Echoes of Power
They played together, communicating through the audio channels that the game servers provided, until Bryan was finally called for dinner. Alexandre then looked at the time and noticed they had been playing for almost two hours. Dang it! He thought as he realized he had to prepare dinner, I played too long! He closed the game and put the computer in sleeping mode before hurrying to the kitchen. 8:32 p.m. He still had time to prepare some food, his father wouldn’t be home soon if he guessed right, probably not before 10 p.m. at least. He was finishing the cooking of some sausage with carrots and peas when he received a message from his father telling him he would be home late in the evening.
The teenager took advantage of the fact that he was home alone once more and sat in front of the television to watch a movie while he ate. He flicked through the great number of available channels and ended up watching the last movie of the Hard Death series, one of the rare action movie franchise he actually enjoyed watching. Plus he hadn’t seen the last one so this was a win-win situation. If he had been asked, in that precise moment, how he would describe his life, the teenager would have very easily and with certainty answered normal, commonplace even, with the exception perhaps of his best friend’s condition. There also was the question of his sanity, but that was another matter, the answer to the voice’s existence was very probably psychological. Nevertheless, the teenager could never have been able to guess what was soon to come.
He had sometimes wondered, quite often actually, if anyone else knew about Bryan. If his parents and his family knew who, or rather what, he really was? Or had his best friend struggled all his life, alone and scared, to keep it hidden from others? It had been so long since he had seen his friend transform, couldn’t it have been an illusion? A creation of his mind? Much like the strange voice? For a second he almost believed it, but then he remembered very vividly what had happened that evening. No, it was real. His best friend was… different, he was something else. He couldn’t ignore the signs. Someone who didn’t know the tall dark-haired teenager would have shrugged at these details but Alexandre knew better, his best friend’s physical shape, his great eyesight and insane sense of smell.
Plus he always seemed calm but, from time to time, Alexandre could see the glimmer, a strange light in his friend’s eyes, going as quick as it came. But it was there, Bryan’s face grew pale for a second and he would become incredibly tense, before relaxing and acting as if nothing had ever happened. No, there were these show and tells that he couldn’t ignore. But, if it all was true, what did it mean? What else was there, out there in the world? What other strange things really did exist? He had asked himself the same question a number of time over the years but he could never formulate an answer… All he knew was that the world wasn’t always what it seemed to be, it was a much more wild and dangerous place than he could ever have imagine. It was a new and dangerous world that seemed to have opened its doors to him.