Inferno

February 3, 2011
I hold my little brother tightly as we huddle in a corner. Rebels are everywhere. Some of them with guns, others with melee weapons that look like they could cut through just about anything. No one has bothered to speak to us, to set our minds at ease. In fact, no one has even glanced in my direction. Do they not realize what consequences my brother and I will face for being here? Being in one rebel’s presence could result in fifty lashes. What will become of us when they find out we were in the presence of thousands?

“Marshall Palmer?” A husky voice pulls me away from my thoughts. Two men are standing before us. One armed with a sophisticated machine gun, both wearing rebel uniforms.

“As if you didn’t know that already,” I mutter, half-way tempted to role my eyes.

This seems to take the men by surprise. They exchange a look of what can only be described as pleasure and straighten their postures. The larger man – with the machine gun – smiles and holds his hand out to me. “Brave one, aren’t you? We value that here.”

I reluctantly take the man’s hand and allow him to help me up. My brother is by my side in an instant, squeezing the life out of my thigh with his frightened little arms. I pick him up and press his face into my sweatshirt, narrowing my eyes at the men. “Why are we here, Rebels?”

The unarmed man gestures for me to follow him and begins walking. I notice he’s wearing a hat much like the generals back home wear. He must be a superior officer here. “Blindfold them,” he orders over his shoulder.



We arrive at our destination after what seems like an hour of walking. Though we were blindfolded, I suspect the always-paranoid rebels led us through many unnecessary twists and turns to confuse us about the design of their headquarters.

My blindfold is pulled off and I gasp instantly at the sight before me. The entire room seems to be made up of several large screens filled with images of the Rebel force’s enemies. Hundreds of monitors filled with base camps and enemy movement. My knees go weak when I notice the center screen, bearing the still image of my empty house. So, they know. Of, course they know. Why else would I be here?

“Something wrong, Marshall?” I look up to see the general staring at me in mock concern. He must have seen me staring at the monitor. How long have they been watching us? Months? Years? I shake my head to clear the thought and try to steady myself.

“Of course not,” I say as coolly as possible. The general raises an eyebrow and then shrugs, gesturing towards the rather large, oval-shaped table in the center of the room.

“Well, then,” he says, “shall we sit?”

He plants himself at the very far end of the table, patting the seat beside him. I reluctantly walk over and sit, positioning my brother on my left leg – the furthest leg from the general.

“So Marshall,” the general begins, “you must have some idea as to why you’re here.” He folds his hands in front of him and looks at me expectantly.

Trying to ignore the nausea starting to well up inside me, I answer through clenched teeth. “Not a clue. Why don’t you enlighten me?”

He sighs, shaking his head solemnly. “They said you’d be a tough one,” he mumbles, motioning for the armed man to come over. I tighten my grip around my brother.

“Now Mr. Palmer,” the general continues when the man arrives, “we’ve been watching you for some time, and it seems you have certain… abilities… that would be of great use to our-“

“I have no abilities,” I hiss, my eyes never leaving the armed man. They should know there’s no sense in trying to shoot me, but would they put my brother’s life in danger just to prove a point? I resist the impulse to hide him behind my back.

The armed man looks at the general, who gives him a curt nod. I feel all the muscles in my body tense as I infer what is about to happen. My mind struggles to find some solution – another way to get out of this alive – but I know there is only one. I take a deep breath as the armed man pulls out a pistol and aims it at my brother. The all-too familiar burning sensation begins at my fingertips, working its way up my hands and through my body. Time begins to slow, but only I notice. For the rest, time is moving just as fast as it always does. To them, seconds fly by, while they drag on and on for me. The armed man pulls the trigger and the bullet slowly makes its way through the tense air. I hear myself cry out and see the small ball of fire escape my hand. It flies to meet the bullet, and
I see them collide… And then the actual speed of time rushes back all at once, and I’m aware of two things. My brother crying and the tiny pile of ash on the table that was once a bullet.

“Ssh baby. It’s okay,” I whisper to my brother, rocking him back and forth in my arms. I glare up at the man with the pistol and am considering setting him on fire when the general speaks.

“Well,” he says, obviously taken back by what he just witnessed, “that’s quite something for someone with no abilities.”





Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Kggne said...
Feb. 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm
Loved the story. You can't stop reading it.  Awesom!!!  I'm so proud of her...
 
JJ kk said...
Feb. 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm
Loved the story. You can't stop reading it.  Awesom!!!  I'm so proud of her...
 
LoveToRead said...
Feb. 8, 2011 at 9:30 am
I absolutely loved the story, and I want MORE PLEASE!  I tried to rate it, and obviously I would rate it high since I really liked it, but the way the rating works I accidentally gave it a lower score and there is no way to fix it. :(

I want to comment that I particularly liked all of the detail in the story, it makes you feel like you right there in the middle of the scene and puts you on the edge of your seat with anticipation for what happens next.
 
CandoIt said...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm
Wow! great talent. Very creative and captivating.
 
indacupcake said...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Where is the rest of it?? I want more!!
 
PUNK R3D 101 said...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm
This is really cool. I like it! :) I love the last part the most! Good job.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback