Chapter 1 Totem's First Touch

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The pitch-black curtain draped over the sky. Night had finally befallen. The clouds were so heavy, so full of rage that you'd think they wanted to avenge someone they'd lost. The eerie darkness of that night would never escape anyone's memory.

A Malay man in his late 40s was standing in front of a building marked Eka & Ean Warehouse Facility, smoking a kretek cigarette. No, he was not only smoking it. He was relishing it with a disturbing passion. He was tall and a bored expression was painted on his face. You could bet that the expression was always on his face as if it was engraved in his skin which was already furrowed with deep wrinkles. Suddenly, a rumble of thunder from above drew his attention. He startled and looked at the sky with curious and lazy eyes.

"Great! That's all I needed!" he said with a tired tone.

The man took a last long drag from his cigarette before tossing it away into a nearby drain. He felt an unexpected touch on his shoulder. It was Aaron, a 20-year-old man. This mesmerizing handsome young man had a golden-brown tint to his skin. At first, the man gave Aaron an incredulous look, but the latter only smiled at him. The humidity started to fill up their lungs, and the older man coughed strongly like his organs were breaking his own muscle fibres, and then they glued themselves back with some type of hot mucus that burnt his damaged interior organs. He felt like his own body was against him, but it finally stopped. Aaron then decided to address to the other man.

"Well, I am here!"

"Are you crazy?" responded the Malay man.

"Only on weekends," Aaron chuckled, amused by his own joke, but the other man was not impressed. He only shook his head, eager to get down to business.

"So," he said, "You won the auction. Ready to see what's inside?"

"Let's go there first, this weather is not good for me, not even for you, as I have seen."

Moments later they were walking down the warehouse's first floor. A blinking light momentarily caught Aaron's eye. The man coaxed him onward.

"Ignore it, boy. It has acted up in the past few weeks. I have called someone to repair it, but he couldn't do much. I will get someone else from another maintenance company to change the light bulb."

Aaron nodded, but he was still focused with the broken light, as though he was hypnotised. They finally got into a secured storage area. It was a huge space, Aaron and the man passed by multiple storage units before stopping at one marked 1808. Aaron flexed his fingers in anticipation. The man rolled up the gate. Afterwards, the two men entered the storage unit. The man retrieved another cigarette once inside. It was empty, except for a dusty old box. Aaron groaned in disappointment.

"Oh man, are you kidding me?" said Aaron with a long face, both shocked and angry.

The man cracked a slight smile, before lighting his cigarette, then he took a drag.

"This is the game, kid. It looks like you got a bag full of duds."

Aaron sighed and with a tired look on his face, but fast movements begun going through the box's contents. A bunch of paper and photos, all old and unclear, that's all he saw, and he almost turned his back to leave, when he noticed something behind the box. It was a strange-looking totem, black, shrivelled, with a distorted face and body. It had something weird in the way it was looking. The totem seemed unearthly. Aaron picked up the object to examine it better. When he touched it, he felt even odder, a bad feeling engulfed his body, capturing him with its cold claws. He almost dropped it.

"What is this thing?" he asked.

"You tell me, boy," the man said shrugging.

The man took another drag from his cigarette and looked away. He didn't care about that stupid totem, Aaron could take it and leave.

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