The days were boring and the nights were boring and lonely.
Samantha Groves had always been a loner. She was an IT consultant and a programmer working for one of countless IT firms in Silicon Valley. She wasn't particularly social and had never really liked people in general. She had tried dating few times with both guys and girls. She realized that she preferred girls. But either ways she hadn't found anyone she got along with.
Up until a few months back she didn't even mind being alone, but somehow in the past few months she had started to feel the loneliness. She had tried the whole dating thing again but with no luck. So, she had gone back to her daily life and accepted her fate for the time being.
She was also a part time hacker. She would indulge in it during the weekends. She wasn't into anything too dangerous or illegal, just some minor stuff. Her hacker name was Root. She liked that name more than Samantha and had often thought if she should have it legally changed.
But all those things kept aside, Root knew that there was something else seriously wrong with her. She was attracted to violence. The sight of blood was almost like an aphrodisiac. She had known it since she was a kid. She also knew that was capable of inflicting immense physical harm on others and that it made feel nice. More than nice, it made feel great. So far she had managed to hide that part of herself from everyone, even her parents. But it was this seed of darkness and chaos that was forever inside her, waiting for the right moment to blossom.
When she was fifteen there had a few cases of unexplained deaths in her neighborhood and school. A couple of bullies at school, an old man in the neighborhood and a teacher had all died in mysterious circumstances. There had been a thorough investigation but the detectives couldn't quite prove the deaths to be murders and had been eventually written off as accidents. Sam had enjoyed those kills but she knew that if she continued she would be behind bars before she even reached her eighteenth birthday or worse end up dead. So she had decided to bury that part of her deep inside herself. She had started to attend AA meetings and had hoped she could just treat it like a bad addiction but the feelings had refused to die away.
For twenty years those feelings had lain dormant inside her. She had refused to water that seed of chaos. But little did she know that all that was about to change that night and for the oldest and strangest of reasons.
Her day hadn't started like she would have wanted it to.
Samantha reached her office twenty minutes later than usual. The bus that she took to work was overcrowded and she couldn't get on it. So she had to wait for another one to show up while she planned on setting the previous bus on fire and watching everyone on it burn down to a cinder. The bus that she did manage to get on had a couple of young punks who just wouldn't shut up. They had also decided that she was very attractive and had managed to tell her that in a lot of very unsubtle ways. Sam smiled back at them sweetly as she worked the many ways in which she could kill them. As her stop neared and she stood up to get down, the punks decided to surround her, but Sam knew how to take care of herself. She had mastered the art of fighting while looking clumsy so no one ever thought that she had done it on purpose. She waited till the bus was close to the stop. She knew that the driver always opened the door slightly before the bus came to a complete stop and that there was an electric pole on the pavement next to the bus stop.
As the bus lurched towards the stop, Root turned towards one of the guys and used the bus's momentum and sway to ram her purse into his groin. The man doubled over and fell to the bus floor holding his genitals while his friends moved towards him to help. Sam moved back slightly and started to apologize for her clumsiness. At the same time the bus driver started to open the door out of habit. Root saw the door opening and she moved closer towards the fallen man and his friends. She saw the bus approach the pole and she made her move. She bent down to pretending to see if he was alright and she gently nudged his friend who was closest to the door. The man lost his footing and fell backwards. Root reached out to grab him but kept her hand pulled back just enough to be out of his reach. He fell through the open door and banged his head in the approaching pole and then bounced off it and hit the pavement with a sickening crunch.
The bus finally came to a stop and Root made sure she was the first one to rush to the fallen man's aid. Root knelt beside him as his friends came down as well as did the rest of the passenger. The man had definitely suffered some sort of major head trauma. As the crowd gathered around the man, Root quietly stepped away.
Root smiled and calmly walked towards her office. She turned around and saw the crowd starting still trying to help the guy. One of his friends was still holding on to his groin and was slightly bent over. Root chuckled and looked down at her watch and found out that she was almost fifteen minutes late. Her boss wasn't going to be happy about that. She cursed out loud and picked up the pace.
She found her new boss waiting by the entrance. He was a hard ass when it came to punctuality.
"Ms. Grooves, you are twenty minutes late."
Root looked at her watch and replied, "Fifteen."
"Not according to my watch. I will be deducting half a day's salary. You have been warned Ms. Grooves, If you are late again I might have to let you go" saying that her boss turned around and left, leaving Sam standing near entrance looking furious and wishing that everyone was forgiven at least one murder. In her case, maybe more than one.
But the day didn't improve. The office servers broke down because of the stupidity of one of the newbies and so she had to spend the rest of the day trying to bring them back online while everyone else kept asking her how long it would take. She felt like was on a road trip with a bunch of five year olds who all wanted to know if they were there yet. Every now and then her boss would drop by and threaten to fire her if the servers weren't up in a few minutes.
The day at last came to an end and all Root wanted to do was to go home and play some video games. The server repair had taken longer than she had expected and it was nearly half past ten when she exited her office building.
As she was waiting for her bus, her boss passed by her.
"Ms. Grooves, remember what I told you. Either you decide to be on time or not show up at all."
He smiled at her and walked away, Root stared at him with murderous intentions. It was then that it happened. It was late at night and the road was mostly devoid of traffic or people. Her boss decided to cross the road, when all of a sudden a car came careening around the corner. Her boss couldn't hear it because he had chose that exact moment to answer his phone.
It was as if everything slowed down. Samantha Grooves knew that she had enough time to warn her boss but chose not to do it. She watched as the car turned at approached her boss. The sound finally reached her boss's ear but it was too late to react. She saw his face slowly contort in surprise and then in horror as he saw the car racing towards him. The front of the bumper came in contact with his knees which, with impact, bent in the wrong direction. He was thrown in the air and then bounced of the hood of the car. She saw his face hit the hood of the car and saw a couple of teeth fly loose. The car showed absolutely no intentions of slowing down and her boss rolled over the top of the car and bounced off the trunk and landed with a bone crunching thud on the road. The car driver did not slow down and kept on driving.
As the car raced past Root, time once again seemed to flow at a regular pace. She looked around and found that she was the only living person that street. She slowly walked up to where her boss had landed and saw the body of her boss lying there twisted into impossible positions. Blood had started to leak out of his various orifices and had begun to pool around the body. She stood there and looked at the body in amazement. The blood pooling around was like water for that dormant seed inside her and the seed blossomed into a tiny flower.
But then something happened that she had never even dreamed off.
The shadows on the street started to converge. They raced from every dark corner and met in the centre of the street where they merged together to take form. They rose up and twisted and turned. The space around them distorted. They rose to a seemingly impossible height and then again shrank back. They formed a wall of darkness and then something stepped through. At first it was a leg and then an arm and then the shadows formed a clothing of sorts and a tall figure stood in the middle of the street next to the dead body of Root's boss. For a brief moment Root thought that she saw a giant scythe in the figure's hand. It turned to look at Root, but then it looked down again and it transformed once more. This time it shrank. The shadows became a hoodie and jeans and figure became a woman. The most beautiful woman Root had ever seen in her life.
It was then that Root realized that there was someone standing next to her. It was her dead boss, looking rather perplexed. He stood there staring at his body as his mind tried to come to terms with what had just happened.
"Wha… What's going on? Why am I lying on the road like that?"
Root jumped a little as she heard the ghost standing next to her speak. She was quite sure that she had finally lost her mind.
"You're dead, Mr. Mendez" said the woman in the hoodie. The voice sounded melodic, but it also sounded like it was coming over an immeasurable distance.
"But how?" Mr. Mendez was still struggling to understand what was going on.
"Well, didn't anyone ever tell you that you shouldn't talk on the phone while crossing the road?" The woman in the hoodie smirked and Root decided that she liked her. The woman stepped forward and held out her had for Mr. Mendez.
"It's time to go, Mr. Mendez. Heaven is waiting and I don't have all day."
"I can't be dead. I just got my promotion." The man begged.
"You should have thought about that before you took that call." Death tried to sound a little kinder, but was still regarding the dead man as an idiot.
Root stood there in her place as this entire scenario played out in front of her. Her boss finally took the woman's hand and they started to walk away. As she saw the woman walk away she broke out of her trance. She knew she had to say something. She couldn't just let her leave.
"Hi, I'm Root." Root blurted out.
Death stopped and turned around.
"What's your name?"
The woman kept staring at her. Death was surprised that this tall woman could not only see her but was actually trying to talk to her. It was amused, a feeling that it didn't feel very often.
"Can I see you again?" Root asked desperately, hoping to get some sort of a reply.
The woman in the hoodie tilted her head slightly and smiled. Root caught her breath. It was the most dazzling smile she had ever seen.
"Curious. Very curious." Death finally spoke and then she turned around and disappeared into the shadows with Root's boss.
The street was once again empty and all that was left were Root and the dead man on the road. Root looked at the spot where the woman had disappeared and she could still see the faint glimmer of that smile. Root was in love. She had to see that woman again.
She just didn't know how.