THE SYMBOL

THE SYMBOL

By:  Frankie Nero.  Ongoing
Language: English
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Julian Fernandez. A man in his late twenties who is antisocial, stoic and views relationships as a fallacy. However, his life takes a twist when it's evident that he is caught up in a generational curse. It all begins when he notices that he's the only one who can see a strange tattoo that randomly appears on people. Believing he's going insane, Julian seeks help from friends and professionals. The problem is the tattoos are the least of his worries. There's something more menacing that's after him. It's up to him to know who's the friend..... And who's the foe.

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20 Chapters
Chapter 1
It seemed to rain endlessly. It had been like that for the past five hours. Julian leaned into the sofa as he shut his eyes and tried to tune out the excited chatter around him. He would open his eyes at intervals when he heard a laugh or a shout from Sam. The latter was definitely having the time of his life. He had gained promotion at work, hence the mood for a celebration.   Try as much as he could, Julian knew it was fruitless. He was going to be part of the party whether he liked it or not. The living room was just prepared for that. The large mahogany table in the center was adorned with all sorts of liquor. Few meters away from where Sam stood talking with his girlfriend, Cheryl, was another large table with lots of snacks on top. Nancy, Julian’s colleague, was seated at another sofa with Trish, flipping through a magazine. Julian watched as her eyes would narrow behind her glasses every time she flipped a page. Beside them was Randal ransacking the frid
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Chapter 2
The scowl never left Julian’s face as everyone gathered around the table and Sam placed the bottle on top of it. Of all the things Trish could think of, it had to be truth or dare?  From what Julian knew about the game since time immemorial, it always ended badly. Relationships shattered and personal secrets revealed. He wasn’t keen on it and made it an obligation of his to stay away from such activities. Besides they were supposed to have outgrown such ridiculous games. Then again, he never associated Trish and maturity in the same sentence. “Alright, I’m going first.” Randal declared. He spun the bottle and it stopped with the top pointing at Nancy.“Terrific.” She whispered.“Nancy, truth or dare.” Randal said.“Truth.” She replied quickly.“Oh, come on. You really had to start with a truth?!” Trish cried out.“Hey, it’s not against the rul
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Chapter 3
Sam sighed as he entered the bedroom. Cheryl lay on the far end in a tank top and nothing else. If Sam’s mind wasn’t clouded at the moment, he would have made an amorous move on her.After Julian had left earlier, along with Nancy and Randal following shortly afterwards, Cheryl decided to pass the night. Sam had no objections to that as his mind was on something else.He couldn’t shake off the feeling that something wasn’t right. Why did Julian act strange earlier? He rubbed his neck as he looked into the mirror in front of him. He was still yet to spot the so called tattoo that Julian claimed he saw. Julian was never a prankster or joker and if Sam remembered correctly, Julian never drank alcohol. Or at least he didn’t see Julian take one that night. Or was Julian hallucinating? With all the unanswered questions in his head, Sam made his way over to the bed and lay down. Cheryl took her eyes away from the novel she was readin
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Chapter 4
  It was a new day. The sun rose from the east, bright and beautiful. Julian rose from the bed, gloomy and irritable. Running a hand through his hair, he felt like everything and everyone should just go to hell. The alarm clock beside him read 6:30AM. He was thirty minutes early from his normal wake up time. He lay back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. The previous night was still fresh on his mind. He didn’t exactly leave Sam’s place in good spirits. He was so angry that night that he didn’t bother eating anything when he got home and just went straight to bed. Right now, the consequence manifested in form of a growling stomach.Julian ignored it as he pondered on the actions of his friends the previous night? Did they plan to play a joke on him? He doubted it because he was very sure Nancy wouldn’t be part of it. All the years he had known her, he had always seen her as the nerdy bookworm. Yes, she had her moments where she cou
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Chapter 5
“Mr. Wyatt, you have a lovely home here.” The blonde southerner raised her eyebrows in admiration as she surveyed his living room. It was quite large and spacious. It housed several large sofas, a large glass table, a stone fireplace at the far end underneath a hug flat screen TV mounted on the wall. The crystal floors sparkled as the blonde noticed she could see her reflection in them.“Thank you, Kate. And call me Ted. I’m not that old, you know?” Mr. Wyatt joked.The blonde, Kate, ignored his comment with a wry smile and walked about the living room to continue her survey. Mr. Wyatt’s eyes dilated in lust as he caught side of her bouncy backside when she walked past him. She stood in front of the fire place, staring curiously at a photo frame. The frame displayed Mr. Wyatt standing beside a woman with his arm around her shoulder. The woman looked ten years younger than him. Kate guessed she must have been in her late
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Chapter 6
The incessant pounding of the door roused Julian up from  bed the next day. It was a Saturday and he wanted nothing more to do than to sleep till noon. Grumbling in anger, he ignored the knocks and placed the bed covers over his head. The knocking didn’t stop. It became louder. Julian tossed the covers away from his head away, got up swiftly from the bed and walked out of the room.“I guess the universe keeps devising new methods to provoke me.” He grumbled as he stomped down the stairs.He reached the door to his living room and opened it to find Randal at the other side folding his arms. And Randal did not look happy at all.“Randal?” Julian scratched his head in confusion.“No, it’s Don Quixotte.”  Randal muttered dryly.  “Of course, it’s me. Julian, what’s wrong with you?”“What do you mean?”  Julian frowned.“I’m talking about yesterd
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Chapter 7
   ‘DR. LORETTA TORRES.’ Julian stared at the name on the rectangular gold frame nailed to the door. Nancy had somehow managed to convince him to come here. After looking up different professionals on the internet, this was the only one they could get that was within town.Parapsychologist? Each time Julian tried to roll it off his tongue, it sounded strange to him. Like an Arabic language. Where did Nancy get all these kind of ideas?Julian did not realize he was staring at the door for almost five minutes until a voice called out to him.“ I think she’s ready to see you now, Mr. Fernandez.” Julian turned around to see the secretary by the desk. She had an amused look on her face. Probably wondering why he hadn’t gone in five minutes ago.“Right. Thank you.” He replied.He knocked twice before he entered the office.A woman sat at the table looking over some
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Chapter 8
The cell phone rang on the desk as Julian was typing away on the laptop screen. It was a very early morning and he was one of the first few to arrive at the office. He picked up the phone and saw Randal's name across the screen. He clicked the answer button."Hey man," Randal's loud, excited voice almost made Julian drop the phone. "Happy Birthday!"'Birthday?' Julian thought. He checked the calendar on his PC. He slapped a palm over his forehead as he realised his friend was right. Today was indeed his birthday."Thanks," He responded. "You wouldn't believe I forgot.""Actually I would," The mocking tone was clear in Randal's voice. "You were never keen on things like this."" Quite so."" So birthday boy, how are we celebrating? "Julian sighed heavily as he rubbed his forehead."Randal, you know I don't celebrate birthdays. They are a constant reminder that I'm getting closer to my grave. Besides, where is the joy in celebra
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Chapter 9
Fear.   Julian was familiar with that word but never submitted to it. All he went through from his years as a kid till the present hardened him and thought him how to deal with fear. He had seen all sort of horror films.He had read all sort of horror books. Horror and thriller were basically his field of enjoyment. But yet as he sat across the beautiful parapsychologist, he couldn't focus on anything at all. Despite the cool air that wafted around the restaurant, he was sweating. His movements were jittery as his fingers kept drumming on the table. His eyes darted left to right at intervals. Earlier that day, he had taken permission to close from work early. He barely had the chance to speak to Nancy throughout. Even if he did, he wouldn't know how to give an explanation for his actions the previous day. He knew Nancy had her own disturbing thoughts:Cheryl. As nice as she was, adding his problem to hers wasn't a logical thing to do. Besides, the solution was sittin
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Chapter 10
Julian stared at his phone as he drove along the road. Ten missed calls. All from Nancy. How did he not see them? He sighed as he remembered that he put his phone on silent mode during his date with Loretta. He felt a twinge of guilt fill his heart as he knew he inadvertently ignored Nancy. The same Nancy who was responsible for the meeting with the parapsychologist. Speaking of whom, Julian could still not understand Loretta's strange personality. She intrigued and confused him at the same time. What was the whole idea behind the dinner between them. Their relationship was supposed to be strictly professional. What she told him at the restaurant was what she could have just done at the office. And then came her actions at the apartment. Why invite him over to the apartment only to seduce him? She claimed she was trying to help him but it just didn't tally. The more he thought about it, the more he felt a migraine coming. He needed a pain reliever. To his relief, he sig
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