Matt Mayer took the bus at 7:45 a.m. to get to school, sitting in the middle section with a mug of coffee in one hand and a bag on his back. Walking over to his usual seat, he sat down and popped in his precious earbuds before taking a slow sip of his fresh-out-of-the-pot coffee. Coffee was his absolute favorite thing to drink, probably getting the taste for it from his parents. After learning to make it himself when he was about 9 or 10 years old, he made it all the time for he and his parents every morning. Well now, Matt only made it for he and his dad...
Pulling out his phone, he scrolled through his music, then going over to his playlists. One titled “Shower,” “Work,” Writing,” “Sleep,” “Rap,” “Metal,” and some playlists with only a certain band or artist’s music. He had a playlist for almost every situation. With “Work” being the most versatile for him. He chose Work and let it play on shuffle, as per usual. He was then off in his own mind, listening to his music. Lip syncing here and there, or imagining himself in a music video. It was nice, until the bus arrived at his school at 8:03 a.m.
Three minutes later than usual, Matt thought as he looked at his phone. He waited for everyone else to get up and move towards the exit of the bus, being the last one off. Walking through the doors of his school, he felt a fresh chill of the consistently air conditioned school building.
Upon entering, there was the commons area to the left with circular tables, chairs, and a counter with chairs next to a long window directly next to the doors. In front of the counter, all the way down, it was lined with outlets and students booting up their electronics and school-issued laptops. The commons had some people here and there, more than likely they were students who arrived at school before Matt even got on the bus.
He walked past the office on the right of the entrance, which rounded a corner with two doors on each side. Gliding past a few other students, he walked down a hall with a trophy case on one side, and a TV monitor next to it for school announcements and such. Continuing, Matt hung a left at the end of the hall and walked by the windows on his left, and let a quick glance into the library beyond the windows. Opposite of the left he just took was another hall, D Hallway, with classrooms and students coming in and out to speak to teachers.
Going down the hall he entered, about halfway through, he stopped at his locker. 458. Upon doing his combination and opening the locker, he threw in his bag, grabbed his notebook for his first class, and his laptop bag. In his backpack, all of his notebooks were organized in order that he needed them going left to right. Though the notebooks themselves were quite the opposite of organized.
Taking his things, Matt closed his locker and headed down the hall once again, looking at his phone for the time. Twenty minutes until class starts, might as well walk for a bit, he thought as he took another sip of his coffee.
The hall he was in was known as C Hallway, and almost at the end was the turn that lead over to B Hallway, which is where he was headed. The walkway in between the two halls held the outer wall of a classroom on one side, and a trophy case on the other. Matt looked at the trophy case, checking his reflection as he strolled about to make sure he didn’t look too rough.
Taking another left turn into B Hallway, he avoided some students who didn’t care to pay attention to where they were walking. It annoyed the hell out of him. Carelessness such as that simply wouldn’t be tolerated. But he never said anything like, “Watch out, idiot.” At least, not out loud.
Walking straight down the hall, the occasional glance at a locker or two just avoid anyone’s gaze, Matt reached the end and the opposite side of the library. He took another left, looking to his right down A Hallway, which held most of the Band, Choir, and P.E. or Sports electives. Just before A Hallway was the Multi-Purpose room, which served as the gym, lunchroom, and general meeting room for students. A couple of students walked out of there with breakfast, presumably to eat in the commons.
Walking back the way he started, it was the same loop over and over until it was close to class time. It would seem boring to most, especially doing so by yourself. But Matt had his music, and it made it more fun than any class he’d have. It was his second favorite part of the school day. The first part being when he walks out the doors of the school to go home.
Finally arriving at home after another mundane, and tiresome day at school, Matt strode into his light gray and white trimmed house, unlocking the door and entering. Tossing his bag on the couch to the right of the entrance, he decided to make some more coffee for himself.
“Hmm, black, or creamer and sugar?” he asked himself as he walked over to the kitchen. Matt decided to go with black for now.
Can’t be as bitter as school, he thought resentfully. After his coffee was finished, he took a swift sip before taking his bag, and walking down the hall between the living room and the kitchen/dining area to his room at the end of the hall. Opening the door he immediately threw his bag and kicked off his shoes, jumping onto his bed, and basking in the relaxing feel of his bed.
Matt started up his game console, itching to finish the game he started. Granted he’s already beaten it a few times, but he wanted to acquire all of the trophies. There were only two left, and he could easily attain them now. Selecting the game, he waited anxiously for the “Press Any Button” screen to show up.
It was quite the struggle, dying here and there, but Matt was an expert at most games he owned. All it took was a little perseverance. He played for a couple hours, finally getting those last two trophies. A sense of accomplishment filled his being, but it was soon replaced with a dreaded emptiness of completing a game to 100 percent. Matt was burned out and needed a break from games now, so he shut off his system and laid down on his bed.
Dad won’t be back for an hour or so. Might as well nap, he thought to himself as he closed his eyes. He clambered clumsily into one of his blankets, curling slightly before drifting off into an empty dreamscape.
He was in a completely white area, it was almost like he never even slept. Like he was simply just brought here after closing his eyes. The intensity of the bright white was too much for his eyes, and as if in response, it toned down. The white room turning itself into his bedroom.
Yeah, this is definitely a dream, he thought to himself.
“Are you sure?” a rough, and gravelly sounding voice asked behind him.
“Huh?” Matt turned around and saw something there on his bed. Some kind of entity, but it wasn’t real. He knew this was a dream. Right? He fought to stand his ground, but he quivered slightly. The entity looked rather terrifying at first glance.
Matt licked his chapped lips as he was about to speak to the freakishly black and white creature, who looked as if he were a crazed man’s drawing. The black and white were a swirling, angry energy, the black mostly being the shadows that gave the creature depth. The way it moved was so erratic, and almost unpredictable. Like every “scribble” moved on its own.
The thing spoke first, “This isn’t a dream, Matt. We’re inside your mind, and we’re not here to negotiate. Your body will be mine to control, got it?” it said menacingly.
Matt didn’t know what he meant, but this had to be a dream. “No,” he said simply.
“No?” it chuckled, “don’t you know who I am? I can do as I please. You’re weak, and I can easily take over your mind without lifting a finger,” it said, inching closer to Matt.
“So why haven’t you done it yet?” Matt questioned, clearly more confident now that he really believed he was just in a dream that he had control over.
The entity growled at him, “You don’t want to see me get angry, boy. So show me some respect or I’ll-” he was cut off. “Or you’ll what? If you were gonna do something, you would’ve done something by now. Your threats are empty,” Matt said, now annoyed at this pointless conversation.
“I’ll show you, you c***y little-” it was cut off again. This time by a loud buzz.
Matt’s phone buzzed annoyingly, and rapidly. He rose from his short slumber, rubbing his eyes. Phone call, thought Matt, as he pulled out his phone and answered without looking at the number. “Hello?” he said.
Silence. Dead silence from the other end for a few seconds. “Hello?” he repeated.
“Oh, excuse me, I’m terribly sorry Matt,” a female voice said.
Matt retracted his phone away from him and looked at his phone, confused. It was a restricted number, and it didn’t sound like anyone he knew at all.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Right?
Pulling the phone back up to his ear, he asked, “Um, who is this?”
“You’ll find out soon enough. Just be careful, they’re after you and your gift.”
Matt was the epitome of bewildered at this point, not knowing what his “gift” was. “What do you mean by my gift?” he asked, desiring answers immediately.
“Oh, so he hasn’t come out yet? Well this is bad. Without any powers to protect yourself, you might actually get taken,” the lady said. Matt was beginning to get anxious, and really irritated that the woman on the phone wouldn’t let down the wall of mysteriousness.
“Stop being so damn dramatic and tell me what the hell is going on!” he said, raising his voice as he got to his feet.
“The thing inside your head, have you met him yet?” the woman inquired.
“What thing in my head? You mean the ornery black and white thing?” he asked, hoping he was wrong, hoping the woman would be confused as to what he was referring to.
“Correct, so you have met.”
Matt felt dread weigh down heavily on his shoulders. No, no, no! he thought. He’s actually real?
“Based on your answer, I assume it must’ve been fairly recent. Which may be bad for you, but maybe he won’t be stubborn for long enough to lend you some power.”
“Lend me power? For what?” he asked. With every answer, more questions were being raised.
“No time to explain, I’m afraid. You’ll be fine, Matt. I’m sure of it. That beast wouldn’t let a free vessel just go to waste, he hasn’t had a vessel in a couple centuries or so,” she said.
“Listen, worse comes to worse, let him take control. We can’t afford to lose either of you.”
Then the woman had hung up. Matt just looked at his phone, anxious, afraid, and completely lost. God dammit, if I’m in danger then Dad could be too, he thought. He felt like this was a scenario for a comic book, manga, anime, or a movie. Not something that’d actually happen in reality. If he lost his dad because of his “gift,” he knew he’d never forgive himself.
Putting away his phone, he sat down onto his bed, trying take all of this information in. He ran his fingers through his thick, dark brown hair, the anxiety not going away in the least. His heart pounded, and was his body shuddering uncontrollably. Matt tried to make it stop by clenching his whole body, but to no avail.
“Calm yourself, boy. Like the girl said, I’m not going to let my first vessel in 267 years get taken away so easily,” the entity inside his head told him.
His voice made Matt jump a little, the shaking slowly ebbing away. The entity chuckled, “Not so confident now, are you? You’re just a weak child, no strength to you. Not mentally, and certainly not physically.”
Shut the hell up, Matt thought angrily.
“Don’t order me around,” the creature snapped. There was an intense heat rose and spread out in Matt’s chest. It was a malevolent energy, enticing him to give into rage and aggression. It was the influence of the creature. The devil inside.