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Human clad Monsters

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Prologue

Hizumi stood before the apartment building, then looked up starting at the tall, narrow building before him. Rows of windows came into his view like various pairs of blank eyes. From where he stood the young man could see no light coming through the windows, nor did he hear any noise cased by human's activity. In fact, the entire building seemed deserted, unwelcoming in a gray, cloudy afternoon like this.

The gloomy sight of the apartment building before him and its surrounding did nothing to light Hizumi's mood, nor lesser the worry in his heart, but the dark haired man knew he couldn't back down now. After all, he was here for a reason.

With no one else in sight and the building's entrance left empty, unguarded before him, Hizumi made his way into the lobby. Things still didn't improve much inside the apartment building, everywhere he looked, all the deep brown haired teen could see included worn wallpaper that peeled back, uneven floor and the darkened staircase nearby. The few light bulbs above head were dim and unsteady, causing shadows to linger around the corners.

Ignoring the growing discomfort, Hizumi entered the elevator and pressed the button to the 14th floor. He was here to visit a friend, and he refused to be discouraged by the unwelcoming sight he'd encountered, and his own impulsive sense of grimness.

He was on his way up, straight to his friend's apartment and knock on the door, though his visit was entirely unannounced and uninvited.

Honestly speaking, it wasn't his fault he was forced to pay his friend this surprise visit, but the friend in question, Karyu, one of his very best friends, had left him little choice.

Truth be told, Hizumi hadn't seen his friend for days. No, in order to be particular, an entire week had passed since the last time Hizumi saw his friend.

The two of them were close, being friends for years meant they knew each other well and had long used to hang out with each other, all the time. Therefore the fact that Hizumi hadn't seen Karyu, or heard anything from the other man for so long a time, made him worry for his friend's well-being, suspecting something was not alright with the latter.

A week ago, when Karyu failed to show up in one of their hanging out section, without even making a phone call to call off their gathering;  Hizumi became concern, immediately he tried to contact Karyu through the phone but all of his calls went unanswered.

As it turned out, Hizumi wasn't the only one to have lost contact with the blond haired man. A few days later, he asked a handful of their mutual friends, but the same like him, they hadn't seen Karyu showing up anywhere, no one had heard anything from the blond neither.   

With all those thoughts in his mind, Hizumi waited for the elevator to stop at the 14th floor, then he walked along the hallway, heading toward where he knew Karyu's apartment was.

The sound of his own footsteps echoed around him, the further he walked, the more Hizumi became aware of how utterly quiet his surrounding was. The brown head  frowned, he had visited Karyu's neighborhood for various times, but the apartment building had always been filled with all kind and manner of noise: people talking among themselves in the lobby, television programs, housewives scolding their kids, the vague sound of household's activities behind doors etc. But today, as unsettling as it was, all of those sound was eerily missing. Now there was only silence filling up every single space.

Hizumi shivered at the thought, he couldn't help wondering what was with his friend this time. Was Karyu to busy to contact any of his friends? No, it didn't seem likely.

Was it possible that Karyu had simply left town for the time being? Still it wasn't likely for his friend to just leave without telling any of his friends. Karyu wasn't that kind of person.

So did Karyu get ill, sick enough he couldn't leave his home nor answer the phone? Or was it something else even more ominous than this?

Swallowing a lump back down his throat uneasily, the slim youth crossed the remaining short distance between him and his friend's apartment. In no time at all he was right in front of the door.

For a long moment, Hizumi only stood there, he knew he was supposed to just knock the door and get rid of the suspense hanging heavily above his head. But......damn! Why would he be so nervous all of a sudden? As if...as if.......

As if he was afraid of what he might find behind that thin frame of door.

But that kind of thought was absurd, wasn't it? If he went ahead and knocked the door, he would only find either Karyu was at home, or he wasn't. There should be nothing else! Nothing to be nervous about!

Taking a deep breath, Hizumi raised his hand and knocked it against the door frame.

In the oppressive silence, the noise that echoed off the hallway was much louder than Hizumi had intended it to be.

When the echo of the knocks died down, silence once more filled the hallway. Everything was so very quiet, Hizumi could ever heard his own soft breathing clearly.
For almost of full minute, the brown head tried his hardest to listen to any hint of movement from behind the door, but he heard nothing. His knocks were met with absolutely no response.

The brown haired man tried knocking the door again.

"Karyu kun? Are you home?"

When there was still no response. Hizumi chose to call out, hoping to arouse his friend's attention-just in case the latter was really inside.

There was still no response. Clearly no one was rushing forward to answer the door any time soon. It was so quiet, indicating that the room behind the locked door before him was deserted, not a living thing was inside Karyu's home at the time being.

In fact, it felt like not only Karyu's home, the entire floor seemed to be deserted, voided of life, of any humanly presence.

 

The last two thoughts sent a shiver down Hizumi's spine. Suddenly he felt painfully alone, exposed. Unsafe.

 

Unconsciously, Hizumi took a step back, breathing in and out slowly to calm his nervousness.

It was when he first noticed,  before he realized daytime had came to an end, the long dark shadows of night had already slipped into the long hallway.  

Finding himself alone in the middle of a darkening empty hallway, although it might sound a little foolish, but Hizumi's uneasiness only seemed to grow, adding to the worry which was there weighting him down. Why would the bad feeling lurked in his mind just wouldn't go away?

Why he had such a strong feeling--purely out of instinct, that something bad might befall Karyu?

Quickly Hizumi shook his head, tried to get rid of the ominous sensation that was raising up from his inside again.

Karyu's not here. It was no use staying...

With that thought in his mind, the brown haired youth turned away from his friend's apartment door, ready to leave.

But all of his action came to a halt as he frozen at the sight of a dark figure standing just a few feet from him.

The figure stood motionlessly in the middle of the hallway, blocking his way.

With the sun long set below the horizon, with no light on and the long hallway still shrouded in the semi-darkness of dusk, the towering figure seemed to appeared out of no where.

And Hizumi could swear no one else was there just mere seconds earlier!

He didn't hear the elevator's doors opening, he didn't hear any footfall, he didn't hear anyone approaching, in fact he didn't hear anything!

Hizumi went completely still, frozen at his spot as if he was roofed to the floor. All he could do was to stare at the other man in shock.

Only when the tall figure took another step forward, then did Hizumi manage to realize who was now standing before him.

It was someone who was familiar with, the one he was looking for.


"--Karyu!?"

to be continued.

That's for tonight! Comments are love!