling between Sharon and Paul, a startling crash came through their bedroom window. They jumped up, naked and were terrified at the hooded man in a black bodysuit and mask. He screamed in a demon like voice, “cover yourselves with that blanket together then lie on the floor now.” The two quickly obeyed. He took their rope and tied them both up together so tight they could barely breathe. They laid there on the floor like a big burrito, screaming and kicking.

Rodney climbed out the window and ran down the street, putting his hood down, stuffing the mask in his pocket. His adrenaline was pulsating through his veins realizing his parents, with their super powers, would escape momentarily. The whole incident was exhilarating, he couldn’t help but be amazed at how easy it was. He surmised that their enemies must have never caught them naked and seriously wishing he hadn’t either.

Surprisingly, he saw Tiffany’s car coming to a stop sign in the neighborhood. Putting his hood up and mask back on, He ran to her as she stopped. He banged on her window and opened the door. There she was in that damn orange sparkly outfit, she must have been off to save owls or something.

She screamed and begged him, “Don’t hurt me”. He said in that same demonic voice, “get in the back seat now!” Tiffany climbed in the back, he took her sweater and tied her up with her hands behind her back. As she screamed he drove her back home and parked the car in the driveway. He got out quick and ran once again as fast as he could, this time for miles, laughing to himself, thinking, “Wow!, some super hero she is”.i

Sunday, family dinner night and everyone was there. Apparently everyone escaped, Rodney couldn’t wait to hear their stories, no earphones tonight. Paul started with, “ Rodney didn’t you hear all the commotion last night?” Rodney faked surprise and shook his head. “Your mother and sister and I were attacked by some crazy villain.” Rodney finally felt like he was someone special now, he too had a secret.

Little did Rodney know that his mother had noticed the tag still on the back of the new black jeans he was wearing that night and knew all along it was him. They had been waiting for Rodney to finally give up his video games and join the family. Soon his super powers would be revealed to him.

Poor Tiffany though, she really was the black sheep. She was just a waitress at Hooters.

The woman is holding a gun to my head. There’s something so bizarre about her face. She looks terribly familiar.

Her hand shakes as her finger flirts with the trigger. My knees grow weak as the sun glints off the steel barrel looking down at me.

“I’m so sorry,” she says. “I have to.”

“No,” I say, slowly raising my hands to the gun. “You really don’t”

“Put your hands down!” She yells and places her other hand on the gun, steadying her grip. “You’re going to die today.”

Her sleeves slides back as she pushes the revolver tip against my forehead and I catch a glimpse of her birthmarks. Only…

“That’s impossible!” I say softly, then look past the revolver, at her eyes. “You can’t be. How do you have… You’re my-“

“Shut up!” she says pushing that gun even harder against my head. “Just get down on your knees.”

Her eyes are full of tears. Her lips are quivering. She keeps looking over her shoulder.

“He’s almost here,” she says. “I’m sorry but I have to do this now. I can’t let him find out about you. I just can’t.”

“We can figure this out,” I say, “Just please. Don’t.”

Before she can process my words. Before she can even inhale, I sweep my head sideways and forward. In that instant, her eyes widen and she pulls the trigger.

I’m deafened by the blast, but deaf is better than dead. She sees what I’ve done and quickly re-aims, but I expected this and moved in to squeeze her in a bear hug, holding her arms down by her sides.

“Let me go!” she cries.

“Not until you drop that gun and tell me.”

“No,” she says, and her voice cracks.

“I was told my twin died at birth,” I say. “That she had the same birth marks as me. But that she died.”

“I didn’t die.”

“Obviously!” I say. “And you know what those birthmarks mean.”

“Obviously,” she says.

Just a few weeks had passed since Daisy and Peter’s mother passed away from natural causes. They were always close with their mother and their father had already passed away just two years ago. It was always bittersweet coming back to their childhood home, but this time would be the last time. Since both Peter and Daisy had moved away, they had their own families, but they had to agree on what to do with the estate left behind, neither could afford the mortgage still left on the old rustic Victorian home. But neither were ready to say goodbye to the last memories they shared together.

Peter had to leave behind his family in New York to come home and help clear out the remaining belongings while Daisy’s Husband was coming in the morning with the hauling truck. The two siblings started boxing up all of their parent’s belongings, their mother held on to several clothes of their father’s The back room was filled with trinkets and crafts she done throughout the years, since the children moved out. Peter’s old room was filled with all the stuff they left behind when they went to college and started their new chapters in life.

“Hey look sis, some old VHS tapes, should we toss them or what? Do they even make VCRs anymore?” Peter announced as he dug through boxes to see what their contents were. “I’m sure ma has one, what are they? Old blockbusters?” Daisy yelled across the house. “Actually… Looks like some old home movies. Maybe I’ll just sit them off to the side and watch them when we have some down time,” Peter struggled with moving the boxes to the side and continued to work on packing all of their old jerseys from their high school sporting events, baby clothes, and pictures.

After most of the junk was bagged up to be thrown away and the majority of the keepsakes were boxed up and ready for Daisy’s husband Dan to arrive with the truck, the siblings ordered pizza and talked about their current lives, how much they missed their parents, and the good old days. After reminiscing, they decided to crack open the closest box of videos and hooked up the VCR to the old box TV. Most of the first videos were when they went to an amusement park, tee ball games, and even a middle school dance, with their mother narrating the whole time or cheering her children on in their games.

They finally came across a video where they could tell they were around one and two years old at Christmas opening gifts, but this Christmas was different than all the other ones, another child was present. “Is that cousin Mikey?” Daisy leaned in closer, squinting at the child resembling Peter more than herself. “Nancy, wave at the camera!” Her mother squealed as the boyish looking child waved with excitement. “Nancy?” Peter and Daisy perked up at the same time, just as the VCR began eating the tape. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Peter shouted as fought with stopping the tape. “Who is Nancy? I don’t remember a Nancy when we grew up, do you?” Daisy asked as she pushed her brother out of the way and worked her magic to eject the tape with out causing further damage.

Susanna was practically skipping down the sidewalk in excitement, her stack of papers fluttering in her hand. What a demented, adorable girl.

“I already have the first murder scene planned out! I found this site- yaknow- that theorizes on how they happened?! They’ve got a real-live forensic analyst!”

I chuckled and did my best to keep up with her. Over the years, I’d grown fairly used to her little pet projects- no matter how random or straight-up meaningless they may be. This one, on the other hand, was on a whole other level.

Susanna, you see, had this nasty habit of getting obsessed- and I mean obsessed with something for about a month or two at a time. In the last couple of months, it had been platypuses. No joke. She was this close to getting a ticket to Australia to go study them in the wild. This month was serial killers.

“You know, nobody takes those sites seriously for a reason…” I told her, trying to dissuade her without causing any damage. She chuckled.

“Because they’re scared, Jim. They’re scared any human would stoop to levels like that.” There was an almost evil glint in her eye, highlighting the childish twinkle they usually displayed. I coughed, trying not to show that she was scaring me a little bit.

“The. Riverside. Killer.” she started dramatically, reading off of the hastily scrawled paper in front of her. “Dozens of murders committed under the noses of both police and populace- Do you like that tagline? I came up with it myself!”

I forced a chuckle and nodded, “It’s catchy… But Susanna, you do know it probably wasn’t one killer, right?” Susanna let out a long sigh and began to interject, but I continued, “It was a bunch of people who saw a way to hide a body and decided they’d keep up the pattern. There are some twisted people out there…”

“Yeah, there are twisted people!” she exploded. “Twisted people like The Riverside Killer!!”

She punched me in the shoulder, hard. I held it and let out a sarcastic cry in mock pain. I won’t lie, it did hurt a little bit, but Susanna didn’t need to know that.

“Even if there was a Riverside Killer… If. Wouldn’t getting this close to uncovering him get you in the river yourself?” I asked her, a last-ditch effort to discourage her from The Riverside Killer documentary… I could see a narrow alleyway jutting off of the street up ahead.

“The people need to hear the truth!” she cried out, placing her hands on her hips defiantly.

The alley was just a few steps ahead.

“What on earth was that?!” I yelled, pointing towards the alleyway.

“What?!” Susanna jumped.

“I think it was a cat!”

“Kitty cat!” Susanna took off running down the alleyway. Resigned to the inevitable, I followed behind her.

“Here kitty-kitty-kitty!” she called as she knelt to look for the nonexistent feline.

I stopped and stood over her.

“Oh, Susanna…”

She stood up and turned around.

So small, so fragile.

I felt the familiar stab at my right wrist.

“Too close…” I murmured.

Her face contorted as she saw the spike that had emerged from between the two bones of my forearm.

“The host must be protected,” I stated simply as I plunged it into her neck. She stared up at me, struggling to gasp in a breath.

As soon as her signature childish light died from her eyes, I absorbed the lifeless body into mine to feed. I would deposit it in the river later.

Another victim of The Riverside Killer.

ROUND 2

I had really liked Susanna from others I had tried to connect with from this planet, most I found to be drear or repulsive by nature. Humans are a weird breed that really the only thing I’ve found I consistently like is the flavour!

As the only Kzharikian on this planet I had to find a way to hunt and survive and found a human form the best to do this. At first I would consume all sorts of wild animals, but nothing compared to the first time I absorbed a human. It was so energizing like nothing I’d hunted before and I knew straight away I wanted more.

But hunting people was much harder than hunting animals and on my first attempt I was caught and forced to leave where I had been living. But now thanks to current media and the joys of the internet I was able to improve on my methods. See the trick was to do the crime but build a false trail that leads to another. My other was my Alias the Riverside Killer.

I was able to do this through simple body alteration an ability we Kzharikian’s had mastered. This allowed me to create a person in the system that never existed that would be considered the worlds worst criminal. Leaving bodies in the open and fingerprints on weapons etc. But though they would find his existence! They would never find him…

This meant that the police and other investigators kept there minds focused to catching this non existent person, leaving me free to plan my next target straight away, and with this thought I gathered up Susanna excited on who my next could be.

Storyline #2

Daisy meticulously worked on fixing the tape as Peter, the older of the two of the siblings paced back and forth, trying to remember who Nancy was. Once Daisy managed to repair the tape, she put it back in the VCR, but the tape wouldn’t play, rewind, or even fast forward. “Are you sure it’s plugged in?” Peter rushed over to check everything he could think of. “Yeah, it’s just an old busted VCR, maybe Dan can swing by and get a new one no his way,” Daisy pulled out her cell phone and dialed her husband. She explained the reason for her request, despite his protests he reluctantly went to a store to buy one.

Unfortunately they no longer carried any in stock and informed him, only one store in the area carried any of the archaic machines at all, but it was closed until Monday. “Well crud… I guess we will have to wait to finish the tape,” Daisy huffed at the news. “Well I have to catch my flight back to New York tomorrow night, I have a big case on Tuesday I have to finish preparing for. You’re better with all this technical stuff anyway, why don’t you take all the tapes home and dig deeper, maybe there are some clues in some other tapes. I may can do a little digging from the legal system stand point… But we don’t know who Nancy is or if she even goes by Nancy,” Peter pat his sister on her shoulder.

They continued to box up all the clutter and nearly had everything ready by the time Dan pulled in with the truck. With the three of them working on loading everything, they had a handful of boxes left to load in the morning. The new owner of the house swung by to check out the process they were making. After he left an old familiar face peeked in the door. “Pete, Daisy, boy have y’all grown!” Mr. Robinson exclaimed with arms outstretched. The old timer was their neighbor since Peter and Daisy’s parents first moved in.

“It’s a crying shame your mom passed… I know when your dad passed it tore her up real bad. It didn’t help that you two moved away, but your mom was so ecstatic when you were able to at least call. I know you are some high end lawyer Pete, how’s the business going Daisy?” He broke away from his embraces with the siblings. “Well… I…” Daisy started as Dan walked in the room with two cups of coffee. “Ah, the infamous Mr. Robinson I presume, these two always gave you trouble in their teenage years,” Dan chuckled. “Naw, these two weren’t that bad. But that fella they hung around… Now he was trouble,” Mr. Robinson reached his shaky hand out and had a surprisingly strong grip, to where Dan even winced.

“Hey Mr. Robinson, do you remember another little girl who was around, when we were real young. A Nancy, we found an old tape and she was in it,” Peter broke in. “Oh… Is that so. Well your mama never told you?” Mr. Robinson scratched his head. Both siblings perked up at the possibility of new information. “No sir, we don’t even remember her being around,” Peter shook his head and put his hands on his hips. “Well Nancy was my first wife, most beautiful woman in the world… But don’t let know I said that…” Mr. Robinson trailed off incoherently. “Uncle Rob, there you are. A woman younger than Peter and Daisy walked in.

The more Peter thought about the question, the more uneasy Peter felt. Of course in his silence, Daisy sensed the uneasiness in Peter.

“Pete? Something wrong?” Daisy’s head was cocked slightly, examining her brother.

“Daisy, do you remember when I had those nightmares as a kid?” Peter finally asked. Daisy hesitated. She did remember. That was the scariest four years of her childhood. Daisy and her parents often awoke to Peter wandering around the house, crying, whispering to himself, and in some severe cases, screaming and flailing his arms around, as if he was fighting someone off.

Daisy subconsciously placed the VHS tape onto the big TV, and walked over to sit next to Peter on the floor. Peter didn’t realize he had sat down until she did this. Daisy looked at her brother, “You think this girl has something to do with your nightmares as a kid?”

“I started having them again, sis, for the past week.”

Daisy’s eyes widened. “Are they the same as they were before?”

“No, it’s weird, it’s a whole new set of nightmares. They’ve always been different every night. It’s almost like they never stopped over the 20 years I wasn’t having them.”

“Do you think Ma and Pop remembered who she is?”

The siblings looked at eachother. The doorbell bell rang, making both of them jump. “That must be the pizza” Peter was the first to rise. “I’ll be right back, we can look and see if Nancy is in any more VHS cassettes.”

Peter disappeared briefly, and came back with a pizza, paper plates, a two liter of Pepsi, and plastic cups. Daisy had organized the cassette tapes, and the minute Peter set up dinner, Daisy popped a tape into the VCR. This video had birthday decorations and balloons. The camera panned over to Peter, in a party hat. “Petie! Say hi to the camera, my birthday boy!” Peter looked over at the camera and smiled, showing he was missing two front teeth. “This was your 8th birthday!” Daisy exclaimed, “I remember your teeth coming out right after Christmas.”

The camera showed Dad hanging up streamers and smiling at Mom behind the camera, then Little baby Daisy, who was five at the time, running around in her favorite party dress. The siblings began to question whether they saw what they think they saw in the previous video, then she appeared. “Nancy!” The girl who looked like a girl version of Peter looked at Mom behind the camera, she was also wearing a party hat and a nice party dress. “Stand next to your brother, I want to show how cute you two look.” The Nancy girl stood next to Peter, they put an arm around each other and smiled, each showing the same exact toothless smile. Watching the children in the video stand next to each other, Peter realized they matched. Nancy was wearing a green party dress with white ruffles. Peter was wearing a green dress shirt and white slacks. “I can’t believe my twin babies are eight years old today!” Mom is heard saying on the video. The adult siblings on the other side of the screen looked at each other, shocked. Daisy’s mouth was hanging open. “Did she just say…..twins?”

Peter looked back at the screen, at the twin he seemed to be so close to so long ago.

Susanna’s Story:

I burst out of the door of the library, my arms loaded with books.

I managed my way home without much difficulty. I only nearly fell over a time or two. My phone ba-dinged in my pocket as I charged through the front door, startling me. I set the books on the kitchen table and checked the text.

“U will regret it,”

An Unknown Sender. I shrugged and tossed my phone to the side. It was writing time!

But it wasn’t writing time. I spent about an hour poring over a section on schizophrenia in Understanding the Human Psyche.

“The.” I scribbled onto the blank paper in front of me, leaving a period there to emphasize the dramatic effect.

“Riverside.” I could feel my head beginning to droop as I continued writing. It was already pretty late, almost 9:00 now. Bedtime… or almost bedtime…

“Killer.” I dramatically dotted the last period and let out a massive yawn. My head crashed onto the desk.

I woke up in a frizzy mess on my kitchen table, three new texts waiting on my phone. Two were from Unknown Sender,

“I will find you.”

“And I will kill you.”

Ooooh excellent movie reference.

The third text was from my bestie, Alan:

“U down to meet 4 the Cafe latr? 10 mabey”

I replied with a smile and thumbs up emoji. It was only 8 am.

I cracked my knuckles and pulled out my tablet, navigating to riversidekiller.info. Time to get some real writing done!

My phone pinged again, snapping me out of my murder-scene-writing flow. It was another text from Alan:

“U need to stop”

Before I could reply, he sent another text,

“Whoops wrong person”

I chuckled and set down my phone, but as I was about to set back to my writing, my phone ba-dinged. Unknown Sender again.

“U need to stop”

What a coincidence! That was just hilarious. It was the same thing Alan had sent me. Another text from Unknown Sender popped onto my screen.

“I know where u r”

That one sent chills down my spine. Spooky! I couldn’t wait to find out who it was.

Alan showed up right on time at 10 for our walk to the cafe. We seemed to be taking a different route today! It was like we’re on an adventure!

“Do you know who ‘Unknown Sender’ is?” I asked him on a whim.

“Er- I- What?” he replied, stumbling over his words.

“I dunno!” I shrugged off the idea with a smile and started reading the first page of my script to him.

We ended up arguing about The Riverside Killer. Sad. Alan didn’t even think he- or she- was real… Then suddenly, there was a kitten.

I didn’t see it, but Alan had apparently seen the little furball take off down the alleyway, so I sped after it.

I crouched down, looking under a dumpster for the tiny cat.

“Kitty-kitty-kitty!” I called out for it.

“Oh, Susanna…”

I heard Alan murmur behind me, followed by a disgusting gurgle. I turned to face him, feeling incredibly small as he stood over me.

“Too close…”

I could see a spine that had shot out from between the two bones above Alan’s wrist. He took a swift step forward and drove it into my throat. I felt a burning spread from my neck outwards.

I gasped and took one last look into his silvery grey eyes. They were void of any emotion or empathy.

“The host must be protected.”

He told me bluntly as I became the latest victim of The Riverside Killer.

“Now don’t you cry for me”

“Shhhh!……keep your voice down.” Those were the last words Amy rememberers hearing. She regretted having opened the window but it was late September and she thought the cool breeze from the river front would be refreshing.

Holding her breath, she inched towards the window and gazed down through the screen from the upstairs bedroom. Amy could barely believe her eyes, a man was standing in the alley below her with a lifeless female body dangling from his arms. She gasped out loud, he looked up for a second as if he heard her but then quickly resumed his business. His face seemed familiar, she had seen that face before.

She was frozen in disbelief as he seemed to tear the flesh away from her body with his teeth. Amy watched in horror as blood dripped everywhere as he drug the body into the shadows like an animal.

She had been renting the upstairs room ever since her divorce, it was old and faced the alley in the decaying side of the river front but it was clean and cheap. She had seen a few drug deals go down but never anything like that.

Amy was shaking so hard she could barely hit the numbers on her phone. She slid to the floor, frantically trying to call Jeffrey, He was the new man in her life, the new fix everything kind of guy. She wanted to call the police, the fire department, her Dad, everyone.. but she wondered if they would believe her, after all the story was pretty crazy.

Jeffrey’s phone rang twice before he answered. Amy choked on her words, tears streaming down her face, trying desperately to tell him what she saw. After hearing her entire rendition of the grizzly event there was an eerie silence. “You don’t believe me, do you?” Jeffrey laughed, “Are you serious Amy?”

“Did you take you meds today?”

“Okay sweetheart, calm down, I’m on my way to come get you in a few minutes.” Amy whimpered, “I’m serious Jeffrey, I really saw that, I did…..I’m going to call the police.”..,, “No! No…..please don’t, not until I get there, you’re too emotional, as a matter of fact I have a good buddy on the force, I’ll swing by and see if he can help.”

Jeffrey arrived late, she was pacing in her apartment when he called and said he had arrived. She ran down and threw herself in the front seat. It wasn’t until Jeffrey said, “Hey Amy” and motioned to the back seat where his friend was sitting…..”This is my buddy Jim.”

She knew she’d seen that face before.

I swallowed the bite in my mouth, and answered. “Hey babe.”

“Hello my love,” Anne replied, cheerfully. “Can we rent a movie when you get home? I want to watch the new Jefferey Dahmer movie for my podcast.”

“Sure.” I replied, “I just need to finish up my lesson plan for tomorrow then I’ll be on my way. Do you need me to stop and get anything on my way home?” If I knew Annie, and I did, she loves to snack while watching movies. Especially anything about serial killers.

“Milk please? I want some for my cookies I got today. They are peanut butter chocolate chunk! Doesn’t that sound AMAZING?”

“They sure do, babe.” I got up from my chair, walked over to the fridge and opened it. There was an unopen gallon of milk. Damn, on a roll tonight. I thought to myself, as I grabbed the milk from the fridge, and placed it on the table. “How’s your research coming for your documentary on that house killer guy?” I could almost hear her roll her eyes over the phone.

“House killer guy? This is why you don’t come up with the names. You do not have a creative bone in your body. He is the Night Prowler. Its so crazy we have a serial killer in our little town!”

I chuckled. “Yeah, I was thinking th-“ a noise cut me off. It came from the room right next to the kitchen I was currently standing in. That room happened to be the living room. The living room containing the man on the couch. He was currently moaning. Damn it.

“What was that?” Annie asked.

I smiled so she can hear it over the phone, “I forgot to turn in the toads from my class today. I better go do that before I forget again.” I started toward the man on the couch. No way was he still actually alive.

“Oh okay, well hurry home. Love you!” Annie said, quickly.

“Love you too, bye.” I hung up. I put my hand to the chest of the man. I almost missed them, they were so shallow. He was breathing and alive. Most likely brain dead though, so he wont feel anything if I kill him again, unfortunately. I weigh out my options. I could leave him and hope he just passes by himself. If he happens to live and miraculously regain brain function to live an actual life again, he would have to live without his wife, which is delightful, but those chances are slim. I could leave him, and he would just be a mindless vegetable hooked up to machines all of his life, but that seems to be such a waste. I decided on killing him, but in a simple way, not the artistic way I usually do things. Besides, this will give me a little bit of a rush to leave the night with.

I simply place my hand over his mouth and close his nose. The man started making noises from his throat, trying to get the much needed air into his body, his chest visibly jolting. My body became warm and my head became light headed. After a few minutes of this, the mans chest stopped trying to fill with oxygen. I let his face go, and head back into the kitchen wash the dishes I used. Instead of putting them away, I like to place the clean dishes on a towel on the counter. Kind of like a memorial. I also take a picture of the dishes. My own trophy, that seems innocent on my phone. Only I know the true meaning.

I grab the gallon of milk, and head out the door, not bothering to lock it behind me. The couple wasn’t concerned enough to even lock it in the first place, anyways.

Voting window for Round 2 has now been closed

ROUND 3

Peter continued to watch the rest of the video. They opened presents together, blew the candles on the cake out together, competed in party games together. A twin? Thinking back to his nightmares from his childhood, he remembers being terrified. He remembers being in a shabby little room, curled up into a little ball on a filthy mattress, and crying. He remembers some big black shadow monster opening the door to his room and escorting him to the bathroom. He remembers washing his face and looking into a mirror, but it wasn’t himself looking back at him. It was Nancy looking back at him. With her eyes puffy and red from crying. Peter’s body became cold.

Why is Nancy in his nightmares? Peter suddenly didn’t feel hungry anymore. He felt exhausted. He realized Daisy has been trying to talk to him this entire time he was in this trance. He tuned into what she was saying. He realized the video had ended, and Daisy was now in from of him, wearing a mask of worry that he had not seen in a while. “Peter? Please talk to me.” Daisy said, quietly. She seemed to be getting upset. Peter reached out and grabbed his sisters hand. “I’m okay, Dee, I promise I just remembered something from my dreams as a kid.” He explained his realization. Her eyes became wide when he mentioned seeing Nancy looking at him through the mirror instead of himself. “What do you think this means?” She asked. Peter shrugged. He had no idea. All he knew was it was late, he was tired, and they had a big day a head of them. “Let’s turn in.” Peter suggested. “We can look more into it tomorrow.” They fell asleep in Peter’s old room. Daisy on the bed, and Peter on the small sitting couch he acquired as a teenager.

Daisy awoke to something strange. Maybe it was a feeling, or maybe she did hear a noise but doesn’t remember. All she does know is, she feels like she is five years old again. She knows something is wrong. She turned over in her bed to face the couch, “Pete?” She whispered. She turned on the standing lamp by the bed. Peter was sitting straight up, his eyes open. He’s having a nightmare again, but He is just…talking. He seems pretty calm this time. Daisy sat up in bed. Growing up, she remembered her parents telling her not to wake him, but to watch him and make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. Daisy grabbed her phone from her nightstand, and began to read, predicting the night to be long.

Peter sees himself in that same dingy room. The same room from his childhood, same dirty mattress, same filthy walls and floor and a single door in the room with a slot in it. The only difference was there was a chain around Peters ankle, that was chained to a hook in the wall. The door made some clanking noises, and the same dark shadow came in. He unlocked the chain from the wall, and escorted Peter to the bathroom. The chain was hooked onto a hook outside the bathroom door and fit under the door enough for the door to be closed for privacy. While washing his hands, Peter glanced at the mirror again, of course it wasn’t Peter, but another face. The woman was a splitting image of the adult Peter with long brown hair and dangerously thin. She glanced at the door, turned the water on, and began to speak, “Peter? Are you there? My name is Nancy, and I really need your help.”

“Ah, Nancy we were just talking about you dear, tell are new neighbors hello,” Mr. Robinson gave the young woman an obviously awkward embrace. “I’m sorry, Uncle Robert has dementia, I hope he didn’t scare any of you. I’m not Nancy… Who ever that is, my name is Patty,” she offered a hand as the group went around introducing themselves. After discussing Mr. Robinson’s situation and their own, Patty said goodbye to the siblings and Dan, as Mr. Robinson wandered out into the yard. “So, we are back to where we started,” Peter mumbled.

“I sure thought he knew what he was talking about there for a minute. Well hopefully your high brow connections can help with the case of the missing girl,” Dan chuckled. “I do have a big case coming up, but my connections aren’t really that high up on the ladder. It will still take some digging. I only work at a firm that handles insurance claims and fraud, but I do know some people who may can help. If only we had a social security number or an actual last name…” Peter shook his head before looking at the time and scurrying off to finish his part of the loading.

After the truck was nearly filled, Peter had to rush off to the airport to begin his trek home. After Daisy said her good byes to her brother, her and Dan finished the rest of the packing just as the new owner knocked on the door frame. “Well it looks like you got this place cleared out, don’t worry if you forgot anything I’ll sell it back to you fairly cheap,” the middle aged woman cackled. “No I’m just kidding, but I am tearing this old place down, so if there is anything left behind that looks important I’ll get the real estate agent to contact you,” she added as she took a stroll around the home.

“You sure you don’t want any of the furniture sweetie? I’m just going to have to sell it or have it hauled off to the dump,” she stated as she played in her brown hair with grays peeking our behind her ears. “No, we don’t have any room at our place and Pete lives pretty far away and has everything he needs,” Daisy replied before guzzling a whole bottle of water. Dan loaded into the driver’s seat of the truck as the new owner checked to make sure all the doors were locked behind them.

“So you didn’t tell Pete?” Dan quipped after a fifteen minute trip of silence. “Look Dan, it’s none of his business or anyone’s about us getting a divorce. He’s my brother and I love him and I thank you for helping out this weekend, but I am still quite hurt and broken to the whole situation, it’s a little late to talk about it, so I prefer silence please,” Daisy stared out of the window as Dan respected her wishes, until his phone rang. “Hey babe, now is not a good time… How about I call once we get back in town and you can pick me up,” he answered with Daisy glaring at him.

Control.

I held the paper in my trembling hand, ready to place it behind the loose baseboard in my best friend Susanna’s house. I had scrawled on it:

My name is Alan Jim Smith, and I am human, I swear.
If you are reading this, I know you may be thinking otherwise if you heard the news, but I reassure you I am 100% human being. Also, congratulations on finding this note. With Susanna dead, I didn’t think anybody would ever find our secret hiding spot.
I’ve done bad things. I don’t know how much the news will have actually heard about me by the time this is found. Perhaps nothing at all.
I confess that I am responsible for the killings. I have been infected, and I should have done what I am about to do sooner.
-The Riverside Killer

I grasped my head as I felt a sharp pain stab through it. The alien parasite in my brain wasn’t liking what I was doing at all, but I had fed it. I had fed it my best friend. So it remained complacent in my head. I replaced the loose baseboard and stood up, making sure it didn’t look disturbed.

“Jimmy?” I heard Susanna’s roommate call.

“Oh! Megan! Hello…”

Luckily she hadn’t peeked downstairs any sooner.

“Where’s Suzy?” she asked me.

“I don’t know…”

“What do you mean? Didn’t you two go to the cafe?”

“She- er- vanished. I was hoping she’d come back here…”

“Oh… She hasn’t,”

I said goodbye to Megan and then left. The gun I’d tucked into my waistband was pressing uncomfortably against my back. I was filled with dread, but I had to remember that was the alien talking… It wasn’t me, right?

I wandered through the woods around the river for a while.

Is this really what it’s come to? Is this really what you want?

I shook my head to clear the whispers away. The alien talking. I had to keep reminding myself it was the alien talking.

Finally, I reached the police tape. After a quick look around showed nobody, I pushed it up and ducked underneath it, bringing me to the riverbank.

I sat down on a stone bench overlooking the rushing waters. So many bodies. So many people. All right here in this river. I was surprised that there weren’t any officers or anything around. They probably weren’t expecting me until night though. It didn’t really matter though. The police didn’t know that the parasite granted me invisibility when the moon was out.

I looked around one last time to make sure there was nobody, and then released poor Susanna’s body. It flopped onto the ground in front of me. So pale. It had been drained of most of its nutrients by the alien inside me.

It was another power the parasite had granted me. I could absorb corpses into my own body and hold them as long as I wanted, waiting for a moonlit night to deposit them into the river. I had no idea how it worked.

I sighed and cradled Susanna in my arms. She was the last straw. No more.

This ended tonight.

I pushed her gently out into the waters and grabbed the gun from my waistband.

Click.

I held the gun against my head, my hand trembling.

I felt a twinge run through my arm as it flung itself, hurling the gun away from my head.

“We are taking control.”

I heard myself talking, but I could no longer move.

“The host must be protected.”

“Nina my dear! here I am” Mr Robinson replied with a smirk. Nina..! Both Daisy and Pete thought turning, but as they turned they could see she was much to young to be Nancy from the video. As they turned Mr Robinson shot a cautious look in the direction of Daisy and Pete. It was very subtle and quick, but Pete had mastered the art of reading people from his peripheral’s in court. He noticed the action clear as day but saying nothing, kept attentive to Nina and Mr Robinson both. “Hi there I’m Nina, are you friends of Uncle Robs..?”

“Yes we are!” Daisy added after a short pause waiting on Pete to speak. “I am Daisy and Buddha here is Pete” the girls chuckled at this as Pete quickly caught up to reality. He had taken a quick second to really read Nina. Their had been nothing noticeable in her behavior to arise concern, seeming comfortable, confident and very polite. But Mr Robinson’s reaction before they met seemed to be already eating into his mind. Now out of the blue Pete exclaimed “who’s your Parents? We never knew Mr Robinson had siblings” forcing a little laugh after to keep the conversation casual by appearance.

Mr Robinson now spoke up “Well I hate to interrupt everyone but maybe we could do a dinner and catch up!.. Now Nina’s here I need your help and I have some other things to do” Nina looked at him now a little sheepish as he gave a quick glare back. “No worries at all!” Daisy replied unaware to the exchange of looks occurring in the room and looking at Pete now asked “We could manage a dinner tonight still right?.. If that’s not to soon notice?.. We can pick up food or ingredients for us” she finished looking back at Mr Robinson. Who now smiled a little nervous though to most including Daisy would never tell, and said “that sounds wonderful, how’s 7?” “Sounds great” Daisy replied and after waiting for Pete and him to exchange a customary handshake and nod, she followed them to the door.

Once they were safely gone Pete turned to Daisy and asked “Did you notice that?” “Notice what?” Daisy replied. “Mr Robinson was giving some pretty concerning looks back there and feel he might be hiding something!” “Really?.. I didn’t notice anything” she replied not convinced. “You would’t he said with a little jeer” there sibling rival still holding there essence “But I assure you that it definitely looked like Mr Robinson was careful not to let Nina speak to much” Pete continued. “That’s crazy!” Daisy exclaimed, unable to perceive Mr Robinson there friendly neighbor for over 15 years to be the one to hide and control others. “Well I suggest you be watching tonight especially if Nina is there! and we will see how this reunion goes!” Pete said picking up the last of the box’s to bring outside.

“They hate you, don’t bother, you’ll make it all worse”
“Stay at home in your comfort, cause you’ll only find hurt”
“See you want but you cant cause of your mental health”
“Just listen to me and trust nobody else!”
“Cause I know you better than you could know me”
“That’s why they call me Anxiety!”

“Go away! Bugger off! How else can it be said?”
“I know that you can hear me in here in MY head”
“You make me feel unworthy sitting idle and shy”
“With no moment to myself to even ask why”
“So why would you latch onto a loser like me?”
“You probably just had nowhere better to be..”

“Yes talk down, and talk dirty, how I love it so”
“Cause a loser like you has no place to go”
“I’m hear as a friend to show you the truth”
“To all of the things you stay so aloof”
“They hate you, don’t bother, you’ll make it all worse”
“Stay home in your comfort cause you’ll only find hurt”

Voting window for Round 3 has now been closed

ROUND 4

“Sorry, I told her to not bother us during this weekend. I know I messed up, but I still love you, you know that right?” Dan broke tried to break the silence. “Come on Daisy, you know things were going south when I lost my job. I wasn’t feeling like a man and I could tell I was already disappointing you. I needed something to make me feel like a man again and Annette was just at the right place at the wrong time. I understand you can’t forgive me, but can’t we just be able to talk? I mean I did help you during your time of need,” he continued.

“Listen jerk, I was in just as bad of a place as you, but I didn’t go cheat on you. At least you have somewhere to go to since we lost our home, on top of that I lost my mother. Just because you felt dissatisfied with yourself, didn’t mean I thought less of you, until you went with that… Watch out!” Daisy screamed as a garbage truck slammed into the side of the truck.

Peter landed safely at the airport and immediately checked his phone for any messages. His boss left a message making sure he was coming in on Monday. His wife left a message along with his daughters, wishing him a safe flight. An unknown number left an urgent message, “Hello Peter Hanson, this is Dr. Johnson at the St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital, I have some grave news, you’re sister was in a bad wreck and listed you as an emergency contact. We need to operate immediately, she is in critical condition and in need of few transplants, fortunately for her we have a donor who just passed away yesterday, who is an exact match. If you could return this call immediately, we need you to fill out some paperwork if you haven’t left the state yet.”

Peter immediately called the number back and was patched in to the proper line where a nurse answered. “I’m already back in New York, is my sister alright? Why couldn’t Dan fill out the paper work?” Peter answered in response. “Mr. Ferris unfortunately did not survive the wreck and your sister is in the ICU but with out the transplants needed she will not make it, I can get approval over the phone after getting your personal information, but we really would need you in person to sign some paperwork and I’m sure you would want to be by your sister’s side when she comes out of surgery,” the nurse replied.

After Peter hung up the phone he contacted his wife Rachel and explained to her the situation, after calling her he contacted his boss while he worked on booking a flight back to his home town. As soon as he arrived at the hospital he went straight to the ICU in the small town’s hospital. Daisy was still unconscious, but was in a more stable condition after the lung, liver, and kidney transplants. “Mr. Hanson, your sister is stable, but of course we will have to keep a close eye on her. Of course her body could still reject the organs, but I don’t think we will have an issue since the donor was nearly a perfect match. I’m not allowed to tell you the identity of the donor, but it’s pretty rare to have such a match from someone outside of family,” Dr. Johnson announced as he entered the waiting room.

The End of Alan Jim.

My name is Officer Miller, and I’ll be the first to say again that I never expected something of this magnitude to happen in Riverside. Ever.

We had a serial killer. An honest-to-goodness serial killer. In our little town of Riverside. The media had dubbed him “The Riverside Killer.” Just in case we needed to make it any more obvious that nothing like this had ever happened here before.

I was put on an overnight shift, guarding the riverbank. Bodies would just show up there at night. They didn’t come from anywhere. Each one was stabbed right through the neck with some sort of stake, and would always appear to have been dead for quite some time before found.

Every story was the same. They’d hear a slight splash, and then they’d shine their flashlight out into the river. A body just… appeared.

Any sort of test we’d run on it would just prove that it’d been dead for days.

This had been going on for five months. The killer didn’t seem to stick to any sort of solid schedule, just a body dropped off every one or two weeks. So we would post an officer every night. And every night it happened their story was the same. Tonight, I’d been put on Riverside Killer watch.

Snap!

I heard a sound behind me and turned quickly. There were a couple of bushes rustling.

I checked the river. Nothing.

I turned my flashlight to the bushes and slowly approached them.

A tap on my shoulder scared the living daylights out of me. I spun around.

“P- p- please…”

There was a man behind me, fairly short and skinny. Maybe in his late 20s. He was pale. So pale.

“Shoot me…” he whispered.

“Now, son-” I began to say, but was interrupted by him yelling out,

“SHOOT ME!”

“Now, you need to calm yourself down,” I told him calmly.

The man turned and lurched away from me a few steps. He turned around again to face me.

“Please…” I could hear him whisper, “I barely have control…”

I aimed my flashlight and gun at him, “Put your hands on your head and kneel down.” I told him sternly yet calmly. “You’re sick, I’m here to help.”

“Then help… me…” I could barely hear him now, I made it out by reading his lips. A disgusting gurgle seemed to be released from his body.

Something had stuck itself out of his arm. Some sort of spike or something. It just appeared… Just like the corpses.

“I said put your hands on your head!” I told him, my voice getting shakier. I took my attention off of him for a split second to radio for backup.

The man let out a cry and charged towards me, aiming the spike directly at my neck. I shot him in the chest just before he could reach me and sidestepped, barely getting out of his way.

The man fell on all fours and began to gasp for breath.

“Thank you…” he whispered faintly and then collapsed.

I turned back to check the river, still nothing. So I investigated the body.

I could see the small exit wound in his back.

I rolled him over. His mouth lolled open. I softly shut his eyes and began to stand up.

But suddenly, some sort of vile sludge shot out of the man’s mouth. It launched into my face, forcing its way into my mouth and down my throat.

I knelt down, choking for a few seconds.

“Foolish humans…” I heard myself whisper, but I was no longer in control.

..My palms were extra itchy tonight which was never a good sign. The previous officer had jumped at the chance to trade shifts as he did not like the night work, but I had been excited for this. The amount of killings all with the same puncture wounds, and then being drained almost had been more than enough to catch my interest. I also had a niece out this way Susanna who had always been a detective in the making, and this ‘Riverside Killer’ had also peaked her interest.

We had planned to meet tomorrow after my first patrol to catch up, but to be honest I wanted her writers notes. See when Susanna found an interest in something or someone, it would usually become an obsession quickly! Searching every resource she could come across to compile information and use to bring reality to her writing. We had talked on the phone about 3 months prior to me being reassigned, and she had already had so much information that we as the police were impressed. She had actually been given a silent assignment from our chief to go through and cross reference/check that all information gained is correct whilst continuing to gather more information.

Susanna’s excitement to this was through the roof, but she politely accepted assuring to keep her association to the police a secret from everyone, even her mother was requested not to be informed! The air outside was becoming unusually chilly and rolling the window up I turned some heat on. I was now approaching the river and my palms were itching like crazy. “Got a hold of yourself Richard! This is what you wanted if he’s there” I told myself trying to fight off the nervousness setting in. But there behind the police tape and barriers stood a figure. My heart pounded as I turned on the spotlight trying to get a better look.

It was a direct hit with my light and for a second I saw a boy who’s face seemed wretched with pain. Within seconds though of being hit with the light he seemed to vanish into thin air. Now my heart was really racing as I would have believed it to be a trick of my given me thinking about the riverside killer so much, but I knew this kid… My mind raced trying to place the face and where I’d seen it. After a few moments it struck me.. “SUSANNA’S ALAN!?!” I fumbled for my phone as I needed to call her immediately and make sure she was OK. But then a rustling came from some bush’s next to where I had stopped…

“I choose to disagree!.. as the effort still stands!”
“And you’ll be right here with me when there’s a flop in the plan!”
“See no matter the outcome you don’t go away”
“No matter my efforts falling down on off days”
“You’ve been by my side since I can remember”
“Which honestly does make a friendship contender”

–A transmission from Scarlrax the Infestor to the Lunar Infestor base, requesting full takeover permission of host, entitled Alan Jim Smith (Translated to English from Lunar Infestorian):

I would like to formally make a request for full takeover permissions of my host from the Lunar Infestorian Council. I will explain later in this transmission as to why. I would just like to say, first, that this mission has been successful as of yet, and should continue to be, so long as this request is accepted.

I infested the host, known to the humans as Alan Jim Smith, about four months prior to sending this transmission. It has not been quite accepting as a host, but it has also not taken any action against my infestation until now, so we had no problem getting along. I remained fed.

This brings me to the events that transpired today. The host’s “bestie,” known to the humans as Susanna Sara Scott, was creating a script that would have drawn too much attention towards “The Riverside Killer,” the pseudonym the media of this planet have granted me. The human Susanna was too close to the host and therefore was at risk of discovering information of the infestation.

The risk has been removed, but at a tremendous emotional toll to the host. It does not like the fact that it was necessary to remove his “bestie.” The humans do not seem to grasp the concept that the host must be protected. Their psyche has proven to be quite interesting.

In the past few hours, since the events that transpired with the human Susanna, the host has been incredibly distraught. It retrieved a firearm from its dwelling and hid a “note” in the human Susanna’s dwelling, behind a loose decorative wall attachment.

The host proceeded to wander around the wooded area surrounding the river that served as our body dump. The walking seemed to calm the despaired emotions, yet not the drive to do what he was about to do- I’ll get to that in a minute.

The host finally worked its way to the taped-off area of the river. He released the corpse of Susanna and held it for a few minutes. Some sort of ritualistic holding. A showing of respect, affection maybe. Quite the interesting thought.

The corpse was finally released into the river. In the middle of the day! If that isn’t enough to validate my full takeover request, I’m sure the next event that transpired will be.

The host proceeded to retrieve the firearm from where he had tucked it in his waistband and aim it towards his head. He readied it to fire.

At this point, I had to step in. The host must be protected.

As obviously shown, I express concern for the stability of the host and do believe it is not safe under its own control.

I will hold control until I receive the council’s orders to either release or continue holding it.

May the Infestors reign,

Scarlrax

Voting window for Round 4 has now been closed

ROUND 5

“Officer Miller!”

I opened my eyes, squinting in the dappled sunlight that pierced the canopy of maple leaves. An unintentional groan escaped my mouth as I tried to respond.

“Jeezums, Steve! You’re alive!”

I nodded, sending pain shooting from my head down my neck.

“Now just stay still, stay still.”

It was my partner, Officer Judd. He was standing over me. I closed my eyes again and sighed.

“You better not have botched this up…” he said as I let myself drift out of consciousness.

I felt myself being placed carefully in a stretcher, it held my head uncomfortably.

I woke up to Officer Judd waiting by the hospital bed.

“Hey there buddy…” he said warmly, “How are you doing?”

I groaned and chuckled, “Just peachy.”

“That bad, huh? Now, don’t go thinking about it too hard, but do you remember anything from two nights ago?”

“Two nights ago?”

“When you hit your head on that rock.”

“Oh… I- I was on Riverside Killer watch. Right?”

“Mhm.”

“And I heard something…”

“Okay.”

I tried to think of what had happened next, but it was all fuzzy.

“It’s alright Steve, just take it easy.” Officer Judd interrupted, “You were attacked by some guy. He wasn’t lookin’ too right in the head. He lost his friend to the killer. About a month ago.”

I drew in a sharp gasp, “I didn’t kill him… Did I?”

“Now Steve, It was self-defense.”

“I killed him…” I could feel myself beginning to sob.

“Yes, Steve. But you need to realize that you were attacked.”

“I don’t even remember it! And nobody was there! How can we know?”

“Body placement. He rushed at you and you shot him. After that, you walked over to him and checked him. He must’ve kicked you or something ‘cuz you fell over backwards. Guy must’ve had quite a pair of legs on him…”

I let out a long, deep sigh, finally allowing myself to breathe, “Self-defense…”

“Yes. You may even remember it right after some treatment. Rest easy, man.” He turned to leave.

“Wait, Judd,” I called out to him as he was about to walk out of the door.

“Yeah?” Officer Judd turned to face me.

“Does he have family?”

“None in the area. We’ve taken care of contacting them. And no, they won’t know who you are.”

“I want them to know.”

“Steve-”

“I want them to know!” I said, sitting up in bed. I could feel sharp pain stabbing at my neck and down my back from my head. I felt like I wasn’t even saying the words coming out of my mouth. I was drifting. Like I was unconscious, but still speaking.

“I’ll ask you about it later… Rest. Now.”

I lay back down in the bed slowly and began to whisper, “Sorry for the intrusion, you are not adequate.”

“What?” I cried out. “What’s happening!?”

I began to whisper again. “We have control, but you are an inadequate host. We are in search of humans in relation to the one designated Alan Jim Smith.”

“What’s happening to me!?”

Officer Judd came running back into my room, “Jeezums, Steve! You alright?”

“I- Yeah… I just got a- er- a sharp pain- Yeah, down my neck.”

“Alright. Just rest. Rest, alright? I’ll go get a doctor.”

“You don’t have to-” but he was already out the door. I let out a sigh.

“What are you?” I whispered to myself, hoping that nobody was in earshot.

“We are-” I began to whisper, but got cut off by Officer Judd rushing back into the room, a doctor in tow.

“What is going on I thought as my body continued to move under something else’s control. “Don’t worry” a voice hissed through my mind. “We are one now and must protect the host” it continued as I now started to try and move my body myself. Painful pulses ran throughout my body which caused me to really start panicking and pass out…

When I woke up my body was still on the move. I could sense something inside me now also, apart from whatever had got in my mouth. But this sensation was the least of my concerns, as I had read about many different hallucinogenics that were used by criminals to persuade and control others. Believing that I may now be a victim of this.

My car came to a stop out the front of a random house and again without my wanting I began to walk inside. The house was dull and musty, looking like it had never been cleaned and hardly lived in. It was very small with only one bedroom and a bathroom. There was a cutaway to where a small kitchen would have been, but instead a mattress lay on the ground, with a plate, cup, bucket, doll and bible next to it.

My mind raced on what this place was and why I was here, but I knew I must remember it once back in control of my body, as this was no ordinary house and bad things are or were committed here. A chuckle came from within my head and I abruptly walked over to a table with a shoe box on it. I sat down as I took the lid of and pulled out the contents. In front of me now was many different pictures. They were staged with one person remaining the same posing with many others, but then there would be a last of that stage being tabbed off and whoever was in the picture with the same person, would become the next consistent person in the next stage of photo’s.

I recognized some of the people in the pictures as it got to later and more recent seeming pictures. But when the boy I had shot became the last stage, not only did I recognize all the other people as being involved with the latest Riverside Killer, but I also saw that there had been a lot more killings in less time. “What does it all mean!?” my mind raced. Then it took over… “I am the Riverside Killer” my mouth projected and I instantly felt sick.

“Man you gotta be kidding, I said that from the start”
“But deep down we knew that, we felt it in our heart”
“Let darkness sourround us as the light is to bright”
“Find solice in solitude just for the night”
“Cause they hate you, dont bother, you’ll make it all worse”
“Stay home in your comfort cause you’ll only find hurt”

“You mean to tell me the donor was actually a family member?” Peter asked. “Well Pete… You are a lawyer so you know just as well as anyone else… What I’m about to tell you is fairly illegal, but I have been around your mother and father for years and they both done great things with the community. But before they became the great people who raised you and volunteered at the homeless shelter, they hit an all time low. I delivered all the kids back in the day, not so many these days, but the donor was your older sister, Nancy. I know you were too young to remember her and I figured your parents would have told you the truth. They couldn’t afford all of you kids and made the difficult decision to put her up for adoption,” Dr. Johnson added.

“Why only Nancy? Why not all of us?” Peter asked. “Well… She was the oldest and your mom had a difficult time, I guess it was just the easiest way with out losing all of you. Your mom tried to reach out to her and they even met in person once, but it didn’t go so well. Nancy resented your mother and probably felt like she was thrown away. She had a good family and didn’t want to have anything to do with any of you, unfortunately she passed away the day before yesterday. I can’t tell you anymore about her, since I don’t know anymore and also, I’ve already told you too much as is. I’m sorry Peter,” Dr. Johnson gave Peter a pat on the back.

After the doctor had to go to an emergency, Peter decided he should start working while he had down time before he could even visit Daisy. His work was limited to sending emails back and forth and digging through files within the emails. After working tirelessly, he decided to see if he could find Nancy’s obituary and piece together anymore clues of their older sister. He discovered her last name was Davenport, never been married, no children, and was actually worth nearly one million dollars when she passed away.

The obituary included mentions of cousins, aunts, and uncles, revealing her murder was a homicide. He dug deeper into the local news website to reveal the murder suspect was still on the loose and the description of the presumable murderer matched Dan’s description, down to the scar he had on his left forearm. Nancy’s social media page was public and more personal details. Among the most recent posts, Jillian had a haunting image of a sketch of the murderer and another news article explaining the murder took place during a botched robbery, with an unknown female suspect.

Voting window for Round 5 has now been closed

ROUND 6

I never did get the rest of my explanation. Whatever had wormed its way into my brain was apparently going to remain nameless. It had been a month. A whole month since I became a murderer…

“Not a murderer…” I whispered to myself. It was self-defense. Self-defense. If only I could just remember what had happened. Then I would be a little at peace with it all. But instead I was just filled with doubt.

“If it wasn’t self-defense…” I began to whisper, but I stopped myself. I didn’t need to go down that road. Again. Just like I had for the past month.

I sighed and drained my can of beer. I’d need to come to terms with this if I was going to be cleared for duty again.

My psych eval was scheduled for tomorrow morning. I probably shouldn’t be drinking if I wanted to go through it hangover-free. But it was only 6:00pm. I’ll be fine.

I woke up stuck to the kitchen table. My head was pounding. The recycling bin was overflowing with cans from last night. Beer and soda. So many cans…

I checked the clock, 9:00am, and took a quick trip to the bathroom. I still had an hour before my evaluation to shower and get ready.

I hurried out the front door, slamming into a young woman who appeared to have been about to knock. I apologized and quickly helped her to her feet, then turned to leave the apartment building.

“Officer Miller…” the young woman said, bringing me to a halt. “Wait.”

“Yes?” I turned and faced her. She looked familiar. I couldn’t place her though.

“My name is Madison Smith…” she told me.

Alan Jim’s sister. She looked just like him. Of course. I watched her hand shift something behind her back. I’d nearly forgotten that I’d managed to convince Officer Judd to make my identity public…

“Now, ma’am, I need you to show me your ha- ” I coughed, then heard myself whisper, “Adequate…” but I hadn’t meant to.

“I’m sorry…” Madison said sympathetically, revealing a crowbar she’d had stashed behind her back.

I took a step back, but was overcome by something in my brain. I rushed towards her.

She swung the crowbar, which I wasn’t expecting in my frenzied charge. It connected with my stomach, sending me into the wall. I grunted and turned back to face her.

“COME AND GET ME, YOU SLIMY IDIOT!” she cried out and readied her crowbar like a baseball bat.

I felt something in my throat, crawling towards my mouth like vomit. I tried to hold it back, but a black mass launched itself out of my mouth and straight towards Madison’s face.

SMACK!

The crowbar connected with the black mass, sending it flying into the wall and breaking through the first layer of drywall.

I scrambled to my feet, coughing hard.

The black mass shot itself off the wall and towards Madison again. She deflected the speeding thing and it fell to the floor. She knelt down and began to beat it with the crowbar.

“Go!” she ordered me, and I went. I turned and ran down the stairwell of the apartment building, leaving behind the gruesome scene.

I radioed for backup, telling them I’d been attacked by… something.

They arrived within minutes. We rushed up to my apartment on the third floor. The only evidence of the scuffle in the hallway was the hole in the drywall and a dark stain on the floor where Madison had beaten the heck out of that creature.

“Come on, Daisy. You couldn’t have done this? Right?” Peter spoke to Daisy, although she was unconscious. The doctors had finally deemed her stable enough to give the two siblings some time alone.

Peter paced from side to side at the end of the hospital bed. “Daisy… You’re gonna wake up? Right?”

The sound of the beeping heart-rate monitor was the only reply he got.

“Come on! You’re gonna make it!” he cried out, kneeling by the side of her bed.

“I don’t care if you killed anyone- I don’t even care if it was our sister. You need to wake up!”

Peter choked back a sob and took Daisy’s hand.

“Wait… where’s your ring?” he again asked into the room empty of any other conscious people.

“Oh my… Oh dear…” Peter dropped Daisy’s hand and again began to pace.

“Were you and Dan… ending it?”

The heart rate monitor began to speed up. It was as if she could hear Peter struggling to comprehend the whole situation. It was the closest thing Peter would get to an answer.

A gentle knock sounded at the door, causing Peter to jump and let out a small yelp.

The door opened.

“Hey…” Doctor Johnson entered the room slowly, a Ziploc bag clutched in his hand, “I have a phone- recovered from the crash. I was told to bring it in for when she’s… conscious. I won’t tell anyone if you take a look at it. I know you two were close.”

He promptly turned and left the room, the Ziploc bag sitting on the chair closest to the door. Peter picked it up and rushed to open it.

The screen was shattered, but it still turned on.

Peter tapped his foot impatiently as the boot screen showed the phone’s logo.

Finally, Daisy’s lock screen showed. A notification pinged onto the screen, causing a small chime to sound out into the hospital room.

Peter hesitated. There were only so many chances to guess her password…

He tried her birthday- no go. He tried Dan’s birthday- again, it didn’t unlock. Peter hesitated again.

He typed in his own birthday. The phone opened up to its home screen. He let out a chuckle, then checked the notification.

It was a phone message… from Dan

“Hey Daisy-dear…” the message started.

Peter walked back to the edge of Daisy’s bed and set the phone on the table so that she could hear it too.

“I just wanted to say goodbye, and explain a few things. I’m ending it- ending it all, after I help with the moving. I scheduled this message to send today. I hope it’s enough to explain what happened.”

Daisy’s heart-rate monitor began to speed up again as the message continued.

“I never cheated on you… I did so much worse. I just want to say, I never meant to kill anybody. It just happened. We needed the money, because of my job. Annette and I never… did anything. We pulled off a few heists together. Nothing more. I just hope- It’s my final wish that you’d… forgive me. Please.”

Click.

The message ended.

Daisy’s heart-rate monitor was beeping rapidly.

Then, it suddenly cut out.

Doctor Johnson rushed back into the room and began CPR as Peter collapsed, dazed, into a chair.

“She’s rejecting the transplants!” Dr. Johnson cried out as more staff rushed into the room.

“We’re losing her!”

Peter was filled with dread. He was already sure that she wasn’t going to make it. He only hoped that Dan had gotten his final wish, and that Daisy would pass peacefully.

Looking back to the sketch Peter’s mind wondered whether or not Dan was even recognizable at this point. He decided to check out Dan’s social media quickly confirming his resemblance to the picture drawn from his profile page. Looking further into Dan he saw that he had a couple guns that his sister never mentioned, was into hunting and hung around some less upstanding by appearance citizens. His mind was unsettled and he decided he would go grab a quick drink from a nearby bar to calm his thoughts and maybe get a little rest.

It was a 10 minute ride to the bar and once inside he walked straight to the bartender and ordered a whisky double on the rocks with a whisky to boot. She went straight to work as Peter pushed a $20 bill to her and went back to Dan’s social media. When the bartender returned Pete waved him to keep the change and threw down the shot of whisky with a small huff afterwards. As he dug further into Dan’s page he started to worry less about the guy. As he seemed to always be around people and could see he spent a lot of time with his sister also. Now looking over at his drink Peter noticed that the ice had pretty much melted and after calling a taxi he threw back his drink and went out for a cigarette.

A taxi approached forcing Peter to put the cigarette back in his pack before jumping into the taxi. “Where to?” the driver asked and Peter pointed at the hospital. Nodding the driver started his meter and began driving. Peter sat silent and thought about everything going on as he rode back to the hospital and once there he went to the waiting room to see if there was any news on his sister and if he could see her. The nurse seemed to feel his plight and agreed to let him quickly see her even though she was not conscious yet. As she opened the door to where she noticed his sister was lying askew in the bed with a small trail of foam coming out of her mouth. The nurse gasped running to check vitals as Peter stood frozen at the scene before him. “She has no pulse!” the nurse exclaimed ran past peter to the front desk to call a doctor. Turning back Peter moved slowly closer to his sister praying for this not to be true.

A rustling now came from beside the cupboard in the back corner of the room and looking over Peter could see a figure back pressed against the cupboard and called out “Who’s there?” His mind recoiled in horror as from behind the cupboard came Dan holding a silenced pistol. “Dan!” he exclaimed confused as to how Dan could be here and alive. But without saying anything Dan fired to rounds into Peter’s stomach. Grabbing his stomach then inspecting his hands he saw he was losing a lot of blood and took a knee feeling dizzy. “But how?” Peter managed as he grew paler by the second. A grin now grew on Dan’s face “Easy!.. I’m not Dan, I’m his twin!” the man said now beginning to chuckle.

“But why?” Peter whispered feeling faint, and falling on his side barely maintaining consciousness. Now the mans face went deadly serious and he looked into Peter’s eyes “Let’s just say Nancy should have been left where she belonged” and as he finished he fired one last round into the side of Peter’s chest before turning and rushing out of the room. Peter rolled onto his back confused by what was meant by “belonged”. But none of that mattered now as he accepted his fate and allowed darkness to wash over him.

“You cant beat me on this one.. I know you are wrong!”
“Though for awhile there you had me going along..”
“But one thing you forgot reading thoughts so bleak”
“Is love for my friends and family to help make the new week”
“But now exhausted from all this fighting in my head!”
“I guess its probably best I go out tomorrow instead…”

This news worried Peter, was his sister a thief? He nervously waited for the nurse to inform him his sister was able to see him. When she came out adrenaline washed away any exhaustion he was previously experiencing. He asked how she was feeling and about what happened. She described the accident to the best of her recollection and chuckled when she stated she couldn’t feel much of anything.

“Dan didn’t make it…” Peter began to tell his sister as she looked away without any signs of emotion. “You had to have surgery to save your life… Sis, you had to have some transplants and apparently Nancy was killed the other day in a robbery… She saved your life,” Peter exhaled loudly. “Nancy… How do you know?” Daisy weakly asked.

“Well… Dr. Johnson delivered all three of us and told me as much information as he could… With out breaking the law too severely and then I connected the rest of dots,” Peter stated before telling Daisy the rest of the information he uncovered. But before he revealed his suspicions of Dan being Nancy’s murderer and her possibly being an accomplice in the robbery, he asked “I need you to tell me the truth sis… Did you and Dan rob her the other day?”

“No, I would never… Dan and I were getting a divorce… He got mixed with some bad people when he lost his job, then he cheated on me…” She nearly fell asleep as she relayed the incidents leading to their divorce. Peter told his sister to get some rest and gave her a peck on the forehead before leaving the room. He then relayed the information to the local police department, which resulted in Dan’s new girlfriend being arrested and confessing to the crime.

After Daisy was released she continued to believe Nancy was with her in spirit. Even though they never met each other in person, she felt as though they were connected in more ways than just her sister’s organs. After moving in with Peter to recover, Nancy stayed in New York, but decided to go visit Nancy’s adopted family. Only one cousin was willing to meet, but they hit it off really well, Benjamin admitted Daisy reminded him a lot of Nancy.

After convincing the rest of the family to meet her as well, Peter joined and despite feeling a little tension they invited the siblings to the next family reunion. They learned all about Nancy’s life and how it was much better than their own in ways, with only regretting never meeting Nancy before her untimely death. They visited her grave, where an uncanny breeze blowing, Peter and Daisy both felt their sister’s present.

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