The rain poured fiercely, like water from a bucket, on the sleeping city below. Everyone hid inside their cozy houses, snuggled up warmly on the couch with a steaming hot mug of tea in their hands, watching movies. Sarah Smith seemed like the only one outside, in the freezing and damp night. She ran towards her car (a Mustang), holding her hands over her head to try and stop the pitiless rain from drenching her completely – although that was pointless, for she was already soaking wet.
Finally, having reached the car, she opened it with a smooth click and slipped inside. The car roared and growled as Sarah started it – she then proceeded to slowly back out of the parking lot and head home. As she drove, she turned on the radio and smiled as her favorite songs begun to play.
Sarah approached the red light and pressed on the brakes. She leaned back and stretched as she waited for the lights to turn back to green again. Suddenly, somewhere in the back of her car, she heard the slightest and quietest movement of something living. Cocking her head, she listened again. Having heard nothing more, she shrugged it off and continued to wait. In a matter of seconds, the green light flashed and Sarah started to drive again.
The rain pounded on the windows of her car like millions of little hands of minimized people trying to get in. As Sarah drove past the bus stop, she noticed that someone was standing there and staring right at her. The person’s eyes then proceeded to travel from her face to the back of her car where they danced for a moment. Slowly, the person – it was obviously a man – smiled a crooked and sickening grin.
Sarah blinked, and the man disappeared – he was nowhere to be seen. No one can possibly go away that quickly, she concluded: she probably just imagined that person. Turning her eyes back to the road, she continued to drive. Yet suddenly, she heard a siren of obviously a police car. Looking into the mirror, she noticed that it was following her. Wondering what she did wrong, Sarah slowed down and stopped, patiently waiting for the police to approach. As soon as the car stopped behind her and the policeman walked out, Sarah lowered her window.
"Good evening," she greeted the man as he paused by her side of the door. Slowly, the man (who was very tall) bend over and peered in. With a shock, it hit Sarah that the policeman reminded her awfully of the man she saw at the bus stop. For a moment, she stared at him in disbelief, and then relaxed, thinking "It's just my imagination." The man nodded at her and smiled the same crooked grin. His eyes where red, Sarah noted, and his hair was snow white...just like his skin. The woman realized that this person was an albino...
Then, in a rusty and cold voice that sent shivers up Sarah's back, the man replied, "Good evening...I noticed tha-" At that same moment, not even letting the albino man finish his sentence, something - or rather someone - jumped out from behind the back seats and landing squarely onto Sarah's lap with their stomach. The policeman, as if that is what he was wanting all along, tried to quickly snatch the person with his hand. Yet, the person was faster and in matter of seconds, he/she drew out their hand and pressed on the accelerator pedal, causing the car to suddenly rush forward. The policemen cursed and ran back to his car. Sarah pushed off the person that was still lying on her lap and gripped the wheel. She was about to put her foot on the brake, when the person, who was obviously a boy, cried out.
"Please don't! Oh, please, please, don't! Go faster, if possible, I beg you! He is going to kill me if he catches me!" The boy's voice was gruff and sounded as if he had a sore throat. Sarah, smelling something suspicious and terrifying, obeyed. She could hear the police car's sirens blaring behind her. Out of the corner of her eye, she observed that the boy was about twelve years old. His face was pale and frightened and covered in sweat. His raven-black hair was slightly wet and clumped together, and his sky-blue eyes where wide with fear. His clothes where completely black except for the collar, which was white.
Sarah abruptly turned on the next road, with a squeak of wheels. Her heart was pounding loudly, pit-pat-pit-pat. Sighing, Sarah turned her head towards the boy. “Why would he need to kill you? And who are you? And what exactly are you doing in my car?” The boy glanced back at the car that was following them, and gulped, but did not answer the questions. Instead, the kid shifted is position and sat a bit more comfortably in the passenger seat.
Finally, Sarah repeated her question again. "I asked, who are you? And what are you doing in my car? More importantly, why would someone need to kill you?”
The boy looked at her, then continued to watch the car that was fallowing them. After a minute, he proceeded to reply, “Please, let's just hurry, we don't have much time. I need to escape. The man who is inside that car - that car that is after us - is the man that you saw at the bus stop. He is a monster, a powerful, cruel, monster.”
Sarah could not understand what the boy was talking in the least.
"Okay, lets calm down. Tell me what is going on, now. Talking will not affect my driving, and I promise that I will keep the speed up and not let that man catch up. Now, tell me who you are and why the man is after you."
The boy drew in a shaky breath as if trying to calm down, and then answered her question. "My name is Fredrick Elerson - for starters. I am a member of a secret group that I am not allowed to speak of. All I can tell you is that every person who is part of that group is not allowed to resign. Anyone who tries to escape is usually killed by the leader - the leader is the man who is following us. We all call him 'Ere'."
Sarah kept her eyes on the road. "What kind of secret group?"
Fred replied, "I can't speak of it - all I could tell you about it is what I said before. No member is allowed to resign, and those who try to escape are killed...Meaning, I'm so dead." Fred shook his head. "Well, can't blame myself for trying. I might survive. I'm sorry for dragging you into this, though...really I am. But can you at least try to outrun him? Please?"
"What do you think I'm trying to do?!", Sarah snapped at him. "Damn! My day sucked even before you got tangled in it, and now this! Why my car? There are people out there who want a crazy adventure - not me!" Although she sounded mad, Sarah wasn't as angry as she was scared. Weird mystery after weird mystery...
Sarah nodded. "What do you think I'm trying to do?! Damn though, my day sucked even before you got into it. And now this! Couldn't you chose a different car, at least?" She wasn't as angry as she was scared. Sh
Suddenly, Sarah's Mustang growled and coughed. It then gradually slowed down and stopped. Sarah, puzzled, pressed on the acceleration pedal again. The car ignored it and remained still. No matter what Sarah tried, she couldn’t get it to start again. Ere’s car, on the other hand, was catching up. Fred glanced at her, frightened while Sarah shook her head. "It won't start no matter what I do... It' like it suddenly died."
As they continued to drive in silence, terror reaping at their chests, everything seemed like it was going to be okay. When suddenly, out of nowhere, Sraha's car growled and coughed. The woman, puzzled, pressed on the accelerator pedal. The car remained still. No matter what she tried, the car wouldn't budge. Fred looked at her terrified, but Sarah just shook her head. Fred face-palmed himself and let out a sobbing kind of sigh. “That’s his doings – he broke down your car to catch me. Yeah, he can do that. Oh, I’m dead…” he whispered, “I’m so dead…”
For a brief second, Sarah looked at Fred and thought. She didn't understand who Ere or the secret society he was talking about were. She didn't understand how Ere disappeared and appeared in a car so suddenly. She didn't understand how he break down her car like this. Sarah didn’t understand much of what was happening, but she did want to help. She couldn’t let an innocent boy die! She jumped out of her car and opened the back seat. Seizing Fred’s hand, she dragged him out of the car. “Come on,” she assured him, “I’ll get you out of this. I don’t care if we just met ten minutes ago, I want to help. Now follow me!”
Fred ran after her as Ere’s car slowed down behind them. Luckily, Sarah’s Mustang was blocking the road and he couldn’t get through. Finally, they reached the closest store and rushed inside for safety. Sarah believed that Ere wouldn’t attempt anything bad here, due to crowds of people. Oh, how mistaken she was…
The light flickered in the store for a moment, and then they turned off. The people were puzzled for a second and thought it would turn back on this instant but it didn’t. Panic broke out inside the store and the cashiers and staff where trying to calm the people down, not even noticing that the door opened and someone walked in...
Fred huddled close to Sarah, and then he – yes, he did – he began to cry. “It’s his doings,” he sobbed quietly, “That’s the main reason why this society is called ‘Flicker. Oh man, I’m so dead…”
Flicker? So that's what the group was called...and it had something to do with the lights turning off. Sarah suddenly noticed that someone was coming towards them, and the next instant Fred was yanked back with a yelp that was muffled…probably by a hand. Grabbing hold of his hand, Sarah held on as Fred struggled to break free of whoever was holding him. It was obviously Ere.
“Now, now,” whispered that same voice of the policeman albino, “You don’t want to get hurt even worse, now do you? I’m feeling generous today; I don’t think I will kill you, Freddy. I've lost too many men to do that, you see. Let’s go home now…”
Sarah realized she was being ignored, which made her face go red. As Ere tried yanking Fredrick away, Sarah yanked him back and growled. “Who are you to steal Fred’s freedom? You can’t do that. Let him go, now!”
Ere just laughed. “Oh, I am his master. I can do whatever I want. Now would you mind letting go, or should I do that myself?”
He tried yanking Fred free again, but Sarah held on. Then, there was a "tsk, tsk" sound and a snap of a a knife being taken out. There was a sharp ssht noise of something being pierced through flesh and a muffled scream. The hand that Sarah was holding went limp. She didn’t pay attention to it, though. She was frozen in place, staring at darkness, trying to figure something out. She suddenly realized that the cold voice of Ere was the same voice as someone she knew…but who?
A moment later the lights flickered back on and Sarah dared to look at Fredrick's arm that she was still gripping tightly - it was cut off neatly at the shoulder. Although the arm was soaked with lots of blood, there were no trail leading to where Ere took Fredrick. Sarah let go of the limp and bloody arm and slowly fell to her knees, as people around her got adjusted to the sudden light and gathered around her, horrified at the arm.
That day was the day Sarah realized there was more to this world than just what everyone believes and sees – there is something that no one in this world knows of just yet.
And still, Sarah hoped that was the first and the last scary, mysterious, and unbelievable adventure she would ever experience. She hoped that since that day, life would go back to normal forever. She also wished that Fredrick was alright, even if he was missing arm, but she hoped to never meet him again. Unfortunately, that is not what life planned out for her. Little did she know that two years later, on her 24th birthday, she will encounter “Flicker” once more.
To Be Continued