Eternal

Eternal

Logan knows he's different from everyone else. Forced to uphold his end of a bargain, he seeks out souls trapped in our world, helping them to pass to the next life. The men he serves however begin to make their true plans known as loves from the past and the present force him into inner turmoil.
Will he triumph in the face of such adversity? Or is he doomed to remain alone and ever watchful of the human world for all eternity?

Chapter 2

My Life

“Watch the road you fu-” the rest of the man’s sentence was cut off by the loud blare of his horn as he made a hasty getaway. His rage was clear as his arm shot out the driver’s side window, giving a rude gesture. The street was still for a moment as the driver vanished from sight, everyone comprehending what had just happened. No one moved; all eyes glued to the road. Time froze for those brief few seconds.

All too soon the moment ended and life continued like nothing had happened. The scared recipient of the man’s harsh words was finally able to move forward. He’d become a victim of the incident after having to suddenly stop for the driver who ran a red light.

I’d stood on the walkway watching the scene unfold; much like I’d always watched everything happen. I could stand here all day, just watching the world go by. The people, the cars, the chaos that could erupt at a moment’s notice. I saw and remembered it all.

Growing bored with this street, I pushed off the brick wall of the building behind me. Soon, this pub would be filled with the drunken cries of rowdy drinkers, too far gone to notice the world around them. I imagined many a fight would break out over the stupidest of matters, punches hitting and missing their targets. I’d seen enough of that to not stick around and watch again.

I let my mind wonder away from such images. I stepped into the throng of the city, letting myself be swept up in its noise and confusion.

People walked past; some in a great hurry, others didn’t seem to care. There were men in business suits, talking into their cellphones importantly. Woman holding tightly to the hands of small children, pulled along by their sheer excitement. The elderly chatting with each other, catching up for lost time. A few girls walk passed as well, giving me shy smiles. Giggles escape their lips as I smiled back.

With this many people, I could blend in. I became one of them, a nameless face in the crowd. To them, I was nobody special, someone they’d probably forget soon after seeing. But what they didn’t know set me apart from every person I passed.

I stopped abruptly in front of a shop window, causing the man behind me to also stop and give me a nasty comment as he resumed walking.

Behind the glass was an array of baked goods: frosting covered cupcakes, cakes topped with cream and fruit, jam filled donuts dusted with sugar. But what caught my attention was the person who stared back at me.

It was the same, had been for as long as I remember. The same curly blonde hair, tousled and windblown from the events of the day. The same brown eyes framed by long black lashes, casting shadows over my long straight nose. The same average height and slight build, hidden under my jeans and grey t-shirt. The person that stared at me from the glass hadn’t changed since I’d turned twenty.

A sharp cry pulled me from my thoughts, leading me further down the street. A crowd had built up, gawkers staring at who knows what. I pushed my way through out of curiosity for what had gotten everybody so worked up. Muffled protests arose as I elbowed my way to the front. Peering over the crowd’s shoulders, it all unfolded before me.

A boy of five or six stood crying in the middle of the road, cars flying passed him at an alarming rate. The cry I previously heard comes from a small woman on the other side of the road. She called out to the boy, desperately telling him to stay put while at the same time trying to walk towards him. A man behind her sharply pulled her back as a car careened to close to the sidewalk. No one else made a move to help boy or mother, no brave soul stepped forth to save them.

“Mummy,” cried the little boy, staring around at the packed road and the faces of the onlookers. His plea was met with a sea of blank stares, worried and growing agitated. He rubbed his eyes, his face scrunching up in fear and loss. “Mummy.”

That’s when I saw it.

A semi-trailer, travelling well over the speed limit, was quickly closing the half a kilometer gap between him and the boy. Any minute now, brakes would wail too late and the boy would be killed there and then. I could picture the way his body would fly into the air over the horrified faces of the crowd. It would fall like a heavy weight back to earth, the sickening crack of his bones filling my ears. I could see the defeated look of the mother as she sank to her knees and screamed for her lost son.

I saw this all in an instance and knew what I had to do.

Pushing off the ground I shoved my way through the crowd, causing many to fall back against the pavement. I landed on the road in a crouch, wasting no time in completing my task. I agilely avoided the cars, scooping up the boy in my arms. I dived for the sidewalk, the crowd parting as I launched both of us out of harm’s way.

I hit the concrete hard on my back, pain shooting up my spine viciously, encircling my arms around the boy to protect him from the impact. I laid there breathing heavily, listening to the sound of the semi passing and the crowd closing in on me.

I sat up as the boy’s mother shoved her way passed them, grabbing the boy the second she saw him. She buried her face in his brown hair, murmuring and crying. “Thank you, I don’t know how I can ever repay you for this. You saved my son’s life.” She looked at the boy whose attention was now on me. He gave a smile, showing small white teeth and a gap where a new tooth was already growing.

I reached out and ruffled his dark hair, smiling. “Knowing he’s safe is reward enough.” By this time most of the crowd has dispersed, some still lingering to see what would happen next. While their attention was focused elsewhere, I slipped away.

“That was really stupid,” I reprimanded myself quietly as I walked further and further from the scene. More like risky, reckless, irresponsible. I headed to the less populated part of the city, the poorer district as it had been branded. Here the buildings were packed closer together to allow more accommodation for those who could not afford anything better. The streets were unclean, less cared for compared to the higher end of the city. Dark alleys held gateways to the shady underworld of black markets and unfair deals. “I’m supposed to be keeping a low profile and you go and do that.”

“I thought it was quite brave, Logan.” My head snapped up mid thought to the alley just next to me. From it stepped someone I’d become quite familiar with.
“Richard?” I said, with a little too much surprise.

The man gave a laugh, staying half hidden in the shadows. I could just make out the shape of his broad shoulders and tall frame. The cut of his impeccable suit and jeweled topped cane, more for show than actually use. I wouldn’t expect him to need one when most of the time he looked like a man in his late twenties. His steady hazel eyes always stood out against his pale skin, seeming to always catch mine no matter how hard I tried to not look at them. “I see you weren’t expecting me?”

I glowered at him. “When do I ever expect you? It’s not as if I wait around for you to visit.”
“Come, come, my boy, no need to get so worked up,” he chuckled, his eyes roaming over my face. He leaned forward, holding his cane in both hands. “I merely came for a simple chat.”

He never came for ‘a simple chat.’ There’s only one think he wanted from me. I folded my arms over my chest, leaning back to give him a hard stare. “You came to check up on me, make sure I’m doing my job.”

“Oh, you make it sound so despicable,” he whined, tracing circles in the air with his cane. “What you are doing is serving a higher cause, lending a hand where it needs it the most.”

“Only because you tricked us,” I retorted, pointing an accusing finger at him. “Giving us our debt to you before we could even consider the consequences.” My mind flashed back to all those years ago, too many to count now. “My life in exchange for a lifetime of service. Hardly fair.”

He sighed, a hand rubbing his temple. “You always do dwell on the past, don’t you? What’s done is done; I can’t undo that. You know very well your mother wouldn’t have let you die.”
“Don’t bring my mother into this. This was not her fault.” I snarled at him, something feral inside me snapping. My next words came out sounding not quite so human. “You have absolutely no right to mention her after what you did.”

“Oh come now, you cannot blame me for what happened. In essence it was no one’s fault but her own.”

I couldn’t take it anymore, how dare he speak of her that way? In my rage, I ran towards him, hands outstretched, going for his throat. I knocked him over, pinning him to the alley ground. I breathed heavily and growled as I stared at him, raising my fist to strike him.

Before I even hit him once I shot backwards, flying onto the street once more. As I sat up on my elbows, the end of Richard’s cane slammed into my chest. “Listen here, boy,” he barked, black hair falling over his powerful eyes. His voice had taken on a tone of something dark, something not of this world. “You must remember who gave you this life.” His cane pressed deeper into my chest with each word.

“You think I wanted this?” I pushed his cane away forcefully and sat up, glaring at him. “You think I wanted to stay young and live forever as my loved ones aged and died around me? To watch them wither and drift away from me? You think I asked to be born this way?” That very part of me was so alive with energy that I could barely see straight. Is took all my strength to hold it in.

“If I hadn’t given you this gift you would be dead.” Richard grabbed hold of my chin, nails digging into my skin. He squeezed harder until I met his stare. “You should be thanking me for saving your life. Few people are given a second chance at life much less an immortal one. Gratitude is something you need to learn.”

He released my chin, standing upright and towering over me. Then he sighed, straightening the collar of his shirt. “I let my temper get the better of me, I apologize. I meant no offense towards your mother either.” His voice had returned to normal. He thrust his hand in my face, trying to help me to my feet. I shoved away his aid, getting up and wiping the dirt from my jeans.

“Well if your done pestering me, I’d like to go now.” I straightened, intent of walking past him. I was in no mood to deal with him or his sudden changes in mood. I could barely deal with my own emotions without getting into his. I was almost passed him when his firm hand came down on my shoulder.

“How many this week?” He doesn’t look at me but his grip on my shoulder tightened in a nervous way.

I sighed. “Five. Two adults, two children and an old man.”

“You used your blade, to send them?”

“Yes.”

“Very good.” He dropped his hand and walked in the other direction. I didn’t need to turn to know I wouldn’t see him walking away. He had this odd tendency to just disappear. I suppose when you were what he is; you had no need for insignificant human things like walking.

I sighed again, looking up at the clear sky and watching a wispy cloud pass overhead. Right now, I felt like that cloud. I floated meaninglessly through an empty sky, controlled by a force that I couldn’t fight against. I’m sorry mother, I whispered. I’m bound to a debt I must repay, even if it was not my choice.

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