The cold wind bit against his face, tears freezing on his cheeks. The cold had descended on Chicago and with it the bleak and dark nights. It whipped around them, but Hunter didn’t feel it. All he felt was numb. It was everywhere, there was no escaping it. The scent metallic and acrid, so strong he could almost taste it. Hunter’s body shook; from the shock or the cold he couldn’t tell. His hands grabbed and clutched, holding the body closer. Trying to hold onto Sunny's life. Trying and failing…as usual.
His hands were covered; drenched in blood. He wore it like a second skin. It seeped into his pores, into his very soul as each second counted down. Each second that carried Sunny farther and farther away. The scream that should have torn through the night stuck in his throat. His lungs burned, but he couldn’t pull in enough air. Hunter shook with fear and anguish. The seconds ticked by dragging Sunny’s life with him. Sirens and stranger’s yells filled the air around him, but all that Hunter heard were the final gasps of life. Each breath was another stab at his heart, another tear into the life they had created.
Sunny was cold, so very cold. Hunter held him closer, willing him…begging him to stay. He was so very cold. Seconds ticked by, each one pulling them farther and farther apart. A sob escaped his lips, first one then another until they could no longer be held back. Someone tried to pull Sunny away, but Hunter couldn’t, he just couldn't let him go. This could not be the end. Sunny couldn’t leave him, not yet. Hands grabbed at his shoulders but still he fought back. Hunter couldn’t let him go, he couldn’t give up. Hunter was torn away; he couldn’t keep his grasp on Sunny. He was gone, there was nothing left. Hunter could feel the rage building inside of him. Sitting on the cold Chicago sidewalk; Hunter was ready to explode. “NOOOOO…” The scream was torn from the depth of his soul.
The sweat cooled on his skin. Fine tremors still wracked his body. All these years later and still the nightmare attacked him as if it were yesterday. All this time and the hole that Sunny’s death had created still threatened to swallow him whole. Scrubbing his hands over his face, Hunter took a few deep breaths. There was no use in trying to sleep anymore. Any ability to rest was torn from him, just as any hope of peace. Hunter rolled to his feet, moving through his darkened apartment. The darkness no longer held him in fear. No, these days the darkness should be afraid of him.
Feb. 16, 2019, 9:56 a.m.
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