Walking through the streets of lively London – has its charm no matter how you look at it. People buzzing around crazily – going towards their destination, laughing, chatting or just plainly walking with straight face whilst listening to music in their headphones.
“I almost forgot how it feels around here.” – Thought Niko to herself. – “But I sure missed it.”
Walking towards small café, on the back streets of Covent Garden, searching for a place on the corner with the name “Verona”. Nothing made it sink in – like going to that place and getting coffee.
Being here makes it hard. The way it can possibly get. This whole world is a huge parallel to where I am at, but here… Here is the place where I also lived, more like another part of Niko lived. Someone else, but one who took it all in. Of what was the pain and pleasure, the grit and beauty and surely – the love and hate. Here is beried another “me”. I am a part of what it once was. I still carry that part with me.
Making order at the till, then walking out to sit at the table just outside the café. Pulling out a pack of Marlborough’s, taking out cigarette, lighting it up and breathing in smoke – surely that was something long lost, yet somehow strangely “recalled”.
Here, in this parallel, you tend to recall the old habits of the other self and act based on them to not “stand out”. To in a way – keep on being this person, although it’s a lie. But still, it was found amusing by Niko to kind of satirically parody someone who is alive here, but dead, yet looks alike.
Cars passing by make a great view: small street at the back of skyscrapers and office centres, where cabbies pass by one after another, then sometimes you get to look at few street cleaning machines buzzing like crazy – going by. Some people – being all the “sass” in the world, others – students, some – ordinary people who walk to their destinations. The typical rich bums or office worms – all trying best to pretend being happy.
Similar to a game that Niko plays. Yet Niko has it on another level.
Coffee comes along with a nice looking waitress, who put coffee and smiled warmly – Niko smiled back, thanked her. Keeping on breathing in that nicotine, mulling over about what needs to be done next.
Quiet house – all seems dead. Even weather outside tries it’s best to be as grey as possible. Is it because of my stupid self – who longs for her, or just plainly I am crazy to keep my view on all the beauty?
Erick is not home yet – not that I am worrying. I am just… I am just… I am lonely. He at least keeps this place “alive”, without him – all that is left – is neighbour cat Fatso.
“Oh shoot, I better go feed him!” – Elyon snaps out of her daze and goes down to the kitchen to get some meat for cat.
She works hard on the updates, replies and observations about place. Sending details to her bosses. Still, hard to explain the occurrence of Niko and all the crazy loving with her co-worker. Events were piling up like snowball – whole life started to change drastically, unevenly, and it blew in the face to the extent that Elyon was unable to keep up with it.
Mobile phone ringing made Elyon charge up the stairs – to see the caller’s name, stutter a bit and then receive call.
-Hi, it’s me, Orin. – said smooth voice on the other end.
– Oh yeah… Hi. – Elyon was stuttering with answers.
– Elyon, I was wondering if I could come see you today after work? So um, would that be alright?
Elyon was fiddling with ends of her long blond hair, then after giving it short thought she agreed.
– So happy you said that, – answered Orin in bubbly voice, – so I’ll see you in few hours. Bye!
Right after she said that, Orin hung up.
Elyon still a bit fuzzy in her head, remembered her preparations for Fatso in kitchen and walked back to get that outside. Miraculously Fatso knew with his “cat senses” when he would be fed. So he was there, on porch, awaiting his delicious treat.
Weather was calm, sky was greyish-blue, it was still warm, although each whiff of wind gave chills. All surrounding looked like it’s on hold. Just like nature knew something Elyon didn’t. And was preparing beforehand for some sort of events, which might not be of best sort for young woman like Elyon.
Senses recalled the smooth touches of the one she wanted bad, and wasn’t sure when she’ll see her again.
Soon enough Orin came over.
Girl talks, some warm touches, some loving, then as Orin fell asleep, Elyon went to conservatory, sat there, staring at the sky, with no stars, only moon shining brightly – making grey-blue world.
Neighbor was playing music loudly – it was “Depeche Mode – Wrong”. Right then – Elyon felt strange.
“You’re right to be afraid, but don’t forget – you got yourself into this. You signed your way into the world of madmen.” – said Cat.
Adrian was downing his fourth glass of red wine, sitting on his chair in bedroom. Huge bedroom, huge mansion, massive amount of place, yet somehow he was alone. “All this for nothing – but pretty damn enjoyable” – He thought to himself.
Outside was raining, wind was blowing, the sounds were reminding the ripping out of the life from the ground. Scary, as if omen to keep one’s mind in touch with what he might have forgotten.
“It’s going to be a big storm” – Cats voice said.
Adrian jumped up from his chair, looking like he heard the ghost of a devil. He threw the glass with whatever was left in it against the wall opposite him. Glass smashed to bits – lying around scattered. Adrian rampaged in fear. He threw vase on the floor, swooped everything that was on his table to the floor, against the wall. Mess was becoming – chaos. Butler rushed in – opened door and stared in his masters face – saying all is fine, and if master wants, he’ll stay and keep his master company.
Shaking, showing his seeping madness – Adrian took on the idea and they both went to kitchen, where somehow Adrian felt safer.
David stared at the city below, dark, wet and cold. Rain trying to wash away all the wrongs that are hidden. Erick was sitting on couch, both feeling the shivers of something strange.
– You feel it too, right? – Erick looked at David with curiosity and to be somehow soothed that he’s not the only one.
– Yes, – David kept on looking down, – I do feel it too. Like something of that world is upon us.
– Do you think that Niko went there again? – Erick felt disturbances caused by the parallels too.
David turned around to face slightly scared Erick:
– She is there. I just hope she won’t forget and shall return… Before hell breaks loose.
David walked back to Erick. Hugged him tight.
“Voices are coming to get all of you” – spoke cat’s voice, – “Are you ready to face it?”
Night sky. Bright with lights. The smog holding and reflecting the city at night. No stars to see through this thick layer of chemicals, yet eyes see the only great thing keeping itself afloat in there – moon shines upon land.
Darkness eats up at all around, this park in middle of London sure has its flaws. Niko sits on the bench next to the pond. Ducklings hid under trees – sleeping. But hey, there are just things to catch up upon for ghost that visits her some sort of previous life. And right now, with bottle of rum in hands, enjoying the fact of being a part of the dark, was fairly nice of a part in strange life.
“For us!” – cheery toasted Niko and downed the rest of the heart-warming liquid. “Well, ready to go down the rabbit hole to the glorious hell!” She mumbled to herself.
The body felt pain, as if cut in bits and gutted out, fear took over, not being able to scream, to shout, to move. Next moment – everything around changes to the “extinction”. Pond crumbles – like reality is taken apart piece by piece, in small bits, like construction objects, body is being chucked into the place reminding the cell.
Yes, now instead of Green Park in London, body of Niko is stitched up together again in cell. Opposite side lit up behind the wall – all walls are half see through, so you can make out the outline of whomever is in there, but they can’t see you much.
“That’s a bit enthusiastic.” – Thought Niko. – “They encourage me before dealing with it, huh?”
Behind the screen of one of the walls shows up shadow. Person with male type of body, chains hanging from attire, rabbit ears on top of his head. He comes close, making Niko feel freezing cold fear.
“Welcome back, patient Zero!” – Cheerfully he spoke, – “I do remember you visiting us quite often before, but then you went off for quite a while. Oh that was saddening, but look at it now! You’re back with us! Oh that makes me so happy!”
This Rabbit is pacing back and forth, meanwhile Niko is trying to make her body move, yet it is feeling “rusty” numb. Barely moving at all. That’s when Niko notices that she is sitting in chair. No – no ropes or anything tying her down – just very numb body – hardly listening to commands. Room is small, behind there’s a door. Nothing else in the room. Ups and downs sealed with something. Walls are thin in a way.
All this time as Niko was looking around, making much out of her surroundings and trying to get her body back on track moving, Rabbit was on and on – talking.
“You know, Red was so sad after you left. She took it out on all of us! You do remember Red, right? You played with her so much! And so I…” Rabbit kept on talking, yet Nikos tried to “rewind” to remember.
“Red… Red…” – circulated in her head, and then it kicked in. “Red! That Red who chased me with only one thought in head, with single mission to carry out – kill me.” Eyes widened, the horror of what this part of her had to go through in this hell came back to her. The living undead, the commando in pain left to die, the crew with a mission to save other survivors, the place of this horrid location, the town in the mountain, the sealed off area where she was put in, then the maze… Maze. Right, she was left in a maze when she moved up a notch with the drift to another parallel.
“Hey! Hey! Are you even listening?” – Rabbits voice sounded frustrated. – “Uhm, never the less, Cat still sees you as his favourite, but you know, I’ll be happy to see you again sometime, when you get it back on track to play with us more.”- Rabbit came close to the wall, now feeling as if he spoke with his lips touching the wall itself – “I’ll make sure to tear that skin off them bones.”- Then he pulled back again “See you!” – he happily added and went away.