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Allie, Part 1
My heart can’t beat any faster…
I don’t know who is going….
Who will stay alive…
And who will be sacrificed.
I wake up. My heart is pounding through my chest. I’m in my bed. Alive. I couldn’t be breathing heavier. My lungs are working. I’m okay. I look at the lock. 12:35 P.M. I went to bed a few hours ago, but it feels as if I should be getting ready for school. I don’t want to go back to sleep, scared and worried I will have that terrible dream again. The dream where my family has to choose one of us to die.
I wake up. I can see light through the blinds. I made it through the night. I don’t remember having a second dream. My breath sighs, but it’s a worried one. I don’t know why. It feels as if I’m going to have to face the fate just like the one in my dream, again…
I can hear mom making something outside my bedroom door. I feel as I just was struck by lightning and the adrenaline felt last night is still pumping through my veins. I quickly throw on the outfit I picked out the night before, and make my way towards my bedroom door.
“Hi, mom!” I greet her in the kitchen. My voice is still shaky. I never knew how much a dream could affect someone through an 8-hour period.
“Hello, honey. I made you your favorite, eggs and hash browns with a dash of hot sauce!” My mom says, cheerfully. I look into her hopeful eyes. I feel like I should be happy she made my all-time favorite, but the thought of crispy hash browns and moist eggs just can’t suppress the memory and grief of my dream.
“Wow! Thanks mom!” I cheerfully say. I try to hide my shock through my body language, but it doesn’t do much good.
“Is something wrong, honey?” She says with a little worry.
“No. Just a bad dream.” I feel like I told her too much, but then again, not enough.
“Well, I know your favorite breakfast can cure just about everything!” She said with hope. This dream…. Right now, nothing could make it better. I give her a smile, and gobble up my eggs and browns. They taste so good, but I can still feel something that’s wrong...
I arrive at school. Harold and Rachel are on the bench talking about some new candy that came out. I see the usual people hovering the classroom. I pay no attention to them. I wait till’ someone comes over to greet me with a “Good morning, Allie!” I wait. No one comes. I look around and try to find someone to talk to. I think I’ll feel a little better if I can find someone. I see one of my friends coming towards me. Catherine.
“Allie!” She greets me, and then hugs me for a few seconds. My arms recoil around her warm cashmere sweater. She proceeds to tell me the “latest” gossip, which most of the time is something that happened after school or this morning before I came. This time, Bobby flirted with one of the more popular girls, Eliza. She told all her friends, and now Bobby doesn’t want to come to school. He’s actually one of my best guy friends, so that’s a real bummer that he’s being socially punished for being confident. He usually sees girls as celebrities, overwhelming to look at, AND talk too. Except me, of course. I fake laugh so Catherine feels acknowledged. I do like it when she tells me the latest “happenings”, just not today. Then, I see Diane coming with my best friend Laura’s iPod. I give her a smile, but she ignores me and keeps acting like she’s in an Apple commercial. She wants to be an actress, so I guess she’s practicing now. People just giggle at her and share their gossip stories.
The morning bell rings and I proceed to my normal homeroom. It’s cold outside today, so I rush in to the classroom to get in to a warm relief of air.
“Class, we have a VERY special guest coming in today to talk about everyone’s favorite, safety!” The class groans in disappointment. I don’t understand why, though, because then it gives us a break from actual schoolwork. “He will be in here in about five minutes, so please settle yourselves and put on your listening ears!” He smiles. He often treats us like kindergarteners, but we get cookies every end of the week, so I’m okay with that.
A man opens the door, letting in the cold rush of the autumn air. He is about 5’9”, with a leather trench coat and silver hair…
Silver. Huh. I thought. You don’t see that around that much here. The weirdest part of it all… the hair color looks, natural.
“Greetings, young students! I am Mr. Jordin, here to teach you all about safety and the knowledge of what to do in many situations!” He Beams his yellow-tinted teeth at us, and turns his head towards me. He particularly winks at me… oh jeez. Don’t tell me he’s actually in here to teach us about how easily we can actually fall into criminal’s traps for being kidnapped and such. He paces a little, then starts to speak.
“Strangers are like books, y’know? Like college-leveled books. You can barely read them, just look at their cover and judge the book by that. Now, I’m going to need a volunteer for this next act.” He turns to look at me… why me? “You, miss?” He says.
“No, really… I’d rather not….” I stagger. A kid in the back starts chanting, “All-ie! All-ie! All-ie! Before I know it, the whole class has chimed in. “Oh, alright.” People start cheering from all around the classroom.
“Great! To get you prepped, I’ll have you step of the classroom” Said the weird man. I didn’t really want to step out in to the cold, better yet, not with him. We walk outside as my body heat is quickly replaced with cold air.
“Alright now. The supplies are right here in my car.” He says, walking towards a big white van. Oh god, seriously? A van? Could this scenario get any scarier? “I’ll pick out the clothes for you to change into for you to wear-
“Wait, changing? I-I’m sorry…” I say, and turn around to go back to the classroom. I start to run, but then something grabs my shoulders…
“You’re not going anywhere, kid.” The voice says. He grabs me and opens the van door. He pushes me into the truck. I try to find another exit because he’s blocking the one I just came through. Thoughts were rushing through my head, “Where is he taking me? What’s he going to do to me? Will I be alive by the time I get out of this van?” He grabs something next to me… a pipe? He lifts it up over his head, and the next thing I know, my mind goes blank.
I wake up. My eyes feel heavy and I can feel my head pulsing blood through my ears because the last thing I can remember is a pipe hitting my head. I see myself next to… my brother? Mom? Dad? Am I hallucinating? I pinch my arm because miraculously, I’m not tied up. Then I remembered you only do that if you think you’re dreaming, but then again, this COULD be a dream.
I look around, and I see… ocean? I look to the left of me, and all there is, is a blue horizon. I see a little sand, but not much because I’m sitting on a rocky cliff with my family, high above the ground to see much sand at all. They all seem to be knocked out, except for me, of course. I hear footsteps to the right of me, and see four guys all dressed in black coming towards us. Taking a wild guess, I think each guy picked us up and brought us here one by one. But wait a second… why MY family? I look at all of them. They don’t have any weird hockey masks or socks over their heads, so I can see their profiles perfectly. None of them look familiar. One of them actually looks kind of like a midget, really. He probably picked up my brother bribing him with candy or a DSi or something. Poor little twerp. Then again, I don’t really know what the heck is going to happen next, so I should make my peace with him as soon as he wakes up. Another big, bulky one with a Hell’s Angels jacket on looks hungry. He probably picked up my dad. Another is tall and lean, who actually looks kind of innocent (but he’s not, of course.) He had to pick up my mom because the last one was my kidnapper. They obviously see that I’m awake, because the midget goes over to my brother, Mr. Innocent goes over to my mom, and the carnivore goes over to my dad and stats shaking them to wake up. Funny, really, how all of the people I guess who-kidnapped-who actually went over to the right people. After all of them were shaken violently to wake up, they saw each other and started babbling stuff like “I’m so happy to see you! What’s going on?” Then, the midget pulls out a gun and says,
“Quiet.” He gives my dad particularly a weird look. I try not to laugh because, seriously? A midget with a gun? I stifle cough, and he quickly recoils towards me with the gun aimed at my head. He realizes I’m not talking, so he puts it down. “Alright, Smiths. You’re all probably wondering what the hell is going on and why the hell you’re here. Very easy question to answer.” He says, waving his hand like some hotshot from the Godfather. “One of us, though I’m not allowed to say WHO, knows one of you in some way that’s not a very good relationship between each other. “My brother is totally freaking out and shaking. I know if he could cry and not be possibly shot, he would so be bawling his eyes out. My mom looks totally confused and petrified. I wonder if she knows one of these guys, like, KNOWS… but then again, I don’t know much about her life when I’m not home and at school. She’s also REALLY good at hiding things. When she took my stuff away, I could NEVER find it unless I waited for her to give it back to me. She also kept the Santa secret hidden for my WHOLE LIFE and I suspected nothing till’ she told me two years ago. I start to worry if anything really IS going on… dad just has that “Oh god.” Look on his face.
“You might be thinking ‘Yeah, just a little grudge, what’s the big deal here?’ Well, it’s a lot more than that, kiddos.” Dad’s giving the big burly guy a “What are you going to do?” look. Aaron, my brother, is starting to calm down a little. Mom looks like she’s about to throw up. I feel… scared. “Well, I’ll leave you guys there to figure out who did what to make all of you be here on this very lovely day. The next thing we’re gonna do is going to make the person who made such a grudge regret living. We are going to make you all choose of you to execute.” What…? Oh God, oh God, oh God… Aaron is going to choose me to die for sure. My kidnapper goes to the van and gets out slips of paper and pencils. After the paper and pencil is set in front of us, we’re untied and our kidnappers grab our shoulders and hold us so we won’t get away. “Please. Write the name of the person who you want to execute on the paper. Whoever has the most votes will be pushed off the cliff. The others will be set free and returned back to civilization. I pick up the pencil. Mom… no. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be here right now… but that doesn’t sound right, does it. Oh well. I hope you know what I mean. Dad… well, he makes the money in the house. That leaves Aaron... Aaron. Well, he didn’t do anything bad, except make a whole life’s worth of obnoxiousness starting from the day he learned to talk. I wonder if we can chose ourselves… I decide to write down his name anyways. Sorry, kiddo.
I’m the first person to turn in my slip. Is that a bad thing? A few minutes later, Aaron does his. No question it’s me, but why did it take so long for him to decide?
“Five more minutes. Hurry up or you’ll be counted as a vote for not finishing up.” Dad puts turns his in shortly after the warning. Mom pauses her writing, and starts to cry. I’m thinking it’s her who made all this trouble, but then again, I don’t really know. The midget pulls out his gun and threatens her to be quiet. She stops sniffling and continues to write. I think she wrote dad’s name down, but I’m not completely sure. She turns in her slip as the midget coughs.
“Alright, ready to find out who will be taken out of your family tree?” He smiles with his yellow teeth grinning like he just won a huge prize. My stomach is doing gymnastics as he starts to open his mouth. He doesn’t even wait for us to worry more. I can hear my heart pounding through my ears.
“First one, Aaron.” Aaron starts to whimper a little. I’m kind of relieved that it wasn’t me, but Aaron seems to have so much ahead of him. Poor little guy…
“Next one, Allie.” My heart stops. Me? HAD to be Aaron. I’m practically mom’s favorite and dad wouldn’t give me up for the world.... right?
“Third one is Matt.” My dad. Will the next one be my mom? For sure, she’s off the hook. I think she knows, too, because she breathes a long sigh of relief.
“Final one -ooh. Not a tiebreaker, because one of you who has already been called will now be called again. You know what this means…” He trails off, and then smiles a really disgusting row of yellowish-black teeth.
“Allie” He says.
No. NO…………. I can feel the blood draining from my face. One Aaron, one dad, two….me. “Please say who you voted for now.”
“I’m sorry, mom… I knew what was going on the whole time. I had too…” Said Aaron. Wait; hold the phone, WHAT happened? Is mom the whole reason why we’re here? Aaron didn’t vote for me? Is this really all a bad dream? I pinch myself, but I can feel it, hard and sharp…
I haven’t seen mom look worse in all of my 13 years. She’s bawling now, muttering, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Allie…” Awesome. That means my parents voted me to get killed. Their first born? How could they? I almost forgot about my death until this moment.
“M..m…mom? What’s going on?” I say. The words come out as a tiny whimper. I couldn’t be more scared in my life either. She pauses. She scoots close to me.
“Alayna, please tell me what’s going on.” My dad asks mom. Mom turns toward me, face-to-face.
“Honey…” she says, trying to sound normal, but just sounds like she’s about to throw up instead. “You know… uncle Robert?” She trails off. She sniffs. “I was… seeing him before, you know…” Seeing? Mom was a- oh my god. This couldn’t be happening. He died several years ago. “You know how I met him before I met your father… right?” her weak voice squeaks. “After I met your father, I kept on…seeing him.” She bawls. “One night, I was so In shock with myself, I knew that I had to stop, but the only way was to…” She trailed off. Oh no… oh no no no no. She starts to bawl again.
“Mom… did you, kill…” she nods up and down. No way. My mom killed my uncle because she was crazy in love with him. What is wrong with this world? Anyone BUT my mom would do such a thing… right? If this is really true… then what else is she hiding? What about my dad? Even Aaron…?
“That’s exactly it. We knew because of this lovely snot-nosed brat.” The Fat one says, kicking my brother. He starts to bawl again. In all this commotion, I start to cry, too. Dad looks like he could kill himself.
“They bribed me! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” Aaron squeals.
“Aaron.” I mutter. “How did you know?”
“It all happened when Aaron was a baby. Your mom was taking him out to go grocery shopping and made a ’stop’ at you uncle’s house. Your mom thought he was sleeping, so she wanted to tell him in his sleep so he wouldn’t find out. He wasn’t actually asleep at all, so he knew about the whole thing. We bribed the lovely twerp with a key to candy land …” He stops. He starts to laugh like a hyena having hiccups. “I-I’m sorry.” He still can’t get a hold of himself. After a few minutes, he regains his cool. “He was a little kid back then, so it was easy to get a hold of the real deal. We’ve been planning this for years. We loved Robert. We were the five musketeers since elementary. We had so many plans ahead of us, and you go rid of all the possibilities. Thanks to you, we don’t even feel like hanging out as a group anymore. This is why we’re even DOING this.” Now, getting to the reason why you’re here. Allie, sweetie… I hope you did everything you wanted too before you were going to die.” He snickers. My heart feels like it will explode. Everything I see becomes a blur. Everything I can hear is a blur. I can barely hear the big grunt laughing. Mom is apologizing so softly... then it comes to me. An idea.
Sirens are heard from Eastside Junior High. Mr. Damir’s classroom couldn’t be any more confused. One of their classmates have been kidnapped by a “guest speaker”.
“Well, he was about 5’8, 5’9, silver-ish hair, a big trench coat…” Mr. Damir describes to the police.
“Anything else you can remember?” the cop asks.
“N…no. Not really.” Mr. Damir puts his hands on his head, lays his elbows on his desk and sighs. “All I know is that I schedualed him to come in last Thursday. He was from the Police Institute of California. He gave me the name of Emanuel Jordin. We scheduled the date over the phone, and that was the only time I ever talked to him until today.” The policeman jots a few notes down in his notebook.
“Thanks Mr. Harold. I will get back to you on any information we find. Curious, though, about himself claiming to be on the PIC. Can I ask you what number and what phone you placed the call on?”
“I called on the school phone here on my desk. The number was right here…” said Mr. Damir as he reached in his desk and pulled out a slip of paper. “1-800-555-7858.” The cop asked for the slip and analyzes it carefully.
“This isn’t the number for the PIC. May I ask where you got the number?”
“I got it from the Yellow Pages.” Mr. Damir says, ducking under his desk to get the big yellow book. He fingers to a page that has a pink sticky note on it. He looks at the book for a little, then points to the PIC number listed under “Perry’s Pizza Parlor”.
“This number had to be forged. This isn’t right at all.” Says the cop. “May I cut this listing out to analyze it so we can take a look and maybe get some addresses?”
“Sure. I’ll do anything to help find Allie.” Said Mr.Damir.
“I’ll be back in a second.” The cop said.
In the back of the room, Taylor Smith had his face flat on his desk, not saying a single word.
“Man, are you alright? You look like you’re about to hurl.” Said one of his friends, Cameron. Taylor didn’t respond. Then, he looked up and Cameron saw his face snow white and red around the eyes.
“Dude… seriously. You look like something terrible just happened-“
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?” Taylor screamed. He had gotten up from his seat and was on top of Cameron. Everyone in the room, including all of the cops that were busy had stopped what they were doing to look up and had their attention on them. Taylor realized his outburst had caused such a commotion, so he slowly sat down as everyone returned back to what they were originally doing. “You know how long I’ve liked Allie. You KNOW she’s not here, and you continue to say what you said like you were clueless?” Taylor said. Tears were quietly streaming down his cheeks.
“Man, I-I’m so sorry… I forgot for a second…” Taylor took a deep breath and sighed.
“Apology accepted. I’m sorry, too. It’s just… I was gonna wait till’ the dance to tell her and now she’s gone and I don’t know if they’re ever gonna find her and-“ Taylor paused. Then, he turned to Cameron and dug his face into his shoulder. He breathed stiffly into his shoulder as he cried. Cameron hugged him back and patted him repeating “Its ok, they’re gonna find her, its ok…”