Martin Quinn was an unexceptional man.
He was grateful for his life and his family and he knew he had no reason to complain. But deep down in his subconscious, he always yearned for something more. He did not like his nose, the way it jutted out from his face at such a sharp angle, and how it protruded way too far out to be considered average size. He hated his rosy cheeks, a permanent blush that haunted his otherwise pale face that he always felt emasculated by. He hated the way he would talk without thinking, and when he would inevitably say something completely inappropriate and ruin whatever conversation he was having. These things all compounded in his mind and gave him a severe inferiority complex, which ensured beyond any shade of a doubt that his romantic aspirations were doomed before the butterflies even blossomed in his stomach.
He began to think his life was cursed, and his luck throughout the years did not seem to help matters. One time, when he worked in a mind-numbing office selling cleaning supplies, a coworker of his decided it was a good idea to light a cigarette indoors, but knew that she couldn’t discard the finished cancer stick in her own bin, lest she was caught. So, she decided to throw it into Martin’s bin instead. A forgivable sin, Martin thought, had she bothered to stub out the cigarette in the first place. The scrunched-up pieces of paper provided perfect kindling as the fire raged. No one was hurt, fortunately another coworker noticed the flames and quickly extinguished the mini inferno before it could do any real damage. That day, Martin was called into his superior’s office and promptly fired for a multitude of safety and health code violations, without even listening to his urgent pleas that he had never smoked a day in his life. This job loss provided Martin with a few years of faux poverty, where he had a roof over his head but barely any food in the fridge and a worn, dirty mattress that made a poor excuse for a bed. He cursed his bad luck over and over as he lay on his mattress, a spring poking his hip, seething in quiet rage that his life had been upended by sheer chance. Martin Quinn hated these things about himself.
But he could acknowledge it was not all doom and gloom. Despite his hopeless love life and financial woes, he had quite a few friends who he cared about deeply. He was always there for them, and they were always there for him, and he knew he was never truly alone. His family had always supported him as well, even when he knew it would be far easier to dump him on the pavement and let him fend for himself. He recalled that moment when he smashed his mother’s favourite glass, one she had kept from her youth. A glass that was older than Martin and possibly as important to his mother and his clumsy seven-year-old self tripped and brought the treasured possession down with him.
He had cut himself badly on his hand, and blood flowed down his wrist, but it wasn’t as much as the tears that streamed down his rosy cheeks, fearful of the punishment he would received having hurt his mother so deeply. But when his mother had found him whimpering and clutching uselessly at his lacerated hand, she didn’t even mention the glass as she tended to his wounds, even though it was apparent it was her cherished glass that shattered into a million pieces, never to be used again. She cried too, but Martin knew she was upset that he had hurt himself, rather than due to his negligence that she would never hold that glass the way she used to when she was his age. Martin always remembered that moment in excruciating detail and it fostered an unshakeable sense of loyalty and duty to his mother.
Even as she lay in that hospital bed, the brain cancer slowly eroding her mind and body, he was there every day to care for her, without fail. He never saw the ordeal as a product of his bad luck, as cancer had an alarmingly common history in his family. Even though he felt guilty for ever thinking it, he considered himself quite lucky not to have succumbed already. He made sure his mother got the best medical treatment, having secured a well-paying job in an international corporation that dealt in all sorts of business, legal or otherwise. This was a decade after the unfortunate cigarette occurrence, and Martin’s morals had eroded slightly, where he was happy to accept his lucrative paycheque in exchange for keeping hush-hush over the shady dealing occurring on a daily basis. He never told his mother the truth about where the money came from, so he lied and claimed he had a job in a bank, which she seemed to believe. And when she inevitably succumbed to her illness, he was right there beside her with the rest of his family, holding her hand and making sure she knew that she was loved every second he had left with her. She passed with a faint smile on her face and Martin, despite his inconsolable grief, was happy he was able to repay all the kindness and love she had given him.
Looking back, through all the losses and triumphs, the ups and downs of his quiet life, Martin knew he had lived a good life. He was content with it all.
These thoughts raced through his mind as the plane careened towards the ground.
Martin had not meant to be on the flight that day. But a last-minute call from a woman who had been stricken down with a severe case of ‘drinking way too much and regretting it the next morning,’ meant that Martin had to take the job on himself. He had not thought much of it at the time, it was a typical occurrence for people to lose a spine or, perhaps, grow a brain and decline these jobs, so he could not blame his boss for entrusting him with seeing it through. Everyone signed a non-disclosure agreement when they all joined, so all they would be missing out on is a lucrative bank account. It did not hurt that he was promised a sizeable cheque and the promise was that he would only be required to stay overseas for one night and be transferred back the next morning. All he needed to do was go to a certain warehouse, give a certain man a certain briefcase filled with certain ordinary items that would pass through customs and head home. He had accepted without much consideration.
Now, he was regretful he did not decline.
He waded through the typical airport security and baggage check without any incident, and was waiting by the terminal, drifting in and out of consciousness when a man screaming bloody murder jolted him out of his reverie. He was tall and gaunt, with a green jacket that was torn and stained with various black, brown, and red stains. His eyes were unfocused and bloodshot, and from the few metres away that Martin was to the man, he stunk to high heaven, like a skunk had bathed in sewage and then vomited up a meal consisting only of garlic and onions. He had a dark bushy beard that covered the lower half of his face, and the hair on his head was greasy and matted, like it had not ever been washed. He was sprinting, faster than Martin could ever have imagined a human being could go, and as he raced past Martin, he noticed how the man did not seem to be panting in the slightest despite his insane speed.
He lunged forward, attempting to rush through the gates and board the plane. An admirable plan, Martin had thought, but a terrible way to execute it. The haggardly man was already being pursued by several men dressed head to toe in security uniforms, but a fellow passenger that Martin had briefly spoken to as they walked through the last batch of security checks launched himself from his seat, wrapped his arms around the lunatic’s waist and tackled him to the floor. The man howled and grunted like a cornered animal, seemingly desperate to board the plane, but the passenger held him firmly to the ground. As the security guards began to approach them, Martin saw the crazed man suddenly go very calm and composed and watched in mild discomfort as the madman spit on the passenger’s face. He reeled back, abjectly disgusted and horrified, but the guards dashed in and pinned the lunatic to the floor, who surprisingly made no effort to break free of the grasp, despite his initially insane and erratic behaviour.
Another guard asked the Good Samaritan if he was okay and for his name, and Martin saw his eyes glaze over for a second, seemingly dead to the world, before blinking again, smiling good-naturedly and wiping off his assailant’s spittle with a tissue. Martin heard the man introduce himself as Ron. The crazed man was hauled up, cuffed, and dragged away whilst the security team around him apologised to the other concerned passengers in the terminal, assuring the situation was under control. Martin gazed at the madman and frowned, curious as to why he had given up so easily when his mad dash to the plane seemed so desperate and purposeful. The stains on his jacket unnerved him as well, as if every bodily fluid and other disgusting liquids had all found their way onto his person. No doubt that was the reason for the smell. Even more curious however was the grin that had plastered itself onto the man’s face, barely noticeable behind his thick, greasy beard. His compliance in being escorted by the security team gave Martin the impression that he had been planning to get caught.
Martin was anxious to board the plane after this incident, despite the assurances of the woman behind the desk that nothing had been tampered with on the plane. He was ready to call his boss and ask for a rescheduled flight when Ron approached him.
“Hey man, you doin’ okay?” Ron asked with a charming smile and a Texan accent.
“I…uh…not really, to be frank. That nutjob kind of unnerved me, you know?” Martin returned a shaky, but friendly, smile.
“You’re tellin’ me! I dunno how I managed to work up the nerve to tackle that guy, he reeked!”
Martin chuckled in response, happy to be speaking relatively normally after being shaken up for so long.
Ron paused for a second, and Martin noticed a flicker behind his eyes, like he was appraising Martin deeply, into his very soul. The next second, his smile beamed again, and he continued the conversation.
“So, can I guess you’re kinda nervous to go on the plane now?”
“Hit the nail right on the head. I’ve always had bad luck, you know. That guy seems like an omen I should avoid.”
It was Ron’s turn to laugh now, one that shook his whole body as he guffawed with his eyes screwed shut. It was not any kind of laugh Martin had ever heard before, and he got a sneaking suspicion that it was slightly forced. Maybe he’s just trying to cheer me up? Martin wondered to himself.
Once Ron has finished his bout of laughter and straightened up, he clapped Martin on the back and grinned again.
“I wouldn’t worry about that guy, alright? He’s off bein’ detained to who knows where and the people on the plane says everythin’s a-ok. You got a fear of flyin’?”
“No, not at all. I guess I’m just unbearably cautious,” Martin smiled weakly, feeling slightly cowardly talking to the man who had the bravery to stop the madman and still felt comfortable boarding the plane.
“It pays to be cautious, my man! But I think this is one time you can let your guard down, you think?”
“Y-yeah, you’re right,” Martin nodded after saying this, hoping it would give him an extra boost of confidence.
“Come on then, Martin, we gotta get on quick!” Ron chuckled, walking towards the walkway for the plane before Martin had a chance to respond.
As he caught up with Ron and continued small talk, a small voice at the back of his head getting louder and louder as they approached the plane spoke up.
How does he know my name?
Martin gasped as he stirred from unconsciousness yet again. He moaned softly, too weak to even speak. The plane was still falling, and Martin prayed that it would be over soon. He glanced down at his chest, at all the dark-red blood that oozed from the jagged wound. If the plane crash did not kill him, the blood loss would. Martin hoped it was quick. Quicker than cancer at least.
His sight flickered, and soon a pool of blackness began working its way into his vision, slowly enveloping all light. He knew he was going to pass out again. Or die. As he slipped into the blackness, his mind wandered, to the rapid circumstances that thrust him into his untimely death.
The turbulence was non-stop. The plane smashed into unstable pockets of air more often than passengers leaping out of their seats to vomit in the bathrooms. The stewardesses were strapped tightly into their seats, all of them pale and straight lipped. It did not give Martin much hope.
He glanced around at all the panicked faces, mothers clutching their terrified children, assuring them that everything would be okay, businessmen dressed up not much differently from himself, gripping the armrests of their seats and forcing themselves to calm down. Martin felt very much the same. Flying was never a problem for him, but the way the plane shook more and more violently with each passing wave of turbulence terrified him more than anything.
In his scan of his fellow passengers, he caught sight of Ron. Where Martin was in the window seat of the row, he was on the aisle seat 5 rows behind. Ron had not noticed or acknowledged Martin the entire flight, ever since they parted ways as they made it to their respective seats. Martin nodded a simple goodbye, while Ron chose to cryptically say “Enjoy the flight.”
Martin felt his stomach lurch, and he knew immediately he was another victim to the turbulence that threatened to rip the plane in half. He stood on shaking legs, breathing deeply so as not to vomit prematurely and cause an unwanted mess. He squeezed between the couple that sat next to him, holding hands so tightly their knuckles were white. Martin took a moment to feel thankful he had no one to love. He would have hated to see someone he cared about so scared.
Fortunately, when Martin arrived at the bathroom, it was empty with no one waiting outside before him. He smiled weakly, thankful that his luck helped him out this one time. As soon as he lunged into the bathroom, he immediately collapsed onto his knees and hurled into the metal toilet, careful not to touch the bowl and not bothering to lock the door behind him.
He lost track of the time he had spent heaving up what seemed to be his last three meals, and still he felt unbearably ill. He blinked through tear-stricken eyes and washed his face vigorously with cold water. He told several deep breaths, slowed his heart rate, and gazed at himself in the dirty mirror.
You’re going to be fine, dumbass. The plane will land soon, and you can relax for a little.
He slapped himself lightly on his cheeks a few times, turning them an even redder hue, but he did not mind. It’s not like I’m trying to chat up any ladies on this flight.
As soon as Martin turned to leave the bathroom, there was a scream.
It was not a yelp of someone frightened of another bout of turbulence, it was raw. Primal.
It was a scream of pure fear.
Martin scrambled towards the door and pulled it completely shut, and clamped the lock shut. His mind went into complete fight or flight mode, but his brain seemed to absolutely prefer the flight option. Ironic, considering the circumstances.
As soon as he collapsed into a ball, back leaning against the door for support, a volley of screams echoed from outside, a mix of pitches and volumes, but all evoking bone-chilling terror.
There was the sound of slicing and thudding, and the screams grew quieter and quieter until there was silence.
Martin cried. He felt the warm tears pool down his cheeks, and he did his best to keep his breathing in control. He was no dummy. He knew what he had happened out there. He was crying because he knew whatever it was would be coming for him next.
Unbelievably, Martin found the strength to stand. His mind had always been a logical one, and he had immediately reasoned that he would die on this plane, by some horrifying creature or otherwise. He just wanted to see what it was that had killed everyone so quickly, so efficiently. He wanted to look his killer in the eyes.
He braced himself, took a final deep breath and unlocked the door, stepping out into the madness. The walls were sprayed a crimson red and various body parts lay strewn about the cabin. He saw the young couple that he had been sitting next to. The man was still in his chair, seatbelt attached and had a hole the size of a rubber ball that went cleanly through his forehead, a clean death all things considered. His girlfriend had not fared as well, unfortunately. She managed to free herself from her seat and made it out into the aisle, where her legless torso now lay motionless. Martin could not see either of her missing limbs. There were too many to distinguish from.
Martin’s stomach lurched again, and he dry heaved against the door of the bathroom, cursing his stupid brain for subjecting him to this nightmarish scenario. When he was finished, he straightened up and saw a man standing in the middle of the aisle, maybe twenty feet away from where Martin was stood, his legs shaking like branches in a forest wind. Ron.
He grinned that charming smile of his and spoke in that Texas accent of his, but his lips and veins were the deepest black and his voice had the tint of another voice, deeper and much more sinister.
“It was hard, y’know? To hold myself back. I couldn’t help myself.”
“W-what?” Martin almost whispered, his throat unbearably dry from his vomiting spree.
“I was gonna wait until the plane landed to kill everyone and take you, but I just couldn’t stop myself.” He laughed again, the same methodical forced laughter, but with that menacing voice looming just on the outskirts, it was the most horrifying thing Martin had ever heard. He gulped in trepidation and willed himself to force out a response.
“W-what the hell are you?”
“No, the hell you’re not. You’re some…demon!”
“Guilty as charged. But I am still Ron as well as bein’ some demon.”
“I don’t understand what the hell you’re talking about!” Martin cried, trying, and failing, to avoid the gaze of the young child he had seen clutched in his mother’s arms. Both of his arms had been ripped off, not cleanly either. Two jagged stumps near his shoulders were all that remained, and his glossed over eyes met Martin’s directly. He whimpered.
“You know what, you were quite friendly to me when we boarded the plane. I rarely take over anyone that shows me kindness, so I’ll reward you with my own kindness. I’ll tell you what I am.”
Martin said nothing, waiting for Ron, or whatever this thing was, to continue. Once Ron felt enough time had suitably elapsed, he opened his mouth to speak again.
“I’m a kind of force. You know like gravity? I’m basically that. I’m not sure there’s any word to describe me in your language, but I’m sure you have a few examples floatin’ around in that head of yours.”
Martin fought to keep eye contact with the force claiming to be called Ron, but his black lips and black veins that littered his skin repulsed him to no end. He opted to stare at the thing’s knees since that was the body part less drenched in human viscera.
“I remember ‘wakin’ up’ about two weeks ago. I was just this…shadow. Flickerin’ about, without purpose. But soon I found my first human. A cute little girl named Marie. She had been playin’ in the garden with her brother all day, and she was laughin’ and runnin’ and sweatin’.”
The perverse smile that stretched across Ron’s obsidian lips made Martin involuntarily shudder, and he wondered how he was able to remain standing on such shaky legs.
Ron continued. “I was drawn to the sweat. I couldn’t understand why, but before I knew what I was doin’, I was movin’ towards her… and then I was her. Ron closed his eyes and smiled serenely like he was reliving his most pleasant memory.
“S-so you can possess people?” Martin said, barely a whisper through his dry throat and chattering teeth.
“I can. But only through fluids. I’m not sure why that works, but that’s part of the human condition, right? Not knowin’ much of anythin’?” Ron tilted his head, grinning smugly at Martin.
“You are not human!” Martin screeched, surprised he was able to find his voice in such a dire situation. “You’re just a thing that moves from one body to another without any care for human lives!”
Ron paused for a moment, and Martin noticed how bloodshot his eyes were, how there was a sheen to it that he had not noticed before. He seemed… gleeful, behind those red-rimmed eyes of his.
“One body to another? No, no, no, my dear Martin. When I possess a body, that’s it. They’re mine, forever.” Ron took a menacing step forward, and Martin instinctively took one back, fearful of whatever that was planning to do to him. Why had he been spared?
“I’ve taken over hundreds. I am them, and they are me. We are all one.” Another step forward.
Martin took a shuddering breath and stepped back again, only to hear his boot squished into some gore that lay unceremoniously on the ground. He fought the urge to vomit.
“So that crazy man, before we got on the plane? That was you as well?”
“You’re a smart cookie, Martin. I like that. Yes, I was, and still am, that ‘crazy man’ as you put it. Of course, that was just an act. I had to find a way to get on this plane, and I decided to sacrifice him. Kinda like chess, I suppose. Sacrifice a pawn so the king can survive.”
“Y-You, you spat on Ron… when he tackled you…”
“And thus, I took over him as well. Correct again.”
“But the black lips and veins, I didn’t see those on Ron or the man when you had them possessed…”
Ron chuckled gruffly, and took a deep breath, lowering his head towards the ground. When he met Martin’s eyes again, they were a normal human shade again.
“It takes some effort to remain incognito. That’s why I was grateful you went into that bathroom, Martin. I was itchin’ to get my hands dirty that whole flight.”
Martin felt a pang of guilt, before burying it deep in his subconscious. These people would have died anyway, that thing would never have spared them whatever he did.
“So that’s why you haven’t been caught yet. No one knows you even exist.”
“Correct once again. You know, I underestimated you, Martin. You’re really quite clever. That’s good though. You’ll prove to be especially useful.”
“How the hell do you know my name? I never told you…”
Ron laughed, that same inhuman chuckle he had heard before boarding the plane. It sounded much more alien now.
“That’s the other thing that remains unanswered regardin’ my bein’. I can see all the details of a person when I look at them. It’s hard to distinguish between all the people I see and all the information, but my eyes can always decipher the most important info. And you, Martin, are the most important piece I’ve ever laid eyes on.”
“Why me? I-I’m just a nobody, what’s so special about me?”
“Nothing. There is absolutely nothin’ special about you, Martin. As you said, you’re a nobody. I can see all your inadequacies, all the things you love and hate about yourself and they mean absolutely nothin’ to me. You are a truly unexceptional man, in every sense of the word. But with that bein’ said, even nobodies have important roles, important jobs they must do…”
Martin frowned, taking Ron’s pause in the conversation to glance behind him. The cockpit was a few steps behind him. He could make a dash for it, lock himself inside. He was not sure how long he would have to find a weapon, but he knew it was not long. He would have to be quick and resolute. This was his only chance to be a hero.
But Martin was not a hero, and he knew it. No matter how much he screamed at his legs to move, they were rooted to the spot. He whimpered at his cowardice, before turning his attention back to Ron, who elaborated.
“I saw where you’re headin’ to after you land. An unmarked warehouse, meetin’ a certain man and givin’ him certain items. All very innocuous, but you clearly haven’t done your research.”
“W-what?” Martin stammered.
“The man you’re meetin’…well, let’s just say he has a very high position in a certain government, very influential. I’m surprised he’s makin’ the journey himself rather than sendin’ one of his lackeys, but I suppose if you want a job done right, you gotta do it yourself. But that’ll prove to be his downfall. I want to possess him. And that’s where you come in, Martin.”
Tears sprang to Martin’s now widened eyes as he came to the realisation before Ron could spell it out. Ron’s sadistic grin was all Martin needed to know that he was right.
“No, p-please…” Martin whispered.
“Sorry, Martin, I really am. I always do feel bad when I take over someone’s body. Believe me when I say, I only try to take over the bare minimum. I suppose you were just unlucky to be one of the ones I need to take over.”
That was all Martin needed to hear to get his legs working again. Without another word, he turned and sprinted towards the cockpit, throwing the door closed and locking it, just as what looked like a blade jabbed through the door, a few inches away from his stomach. He leapt away from the door, glancing briefly at the two pilots’ lacerated corpses. They must have just been able to turn the autopilot on before succumbing to their wounds. Martin took a moment to mourn them along with all the other passengers on board. He was going to make sure their deaths were not in vain.
He scoured the entire cockpit, flinching slightly when hearing the chuckles of Ron behind the door, and the playful way he would send a blade through the door. Looking closely, Martin could see they were pure shadows, like Ron had said his original form was, shaped like blades. Clearly what he utilised to massacre everyone on board. The lazy way Ron would jab each shadow unnerved Martin, he could sense the cocksure attitude “Ron” possessed, like he already knew its victory was guaranteed, so it was letting him think he had a chance to stop.
Martin did not let that deter him as he searched vigorously for any sort of weapon. Then, by a moment of sheer luck, Martin happened to glance under the co-pilot’s seat, and he saw it. A revolver. He was curious as to why there was a gun on a plane, it was the last place he had expected to see one, but perhaps it was there to counteract any hostile threat that appeared on the plane. Likely, the pilots would have used it for a terrorist, but Martin felt it was useful for combatting a demon made of shadows as well.
He dived for it and pushed the chamber open, affirming the gun was fully loaded. He had little experience with guns, but his dad had taken him to a shooting range a few times when he was a teenager. He did not particularly enjoy those sessions, but he was thankful for them now. They could very well have just saved his life.
As he stood and turned towards the door, he saw six shadows pierce the door simultaneously and rip it off its hinges. Ron hovered in the air, supported by a cloud of midnight-black shadows. His black veins and lips were more pronounced than ever. Martin automatically aimed the gun towards his heart.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Martin.” Ron’s Texan accent was gone completely now, replaced by the deepest and most bone-chilling voice he had ever heard. It sounded like the thing possessing Ron’s body was not used to speaking without the accompaniment of his human hosts, but it sounded menacing enough that Martin almost froze up completely. But Martin was not going to let this thing succeed in whatever nefarious plan he was enacting. This thing was dying, right here, right now. Martin steeled himself, gun still trained on the dead centre of its chest. He took a deep breath.
The bullet hit its mark perfectly, his father would have been proud. Ron jerked back, as black blood gushed from the wound Martin had created. Martin felt like cheering. He had done it! He defeated that evil thing! Hell, he might have even saved the world! He was a hero! He was…
Ron laughed. Martin’s grin devolved into a horrified gawp as he watched the hole in Ron’s chest seal up and heal completely. Ron stared Martin directly in the eyes and seemed to take immense satisfaction from his assailant’s ever-growing horror.
“Nice try, Martin. But unless you had about twenty guys all shooting at the exact same place, you won’t get me that easily. Besides, I am still in control of all my other victims. I could just retrace my steps and find you again. Like I said, Martin, I’m truly sorry. But you’re just not winning.”
Martin felt his entire body go numb. He did not want to die alone. It was his biggest fear, ever since he watched his mother pass. He resolved at that moment that he, too, would die surrounded peacefully by his loved ones. But that clearly was not going to happen now.
As fearful as he was of dying, Martin was less enthused about being possessed by a demonic entity, and possibly being responsible for the fall of humanity or whatever this thing was planning to do by taking over the government as it implied. If he could foil this thing’s plan, even slightly, then Martin would prove it wrong. He would win.
Without hesitation, and as quickly as his body would allow, Martin trained the gun on the plane’s windshield and fired.
He ducked immediately, aware of all the air pressure destabilising in the cockpit and the angle of the plane as it began to nosedive towards the ground. He braced himself against the control panel, in between the pilots’ seats. He watched their corpses jettison through the shattered windshield, into the freezing and unforgiving air outside.
Ron shrieked a loud, brutal, primal roar, that was both high and low pitched, angry, fearful, and mournful, as its body was flung towards the windshield, just like the pilots before it. Martin viewed the whole thing in slow-motion, its face contorted into a hateful sneer as it passed him. Martin almost sighed with relief as his plan had worked. Then he felt the blade penetrate his chest.
He gagged, choking on his blood, as he saw Ron use the shadow embedded in Martin to remain in the plane, albeit almost dangling completely out of the cockpit. Martin panicked and gripped at the shadow blade, trying desperately to pull it from his chest. He felt its mass, how it had a corporeal essence and Martin reacted before he succumbed to blood loss. Grabbing the revolver that had fallen next to him, he fired one last shot straight through the shadow.
Immediately, Ron was flung out of the plane, screeching hatefully as it went. The screech became quieter and soon, the only sound was the air rushing into the quickly descending plane. The rest of the shadow that was still lodged in his chest dissipated without a body to be attached to and the blood freely oozed from Martin’s chest. He plugged it as best as he could, but it still dripped mercilessly between his fingers. He cursed his carelessness, letting the thing get a kill shot on him, but Martin realised he was beyond caring anymore. The plane crash would ultimately kill him off as well as incinerate the rest of the evidence left behind by Ron’s murder spree. Whoever found the plane’s wreckage would find no survivors, but at least there would be no evil entity amongst the wreckage.
Martin’s vision dimmed as he began to lose consciousness. He thought back, reviewing his life as the plane careened towards the ground.
Martin awoke in agony, blood drenching his shirt and trousers, and his body would not move. But his brain remained active. And as he recalled his final moments, confronting the demon, he remembered something horrifying.
He recalled how quickly that thing had healed its wounds, how it bragged about the strength of its healing factor, the black matter that coursed through its entire being that stained Ron’s lips and veins a horrid inky colour.
The thing had possessed Ron through spittle. It possessed its first victim through sweat. It could possess anyone through fluids.
Martin whimpered as the plane smashed into the ground, erupting a fiery explosion.
Martin opened his eyes and took a deep breath.
He stood up as best he could amongst the fiery debris of the plane, as it lay obliterated into countless pieces. He stretched his body, tolerating that weird static feeling that flowed into his arms and fingers and feet and toes as he slowly but surely regained sensation in his whole body.
He glanced around at the field of lush grass that stretched before him, the crackle of the raging fire surrounding him filled his ears and he winced at the harsh sounds it made. A smattering of trees had taken the brunt of the plane’s impact and they too were aflame; undoubtedly the fire would spread, and it would be a hefty recovery effort to mitigate the damage. By that time, Martin would be long gone.
Ron’s body was irrecoverable. Even if it survived the fall, which was unlikely, it would be too much effort finding nourishment and shelter to keep it. No matter. It had served its purpose perfectly.
As Martin emerged from the wreckage and glanced at the city only a few miles away from him, his black lips curled into a smile.
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