Werner’s hands wouldn't stop shaking, even though the rest of him wasn't. He's heard footsteps behind him since he'd left the museum. Why did he park so far away?
He stopped to listen to see if the footsteps would stop with him. They didn't, and that scared him more.
He knew he was being followed, and that each time he stopped, it gave them a bigger chance at getting him.
Worst of all, he turned around repeatedly, and found no one there each time.
Maybe it was someone from the museum. They found him suspicious, and thought they needed to follow him. He hasn't been confronted by them because they're too scared.
Just a reasonable citizen with a fear as irrational as Werner’s.
He wished he was right.
After what felt like hours, Werner reached his car. His hands fumbled with his car keys. They were deciding not to function and it was giving him hell.
He stopped listening to the footsteps and didn't realize they were right behind him until a hand grabbed the back of his head and slammed it into the car door.
His head was slammed two more times before Werner regained himself. He got away from the assailant’s hand and whipped around to fight back.
The face he was met with was a black hood and a jaw, it was a quick glimpse before a fist met his own face.
His head snapped backwards and now it was the back of his head hitting the car instead of the front.
This wasn't going well. He needed to do something.
Werner managed to throw his own punch and happened to hit his face. He was even luckier to remember to keep his thumb on the outside of his fist.
Both of them froze for a second, looking at each other even though Werner could not see his face, but the man quickly threw another punch.
Werner was even quicker to dodge it and knee him in the stomach.
He doubled over and Werner acted before he thought about it and grabbed his head and slammed his face into his knee with a sickening crunch.
Werner both felt and heard the assailants nose break. He nearly gagged at the sound and feeling.
The man dropped to the ground and Werner stared at him with his hands now limp at his sides, not knowing what to do.
He continued to not think properly and nudged the man’s thigh with the toe of his sneakers.
“Hey, what was that?” was all Werner could ask.
His attacker jump up and ran off, covering his nose as he went. Werner stared in the direction her left long after he was gone.
What dragged his attention back to reality was a ding from his phone. He pulled it out, and looked at the notification on his screen. It said ‘Leveled up! Would you like to evolve?’
He didn't remember downloading any games. He wasn't the type for that, they didn't derive any pleasure as he played. He's downloaded some before, but they'd never lasted long.
They never sent notifications before, either. What was one doing on his screen now?
Werner opened his phone and the notification popped up again, taking up the screen. There were two options, a simple ‘yes’ or ‘not now’.
He didn't see the point in postponing it till later, so he pressed yes.
As soon as the pop-up went away, a glowing blue circle appeared around him, and a light going up around him from the circle. A loud three toned sound emitted from his phone and vibrated.
It all lasted five seconds, before it was back to normal and dark again.
He felt stronger? Refreshed maybe? He didn't know what he felt, but he didn't feel any of the aches from the mugger’s attack.
Then he fell. He dropped to his knees, dropped his phone, and laughed. He laughed and laughed until his ribs ached.
Did that really just happen? A real-life video game? If that were true, the hype about it would be ridiculous. He would definitely know.
After he was done laughing, he wrapped his arms around his midsection and pressed his forehead to the cold asphalt. He stayed like that for he didn't know how long.
When his legs worked again, he dragged himself back up and sat in the driver's seat.
He started up the car, gripped the wheel, and continued to just sit, staring at the street in front of him.
His hands were shaking again, while the rest of him wasn't. He really didn't know how his body worked most of the time. He gripped the steering wheel even harder to make them stop.
He gave himself three deep breaths before he drove home.