Short Story – “How Does It Feel?”

Published in The Vibe Student Newspaper, Issue 8, November 2009

8PM
“Take it. Be somebody. I dare you,” the voice uttered in a soft tone, as the thin layer of smoke masked the face of the figure sitting next to Hugo.
“Go on, pop the pill,” uttered the voice once again


Hugo did not acknowledge this voice, but instead decided to continue with his duty, as there were many factors that he still wanted to discover. Without Hesitation, He tilted his head, swallowing the pill that lay on his palm. Hugo carefully placed the equipment into his backpack, as the sunlight bowed below the surface. Securing it with a double zip, he decided to call it a night, not knowing what would become of him in the hours to follow.
*
With the midnight mask now at its peak, Hugo knew that the aftermath of his task had commenced, creating a slight fear, which he had hoped would not occur. The rustling of the once blooming leaves below his feet started to rise from the surface, trailing through the forest of trees around him. The glimpse of a faint dreary mist seemed to catch the corner of his twitching eye.

How does it feel?” the recognisable voice whispered to Hugo once again.

Trying to ignore an unexpected feeling of paranoia, Hugo decided that it was necessary to ignore what he was experiencing, and scuttled through the no-mans land in front of him trying to find an escape route. Whilst stood stationary, Hugo managed to find his breath, which he had lost, swiftly chucking his backpack onto the surface below him. After taking a few seconds to recover, he started to familiarise himself with his new surroundings. The vague outline of a factory building began to appear in His left eye.

Take it,” whispered the voice once again.

Hesitating at first, Hugo little by little stepped closer to the building, increasing the pounding that was contained inside His human structure. The constant pounding was the only echo that could be heard; forever escalating the closer he approached. After regaining consciousness, Hugo tried to re-call the events, which had led up to this. The sight of a much clearer figure stood out in His mind, screening numerous nameless corridors.

How does it feel?” The sound of the familiar voice seemed to be much louder this time. It felt as if Hugo was walking closer to the unknown specimen.
“What is happening?” He slurred to himself …

After approaching a side passageway of the building, Hugo cautiously took a glance around the corner. It was calm, still and secluded. The interior could faintly be seen embedded within the stone brick wall. A thick musk lingered in the air, as if a layer of fog had glazed the corridor.

Is this?” He questioned to himself, before noticing an addition to what he had first seen. There hunched against the wall, was a diminutive object.
“I’ve seen this before” he re-assured himself.
“How does it feel?” questioned the figure in front of him.

Hugo stood paralysed. He did not know the events, which were about to unfold; he was unsure whether to dash or to remain motionless … Isolated in the forest of trees once again, Hugo released himself from a state of unconsciousness, whilst adjusting his eyes to the midday sun above him. As he subconsciously gazed forward, He noticed a slight disruption in the bed of leaves that lay below. After fixating his eyes at this for a few seconds, a desire to investigate further allowed Him to examine this disturbance. Hiding under the bed of deceased, damp leaves was the figure that Hugo had experienced many times throughout the previous night. The spoiled figure was still, yet peaceful, as if it had been laid to rest. Looking down, He noticed a stained, red substance covering the palms of his hands.

How does it feel, How does it feel to have blood on your hands – blood which is not your own?”

Hugo remained silent, frozen and confused. The path of events slowly started to come together. The black figure that bowed below him in the corridor started to approach sharply towards him. The beat of the heart seemed to be an attraction to the figure, as if it were getting prepared to possess his body at any moment. Hugo’s surroundings had altered; the thin layer of musk was present, but the room seemed to be bare. Squinting with pain, He darted towards the veranda in front of him hoping he would find an escape route. There was no other option but to jump. A sudden thud could be heard as he hit the floor. Images, actions, events seemed to merge and disintegrate. He lay huddled on the ground.

I have no recollection of what happened next,” Hugo uttered to himself.
“How does it feel?” the figure asked.

There was silence …
“How does it feel to end the life of a person you cared about so much? How does it feel to end the life of the person that cared about you so much? How does it feel Hugo … how?”
*
8PM 
Exactly 24 hours after the events had first begun; a distressed Hugo was seen kneeling over the figure by two emergency officers. They had received an anonymous call sometime before. Without hesitation, a lean male officer grabbed His right arm, while slapping a metal cuff onto his left arm. Hugo felt the cold grasp of the metal.

Leave me!” he exclaimed.

For Hugo realised he had seen this unknown figure before. He realised that he had recognised that voice all along. It was his friend, the supplier. The same friend who had travelled with him. The friend who had dared him.

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