I don’t see the world the same anymore. When I was younger everything was always normal. Ha, normal… what does that even mean? I guess I mean that nothing seemed out of the ordinary. People walked around, laughed, talked, cried, screamed, beat each other. Normal human things. Unfortunately, as I have become older I see things differently now.
About a year or so ago is when I really noticed the change. The crime was on the rise, families stopped going out at night, homeless and loners started disappearing, you name it. I, in particular, was on a normal midnight run, something I often do when I can’t get my mind to shut off. I was coming around the harbor when I heard someone shriek before being abruptly silenced.
My heart lurched a second before I fell silent too. Seconds later my feet quietly carried me to where the sound came from. Then I heard it. The sound of muscles rubbing against each other. Thick heavy liquid melting and being sloshed around. Disjointed and muddled sounds of discomfort softly filled the air not far from me.
Carefully I peer around the bushes I’m crouched behind and watch as this misshapen creature takes another form. It appears to be in agony as its body transforms into the person lying lifeless on the ground. My eyes can’t turn away, the process is gut-wrenching yet fascinating to watch. A moment later the creature stops morphing and takes a deep breath.
“Come out. Don’t be afraid.” Its voice sounds strange. Almost as if multiple voices in different octaves are speaking at once. “Derek, come out.” Inhaling sharply I lose my footing falling hard on my ass. It knows my name? How the hell does it know who I am? “Please don’t be afraid.”
My eyes snap up to the woman standing in front of me. I didn’t even hear her come over. She crouches carefully in front of me placing her cold hand on my leg. I should be running for my life. This thing just killed someone and I am frozen solid on the cold concrete. “Derek, don’t be afraid. I have no intention of killing you.”
That night plays over and over in my mind now. Every time I see shapeshifters I think of her. The fear I felt that night was so intense yet when she touched me it fell away. Her eyes that night still pierce my soul. So calm, loving, warm, yet lifeless. I never understood how they could hold such emotion yet be so dead. Was it her soul I was seeing?
I should probably tell you her name. She wasn’t with me very long but she changed my life forever. Solaria was her name. She was murdered shortly after we married. We fell for each other hard and fast. Well, she had fallen for me long before I did her. Solaria told me once that she came to this realm for me. Somehow she heard of a man who was a bridge between the shapeshifters and humans. That one day he would unite the two races.
There was nothing that she could do to prepare me for what was to happen later. I didn’t believe her, about the story, until the day she died. They came for her in the middle of the night. But not before she did something to me. I still can’t describe what happened. She woke me up out of a dead sleep, kissed me hard and fast, the punched her hand into my chest.
Her words still clear in my mind, “I didn’t realize it had to happen like this. I love you.” The pain was agony. My vision went black, my heart slowed to a crawl. It felt as if I were dying. Yet… I wasn’t afraid. Something inside me changed and it wouldn’t be until now that I realized what it was. But that night was exquisite. We made love like we never had before. It was intense and passionate and it felt like it would go on forever. Until they came…
They ripped us apart. Several pinned me against the wall while the others grabbed her. She screamed my name over and over, but not for help. I could hear the concern in her voice. All she wanted was me safe, for them to leave me alone. It wasn’t long before they bound and gagged us both then dragged us downstairs.
I’ll spare you the details and just say that they took their time with torturing her while forcing me to watch. I never felt that much anger before. My entire body, every limb, muscle, ligament, nerve-filled with such fury. I watched her writhe in pain as they tortured her and forced her to shapeshift until finally… she gave up and they finished her.
Whatever she did to me before they showed up saved me though. Once they had their fill of her their attention turned to me. It didn’t last long though. As they crept towards me with her blood on their hands something snapped. I felt as if my entire body’s makeup had changed. Patiently I sat there waiting for them to get closer to me, and once they did… It took only a matter of seconds before everyone in the room was done.
I wish I could tell you that I was her prophecy. That I was the one to bridge the gap. Maybe I was until those shapeshifters broke into our home and killed my wife and unborn child. However, I am no such man. Now I hunt them. I hunt my kind, easily shifting to another face once I’m done. I’m reckless and don’t care if it’s in public. By the time the police show up I look worlds different.
I don’t kill humans. I create new faces. My imagination seems to be endless. More shapeshifters come every day now. It’s easy for me to spot them and I don’t just kill them carelessly. In fact, I have left many alone. Watching and studying them is the key. If I find one that is out of line, hurts another human, or has any intention of causing harm to anything living… I take care of it.
Solaria, I wish you were still here. You took part of my heart when you left. I wish I could have been the man you wanted and knew I could be. What was left of my heart is damaged beyond repair, and one day I will see you again. I will wipe out whoever sent those shapeshifters after you. It’s my promise to you.
** I do not own the image in this post**