Chapter 1- How It All Began

Neko

It all started 3 years ago when I as 15. School had just let out for the summer. I had just gotten my first job in Lucknow, not too far from where I used to live. I was looking forward to spending the summer with family and friends.

My friends and I met up at a local shop to do some shopping a few days into summer vacation. As always, we walked down Main Street, and that's when we passed a rather large, empty store. The place had been abandoned for years, but rumours were flying that it had recently come under new ownership. My question was, what was the new owner going to do with all of that space?

That night, as I lay in my bed, I didn't gibe the matter all that much thought. Suddenly, gunshots rang out through the night air. Almost literally, I jumped out of bed, ran to the front door, and out into the night. I kept running, my bare feet slapping against the pavement, running towards the source of the sound I'd heard just moments ago.

I was the first to get there, and what I saw has never left my mind since. As I peeked through the open front door, what I saw, cowering against the wall, were my neighbours Mary and Lacy, two sisters who had been living together for financial reasons. Towering over them was a black-clothed man, a gun in his hand, a gun that was pointed straight at Mary and Lacy. When the man looked back at me, I saw a face cold and cruel enough to freeze a devil in its tracks. A thin-lipped mouth was stretched out in a smirk, his nose was turned up at the front (like a pig's), but his eyes . . . a single greenish-grey eye started out at me from underneath bushy eyebrows, the other covered up by an eye patch. A single scar ran down his face and under that eye patch. I shudder to this very day just thinking of it. The look in that one green eye, though, was enough to tell me just what he was going to do to my neighbours.

The man just grinned maniacally, and with a laugh that should only ever be heard from a villain in a Sunday morning cartoon, lifted his gun and pulled the trigger. I don't know what possessed me at that instant. All I would ever remember is that for one instant, I didn't feel a thing, and then the pain came. I collapsed to the floor where I stood, my vision wavering and the pain pounding through me like a heartbeat. I looked to the horrified faces of my neighbours from where I laid, and I just kind of smiled despite the pain. The man just laughed evilly at my pain as I grimaced through another wave of pain.

I could hear his receding footsteps and the fading sound of his laughter. Mary and Lacy quickly crawled over to me. Pulling off her sweater, Mary pressed it to the wound in my chest in an effort to stop the bleeding. My vision continued to flicker, and the last thing I ever saw was their faces as they slowly looked to one another and nodded. Grim agreement was reflected in their eyes, but then my eyelids shut and my world went dark.

When I regained consciousness, at first all I could hear were sounds. Crying, grim voices I didn't recognize, the beeping of machinery. Then I became aware of being surrounded by some sort of blanket from head to foot. I couldn't see anything; the entire world around me was as dark as night. Using what little strength I had in my arms, I struggled to push the blanket away from my face, totally convinced that it was the blanket that prevented me from seeing. The sight that greeted my eyes, however, left me horrified. Or should I say the sight that didn't greet my eyes? I was blind. Even though the blanket was gone, the world around me was still black.

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