“Yes. So, you know me. That’s nice.” He started laughing. A demonic laugh, the kind that I hadn’t ever heard. I was terrified at that moment. It’s obvious, looking straight at your death, who won’t be fucked up at that moment. His red eyes sparkled in the twilight. His stature was muscular, he was tall, unusually tall. His wrist was the size of my bicep (literally!). He was wearing a long shaggy brown overcoat. His hairs were long and his beard was brown. And his tache was dense and same color as his beard, which made it difficult to notice his mouth. He had a deep scar on his neck. He looked monstrous. No words dared to come out of my mouth.
“Don’t worry. I’ve just come to see you. You know a predator must know his prey before killing it.” He smiled. His pupils dilated. He was examining me. Every living thing around me had stopped its motion. Time had stopped for them. Except me and Bestial nothing was moving.
“H-how… how do you do this?” I asked gathering all of my strength.
“What? Stopping time?” He became serious. “You are so ignorant. Why would they want me to kill you?” He made a noise which sounded like a growl.
“Tell me.” I asked.
“Well, we’re in a parallel universe. You see, I can travel through different realities. What you are looking at is just a shadow of the moment I brought you here.” And everything around me passed into oblivion. Darkness followed. Only two red eyes were visible, orbiting me. “I am coming for you. I hope you prove yourself worthy of dying by my hands. You see, I enjoy hunting. I prefer lions not rabbits.”
The whole scenario changed. I was falling, into the water. Crimson red water. Not it wasn’t water, it was blood. I was falling. As the surface was coming closer time seemed to slow down. And splash! I woke up.
“Advik? You okay?” Ileana asked. I was on a sofa inside a room. It was familiar. No, it wasn’t a room. It was the Headmaster’s office. And Ileana wasn’t the only person in the room. Ocean, Ameline, Mr. Walder and Mr. Renaux were staring at me. Someone was sobbing. It was Ameline. There was someone else too. Father was there holding my hand. And Prof. Florence at the far corner of the room.
“Son, are you feeling good?” Father asked.
“Y-yes.” I felt a pounding in my head. It felt like blows of a hammer.
I sat straight. “I saw him. Rather, I met him.”
“I know.” Father said. “The moment Ileana told me that she saw a red flash, I knew it was him,” he sighed.
“Why didn’t he kill me?” I asked.
“He never kills. He hunts,” said Mr. Walder. Everyone was a little relieved, by the fact that I was alive.
“He had transferred your consciousness to his dimension. He cannot have come here personally, just to intimidate you.” said Father.
“We’ll have to start his training soon.” said Prof. Florence, coming forward.
“Yes, we have to.” said Father, looking into my eyes. Probably, he was reading my conversation with Bestial. “Let’s go for a walk, son.” I followed Father to the balcony.
” From when you are getting that recurring dream?”
“A week, I suppose.”
“Dreams are reflections of your unconscious mind, and memories. I believe that your memories are resurfacing. In due time you’ll know what they mean. For now, Prof. Florence is going to teach you self-defense, personally. I will be out for few more days. Got to finish some unfinished works.”
“What kind of work?” I asked.
“Of protecting the city. We’re at war now.” He was looking towards the moon. “Deception of being protected” He said, ” make us susceptible to attack.”
“You’ll know that soon.” He paused, and continued again, “Look after your friends. A hunter stalks the whole herd in order to find the single best prey.”
Father left after an hour, having conversation with Mr. Walder and giving some instructions to Mr. Renaux. “Take care kids. Good bye, son.” We waved him goodbye and he left in Mr. Renaux’s car. Yes, the same flying car. Then the car disappeared into the moonlight. And I noticed something very strange – there were no stars in the sky.
Mr. Renaux dropped us to the team house. We decided to sleep in the common hall tonight. Because we had a lots of things to discuss. Many new questions arose. What would Bestial do next? What did my dreams mean? What did Father mean by ‘deception of protectiveness’? And why Prof. Florence?
“Stop it Ameline! Why are you still crying like a child? Grow up.” shouted Ileana.
“Don’t you understand the seriousness of the situation at hand. He could have been killed there.” said Ameline.
“But he isn’t dead.” said Ileana. Her voice was firm, but there was subtleness in it.
“Ileana please don’t shout.” I said to Ileana. Then turning to Ameline, I said, “I think you are just… just thinking too much.”
“Doesn’t anyone think that we should rest now?” said Ocean.
“I think that’s a great idea.” I said. I was exhausted
We all slept in the common hall that night. It was cold. There was no temperature control system as in the room. But for tonight it was a better if we stayed together. I closed my eyes (finally) and sleep overtook me. Sleep is the best medicine you can have. Because not every disease can be cured by medical drugs. The windows to common hall were open. I felt the wind blowing outside. The quivering of leaves outside. And suddenly, a voice fell on my ears. A very familiar voice which said – ‘Time. The time seeks you.
I woke with a start. And so did Ameline. “Did you hear that?” she asked.
“Wait. H-how can you hear that? That… that was the voice from my dream.”
She stood up and walked towards the balcony. I followed her. The city of light was asleep. The whole scenario was blended in the light of the moon.
“I wasn’t crying for you back then.”
“I knew that. You won’t cry for such a trivial matter. I know you are brave. Then why were you crying?” I asked.
“I discovered something about myself.”
“And what is that?”
“I’m not a seeker, Advik.”
“Don’t worry. Even I don’t feel I’ve those skills and…”
“No. You don’t understand. I was able to see you and Bestial in his parallel universe. I’m not a seeker, Advik.” She paused, sighed, “I’m a healer.”