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Start of Chapter: The Young
The day they found me, was the day the world turned black. For normal people, it stayed the same: Blue sky, green grass. For me? No. My world became black, locked in a cage, in a steel box, in a concrete room, with no windows, no lights, and not another source of life besides my own. I don’t blame them. I’m a destructive little seven year old, true, but I’m not evil. Not like this. I got off pretty well though, unlike the rest. The others they find, they bind with chains, torture them, and sometimes kill them. There’s no way I can escape even if I am a Young, so there’s no need for that with me. But still… I wonder why this is happening. Why did they have to find me? Why do they care what I can do? What did the Youngs DO to deserve this?
There are two different definitions of young. One means little in life or a child. The other? It means you’re like me. Yeah, you’re a kid, but you’re not normal. You have some sort of difference that makes you, well, different! Powers, sort of. No one’s really sure actually! Some say our mothers did something on propose to make us like this. Others say we are just the evolved version of the human race. Me? I say we’re normal. But no because the all holy science books say otherwise! Damn you science! Prove to me how a caterpillar gets it wings or how monkeys could possibly be our cousins and then, and only then, I’ll believe in your stupid theories!
I hear a sound outside my prison and my heart leaps to my thought in panic. A click and a rough scrape, one that make you hair stand up so straight they want to fall off. A door? Has to be, because now there are footsteps. Wait. Ha! That’s strange! They’re coming closer. Oh no… Why are they walking over here? They NEVER come over to my cage! Not even to give me food! I get that through a chute up above! Something clicks, the sound giving me shivers, then; “Rise and shine little beauty! It’s your turn for the maze! Maybe you’ll be the first to make it in time!” The voice sounds like a bear on a bad day, enough to make you shiver. Then, there was Laughter. Awful, evil laughter. The kind that makes me want to curl up and die in fear of what will come when the laughter ends.
Wait. Maze? What maze? I’ve never been moved before! Where are we going? Are you going to kill me? My brain can’t stop thinking of questions to ask, but I don’t speak. I won’t. I don’t know what they want, or if they information from me so I swore to myself I’d never talk to the Beans. That’s my nickname for them, as they always smell like rotten coffee beans. Their stench is so strong it hurts to breathe. Sometimes, more than one comes in to examine me, and the smell makes me want to faint. I pull my shirt up hoping it will make the smell go away.
Then I remember. The screams. The lights. The gunfire…. The maze must be their new experiment! But they NEVER use me for an experiment. Unless…. I was meant to be dead.
“Come on cutie! Let’s go!” The voice says in a mocking tone. How DARE he! Because he’s bigger does not mean he has the right to tell me what to do! I feel my anger swell up like one of those things “normal people” get. Uh…. Acne! If I had fur, my hackles would be higher than the ceiling. Because my cage is so short and I can’t ball my fists without causing my back to hit the ceiling, I dig my fingernails into the ground instead, allowing the awful sound they made to take full effect.
“No,” My voice is a mixture between a whisper and a growl. S***! They heard me! Not only am I going to be punished; now they know I’m not a mute! Oh crap.
I can imagine the Beans shocked expression as the dark cage is quiet. Or at least quiet for him. I can hear EVERYTHING. Like the fact his heart rate just sped up, and that his bladder is full and he REALLY has to go. I can also hear his thoughts.
“Did she? No. She didn’t? Did she?? This is bad… Really bad! What do I do? Bind her? Scold her? Whip her? Or maybe…” Ha! Fool. I would have decided already! Of course I just talked!! Then I see it. I hadn’t noticed it behind all my panicking and the smell of the Bean, but I can see it. Light! For 5 years now it’s been since I’ve seen REAL light! And it’s coming through a door! An open door to either hell or heaven. While the idiot Bean was still figuring out what to do, I crawl quietly over to the side of my cage looking for the tool I’d made to trim my hair a few months back. Almost poking myself with it, I find it and hide it up my stupid itchy nightgown, and slide back to the Bean. And the fool was STILL thinking! What an idiot! I nearly burst out laughing! So, with obviously having ample time to make it out of my cage, I swiftly knocked the Bean out. Didn’t know a 7 year-old could do that now did ya?
Grabbing my ratty thing they call a blanket, I tied it into something like a bag. Rummaging around my corner where I keep all my things, I found a few cans of food, bottled water, and shiny things I’ve snitched a little while ago. I’m busting out.
I didn’t know what I’d find when I’d leave the cage. All tests that they’ve ever done (only two I think) have been performed in here, and I had no idea of the building layout. But HE does. I wonder… Taking my hands, I pressed them ever so gently to his skull and focus. Like a computer I sort of “uploaded” information from his brain and “saved” it into mine. Humph… The layout of this building was VERY complex… This might get confusing. Good! I want a challenge!
Keeping my tool close to me, I snuck around the unconscious Bean towards the light. This is it! I closed my eyes and listened hard. Two, maybe three heartbeats outside. I’ll need to defiantly run. But what about the others? The other Youngs who need to be freed? No. Think logically! No. Time. And what if there ISN”T any others? What if I’m the last one? Really, it’s now or never! My eyes snaped open as I dashed like a starved cheetah through the hall.
People may have seen me. They might have yelled or rang an alarm. But of course I didn’t hear it! I was running WAY too fast to even hear myself breathe. Was I even breathing at all? Then it occurs to me. Eventually, I’ll reach a door that’s passcoded and will need to be hacked. I slamed on the brakes and dived into a dark hallway, gasping then inhaling quickly. This time I DO stop breathing but on propose instead of accidental. Listening, I make no movements, hoping no one is near, praying I’ll be safe. Odd. I was SURE someone would have followed me. Relief, along with disappointment, flow into me. Shame. I kinda wanted to make a struggle. You know? Draw blood, get revenge!
Listening one more time, I took carful steps towards the hallway. Breathing deep I shake off those feelings of drowsiness. I WILL make it out. I have to! I start running again, faster, and harder than before. The door. There it is! Maybe 500 feet in front of me? Suddenly time slows down. I heard something click and half saw a figure move. He has a gun!! He’s trying to kill me?! What do I do? Wait! No, don’t panic. Don’t-
But by that time my Young cells took over, overpowering my human thoughts. I could actually FEEL my body change shape, turning into something like an animal. My fingernails grew into claws, I could feel fangs sharp enough to pierce steel grow, and I even started to see different and I knew if I were to look in a mirror my eyes would look like a wolfs. I looked at the Bean who had now dropped his gun and was backing away. Stop! I thought, He’s surrendering! But my Young part of me had another idea. It wanted to kill. Charging the particles in the air around me, I shifted them in front of me and moved them fast towards the Bean. I couldn’t stop it. He didn’t even have time to scream before he disintegrated. In the moment of victory, I roared in triumph and ran out, finally free.
****3 years later******
As I put on my clothes I stole from the next door neighbor, I think about this past event. 3 years since I’ve escaped and it still haunts me. All youngs know they should never let their emotions get a hold of them, for only then do we truly become monsters. If we can keep calm, we can pass as humans. Is that why I was never slaughtered? Never beaten? Because I was so calm? Well I’ve defiantly changed that now haven’t I? Ha… What a crazy world we live in huh? Where beings can use their neurons to change the particles in the air at will, being able to perform “Magic”.
I soon as I escaped that bloody prison from hell, I ran as far as I could until I passed out. It must have been miles since no one ever caught up to me. When I regained consciousness, I was sore and could barely move. I felt like I could just lay there until someone shot me or I died from hunger. I truly wanted to die. But something changed my mind. God? Or just my conscience? What/whoever it was, I got moving again. I shut all of my nerves off so I could feel no exhaustion. This was VERY dangerous since if I ran too much and didn’t see that I was on my last breath or heartbeat, I could die. SO I had to take it extremely slow by walking instead of running, sleeping under brush every few hours, only then to wake up and go again. And as I was running, I cried. I cried for the dead youngs, the people who were tricked into believing we are evil, and I cried very hard for the Bean I killed.
I went on like that for three days (or so I thought) until I reached a city. A place full of food and water! A place to stop and rest for a little longer than an hour. But I wouldn’t last long, not like this. If I was normal I could bend in very easily. But I’ve been in a prison for MOUNTHS. Wearing the same clothes, not bathing, and literally being treated like a wild animal. And I bet anything I looked worse than one. But I was 7 years old was I not? I decided to use that to my advantage. The all powerful cute factor. I dug around my nightgown until I found my tool. I made ten deep cuts all over including my face, to make it look like I was in a fight. Blood was gushing out of one of the ones in my leg in a steady flow, like a river gone evil. I couldn’t feel anything then, but I would need to in a second so I could produce actual tears. Crocodile tears. I hold my breath as I turn my nerves back on. The pain was so much worse than I thought it would be. I screamed, loud and shrill. Someone had to hear that! Anyone! I screamed louder purposely increasing the pain, I HAD to be heard. I just had to! Then, like an angel, a man with a bushy 5 o’clock came over to check on me. What a nice man. I feel bad that I’ll need to use him in a sec. The pain was actually becomeing so intense for me, I was on the verge of passing out! I dimmed the pain as low as I could so I could still cry, but I could still stay awake. I MUST stay awake so I can read into this man’s head!
As the man leaned close looking at my wounds. He said something to calm me but I couldn’t hear it over my thrashing and screaming. He pulled something out of his pocket and tried to bandage my wounds, but by that time I already had my hands around his head and was collecting all his thoughts/memories of the city, causing him to go unconscious. Sorry.
It was a large city, with lots and lots of alleys to hide in. Many of them were near restaurants or hotels. The town was named Cottage Grove. Such a cute name don’t you think? The police force was small, yet strong an it would be wise for me to keep clear of them. There’s a few hobo I could mingle with if I so chosed. No, they would just turn me in for money wouldn’t they? Finishing my collecting, I set the poor man down gently, allowing his head to touch the ground in a way that wouldn’t hurt him. Want to know another thing we Youngs can do? We can erase memories. It’s hard, and very risky to do because if done wrong, the person’s brain will literally explode. Like BOOM explode! Nasty really….
I took a deep breath and focused. What I had to do, was let my own neurons, connect with his. It’s complicated how this works, but how I would explain it to someone younger than me (which is rare) is that I’m basically making my cells “talk” with his to let me take control of his brain for a few seconds while I wiped the memory. If they fought, mine would fight too, but then this man’s brain would explode and we really don’t want that to happen now do we? I leaned in and touched my forehead to his. Automatically, I was in what you would call a “storage facility of memories”. My cells must have already seized control! Weird… I searched for the memory of me and what I look like and other details we REALLY don’t want him to remember in case he decides to talk to the police force. I thought I’d never find them but when I did I almost collapsed from relief. I “grabbed” the memories and “crushed” them into powder. Job well done!
As I jerked my head back, it takes a sec for my eyes to refocus. Apologizing, I reach into mans coat and shuffle through his wallet. He’ll get worried if the whole thing is gone, but he won’t notice right away if a few buck are gone right? I snag about $50 worth, and a credit card (which I CAN use since I got his signature memorized), put the wallet back, said sorry again and rushed off into the great city.
Little did I realize how BIG the city was. It was truly a force to be messed with! Big buildings mixed in with little ones, alleys in wich police can jump out from at any time, and it didn’t help that it was dark out. All the lights looked the same as well as the people.
Dizzy from exhaustion I slump down against a wall outside of a Chinese restaurant. The sweets smell of pork, seafood, and other delicious things reach my nose. I can’t help but cry once more. The stress…. the fear…. It’s too much! Why couldn’t someone just kill me?
That’s when she came. I didn’t need to read her mind to know it was practically empty. One thought crossed my mind. Blonde. She walked out in shorts that could be considered undies and a shirt that barely reached her navel, talking on a pink cellular phone, “So he was like, ‘Yeah!’ and I was like, ‘Totally!’”. What made me think I should try the thing that happened next was crazy but smart. I hate that thing so much…
I ran up to the woman and clung to her arm. She made a noise somewhere in-between a squeak and an opera singer. I looked up with what I hoped were puppy dog eyes and said, “Please Miss. My mother left me here. I don’t have a home. Take me with you!” The woman just stared at me. She must have been…. 20? 23? Then she smiled. “Vick? Yeah, sorry hun. I’ll need to call you back,” and she snapped the phone shut.