Elles scrambles through her phone as the Uber driver tries to make small talk. She nods and responds with giggles and ah’s, hmm’s, and oh’s. “Humans,” she thinks to herself adjusting her revealing top, smirking when the driver’s eyes scan her through the rear view mirror. She texts Kalcyphir:
Where are you?
Kal: Around. Sup?
Nm. I want to see you, mon ami.
Kal: Really? I’ll be home in about 30.
Tres bien. In an uber. See you in about an hour. Traffic is tres mal! ^_^
Kal: If you get their before I do, let yourself in.
Elles smiles, knees tingling as she recalls the last time they met late at night. “No,” she sighs to herself. This time won’t be lost to soft touches, deep sighs and heavy moans. If what Emery wrote her is a gin of things to come, she may never see Kal again. Her eyes lament the Brooklyn Bridge in the distance. The late night traffic crawls at a baby’s pace before coming to an abrupt stop.
In the city, Kalcyphir slides his phone into his packet, closing his eyes. Distorted smiles dance in his memories. He asks the sky an inaudible question while reclining on a weathered park bench and stretching his arms over its back. Silhouettes eerily reach across the moon, coveting its ominous radiance. He smiles, knowing that he exists as a pawn to his god: the ancient one selected him before the fall of Ur, the one called Irythill.
This is Irthill’s time, his night and his will; and, in these moments, Kalcyphir is him too.
Grass sways in the breeze. Leaves rustle from the trees’ fingertips. Kalcyphir cradles his paper bag like a child, waiting for this fate to walk past him. Waiting for the nameless human lives that have fallen into his hands, his fate. Kalcyphir solemnly ponders the nature of his existence. It all seems irrelevant. He must deliver the divine instructions handed to him via last night’s vision.
How is he going to do it this time? What would happen if they catch him? A lab in an underground bunker? Would he become a weapon again? How many civilizations would he deci — Those thoughts are replaced by, “How long is this segment supposed to last anyway?” Kalcyphir sighs.
Discerning his preys’ ignorant footsteps from the evening’s whispers, he tries to shrug away the rage filling his hollow core. “I hate couples. They just don’t get it,” Kalcyphir mutters to himself, disgusted. “Those damn spongy meat-sacks…finding meaning from the outside, they only placate the emptiness, uncertainty and despair of being human. They deserve to have the comfortable ignorance ripped from their palms.”
Tonight, the façade will be torn from his targets’ gentle fingers. It doesn’t matter why. To his prey, he’s what he has always been, just another face. A stranger. To them, however, Kalcyphir’s a crucial instrument, a courier to the divine will.
Kalcyphir takes a deep breath, and stands up, unable to end his fingers’ twitching. His silhouette weaves between the trees as he silences his mind and glides over the grass. Kalcyphir’s heart stutters, and his virgin penis stiffens. He watches them find a spot along the pond. Their shadows block the moon’s water-colored reflection.
“Why do you think the stars exist?” a crackling, teenage voice asks. The boy plops down on a large rock. He’s average and unimpressive; even his aura fails to leave an impression.
“It’s actually helium caught in a never-ending cycle. Reheating, exploding and reheating… and re-exploding,” Kalcyphir’s true fate responds. Her silhouette is erect despite her soft voice. She radiates a unique, but malleable aura.
For a split second, Kalcyphir wonders what her face looks like, tracing their silhouettes with his eyes. He creeps closer readying some rope. In a sense, he and the boy are the same, or will be: as a stranger, Kalcyphir is all men and all men are him.
The boy sighs. “Jeez. I didn’t mean what they are. I mean more like why they are… why do they exist? Why do things have to die? You know?” He asks condescendingly. “Death is scary…Why can’t we live forever? Why can’t everything live forever?” Brush and grass crack, catching the boy’s attention before the girl responds.
Haze covering the moon gracefully rolls along the sky; light from its reflection in the pond traces their figure, while illuminating Kalcyphir’s smooth, handsome face. He looks their age, maybe a year or two older. They’re relieved, but it doesn’t make a difference.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt,” Kalcyphir responds calmly. His confidence is unsettling. He sits on a large stone adjacent to the couple. “I heard what you guys were saying and, funny enough, I think I have an answer for you, kid.”
“We should go, Brad.” The girl clutches Brad’s arm. He shakes her off and gives her a dirty look. “Relax, Roslyn. I’m not Arsen. You’re my girl and I want you to see that I don’t run away when bad things happen.”
Brad proudly shrugs at Kalcyphir, brazenly staring him down.“Yeah? I’m curious. Let’s hear it, stranger danger,” he says skeptically to Kalcyphir. Brad ignores Roslyn’s sighs.
“Well, for one, Brad, life–neither mine, hers nor yours– doesn’t belong to anyone,” the Kalcyphir the stranger says, nonchalantly. Another blanket embraces the moon. “We’re just proxies in a game that the gods play.” He becomes invisible under the darkness. “Like us, the purposes of the stars, if they’re even real, are completely inconsequential.”
“On that note!” Bradley yanks Roslyn’s hand. “You have fun with whatever the hell’s in that bag, bruh. Let’s go, Bae.” It’s hard to see anything except the stranger’s silhouette and the outlines of the pond and trees. “Bae,” Bradley repeats sternly, forcing her in his direction.
Bae? Kalcyphir cringes, feeling even more justified. “Really? That’s rude. For all you know, I have a knife in my bag. Maybe a gun. Maybe I was going to off myself in the pond, because I had the same thoughts you did.” The stranger’s eyes flicker in the moonlight; his Cheshire grin consumes the night.
Bradley stares at Roslyn, seeing the stranger’s silhouette in her wide eyes. They freeze, unable to escape.
“The ones above us choose a representative,” Kalcyphir continues. “There are at least five-hundred of us, embedded within every human’s life in one form or another. They get selected for a seat in the kingdom, if they choose to play. If they pass up the opportunity, and decide not to play the game… Well…” the stranger shrugs nonchalantly revealing a sinister, mischievous grin.
“So what’s the object of the game?” Bradley’s voice quivers.
Kalcyphir sighs, and thinks to himself, “Bradley’s so brave, so cool, and so in control; just like school, mommy, daddy, and tv taught him beneath the sterile bubble of suburbia. Why should he listen to her, or his instincts? They’re both liars anyway.”
Bradley’s naïve gaze expects a logical response.
Kalcyphir smiles, impatiently amused. “Couldn’t tell you. Could be to spread enlightenment, promote love and freedom, encourage anarchy, cause war, exterminate species, eradicate societies. Sometimes it’s very specific; sometimes, like tonight, it’s not.” The stranger sighs, amused at Brad’s fear. “Don’t look at her. It isn’t her fault. And don’t blame me, it’s nothing personal.”
Roslyn clutches the Brad’s arm, her face and features hidden by the night. “Wha — What do you mean?”
“Yeah, bro! What the fuck?!”
“Don’t be an idiot.” Kalcyphir pauses. “The fact that you’re still standing here — You already know you won’t be leaving together, so drop the act.” He unravels a thick rope coiled inside the paper bag. “You,” he says to Roslyn, “Your life starts today. Run.”
She indecisively takes a step back. The fear in her eyes glisten under the pale moonlight. “Em — ” Roslyn absently squeals in shock.
The stranger tackles the Bradley to ground, effortlessly subduing him. “Don’t struggle. This is your purpose. You dieσσ for her.” Kalcyphir’s knee digs into Bradley’s back as he binds his throat. Kalcyphir cracks the vertebrae in Bradley’s neck. He turns to Roslyn as Bradley’s flailing gets weaker and weaker. “Are you dense? What are you waiting for? Get the hell out of here!” —-