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He jolted up, his body trembling with the pain he’d just witnessed. He gawked at his hands, judging for any difference in the color of his skin. Any signs of what had just occurred. But there was nothing. Why weren’t there any signs of the stabbing or slashing of his wrists?
He had just bled out, until no more. Until the light had faded. Where was he?
He scanned the area until his eyes caught on a lanky figure standing a distance away from him. The man just stared at him, his eyes never leaving.
“Where am I? Am I dead?” he called out to the man.
The man shook his head, looking as though he was snapping out of a trance. Soon, his body was noticeable enough to see the details of his face. The man scratched the top of his baldhead with one hand and held out the other to him.
“You passed, Aaron Warder, killed about a week ago. I’ve been waiting for you to wake up for quite some time.” The man said, his dark eyes calculating.
Aaron studied the man. The man couldn’t have been any older than forty-five, but his eyes gave wisdom that were older than a hundred years.
He grabbed the man’s hand and was surprised with his strength. The man pulled him up with ease and without force from his side.
“That was a gruesome passing, wasn’t it?” the man replied to his silence.
The images of a knife running down his wrists at the veins, popped into his head. He rubbed his wrists just thinking about it.
“Yes, but tell me, why am I alive? Why am I able to talk to you?” he questioned. The man smirked.
“That is always the number one question, isn’t it? Well, I suppose I’d better give you the rundown.” He said.
“You’re a Shadow Walker.” The man told him.
Aaron raised a brow, “a what how?”
The man sighed, “A Shadow Walker. It means that you walk in both worlds. You never die.”
His heart cartwheeled. He never died? Did that mean he was like a vampire or something?
“Never die? But I just bled to death!” he exclaimed. The man shook his head.
“You did bleed, yes, but you did not actually die. You just passed on to the next world which is where you are now.” he explained.
As if that helped!
“That doesn’t make sense!” Aaron exclaimed.
The man chuckled, “it never does.”
Aaron scratched the back of his head.
“How do you know all of this?” he asked.
The man smiled, “because I’m a Shadow Walker too. My name is Shade.”
Aaron smothered a laugh that wanted to burst through his lips. The Shadow Walker’s name was Shade?
“I know, very funny, but I can’t say that it wasn’t for a reason. C’mon, I’ll show you to the rest of the group and maybe they can help explain all this.” He replied.
Aaron glanced around at the room full of tall, dark-clothed men and women nervously. They all stared at him like a piece of meat! Tall, lean, and mean! He listened to the whispers as he drew past, “Is that really him?”
“This is the new Shadow Walker?” a man questioned, standing in the middle of the room.
Aaron wanted to shrink and hide behind Shade. The man’s menacing eyes made him tremble in fear. It wasn’t that they were red. It was the fact that blood leaked out the side of his eyes! And scratches lined his face as though he had used a porcupine as a pillow!
“Yes, this is Aaron.” Shade replied. The man fixated on him, his bleeding eyes startling Aaron.
“Don’t cower, boy. You’re a Shadow Walker! Shadow Walkers don’t go crying to their mommies!” the man exclaimed.
Aaron clenched his jaw and took a fearful step forward.
The man chuckled, “I’m just kidding! We were all terrified the first time we arrived! Give me a shake!”
Aaron held out his hand cautiously and the man accepted it graciously. His shake was firm and strong. Aaron’s father once told him that he could learn a lot by a man’s shake. In that case, Aaron had just learned that this man was strong and manly, though not too, ‘I’m going to kick your-you-know-what’.
Shade grinned, “This is Scrooge, though, he isn’t actually a scrooge. It’s just a joke going among us.”
“You’ll never find another Shadow Walker as non-serious as me!” Scrooge exclaimed.
Shade rolled his eyes, “I don’t know how you were picked to be a Shadow Walker.”
Aaron scratched the back of his neck and scanned the circle of Shadow Walkers that had formed around him. Everyone was in awe. Why?
“When exactly was the last time you guys have seen another Shadow Walker?” he questioned Shade.
The humor left Scrooge’s face. It only morphed into a look of disdain.
“You may want to take a seat for this.” Shade warned. Aaron shook his head, facing Shade stubbornly. He could take anything they threw at him. He had just been told that he would never die. How bad could it be?
“Three thousand years ago, when the last prophecy was given.” Shade said. Scrooge’s eyes softened.
“Three thousand years ago? How? How can you all be alive now?” Aaron questioned.
“We never die,” Scrooge replied, simply.
“You’re the last of us to be made. The last of us out of forty-thousand.” Shade blurted out.
Aaron suddenly felt dizzy.