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The Chronicles of Globozuria — Chapter One — Avadhaan

The first chapter of a space fantasy series, introducing the lead character Avadhaan. Reading time: 15 minutes. The Chronicles of Globozuria Chapter One - Avadhaan 1. He was walking on land that once was a paradise. Now, it was just smoke and dust. He was dragging his half-alive caricature amongst the echoes of death and destruction. This was once his hometown; he had grown up here. Now, there was nothing left but the ashes of his childhood. It had been long since the war ended, but nothing had changed. The soldier's army had surrendered, but the chieftain of the enemy army assumed command of the entire planet and ordered the survivors to be executed. He had been on the run ever since. The soldiers of the supreme leader had been looking everywhere for survivors. They had deployed killer droids. He and his comrades were hunted like wild animals to be killed on sight. While they were forced to run and hide, the innocent citizens were crushed under the supreme leader’s tyra

Killer vs Killer

A serial killer breaks into a house. Then begins the chase of cat and mouse, the game of a predator and the prey.
Reading time: 12 minutes.

Killer vs Killer

XTales.net xtalesnet beastboysuraj Suraj Singh Sisodia

Chapter One - The Chances

There was something eerie about that evening. The wind was witnessing the gloom that covered the city. The street lights were trying to light up every dark corner. They were afraid if they failed, something sinister might develop. A stray dog was lurking in the street, looking for something to eat. It stopped to smell a piece of garbage beside the pedestrian path. It was trying to decide if it was edible just when its eyes lit, and its head jerked up in response to the sudden movement.

I turned on the light of the living room and looked outside the window at the stray dog, who stared at me for a second and then went along to do whatever it was doing. I looked across the street and the hazy sky. It was so calm that one would not have suspected a thing before stepping out of the house. I looked around at all the other structures in the street. Their blinds were closed as if they did not want to witness such a gloomy night, as if they wanted to skip this evening. I thought I should too, so I closed my blinds too, but when I turned away from the window, I wondered if I could skip the evening. I realized I could, but the thing was, I did not want to.

How many times does one get a chance like this? I looked at the clock on the wall. It was about to be eight.

“Oh, they are not gonna be back before eleven,” I said out loud, just out of excitement. “I've got three hours to do anything I want.”

I lunged at the couch, reached out to grab the remote and turned on the television. I could watch whatever I wanted. I was surfing through the channels when my eyes caught the headline on a news channel – 'Serial Killer at Large'. I stopped and started watching the news; the reporter was speaking.

“—The police can not even confirm if the murder was committed by the same killer. So does that mean that there could be more than one killer operating in the city?”

'Holy shit,' I thought. Two serial killers, loose around the city. I wondered about the chances that they both ended up at the same place.

“There is no need to panic right now,” the officer whom the reporter was interviewing spoke. He did not seem very confident about his words. “We are not sure if this is the same killer, but we are investigating. Meanwhile, I suggest everyone stay calm and report anything suspicious around them.

'Oh boy!' I realized I was hungry. I turned the television off and went into the kitchen, right next to the living room. I opened the fridge but closed it immediately. 'I am going to cook for myself,' I thought.

Half an hour later, the kitchen was filled with the smell of heating oil, spices, and freshly cut tomatoes and onions, and I had turned the television back on just for some background noise and honestly because I could do it.

I sat back on the couch with my dinner. I wanted to enjoy it while watching a sitcom. I was looking for one, but again, I stopped on the news channel. I didn't know why.

The reporter was extensively explaining the differences between the last two incidents.

“—but the second one, which happened the night before, was all across the city. The victim was alone in the house; her husband was away for work.”

Then they cut to the interview of a neighbour.

“Her husband was out of town for two days. It was unfortunate that the killer came across the neighbourhood when she was alone.”

They cut to another one.

“I felt like someone had just walked across my window. I think the killer didn't bother us because there were five of us in the house that night. After a few minutes, I looked through the window, and her house was in complete darkness. Not one light was on. I found it strange because they never have all of their lights off. They sleep with their night light on. And there was no chance she would sleep in the complete dark when she was alone, and it wasn't even her bedtime.” He was speaking without stopping to breathe. I thought he wanted to finish as quickly as possible. “I brought that to my wife's notice, we even considered calling her, just to check, but before we could do anything, we heard a scream. It was a horrible scream, and it stopped midway. That's—” he stopped to breathe, “—that's when we called the cops.”

They cut back to the reporter. She now began to describe the crime scene.

“Her body was found in the middle of the living room. There was no sign of struggle; it looked like she didn't notice the killer breaking in. She was stabbed with a knife in the back a few times.”

“Oh my god,” I couldn't stop but say out loud, “that is so—”

I couldn't finish because I suddenly found myself in complete darkness. The power was out. I stood up and looked around to understand what was happening when I felt someone move around outside the living room.

There was someone else in the house.

Chapter Two - The Smile

I couldn't think of anything for a second. Someone was in the house, and with given conditions, I was sure of who it was. It was so quiet and dark that one would be scared to death right now. “Oh man, I was just kidding about those chances,” I said under my breath. “I don't want this right now.”

I started to think. He must have pulled the main switch right beside the exit, which meant he would enter from the door behind me. I crouched down and walked, slowly on my toes, in the opposite direction towards the kitchen. I stayed there trying to listen. I didn't hear a thing. It seemed like he was gliding above the ground. I was planning my strategy to get out of this situation. I pictured the whole layout of the house in my head again.

The front half of the house was relatively open except for the storeroom and the bathroom in the far end opposite the living room. The rear bedroom had another door that opened in the corridor right in the front of the kitchen, so I could count them in too. I could use that door to get into the rear bedroom and go to the front bedroom from the other door. From there, I could use the other door, which will get me into the corridor right in front of the main exit. That was it.

I started walking towards the kitchen door. I still didn't hear anything. It was so quiet that I should've heard him breathing. I stepped into the corridor. The main exit was at the other end on my left. I could run, but I didn't want to risk it because I would cross the living room on my left. I slowly opened the bedroom's door in front of me, trying not to make any noise, but it still made a faint sound of clicking. I didn't shut it behind me; instead, I quickly walked to the other door on the other end of the left wall. I grabbed the knob of the door to open it, but—it was already open.

I didn't even have to process it. If this door was open, and the other one was closed, then this meant that he was in this room—right now. I threw the door wide open and quickly dashed out. The door slammed on the wall behind me, and for the first time, I heard his footsteps. I didn't wait to think. I got in the front bedroom, the door was open. So, instead of the living room on his right from the entrance, he turned left. Then he walked through the other door and hid in the rear bedroom. Did he know I was going that way? How could he?

I slowly walked into the corridor, just a few steps away from the exit. 'Phew!' I let the air out of my lungs, grabbed and turned the knob of the door except—it didn't turn. The door was locked.

'Dam it! Can these doors even be locked from the inside? God, he's good,' I thought. I turned back and looked into the dark corridor. There was only one way I could go now, back into the living room on my right. I slowly entered the living room and, 'What the hell,' I thought. Someone had just pulled the blinds open. The street light fell on the living room floor, and there he was, standing right beside the window. 'He planned all of this,' I thought as I looked at him. He was standing so precisely that I could only see the upper half of his grubby, sweat-soaked, dark green shirt, his flaring nostrils like he was taking the scent of the fear of his prey, and his dry, petulant, and belligerent lips which then stretched into a smile—an evil, broad, and obnoxious smile, a smile that made me freeze dead, right in my spot.

I looked at him smiling, and I just kept looking. I could not turn away. And for the first time in my life, I felt my heart. It was pounding out of my chest. He must have heard it too. He knew that whatever he did, was working. He was like Medusa, who had just turned me into stone with his smile instead of his gaze. I couldn't resist but thought, 'WOW, he's really good.' I wanted to say to him that I was impressed with his move. I mean, he killed people but still. I was so impressed with his game, I almost said, 'I admire you and your game. I wanna play it.' He didn't do anything like moving towards me or raising his hand holding a knife or saying something like 'You are dead' or anything at all, and he and I both knew that he didn't have to. We knew that he had got me. One couldn't do anything in this situation. Whether one runs away or towards him, he's got him. Whether one cries, screams or even stays quiet, he's got him. It was his game and his rules, so I did the last thing he'd expect. I looked straight at him and—I smiled back.

Chapter Three - Killer vs Killer

Nothing happened for some time. It could've been after days, or it could've been the very next moment when his smile widened. He understood me just like I understood him. At that moment, no two people knew each other better than we did. It was a silent agreement. We were impressed by each other, we admired each other, and we communicated with just a smile. We didn't say anything, but if we had, we probably would've said, 'It's gonna be prodigious'.

He pulled the blinds shut again and thus began our game. I felt him move. I slowly, sneakily walked backwards into the bedroom and shut the door. I walked to the other door and shut that as well. If I knew him, he would wanna end this quickly, no matter how much he enjoys this, which meant that I had to be patient. I curled up in a corner from where I could see both the doors, and if he entered from one, I could get out from the other.

Time passed. The only thing I could hear was the ticking noise from the clock on the wall, like it was a referee for our game and was keeping track of the time. 'But isn't that true for all of us?' I thought, 'The time is a referee for the stupid little game we call 'Life'. It keeps track of all of our choices, good and bad. One bad decision and the game's over.' One of us was going to make a bad choice tonight.

Suddenly, I heard the soft sound of the lock clicking open on my left. He must've taken the kitchen route. I slowly got up and was ready to walk out the other door, but he didn't enter the room. I had my hand on the knob of the door, and I was waiting when I felt the knob turning in my hand.

He was just outside the door.

I quickly let go of the knob and got back in the corner. I heard the lock click open, I waited, but nothing happened. So, he was playing with me. He wasn't in a hurry at all. He was taking his time. So I didn't know him the way he knew me, so to beat him in his game, I had to be 'not me', and just when I was thinking to be impulsive, the clock on the wall chimed. I knew that that was my chance.

I walked through the door to the other bedroom, but I didn't go in. I turned right and walked straight into the kitchen. If I wanted to turn this game around, I needed a weapon. I couldn't do it my way. I was looking for something to work with, like a knife, when I felt him—in the kitchen, and before I could even think of something, I heard a knife sliding out of the knife block. He was thinking the same thing. I grabbed the first thing I could and ran out as fast as I could.

I tucked it under my shirt and ran through the corridor, the rear bedroom, and the front bedroom, and I was back in the corridor—right next to the exit. In front of me was the living room. I looked in the darkness, and a thought popped into my mind. He had me in the dark, but he couldn't hide in the light. He wouldn't be able to play his game if I could see him. I walked inside the living room, approached the window, threw my hand to grab the lift cord, but instead of the cord, my hand grabbed something else, something big, sweaty, and cold—his hand.

That was the second time I felt my heart in my chest, and perhaps he did too. This was his final move. He had got me, and the game was over. I heard him slashing his knife. There was no kidding around; I ran for my life. I ran past the two bedrooms and the boundary that separated the open part of the house from the dead-end in the far end opposite the living room. I was standing at the end, staring at the wall. On my right was the bathroom, and on the left was the storeroom. He was probably inching his way towards me. Now there was nowhere to go. I opened the bathroom door but didn't enter. I left the door open, got in the storeroom, and shut the door.

I was standing in complete darkness, unable to see even my hands when I heard him, more like I felt him. It seemed like he was gliding towards me. Now he was standing just outside the door. I was thinking. If he went into the bathroom first, he would have had his back towards me, and that would be my only chance. But unfortunately—for him—I smiled—he was thinking the same thing. Suddenly he threw the door open and grabbed my neck. I could hear him breathe. It was pitch black, but I knew that he was smiling, and without saying anything, without any prompt, he plunged his knife into my stomach except—

It didn't go in; the knife clinked on the pan under my shirt. He was taken aback by sudden developments, which he wasn't expecting. I didn't waste any time.

“Uh-oh,” I said to his face and grabbed the knife, turned it around and pushed it in. I wanted to see his face but I couldn't. I could only hear him gasping for breath. I didn't want to take any chances, so I gave the knife a full twist. I felt it squishing his tissues. I heard the blood gushing out of his body. My hands were all covered in it. He finally fell to the ground with a thud and stopped moving. Now, the game was over.

“I was right, this is—” I finished what I was going to say just before he had cut the power, “—so messy.”

I couldn't even celebrate my victory because I heard a car pulling up in the driveway.

“Shit, they are here, and I don't even have time, ugh, the bastard ruined my plan,” I looked at the dead man. There was only one thing I could do now. I pulled the knife out of his chest, wiped it on his clothes and dashed to the door.

I hid behind the door, and I smiled because I knew that now, nobody would ruin my evening. After all, there were only two serial killers in the city that night. One was lying dead in the storeroom, and the other was standing behind the door, holding a knife in his hand—smiling.

Followed by: The End and the Beginning.

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