Swept Away

February 5, 2008
By
“Can I stay home today?” I asked my mother moodily. I wobbled through the kitchen, my head hazy from lack of sleep.
“No. Break is in just a few days, hang in there.” My mother said. She eyed me head to toe, inspecting for signs of being sick.
“No one else is going to school! I really don’t see the point.” I was whining now. Break was in two days and I couldn’t wait. Once I actually found myself searching through my hair for gray strands that may have grown because of all the stress.
“Please don’t use that attitude with me. If you can’t stop complaining then maybe you need to just stay home this weekend.” My mother said, giving me “The Glare”.
There she goes again. Whenever she wants me to behave, she threatens me with something I’m looking forward to.
Slightly irritated, I made myself breakfast. I pulled the milk out from the fridge and a box of cereal out from under the counter. I poured a small serving and started spooning the food into my mouth, not really tasting it. At the moment I was lost in thought.
Thursday. The events of today would be mostly predictable. Everyone would be eager for school to finally be out and the chance to spend time with friends. No doubt the teachers would be dog-tired as well. I imagined the reactions of my fellow peers when the teachers would dish out the homework Friday afternoon. I made a note to myself to get it done before I forgot about it.
7:30 AM. Time to catch the bus. I chugged the last bit of milk from my cereal and dashed out the door.
“See you later!” I hollered to my mom as I jogged down the driveway.
“Call me and let me know what your plans are! And put your coat on!” She yelled after me.

Ugh. I moaned to myself as her shouts echoed down the road.

“Gee Mom, don’t worry about waking up the neighbors.” I mumbled to myself. Taking a deep breath, I cleared my head with the icy air. I felt awkward when I was angry. My friends can always tell when I’m upset and I didn’t feel up to answering any prying questions today.

As I approached the corner to the bus stop, I almost turned around and went back home. No one was there. Totally deserted. Did I miss it? I looked at my watch. Nope. 7:35 AM. I was early.

A little shaken, I sat on the curb. I thought about all the people who came to my bus stop. Total, there were three of us, I myself being always the last one to arrive. Jake was early every morning. There wasn’t a time when I’d ever beaten him to the bus stop. Or Heather. For every time that I’d taken the bus, she’d always been there leaning up against the stop sign.

I jumped suddenly as a car screeched down the road. Standing up, I squinted trying to see the car that was going at least 50 miles per hour down a 30 mile per hour road. My heart skipped a beat. In that moment realization washed through me. As the menacing car came closer and closer, it was aimed at me. It wasn’t even on the right side of the road. I was paralyzed. If I ran, it would just run be over while trying to escape. With my breath coming in short gasps, I began to stumble back. Just a block away, I saw the car clearly; it was an old battered jeep with one of the front headlights shattered. Inside the metal menace, I made out two figures. Tight black masks concealed their faces. On the mask, a blood red X was stitched on the left cheek. I closed my eyes.

I was flying. No. Someone was pulling me away. Strong arms held me as we were flung through the air. The two of us hit the ground, and the breath was knocked out of me. Before I was able to even figure out where we landed, my savior pulled me up from the ground and held me like a rag doll.

“What are you doing? Let go!” I screamed, squirming in the figure’s grasp.

In a swift motion, my so-called knight in shining armor pulled out a syringe filled with a clear liquid and injected it into my arm.

“Ouch! What the…!” Drowsiness seeped through my body. Slowly, I became limp. I looked down at my arm and saw a small bead of blood where the needle had been. Helpless, I mustered up my last bit of strength and screamed. Not even a second passed before a hand was clamped over my mouth.

Someone talking? I was drifting, swimming, drowning all at the same time. Lost in the deep water within the deepest corners of my mind, I listened.

“What have you done? You cannot bring her here and expect them not to find you. She’s the reason for this disaster and I will not have her jeopardize the safety of the village. You must leave immediately” the voice of an older man echoed in my ears.

“It couldn’t be helped. If I hadn’t interfered, they would have taken her, and eventually killed her.” This voice belonged to someone younger, and somewhat more composed. The youthful voice sighed. “Relax brother, I will move her to a safer location shortly. I was going to let her awaken and orient herself with the situation.” Adding gravely, “She has no idea.”

Who in the world could they be talking about? Me? I almost choked at the idea. No. This has all been a dream. Wake up! Wake up!!

I forced my eyes open, and gasped. My head throbbed like it had been smashed against a wall. My body ached with a sore numbness. I told myself it was quite possible that I had been mixed in a blender and then dumped back out again.

I heard a chair creak and two hands pushed down on my shoulders as I struggled to get up.
“Don’t…!” I never finished the sentence. I froze. I was staring into deep silver eyes. No. That didn’t even come close. The pupils were bolts of lightning, like cracks in a door to a place unknown. I told myself that I should be afraid. I was not. I could not. I was entranced.


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