strike: a faerie tale
Author's note: This a sequel; check out the first. This second book took me one month during a summer vacation... Show full author's note »
mistakenTHE CAR DOOR OPENED, LETTING IN A FRESH BREEZE TO ENGULF ME. A man was holding the door open as Jake helped me out of the car. I staggered at my step, Jake caught me and supported me. The man motioned for us to move but we almost tripped over my feet.
I felt a bit better with the fresh air in me. I floated a couple inches off the ground, my legs trembled a little; it was easier to fly than walk. Jake put his arm around my waist and guided me forward. I still felt a bit exhausted--nauseated--and focused all my little energy on staying off the ground. I rested my head on Jake's shoulder.
We were coming up to a building in the middle of the mountains. At least that's what the big silhouettes looked like. I wasn't sure if it was late at night or early in the morning; it all felt the same. There weren't any stars or as moon. Only a big, white building illuminated our way. Few windows had light flowing through them.
"Jake, where are we?" I asked softly. My throat stung a little.
"Where are we, sir?" he asked the man walking next to his left side.
He was watching me float along before he answered. "I can't tell you that but we do work for the U.S. government… if it makes you feel better," he said to me. That didn't reassure me at all.
I felt someone walking next to me but I couldn't turn to look at him for as we neared the building, my symptoms returned, only stronger and I lost most of my senses.
"Quick! Get her on a stretcher!" I heard a man say, sounding so far…. People scuffled around but they sounded far away. I inhaled too deeply, and nails fell down my throat. I felt Jake let me go as I was lowered onto a soft cot-like bed, then later, my stomach shifting indicated we were probably in an elevator for a while. I felt I was being pushed by the so-called stretcher I was supposed to be on. I felt Jake hold my hand the whole way. The air was becoming fresher as my senses got more sharper. I still couldn't open my eyes or even move comfortably as we slowed down to a stop.
"Put her there. We'll be right back," said the male voice from earlier. I felt Jake scoop me into his arms and carefully put me on a soft bed. Feeling the clean air in my lungs, I opened my eyes to see Jake get a chair.
"What time is it?" I said, sitting up too quickly. My head twirled as I shook away the dizziness.
"You shouldn't sit up like that, you know. You'll give yourself brain damage."
"Ha ha," I muttered as I sat up. "Seriously, where are we? Who are these people?" My stupid watch wasn't working; I'd had it since 9th grade. I looked around the room. It looked like a hospital patient's room. The walls were painted a light pink with little flower patterns. There was glass door leading one way and a regular door leading to a hallway where people bustled by. And one more door was opposite the bed.
"I'll go scope it out. You stay here," he said. I moved to follow him, but he gave me a serious look. "Seriously."
"Fine." I got up to open the curtains, revealing the glass door. It seemed there were mountains all around. They rolled over each other in to the distance. My stomach dropped. Our parents were probably worried sick about me and Jake.
"It's eleven forty," Jake said as he returned.
I shook my head. "Jake, where are our phones?"
"I don't know. It wasn't in my pocket when I woke up." The automatic tone returned. I walked to the door almost crashing into someone in a lab coat. The man grabbed me by the shoulders.
"You need to lie down, Miss," he said. I put up my arms and tried to blast him away from me--but nothing happened. I only struggled against him as Jake came up and pushed him off of me. Jake obviously still had his strength… why didn't I?
I stepped behind Jake, fearful of my sudden weakness. The man had graying brown hair though he wasn't that old, I figured mid-thirties or early forties. Light crow's feet around the brown eyes, and he was a taller than we were.
"Who are you?" Jake asked fiercely.
The man straightened up his lab coat. "I'm Dr. Hewitt. I'm just going to take a look at your friend," he said stepping closer as Jake and I backed away.
"Nothing's wrong with me," I said as loudly as I could.
"No, nothing is wrong with you but you're not normal. Tell me," he said, leaning against the wall casually, "were you sick in the car? Motion sickness doesn't count." I saw no harm in answering that question.
"Y-yes, I was."
Dr. Hewitt nodded comprehendingly. "It seems you get sick whenever you are near a lot of iron, like in the lobby, which means you are or part faerie," he said firmly. I felt my mouth open in shock. How did he know? Nobody knew.
"How do you know that?" I asked obviously.
"Do you remember when you were attacked by two men in an alley?" he asked. "There was a witness across the street who saw what happened and called the local police. He said a girl tried to push the man away when something purple came out of her hands and threw the man against the wall. Was that not what happened?"
It took me a moment to speak. "Why… why are we here?"
The doctor stood up straight. "After that incident occurred, we realized someone abnormal was there. We needed to help them if they were young, like you. It took most of our resources to find you, the process was… long, but worth it. We're trying to help people who are… shall we say more gifted than others. Trust me, Amy, you are not the only faerie I know. There are millions of people all over this country alone--different, like you, and we try to help them find a way to live among a common society.
"For example, I'm trying to cure the sickness associated with faeries and iron, since it's such an inconvenience. I only have two with me, you and one other. I need to see who reacts how in order to perfect the cure." I felt like I was in an X-Men movie, or some alien abduction story. Any minute I expected him to pull out a syringe and a cavity probe.
"What if I don't want to stay here?" I asked.
"Well, until I find another faerie girl, you have no choice. Your friend here can't leave either. Are you faerie too?" he asked, raising his eyebrows.
"You didn't see me collapsing in the lobby, did you? No offense," Jake added, nodding towards me.
"Well, I think we should rest. There is a button to call room service if there is anything you need--"
"Can we have our phones?" I asked quickly. I felt I needed one.
Dr. Hewitt smiled. "Cute. Lights out whenever you like as long as you're quiet." He left, closing the door behind him. I made my way to the bed and sat down before I fell. I put my head in my hands and analyzed the facts.
Jake and I had been kidnapped. People already wanted to study me. I felt like a total freak. We had no contact with our families, and they had no idea where we were--neither did we, for that matter. How stupid was I to think I was safe. I doubted it would all stop here. It was like my life was turning into a comic book.
Jake sat with me and I leaned on him. One more fact hit me: Jake still had his strength, why not his ability to get us out of here?
"Why aren't you getting us out of here?"
There was a long pause. "What would be the point? If we go home, they'll just catch us again, won't they?"
I sat up and looked at him, pure disbelief all over my face. "We don't have to go home, Jake. I just want to get away from here!" I stood up full of anger at his indifference. "I don't want to be poked and prodded like some freak animal!" I went to the door and pulled with all my might--all one hundred and five pounds; it was locked. I pulled again and banged and kicked the door furiously.
Jake pulled me away and covered my mouth with his hand as I struggled against him. He pinned my arms under one of his, wrapping it around my small waist completely. What was he doing? Why was he trying to shut me up? What was wrong with him?
His voice was different. "Stop it! Stop it, right now, please!"
The person holding me was not Jake.
A FRESH BREEZE WOKE ME UP. I was lying next to a tree, something cold near my head. I felt the ground and found some type of metal tube-like dart thing. Had I fallen asleep outside? Why was I here?
I got up quickly and looked around, dizzy and nervous. I was still in the orchard, and it was immensely dark out here. I didn't see her form anywhere hidden in the shadows of the surrounding trees.
Amy must be home I thought. But then why would she leave me here? That would be one very mean prank--totally not uncommon. Figuring she'd be waiting for me there--just about dying of laughter--I went to her room.
Right when I popped in, I heard a girl gasp. I found Liz, catching her breath near Amy's desk and mirror.
"Jake, where the hell have you been?" she asked. "Where's Amy?"
I blinked. "She's not here? What time is it?" I looked up at the clock, which said it was one in the morning. She would've gone unseen for approximately nine hours; where could she possibly be?
"What happened? Were you with her?" Liz hounded. I quickly told her where we'd been--not including Roxanne's being a werewolf, or Roxanne at all. I told her about waking up there just minutes ago with no Amy in sight.
"So you don't know--" she stopped for I'd turned invisible because someone was coming.
Josh burst through the door. “Liz, who are you talking to?" I reappeared. "Where's Amy?" he directed to me. I repeated what I had just said to Liz.
He sat down on her bed. "Our moms and Liz's dad are out looking for her. Dad already knows but he still can't leave the hospital." Liz sat next to him. "The police won't search unless she's been missing for more than twenty-four hours. Liz and I are here in case you or her were to come back."
Something told me she wouldn't be back so soon.
I HELD STILL SO HE WOULD LET ME GO, BREATHING RAPIDLY IN PANIC. I backed away from him when he released me. He was about my age, light reddish brown hair, muscular, and was looking at me with concern. It was scary how much he resembled Jake.
"Please. Don't develop the habit of screaming like that. They might come and sedate you--and it's not cool." He stepped closer as I stepped back, bumping against the wall. He then backed away, holding his hands up in front of him. "I won't hurt you. I promise. You don't have to be scared."
"Oh, right. So I should just trust total strangers? I don't think so."
"Come on. I'm the other faerie. They said if I helped them I--"
"Where's Jake?" I interrupted loudly. He could've been Robert Pattinson for all I cared. I just wanted to know where--
He raised an eyebrow. "Your boyfriend?" I nodded, ignoring his scoff. "We left him in the field. They only wanted you. They made me come along to help; you wouldn't have agreed to come voluntarily, would you?" he said chuckling, though his smile faltered when I wasn't laughing. I was just kidnapped, taken away from the people I loved and all he could do was try to cheer me up?
"You keep saying they. Who are these people? What exactly goes on here?" I was still a distance away from him, though he put his hands down.
He shrugged. "Dr. Hewitt just explained it. He found a cure for the iron sickness, but only for guys, I guess. He's still not sure with will work on a girl," he answered seriously. "My name's Mark by the way." He stepped closer as I pressed into the wall, wishing I could go through it.
"You shouldn't be scared of me. I didn't hurt you, did I? You're perfectly fine, right?" I couldn't help but scoff at him. "I'm perfectly fine, am I? I was just abducted by some freak doctor, taken away from the people I care about! How can you call that being perfectly fine?" It took all the restraint I had not to yell in his face, maybe even hit him.
Mark had taken a step back. "How do you think I got here?" he asked. "I was brought here almost the same way. At least you had someone with you; I was all alone when they had taken me." He sat down at the bed, putting his head in his hands.
I cautiously stepped toward him. Were there others? Like… us?
"About six months ago. I would have been able to go back home if I hadn't tried to escape so many times. Because of me, they rebuilt the lobby with as much iron as possible and fixed most of the rooms so that no one could use their powers. They only let me use mine, for now."
So I wasn't the only one. There were others like me and who weren't like me stuck in this place.
"Did they take others this way?"
"Yeah. And in some ways… even worse."
There was a knock on the door. I jumped as Dr. Hewitt stepped in again. "You can go to your room now, Mark. Let Miss Santali rest," he said, holding the door open. Mark and I both stood up, he left as Dr. Hewitt shut the door behind him, stepping into the room. I had backed away to stand behind the bed.
He just smiled. "You should know by now there is nothing to fear," he said. "Breakfast is at eight thirty. I'll have someone show you around the place in the morning. Good night." Dr. Hewitt turned, and left.
I didn't know what to think. I was being held here against my will; my parents had no clue where I was; was Jake okay? I thought the worst was over with Roxanne. How bad can things get?
These people supposedly weren't going to hurt me… then why did they have to take me away? I could live without a car. I could just fly places with Jake. Jake. Just thinking him about him hurt… when I tried not to think of him, I thought of Josh… Liz… Mom, Dad in the hospital (did he know?)… even Alloid and Arial.
I knew only one person I could barely maybe possibly trust and that was Mark, but I still wasn't so sure. He was here for the same reason I was. He knew what was going on… and I had no one. As exhaustion washed over me, tears flooded my eyes. I cried till I fell asleep.
I WOKE UP GROGGILY. Where was I? This wasn't my room; the walls were blue… oh. Then I remembered why I was here. Josh, Liz and I had spent the night here. Liz was sleeping on the bed, I was slumped over Amy's desk, and Josh was sleeping on the window seat. He had been waiting for Amy to fly in or see her walk by on the sidewalk.
I heard dishes clattering below; Mrs. Santali was probably cooking breakfast. I glanced at the clock which said we should've been at school a little over two hours ago. I assumed our parents had called the school to let us stay home.
Footsteps could be heard downstairs coming up. Mrs. Santali opened the door a crack. She looked like she hadn't slept at all; her eyes were red and puffy (from crying), her hands trembled slightly as she held the doorknob (from uncertainty).
"I made some breakfast if you're hungry," she said, her voice a little shaky. She glanced at Liz and Josh. "I'll wait till they wake up but you can come eat downstairs if you like." She closed the door and left. I didn't want to leave her by herself in the kitchen, so I followed after her; it was bad enough that her husband couldn't be home.