He flipped on the shower and peeled the clothes from his body. His aging, reddened face stared from the mirror as the room began to fill with steam. Martin Keller, he thought, you deserve a vacation. Ten years of difficult research followed by a year of endless accolades and interviews had nearly drained him. Then there were the mysterious emails; he didn’t even want to think about them. He needed some time to simply relax and not think about anything for a while.
The image of his face wavered, and he caught the edges of the marble vanity. Odd, he thought, I’ve never felt light-headed after a run. He steadied himself for a moment, and watched the final fragments of his reflection disappear under the foggy haze.
The warm water pounded his face like a hard rain. He turned and allowed the shower to massage his shoulders and back. All sense and sound were swallowed in the soothing monotony of falling water and relaxing steam. He closed his eyes and drifted off.
A flash shuddered through his mind. Something’s wrong, he thought. Another spark, and a sharp pain in his head. He gripped his forehead, but his fingers felt strangely foreign against his hot flesh.
What’s happening to me? He opened his eyes and blinked, struggling to focus his surroundings. The water filling the bottom of the shower was stained red.
He held his hands before his face. They were covered with blood.
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