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He stumbled backwards, wiping the blood and spit from his mouth with his sleeve. He picked himself up from the dirt and tried regaining balance and a clear frame of mind. He looked around at his surroundings, all of it carried an heir of nostalgia, hitting him in the feels. Looking out over the ocean, watching the gulls hover, and the last moments of a sunset, he took in a deep breath of the ocean spray, being blown to the shoreline by the midsummer breeze.

Something festered deep in his gut, a feeling. He had no idea why right now he was being so emotional, but he let it out in the form of two small shimmering diamonds of sodium, that trailed their way down his face, before reaching his chin he wiped them away as well.

The image of a girl he thought he knew surged through his mind, leaving his ears ringing for a moment. He recognized her, though he knew he’d never seen her before. Tan, glasses, slender.

The image faded quickly however due to a sharp pain in his flank. Reaching down he touched a wet spot on his side with his fingers, bringing the fingers back up they were soaked in blood. Dizzy. Now he felt dizzy. The world spun round. He dropped to the ground, on his knees and exhaled the salty air. He leaned and fell onto his right side. The last conscious image he had was that of the silhouette of a person running away, off the beach, towards a well-lit city. Before closing his eyes he noticed half of a red apple in the dirt.

Night turned to morning.

Morning turned to day.

Day in the midsummer sun.

During this day, two joggers came by wearing what appeared to be spandex outfits, yet they were shimmering and shining in the sun iridescently, they almost appeared to be writhing. Almost passing the man, ignorant to his dilemma, one of the ladies stopped suddenly and had to do a double take on the man. She was instantly taken aback and put her hand to her mouth. Her friend removed what seemed to be headphones from her ears and stopped to see what her friend was looking at. She made an upward motion with her eyes, with that her tinted glasses instantaneously reverted into clear frames.

She too was struck in shock, it was a full minute before one of the women pulled from her armband, her phone and began dialing for emergency services urgently.

Chapter Text

The man had lost a lot of blood in the time between waking on the beach then reawakening in the hospital. So much so that his pulse was a faint murmur when the paramedics arrived on the scene. They got him on a gurney, that hovered just above the ground, and loaded him into the back of the ambulance, the two paramedics quickly jumped in the back and slammed the doors shut before speeding off to try saving him at the hospital.

The women were questioned by police at a nearby cruiser, explaining that they did not see any assailant when they found him. The police sent the women on their way and began investigating the apparent crime scene. Only finding a pool of blood and the dried out Apple halved.

While the group of police combed the beach a young officer, new to the force, noticed something.

"Sarg, come take a look at this." He said, the young officer was stood 5 foot 6, had short black hair combed over and had a well rested, fresh face. He hadn't seen any action since joining the force, in fact this was the first time he'd been called out to a scene.

"What is it Murphy?" Said sargeant Reynolds, walking over to where Murphy was crouched.

"Look, this doesn't add up." He pointed at where the man was found. "One man gets stabbed, then two girls jog by some time later."

"Your point being?" Asked sargeant. Two other surrounding deputies chuckled at what they thought was the rookie trying to act smart.

Murphy hesitated for a moment then looked up Reynolds.

"There's only three sets of foot prints..." He finally said.

"So what, the guy fell and stabbed himself." A deputy blurted out.

"With what? There was no weapon found." Replied Murphy.

"Someone came along and took the knife before the girls show up." The same deputy responded.

"Three sets of foot prints... Plus the girls were searched and questioned. No weapons." Murphy said. "Plus... That man wasn't wearing shoes, this third set of prints look to be boots of some kind."

Sargeant Reynolds stood, rubbing his chin.

"So how did our mystery guy end up on this beach?" Reynolds pondered out loud.