Paranoia (Prologue)

This is the Prologue of a novel i’m writing. if it garners success here then i might post more of it for peer review. but otherwise: enjoy

PROLOGUE

Narration

It was a night like any other in a town called West Jordan. It was late enough that itands inhabitants were all in bed, asleep… or at least they should have been. On the empty streets a dark, hooded figure ran for its life. The streets were empty and it was too busy running to yell for help. Running wouldn’t help though, for the thing pursuing the figure could easily match its pace and maintain it for hours on end. It was an exercise in futility but the figure didn’t know that, it didn’t even know what was chasing it. It was walking home from the library when it got the feeling of being watched. It turned around and saw nothing only to turn around, resume walking and walk right into something furry and big, unnaturally so. The figure didn’t wait to see what it had walked into and started running in the opposite direction. Perhaps unwisely. The thing waited a few moments then gave chase. Even while drunk it knew that it could outrun the fleeing figure. It wanted to have a merry chase, and to experience the thrill of the hunt, ending it only when the prey could run no more.

A mile later the figure tripped on an uneven sidewalk panel and hit its head on the ground knocking it unconscious. The thing sauntered up to the unconscious figure disappointed that the hunt had ended so soon. The smell of the blood leaking from a cut in the figure’s head was driving the primal part of its mind into a frenzy, screaming to take its prize and have a nice meal. But the rational part of its mind was pushing just as hard to walk away and leave the human alone. This was not just any hungry animal unfortunate enough to choose a human as a meal, this was something not seen here for thousands of years. It was a creature of feral strength and instinct; but it was still capable of rational thought. It was a creature of the night, a child of the moon, it was a werewolf and its bloodlust was winning over its own reason.

The werewolf took a bite out of the figures shoulder and swallowed. It tasted delicious and was about to go back for more but then a voice screamed: “GET AWAY FROM HIM YOU SICK MONSTER!!!” That shout was quickly followed by the roar of a gun and the werewolf yelping in pain. The bullets were made from a silver alloy and the werewolf knew it. The pain snapped it out of its drunkenness and reason once again took over. It looked down at the teenage boy it was standing over. “I SAID GETAWAY FROM HIM!!!” The werewolf knew what it was dealing with: a Hunter. The protectors of humanity as far as the paranormal was concerned. It quickly backed away before the Hunter shot it again. It wasn’t just the presence of silver that harmed a werewolf, it harmed them because silver is incredibly toxic to them, If it got any more silver into its bloodstream it would die of silver poisoning. It clawed the bullets out of its flesh as to avoid an untimely death and turned towards the Hunter. The shotgun wound was already starting to heal but that didn’t mean the silver wasn’t any less painful. It stood on its hind legs and was easily another foot-and-a-half taller than the five-foot-five hunter. “Why are you here wolfie?! And why were you hunting a human! You know what’ll happen for this right?” The werewolf stood in stunned silence for a moment but then replied. ” I know what I’ve done and I will accept my punishment. It shouldn’t have happened and now I’ve ruined an innocent boy’s life.” It was speaking telepathically as it physically couldn’t form the words with its mouth. “You’d better!” the Hunter threw what looked like a collar at the werewolf. It caught it and, knowing what would happen otherwise, put it around its neck. Its hands were deceptively dexterous for their size and with the pads that took up its palms. “Good, now bring the boy with you.” He shook his head as he said: “Because of you his life is ruined!”

I know what I’ve done Hunter, and I know that I will have to take him as my own because of it.” The Hunter remained silent and gestured for the werewolf to start walking. It walked over to the boy, picked him up, and slung him over its shoulder. The Hunter pointed in a direction and the werewolf started walking. “What’s your name wolfie?” the Hunter asked. It waited a moment then replied.

I am known as Lore.”

“The names White. There your customs are satisfied.” The customs in question were one of the Were’s codes of honor. Specifically your killer told you his name so you didn’t die in ignorance. They had walked in silence for the better part of thirty minutes. During which time Lore came to terms with what he had done.

They had arrived at a warehouse with a black light sign in the window that proudly displayed the words “Paranoia Effects” in the window. White held up a key card to a card scanner and the door’s lock disengaged. He held it open and Lore bent over to walk through the door. The boy had started twitching slightly on the walk there. But what was disturbing was that he was already starting to change. The hair on his arms was slowly getting thicker and denser as it turned into fur and he was making quiet growling and barking sounds in his sleep. He wouldn’t fully turn until he was awake, that was part of the Change, and he wouldn’t change until he could feel the pain that went along with it. White unlocked another door with an “Employees Only” sign on it. After walking about 10 feet they turned left down a hallway and mounted another staircase. After descending four flights of stairs White pulled out a different black keycard and held it in front of 4 different card scanners in a certain order. The door opened and they walked through the door and located on the far wall was the portal to Paranoia. It looked like a paper-thin waterfall contained within a hollow circle of pitch black stone. The room was well lit even though the portal produced its own light. Even so the stone still looked pitch black. As if it absorbed light. To someone who didn’t know what it actually was they would say it was some kind of obsidian. But it was actually a mineral not found on Earth. Lore didn’t know anything about it other than its name: Darknite. White trained the shotgun on Lore again and gestured for him to enter the portal. Lore walked towards the portal stopped, looked back and said: “I know it means nothing to you but I truly am sorry for what I’ve done to this boy, and I swear I’ll raise him as I would my own son”. He took off the collar and threw it back to White. The collar was covered in hypodermic needles loaded with some kind of silver. If his pulse rose too high for any reason it would inject the silver and kill him. He was lucky that White hadn’t antagonized him. He’d never had very much patience. He walked through the portal and with the sound of splashing water, vanished from sight.