Penance – A prelude

It was a cold winter’s night, as Colt solemnly stood over a grave with tear laden eyes. The harsh winter gales stung on contact with his skin, but he paid no heed. Suddenly a sound emanated from the marble tomb that he stood only inches away from, he stumbled backwards in fright as a girl crawled her way out of the dirt and even though her sockets were devoid of eyeballs it seemed as if she was staring into his very soul. She innocently asked, “Why couldn’t you save me, Daddy”? She cried tears of blood before she gripped his throat with her cold lifeless hands.

Colt jolted upright from his almost lucid nightmare with sweat trickling down his forehead. With a deep breath, he collected his disturbed mind and grimaced, as the painful memories of the dreaded day came flooding back.

As he stood up and peered out of the window of his mundane two-bedroom flat he was greeted by the unpleasant image of a city riddled by infernal riots just a year ago. Barren roads and empty malls were all reminders of the hellish grip of “Pretense”.

One fateful morning all law enforcement agencies of the country were informed of a hallucinogen named “Attention”. The accursed drug seemed to bind in a hundred per cent synchrony with all the receptors in the body inducing a pure euphoria like state and heightened attention spans as the name suggests. Within months, no weeks the drug spread like wildfire to every corner of the country. It was soon discovered by the government that a group of renegade ex-communicated militants who called themselves “Pretense”, had a singular goal to plunge the country into a state of constant anarchy. They were the ones behind the drug manufacture and the riots that had occurred.

Unexpectedly, the distribution of the drug completely ceased with no prior hint of slowing down. The baffled law enforcement officials soon understood why “attention” had zero chances of withdrawal and drove anyone off the drug to pure insanity. The Government soon put together a fifteen man squad of the most skilled and decorated law enforcers in their respective fields to put a stop to the warmongering agenda of “Pretense” with military war veteran -Colt Jones as the head. The squad was soon nicknamed “The Writers” by the public as the fate of the country was in their hands. The Writers were given the official license to kill at will, with no repercussions, within the first 2 months of the squadron being given access to any facilities needed. They brought the crime rates down by a staggering 78 per cent. Even though the public celebrated their unwavering efficiency, deep down they knew that this was just the tip of the iceberg and soon they had to dance in the devil’s den.

The first attempt at taking down Pretense did definitely not go like planned at least not for Colt Jones as it was the day the nightmares began…

Graphics by: Anjali Dinesh


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