A to Z 2017: UNWELCOMED

He wiped the foggy mirror with his hand, leaving a streaked reflection that slowly began to blotch in response to the steamy air that was still circulating in the bathroom. A few passes of a hand-towel over it bought him a little more time before his image faded. Resting one hand on the counter top next to the sink, he leaned in close to the mirror. With his free hand he pulled down underneath his left eyelid with a finger, exposing his eye more, which he attempted to widen as much as he could. Then repeated the process with the other.

The lack of sleep showed in his demeanor and face. Especially the empty look in his brown, sunken in eyes, puffy and slightly darkened rings housing them. Even the worry and concern over recent events had become exhausted, leaving no traces across his blank expression. Just the ever pressing need for sleep. It was really doing a number on his ability to capitalize on his boyish charm with the ladies.

He patted his chest with another towel, soaking up the remaining water droplets dancing across his smooth, dark skin, following the contour of his rippling physique. His figure was slim, but defined. As much as he liked the thought of a workout — it usually helped clear his mind — the lack of sleep and food dictated that he opt for a relaxing evening instead. He wrapped the towel around his waist and opened the bathroom door to go out into he living room. Switching the light off as he exited plummeted him into darkness.

Assuming the bulb had burnt out in the lamp he had turned on before jumping into the shower, he couldn't help but to go test switching it on and off again a few times before retrieving a new one, just to make sure. After a few steps down the hall he felt an odd wave of static washing over him. It grew stronger the closer he got to the living room. Coming to where the hall opened up into it, there was a side-table against a couch lining the wall. His eyes attempted to adjust to the blackness, some ambient light provided through the window shades.

He reached down to toggle the lamp switch a few times. There was a sudden soft glow from the middle of the room, a ball of flickering blue and white, illuminating a tall, shadowy figure.

"You're a hard man to find, Samson."

Instinctively, Samson grabbed the lamp by the neck and hurled it at the intruder, but the cord catching and being yanked from the socket caused it to fall short. The lamp slammed down on the coffee table with a shattering clamor. In the same instance, he felt an electric current slam into and begin flowing through him. His body jarred, muscles tensing. He was unable to move.

"That's no way to treat a guest is it? I'm going to start thinking I'm not welcomed." The man's scratchy voice was speckled with amusement.

Samson remained in a state of suspended animation, staring at the stranger's glowing eyes, which were sparking a similar blue as the ball of electricity he had bouncing around his opened hands placed in front of him. He could feel the energy flowing through his body, pulsing intermittently like a heartbeat.

"Who... are..." he began to say through gritted teeth.

"My name is Jericho, but you know, I've been contemplating something new. Volt maybe? What do you think of that? Or Voltage?" The stranger seemed to expect an answer, but continued when he didn't reply. "I've come a long way to find you. You didn't make it very easy. To be fair, I'm not very technologically savvy. The internet and online monikers and all. I may have made a few mistakes," the man reminisced, "along the way." There was a shrug. He was still unable to make out the man's face, even with the hazy light, but he appeared to be wearing some sort of mask. A duster and boots.

"Oh... great..."

"What's that?"

Samson could feel the strength of electricity coursing through him subside slightly, allowing him to talk more freely.  "Oh great," he continued with his earlier remark, "with everything else going on, I get to deal with a deranged cowboy named Sparky too."

Samson let out a yell, before having it cut off, as the intensity of the electric pulse spiked. The rest of the lights and electronics in the apartment responded in unison, flickering on and off. In the light he noticed that the man wasn't wearing a mask, but that his face and most of his exposed skin was shriveled and scarred. Jericho moved aside to reveal a chair, which he grabbed, brought over, and placed it behind Samson. With the current being manipulated within him, he was forced to sit down in the chair.

"You have a mouth on you, don't you?" The man walked back around him so that they were facing one another. He was, once again, unable to move, locked in his sitting position, staring at Jericho. Tendrils of electricity were beginning to shift up the man's arms. The lights were still surging and then dimming as his assailant pumped more juice into him. "It's that mouth that's brought me to you. Your bragging about knowing people. People like myself." Jericho made two fists and brushed them against one another, arcs sparking and jumping between his knuckles. "Special."

"I... don't... know... what...," Samson forced the words out, against his restrictions, "you... are... talking... about..."

Jericho sighed and took a deep breath. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. You're going to tell me exactly what I want to know, because if you don't..." Jericho trailed off in thought. "If you fuck around and waste my time, Samson, I'm going to have to turn it up a notch or three. And that's when things get a bit... sketchy. Because the more I amp it up, the more I want to lose myself in its magnificence. So do yourself a favor, and tell me what I want to know, and you may just make it out of this alive."

Samson's captor sneered and assaulted him with additional surges of electricity, creating another light show, just to drill the point home.

Thanks for reading! What did you think about the piece? Any constructive criticism is welcomed!