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(continued)

Banks, OR

April 21st, 2020

I feel more lost now than I have in a long, long time. Ever since Optimal my life has been spiraling out of control, surrounded and enveloped by those around me that shared the experience and died all the same. Their deaths were released at various moments that were deemed suitable to those in charge, as no one has ever called it an epidemic. When you think about it the death toll in America alone reaches around 6 to 7 thousand a day, A DAY. The numbers that took part in the Optimal project were nothing to move around, and only a minor pittance really to shuffle away under different headings. An accident here, a murder there, and anything and everything in between along the way.

You might think that makes me sound paranoid, but I did my research and have deduced that every last person that was a part of the project has died due to mysterious circumstances that seemed to be out of anyone’s control. They died in ways that couldn’t be explained I’m convinced, and so those that were in charge of keeping this quiet were tasked with making it look like something else. I’m sure I don’t want to know what they have in store for me.

My head is hurting so badly at this point that I don’t have a choice. A simple flex is enough to render me visible again, but no one’s around to notice it, as far as I can see. The others are back though, but none of them seem to be paying me any mind at the moment. Looking around the porch that I’m hiding behind shows that the agents are out of the building and are moving back towards their cars, which happen to be not too far from my hiding space.

It’s thankful enough that there aren’t any of them in the vehicles at this moment, as I’d have already been spotted. As it is there’s a short section of white-painted fence separating me from the narrow alleyway between City Hall and the building next to me, and it’s easy enough to go up and over. This isn’t the first fence I’ve ever climbed obviously and I doubt it will be the last. For now though I just want some distance between me, the agents, and the others if I can get it.

I’m about ready to breathe easy when I drop to the grassy and weed-choked ground of the alleyway, but it sticks in my throat instantly. I can feel my jaw clench as my body begins to shake, the fear gripping me in a way that I can’t hope to shake in that moment at what I see in front of me.

It’s an other, and as the first ripple hits me I look down, seeing the translucent arm of the other as it disappears into my chest….

(to be concluded)

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