Ignorance. I’m surrounded by people infected with it. It’s a disease that lulls the victim into a false sense of security and happiness. Something I can’t afford. All these people are blind, they wouldn’t know danger if it slapped them right in the face. This makes it that much easier to eradicate them.
Our operation was running smoothly until one of our operatives drifted astray. The operative had been off grid for quite some time, so plans had been made to extract the defective provocateur. That’s where I come in. My mission is to infiltrate the operative’s home base and return them back to my executives. The rogue operative has intermingled with their targets and has integrated into their society. This integration may have caused them to forget their main objective and allegiance. They may, when the plan is executed, turn on their fellow operatives and cause a collapse in our entire operation. This makes my job increasingly difficult because if I provoke the operative they may, then, eliminate me. This would set forward the chain of events that would lead to our downfall. I will not let this happen for I am, Kanan Rah.
I swoop down from my perch atop the roof to a small windowsill outside a second floor window. Peering through the window and witness the organized chaos of the operative’s base of operations. What these people call middle school.
I can’t believe my luck. Today had to be the day where all my teachers dumped a massive load of homework on my lap. Not only that, but my bus broke down on the way to school, so I was late to class and have no ride home. I look around at the faded yellow walls smothered in cheesy science posters. The lab tables against the walls make the tiny room even more cramped. The feeling of claustrophobia is eminent as is the feeling of infinite monotony.
“Just great,” I mumble under my breath as my science teacher passes out a large packet of unsolved chemical equations.
“You okay, Adrianna?” my best friend Leo Thorley asks me leaning over the aisle, his dirty blonde hair falling in his eyes.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” interrupts a familiar irritation from behind.
“What do you want Avery?” I ask grumbling, rolling my eyes. It’s not that I don’t like Avery it’s… no I just don’t like her. And I had good reason too. Her favorite hobbies include shopping, glamorifying (her word, not mine), and finding a new way to make my life miserable. The only reason she hates me is because Leo became friends with me instead of her. She’s held a grudge since the 1st grade! But now that we’re in middle school she wants him in another way. Bleh. Since she’s a popular girl this should have been an easy task, but Leo rejects her every time and it drives her mad.
As is Avery could read my mind, “Oh I just wanted to restate the fact that Leo would be so much more popular if he ditched you for me,” she states matter of factly.
Leo despises Avery about as much as I do, maybe even a little more. Everytime Avery interjects a symbol of her desperate flirtation it results in a fight breaking out. Leo makes some snide remark that Avery always ignores. And then he would tell her off and she would storm away. And like always it ended the same way.
“When will she leave us alone!” Leo exclaims throwing his hands in the air.
“I have no clue, it depends how long it takes blatant messages to get through her thick skull,” I reply.
“So never,” he says smirking. I giggle as the bell interrupts our conversation and we gather up our stuff to leave.
Most middle school relationships are fleeting at most. But Leo and I’s friendship has withstood the test of time, we’ve been through too much together. From his first broken arm to my first recital, there was no way we were getting split up. Especially not by some ditzy, clueless, popular girl.
“So do you think Mr. Coleman will follow through on his promise of a pop quiz?” Leo asks just as we leave the room.
I start to respond when a wave of dizziness overtakes me. I stop walking trying to steady myself.
“You ok A?” he asks, concern filling his face.
No I think.
“I…” I start and then the blackness over takes my senses.
I wake up in a totally different part of the school. The scarf I had been wearing was missing and… was that pizza sauce? Then I start to register the chaos surrounding me.
“What’s happening?” I question the student closest to me. She takes one look at me and lets out a bloodcurdling scream. She scatters in the other direction leaving me in a state of complete confusion. I look down at my hands. Pizza sauce? Where did that come from?
“That’s not pizza sauce,” a little voice in my head says menacingly. The truth hits me like a brick. A very heavy brick.
Blood. It enveloped my hands in thick coats and blossomed like a rose blooming from the center of my shirt.
“You were made to do this” says the voice in my head. Suddenly the hallway disappears and I’m taken back to what I believe to be a distant memory. I’m standing in what looks like a spaceship, with white, glossy walls and huge windows revealing the endless abyss of stars. I’m in line with just over half a dozen people of various ages and sizes. A man in a crisp, white uniform goes down the line handing each of us new clothing and a weapon. When he gets to me he pauses and tousles my hair.
“And you little one,” he says in a sweet menacing voice “are going to be our secret weapon.”
I feel myself giggling at this.
“Report to your pods,” he commands, “we’re off to Earth.”
The flashback ends as abruptly as it started. Earth, I think, going to Earth?
“That is correct,” says the voice in my head
“What do you want?” I ask it aloud as stupid as it sounds.
“Only to return you to your natural state,” it says, “goodbye Adrianna.”
“What?” I ask, but the darkness has already overwhelmed me.
I wake up staring into the fear-filled eyes of my best friend. My bloodied hands are grasped around Leo’s throat. I release my hold on his neck and I stare down at my trembling hands.
“Now look what you’ve done,” the voice chides.
I breathe heavily, tears spring up in the corners of my eyes.
What am I?
I look into the eyes of my best friend. The eyes I know so well. He’s standing there frozen, a hand on his now bloodied throat. Right where I had just tried to choke the life out of him. The confusion in his eyes matched the confusion that was stirring inside of me.
His trembling voice breaks the silence, “What...are...you?”
“I don’t know,” I admit, my eyes becoming blurry with tears, all the emotions pouring down my face.
He sees through his terror and recognizes his best friend.“It’ll be okay,” he says in attempt to comfort me, but there is a touch of unease in his voice. He still keeps his distance.
“Will it?” I ask the tears burning trails down my face.
Suddenly, a dark figure bursts through the window, sending a million pieces of glass flying. In his hands he brandishes a long, scarlet sword. As soon as he lands he snatches Leo by his collar and smashes his head in with the butt of the sword. Leo crumples to the ground. Blood pooling on the already spattered linoleum. The strange figure thrusts the sword into the ground right between Leo’s feet.
“Who are you?” I ask defensively wiping away my tears and holding up my fists, “and what did you do to him?”
He guffaws. “What did I do to him? Well I’ll tell you,” he says taking a step towards me. “I killed him,” he states plainly. I suck in a breath. “He was unnecessary to the mission and he was in my way.” I stare daggers at him, clenching my fists as rage brews inside me. “And who am I, little one? Well, I’m here to take you back home,” he says flashing me an arrogant smile.
“Trust him” advises the voice in my head.
I look the man up and down, slowly stepping backwards, still clenching my fists.
“What if I don’t want to go home?” I ask the man my voice shaking, betraying my fear.
“Then I’ll just have to take you anyways, by any means necessary” he states bluntly and pulls out an identical sword awashed in blood. I break into a dead sprint, flying out the doors, running nowhere as fast as I possibly can.
“You shouldn’t have run,” warns the voice, black creeps into the corners of my vision.
“I don’t care!” I yell, my legs pumping as hard as I can, attempting to shake off the darkness, “Get out of my head!”
I start noticing my surroundings. The field grass slowly turns into golden sand, black rocks protruding from it’s surface. I skid to a halt. The waves bash against the shore. I wade my way through the rocks to the shoreline.
“Who said this was your head?” The voice asks, humor in its voice, the black starts crawling it’s way back into my vision.
“No! That’s not right! It can’t be true!” I exclaim.
“Just give in, you were never meant to exist anyway.” The voice continues with authority.
“Never,” I state defiantly. My resolve unshaking.
“I will retain my body with or without your consent.” The voice threatens.
I grasp at my forehead.
“Just leave me alone!”
Not only did I have to entertain the voice in my head, but now my kidnapper appeared amidst the rocks. Swiftly making his way towards me, one black stone at a time. My heart rate quickens to an unhealthy rate. Pounding at the speed of sound.
“Just give up,” my kidnapper says sliding over a rock, “it will make things much easier for both of us.”
“You can’t take me with you,” I declare. My knees start to buckle beneath me. The black eats away at my vision. “No, no, no, no, no,” the fear seeping through more and more with every word.
“Why avoid the inevitable?” the voice says.
I look out once more at the ocean, the energy pouring out of me in waves. I stare straight into the eyes of my attacker.
I invite in the blackness.
It consumes me.