The Correspondent is a web serial by Dylan Reed. Buy the Origin story now.

Golden Age, Episode 5, Part 4

The Correspondent

People always talk about where they were when they first heard about The Correspondent. She came out of nowhere and tried to make a difference. Some saw her as a beacon of hope, others as a sign of how far down the slope we had come. I never paid attention to all of that. I was too busy. Too busy working to pay my bills, too busy trying to figure out life. I was seventeen when it started. I was The Correspondent. This is my story.

Monster Shelby charged me like a rhino. I rolled away from him, hoping to avoid having to hurt him, if I could hurt him. His face was contorted in rage as he lumbered about the room. Anything that touched him was immediately smashed by his monstrous fists. The transformation seemed to be complete and I couldn’t believe this was the same person. I could barely make out Shelby’s face through the rage that covered this monster’s face.

I pulled my baton out, extending it quickly and reminded myself what it had taken the last time I had fought one of these monsters. I didn’t have my battery with me, it was at home charging, so I wouldn’t be able to shock him into submission.

Shelby finished smashing up the arcade games and turned back towards me. For a second a shadow of Shelby slipped across his face, then he charged. His bellow filled the space with noise and I heard my own scream added as a war cry. I jumped around Shelby, using my speed to dodge around him.

I wasn’t fast enough. His fist caught me in the stomach, throwing me across the room where I crashed into the skate ramps, dropping my baton. I gave death some serious consideration while catching my breath. Shelby was stalking towards me, every step booming on the floor. As I rolled to my feet I took the skirt off, the magnets clicking as they disengaged.

I used the skirt like a matador’s cape to keep Shelby off balance. I maneuvered him in front of one of the big halfpipes before he charges. The sudden incline caused him to stumble and fall prone on the ground. Seizing on the opportunity I pounced on his back, wrapping the skirt around his neck and pulling.

Shelby started to gag, thrashing around as he tried to remove me from his back. His enlarged shoulder and arm muscles limited his range and I was able to hold on. Shelby forced himself to his feet and started stumbling towards the wall, all the while fighting to get me off. I twisted the skirt, tightening my hold as he slammed his back against the wall.

Again, I saw stars, the breath forced from my body. I was barely holding on. One more jolt like that and I would be done. He leaned forward to deliver the final blow and stumbled. It seemed that he had finally ran out of air. We toppled to the ground.

I unwrapped the skirt, since I didn’t want Shelby to die and looked for a release on the collar. On the back of his neck was a simple clasp, like that on a dog collar. The collar fell away as I undid the clasp and Shelby started to change.

He shrunk down to his normal size, his hair turning grey in the process. He lay still, his chest heaving from the transformation. His eyes opened and he looked around with milky eyes, unseeing.

“Ellie,” he said, reaching towards me, “is that you?”

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The story of The Correspondent will continue weekly. If you enjoyed this story, please scroll down and recommend it. Follow me on Medium or on Twitter.

Dylan Reed has always been interested in a good story. Raised without a TV he spent a lot of time with books and loves reading. Dylan has been a professional entertainer, studied commercial diving, and loves random trivia. He brings all of this and more together in his stories.