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Where the Grass Grows Greener
“Land on your feet, not your face,” Charlie said with a slight hint of laughter, “landing on your face hurts.” He picks me up and wraps his hand around my slightly crushed face. His eyes flare a bright red and my face heals, and I see him grimace slightly. Sometimes it’s a flashback, sometimes it’s the pain of the injury he’s healing. He says it’s not bad, but I think it is. I spring to my feet, and we start training again. I swipe at his face and he backs up, catching the back of my arm, readying himself to flip me to the ground, so I stomp on one of his feet. He relaxes slightly and backs up. I hit him in the center of his chest, making him let go and take another step. I kick the inside of his knee, then the side of his head, and he falls to his knees. He takes a sharp breath and I realize he is closer than I expected, and he punches me twice in the stomach. I double over and he uppercuts into my chin while standing up.
“I think that we’re done for today with this. Want to try special operations?” Charlie says, and I sigh, as he heals me again.
“No, how about Force training? I need help with that.” I say this because I haven’t found my Force yet, and that complicates things. I’m sixteen, and my Force has grown, but none of the other parts have faded out. Charlie has a rare Force, Heal and Hurt, which means basically what it sounds like. The parts of my Force come and go depending on the time of year, or whenever needed most, they just seem to appear. Right now I am Seasonal, meaning I have some small amount of the weather, like I can control snow and fire, the bigger ones. A slight side effect of my Force is that I have this small bubble around me that is about 2 degrees warmer than the air around me, which changes when I feel strong emotions. We take a step out of the room and he twirls me, putting my arms above my head and suddenly stops, dipping me over. When Charlie was younger he took dancing lessons. Later, he found his Force and nearly killed his dance teacher, who as far as we know, is still recovering. She has been in a coma for nine months, and still going strong.
He takes my back and straightens it so I stand straight up, and he leans in to kiss me, and I slightly turn my head, preparing for it when the bubble around us grows unbearably hot, and he stops touching me because the last time he burnt himself. Guess I'm pretty hot.
"Jesus Christ," he says, groaning slightly. "When can we kiss?" we have been dating for two months and my seasonal has been going on for three. We haven't even kissed yet. We met each other for the first time in May, and we started dating in June. We started sleeping together because we wanted to, not when I’m awake, not the hanky-panky of young teenagers, but cuddling. The only Forces that affect sleep are Haunts and Awakening. These Forces give the owner to slip into another's dreams, and to be awakened in times of danger or to be able to put people to sleep.
"I don't know, but I feel my Force fading. It's been a while from changing. It probably will."
Then the door to our room implodes, and all light is lost.
I wake up, my eyesight fuzzy, and see Charlie attacking a person in full body armor. Charlie kicks his knee in, and for a minute it looks like he is winning. Then the armored guy pulls a gun from the inside of his vest and aims it at Charlie. I raise my hand toward him and a blast of cold air shoots toward him from my fingertips. The man suddenly turns purple and gray, ice forming on his neck and other places, slowly creeping around his entire body until Charlie and I are both standing in front of an ice sculpture. My internal body temperature rises back to the normal 98.6 and I stand, shivering, and my head pulsing with pain and confusion.
“I have no idea,” Charlie responds, spitting red saliva from his mouth, then proceeding to wipe the corners. “But I think you found your Force”.
As soon as he says this, my migraine increases, and a high-pitched squeal comes from everywhere. I bend my knees slightly, and look up, putting my hands on my temples, and ask Charlie,
“Can you hear that?”
“Hear what?” he says, taking a step closer. As his foot nears the ground, some of the items in the room shake. “Is this normal?” he asks, knowing the answer.
I let out a gasp as the ground swells toward me, the pitch increasing until I can barely hear it. And as it does, the gun from the attacker rises, along with his frozen hand, breaking it from his body. It raises itself toward Charlie, and he puts his hands up, starting to breathe more heavily.
“What is…” but he doesn't finish the statement. I scream as the gun goes off, tearing my heart to shreds. I climb to Charlie’s body, the bullet wound in his chest, and I close my eyes, and all I can see is him. Helpless. Hopeless, as the gun was raised to his chest. I close my eyes and scream for an eternity. Once I open my eyes again I feel leather straps binding my arms, legs and forehead.
~~Five months later~~
All I can do is scream. I lost my boyfriend, I don’t know how to control my new Force, and the rest of my life is shambles. I am numb from the last day of mental torture, because everytime I close my eyes I see Charlie. Pale in the face, Charlie’s bright green eyes. I hadn’t even kissed him. Every time I remember, it’s like a knife slicing deeper into a fresh wound, as hot as the sun. I open my eyes, to be in the same place I’ve been in for days, weeks, or months. I can’t tell, there aren't any windows, and I can’t keep track of the schedule set for me. They questioned me, imprisoned me, and tortured me physically in ways the worst people wouldn’t have used. They drew blood, took hair samples, pieces of my internal organs. They even saved my fingernails. As I go throughout my day, I step past one mirror, and what I see isn’t me. It’s a monster, a dead creature, something which lost its soul years ago. A creature which has been disheveled, misshapen and melted beyond repair. It probably died somewhere on the way of becoming what it was.
I look down the hallway, pale white, no windows or doors, just doctors of evil in white lab coats and gas masks, and another child, maybe five, in the same terrible conditions. I’ve been in this compound, never seeing a face other than my own, and something about that makes me snap. Seeing a youth like that, treated like a rat, is something no one should see or go through. I decide to do something, but why I really do it is when the kid falls. The doctor escorting him starts yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he does something no kid should go through. He kicked him across the face, breaking his nose and jaw, crushing the side of his face. I scream. I scream like I’ve never screamed. I unhinge my jaw, my eyes open to an entirely new world of pain. I don’t know how to explain it. The pain of this kid was transfused into me, I knew he didn’t feel a thing. And I was glad. The people escorting me pull out guns, aiming them at the back of my head, and I hear one gun shot. And only one. I take a step forward, and the pain increases tenfold, to the back of my head. I scream as I realize the pain isn’t mine. I scream for what seems to be minutes, hours, days. And when I open my eyes again, all I see is rubble, a gun, and the five year old, dead, with a gunshot wound to the back of her head. I cradle her misshapen face until her body turns cold, and when it does, I look around at my surroundings. What I see scares the living s*** out of me. A holocaust of mutants, bodies purple and blue, completely dead. Some were burned, either to a crisp or boiled. Either way, terrifying. Deadly. As I turn around, the back of my head scrapes something. As I complete the turn, I see the person who kicked the child, impaled on a length of metal, sticking out just centimeters from just above his hip and a little to the left of his bellybutton. I think he is dead until he groans slightly. He opened one eye, then the other, blinking slowly, as his eyes adjust to the light. As he sees me, his eyebrows scrunched together in pain and anger. He raised his right hand, and at first glance, it is empty. Then with closer optical observing, I see a black piece of plastic, with a gray button in the center.
“I may not live through this, and won’t, but at least I’ll erase…” he mumbles.
I don’t hear the rest of his words, because a high pitched squeal, barely within my range of hearing, and extremely loud, screams into my ears. As it does, the man looks down at his hand. It is crushed, covered by a slightly green ball, and his hand and whatever was in it detaches, and the light in his eyes fades away. All hell breaks loose, and darkness fills my vision.
I am floating on a sea of clouds. Sinking into the darkest parts of the stars. Then a hand of the lightest light and the darkest dark reaches out to me. And I was scared. But not alone. Then after an eternity I was pulled from beneath the surface, and I see Charlie’s face, and he pulls me close, looking deep into my eyes, and says “I’m still alive”. For some reason, I know it’s true.
Mount Berry, Georgia
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