It all began as a “normal” day for me. Wake up, drink hot coffee, dress up, feed my cat, off to work. Only today was different. At 8 AM I heard a soft knock at the door. I fling the door open to my apartment to find a brown paper-wrapped box. The dimension of the box looked small and lightweight. It had no address except a tag that sinisterly wrote in bold black letters “24 hours”. I quickly look to my left and see a dark cloaked figure making its way down the steps clear across the building. The box in hand I dashed down the hall attempting to confront the person.
“Hey, excuse me?” I called out. The figure disappeared out of sight. Reaching the stairs downward it was gone. The figure was gone. I was sure I saw something. That figure never left my mind even when it vanished. The mystery now is the only tag on the box. I inspected the box and it was neatly wrapped.
It was foolish of me to unwrap it in the hallway where I stood. Upon opening the shoebox was a remote. Around it was packaging peanuts. This remote before my knowledge now is a detonator. The controller didn’t show much but a big red button. Curiosity killed the cat. And I guess curiosity almost killed me. The single push of the button lets out a loud bang. Not from the device but coming from the story above me.
Fire alarms rang out. Dropping the device I ran up those stairs again. People running away. Towards me. I stood at the side letting the rampage speed past. Not many people live on this floor. When the people cleared out. I covered my mouth and nose with my hands. Guiding myself through the smoke. Seeing the damage I grieve. My apartment. The door blasted. The outer wall came out. That bomb destroyed most of my unit.
My cat Leo was frightened, ran to me. I hugged him in open arms. I managed to get us out of there safely. Getting us out of the building the remote vanished from the spot I dropped it. I didn’t care to look back.
Outside police, fire, and medical teams lined up by the streets. “We are safe,” I told us. Firemen greeted me and placed me in the large group of survivors huddled away in a safe area. Still holding tight to Leo. We witnessed the cries of the people. Among the group, I found Eva, my neighbor. We exchanged hugs and she snuggled Leo. We were both happy to see each other safe. She told me the only thing she saw after leaving her unit was the smoke escaping my apartment. The bomb shook the foundation of the entire building.
It didn’t take long for the news van to arrive. The cameras rolled. Squads of firemen entered the building to my apartment.
In the corner of my eye, I spot a figure. The same robed figure facing me. I give it the same treatment. I couldn’t see beyond the cloak covering the face of the suspect. I left Leo with Eva as I approached it. The figure turn left and walked that direction. I picked up the speed focusing my attention on it.
In the more crowds of people assembled the figure slipped through everyone. I took the easier route to circle around them.
The figure then turned to an alley. “Hey!” I called out to the person. I pushed myself to run. Turning the corner and slightly slipping. The figure waved its hand at the end of the alley way. I knew I got it. The cold air that morning froze my throat slowing me down. What is this? I remember being half way across the alley way. Now, it looks like it got larger as if it was stretched. The figure still standing at teh end I pushed even harder to reach the end. But over the next seconds I was been driven away from the figure. Im going backwards. The ground beneath is reversing backwards.
Looking up the buildings stretched as well, the glass breaking, all dumping on me. No pain. Strange. Not a minute later, the buildings on both sides of me began to shake. The sounds of crumbling filled my ears. The noise behind me came closer. Looking over my shoulder, bricks littered the alley way.
Without a second thought I sprinted forward. The alley way then became an endless trial of darkness. The natural light dimmed. The figure disappearing without a trace. The rubble behind me caught up to me. The light gone. Every breath i had left gone.
The next things I remembered. My body jerked. My eyes flashed open to Eva grasping my shoulders. The light penetrated my eyes. There we were in the alley way. I’m not dead.
“Wha wha wha what happened?” I asked Eva.
“It’s okay, luckily I found you.” replied Eva wrapping her arms around me.
I sat motionless figuring its all a dream.
“Wait, why would I need to be found?” I questioned.
“Don’t worry about that I have something for you.” Eva reaches behind her.
There it was. The brown wrapped box in her hands. The 24 hour tag gone. My address. Its labeled with my address.
“This was left at your door. I didn’t want anybody to get into it.” Eva continued.
Eva sat next to me. “Whats inside?” I unwrapped the box and inside the box was a revolver with one bullet with a tag reading 12 hours.