Izzy is outside. Tanaka stands up, "Well that was a productive day. I am heading out." I wave to him. I can hear them greet each other. Her boots clack from behind the door. I open it, "Hello." It is not normal for her to come here.
"Since you mentioned a scary murderer I figured I would come to protect you." I folded my arms and shifted my weight.
"This is just petty."
"I want you to see how you sound. I may dress like I am from the 1950s, early 2000s, or some other sad period for women, but the truth remains." She leans forward, "I can handle myself."
I nod, "I get that, Izzy. Serial killers don't care about equality though when it comes to their victims." She grabs my hand. Heat rises to my face as she pulls me forward. Curse the pale skin my father gave me. Thankfully, her back is turned. We get into the car I scheduled. Our hands no longer linked, I can focus.
"What did the remote viewer say?"
I look out the window to my left, "I am not at liberty to say." Izzy scoffs. I look down at my lap and see her hands crushing her dress in my periphery. I sigh and look up, "I am contracting a different seer for this case. This is not something I want you involved in."
Izzy leans forward and faces me, "seriously?! Since when did you become my guardian?" The view below of the ocean catches my attention. The car moving through the skyway fast enough to make me get a headache.
"Izzy, I don't mean to sound like an ass, but—"
She lifts her hand to stop me, "That is what everyone says before being a—" she revised her response, "a butthead." I nearly laugh, her conservative background still polices her speech.
"I look out for you, just like you for me." I take a breath, "The woman we saw. She's dead."
"How do you know?" Her solemn voice draws my eyes, which captures the moment her hands release her dress.
"The remote viewer had a hard time finding her, but when she found her husk. Her horrified eyes were definitely indicative of death. Let's just say, the gaping charred hole where her mouth was is a greater testament to that." Izzy covers her mouth. With a measured pace, she removes the hand and places it on her lap.
"Was the perp' there?"
Heavy air like a vault settles over us. If we had seen things sooner. Maybe, we could have saved her. How many will die?
The Agent sat with crossed legs. Soon. For now, no report of their passing had graced the media. However, with the next kill, there would be no choice. A smile graces The Agent's lips. A fuzzy feeling and zinging sound announced contact. They are calling. The next target's identity is ready.
They: You will go to Market Street and intercept this person.
[An image of the prey overtakes what is before my eyes.]
The Agent: Why a—
They: Silence. Be prompt. Do not show up late or early. Be there at precisely, this time.
[A clock with a display showing a date, time, month, and year appears.]
The Agent: Understood.
They: Good, the last soul was an excellent addition to our collection.
The Agent: The resilient ones usually are.
The memory of Yelena, her destroyed mouth—a charred crater, brings pleasure.
They's laughter rang through the connection. A chill passed through The Agent. What a wonderful sensation; fear. The connection fizzled as They withdrew. Time was on their side. The age of man would come to an end. The slate wiped clean.
Izzy watches as Zara leaves the bathroom. Her robe and wet hair show her nightly ritual is complete. Izzy knocks on the door to Zara's room. "Zara?"
"What is it?" Zara calls.
"Can I sleep with you tonight?"
Zara unlocks the door and gestures to the bed, "nightmares?"
Izzy nods, "thank you."
Izzy averts her gaze as Zara gets dressed. Zara quickly braids her hair. Izzy waits for Zara climbs into bed. Then turns to shut off the light. They hold hands like when they were children. Zara listens as Izzy's breathing slows. The sound of a snore announces Izzy's sleeping state. Zara props up Izzy's head gently. She does not let hands linger. She pushes the thoughts of Izzy's sheer nighty from her mind. This is my best friend. Friend. Not lover. The thought of Izzy's boobs shifting as she turned to shut off the light plague my mind. I release her hand and turn away. It feels like I am hiding. I hold on to the thought of a warm day in the forest. Mom used the image to soothe me so many times. Overtaken by sleep, an ebony mist surrounds me.
My consciousness returns to a familiar dreamscape; in the blackness, my dimension split across its planes. My skin the pale gray of a sunless night. My yellow eyes watch as the humans call to the gods, or whatever spirits might help them in their latest troubles. My raven hair falls across my bosom as I lean forward. My mirror displays the otherworld--their earth.
On the fringes of my plane, the souls of the recently dead pass through. Some souls are guarded, cross as prisoners, or cross alone to make their way. The living call to the gods, goddesses, or lone deity they attuned to. I send ushers to guide the sleeping souls, those still living, back to the realm of dreams. It is rare we allow a sleeper across the night plane to death. It is our job among others to ensure the safety of souls. I do not file them, judge them, or any such thing. I simply allow them their chance to live. My job is far different from such trivial things.
I am an orchestrator of fate.
I hear the prayers to the fates as my name. We souls of the Nyx dive down. Upon the borders, we hear her begging us.
"Please give me a chance—let me have this baby. I have waited so long."
We can all see past the veil into the car of a woman who was just told she could never bear children. I stand at the front of the group and look back at the others. We all know what her future holds. We also know an essential change has to come. The humans are too unruly. Even Yahweh, the newest god to ascend to prominence, is unable to handle the lot of them. Even working together, even answering prayers not assigned to us—things are getting worse.
"An agent must be born, the slate wiped clean. To fulfill the will of the Moirae."
Ananke stepped from behind the masses, she looked at me - "You will have a new name and new life."
"So shall it be," chorus the masses.
YOU ARE READING
The Alter Mysteries: Death ShadowParanormal
Zara, a private investigator and founder of The Paranormal Investigation Task-force, solves paranormal crimes on contract for the police. In over her head, she is pursuing a serial killer that threatens the delicate acceptance paranormals have recei...