Blue. A sharp blue. Like a jagged needle. Piercing me all at once.
“Sienna Benchley, late once again, take a seat.”
The trepidation increased as I settled on the nearest seat. I locked my eyes on the gleaming marble floor. I could hear the rattle of the outdated trains pass by. That sound felt comforting; soothing me; relaxing my tensed muscles; slowing my heartbeat while all the others inserted their fingers in their ears.
As the rambling, monotone voice droned on, my brain began to slip away in a reverie, my utopia.
“Miss Benchley, I will not tolerate your-“
“Grotesque face anymore!” he interrupted.
The class erupted with laughter; it was like they were all caught on fire. The hysteria continued, he smirked at me. I felt livid, infuriated, I wanted to wipe that smile off Oliver Walton’s stupid face. But I couldn’t, I didn’t. I just sat there, the pang of anger spreading through my body, boiling my blood while I sank in my chair like an oaf. An ugly, brown-eyed oaf.
What a great start to the year. I jumped over the foul smelling debris. A fragment of a wine bottle lay on the ground; last night must have been rough. I picked it up. Hazel eyes gleamed back at me, full of curiosity, worry and helplessness. My pale skin had been barely tanned in the harsh heat of the summer sun, making my eyes the subject of attention. And they always were, wherever, whenever.
I choked at the pungent smell wafting to my vulnerable nose. I could hear laughter from the distance, from the main street, which would now be crowded with eager children. I remembered when I was young, on the first day of school, when my mother and I, hand in hand, walked down that road. I was the centre of attention, without even trying. Since then, I, never, not once, stepped foot on that concrete.
* * *
The door clicked open with just a slight push of my hand. Evelyn greeted me with a tired wave and then succumbed herself into the piles of letters which had been delivered into our house. She looked agitated and ignored me for the rest of the evening.
I walked down the carpeted stairs and there she was standing in front of me, looking awfully perturbed. Her light blue eyes were overcome with sadness and defeat. I didn’t have the courage to ask her what happened, and she ordinarily never told me. But today was different, I could tell by the dried tears on her cheeks, a normal daughter would comfort her, support her and make her a delicious dinner, but unfortunately, I wasn’t that kind of person.
“Your eyes” she murmured, staring at the floor.”They’re beautiful, just like your fathers,”
My father’s? I had never met him; it was always Evelyn and me. She always refused to tell me anything about him and due to that I lost all respect for her which resulted in a first name relationship.
“Evelyn, I’m not in the mood to play a game. Just tell me straightforwardly, what’s the deal?”
“Your eyes” she murmured again.
“Yes, my eyes are brown and I can see with them,” I responded in at a slow pace, which if she had not been in this mood, would have demeaned her.
“Your eyes are brown, not blue”
“I think I established that fifteen years ago, now would you mind to get to the point?”
“The government hates you” her words were slurred and quick, hitting me like a punch in the stomach.
“They have since you were born, you’re different sweetheart, a special kind. No one is born with brown eyes here, because...because...”
“Because what?...after fourteen years of asking you decide to tell me now!”
“Leave” one hard, cold word, leaving me aghast.”You need to get to safety; you are something they don’t like, you aren’t normal, they believe people like you will poison the society.”
“So now this ‘modern’ society suddenly becomes superstitious?” I ask with an accidental sarcastic tone.
“You’re coming of age,” she lifts her eyes from the carpet “And well... “
“What mum?” I ask, the urge of knowledge pushing away my anger towards her.
“Sienna...”she stops, pondering on what to say “You have powers, which can lead you further, and these people don’t want that to happen and there’s no way for you to keep alive unless you leave unnoticed and find a way to survive.”
I feel uneasy. It’s too quick. Too much information. So many questions.
“They wanted to do that to you at birth, but I made a deal with the government, you will survive until you’re sixteen and then they will do what they must,”
Sixteen in one month, the thought circled around me.
“I’m really confused. So this government wants to kill me because I have these powers and I honestly don’t know what they are and then...”
There’s a loud knock on the door.
“Go.” She mutters.
“What! No! There is no way I am leaving, Evelyn you will explain to me what is going on,” I felt like the parent not the child.
She pushed me and pecked me on the cheek. A huge bag pack was thrust into my hands.
“There is a map in the front pocket, for now just get to the forest.”
She shoved me out the back door, quite violently and thrust a plastic box of corn and peach melange in my hand. Fear tickled my spine as she sobbed, her innocent eyes expressing the bucket full of feelings which were overwhelming her.
“Evelyn,” I murmured. I wanted to tell her that I really did love her, but my voice came out raspy and broken. She winced, as if to stifle a sob. My mouth was parched and I felt leaden.
The knocking became louder.
“I love you,” Evelyn whispered while closing the back door. A surge of hatred and loathing raced through my veins. Revenge. I wanted revenge from this tyrannical world.
* * *
Overgrown grass, scraped my knees. The forest was a five minute walk away from the trench. I stood still, admiring the beauty of the sunset. I watched with an unwavering gaze as a fiery red orb of light slowly sank beneath the horizon and threads of light lingered in the sky, mingling with the rolling clouds, dyeing the heavens in a beautiful orange. Natural beauty was so heavily underestimated, I thought to myself.
A pert laugh echoed near me. I was still, anxiety overcame me, my eyes probed my surroundings. Horses stampeded through my mind, blurring my thoughts. I ran. If I could get behind that tree I could escape unscathed. The wet mud slipped under my canvas shoes, the heave of the bag made it exceptionally hard to carry and I tripped.
Times seems to slow down when you’re falling, in the seconds it took me to reach the ground, my instinct told me it would hurt. But instead I stopped in mid-air, long fingers clamped to my shoulder, pushing me up and released as soon as I was standing stable.
Dark blue eyes with flicks of grey bore into me. I felt like I had lost, already, without a fight. Oliver Walton. The name echoed in my head, but it wasn’t that evil boy who only sought insults to use on me, yet an older version of him. Seth Walton, I thought, his greatly famed brother. Their father, being amongst the top men in the government, made him a celebrity.
“Where are you going?”He asked, his nonchalant tone searching for an answer I refused to give.
“Just having a walk,” I replied as casually as possible “Why?”
“This place is off limits and this was declared two years ago,” Seth’s voice was sharp and deep, with a rumble.
I shrugged. My brain failed to offer me a believable lie.
“You’re leaving aren’t you?”
My heart leapt into my throat. How did he possibly know? Was I that bad at lying? Or was he testing me to get an answer and tell his unjust father?
“That’s a stupid question, why would I want to leave. Besides, there is heavy security around the city limits and I’m really not that kind of person who likes to be arrested.”
“Tough as nails, you are. And I won’t tell him if you’re leaving anyway, you should, it’ll be safer than staying here at least,” His reply was so unexpected, winding my assumptions of his answer totally.
His lips curled into a smile.
“I could drop you up till the forest if you like” My breathing became heavy. There must be a catch. “Don’t worry; I won’t kill you I ain’t like Oliver.”
I just kept walking, ignoring the heavy steps behind me. It was a trap. I shouldn’t give in.
“Hey Sienna!” Seth called.
How did he know my name?
“The best way to go is left, shall I show you?”
“No”, I wanted to scream, but he was right. Security had been tightened since last month, for an unknown reason.
I turned around, my head held high and a new confidence in me, “Well, then Mr Walton, would you mind to show me the way.”
A smile stretched across his face, “Be my pleasure Madame.”
I was like a fish and I fell into the trap because of the handsome bait.
“How did you know?” I asked, foolish question, his father had the highest IQ in the city.
“Judging by your expression, I think you know that,” he replied.
I nodded. “He wants to kill you for a reason I don’t know,” Seth said, shaking his head.
“Well I don’t know why either,” There was a long pause. “Why do you want to help me, your father would be extremely disappointed you know.”
“How’s he gonna know? He’s amazing, he really is, smart, dashing, wealthy, perfect in a logical way. But the thirst for knowledge takes you to dark places I guess.”
I halted. “What is the knowledge that he is so desperately seeking?”
“How am I supposed to know, this stuff is top secret. Somethin’ tells me it’s to do with your eyes.”
My brown eyes. My ugly, ugly brown eyes.
“Thank you,” I murmured. Seth was smiling, his teeth glistening and beautiful.
“Well I hope ya have fun,” and with that Seth Walton walked away.
The trees were tightly knit. I carefully manoeuvred through them, the crunch of the leaves became a constant beat as I marched. My stomach roared like a lion, screaming for food, when I heard another crunch from the distance.
“Seth?” I called, too quietly to be heard. Suddenly the real picture dawned; I had been played, surrounded. Seth’s sea blue eyes, I had been lost in the fake trust in them, I’d drowned in his sea and there was nothing I could do to stop it. My stomach pulverized. I was so stupid. My eyes scanned the area around me, yet all I could see were earthly colours. Then it turned a pitch black. A hand covered my squealing mouth. Flailing, I nudged my elbow into the attacker’s stomach, it must have hurt as the grip weakened but didn’t let go.
“Stay still,” A familiar voice whispered. The tone was strong but caring and settled me immediately. Abruptly I was snatched away. I heard an angry grunt and a thud as I untied my blindfold, hearing screams urging me to flee. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me until my nose bumped into a huge, bulky mans chest. He was more than a foot taller than me, with small arrogant eyes and a threatening smirk. Huge arms squeezed my shoulders.
I was screaming now, for help although I was not going to be provided with any. My brain looked for self defence ideas and I just kicked the man hard, in the groin. Narrow fingers pulled me away and shouts of warning boomed in my ears. I heard a crack as I fell to the ground. All I remember was a hollow silence and gentle swaying.
* * *
I open my eyes to a drab gray sky. Shivering, I blink several times so my eyesight becomes less blurry.
“Good Morning. You ok?” I heard.
I nod, lying. The pain is a constant throb in my head. Seth’s knuckles were pink, blood dripped from his wrist.
“Your wrist,” I croak.
“That is none of your concern,” He replies, looking away.
“Yes it is,” I say strongly, “You saved me when you didn’t have to and I shall do my best to repay you.”
I stare at him, cringing as I attempt to sit up. Seth grips my shoulder with one hand, aiding me. He absently rests his fingers on the side of my face, his thumb skimming my cheekbone.
“We need to keep moving, I figured the map, the conductors must be coming,” Seth pulls a bandage out from the bag, “My dad must be actively tracing us,” He adds bitterly.
Squeezing his arm, I stand up, munching on a cereal bar he just offered me. Seth picks up the bag, and we begin walking, while he navigates. I just couldn’t get my eyes of him, he had already won my trust and now we were both leaving the city we’d grown up in to travel somewhere unknown, and Seth Walton was on the arduous journey with me.
“So,” he began, looking ashamed “After your little blackout, well I was hungry and so well...I opened your bag and err...”
The verbal junk irritated me. “Just get to the point, I don’t mind you opening the bag, you wanted to eat so you did,” Rolling my eyes, I breath in the fresh air, something I hadn’t done in a long time.
“I found a book. Well after reading it, I found out it was your father’s journal.” He looks down, mortified.
“My...my father’s?” My heart beats faster. My father’s journal, Evelyn had saved it, hidden it from me so discreetly that I didn’t even sense something fishy.
“It baffled me, I couldn’t believe we weren’t told this vital part of our history!”
I look at him, worry written all over my face.
“Eyes never used to be an obstacle to people back then. Everyone lived together, happy, no issues until something bad occurred, it was something in the genes of the people with brown eyes, they had a special ability to do things like telekinesis; healing wounds with the touch of a finger; reading minds; predicting the future in their dreams and changing how they look in the blink of an eye, it varied from person to person. The blue eyed people, more commonly known as cyans didn’t. Jealousy had overcome them, they took the fact that they heavily outnumbered the brown eyed people and attempted to extract their genes and insert them in everyone, for a fair world. The brown eyed people disagreed. Both attacked each other and they ended with a compromise. Separation. “
I could feel my nerves tingling, like being tickled with a small feather. The truth. The masked truth.
“Your parents loved each other. You were born during the separation. Brown eyed. In between the chaos and loss, your mother took you with her and they rejected you. But my oppressive father was persistent and still seeked the reason why people with brown eyes have these genes. So he promised your mother that you will live a mundane life until you’re sixteen and then they will... experiment” He shuddered. “Your mother was helpless, she argued, told him that she would do anything to keep you safe, he disagreed.”
He looked at me with an expression I had never seen before. Was that envy? Sympathy? Love?
I squeezed my eyes tight and allowed the darkness to consume me. I felt nothing. I am nothing. I felt a pain, deep in my gut, how my mother felt so much pain to leave the man she loved and I treated her as dirt.
Clammy hands felt mine, “We are going to your father, to finish this, to make this world as it was before and if we don’t manage that, for you to receive the respect you deserve.”
“We’re going to make this world a better place Seth. Together, whether we survive or die in the process.”
I smiled at him. My respect for him grew suddenly and we advanced. Tears poured down my cheeks, neither of us mentioned or even acknowledged them.
“Ooooh, brown decided to take the secret route. And look who it is! Seth Walton. Your daddy won’t be very happy with you now” The voice booms in my ears, followed by a chuckle. I look over my shoulder. A tall, bulky man stands before me, wearing an evil smirk. Numerous piercings cover his face, concealing most of his skin. His hair is long, dark and greasy. He looks menacing, his eyes dark and glassy, hungry for victory. His colossal hands carry a rifle. No, I thought. This cannot be happening. We’d just started attempting to change this world and our mission cannot be ending already.
Seth pulls me backwards and stands in front of me, like a shield.
“Don’t even think about it,” Even I shake by the tone of his voice. “She hasn’t done anything wrong,” He hisses.
“No she hadn’t,” The conductor seems so relaxed however his eyes tell another story. “Until she chose to commit treason and disobey the rules.” I take a step back, my eyes fixed into his. Looking away was submissive; looking at him a confrontation. It was my choice. And I chose the one that intimidated me the most. We were weapon less, with nothing but our bare, feeble hands to fight with. But I wasn’t going to give up that easily.
“Move it Walton, I don’t have time to enjoy watching you save your girlfriend,” He snorted and raised the gun at his face.
Seth took a confident step forward. “You don’t want to do this, you’ll be fired and your victory will go to waste.”
“I’ve been given orders to bring her dead or alive, your father don’t care, now move out of ma way kid, you’re makin’ a bad decision.”
We stand immobile, silent and waiting for his next move.
“Very well then, goodbye to you too,” The man aimed, his bulky fingers on the trigger. “I’m buyin’ ya’ time dude, get outta ‘ere.”
Burning rage hissed through my body like deathly poison. Blood rushed into my eyes, I could feel sanguine hot anger, eating away the kind parts of me. Everything, all of me, was screeching to attack. A volcano erupted inside, the lava urging me to do it. So I did. I let it all go. It dispersed, all on him.
The bough of the nearby tree fell on him, dropped right on his head. A scream filled my ears, quivering my eardrums.
“How?” Seth stared at me, confused, “You!” He was panting now “What?!”
“RUN!” I screamed my throat ablaze.
Sprinting, I realized that I had done it. My anger had reached the height, I’d killed him. Maybe he was a persecutor, out to finish me but how could I? My powers? What the hell was going on?! My head ached. Pain raced through my body in sharp bursts. I halted, catching my breath. Worn out, I just dropped to the floor, regret flooding into me. My stomach grumbled and the smell of a banana began to nauseate me, tears travelled down my cheeks like a river.
Seth lied down next to me and handed me the banana, just his presence eased the pain.
“Telekinesis,” His expression was stern, “At least we know it’s gonna help us now.”
I nod. There was nothing more I could say to respond.
“Seth...you...” Another tear welled up in my eye, “Thank you,” I murmur, my voice muffled.
“There’s no time for thank you’s, we gotta get going,” Seth sounded harsh, angry and he stood up without another word.
Once again we began walking in silence. My mouth felt parched. How long has it been since I had a sip of water? Almost thirty minutes went by in utter hush. It was only then, as we walked, I understood how much a stranger cared for me. How much a person I had never talked to before was willing to give away his life for mine? How I’d misunderstood the world my whole life, isolated and unsocial.
“I’m sorry,” He says, scraping his heel on the grass. “I’m just scared, I guess.”
“Of what?!” I ask, a little too loudly.
“We’re going to a place where everyone like you lives and I don’t know how, what’ll happen after, they could...”
“No, they won’t do anything to you, we’re going for peace, not war,” I look him straight in the eye, “I promise, you’re not like your father Seth, you aren’t.”
I focus my eyes on the sky, watching as the light begins draining away, and the first buzz of mosquitoes approaches us. I hold his wet hand as an act of friendship and we continue walking quietly, just the brown leaves crunching underneath us piercing the perfect tranquil. I don’t know how long we walked like that, hand in hand, we didn’t talk, just walked towards the next step which I whole-heartedly hope will reach us to our goal.
“I wonder how people are so clueless about what’s beyond, and don’t even attempt to find out,” I say, goose bumps forming up my arm.
Seth shrugs. “Law enforcement. People are scared of the law and what will happen.”
“I get the fact that your father wants information but why make everyone else suffer?” I shake my head in disapproval.
“People don’t look like they’re suffering Sienna. They don’t. Not everyone had a youth like yours.”
“But your father, he wants to experiment... It’s just-“
“My dad just wants everything to be fair,” Seth interrupts. “He wants everyone to have an equal chance, he thinks big and maybe if what he dreams is successful everyone would have a better future!”
“But what if it doesn’t work? Your father will do anything with power and you know it. I would’ve died if his research failed. And he’ll juice out the powers that I have and put them in you, then I’ll be left powerless right? Doesn’t seem fair to me. And who knows he might as well create a mindless army to attack everyone with brown eyes and be a selfish, wealthy leader for all he cares!” I snatch my hand away from his grip in anger.
“He just wants information not power. He’s not a power-hungry tyrant!” Seth glares at me; I can almost see fire in his eyes as I turn my head and kick the ground.
I hear Seth scream, I turn to see a man clad in black clutching his neck.
Yelling I fix my eyes on the man’s face. I struggle to focus; my brain creates an unnecessary diversion whenever I come close to making anything near me hit the man. Thoughts flood my brain like a tsunami. I hear a laboured wheezing and feel the ghost of hot breath on the back of my neck. Suddenly an unseen hand whips out and grabs my wrist tightly, pulling me into the darkness with it. I feel something sharp prick my skin and the world and I turn into an everlasting blackness.
* * *
I wake to a syringe hovering above my face.
“Oh, morning! You ok?” A voice says, the syringe returning to a table by my bed.
“Where am I?!” I jerk up; I see white walls and hear a faucet running. I feel dizzy and lie back down.
“You must be in shock,” A woman smiles at me; she has big, striking, chocolate brown eyes, outlined with eye liner and mascara. “I’ve got some toast and milk for you, eat breakfast and then I shall permit you to go visit Mr. Walton and Mr. Benchley as well.
Mr. Benchley? My father? No it can’t be. No. I grab a bread and begin chewing, frustrated. A leather bound book sits beside the cup of milk. I know I shouldn’t read it, but between the hurricane of questions and aggravation, I was in desperate need of a distraction.
The leather was soft and worn out. I open the book, the first page filled with gorgeous calligraphically written words. However beautiful they were, deciphering them was a challenge, which at this moment in time, I was not bothered to take. Yet I noticed my mother’s name, Zenderella, mixed between the twirls, this must be my father’s.
Slowly sipping the milk, the same woman walks in, smiling a little bigger this time.
“Are you okay walking? We’re just going to the lift.” I nod, standing up. My legs wobbled but I managed. It wasn’t until I walked in the lift that I realized I was donned in different sweatpants and a shirt, which was not mine but surprisingly fit perfectly. My hair felt rough and tangled, without glancing in the mirror, I knew I looked a mess.
Both of us walked down an emerald green painted hallway. The carpet was soft and decorated with eye-catching prints but the walls were bare, naked, with just the skirting a fuchsia pink. The lady knocked on the door loudly, “Come in,” A voice piped, the tone sounded excited. She opened the mahogany door and I step in, smiling back at her as an act of gratitude. The second I walk in a man, with a hooked nose, embraces me.
I pull away in fear.
“Sienna!” The man looked poignant as I rushed to hug Seth.
“Sienna,” Seth whispered “That man, he’s your dad,” Seth steps back and smiles, his eyes overcome with happiness, for me.
I look at my father. Hooked nose; brown eyes; round face; pale skin; strongly built and clad in a black suit. A single tear wells up in my eye.
“Dad.” I say, more as a statement than a question.
I hug him, I feel like I’ve accomplished everything, like I’d done what my mother had originally intended to do. But I hadn’t. We hold each other tight, it feels suffocating but I don’t complain. My father lets go as he wipes away a tear travelling down his cheek.
“I’m guessing both of you have a lot of questions and I think answering all of them first, will be the easiest way to start this conversation of,” I take a seat on the chair next to Seth’s and lean on the desk.
“First of all Seth, I sincerely apologize with the mishap outside our borders, the rules both of the parties made were to be followed, and your eyes...well I hope you understand what I mean Seth, but I really do apologize,” The way he says that the brown and blue eyes are parties makes them sound like minor rivals, not sworn enemies. “Sienna, just in case you’re wondering why we injected you out there was so we can get you back in without the hassle of questions, no other reason.”
“Seth informed me prior to your arrival Sienna that he’d read my journal and told you the basics, of course what I’d spent night after night writing in worry, isn’t the whole story. The main problem between both parties was that the brown eyed people were always in the higher priority, the VIPs, the people who were offered the best seats in concerts, best jobs, best homes; rich things while the cyans, although not suffering through poverty were the middle-class.”
“So it was basically racism,” Seth interrupts, looking disgusted.
“No...yes...some sort yes but not always, there were blue eyes which were offered higher posts in some companies but that required a lot of hard work and perseverance, much more than necessary. There were some who had big homes and a wealthy life yet unfortunately, this never lasted very long. This problem had been brewing for years and I think everyone had finally had enough of the daily protests and riots out on the street. There were several other elements to it, if you want to know more you can read one of our school history books.”
“You teach this to students! We were never told.”Seth interrupts again, however dad didn’t look the slightest bit annoyed.
“It is a vital part of our history and it is considered here as a compulsory subject. Anyway, now that we’ve cleared that up, I’d like Seth to go and eat breakfast, he has been here since he woke.”
“No, I want to know more, I-“
“Your health should always come first Seth and I really would appreciate some time to catch up with my daughter,” Seth leaves without another word, the expression on his face told me he was irritated but I was too overwhelmed to console him.
“How was life there? Hard I’m guessing, is your mum okay?”
I nod absent minded. “So, have your powers come yet? Sixteen is the average age, you haven’t had any training with them so we might want to hook you onto that.”
“Yes, telekinesis, I moved a tree’s branch and slammed it into a man’s head,” Never in a million years would I have thought that I would utter that sentence.
Dad chuckles. “Well you’re going to find it quite unusual here, when you turn fifteen we begin training for your powers, even if they haven’t come yet, so you know how to use them and just if you were wondering, using your powers is minimal here, everyone leads a somewhat normal life, it’s very rare to someone flying around or moving branches off trees without touching them,” He winks at me.
I force a smile, I sense something was wrong, very wrong. My instinct wasn’t always correct but this time it wasn’t only my instinct which was telling me so. Everything was whispering to me, telling there was danger. It was coming soon and even if I was almost certainly mistaken, I had to be wary.
The clicking of the keys on my dad’s desktop shook me to life. I breathe deep. In, out, in, out, I follow the rhythm. In, out, in, out, in I’m with my father but my mother must be suffering, out, what do I do?, out, in, shall I tell him?, out. Sneezing, I reach for a tissue.
“You don’t look that well, go out for a walk, round the garden, I’ll have Theresa escort you,” Dad returns to the computer screen as the lady I met in the morning comes in once again.
The air is so cold but the trees are on fire. Scarlet and gold licks at the stone path. My walk feels more vibrant than a carnival parade, some of the trees stand naked, bereft of their colour, which is long gone and to never return until spring, when colours will change and everything will start anew. But I was a leaf which will never return to my home, yet this was my spring, my only chance to start on a clean slate. My mother, who must be placed before all those conductors who must be torturing her, the only way to discover where I was, but she wouldn’t give in, I hope.
“Sienna! Wait up!” I hear Seth puffing behind me, “So how did the chat with your long lost father go?”
“Good,” I reply, hoping he wouldn’t ask for a blow-by-blow description, “I was just wondering Seth, err...”
“I think it’s my turn to tell you to get to the point,” He chuckles as we advance.”Oh yeah one more thing, I know your happy seeing your dad and all but did you talk to him about the peace treaty?”
“No, not yet, tomorrow I promise, I was just overwhelmed I guess,” Seth nods “Seth listen my mum. They would be asking her to find out where I was right? They must be torturing her for me?” Seth nods again.
“Probably, but Sienna, we just can’t go back and help her, we’d be risking just a tad bit too much. I mean we just came, that’s a bit too out of the box and way too over our limits,”
“Well my mother always told me that limits only exist in the mind,” But he was right, it was the worst decision at this moment in time.
“Are you ok, with what happened last night? I hope they didn’t hurt you, I tried to use telekinesis but it just didn’t work!” I ask, wishing more than ever that he’d say it was alright.
“Sienna, I was thinking, that I go back, save your mother and tell her to come here, so you’ll be happy,” Seth transfers his gaze to the nearby tree.
“And give yourself away to die and endure the pain! You literally just told me that it was a bad idea!”
“That was meant for you. I’ll have to go back someday, I’ve hardly met anyone and I swear all of ‘em are already givin’ me the evils behind my back. I can’t live my life in the midst of you guys, I’ll go back, bear a few punishments and nothing bad will happen. No experiments, no rivalry, everything will be perfect. Sienna, trust me. And you won’t say no, okay?”
I just stand still, evaluating what he just told me. He was right, it was the best decision we could think of. But how would he go? Would he survive? The journey may be short but it was rough, it’ll be too hard for him back there. His father will reprimand him heavily, everyone will hate him, loathe him for betraying the city’s rules. I can’t let that happen. Yet I have to save my mother. My brain began to blur as I stormed off, infuriated for no reason at all.
“Hey Sienna! Just don’t let your father know about this!” He yelled, and presumed walking towards the end of the road.
Anger coursed through me, why shouldn’t I tell my father? I didn’t care what he thought I’m going to let his cat out of the bag, I’m sure dad will stop him from making a hazardous decision.
But mum...Seth shouldn’t go on a suicide mission...my mother is certainly getting tortured because of me...Seth will live his life in pain there...mum will die...Seth’s own father will hate him...Seth can talk to the residents about peace, I screamed. Letting all of it go, but it didn’t leave, it stayed, lodged in my brain. I cried, it was the only thing I could do. I was so stupid, salt and water pouring out of my eyes wasn’t going to improve anything. I had to do something to stop Seth from leaving, save mum and amend this world for the better and all of this wasn’t going to happen all in one night.
The day flew by with me debating with myself, failing to accomplish anything I’d planned. Dad just disappeared for the rest of the day so I was alone, like I was before. Isolated, unsocial, remote, cut off from the world. Listening to the gentle hum of the radiator I dozed off, without even realizing.
“Sienna, I love you and never forget that okay?” Mum said while tying my shoelaces on the morning before school. “Sienna, Sienna, Sienna,” I jolt awake, the dream making me shudder.
“I’m so sorry darling, I thought you should eat some dinner,” Smiling she handed me a tray of boiling hot soup. Seth. He must be planning to leave, right now, I have to talk to him, I may have not made my final decision yet but I wasn’t going to let him leave out of the blue.
“Theresa, could you please guide me to Seth’s room?”
She considers what to say, “10 minutes max okay? We’re going on lockdown in 20.”
“Why a lockdown at this time?” I ask inquisitively.
“After you came here our cameras have shown some signs of conductors from your city, curfew may also be considered but your father has too much on his mind. It’s hard being him you know, he’d cry every night for you and your mother and in the day work as hard as he possibly can to make this a better place. Everyone loves him, he’s the best leader we’ve ever had, despite his tough past.”
Well to make this a better place he could’ve at least tried to help this messed up world. I walk into Seth’s room. White sheets, white walls, oak bedside table, puffy pillows, but no Seth. My heart commences to race, beating faster and faster as the seconds go by. Dodging through the people walking down the hallway, I dash to my father’s office. Oak table, ballpoint pens, thick books, filled bookshelves, but no dad. Theresa stands before me, blocking my way to the lift.
“Your fathers beginning the lockdown, we need to go,” Theresa says unsympathetically, dragging me by hand through the empty hallways.
“Seth’s not in his room Theresa, we need to find him!” I cry as she locks the door.
“That is not our problem Sienna,” She turns away, shutting the lights, “Listen, I don’t know anything, honestly, we haven’t experienced a lockdown in sixteen years, this is serious, your father seems more stressed than usual and the rumour around is that the leader of the cyans is coming with an army and I don’t know if you realized this, you are your fathers most prized possession, he must protect you.”
We sit in silence for the next few seconds, when we suddenly hear screams from the neighbouring room.
“Oh no,” Theresa mutters pulling out a gun from the back of her white lab coat. “You got to get out,” She whispers, opening the window. She pulls a rope down and ties it to metal hooks on the window ledge, “I may have not known you very long Sienna yet I know you’re a girl fighting for, you’re the reason for this war. And I thank you for that,” She violently scratches her eyes and two brown coloured contact lenses fall to the bare ground, gleaming blue eyes stare at me, twinkling as she raises the gun towards the door. The screams get louder...
Was she a traitor or a loyalist? A bump forms in my throat as I hear gunshots, and Theresa’s chortle, then her scream. She gave up her life for me. And I must repay her by fulfilling her, mine and Seth’s dream. I reach to the bottom and run towards the garden I’d walked in this morning, it was the only place I knew to go.
“Sienna!” I hear a yell. I probe my surroundings, it must’ve been Seth. “Sienna!” I hear again. I turn to see Seth and his father. Seth screams groping for support; a gapingly huge bruise bleeds on his right arm. He’s tied to a plastic chair floundering as a conductor tapes his mouth. The dark blinded me; I couldn’t see much apart from a little light and a matchstick flaming on the edge of it.
“You see this Seth, it’s a Diminish fire, our teams latest invention. You can’t put it out unless you have a very special homogenous mixture, which you won’t be able to get that easily around here,” He cackles “Oh yes, and this fire goes in one direction, in a straight line, so you never miss your target,” He hisses, I step back.
What should I do? He was going to set the fire off on me. There was no way to escape, unless I could move the fire with telekinesis or out run it. My brain goes on lockdown mode, focusing only on the fire, my breaths become heavy yet steady and my stance is strong, legs shoulder width apart. The fire didn’t move, just became larger and larger. Closer and closer. Hotter and hotter.
It hits my arm first, shaking my concentration. Then my shoulder, chest, neck, head, hair. It only feels a boiling hot at the beginning but slowly, very slowly, it begins to really sting my skin, and eat away my brain. I don’t scream, just close my eyes and give myself away to it. Relishing every touch because it was the last thing I shall ever feel. I see Seth yelling between cries and his glittering blue eyes.
Blue. A soft blue. Brushing my eyes like silk. Seth, thank---------
* * *
~50 years later~
Seth’s point of view
Sienna Benchley marked the first war between the brown eyed and the blue eyed people, the beginning of the revolution. Today, October 27th, is the 50 year anniversary since her fight, people everywhere are dropping autumn leaves in jars outside her previous home. She marked the first person to rebel against the rules and dream for all of us to live together, without her we would still be living in that separated world, which we all disliked. Now we are together, in peace and happiness, just as she dreamed. We praise you Burnt Sienna.
I smile as my fingers flatten the page of the newspaper.
50 years since I was forced to witness her die.
Now the world knows her as Burnt Sienna, the person who marked the revolution.
I recall her beautiful chocolatey brown eyes that I would stare into.
Her excellent, quick-thinking mind.
She was the girl who believed things could change.
The girl who was known as a rebel but now an encouraging role model.
My Sienna. My beautiful Sienna.