Our protagonist follows his would be murderer to a cafe to ask her questions about his new found abilites. What could possibly go wrong?
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:Chapter 3: Lets go to a café.
The sound of gasping breathing snaps Cullum back into his present situation. The woman who just a moment ago was about to end his life is now using her last ounces of strength to desperately pull herself out of this alley by the tips of her fingers.
(How the hell was he able to do that?? How did I not notice he had manifest psychical abilities? Did he not even know he had them? I’ve researched this group for months now, did they just let this guy in? How didn’t I notice him!?) She can hardly move, her pain is so blindingly painful that every inch she moves forward, she feels as though she’s being hit in the stomach with a bat. (I can’t believe I was so stupid! How could I have been so careless! I can’t fight him so close to me, I need to get out of here and rethink my strategy...) Behind her she can hear Cullum's footsteps grow menacingly closer to her, all while only being able to drag herself one inch at a time. “Don’t move, I have questions I need answers to.” He’s right on top of her now, she not only feels it, she can see his shadow towering over her now. She gathers enough strength to roll over onto her back. “Do your worst, if you’re going to kill me get it over with because I won’t tell you a damn thing.”
“Jesus I wasn’t going to kill you! I mean, I would’ve when you were trying to kill ME but, you’re not a threat anymore so why would I-.”
“Not a threat? Don’t mock me, if you’re going to kill me after you’re done interrogating me just get it over with, but don’t pour salt on the wound.”
“Interroga-, what? God you’re aggravating.” Cullum crouches down with his hands on his knees. “I’m not interrogating you, I’m not going to kill you, and I’m not even insulting you! I just want to know what the hell you did to make everything look frozen and rewindy and, I don’t know, I think I’ve got the same kind of ‘abilities’ that you do, I want to know how this is happening, it doesn’t make sense.”
“Huh, you really don’t have any idea what’s going on.” The woman at last begins to regain her composure.
“Listen kid, this isn’t something you want to involve yourself in...” she struggles to regain her footing again. “No” he offers her a hand. “I have to know, or I’ll go the rest of my life hating myself for never finding out. You have to tell me what’s going on, let's say you owe it to me for not killing you.” The woman hesitates for a moment, but grabs his hand and comes to her feet.
“Listen boy, it’s-“ “Cullum, the name’s Cullum.” He smiles at her, she stares at him unblinkingly cold at him. “Boy” the smile leaves his face almost instantly. “I’ll tell you about what I know about these ‘abilities’ we have, but after that, You’ll go your way, and I’ll go mine. Don’t follow me” She grips his hand much tighter than before to add emphasis. “Or I’ll have to kill you” “Got it!” “Good, now, there's a café down the road, once we get there you’ve got ten minutes to ask what you want, then I’m gone. Say nothing on the way there, the last thing I need is to attract more attention.” As she begins to walk down the alley toward the café, Cullum pipes up. “If you’re trying to keep a low profile for whatever reason, then why do you want to go to a public café?” Without stopping she answers. “Because, nobody pays attention at a café, they’re busy talking to friends, or their phones or their waiters, its discrete, now come on.”
(This woman was trying to kill me not five minutes ago and I’m about to follow her to a café to talk about psychic powers. Yea, that’s cool, this is fine.) Cullum begins to follow the woman now making her way out of the alley, and as he steps into the sunshine he takes a deep breath as the warmth of the sun overtakes him. “Either follow me or don’t, just make your mind up.” He almost loses her in the afternoon crowd because of his lack of attention, but he manages to catch up with her.
(Why do I think this is a good idea? I don’t even know her name...) The birds continue to chirp, the children continue to play, and Cullum continues to follow the mysterious woman down the road to a bustling café. (No, there’s something about her, I feel as if she really doesn’t have an interest in hurting me, if she wanted to kill me she would’ve attacked me in the alley once she got distance, she even waited for me to catch up. I don’t know what it is, but I actually trust her.)
“Sorry, but we’ve run out of indoor seats, if you’ll sit outside we’ll be right with you!”
“Cullum, find a seat somewhere, I’ll be there in a bit.”
“Just any seat?” (Alright just get a seat, how hard can that be.) Briefly looking around for a seat, he notices almost all the seats are filled or only have one chair left. (Right, that Narrows it down) He finds a seat right next to the entrance, but as he makes his way over, another group gets there before he can make it. (Damnit.) He sees another table but before he can make a move, a woman with her 3 children snatch it up. (You’ve got to be shitting me!) Another minute of scanning and at last he sees it: the last free table. As he makes his way over, he notices a man carrying a coffee and a baggy also making his way toward the table. (Not this time you old fart.) He darts to the table, outrunning the old man. Finally Cullum makes it to the table and waves the Woman to the over to him.
“I found a spo-“ The woman stares him down. “What part about ‘be subtle’ did you miss? That means don’t wave.”
“You’ve got 10 minutes, go.”
Just then the waiter makes his way over to the table. “Welcome to the riverside café, what can I get you guys?”
“Surprise us.” The woman doesn’t break eye contact to place the order.
“Ten minutes? Now?”
“It’s more like 9 and a half.”
“When you said surprise you, did you mean a food or drinks or-”
“I said surprise us.”
“I don’t even know where to start I mean-“
“I just want to make sure that-“
“WATER BRING WATER!” He smacks his hands into the table out of clear aggravation.
“Getting aggravated like that is liable to get someone killed, especially with your abilities being manifest in your hands and feet.”
Cullum's’ aggravation slides turns to quizzical interest.
“Manifest in my hands? Adding a name doesn’t just make me know what the hell you’re talking about.”
“Don’t be a smartass.”
The Woman swings her leg over her other leg and leans back.
“Remember, 9 minutes, if you want to spend that 9 minutes being a pain in the ass go for it, but if you have actual questions you’re throwing away your time.”
“Right, sorry. I meant, what does that mean? ‘Manifest in my hands?’”
The Woman puts her elbows on the table, interlocking her fingers and leans forward.
“I mean that your ‘abilities’ are used by your hands and feet. My abilities are also manifest in my hands, but only my hands, and only if I put them together and look through them am I able to manipulate time, but only in the immediate area I can see.” She leans back into her seat, her fingers still locked together. “For you, it looks like you’re able to manipulate the wind and the air around you, when you smacked that table did you notice that couples water glasses fly off the table?” Cullum turns his head to see a waiter and the couple beside them cleaning up water from the table and the couples clothes. “Huuuh...” “ Not to mention-”
Cullum turns his head to see the woman now lifting her shirt slightly to show her stomach which now has a roughly foot shaped bruise right above her navel. “How you managed to kick me into a wall without touching me, and flung me to the ground without being anywhere near me, and from the look of it, and feel of it, you’re able to use a lot more force than you could ever do with your actual legs or arms.” “Ha, are you calling me weak.” “You have 5 minutes.”
Cullum's face droops and any semblance of happiness leaves his face.
“Fine, I have a few more questions and then I’ll leave.” The woman across from him nods and motions for him to continue.
“How long have you known you had, well, abilities?”
She puts her now balled up hands to her mouth and stares at the table.
“For about 4 years now, I-“
“How old are you? Wait, what’s your name?”
“Don’t interrupt me to ask a question when I’m already answering another one.”
She stares at the office building across the street from the café before she stares back at Cullum.
“As I was saying, I was 15 when I first discovered I had these abilities...”
“As for my name, it’s-“
“Here are your waters folks!” It’s a different waiter than before, he seems uncomfortable, no doubt because of Cullum's earlier outburst.
“Thanks, just set them on the table.“ She glances at the clock on the front of the office building and widens her eyes slightly.
“Cullum the 10 minutes are up, enjoy the water”
“Wait, your name-“
“You got your 10 minutes, I’m leaving, don’t follow.”
“But your name!”
As the woman stands to leave she knocks the water out of the hands of the waiter onto the table where it bounces onto the pavement.
“Sorry ma’am! I’ll get right on it!” The waiter leans over to pick up the now chipped and broken glasses.
“It’s fine I got it!” She leans over as well and tries to help pick up the remnants of the water glasses.
“What’s your name damnit!”
“Cullum, watch it-“
“WHAT. IS. YOUR. NAME!”
The woman raises her head slightly above the table so to be as clear as possible.
Cullum recoils slightly before he begins to rise from his seat to leave.
“NOW FUCK OFF OR-“
An explosive crack tears through the air before reaching its target.
Blood covers the diners behind the waiter, who’s head is now painted across a 10 foot area of dining area.
“AHHHHGHHH!” Cullum covers his head to avoid incoming chunks of brain and skull.
Amelia's eyes shoot up toward the office building.
In the distance, glare from a lens flashes, catching her eye.
“CULLUM! GET DOWN”
Amelia kicks the table toward Cullum, who barely manages to dodge it. Cullum scrambles behind the table, cutting his leg on the shattered water glasses in the process. “ACK!”
“Shut up and listen! This guy isn’t fucking around, if you’re fast enough you should be able to make a run for so when I give the signal I want you to-“
Another ear piercing explosion ends her sentence, as well as the life of the woman who tried to take off from her seat just a moment ago, who’s head now resembles scrambled eggs thrown from a roof.
“OK, SCRATCH THAT, STAY PUT”.
The second gunshot sends the formerly shocked and frozen crowd running and screaming in all directions. As more shots ring out and more people continue to collapse motionless on the ground , Cullum begins to question every choice he had ever made in his possibly soon to be short life that brought him to this point in life. (ARE YOU SERIOUS? NOW WE’RE GETTING SHOT AT? WHAT THE HELL IS THIS WOMAN INVOLVED IN!)
The pair are now stuck behind a table.