“Holy shit is that Marc??’” I stares dumbfounded at the man across the bar from me…who is my brother. My married, work crazy brother who lives in phoenix is somehow on the other side of the bar chatting up some girl. What the hell is going on?? “What’s wrong Tommy?” says Jack, my longtime buddy from work who has apparently noticed my obvious confusion and is a little worried.
“What are you staring at?” Jack starts sporadically scanning the bar trying to find anything worthy of a stare, knowing Jack he’s more than likely trying to find some hot chick to stare at. Meanwhile, I am still pretty dumbfounded by Marc, literally feet from me. But it might just be a weird mix up, Marc and I were never that close anyway. Maybe he just has a business meeting in town and didn’t think to call ahead. That’s probably it. No matter what, though, I think I should just call Marc and see what he has to say. I don’t want to go up to him, just in case something shady is going on. You never really know with Marc
So I call…and Marc answers…but Marc doesn’t actually pick up the phone. At least Marc here in the bar doesn’t, he’s still hitting on this girl. But that’s definitely Marc's voice on the phone. “Hello…Hellooo. Butt dial I guess.” Then Marc hangs up. Someone who is definitely Marc hangs up. That guy who is maybe Marc though, he doesn’t even turn to look.
“Tommy!, hey dude earth to Tommy.” Then while I’m deep in thought, Jack's voice breaks through, seems he couldn’t find any girls to stare at and is genuinely worried about me now. I look at Jack and without even thinking about what he’s about to do says, “Hey Jack you see that guy over there talking to the blonde in the purple skirt.” “Yeah…” Jacks clearly not impressed. Jack's the kind of guy that will save his buddy’s from the worst of disasters, but give him a “truly hot chick” and there goes the heroics. He considers himself a connoisseur. I put up with it. But anyway. “That guy next to him, I swear on everything I own that that is my brother Marc”
“Wait, you’ve told me about your brother…the one that lives in phoenix right?”
“Yup that’s the one, but here’s the catch. I just called my brother and while the voice that answered was my brothers the man over there did not pick up his phone.”
Jack looks a bit dumbfounded by this new development. But then his face gives a clear look of cynicism. “Tommy are you sure you haven’t had a little too much to drink, you said yourself your brother lives in phoenix. What would he be doing in St. Louis? Does his job require any travel?
“Then there you go! So while maybe this guy might be a look alike, there’s no way he’s actually your brother. And we have been drinking for a few hours so I think it’s time we call it a night.” But I refuse to let it go. I just keep staring at my brothers look alike and I can’t help really starting to think about what Jack said.
Tommy then starts to get so deep in this inner argument that He doesn’t even notice when the man that might be his brother looks at him and winks. He doesn’t notice this. He does notice however when the man starts walking towards him, looking more than a little pissed off.
Maybe Marc then starts walking towards me, and he definitely isn’t happy. “Hey buddy I don’t know who the hell you are, but I’m trying to have a nice night with my girlfriend and you keep giving me the evil eye. Back off!” That definitely sounds like Marc. But Tommy is right, that’s crazy to say.
After a few minutes of silence, this guy I have all but fully decided isn’t Marc walks away and heads back to the lady he’s been talking with. I immediately feels like a creep, I have been staring at this innocent dude almost all night. I then turn to Jack and say “You know what, you’re right. Let’s call it a night. I just need to do one thing first. Can you go out and call a cab, I’ll be right out.” Jack nods and then heads out. With him out, I start heading to the door but take a slight detour towards the guy that’s definitely not Marc. I still feel bad, and I want to apologize for the creepiness. I spot the guy’ back as he keeps talking to the same girl. I walk up behind him and tap him on the shoulder. “Hey dude, I just wanted to apologize…” Wait, that’s definitely not Marc. What? The man that’s definitely not Marc turns around and…he’s definitely not Marc. Like his whole face has changed. Instead of being the rugged bearded Marc I have known my whole life, this guy is now bespectacled and clean shaven. Okay, maybe I have had a little too much to drink. I head back out to the street without another word said, where Jack has just gotten in the cab. I follow him in. “Let’s go home”
The next half an hour consists of just a normal cab ride, me getting up to my house, and passing out.
“tap tap tap.” A few hours into my sleep though I’m woken up by a slight tapping on my window. That’s weird. I get up out of bed and look out to see what’s going on…just a tree. When the hell did I enter a horror movie? Oh well, now that I’m up I really got to pee. After taking care of that urge though I go back to bed and the tap tap tapping keeps going. I’m about to fall back asleep when I give the tree one last look, and right when I’m about to close my eyes…I shoot right out of bed, my eyes open as wide as humanly possible and I scramble as fast as I can manage to the other side of my bedroom. As far from the window as I can. Because right where that tree used to be is now my brother Marc, standing there with a huge face distorting smile. He just stares at me slowly tapping on the window with his knuckles. I try to compose myself and I stand up refusing to let go of my stare on him for a single second. I have no idea what to do. Without even thinking I slowly start to shift over to my nightstand to grab my phone. I have no idea what calling 911 will do, but I can’t think of any other plan of action. Marc is still standing there and besides the slight wrist movement, he hasn’t moved an inch. Right as I grab the phone though all of my attention is immediately drawn to him. His arm that has been just dangling by his side immediately moves up to the same height as his upper body. His index finger then starts to move in a gesture recognizable by everyone in the modern world. “No no no.” I can almost hear Marc say. I drop my arm from its goal of grabbing the phone and just stand there. My heart starts pulsing faster and faster, what the hell is going on?? I have no idea. Marc then bring his hand up to his neck and makes a cutting motion with his thumb. Before I can respond in any way. Three more figures slowly appear from the shadows of my room. Jack…the girl Marc was talking to at the bar…and myself. WHAT THE HELL??? My brain almost doesn’t recognize it at first but that is definitely myself, as I look right now. If he wasn’t slowly walking towards me I would swear there was a mirror there I had just never noticed. But that’s definitely not a reflection. And these three new people are just slowly circling me. Like a pack of wolves with prey in sight. Their faces even resemble some predator. But I make the first move. With only three of them they left a pretty good hole to the door. I dash to it without a second thought. One of them tries to stop me but they only get a good swipe on my arm and though I’m now bleeding I make it out into the hallway and am able to dash into my office. I quickly lock the door. I’m now on my laptop and if anyone gets this email I’m writing and I’m really able to send it before they successfully break in. Don’t help, I’ll already be gone. Don’t go to the police, they won’t believe you. Just remember this, don’t trust anything. Believe what you see even if it can’t be true. And if anything that’s happened to me ends up happening to you. Good luck. I have no idea who these things are or what in the actual hell they want but all I know is
Now somewhere in a giant room full of filing cabinets and documents we see two military looking men poring over a document in a vanilla folder that appears to be the copy of an email.
“Is that all we have”
“Yes, sir that’s all that was found on the laptop in the house. He was unable to send it”
“And what of his body”
“Sir there was nothing in that house that even resembled a body but we definitely know he’s no longer alive”
“Okay…mark that file as open and let’s move on to the next one”
“Sir one last thing. What should I name these creatures.”
“Let’s call them the followers”