Jared walked through a crowded sidewalk on his way home from work. It hadn’t been a nice day, and he just couldn’t wait to get home and relax. He stopped in a hole-in-the-wall pizzeria for dinner. Jared ordered a couple of plain pepperoni slices and left.
“I’m sorry.” He bumped into someone on the sidewalk. He swore the person looked like guy who was selling pizzas in that restaurant. He did a double take but went back to walking. His feet were on autopilot. His mind wandered and he noticed something odd. He saw them out of the corner of his eyes. The people he walked by looked the same? He stopped. The next person walking towards him looked the same. His heart thumped in his chest. What the fuck is going on? He thought. Jared ran. He tried to keep hold on his pizza. He looked in the windows of the buildings he passed. The reflection staring back at him was exactly like the others. He was one of them.
Jared screamed. I can’t be one of them! I just can’t. He thought. Jared ran to his apartment complex and up to the one he owned. He opened and slammed his door. He didn’t know what to do.He turned on the tv and a news channel flashed on. The news anchor looked like him.
“We have confirmation the man in question is not at his home.” Jared could hear helicopters flying around outside. “He is terribly dangerous. Please stay away from him at all costs.” The camera switched from the guy to a camera on the helicopter. It was pointing at his apartment window. He went to the window and opened the curtain. He saw a body in the window now.
Bang Bang Bang.
Someone was at the door.
Bang Bang Bang.
Jared’s mind swirled. He could hear the person slamming into the door. The door shook and creaked. Something tapped on his window. Before he could see what it was, the person smashed through the door and someone broke the window. They were both dressed in swat gear. The person from the window took out a gun and shot Jared in the neck. Cold spread from his neck and calmed his whole body. He fell to the ground and couldn’t feel anything. His mind went foggy.
“Where? Where am I?” Jared asked. His head felt like he drank 12 shots and a few beers.
“Ah good. You’re finally awake. Now, look at the metronome and let the soothing motion flow through you. Just relax.” A voice to Jared’s left said. He saw a metronome swinging back and forth. The ticking lulled him into a meditative state. “What are you?” Jared slurred.
“Shhh sh sh. You’re going to be okay. You won’t remember what happened.” The world went black around him.