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Its About Time
Time is the one thing we strive to earn. And schedules are all we have. Saying this, let’s start. I’m a foster kid, in a foster home. My twin sister Monica and I were together, that was until our group home turned into an experimental hell. We were part of an experiment called ‘twin genetics.’ Which was the wrongest way to explain it. I’m getting ahead of myself, my name is Vivianna Karl. The ‘group home’ was stationed in Kansas. And just like Dorothy from the Wizard Of Oz said, we were a long way from Kansas. Inside, there were no bedrooms, no windows, and definitely no laughter. There were secret doors hidden past the burnt down kitchen and just before the back door. Under the floorboards were chambers. Chambers holding numerous amounts of kids. And the ground surrounding the house was entirely freshly dug up, due to the failed experiments. It was depressing, to say the least. And it always hurt when someone else had something happen to them, even more than if it were to happen to you. One day in particular was the most memorable.
“Vivi, have I told you the story of time?” My abductor asked.
“I think not, goddess.” They had asked us to call them god or goddess.
“Time is of the up-most essence.” She began, “Time is nothing to be played with.” She stuck a needle in my arm. “Time is the most valuable treasure. Even more valuable than you. It is surprising to think this, but it is true.” She stuck another in my arm.
“And time needs managed. Therefore Dr. Saray has constructed a new... function for your schedule.” She stuck another in my thigh and another on the other. My so-called ‘functions’ were unresponsive as my body had fought them off.
“Will this one fail again, miss?” I questioned. She dropped her tool.
“How many times must you hear child? He doesn’t fail, he learns from past mistakes. And if your parents wouldn’t have made you there would be one less mistake.” I instantly regretted my decision in calling him out. Another person entered, it was the devil in human form. He dropped off a cup of black liquid and tightened my head strap.
“Just in case.” He smirked. He was always cautious around me because I had bitten him when he hit me with a scalpel. I sneezed suddenly. A scream made my eyes go wide, the walls were paper thin. More filed in after and started yelling.
“We’re busted. Move the children!” They yelled. I panicked and tried to jerk out of the bounds.
“I want out goddess,” I told her.
“I’m sorry my gold, but I cannot get caught.” She left me there in run down clothes and bound. They rushed out. People busted down the cement wall to get to me. They un-buckled me and helped me stand.
“Don’t touch me. I don’t know anything!” I covered my face. One scooped me up and put me on a rolling mattress. I froze completely and saw many others like me being evacuated. I caught a glimpse of my sister being untangled from her rope hammock of a bed and they shoved me into a vehicle.
“What is your name?” A nurse asked. I chose not to answer as we started moving. I managed to ignore her the whole way which only then did she give up. I felt a prick on my arm and looked at her as she stuck something into my vein.
“No.” I simply put.
“Why not darling?” She questioned.
“Goddess said it could interfere with the formula.” She stared at me and summoned the policemen.
“Tell them what you just told me.” She waited patiently.
“God and goddess said it might interfere with my formula,” I told them.
“Who is this god and goddess?” They asked.
“My abductors. My formula will help match my schedule. That is all they told me.” I explained.
“What schedule?” The nurse asked. “Menstrual?”
“No. My emotion schedule. In the night’s I’m mad. In the mornings I’m sad. And so on. I think they also did it to my sister Monica.” I explained. I got up to leave and they directed me over to a set of glass doors. I watched my feet when it first happened. I stood planted like a tree in the middle of the road and looked into the sky. I felt something soak into me. I could hear everything, the way the wind followed, the people asking if the others were okay. I continued on to the doors and walked in.
“The policeman told me to come here,” I told the front desk man.
“Are you a patient?” He asked.
“You could say that,” I answered. He stamped me and let me pass through a door.
“Step onto the scale.” He lazily said. He scribbled something down and I peeked to see what he had written before covering it with his hand. “Now go under here.” I pressed my feet back and let him get my height. He led me to a room and closed the door behind me. I looked around. There was a stuffed pig on top of the pillow and a soft blanket. I went over to the sink to grab water, but it came over to me. I backed up and it followed. This isn’t scientifically possible. I thought. Many thoughts raced through my head as I left it at that as sat under the blankets.
The man walked in again. “Okay. We’re going to keep you here for a couple days and try to get you into a group home.” The words pierced me.
“No!” I crab-walked further away from him, the water in my cup shot up. He didn’t see this.
“It is only temporary.” He tried to calm me.
“That’s what they told me last time. And it was far from that.” The trembled beneath the covers. I saw Monica race through the hall and glass shattering after. I swallowed and waited for the man to come back after he attempted to chase Monica. Needless to say, I didn’t see them later that day. I walked the halls to the restroom and witnessed more victims. Another shock hit me. This time I felt vengeance. I walked out the entrance door and saw a fireplace. I knelt next to the fire and found it flickered toward my fingers.I walked out a side entrance and passed multiple ambulances. I walked down the side of multiple main roads before going onto a side street. I slipped over fences until I found a light on. Humming filled the dark wooded space. A young lady of about 16 was painting a birdhouse yellow. I was more fixed on the light, however. If I closed the gap between my fingers the light waned. If I opened it, it waxed. The young lady, clearly confused turned around. I fixed myself on her eyes.
“Oh, sorry but do I know you?” She asked politely, reaching for her phone.
“No. I’m new,” I told her.
“It’s 12 in the morning.” She said.
“I know. I need somewhere safe to stay.” I explained. She nodded and picked up her phone.
“I’m going to call the police.” She informed me.
“No.” I grabbed the phone from her hand and burned it without her noticing.
“Hey. Okay, should I call social services?” She questioned. I shook my head and she sighed.
“Okay. You can stay here. My parents are asleep so we have to be quiet.” she grabbed my hand and led me through the halls. “I can set you up a couple of blankets and a pillow. And tomorrow you could leave.” She explained. I slipped under the blankets and felt relieved. A cold breeze lashed at my face.
“Hey. I’m sorry. My name is Vivianna Karl. And I was a foster child. My foster family was… devastating. I can’t go back into the system.” She listened the whole time intently. She turned on a small box tv and the news was the first thing to pop up.
“Two children, girls of about 13 or 14 have escaped Kansas City Hospital. The video shows one stopping at a fireplace before she left and one broke through the doors. Police are looking for them.” The policemen gathered around the microphone. “We are searching for both them and their abductors only called god and goddess. The girls were rescued from a foster home where they were experimented on. We have records of the so-called experiments and are testing them for poisons.” I started to lose focus and fell into a deep sleep.
I awoke with ease. I vaguely remembered another, twitch happening in the middle of the morning and earlier. I looked at the girl’s clock and found it was nearing 9’o clock. The young woman brought in a bowl filled with hot oats and brown sugar.
“I’m sorry. I hadn’t gotten any bedrest yesterday and was sleep deprived. I didn’t catch your name.” I explained.
“It’s Marla. I would never have thought a lab rat would learn so many words.” She quickly filled in something she missed. “Not a lab rat. Sorry, but a contestant?” She shrugged her shoulder but had made up her mind.
“So you found out?” I asked.
“I found out. You can trust me. I saw you at around six like shoot up like a rocket.” Her eyebrows moved at every word she had said. The clock in the room struck 9. I froze.
“I need fresh air,” I demanded.
“Of course. I’ll open a window.” I snacked on the oats as she opened a couple windows and sat down next to me and at out of her bowl.
“How’s your’s?” She asked.
“Pretty good. And you?” She also told me it was good. We ate silently for a while or until we both finished. I went out into the hall and discovered the door wide open.
“Marla.” I began to ask. A hand covered my mouth and someone pushed me up against a wall, pinning me with its knee. I look up and it was my abductor.
“Hello, my gold. I’m sorry for everything I did. I was power hungry. I have to make sure the formula worked though. I trust you and won’t follow you. I disabled the device.” She hushed.
I knew exactly what she meant. “It worked,” I admitted. She nodded and turned to leave.
“I don’t know who you are but you stay away from her.” Marla pointed a fireplace prod at her chest. She surrendered and Marla ordered me to get her the house phone. I brought it to her and she dialed 911. I waited in her bathroom as the police took her into custody. Marla brought me downstair after they left.
“You aren’t safe here. I have a friend that could hide you.” She went back into her room while I sat at the table.
“I packed some clothes and the sleeping bag in here.” She informed me. Then she told me about a plan. “In case any others are out there I’ll be a distraction while you sneak in. The car has tinted windows so you’ll be close to covered.” We waited by the garage and she hit the button. She hit two metal pots together while I raced to the back door. I opened the car door a sliver and squeezed through. She sat down and zoomed straight out of the driveway. She looked pestered as she whispered to herself something inaudible for me. I stared out the window and watched as building after building passed. She took a sharp turn right and got onto the freeway. I laid down and stared at nothing. I waited for close to 60 minutes before we came to a full stop.
“I’m sorry for all the trouble.” I apologized before she helped me out.
“This isn’t the first time. A girl who we called M came by and also was being experimented on. She never told us the first story though.” I passed her as she led me up to the long archway securing the door. She knocked four times fast and once slow.
“Hello?” Someone said through a small opening at the bottom.
“Oh hey, David. I have another, friend here to spend some time with you.” A silence fell and multiple doorknobs turned.
“Come in.” He took my hand and sat me down.
“Tea, coffee or water?” He asked.
“Tea please.” He brought me a mug and another cup of sugar. I poured some sugar in and sipped carefully. David pulled Marla closer toward the doorway and filed out questions, giving her no time for a response.
“She’s different in a way. M only could control the Earth. Vivi is obsessed with all the elements, maybe even Earth.” I turned on the television and the news started rolling.
“Hello, and right now one of our members are at Kansas City Hospital with some breaking news.” Another person appeared. “They have now caught one of the girls who escaped. Her name is Riley Peterson and she was thought to have been so tormented with her abductors so-called ‘experiments’ that she went mentally insane. In other news one of the abductors were caught. Her name is Madysen Roy and she was more popularly known as goddess among her victims. The other young lady, Vivianna Karl is still unknown and her file has recently been discovered. Another escapist Monica Karl has released some time ago and is believed to be with her sister.” The video played over and over before I turned it off and returned to my warm cup of tea.
“You have a twin?” Marla asked quietly.
“I wasn’t a twin to begin with. But the doctors gave us each others DNA and we twined together. We were never aloud to see each other. But I once got a sneak peak and that’s how I know what she looks like. Instead of brown eyes like mine, her’s were gray. And instead of straight hair, she has beach waves.” I sipped my tea and waited patiently for a response.
“She just described M,” David whispered. I looked at him.
“Where is Monica?” I asked.
“She left some time ago. She called us a while ago telling us she was fine.” I knew Marla was hiding something but decided it would be best if I didn’t confront her. I laid back a little and controlled my breath.
“Let me show you to your room,” David told me. I followed as he led me across from the lovely kitchen and dining room and many pictures. He opened a door as I saw a lavender colored twin bed in the corner and a large closet.
“When my dad gets here you can trust him,” David informed me. He laid down some clothes on the bed and left the room. I closed the blinds and quickly undressed. I traced my scars for awhile before dressing. I looked in the long mirror and studied the outfit; a large fitting gray flannel over a tank top of the same color, black skinny jeans, and yellow lined socks. I tied my hair into a ponytail and left the room.
“Wow,” Marla commented. I sat on a barstool before my tea and looked around. Someone opened the doors.
“I’m home David.” They announced. A man with a buttoned up shirt and long johns stopped in his tracks as he saw me.
“David. I was fine about the first time I saw this, but she was different.” He hissed.
“We’ve noticed Mr. Hurt. This is Vivianna Karl. M’s sister.” Marla explained. He sat down opposite from me and studied my face.
“How so different?” He questioned. Marla and David sat at the front and back of the table.
“M was obsessed with Earth. She had to always touch it. She had these twitches but she still was obsessed with Earth. Vivianna has twitched too. She is somehow connected with all of them. Last night I noticed that from midnight from 3 she was on edge. At 3 to 6 she was alert, like someone had splashed water on her. And from 6 to 9 she was clingy towards the ground and from 9 to midnight of 12 pm she wanted air. It’s like a schedule.” I thought back to back in the basement.
“Therefore Dr. Saray has constructed a new... function for your schedule.” Goddess had said. I nodded and Mr. Hurt also took it in.
“I’ll allow it. But she can’t stay here all day. I want you to take her to school with you.” He paused.
“Why?” David asked.
“She has a use for learning. Plus she’d just be in your car the whole time. She can’t just stay cooped up here.” He explained. He stood up and dug through a drawer and pulled out a stack of old worn books.
“Here’s some history and math and maybe science books.” He turned to David next. “And I want you to get her some spiral notebooks before school for her to take notes on.” He ordered. I awaited as he kept talking. I shot up and felt something course through me. I felt spiteful. I locked my jaw and pursed my lips.
“Vivi?” Mr. Hurt asked. I looked straight at him and shrugged my shoulders in an aggressive way. Marla looked at the clock.
“It’s noon. Which means she is obsessed with fire.” She pointed out. I dead stared at her and slumped back.
“Why is she acting like this though?” David butted in.
“Maybe every element is an emotion.” Marla realized. I felt a strange odor emanating from the kitchen. I looked down to see one of the paper books I was holding caught ablaze. I threw it onto the marble table and looked down in horror as my hand was covered in blue flames. I calmed down and fled. David saw me before I left through the door and ran after me. Tears strained my eyes as I kept jogging. At one point he caught up with me and blocked my path. I hadn’t realized Marla was right next to me, but she threw a bag over my head and someone put me in a lock where I could only wiggle. I felt very fouled by them and started shaking. I felt the burn of the air sting my skin and quickly replaced by warmer feelings. I knew immediately we were back at the house.
“What are we supposed to do until later. She has to stay cool. She struggled more when we were outside than in.” Marla huffed. David held tighter as I started balling.
“Let. Me. Go.” I said, trying to sound more menacing that I felt. I felt myself moving again as water ran. Bathtub. I struggled more and swatted at Marla as she tried to tie my hand and feet.
“Stop!” I screamed. Mr. Hurt lowered me into the tub and took the bag off. They looked way different to me now. Instead of blue eyes, Marla now had a mischievious grin on her face and devil eyes. My head jerked back and in circles as something irritated my nerves. I took a suffocated breath in and moved my back. My skin felt pestered by the water and it somehow hurt.
“I can’t! It freezes.” I felt woozy as I felt hypothermia creeping into my veins. I slammed my head back on the tile and continued to do so as Mr. Hurt felt around my neck and touched somewhere. I felt my eyelids get heavy.
“I… hey… Marla…” I dozed off into a dreamland.
I bolted up. It took me a minute to comprehend what priorly happened and sighed. I saw the ties as they started to dissolve right before my eyes. I walked out and into the room they assigned me and changed into a gray turtleneck and leggings. I journeyed over to the twin bed and snuggled in with an extra pillow. I felt so lonely. I don’t know how to describe it. But the closest description is hollow. I heard many taps as someone entered the room.
“Thank God. Are you okay?” David asked.
“What is okay?” I questioned. I tightened my grip on the pillow as David left the room. I tilted my head down ready for sleep as a figure in the window made me jump. She slithered in like a snake. Riley Peterson.
“Riley?” I asked. We had a bad reputation together. She seemed to have powers also and threw me against me a wall without even touching me.
“Hey. Remembered when I’d get blamed every, single, time, you did anything?” She threw the dresser in front of the door.
“Out,” I ordered.
“I don’t think I want to leave.” She paced. “Someone told me you have some interesting schedules.” She snagged a lock of hair. I shook my head a couple times fast and stared her down. A vase of flowers broke next to me and water swirled out and covered her face. She clawed at her face and tried to open a breathing hole. Someone got through the glass door and David and Marla entered. I let my guard down and Riley, full force rammed into me. I felt the wind being knocked out of me and my ribs being crushed. More water burst out of the bathroom and covered her body. I swung her out the opened glass door. Sirens wailed as Marla took me into the closet. I banged on the door and the sirens stopped. I stopped and paced around. I heard a yelp from Riley and hypothesize she’d been taken away.
“I’m so sorry this happened to you again. We won’t be guarding you but if this happens again we might have to.” They warned. I counted silently as they searched. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 8… And so it went on. Mr. Hurt opened the door and let me out.
“That was close. I don’t think this is safe for her. I can talk to her abductor tomorrow but for now, she has to be on the down low.” He informed us. Marla yet again packed my bag and put the clothes in the wardrobe in it and the books. I was ready to leave before David put a hand on my shoulder.
“This is only for a few nights.” He reassured me. I realized I was blushing and went over to the kitchen island. Mr. Hurt put a nicely presented dish in front of me. I gobbled it up and went to the bathroom before then leaving to my room, where I slept. I awoke at what can only be described as a silent wind. I bolted upright and saw frost covering the sheets. I broke free from the grasp of it and closed the window. This gave me enough time to encase my feet in more frost. I lifted up and laid back in bed. I went to move the other side as my hips snapped free of the frost.
“I’m done,” I told myself. I went over to the closet and put on an extra pair of everything. I went back to the bed and closed my eyes. With all the cover I was overheating. I tore off my blankets and sat on the chair. Without warning, someone opened my door. I waited to see Marla, but instead, I found a teen girl with shoulder length hair and mismatching clothes. I sat up higher and squinted my eyes before she bolted off into the hallway. I, of course, ran behind her as she dove through the now open door and escaped. I shut the door again and ran into David’s chest as he ran down the stairs.