I Am You

By Alex Vrettos

Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

eBook

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600
4 mins

Prologue

THOMAS WAS the man behind The Man, but tonight he stood alone. It wasn't the first time he'd done something like this. He was the shadow of a man who stood in the light. Thomas had always wanted power but did not have the dexterity that it took to keep that power – to have people like and respect him at the same time. He had no problem with making people respect him though and in turn respecting anyone that he represented – it was his employer that ensured he had everything he wanted in exchange for getting rid of everything that he did not want, and Thomas liked what he had. Life as a shadow meant a lot of shady dealings, a lot of taking care of things that had to be taken care of so that the all important light remained shining in the right direction, otherwise, a shadow such as himself would cease to exist.
The darkness clung to him tonight, wet and cold. The thing about shady dealings was that they had to be done out of the way, which meant cosy pubs or hotel bars were rarely suitable. There could be no links between the man he represented and the situations that Thomas organised, although they were all that man's bidding.
He was meeting someone tonight who would take care of something very delicate for them, something none of their usual guys would touch. The person that they were going after was an almost impossible target, a puppet master to the world who was well hidden behind the scenes. He was invisible and untouchable to mere puppets, even puppets as powerful as Thomas' employer. There was usually someone who could be found and persuaded to do their bidding one way or another, but they could take no chances with this job, and the guy that Thomas waited on tonight came highly recommended. Thomas didn't like working with new people, especially on something this big without a warm up job to assess skill and loyalty, but recommendations like the ones this guy had were not easily come by. He was a magician by all accounts. Thomas had found out nothing about him though which both put him on edge and filled him with confidence at the same time.
The sky was clear, a handful of stars visible and a nearly full moon staring mercilessly at him from a cloudless sky. So where was the rain coming from? It wasn't falling so much as swirling in the air.
His mind was wandering. He had been standing here for too long. He pulled his sleeve back to reveal one of his most prized possessions glinting like the moon on his wrist. It was 10 minutes past the agreed meet. Not a good sign.
'Thomas!'
He looked round. His operative Chez was swaggering down the rusty fire escape from the rooftop he was supposed to be lying low on. It was not like Chez to break protocol...or to swagger. He was an understated man who did exactly as he was told and did it well. Chez never called him by his name either. Something was off. Thomas just looked at him, deciding to let the chips fall where they would without his input. There was no point manipulating a situation that you did not understand.
'Thomas!' Chez said again. 'I told you to come alone. I was very specific about that.'
Thomas had no idea why Chez was talking to him like that; he had had no part in the agreement.
'Thomas!' Chez said again.
Thomas was confused. He didn't like being confused. He had got to where he was today by being decisive, always quickly decisive, a man of action, not a thinker, but he never took action without clear intent and that had not presented itself yet.
'Sorry I'm late, I was getting acquainted with our gatecrasher here...Chez I believe.'
Thomas was not confused now. He was lost. He was dithering. It was Chez speaking, gesticulating in time with his speech, but Chez was not a gesticulator.
'This is not a good start Thomas. Trust is broken already,' Chez said smiling, hands held in an open posture.
'You know how this sort of thing works,' Thomas replied, his throat dry. He knew who he was talking to but didn't know how. He would deal with the what not the how.
'Yes I do. We're both good at this game or trust me we wouldn't be speaking, but you've never played with the likes of me before.'
'I'm getting that impression. Tell me. I'm accustomed to explaining what I want at this stage, making a deal, making an upfront payment and leaving expecting the job to be done. That's the only bit of this game that I'm really interested in. Tell me, does that part stay the same when playing with you?'
Chez smiled as he closed the last few metres and stopped an arms length from Thomas. 'You're a man made of good stuff Thomas,' he said reaching a hand out and holding it open, 'I'm getting a strong impression of you and I like you. I think we can do business.'
Thomas took his hand and shook it once before withdrawing his arm and placing it back in his pocket, away from the cold and the uncertainty standing in front of him. It was Chez's hand he shook, Chez's lips that uttered the words, but it was not with Chez that he spoke.
There was a pause during which Chez's face frowned playfully at him and cocked his head slightly.
'Ask it,' Chez said.
Thomas did not like to ask questions. He did not like to do what anyone said, anyone but the man who he represented. He remained silent, but the question grew in him, as if called forth by the man with Chez's face, Chez's body.
'Ask it,' Chez growled, the playfulness fading.
The question consumed him from the inside out, not a part of him but a separate entity taking over so that when he spoke the words it was not him speaking them.
“Who-are-you?”
A smile broke across Chez's darkened face, but the darkness did not recede. 'I am no one. I am whoever I want to be Thomas. I am whoever you want me to be.' He paused then, his smile twisting into a sneer. 'I am You, Thomas.'
With that Thomas' arm reached into his jacket and pulled out his gun and extended it muzzle first towards Chez.
Chez looked at it dumbfounded, dazed. 'Boss? How...?' He looked over his own shoulder at where he should have been and then back at Thomas, confused.
Thomas own mouth then said 'I know the plan. I accept the job. I have just downloaded the account details in which I require the first payment into your memory.'
The new account details burned bright exactly in his mind where he would expect to look for such a detail.
'Boss?' said Chez again, a look of fear in his eyes.
'It will be done,' said Thomas’ mouth. With that, his finger squeezed the trigger and Chez flew backwards head first.
Thomas' arm was his own again, sinking slowly dragged by the weight of the gun, and he was left without a shred of doubt that the job would be done.

Verse

Two souls wandering the earth without flesh
Two children of creation, locked out of the crèche
One seeks inclusion through other bodies' breath
The other seeks his host in The Realm Of Death.

In life and death there is darkness and light
Between two opposites there is always a fight
I see one where others see two
For You are I, and I Am You


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