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The Others (Part 2)
Three days later
My heart hammered inside my chest.
The bitter murky breeze left chills along my spine. The stabbing pain in my back was dimmed.
I tried not to remember the incident. But my attempts left me running and screaming - just like my sanity a couple of years ago.
I gazed at the dark underwater colored sky. Small sparkling dots seemed to dance behind lush dark green leaves. My dirty blond hair fell in front of my eyes. A cold sheen of sweat had formed around my body. Plastering my shirt to my chest. My mouth tasted like old sand paper and dried blood.
I was used to the sinking feeling I got when ever I opened my eyes. Waking up in a strange place everyday is the worst feeling one could ever imagine. Never knowing if you’re going to die today, or in the next hour. Never knowing if Nate and Daniel are dead.
“Hey she’s awake,” my eyes found Nate’s leaning alongside a moss covered tree. His hair limp against his withered, tired face. Yet with the lack of sleep his normal flawless smile was on his lips, showing virtually all of his teeth. Daniel was beside him. His hair gleaming like brass in the dim light. Daniel paced across the clearing, his hands jammed inside his pockets. They weren’t talking, just watching me sleep. Relief spread through me in a gush in my lifeless body. I could see Nate felt the same way.
Nate looked to Daniel, his twin brother. A grin of reassured faith finally appeared on Daniel’s faint face. “You were unconscious for three days. We didn’t know what happened to you.” Nate rubbed my back like he used to when I was a little kid. His smile identical to Daniel’s.
Daniel creeped up behind me. I couldn‘t see when he moved. I could only feel his warm, familiar presence behind me. He walks so quietly, like a shadow. “Hey Lana,” Daniel said. A twinkle in his shaded eyes. His voice was heavy like he just woke up from a nap. His voice may be slightly emotionless but I could always tell how he was feeling.
Nate and Daniel are my older brothers. All of us are “Others”.
In this world Others are the lowest of the low. Others are cast away from the world and if found, you should only expect to be killed, like my mother after she gave birth to me. You may not believe me but the three of us as Others have “powers”. Amazingly, Nate can read minds. He tried to give Daniel and me our privacy but he can’t help it. He was born being able to read minds. Daniel can sense the future. And I am a mutant. Weird huh? If this seems odd to you, you’re not alone. Very few people have accepted Others (or “Extras” as some called them) and whoever has is dead.
No joke. This world is insane and we can’t do anything about it.
Since I was four, the three of us have lived on our own. I was raised by Nate and Daniel: not your ideal parents. We have never had anyone but each other. No one to trust but each other. It was safer that way. We learned how to survive in a world where the only way to survive was to hide. The prepared ones were going to win this war not the strong ones that will fight back the “Humans”. The Others are way too outnumbered. That is their only strength, numbers nothing else.
As long as we stay hidden we’ll live easily. Here by ourselves we can be who we want to be.
I was the odd ball in this group. My brothers had amazing powers. I was a mutant. ten percent lion, two percent shark, and eighty-eight percent human. Weird combo I know.
“Oh here we got,” -stole- “breakfast.” Nate said, letting go of what ever he and Daniel talked about and put a cold bagel on my black - once blue- skinny jeans.
Note to self: get some new clothes. The last time you got new things was five months ago. I think, I lost count.
I nibbled at the bagel in silence, savoring the taste. Daniel shrugged as if to say sorry, it’s not much. But it’s all we could get. Nate starting biting his fingernails, nervous beyond belief. For someone who seemed so optimistic he had a lot of nervous habits, maybe he just liked to always be in motion. Daniel turned away from us, not wanting to get involved in a conversation yet. He twirled a silky piece of grass between his fingertips.
I felt the bagel plummet inside my empty stomach painfully. My stomach gurgled in glee, and they say stomachs don’t have feelings.
When was the last time I ate?
Nate, you listings? I thought telepathically.
He nodded his head once in reply.
What do you say, we go visit Mom’s grave today? I asked, trying to make whatever possible conversation I could think of. No matter how awkward.
Besides we only visit Mom’s grave when we needed a break from life. When we wanted to remember the good life. The awful memory of my mother’s death sent unshed tears inside my eyes. It was a simple Tuesday when mother died. We came back from school and there they stood on our porch step. Guns and knifes clutched inside their fists so tightly that you could see the white of their knuckles. Five of them surrounded my mother. Her cries easily heard across the road. Pools of burgundy red blood seeped down the steps like a veil around her feet.
Some of the men hissed venomously and maliciously like snakes. Others gazed at her, sizing her up. I tried to run to her, tears sprang out of my small toddler eyes. My arms held out to her, trying to save her any way possible. I already had my powers but they were untamed, uncontrollable. Besides my fanged teeth, not even now, could tear through a gun or make me run any faster. Daniel and Nate held me back. Their strong arms picking me against their chests. I later realized they were trying to save me from the same fate as Mom’s.
I cried on Daniel’s shoulder, he cried with me. I easily, didn’t want to, heard the bullet tear open my mothers skin, felt the knife stalk down her neck in one swift swing. And with that my mother was no more. I didn’t look at her dead body being carried off her murderers. All I had right then was tears and memories of that moment. I was three when that occurred and I only blame myself for her death and my hatred of her murderers.
I slightly turned to Nate. Petite tears were around his eyes, remembering with me.
“Sure,” he said, wiping away any evidence that he shed a single tear. Daniel didn’t say a thing, used to all the silent and odd conversations in this family, but somehow knew what we were talking about. He looked down at his hands, trying to hide his face from view; although he does not cry.
My eyes itchy with simple petite tears. I finished the bagel in silence once again, forgetting about its taste.
The light wind blew away my worries with its light fingertips. My heavy eyes closed in unwanted reminisce. The sight tickle of goose bumps of my neck sent calming cold shivers down my spine. Time slowed to such a simple point. If only I could stay like this for hours, the troubles of being “different” could just disappear.
If only it were that simple. I suppressed a sigh when the breeze cleared. But I continued to stand there, the hairs on my arms tingling appreciationly.
Mother was buried outside the city in the middle of a corn field. Surprisingly it was cheerful outside, even with our heavy hearts.
The gleaming, thawing sun warmed the small of our backs. Nate beside me kept his eyes on the ground pretended to watch his steps, his chopped off hair hung down his neck. Daniel, on my other side, was humming “Can’t touch this” mostly because we banned him from singing it a long time ago.
Both of them had to almost run to keep up with my lion like pace.
“Honey, no one wants to,” I glanced at Daniel without turning my head. I could vaguely see his eyes rolling toward the sky.
Nate, holding my hand, had a smirk planted onto his face. “Is that so Daniel? That’ll be the day,” he said without looking away from his bare feet.
“Stay out of my mind Brother.” Daniel said with mock venom, his eyes oddly narrowed. His hands crossed over against his chest.
Nate laughed at Daniel’s thoughts, holding his hands up in denial. “Like I can help it.”
I chuckled with him, I couldn‘t help it. “Shut up.” Daniel and Nate where both nineteen but sometimes they acted even younger then I was.
Stuff like our powers made life interesting. It was just another odd thing in our lives. Hey, we weren’t complaining.
They mood crashed and burned. The only laughter left was awkward and barley noticeable.
Nate stared at Daniel skeptically like he and Daniel were having a silent conversation. Which they were.
“No…” Nate gritted his teeth. His face hard, hardly moving. His voice harsh yet calm at the same time. As though he was trying not to imagine what just might happen in Daniel‘s vision.
We weren’t far from Mom’s grave but I now wasn’t sure we would get there any time soon.
“I can’t change the future Nate,” Daniel shrugged and stood beside me. His long, bare, hairy arm wrapped around my shoulders. An awkward smile placed onto his soft face. He’s a good actor isn’t he? His short dark blond hair covered his eyebrows; you’d think he didn’t have any eyebrows at all.
“Am I missing something? Spill,” I knew they wouldn’t tell me, they never do. Besides I’ll find out later one way or another.
“We’ll tell you later,” Daniel said at the same time as Nate said, “It’s nothing Lana.”
My insides went hallow. My breath shallow. My eyes switched back and forth from Nate to Daniel.
The only time they say those kinds of things is when they are trying to hide things from me. Only when one of us is in danger. But the look on their faces gave all their secrets away.
It was about me.
“You’re too smart for your own good Lana. I told you it’s nothing. Nothing will happen to any of us Okay.” Nate said reassuringly. It sounded more like he was trying to convince himself .
I could smell them coming. Hear them struggle in the leaves trying to stay hidden. My eyes turned into small slits, like a lions. My hair stood on end.
And who ever it is, is not coming here to give us a hot plate of homemade cookies.
But we can always hope.
The idea of Daniel’s vision was the last thing I thought of before my last nightmare became my first.
The only thing on my side was instincts. ‘Do not think just act,’ I remembered my mother saying. I would’ve never dreamed how much that would come in handy.
The bullet wound in my back left me fighting slower then I’ve ever expected. I had fought many fights before but none like this. I looked furiously at the ten men fighting us. Their eyes seemed black with fire behind them.
These aren’t humans, I realized, these are Others.
I looked at Daniel. He was taking on three men that had ganged up on him. Two of them already dumbfounded. Nate and Daniel had it good; they could sense their opponent’s next move. And you can’t imagine how easy it is to fight when you have that advantage. I watched as Daniel roundhouse the Other right in the gut, leaving him on the ground clutching his stomach. Blood stains ran down underneath his white shirt.
Nate did the same. He fought four people without breaking a visible sweat. He laughed when he blocked every single move his opponents made, the scar that covered the length of his left cheek moved with his snickering face. (He never seemed happier. Nate liked to fight more then anyone I‘ve every met, surprisingly.) And during spare moments Nate quickly jammed his fist into their faces. Their eyes were bloodshot and they spit blood out of their mouths onto the dead corn heaps. Making them even more bewildered.
I wouldn’t have to worry about them.
The other two were sizing me up, glancing at me from my bare feet to
my rats nest of hair that looked close to a lion‘s vicious mane. They made plans on how quick it would take to knock me out.
Of course the Others didn’t have guns that would be too easy.
Before they could get a chance to do anything, I kicked the first guy straight in the face with lightning swiftness. A punch that would have made a normal man gasping and trying to stagger back from unconsciousness. I let my claws unfurl from my fingertips, if they were any longer I would’ve looked like the Wolverine. My fangs grew out with them, they were sharper than any sharks’ would have been. I was used to this type of transformation. But looking like a werewolf and a mad lion mutation gone horribly wrong in anyone else’s eyes.
I could almost smell their next move. Well now it should be obvious that I am an Other. No reason hiding it now right?
At that second it seemed like a video game. Unreal moves and fights of fantasy playing across a simple screen. I pounced at the men. I landed right on top of them. I could hear the air coming out of them in a whirl.
I had learned a long time ago to act, never think. And that’s exactly what I did. So if you’re wondering why I did something, you are not alone.
I bit his arm wide open. It looked bizarre, felt bizarre. His blood tasted odd inside my mouth, it dripped off my fanged teeth like a vampire’s thirst for blood. But in this world you’ll do anything to find spare time.
The man’s mouth was gaping. His eyes red as he tried to blink out the blood.
“Close your mouth.” I snapped, “we don’t wanna catch a fly, now do we?”
The other man grabbed my arm, almost out of its socket. His hand overlapped around my forearms, turning them blue. I tried not to wince. “Not so brave anymore are you Other?” His cull voice rang, whispering in my ear. I would have fought back but he was too out of reach. I would have lashed at him. But he held my arms so tight they felt paralyzed. I would have kicked him, but those too were paralyzed.
He’s right I’m not as tough as I hoped I was.
He dragged me across the ground like a sack of dirt. Scratching my face until I couldn’t see anything but the black of my eyelids. The other body builders grabbed my legs as well as four other men. Two of them held my legs apart. Another held out my free hand. The other two helped them keep me in place. I was being hung in the cool morning air like a rucksack.
I could feel my body going sapphire. These weren’t normal Others. They were much stronger. They seemed to cut off you’re powers with just one flick of a punch. And I was being held against my will by nearly ten of them.
Dream come true. I thought sarcastically.
All of them punching me anywhere they could reach when they could spare a moment from my thrashing limbs. I couldn’t move. I hung there in the middle of the open air. The men chuckled low and dark.
I was bleeding, but they didn’t seem to care that my warm, fresh blood ran down onto their arms and on their newly spit shined boots. And my now open bullet wound didn’t help either. I didn‘t care, after a little while caring is the least of your worries. “Now what should we do with you?” A cool, brutal smile curled his lips. Dim light sparked off the butcher knife he was holding. It was as sharp as a shard of glass. Blood slithered down it’s jagged, razor- sharp side, dripping slowly brilliant, bright red blood onto the unknown ground below. My own.
He never took unlocked his tawny eyes away from mine. I couldn’t breathe. Where is Nate and Daniel? More then half of the guys fighting us are right here holding me in thin air,
“You know I think it’s more of an insult that seven of you bodybuilders have to hold down a scrawny fifteen year old.” I snapped, trying to make a distraction. I suppressed a laugh when they realized how true it was.
“Lana hang on for just a second,” I heard diffusely Daniel’s voice calling. Yeah that won’t be too hard.
Within milliseconds one man curled his fist and punched my right along my cheek. I could feel blood wane inside my mouth. The others joined in.
They dropped me to the ground. And just for that falling second did I feel the slightest of peace. The wind rushing through my hair. The sanitation of
nothing trying to kill me. But only for that moment.
My back crashed onto old piles of corn that dug inside my skin. The air ran out of me in a rush. Blood ran down my shirt once again. How high did they hand me in the air? I was in shock, I tried to convince myself.
The men came at me without warning. I couldn’t tell where I was being hit or cut because there wasn’t a part of me that wasn’t in pain. I can’t describe it, it was just there and no possible way to stop it. All of them launched on me. Punching, kicking me in the chest left me breathless. I had no air. The slashed at my arms and legs and face with knifes and daggers.
Blood bloomed along my body. I stained to scream but there was no air in my lungs. Instinctively, I cover my face with my blooded hands. Knifes continued to rake my face anyhow. They didn’t have a care in the world whether I was hurt or not. They laughed venomously, pleased by the smell of my blood. They licked it off my cheek, I could feel its snake like tongue course along the cuts of my cheek.
I couldn’t see them; I had my eyes closed tighter then the actual definition of tight. All so I couldn’t see them come at me. And I couldn’t even see when Daniel or Nate came back, fighting for me against the cannibals. I heard the whimpers of the men that slashed at me but I still wouldn’t dare open my eyes.
I felt Nate’s warm arm around me. All other thoughts were driven away in that tiny millisecond. My brother. “It’s safe now Lena. Open your eyes, don’t you want to see those guys run away like cowards. I thought I was the cowardly lion; I was the one that couldn’t even fight back.
I slowly opened my eyes. Nate’s lip was split open; a black eye began to swell below his right eye. A few scratches along his face were normal for him though. Daniel barley had a scratch. Jeez, I thought. It’s almost like he’s gloating.
The rising sun shown on top of us, making our skin glow in the limelight.
“Lana they’re coming back later,” Daniel warned me. He stood a few feet away, thinking the same thing I was. His sea green eyes looked less lively.
He wasn’t joking.