He finally woke up after the fifth alarm, swearing and letting out a deep annoyed sigh from under the colorful sheets. His long arm reached for the clock on the small bedside table.
What popped up next was a head full of messy hair. Eyes not open properly yet, he froze in his spot.
- Fuck! I'm late for work! - was his first reaction, upon noticing the time on the red dial.
A hot wave of panic washed through his body, but his brain was quick to remind him of yesterday's annoying incident.
- Ah, that's true...They fired me... - his face relaxed, and the corners of his mouth curved upward in something, resembling a smile. He lied back down, relaxing on the bed like melted cheese.
A bitter laugh escaped his chest. He laughed at himself, looking up at the ceiling with an empty gaze. He knew he didn't regret his actions. He also knew he would repeat them, if needed.
He would always take any animal's side, faced with human cruelty. It wasn't his style to have pity on humans, but animals were something else.
He was quite fond of them, and only in their deep eyes he could find that fraction of understanding, he apparently needed. They never looked at him like he was some kind of monster.
The last words he ever heard from his mother rang in his head once again. They were once more followed by the same cautious and extremely careful voice.
"You know you can always come back to me. Together we can continue the search for a cure. You also want to be a normal boy, don't you?"
It was a pity, that no matter how hard she tried, she never even once succeeded in hiding her fear.
Even the most caring timbre of her voice trembled, and even the softest smile had fear hidden behind it. The fear of the monster she had given birth to.
He got up in a sitting position. His eyes followed the fingers he moved slowly to his wrist. He no longer needed to concentrate too much to feel it - his second pulse.
With each passing day it was even faster than before, almost like it was racing with time itself.
If he placed a palm on his chest, he would be able to feel the chaotic rhythm of his second heart.
It was weird how something so out of place and contradicting with the laws of nature felt so right...so normal.
He wasn't afraid of himself, at least not yet, even if he was told the exact opposite. More than once.
What did he ever do, and what made him the monster he saw in her eyes? He decided to search for an answer outside.
Outside of those walls, where that woman used to keep him locked up, looking for a "cure". He couldn't blame her though.
She was just trying to make him like everyone else, so he can have a normal life.
But why did she have to cling so desperately, when every single look from him filled her with fear? Was she carrying a painful memory of the past, or was it just the fear of the unknown?
The fear of what Alistair, her own flesh and blood, can do to her. That's why she was always the first one to leave scars, before he does. That's why she always hurt him first.
His chocolate irises, hidden behind long lashes, watched silently as the water fell down. That was his morning ritual.
He was standing in front of the sink with his dark thoughts, in an attempt to chase them away for good, before leaving the small attic apartment. He splashed water on his puffy cheeks.
Afterwards, his still wet fingers went through the colorful strands of hair. The red and black intertwined, refusing to obey his will.
The comb would only make it worse, which is why Alistair left his unruly hair alone, and exited the apartment.
He had no clue where he was going. The routine he had created was gone once more. Lately that happened more often, and his jobs hardly lasted more than three weeks. Books were his only comfort.
That's why he always unconsciously took a turn for the livelier street in the suburban neighborhood, which housed the only community center around.
The sun had risen early, and it caused his red strands to shine brighter, in contrast with the raven black ones.
Gazes from the crowd stuck to him, and at one point he couldn't tolerate it anymore. He hid his face with the hood of his parka, taking a turn to a random house.
He didn't know why this kept happening constantly, every single time he went out. Something caused people to notice him. But not in a way someone would enjoy.
Their stares sent shivers down his spine - cold and blank looks, staring at you like they expect some kind of a command.
And every single time the feeling was accompanied by a strange type of deja-vu.
- Fucking whore! I told you to stay still, didn't I?! Look at how you ended up...! Pathetic! - he heard an angry voice behind him, coming from the shadows in the parking lot.
Alistair was caught by surprise, but he couldn't run away. The moment he turned around, it was already too late. He saw too much.
A large man was cursing the lifeless body in front of him, his hands clutching a knife, from which dripped fresh dark blood. He couldn't see his face clearly, but he saw that of the woman.
Her eyeballs looked like they would pop out any second. Her hair was scattered across a big red puddle. Her wounds were still bleeding.
It was as if her limbs were still trembling in endless convulsions, an unspoken cry for help stuck between her parted lips.
- What the hell?! - the man noticed him, and began to laugh hysterically, tilting his head.
- You're only giving me extra work...Now I have to kill another one!
The blade gleamed menacingly, and everything inside of Alistair was screaming at him to run for it. But his legs refused to move.
His gaze couldn't move away from the lifeless body on the ground. And that's when he unconsciously whispered something to it.
The convulsions seized, and so did the bleeding. Complete silence, before the lifeless body rose from the ground.
The seemingly fragile hand of the dead girl darted forward and took hold of the killer's leg. The man cried out in pain.
The woman's fingernails were lodged into his skin, leaving behind small bloody traces.
- W-what the...?! How are you not dead yet?! - he drove the bloody blade into her slender neck, but she didn't even make a sound.
To his surprise her lips curved up in a big smile, which wasn't her own. It was Alistair's.