Divine hunter .(chapter one continued)

in #story3 years ago

Forced to change his plans and find a motel room
for the night−aptly named Comfort Motel−just on
the edge of the city, Michael had cleaned himself
up in
the shower and was standing facing the bathroom
mirror, Unclad, staring at the slice in his stomach.
He already knew he felt no physical pain and was
stronger than he should be, but this was the first
time he’d ever been stabbed. He’d had punch-ups
and clashes, of course, that had been almost an
everyday situation for him since becoming what
he was, but this was the first time anyone had
gotten
that close to killing him−or trying to, anyway. He
hadn’t thought about what would actually happen
when they did. It was ironic that a human would
deliver his first, fatal blow given how many
monsters he’d fought in the past ten months.
He was quite used to his new, thirty-one year old
body by now−even though it was still strange
seeing himself with dirty blond, choppy hair and
not his own
black, sleek style−but he still found it hard to
accept that it was indeed him that stared back
from the reflection as he stood before it.
The wound had finally stopped bleeding as he
examined it in the mirror. His lean, athletic body
had been in quite good order anyway for someone
who’d
abused it in such a way, but was now bigger,
more muscular due to his regular steam releasing
sessions at the gym. Now, though, he was going
to have a pretty decent sized scar which would
join the faded needle marks on the insides of his
arms from his body's previous host’s drug habit
as he ran his fingers over the small, white scars,
he couldn’t help his mind wandering back to the
darkest period of his life so far: the day he’d
woken up dead.
After making a success of his life—good career,
lots of good friends and family around him—it
was hard to adjust to being so alone now. His
success had taken him to places far and wide and
it was something he never took for granted. He’d
finally been in a place where he’d stopped hating
his life, and then one day, someone took it all
away from him.
He’d been murdered. That much he knew, though
the reason, and his killer, still remained a
mystery. With no recollection of what happened,
Michael had awoken in a place he thought only
existed in nightmares. A place he’d never believed
existed at all until now.
Hell.
He leaned his hands on the sink and dropped his
head, hating that his mind would throw the sordid
memories up to him whenever possible. He hated
Remembering how much of a tortured soul he’d
been down there in the pit−a demon along with
the rest of the damned, even though he hadn’t
been worthy of the punishment, given the honest
life he’d led. He had no memory of how he’d died,
and no justifiable reason as to why he’d ended up
being punished in the worst ways imaginable. But
he was also glad that he couldn’t remember
much of what went on while he was in Hell. All he
was left with were flashes of memories of what
he could only describe as an excruciating inferno
of pain that he’d endured right up until the point
when he’d lost himself, as though the burning fire
and the torture had finally become too much for
his body and soul
To bear and he’d simply passed out.
Afterwards, he’d awoken to a different kind of
nightmare. The visions of which were playing out
right now as he stood in the dingy motel
bathroom.
He was back on earth, no longer a prisoner, but
not as he once was. He looked down at his body
which wasn’t real anymore. There was no flesh
or bone, just a spectral image that was lost in a
parallel world where he had no more human
interaction, just ghostly beings who were as lost
as he was. Spirits
of the afterlife who−for whatever reason−hadn’t
managed to find their peace either. He was lost,
afraid, broken. How could this have happened to
him?
He shook himself, determined to push the
unwanted memories away. But even when he
wasn’t seeing them plain as day, they were there,
always.
Ghosts and entities weren’t the only beings that
Michael had had to deal with during his time in
that in-between world. He quickly learned that
other
creatures existed alongside the spirits, creatures
he’d already encountered, who knew he was there
but would ignore his spiritual form like he was
nothing but dust blowing on the wind. But it was
only then that they’d taken no notice of him. He’d
had no such luck since being corporeal.
The memories of the torture and suffering he’d
endured were all that he was left with. He’d tried
and tried to forget, but there was no way of
blocking them out; so much so that they’d
become the reason he hardly slept anymore, not
that he needed to, but when he did those
memories would become vivid enough for him to
mistake the nightmares for a reality that he just
couldn’t endure again.
His existence was now haunted by vengeance;
had been that way every day since he’d been
back on earth and the only reason he’d kept his
sanity through all of it, was the determination to
find out what had happened to him and the hope
of catching his own killer someday.
Hopefully soon.
He wrapped a towel around his waist, grabbed his
laptop and powered it up at the small dresser by
the window. He had quite a bit of work to do,
including faking some papers for himself. The best
thing about acquiring a dying man’s body, and
nobody knowing that the poor guy had died, was
the fact that Michael had inherited the man’s
whole life not just his physical form. He now
existed, which meant he was in the system. If he
was going to find out who or what was causing
the students to make like lemmings and jump to
their deaths, he would need to get inside the
university. He’d decided the easiest way would be
to work there. That way he’d be on campus for
most of the time and could have a good
Look around without question.
In his life, he’d been a qualified computer
programmer with his own successful business
and now having so much time on his hands
allowed him to improve on his skills which came
in very handy for situations like this. He
successfully hacked into the university’s database
and struck lucky. There was already a transfer in
place for a substitute to fill in for someone who
was due for maternity leave in three days, so he
changed the name and then set about faking
some documentation. All he had to do after that
was reach one of his contacts−who just happened
to be in Kent, OH−send him to find a Mr George
Cole, and persuade the guy to take a little
vacation.
When he was done, he leaned back in his chair,
placed both hands behind his head, and smiled
with smug satisfaction that he’d just created a
new career for himself in a matter of minutes
without a glitch. After finishing his research,
Michael glanced at the digital clock on the
bedside table. It was almost midnight. He figured
he’d leave for Garrett County at around six that
morning so he decided to get some sleep. Not
that it was necessary for him to sleep; he needed
it about as much as he needed food, which was
never, but it passed the time and he’d inherited a
lot of that since he’d died.
And as for the food thing, well, not needing it
didn’t mean he didn’t want it. He could still taste
food just as well as before, so that was a bonus
if ever there was to be one in this arcane
situation. Truth was, he needed to hold on to as
much of his humanity as possible if there was
any chance of him remaining sane. He climbed
into the bed and pulled the musty blankets up to
his waist, switched off the lamp and lay on his
back staring at the ceiling.
The darkness wasn’t as dark for him anymore
−another thing he’d acquired: night vision.
Although the world was more insipid, almost
colorless to him, when the lights went out he
could still see quite clearly. Great when he needed
it, but now, in this quiet motel room, he’d give
anything to have that darkness back. Sleep didn’t
come as easy to him as it used to. His body or
mind never tired, so it was now something he had
to will. He thought back to his life and how much
simpler things like sleep had been to him back
then. Closing his eyes, he thought about how
he’d get home late in the evening after a long
shift at the office, switch on his computer and
work some more, often accompanied by a large
glass of whiskey. Then he’d fall into bed and
sleep without even trying−another one of the
many things he yearned for: to feel tired again.
Wondering what tomorrow would bring, he lay
quietly and hoped that sleep
would soon take him.
Eventually, it did.

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