Sample of: Another Choice Another Consequence (Prologue + Chapters 1 & 2)
Memories are what we’re made of. Without them, we’re no one.
Prologue – A Fateful Meeting
A slightly injured young woman dressed in homeless clothing and long black hair that was once dyed white stumbles into an abandoned warehouse with empty shelves and boxes and tries to quickly escape it as if there was something important going on. Something important did happen, however, she doesn’t remember what it was and yet her body is moving forward as if it knew. She goes through the back door and she ends up in the same place she was in before. To make sure she isn’t imagining things, she looks back and confirms that the next area is a mirror of the one she was previously in. The woman continues on, hoping that the exit will be close by, but when she goes through the entrance, she just ends up in the same area. Someone appears from behind the door and gets the attention of the confused woman, someone who is like her, but with black markings on her body, an other her.
“Hi there,” it says, “Did you find what you’re looking for?”
“No, not yet,” says the woman.
“Do you know what you’re looking for?”
“Ye-…No. I don’t know.”
“Well keep looking. You’re bound to find it.”
This other her accompanies the woman as she goes back to the exit, but this time, the door is locked.
“Hmm, guess we can’t go that way. Let’s go back, it’s not like we made any progress anyway.”
The two head back the other way, but then the other her stops herself.
The door gets dented from something on the other side.
“That locked door looks like a great idea now.”
A terrifying ear piercing screech is made from the other side.
The two try to open the locked door, but it still won’t open.
“Here,” the other her gives the woman a lock pick, “Use this.”
“I don’t know, I just know that you have a feeling on how to use it.”
With shaky hands, the woman tries to pick the lock. At first it’s difficult for her to understand what to do, but something about what she’s doing gives her déjà vu and she acts on instinct and more relaxed, which allows her to unlock the door. A monster of the ugliest and the most terrifying caliber that cannot be put into words is behind the door she unlocks and it stares the two down in the face. The other her grabs the other’s hand and runs away and the monster gives chase through the cycle of rooms as the monster destroys everything around it.
Realizing this, the woman says, “We aren’t going anywhere!”
She looks around and gets the idea to use the windows above the shelves that she didn’t take note of before. The other her automatically knows what to do and climbs up the shelves and out the window. Gravity is inverted and the two fall towards the side of the building. They brace for impact, but feel nothing when they hit it. Once they open their eyes, they find themselves outside the warehouse.
“You ok?” says the other her.
“Yeah”, she catches her breath, “Who are you anyway?”
“I think it’s pretty obvious when you look at a mirror.”
She looks in one the reflection of the building’s mirror and sees that she looks almost exactly like herself.
“Alright then, so what are we going to do? I feel like there’s a reason I’m like this, but I can’t remember it.”
“Maybe if we look around the city we’ll find the reason. What I’m most concerned with is that monster we saw. I hate it for some reason like it has something that it stole from me.”
“I’d rather not see it again so let’s get moving.”
Chapter 1 – The First Feelings of Love and Blood-Lust
With no clear direction, the woman wanders the streets using only her instincts to guide her wherever it wanted her to go as rain falls from the sky. She comes to a small deserted playground and she is transformed into a small child. The past warps the area into a sunny day with people going for walks and other kids playing in the area. Her childlike instincts take over as she plays on the swing sets, monkey bars, and slides as her parents look on with smiles on their faces. She looks back and smiles back at them. The moment she turns around, she notices a figure in the alleyway in a fettle position. Curiosity drives her to investigate this and the figure reveals itself to be a small child about her age. He is homeless with cuts and blood on his arms and tears in his eyes. There appears to be drawings all across the pavement and wall where he’s at in a red color.
She looks at the small boy and says, “Hello, did you draw all these pictures?”
“They look pretty cool.”
The boy starts to smile.
“Yeah! What’s your name?”
“I don’t remember it.”
“Ok, how ‘bout I call you…James the Painter!”
“I like that.”
“Do you have a home?”
“No…this is all I have.”
The parents walk over to see their daughter talking to this dirty and homeless little boy. They have small feelings of disgust towards the child, but they don’t show it to their own.
The mother then asks, “What is it sweetie?”
“Can we take James home with us?”
“My friend here. He doesn’t have a home and he is all dirty and hurt.”
The parents whisper to one another whether or not to take the child in. They’re like every middle-class family, but they can see people are watching them, anxious to see their decision. The parents themselves also want to be a good example to their daughter so they decide.
The father says, “We will. It would be wrong not to.”
The two kids and some people behind them cheer and express their happiness in the parents’ decision. The small family with a new addition make their way home and the past fades into the present with the woman back in her current age and situation and yet she follows the past as if it is leading her home. Along the way she catches the shadows of past events with her friend like going to the movies, shopping for toys, and general pranks that they played on others they knew. This all leads her to what seems to be her old house that is covered in red as if the rain that fell in this particular spot is blood.
The other her appears and says, “Well this doesn’t look like home sweet home.”
“But it feels like it is.”
“Is that all you feel? There is more to it.”
“Yeah…There’s sadness and rage.”
“Well don’t keep me in suspense, let’s go in.”
Not wanting to keep herself waiting, she walks to the front door of the house. It’s surprisingly unlocked, so she carefully walks inside and is shocked to see the dead bodies of several people under flickering lights. She feels like she should recognize these people, but only the bodies of the parents seem familiar despite their mutilation and decay. These feelings then turn into anger and sadness that fill her body, feelings that are too familiar. A dark figure darts away from the window and the woman quickly notices this to catch it at the front door and what she catches, is a monster the size of the both of the two with a giant dark brown mouth from a head and snake-like, slimy black body. It attacks them on sight with its mouth and the other her manages to pull her away from its attack in time. The monster then coils itself into attack position while hissing and goes from a hiss to a growling noise and looks the other way to see the monster from before rapidly approaching from far away. It quickly closes the distance and the monster dies almost instantly as the other one chomps and stabs the newer one as if it hated it. It then turns around and transforms into a seemingly normal person with a black hoodie, pants, and shoes with a strange black emptiness where the other half of a head should be that is shadowed by the darkness of its hood.
“What are you?” the woman asks.
“Someone who is like you, an other you if you want to say,” it says.
Chapter 2 – Dealing with Yourself
“Hey! That’s supposed to be me!” says the other her.
“And you are, but you are a lesser being.”
A hand of the monster transforms into its ugly self, which stops the other her in its tracks.
“I know your tendency for violence and though I share it, this is not the time for it.”
“It’s right,” says the woman, “We have to find out who I was so I can get my life back on track.”
“That’s one thing we could do,” says the other her, “But I have a better idea. We could use this opportunity to start a new life and put the past behind us. I think the dead bodies we saw were our family and friends based on the feelings we felt. The shadows that lead us here are related to loved ones so we can assume that our connections to our past are gone.”
The monster steps forward and says, “No, we have to accept our past and continue what we were doing before.”
“But why? If it resulted in everyone we cared for dying, then what’s the point of going back to it? If anything we could’ve been running from our past in the first place, so this could be what we were doing so we should just continue doing it there’s nothing stopping us but ourselves.”
“How do you know that for certain? I’m getting the feeling that we’re doing something different so we should at least retrace our steps and make sure who we were and what we were doing just to be safe instead of assuming we don’t have any traces of our past that could haunt us.”
The woman finally chimes in, “I think we should do that.”
Stunned by her taking the other side, the other her says, “What?! You’re listening to it? It tried to kill us earlier.”
“Correction. I tried to kill you.”
“That’s basically the same thing.”
“Why were you trying to kill her/it anyway?”
“Because she’s a terrible influence on you.”
“You’re no different with your violent nature and willingness to blindly follow what you believe to be right. Besides, you’re ugly as shit.”
The woman sighs as she hears the two bicker at each other.
“Let me help you and I will unlock the power within you to give you an advantage unlike any other,” the other her offers.
“Let me help you and I, a one creature army, will give you the support and strength necessary to overcome all obstacles,” the monster counteroffers.
“Damn it. I can’t spilt myself in two so how about you both try to help me and deal with it.”
Speechless, the creatures look at each other.
“I guess this would be for the better,” says the monster.
“I guess so too.”
The woman then walks off into Hillside City to wander in search of who she was. Some of her memories slowly return to her as she enters the main city district as streets and structures look familiar to her. She walks past many people along the way with many of them looking the same to her. After living in this city for so long, you can tell who is better off and who should be avoided. This woman looks like one of the latter people and yet her imagination makes everyone look like some sort of faceless, naked mannequins with the only defining aspects being their body shapes, skin color, and distortions where their face should be. These people can’t even seem to speak correctly or at least it’s what her ears hear. Her memories slowly stop coming to her as the scenery can only bring so much and she is now wandering directionless as if this is different from before.
The other her notices this and prioritizes something else, “Hey, I think we’re hungry so we should probably eat something soon. It feels like we haven’t eaten anything in a while.”
“I agree,” says the monster, “We don’t have any money last time I checked so I guess we have to eat garbage or some kind of vermin.”
“OR we could steal the food.”
“That’s a terrible idea.”
“OR better yet, eat a person and take everything they have.”
“Where the hell did you get that idea? That’s horrible!”
“Think about it! We could have a home, food, water, and fresh clothes! We don’t even need to kill more than one person, let’s just look for a loner and take their life and all their shit!”
“What if the person lives alone, but knows other people that they go to or people that come over?”
“One step at a time ugly.”
The woman sees a church in the distance and decides, “Maybe that church will spare some food.”
“You know just because it’s a church it doesn’t mean that they’ll be charitable. I know it’s one of their virtues, but I don’t really think they’ll give bread and wine to someone like us.”
“It’s worth a try.”
“Psh, fine. I guess it wouldn’t hurt.”
The church seems to be in state of decay as they get closer. Not a bad state, but the paint is fading and some of the architecture needs repair. Not wanting to pay attention to these small details and worrying more about food, the woman approaches the church doors and opens it to find that the inside of the church looks more like a shelter for the homeless than an actual church with tons of actual normal looking people who are dressed similar to the woman and who appear to be in the same dirty state. They take a moment to see that she’s entered the church then go back to socializing and planning things for the shelter. A man with brown hair, long sideburns that stretched to his chin, a black pea coat, black work pants, and shoes looks surprised to see this woman and cautiously approaches her.
He asks her, “Are you okay?”
“I’m not feeling too well. I’m really hungry,” she responds.
“Oh. Well we’ve got food to spare.”
The man calls over someone to give her leftover meats, bread, and water, which she eats as if she hasn’t eaten in weeks.
“So what are you going to do now?”
“I’m actually trying to find myself. I don’t really remember who I am.”
“Well I can help you regain it if you help us out.”
“Really?! I’ll do it.”The man smiles.