Totem : Extract 2

The Cloaked Ones barged in, slamming doors and pushing their way through the house. All the two of us could do was stare. My eyes were open wide, shocked beyond belief. I was bewildered. Ed was calmer, resigned, though his jaw was set and I could see his clenched fists under the piano. When they flared our presence, they approached quickly, swiftly — hiding their sagged, pallid faces under their hoods. They pretended not to recognize us. Frick, they were professional. The biggest one grabbed Ed and forced him to bend over, pulling his hands together in his back as he fumed and protested all he could. I stood, transfixed, as my best friend was punched in the stomach. His cries echoed off the walls of the main room.

“Run!” he managed to choke out to me. Everything dimmed, as if the sound was being turned down on the radio. The vertigo hit, hollow ringing in my ears as my vision clouded and became the caliginous picture of the End I would always remember.

Through the haze, I heard this: the sound of my soul-mate’s death as the trigger was pulled.

I could have screamed, but I didn’t.

I could have cried, but I didn’t.

I could have kicked, fought, swore and punched these devils to their graves through the fury I was in; but I didn’t.

I stood there, and paralyzed by this. I had known this would happen eventually, nevertheless I had still hoped that the future could be changed. How wrong I was.

In that moment, I asked the question that had governed my entire life: “How?”

Because, through the mist, I had heard him call out my name, the nickname only he called me by. And by that word, he told me everything he hadn’t had the time to say.

“I love you, never forget that. I’ll always remember you. Have hope”.

By that name, he reminded me that everything would work out, in the end. Because this was my life. And no matter how much pain and grief I would feel, I would survive.

Through the mist, I had heard him call out. In resolution, resignation and remembrance: Co.

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