As an avid reader and prolific writer since elementary school, Kevin Potter always knew he’d be an author. He wrote his first short story, about a magical pair of shoes, at the age of 9 and has been working at it since. After spending many years on different business ventures, he has finally returned to his first love: writing. Kevin is currently finalizing the prequel novella to what promises to be a lengthy epic/dark fantasy series entitled “The Calamity.”
Below is Part 3 of 3 installments for Visitant.
“Whoa,” I choked out in surprise.
A few moments later they deposited me back to the floor. We were in a dark, secluded corner between the cafeteria and one of the classroom hallways. Standing before me was an acne-scarred ginger kid. His carrot hair was long and mangy, and he had the ugliest yellow eyes I had ever seen. They were roughly the color of ripe squash.
He wore the tightest blue jeans I’d ever seen, with a plain, black tee-shirt under an old biker jacket. I thought he looked like one of those self-important bullies from an old ‘50’s film.
“Who do you think you are, kid?” the scarred kid asked in a harsh, grating whisper.
“No idea what you’re talking about,” I said, my tone bored. The kid looked about ready to burst.
“Alright,” he said in a menacing whisper, “Let’s try again, kid. What are you doing in my school? You shouldn’t even be in middle school yet.”
Here we go, I thought in rising impatience. If anything, I’m surprised it took this long.
I rolled my eyes. “I am not having this conversation.” Idiot, I added silently and turned to walk away.
Two big, beefy palms were thrust into my shoulders, pulling me up short. They spun me around on the spot, to once again face the ugly ginger.
“Clearly, you don’t know who I am, so I’ll let it slide this one time,” the menace continued in his harsh whisper. “Now let’s try this one last time. Who in the hell do you think you are, coming into my school barely out of diapers! Why are you here?”
I suppose I should have put more thought into my response, but I’ve never been one for careful consideration. Well, not in hostile situations, at least. So I let fly the first thing that popped into my head.
“I am Luke Matthews,” I said with pride, “And I’m here because I’m so much cooler and smarter than you! Not to mention better looking! So first, I’m going to bury you, and then I will own this school!”
When I finished my tirade, I realized I went several steps too far. I should have stopped to think before I opened my mouth.
The beefcakes to my sides were slack-jawed and wide-eyed. An even mixture of shock and awe, I judged. But they seemed to overcome it just enough to look to their leader for instructions.
But he was silent. His features contorted in what could only be uncontrollable rage. His eyes were wide, and glazed, confirming for me that he was seeing a haze of red, and little else.
His bulging, red-tinged eyes watched me, his lips curled into a snarl. His right hand reached behind his back, beneath his black leather jacket.
It felt like the entire universe slowed to an ultra-slow-motion crawl. I watched his hand dart from behind his back, aiming straight for my chest. I saw only the barest glint of metal ahead of his hand in an errant ray of sunlight.
This is it, came the curiously detached thought. I’m dead.
I closed my eyes and waited for it.
The pain didn’t come.
I felt an overpowering weight pulling down on my shoulders, then pressing against me. My chest burned with each breath, and the slick moisture I felt rolling down it was sickening.
I felt a wet palm touch my face, and my eyes flashed open. There in front of me was a very ordinary, copper-bearded man in his late thirties. His bloody hand rested on my cheek, and in his bright green eyes I saw the most intense look of devotion I had ever seen.
A brass capped, polished ebony knife handle protruded from his stomach. It was an inch or two beneath his sternum, and the man locked eyes with me for an instant before he leaned toward me. His lips almost touched my ear, and he breathed, “For you, my lord. My sacrifice. And all things, in all places, all for you.”
In a fluid movement, he spun around to face the scared boy. I savored the look of pure terror on the teen’s face. My savior yanked the buck knife from his own stomach, and blood sprayed in all directions. He thrust the blade into the boy’s throat. He held his pose, arm stretched to the boy’s throat, for only a moment before he collapsed into the kid.
I heard the crunch of bone on metal on bone when the older man landed atop the boy. I guessed his sternum hit the hilt of the knife, digging it further into the boy’s throat.
Within moments the screaming began. I took a minute of careful thought, then decided playing the traumatized kid would be my best option. After all, no one would believe I could have had anything to do with the boy’s death.
After that minute, countless adults appeared from nowhere and assaulted me with questions. Within five minutes, I was facing interrogation by our school police officer.
I spoke not a word of what I had seen and heard. I did my best to feign trauma, as if I were incapable of speech.
Ten minutes later, the officer handed me over to our local police for their investigation. Through it all, I noticed, the quartet of body-building teenagers kept their eyes on me. There was no fear or confusion evident in their faces. I saw unabashed awe and admiration there.
Wow, I thought. I realized then, truly became aware, that they were mine now. No matter what happened, they would defend and obey me now.
I owned them. That was the truth of it.
And it felt good.
Nothing will ever be the same again, I thought with a surge of pleasure.
In a rush of remembered words, I realized what I had done. My jaw fell open.
I hadn’t meant my words as prophecy, I only said the first sarcastic thing that came to mind. But it seemed prophecy was exactly what it was.
I spoke the words, and now they were coming true. I may not have swung the knife, but I felt I had, indeed, killed the boy. And with the help of the four beefcakes, I would soon be in complete control of the school.
It felt amazing!
And this is only the beginning, said a small voice in the back of my mind. A voice I knew would grow louder and stronger as I grew older.