By Kaila Lunceford
As I stood next to the streetlight in front of the dark alley, thinking about what was in store for tonight, I stared at my pale reflection. At a glance, I could see why people thought of me as Gothic, but really, I don’t try to go for the look. I just like the color black and piercings.
Just barely lost in my reflection, I suddenly felt the comforting fire course through my veins and right down into my fingertips, I heard a crunch behind me, bringing me back to the world. I spun around in a quick, precise motion and flame punched someone, I heard him moan deeply in pain.
I did not hesitate though.
Grabbing the guy’s leg, I pulled him into the glow of the streetlight and saw that I had hit Blake Arnold, who was holding his left cheek.
“Blake!” I whined. “You dork! That’s what you get for sneaking up on me. You could have read my mind to know that I was in La-La Land.”
I reached down to him and helped him up. His hair was sun-kissed blond and shaggy. He possessed eyes as dark green as the deepest part of a forest, he was a little bit taller than I was, and the face he’d been born with was one of an angel or a Greek god.
“Yeah, Jamie,” he mumbled, “but you knew I was coming from our conversation on the phone earlier, so I didn’t bother because I didn’t expect you to try to burn my face off.”
He was right, of course. Right where my hand had made contact with his face, there were a few small blisters about the size of chicken pox dots that were on the verge of bursting. Usually my flame punches had a worse impact on people, but along with reading minds, Blake was also semi-immune to my special gifts.
Ever since I was little, calling on the assistance of the elements for any purpose was one of my unique talents. “Sorry, that fire has a mind of its own sometimes.”
We walked to my newly released, black 2010 Chevy Camaro and hopped in. When the car started, the AC blasted, cooling us off from the heat left over from the day in the Arizona air, and Mozart’s song “Lithium” was gently playing over the sound of the engine’s purr.
Blake had a stupid grin on his face, and he thought aloud, “I still think it’s hard to fathom that a fighting chick like you listens to this crap.”
“It’s not crap,” I said, wrinkling my nose up to show my annoyance. “It’s the foundation of today’s music, and you know it calms me before a fight.”
I knew he rolled his eyes at me as he listened to what I’d said, but he sobered up at the word “fight” and said, “Right. Speaking of which, what are we doing tonight?”
“Drug bust.” There was no need for me to go into any more detail with him because after about a year together he knew what every event entailed.
All of a sudden, the horrible sound of cracking and breaking of Blake’s nails as he bit them filled the car. The sound was wretched, hurting my ears like nails on a chalkboard. In all honesty, I just couldn’t see how it didn’t bother others.
I must have had an annoyed expression on my face, for Blake smirked, “Just because it’s night out, and you’re all dolled up like wanna-be-goth-gal doesn’t mean that I can’t see your face, because your skin will always remain as white as a ghost who decided to roll around in some powdered chalk.”
Blake stopped and picked up my right hand off the stick shift and kissed it. I knew how Blake felt about me, and in all honesty, I returned those feelings, but I didn’t think it would ever work out between us in the end because he deserved someone better than me, more normal, and saner. I didn’t like to encourage him, even though I knew he could read my mind to find out anything and everything he wanted to know.
When we were finally driving down a long lonely road surrounded by hills of sand, I turned off the lights, because with fire in my eyes I could see better at night than most people could. The fact that something felt off in the air tonight may have also played a tiny role in that decision as well.
After another ten minutes, I saw a light in a window of a little abandoned, lonesome, rundown diner in the distance, most likely from candle light due to the warm orange glow I could see. After pulling over and cutting the engine, I reached to the back seat and pulled out a double holster and four handguns, along with some cases of extra bullets. I handed two guns to Blake and slid smoothly out of the car like a shadow.
Once out, I shut my door as quietly as possible and put on the hostler. Blake did the same, but he’d already had his holster on before he met me at our agreed upon location.
Blake came around to my side of the car and whispered, “I don’t see it. How far are we going to walk?”
Rolling my eyes, I replied, “Stop your whining. It’s only about a mile out. You’ll see it soon enough.”
We set off toward our destination at which we’d correct some of the corruption on our little planet.
* * *
Ten short minutes later, we made our way around to the back side of the building. Quickly noticing the door had no outside handle, I called upon the sand and pushed it in and out of the crack between the door and the wall. After about two minutes the door’s lock gave a little moan as it gave way, and I grinned in satisfaction to myself.
I then called on air. Before taking any action, I mentally visualized my plan of blowing the door silently open from the inside, and then went along with it. Making the wind go through the crack, I made it blow the door open for us, just as I’d planned. I turned to Blake, and we couldn’t help but smile at each other.
Once inside, we could hear voices, so we pulled out our guns and raised them up. We’d come through the kitchen, and the door out to the dining area had no window for us to peak through.
Suddenly, we heard a man say, “OK boys, let’s pack things up,” and we burst through the door.
“Freeze!” I yelled, and everybody did just that, but mostly out of confusion and surprise, because then everything started in chaos.
There were about 12 guys, which were more than I’d expected, and they rushed at us, starting the inevitable fight I’d kind of been hoping to have.
I could no longer pay attention to Blake, because I had a butt ton of guys thundering towards me, so in about a second my mind made the elements set up a sand block around all exits with a windstorm surrounding the sand and the building. Then I set all the walls on fire in this room, knowing I’d be able to get Blake and I out safely.
I then fire punched the closest guy to me, spinning around low and quick to kick whoever was behind me. Both guys went down, not expecting to be burned. Then I threw an air wall at two more guys rushing at me, who ended up slamming into one of the burning walls.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw some guys trying to run off with bags, but didn’t worry about them at the moment, because I knew we’d get them in just a few minutes.
The next thing I knew, I’d been hit hard in the stomach. The unexpected impact caused me to tumble backwards, making me land with a heavy thunk. All of the wind was knocked out of my lungs. As I turned my head to the side I knew what was coming, and it seemed to happen in slow motion. I saw one of the big guys grab one of Blake’s guns. I saw him cock it, and I saw him pull the trigger. All sound seemed to fade except for the firing of the gun.
That one shot seemed to echo throughout the room, and I saw Blake’s body jerk as he grunted. He turned to me, and his expression was full of shock and confusion. I could see the pain glistening in his eyes.
“Blake!” I screamed like a banshee as he fell to his knees. I tried to get up, tried to help him, but I seemed to be stuck, and the elements started fading and went against my orders and stopped cooperating, allowing the guys to escape, but I couldn’t have cared less at that point.
“Blake!” I sobbed.
He reached out towards me and fell, and I couldn’t even get up, couldn’t help him.
Out of the corner of my eye the walls seemed to blurrily shimmer back and forth between a brown and a white color, and everything else in the room seemed to dissolve. My mind tried to come up with a reasonable explanation of what could be causing me to imagine this unnerving scenery, but none came.
The room was changing, the walls stuck with the white color, and the furniture had completely dissolved…disappeared.
Trying to get up once more, I found that it still wasn’t possible. I looked down and found myself strapped down to a bed that was restraining me. Looking back up, Blake vanished with everything else.
That’s when I truly lost it. I’d just lost the only person in my life that seemed to care about me; my mind drew a blank on what was going on, where I was, or why someone had strapped down to a bed. Yeah, at that point, I wasn’t really tolerable of anything, and I’d planned to cause as much havoc as possible until it was made clear of what exactly was going on.
Doing the only thing I could think of to get some attention, I shrieked Blake’s name over and over again.
Apparently succeeding, all of these people rushed into the room I was in as I thrashed about as much as the restraints would allow me to. A short black nurse rushed into the room. She took in the scene and ordered into the walkie-talkie by her shoulder, “Get a doctor in room 253!”
She looked at me more closely and her face softened and her eyes practically pleaded for me to believe her as she slowly made her way across the room with her arms half stretched out as if it would calm me and show me that she meant me no harm.
“It’s not real, Jamie,” she cooed. “It’s not real. Whatever is going on in your dear little mind, it’s just a dream. You’re just imagining it. You’re here and you’re safe with us. You’ve got Schizophrenia. You’re not mentally stable and whatever horrible things are going on, they’re not real and they can’t hurt you. It’s going to be alright.”
I would have hit her if I could have. I wasn’t stupid. Somehow I’d been captured and now this woman was trying to brainwash me. Under the circumstances, I could only think about what she said.
“No,” I whispered to her, but she kept walking towards me. Then I bellowed loudly, “No! It was real, it was real. I’m not crazy! Blake!”
I thrashed harder against the restraints, trying to make my way out of them somehow. Five nurses had entered the room just as the black nurse ran towards me and tried to hold me down. I tried to call upon the elements, but they weren’t with me. I couldn’t feel them anymore. What I found myself feeling was hollow, so I did the only thing I could do in order to defend myself.
I bit a nurse’s arm that had the misfortune of placing it within my biting reach. Unexpectedly, a needle stab into my arm, causing me to jerk from the pain, and then my body began to lose muscle control.
Just then, the doctor walked in, and… it was Blake. He was alive, unhurt, and he was still very attractive. Even though my state of consciousness was entirely on the fritz from the disorientation and confusion, pleasure of knowing he was fine filled me with a little bit of warmth. His name would have floated off my lips, or I would have sighed in relief, but it wasn’t really possible with no muscle control. It didn’t really matter if I would have been able to anyways, because everything was starting to fade.
I made eye contact with Blake and saw sympathy there as he turned to leave. Before fading out and falling into slumber’s pull of complete darkness, I heard Blake’s thoughts enter my mind. I wouldn’t understand, but his voice whispered, “What you saw was very real, Jamie. It’s what is going to happen, not what has happened. You’ll understand soon enough, but for now, I need you to know that you’re not crazy. Just wait and I’ll come back for you.”
He never did. And I was left alone with my delusional reality once again.
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I love to write fictional short stories and poems. Currently I am working on a novel. I'm currently going to school for a major in Photography and a minor in Creative Writing. Sometimes I wonder if the creativity of my photography and writing will drive me mad.
Labels: Kaila Lunceford