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 3

Not Alone

“I’m home,” I announced quietly as I turned my key in the lock.

I swung the door open, greeted by the cold darkness of my apartment. Beams of evening light poured through the holes in my curtains, growing larger everyday thanks to the moths that lived in this room.

Placing my keys in the bowl by the door, I flooded the room with light with a simple flick of a switch. My eyes washed over the room, taking in my shabby living space. Cream walls of peeling paint enclosed the room, making it appear far smaller than it is. The old leather couch that sat below the window, the coffee table with an array of books and magazines spread over it. The tiny kitchen with its rusting sink, a few counters and mini fridge, often only stocked with frozen meals. Doors to the left and right of this room lead to a bedroom and bathroom, both cramped and really not fit for a human to live in.

Despite being told I would want for nothing and that money was no problem, it still felt wrong to take life so easily. To spend money that was not mine on worthless materialistic things like plasma screen TVs or the latest mobile phone. That’s why I lived in this apartment, to feel a sense of some normality, that I was still an ordinary human being.

However, no matter how I lived, nothing could change what I was.

Brushing the thoughts from my mind, I made my way to the window, drawing the curtains open to look at the street down below. Outside the sun was slowly descending, disappearing behind the skyscrapers of the distant city. Soon those skyscrapers would be lit up like Christmas trees, a blur of flashing lights and the noise of the city at night. I would never understand how people could be so alive at night. By the time it grew dark, I myself could barely keep my eyes open. Yet there they were, still busily rushing from place to place as if there wasn’t enough time in the day to do that.

I would never understand humans.

My thoughts stopped abruptly. There I go again, referring to them as if I weren’t one of them. I’m human. I eat and sleep like they do, I breathe, I live. I get up in the morning; I work and come home at night like anyone else. Why did I have to remind myself of that? Why did I constantly have to reassure myself of my humanity?

Sudden thoughts were quickly lost as a quiet noise hits the air. My head shot up, tracking the noise to the bathroom. I stared at the closed door, narrowing my eyes and listening for the sound again. Yep, there was definitely someone in there.

Or something…

I slowly stand, my hand going to my back pocket. I clutched the handle of my dagger and pulled it from its hiding place. Extending the blade to its full length, it would be as long a kitchen knife. Its hilt was completely black, carved with the Latin words ‘Ad Mittere’, roughly translated ‘to send’. The blade was blunt one side and a sharp the other, a weapon designed for blocking and attacking.

Holding the blade up, I crept silently towards the door. I take each step carefully, trying to make as little noise as possible. Whatever was in there had very keen hearing.

More noises sounded from within, this time a low moaning. Taking a breath, I leaned out and took the handle firmly in my hand. I steadied my breathing, feeling sweat start to accumulate on my forehead. Counting to three, I opened the door with one swift movement.

Something came hurtling towards me from the gloom. I ducked out the way and it flew over my head, circling the space above me. It suddenly stopped, hovering in mid-air and staring down at me.

I look up, studying it. I’d seen enough of these to know what they looked like. That human-like black silhouette, glowing white eyes, open screaming mouth. Often I mistook them for shadows, they did have quite a few similarities.

But there was no mistake this time: this was someone’s soul.

The soul let out a scream and dived towards me once more. It sailed passed, just barely missing my head. Although a wound from a soul was not fatal to me, I saw no reason to test fate.

“Come on,” I yelled, raising my blade in my hand. I needed to strike its heart with my blade, the source of its misfortune. The soul gave another screech and came at me again but I was prepared. I jumped towards it, my arm swinging.

I collided with the soul but it anticipated the attack. It swung at me and knocked us both to the ground. As I hit the floor, my dagger bounced out of my grip, skittering across the floor. I raced to retrieve as it slid under the couch. The soul recovered quickly and laid its white eyes on me. With another screech, it charged towards me like a raging bull. I flailed under the couch for my dagger as the soul drew closer.

Seconds before I’m struck by its rampage, I managed to secure my dagger once more. With fast reflexes I seized it up, vaulting it towards the soul. I hear another cry as my dagger embedded itself hilt deep into its chest.

The soul began to faintly glow, wailing and looking up at the sky. The glow turned into a powerful light that filled the room and my entire vision. I shielded my eyes until the light dispersed.

Where the soul once stood was an older woman, hair the colour of moonlight spilling down her back. Her aged face held a look of peace as she faded, my blade clattering to the floor as she vanished.

I breathed a sigh of relief, wiping the sweat from my brow. Six this week, I thought, one in my own home. Souls have a tendency to become trapped in the human world when someone can’t accept their death. If left in our world, they will change form and become monsters, intent on devastation and death.

Retrieving my blade from the floor, I retreat to my bedroom. My bed was the only part of my home that was somewhat decent. Apart from the bed, the only thing that occupied the room was a small chest of drawers that contained the minimal clothing I owned. I often moved places every few years to make sure no one noticed my agelessness so I didn’t get the luxury of a full wardrobe.

Collapsing on the bed still fully clothed, I stared up at the cracked ceiling. I closed my eyes and left my mind drift. I let it take me into a deep sleep, one I often wished to never wake from.

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