“I like him.”
Yun took a step back, and his heart hammered. “Oh, cool…”
Gale took a step forward, looking both concerned and afraid. “What’s…you’re not going to tell him, are you?”
Yun had something in his chest snap. “No… no… of course not.”
“Okay,” Gale said, then took another step forward. Too close. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
Yun nodded to her. “Yeah, I think I am coming down with something. Let me just—let me just…”
He lurched a bit as if about to vomit, and Gale nodded in a panic.
Yun ran off, out of the restaurant’s main dining area, and into the side hallway for the bathroom. He had his hands on the door before a force that was too much for him knocked him to the ground and made his head spin. He coughed hard and then noticed the marks on his hands.
Long, stretching, black ruptures. They hurt, and they stung, and he shivered.
“What is happening…?”
A gurgle escaped from his throat, and he rocked back and forth with the pressure of it. Finally, like foam from a rabid dog, he uttered his first unwanted words.
“I stole it.”
“I hate him.”
“I had sex with him.”
It was like he was being purged of his own organs. Feeling something like a stretch, like a tug, like a screaming void opening inside his skull.
And the black marks stretched into words. Some of them on his face. On his hands.
“I am the one who blew it up. I planted the bombs. I was the person who leaked the secrets to the rival company.”
He was not sure whose words these even were. He could see, in glimmers and bright flashes of colors, faces. Each of them some random person.
But, now, he was going to hold all their secrets.
He yelled out sharply and Gale found him.
“What’s happening?” she asked, skidding up alongside him. She took one look at him, and the panic on her face tripled.
Yun managed a second of clarity.
“I’m sorry—I kept too many secrets.”
And then the darkness of the ink squirmed at a faster and faster pace. They slid across him and sizzled. Each of the lines digging deeper paths of cutting, searing, acid. On the air itself, came the whispers of infidelity. Of secret meetings. Of kinks and fantasies and sexual proclivities that no one should know.
Privacy, in its energy, rippled out and took one person. It took Yun so that everyone else could have their secrets.
So someone could hold them all.
Yun let out a choked sound, before melting fully into that black ink, and sliding away into the ground, into the small grated vent, leaving nothing, not even a stench, on the world to remember him by—to think of him.
He took the secrets to the grave.
And Gale screamed and screamed and screamed.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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“Just Another Chosen One is a blisteringly paced, action-soaked debut from author Brandon Scott, sure to appeal to those who’ve gotten tired of reading the same old stories about the child of prophecy destined to save the world.”