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It All Started When She Was Four... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It all started when she was four...

She stood alone in a gray hexagonal room, unaware that she had been unconscious just two minutes ago.

"What's going on?" she called, having overcome her hesitation at breaking the silence.

The past was a cloud. She could see their faces, hear their voices, but through a cloud. "Where am I?"

No response. She stared up at the ceiling, mentally noting that nobody would build a cell 15 feet high for a girl who was 5'4".

So they were watching her.

Maybe, she conceded to herself. There wasn't necessarily anyone watching at the moment, but there were the means. She knew these kinds of things.

She didn't think much about the past, or even wonder why it seemed so distant. Their medications had taken care of that. For their purposes, however, her sense of the present needed to be intact.

And she looked around carefully, inspecting the slightly reflective walls. Her face appeared distorted in the metal. She thought. She wasn't sure how one-way mirrors worked and if these could be some.

She was suddenly startled by a voice coming at her from all directions. "Hello, Karen."

She recognized the voice as an average composite of many computerized voice patterns. Somebody didn't want to be recognized.

"Back from coffee break?" she called up. She walked in circles, watching all six faces of the wall.

"Do you realize why you're here, Karen?"

"Yes," she answered, not missing a beat. She smiled. She had caught them off-guard.

"And why is that?" asked the voice patronizingly.

"I remind you of your dead wife," she answered calmly.

There was an irritated pause. "Do you want us to tell you why you are here?" Us. Collective. She filed that away.

"Yes. You need to come out of denial."

"Karen, you are here because we want you to join us."

This was unexpected.

"Oh?"

"Karen, your powers far exceed those of the average human. You're better than they are."

So that was it.

She remembered. Ever since that day in June when she was four since she discovered she could win the guessing games if she looked hard enough into somebody's face, since she learned that they had come 50 years ago and weeded out those with her abilities, since her father had mysteriously disappeared.

"And we want you, Karen. We need you."

She forced her mind back to reality.

"Karen."

"Computer man."

"Karen, you can accept your human genetics ..."

"Mmm-hmm."

" ... or you can renounce them and join us."

She took a breath. "See, I have a problem with the word renounce. It's a strong word. If you renounce something, you can't ever go back or you're a hypocrite. I hate hypocrites. I'm already my own worst enemy. There's no need to aggravate the situation."There was silence.

"You know, Karen, you are truly one of us.

"Mmm-hmm."

"You can't renounce destiny."

"True," she agreed sardonically. "But I don't believe in destiny."

"Perhaps it's time to start believing in something."

"Oh, I believe in something. I just don't believe in destiny. And quite frankly, it's none of your business what I believe."

"Isn't it?"

She refused to answer.

"Karen, we take care of our own. And you are one of us."

She said nothing.

"Karen."

She said nothing.

"Your mother doesn't know what is happening. She didn't understand about your father, and they don't understand that you're not like others."

"That's not her fault," she whispered.

"It's not yours either," replied the computer.

She was confused. "She - she just doesn't understand the - the powers," she said weakly.

"And neither do you, anymore."

She stopped. Then, eyes widening, she slowly raised her face to the ceiling.

"Karen. It is the truth."

"I don't want to hear the truth."

"Karen," said the voice more gently.

"Shut up," she said, her voice trembling.

No place left in the universe, said a voice inside of her head. It wasn't hers.

"Get out of my mind!"

No place left. You said it yourself. No place left in the universe.

"GET OUT!" she screamed frantically.

Karen, said the voice. Karen. Karen, Karen, Karen, karen, karen karen karen -

-"Stop," she cried out - "Get out of my head -

- karenkarenkarenkarenkaren -

- "I'm not one of you"-

- karenkarenkaren -

- "Leave me alone - I'm not one of you" -

- karenkarenkarenkarenkaren -

- "i dont belong to you" -

- karen -

- "pleasejustleavemealone" -

- karen -

- "i" -

- karen -

- "ididntaskforthis" -

- karen -

- "neveraskedforthis"

- karen -

- "whyareyou"-

- karenkarenkaren -


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

writergirl2 said...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm:
Interesting. Very suspensful and interesting. It let's the reader fill in the blanks. :)
 
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Jingyi_Huang said...
Jan. 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm:
Nice story! Can you give me feedback for my story? It's called "Rememberence of a Friend" by Jingyi_Huang.
It is under the realistic fiction section.
 
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Darkchloe14 said...
Dec. 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm:
I wish you gave a hint to what happens next or something. Does she give in? Guess we'll never know...
 
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