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Quincunx

Part Two



Taemin was panicking.

His hand tightened around the bag as he took a sudden right turn. He had no idea where he was going; his mind was on straight autopilot. He had been running these streets since the day he’d been born; they were etched onto his brain like a map, so no matter where he was he couldn’t get lost. The bag was weighing him down, not to mention the numerous pilfered goods in his pockets, and he thought to drop it but his fingers wouldn’t let go as if they were glued to the strap. His breathing came fast but controlled. He couldn’t count the times he had been chased throughout Vlaie by one of his victims or the police but he easily outran them.

Peering over his shoulder, he nearly tripped because of the shock. The man was still following, shouting obscene words as he drew closer. Taemin had never seen anyone pursue him for so long, they had been running for countless blocks but the man didn’t look the least bit tired, just angry and unbelievably pissed. Although, he wasn’t entirely sure, but he could’ve sworn that there was another man chasing after his own pursuant but he didn’t dwell on it.

The streets were becoming more crowded as he raced towards the center of the city. He was alarmed at the man chasing him, it was impossible; there was no one, absolutely no one who could keep up with him. Taemin could practically feel the man’s breath on his neck and he knew that all the man had to do was barely reach out his hand and he would’ve caught him. Though, he also knew that the second he did reach out towards him, he would slow down and that was all Taemin needed to get away.

He groaned in frustration, sweat began to slide down his forehead and drip on the pavement. What the heck was in this bag? he thought, jumping over two toddlers and dodging an old woman. It had to be pure gold bars because it was heavier than bricks and his devoted pursuant was not about to give them up.

Then, he felt that familiar feeling.

Taemin’s eyes blurred over, the air around him seemed to swirl bizarrely, and his body lost its balance, sending him face first towards the concrete. Just as he was about to hit the ground, there was a surge of air that accelerated him forward and though he picked up his feet to run, they hovered over the ground colliding with a gush of air instead of the asphalt, propelling him forward. It wasn’t the first time his powers took over unwillingly. He hated using them partly because he couldn’t control them but he couldn’t deny the alleviating sensation he got whenever he did use them; it was like he’d been sitting for eternity letting his muscles grow stiff without practice and now he could finally stretch. Whenever he used his powers this way his mind was always clear of thought, his heart beat even and firm, and his body showed every sign of rejuvenation, all together it was a heavenly feeling, one like no other.

Honestly, he didn’t have time for this, he was already late.

He was suppose to meet the Collector over an hour ago, he was just going to grab the bag and be on his way but no he had to run into such a stubborn person. There was going to be hell to pay if he didn’t show up with his earnings soon. Just imagining the punishment that was already arranged for him made him cringe.

He knew that there were people who were ranked way above him in Pseudo, for he was the lowest possible rank, nothing but scum to the rest of them, all he did was scavenge possessions from others. There was no way he would be able to redeem himself unless he brought back all of his goods. Although, the objects he did manage to pilfer off others, once pawned, were only mere change to Pseudo.

Taemin loathed his former weak self for becoming entwined in Pseudo’s corruption, even if it was a measly part but back then it was all he could do to survive. Pseudo was a mass malicious and manipulating syndicate driven on by its money hungry capitalists, which had all of Vlaie dancing in the palm of their hands, feeding the citizens false hopes and truths. Taemin saw the way the people of Vlaie practically worshipped them claiming that Pseudo was their only saviour from The Divine Genadestoot. They poured their hopes and faith into Pseudo to save them and all Pseudo took was their money, virtue, and conviction.

The Divine Genadestoot: the horrid ending of the world. There were numerous stories about the impending doom, some accurate, some not but the only thing they knew to be the blatant truth was the fact that it was near.

It was irrevocable, the prophets had foretold it to the citizens fifteen years ago and over the past decade and a half the signs have and still were showing; tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, wildfires, and violent thunderstorms shook the country specifically Vlaie. So what if Pseudo could use their mysterious wizardry to stop a few disasters from ripping across the city, people still died and people will always die when it came to The Divine Genadestoot.

Nothing could stop it.

It was insane to think that a mere syndicate no matter how powerful could stop the inevitable.

Pumping his arms harder, he turned down a busy road hoping to throw the man off his trail. The idea that someone had the audacity to think that they could catch him was nerve-wracking. Using his last resort, Taemin turned into Vlaie’s Central Plaza.

The Central Plaza was always the most packed place in Vlaie. It was a large wide circle surrounded by tall skyscrapers that had an overwhelming amount of shops, restaurants and attractions. The center of the Plaza consisted of an amusement park with roller coasters and the whole nine yards. Whether it was day or night the plaza was constantly packed, Vlaie thrived off the tourism.

He had to resist the urge to swipe the pockets of the tourists. It would’ve been easy, too easy to reach in their pockets, in their backpacks, in their purses and take their valuables. They wouldn’t miss it, rich people never missed anything for too long and you had to be rich to come play at the Central Plaza.

In spite of how bad his fingers itched to swindle them, he couldn’t risk it. He was too noticeable in his current get up; his hair was bright red, his eyes bright blue, and his attire too vivid. He knew he would looked too suspicious if he tried to swipe anything right now. He glanced over his shoulder again, he could see the raven haired man some fifteen odd people away searching for him. He fought against his own brown haired chaser who shouted at him furiously over the mass of tourists.

Taemin grinned to himself. Of course no one could keep up with him. His eyes flickered about the horde of people trying to find the shop. His pursuers finally lost, he had to get to the habitual rendezvous spot to meet the Collector. That is, if he was still there.

The shop laid on the outskirts of the Plaza being one of the least popular stores. It was a simple small candle shop. Very few tourist ever entered most likely due to its poor condition. The store’s dull green paint was chipped and peeling revealing countless times where it had been repainted. It looked concavely run down with dry dead grass and cobwebs lining the outside.

Taemin waltzed in, a small chime announcing his presence, and looked around for a certain someone. As expected of a fake candle shop, it had many shelves and drawers where candles should be but weren’t. The floor creaked loudly with age as Taemin stepped around the holes and broken glass that littered the floor. The glass was new, which meant that the Collector was still here. He nearly sighed with relief. He hadn’t missed him.

“Ahm, Shirou?” Taemin said, hands clasping together awkwardly as he looked around the empty store. “Shirou?”

“In here.”

Taemin frowned, unsure of where the voice came from. He moved to the back of the store hastily, tilting his head so that he could hear any stray sounds coming from the walls. He was afraid to call out again just in case the man he was meeting was easy to anger. He went to the back wall and held his hands to the peeling paint. Softly, he tapped the wall, noting how dense it felt on his fingertips as he moved.

Impatiently, he pushed a bit harder and let out a gasp as one of his hands fell through the wall and made him lose his balance. Adrenaline rushing through his veins, his charm snatched his body and through him forward defensively only to throw him through the plaster with a grunt.

He let out a series of short coughs as the air was knocked out of his lungs and the air he was trying to inhale was contaminated with the dust and plaster from the wall. Opening his eyes and waving the dust away from his face, he stood. Not too far away from him, he could see what he thought to be the Collector hovering over a man lying on the floor.

He opened his mouth to speak when the Collector slammed his foot into the fallen man’s ribs, making said man let out a yelp and whimper as he slowly curled into himself. Taemin slowly closed his mouth, suddenly deathly silent as he watched what was going on in front of him. He knew he should leave now, knew he should turn away but he couldn’t.
The man was crying now, holding his torso pitifully as he gasped through his sobs. Minho could see red beginning to show in the man’s teeth and let himself smile, he had done damage. Before, he had simply punched the man and hit him several times with one of the fallen pipes of the back room and surprisingly, the man only had a few bruises to show for it. The blood would make the man think he was dying and that would make him fear.

That fear is what he needed.

Leaning down, he gave the man a sympathetic look and grabbed at his hair. The man cried out and weakly gripped Minho’s wrists. It was an act of defiance, no matter how afraid he was, and that was unacceptable. Minho gripped the man’s head tightly and slammed it into the wall thrice. The man let go of his wrists.

“Now, what can we do about this eh, Shirou?” Minho made himself sound remorseful. Sad. Regretful. At the same time, he had that undertone of sarcasm and brutality he was known for. He smothered the laugh that would have surfaced when he saw the man tremble and shake his head feverishly.

“No?” He asked. “No, what? Are you trying to talk back to me?”

The man’s eyes widened. “No, wait, please! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” He let out another ragged sob. “Please spare me; forgive me!”

Minho clicked his tongue and pursed his lips thoughtfully. “But what about all that money you have stolen from Pseudo, hm? Your little gatherer was going to meet you today, isn’t that right?”

The man shook his head once. “You have to understand, I had to take that money to survive! There was nothing else I could do!”

Minho rolled his eyes, patience quickly fading. He had heard this so many times before it was annoying. He didn’t have enough fake sympathy to pass off to this man, especially when he used the same cliche excuse everyone caught stealing from Pseudo used. His fingers threaded through the man’s short locks. He was gentle now, letting the man know that it was over.

“Please. The, I, my gatherer took the money too! He has it!” The man lied, squirming in Minho’s grip. As if drawn by the lie, his eyes slid to the corner behind Minho. It was probably a trap, it wasn’t lke something like this hadn’t been done before. He’d look to the corner, see no one was there and the guy would suddenly get all of his strength back, get out of his hold and try to get away. It was an overly used tactic.

To humor his captive, he turned his head behind him, mouth already opening to let out another snarky reply to the situation when his eyes caught sight of a boy. He seemed frozen. His eyes were locked on Minho and him, the captive man struggling to get out of his grip while gasping“See? I didn’t lie. He has it. Please, he has it!”.

Their eyes met and in the course of three seconds, Minho witnessed a numerous amount of emotions pass through the boy’s widening eyes. He expected the boy to run, but instead he went rigid, looking as if he wanted to run but had gone to tense for that to be an option.
“Hm, it seems you weren’t lying after all.” Minho mused, grip still firm. “However...”

The man opened his mouth, probably about to beg for his life once more when Minho released the warmth from his body and sent in flooding into the man. He gasped, eyes wide before he let out a shrill shriek and jerked himself away. He landed on the dirty concrete floor, writhing and clutching his stomach. Minho didn’t bother to grab the man again, it would be pointless to do so now.

“What have you done?” The man howled. “What have you done to me, demon?”

Minho smiled, chuckling. He heard a little rustle from behind him, but doubted the boy would do anything to help his boss – even if they were partners. They didn’t seem to care much each other, if they cared at all. Positive of his assumption, Minho let his back turn to Taemin and put his full attention on his target.

“Is that what you think of me now? Is that what you think of me?” He asked, tone nearly cooing.

The man’s face twisted into an array of rage and pain. “You demented monster! Of course, I do! You’ve done something to me—something—“

“This used to be fun, but you’ve ruined the novelty of doing this with your constant whining. You know, I don’t usually do this to everyone. I don’t ever, actually but I think you deserve this. For being the most pathetic man I’ve had to kill in a while.” Minho made sure the man was the only thing he was focusing on and began letting his charm spill into the man slowly, then to add dramatic effect, he snapped his fingers as he let a full burst flow into him.
The man let out a gasp that sounded like it should have been a scream before his entire body burst into flames. They were coming out of his body. Out of every single orifice they could manage to get out of. The burning man stood, screaming a scream so inhumane that Minho was positive someone would hear it, so he made the fire burn faster, made it bigger so that only the man’s figure could be seen in the flame. All too soon, the man stilled and left the fire to do the rest of its work in peace.

The smell of his flesh burning began to fill the room, making Minho’s squinch his nose a bit. The body didn’t look any better than the smell. The fire had been too intense, the skin melted and melded into the bone. The face had only spots of flesh left, the rest showing the red-stained white of his skull. His clothes would probably be burned into his body by the time Minho had left. Finished with his masterpiece, he pulled the rest of his charm back into him and gave the flame fallen pieces of wood and planks from the floor to keep going.

He was done here.

He heard a heave, then gasping behind him as Minho remembered the gatherer the man mentioned before. It was more likely that the boy didn’t have any of the money and the man was lying, but the kill had excited him and made him want to play more. The boy would be an easy scare.

“Now, about that money.” Minho started.

“No,” The boy said, looking terrified.

“I haven’t even asked—“

“No, no, no. I didn’t steal anything!” The boy looked conflicted at that, before the terror came back and he was tumbling out of a hole in the wall (how had he not noticed that before?).

Minho sighed and leapt through the hole, watching the speedy boy burst through the door and leave the shop. He walked out of the door calmly, making sure no one was suspicious before giving chase. He had almost lost the boy but managed to find sight of him and began his sprint. Minho was never a good runner and the thought of actually having to catch up with the boy before instilling terror was almost too horible to imagine. He felt himself slow, steps becoming heavier and less well placed. He didn’t need to catch the boy, he had already finished his job. There was no reason for him to even get involved—

“Get the fuck out of my way, damn it!” A man said, shoving Minho out of the way. Minho could see faintly, as he blurred by, that he was clutching a plastic coffee cup so hard it looked like it was about to break any moment.

Dumbfounded, he felt kind of angry, not angry enough to go chasing after two people, but angry. With a sigh, he shook his head and started to leave.

“Ah, shit!”

Another man came crashing into them, with enough force to knock them both over. Cursing all the while, the man hurriedly picked himself up and gave Minho a glance. He then looked forward, sighed as he couldn’t see anyone and reached a hand out – offering to help Minho up. Normally, he wouldn’t have taken the offer and just stood up by himself but, he felt different in a way he didn’t know how. Their hands met and Minho let out a small gasp as he was hit by a wave of cool wind.

He knew it was hot today, knew that there wasn’t any wind, but he had felt it. He clenched the man’s hand harder and let out a sigh as another stronger breeze hit him. He felt calm and nice and he wanted to stay here for a very long time. Just sit here with this guy and let the nice feelings wash over him. His eyes grew distant as he thought about how nice that would be and only barely noticed the man pulling him up.

“I’m sorry, I was chasing someone...” He said. Totally reasonable.

“It’s okay, it was my fault.” Minho replied softly. He wasn’t even mad about it. Minho was standing in the middle of a busy crowd – it honestly was his fault. He should have been something else instead of standing somewhere, like reading a book about sunflowers...

“Anyway, I really have to catch up with that guy. Sorry again.” And then the man let his hand go and all the good, happy feelings died in Minho’s heart. Startled, he snatched the guy’s wrist and yanked him back. The rage that filled him in that second was almost instantaneous, he realized what was happening now and this man was the cause of it.
“How did you do that?”

“D-do what? Let go!” The man yelled, trying to yank his hand back. Minho held on but a bit softer, the feelings were back. The burst of calm was what made him let go and watch still as the man ran away from him warily before seemingly catching sight of his targets and running after them.

Minho, almost remorsefully, felt the nice feeling seep out of him. He wasn’t angry now. No. He probably wasn’t going to be angry for a while. Now, he felt desperate for that guy. He had something special. He hadn’t felt calm ever since he had gotten his power when he turned thirteen. He craved that feeling, that nothingness, that safety. He wasn’t going to stop until he felt it again.

Without meaning to, Minho burst into a sprint, moving faster than he ever thought he could as he ran toward the small figure of the man in the distance.




Comments

( 6 pages — Leave a comment )
kyuchan12
Apr. 25th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
yEAH § supernatural powers, I've been craving to read this kind of stuff lately :)
The plot looks interesting,I love it so far !
Can't wait to read more !
marredmemories
Apr. 26th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you for commenting :)
I have AP testing and Finals the next few weeks, so I'll be busy but I'm trying my best to get my stories done. ^^
hibikiecho
Apr. 30th, 2012 04:20 am (UTC)
i will kill u if u don't fix the title. GRRRR
marredmemories
Apr. 30th, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
IT's already too late. It can't be that different anyway.
hibikiecho
May. 1st, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
no it aint it's just one little n put it in there! rawr it's like naming a story spaghetti but spelling it spagetti. it needs to be fix...but if u don't wanna u can keep ur TYPO! *pouts*

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marredmemories
May. 1st, 2012 01:36 am (UTC)

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But fine. I'll change it. But I'm not happy.
( 6 pages — Leave a comment )