(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Trey was written by Autumn Seigel.)
What did he do to deserve this? Alec, Ari’s little brother, said that there will be someone meeting him at the meadow. Alec had the gift of seeing the future., but Trey didn’t know anyone who would want to meet him. His only best friend was Ari and the rest of his friends were here in the bunker. So this person had to be a stranger…an important stranger.
Growing weary, he punched in the key code to unlock the door to the outside world from the bunker he was trapped in. The door slid into the rock beside him and he walked outside. The crisp, midnight air blew against his face and he smiled. He walked past Mark and Chase, who were doing patrols, scouting the perimeter for any signs of intruders. Alec said the certain someone who wanted to meet him came from a different world. She had a special gift of her own.
Trey sighed and his body started to vibrate at an intense speed until he knew he couldn’t be seen by anyone else. He walked across the acre of land that bordered the forest, leaves crunching under his feet. It was autumn now, the trees leaves starting to turn different colors of red, yellow, and brown. It was also starting to get colder as winter started to approach.
Trey followed the dirt path that led to the meadow. It didn’t take long before he started hearing the waves of the pond splash against the shore. He smiled as he finally came to the clearing. There was no one there. He rippled back into his normal form and sat on the old swing connected to the large tree and waited for the stranger to arrive.
Sometimes there was no subtle way to appear in another world rather than merely just appearing. Kelly always tried to do so in the shadows or out of sight of others, but here in the meadow, she really didn’t have much choice on the matter, so she simply appeared a few yards in front of Trey.
When he shot her a look, she smiled warmly at him as she drew near while taking in her surroundings but then finally focused on him. “Hello. You must be Trey. I’m Kelly Blanchard.” She bowed her head to him. “Thank you for meeting me.” Then she lifted her gaze to lock eyes with him, and again she smiled. “I trust you are well today?”
Trey shrugged slightly. “I’m alright. So, why are you meeting me today?”
He could tell she came from a different world. But, she also looked like she came from this world as well. Alec did say there are other versions of Earth besides the one they live on.
“To ask you questions, of course. Like for instance, where are we?” She glimpsed around. It was beautiful here, but she wondered how real it was. His author had mentioned to her a few things about her story, but Kelly wasn’t sure how everything came together, so she looked back at Trey with raised brows.
“We are at the Meadow,” Trey said calmly, looking around. “I really don’t know what else to call it. My best friend Ari and I used play here a lot when we were little.”
He was shocked at himself. He was talking like this person was a friend already. Maybe he was that sort of person who gets comfortable quickly with new people. He almost laughed.
Kelly smiled and walked around the meadow, looking at the beautiful blue flowers, then across the way at the pond not too far. She glanced back at Trey. “It’s lovely.” Then she decided to dismiss their surroundings from mind and focus on him. “How old are you, Trey? What is it that you do around here?”
He looked at her and started to speak quickly. “I’m 17. And we came here because Ari’s aunt and uncle live not to far from here. It was the only safe haven there was for miles. We just do normal kid stuff while still be alert for intruders. Even though Mark says that we should be more adult. What’s the fun in that?” He finally took a breath after that and smiled.
“Safe haven from what?” Kelly came to a tree to stand in its shadow, and she raised her hand to a low branch then glanced at him.
‘Alec did tell me that he could tell her everything,‘ Trey thought and scratched the back of his head. “From a guy with a God Complex who thinks it’s alright to change the human race.” Anger rose in his voice for a moment but then, he also laughed. He just said his father had a God Complex? Well, it’s not too far off.
Kelly arched a brow as she lowered her hand from branch then turned to lean against it with her arms crossed. “A lot of people have tried to change the human race.” An amused smile touched her lips. “How is this guy any different?”
“Oh, he’s crazy,” Trey said, thinking back on the memories. “He wants my best friend to be the leader. She doesn’t even know what she can do! Somehow he does though and messed with her genetics so much that her gift doesn’t come out when she wants it too. I’m surprised he didn’t even inject himself with the serum that changed us.” He hands turned into fists as he thought about his father doing all those crazy things.
Kelly raised her hands. “Okay, okay, slow down. Remember, I’m not from this world, so you need to explain things to me.” She lowered her hands and raised her brows. “What gifts? What serum? And leader of what?”
“Sorry about that,” Trey said, running his fingers through his hair. “I forgot…Okay, we have gifts that are supposed to help us survive the ‘new world’.” He even did the air quotes. “And the serum is what gifts us those gifts. And well, he wants her to be leader of these kids after the world ends. She doesn’t want the job, I know she doesn’t.” His voice calmed down as he watched her with curiosity
Okay, that made more sense, Kelly nodded, but she furrowed her brows. “And how do you all know the world is going to end?”
“Ari’s little brother, Alec, has the power to see the future, for one,” Trey said. “And he said it has something to do with Ari and that’s all he told me.”
Kelly thought about this but found an inconsistency. “You said that people are given this serum to get these gifts, right? Were people given this serum BEFORE they knew the world was going to end? Or what? Because….if Ari’s the only way they knew the world would end, and he only knows because of his gift, how does that work exactly?” She furrowed her brows as she crossed her arms, hoping her question made sense.
“We knew the world was going to end before. Ever heard of the 2012 Mayan Calendar ending? Well, it was sort of like that,” Trey picked at his brain to search for the right words. “People panicked and prepared for it but a quarter of the human race didn’t make it because of all the global warming changes. So, the government decided to form a project called “The New Earth Project”. The Serum given made you forget everything about yourself. Who you are, your past, everything. The thing you want most at the time of the experiment is what gift you get. Alec supposedly wanted to see the future at the time. Me, well, I just wanted to hide from someone I’m unfortunately related to.”
“Ah, I understand better now.” Kelly nodded then pushed away from the tree to meander about. “So you mentioned Alec and Ari. How many of you are all here?”
Trey shifted in his seat. “In our small group, there are nine of us. We remember who we are and can feel emotions unlike the others and that’s the one flaw I found in the system. If we don’t get the daily injections, we start to feel, and then remember.” He was staring at the pond as he spoke.
“And what do you remember?”
“Unfortunately, I remember the past I so wanted to forget,” Trey got off the swing and stood up, putting his hands in his pockets. “Yeah, I don’t want to forget the memories with Ari and her family but, the other stuff I want to forget.” The images of his father trying to experiment on him as a child flashed through his mind. He shook the images away and kicked at the dirt beneath his feet.
Kelly nodded. No need to unbury painful memories, so she turned above as she meandered through the meadow and glanced his way. “So, Ari….is she your sister or friend?” Kelly knew his author had told her before, but she couldn’t recall the details right now.
“Um, I treat her more like a sister than a friend,” Trey said. “Even though her boyfriend, Mark, gives me the cold shoulder. He thinks I want something more than friendship with her.” He smiled as he leaned against the tree beside him.
“Ah, I see.” Kelly smiled as she bent down to pluck a blue flower then rose to her feet again. “But you already have a girlfriend, don’t you? Karly, I believe her name is?” At Trey’s surprised look, Kelly smiled. “I know a ‘few’ things about this world. So tell me about her.” With a warm smile and flower in hand, Kelly drew near to Trey to sit on the ground in the shadow of the tree to listen.
Trey nodded. “Yes, she is. She’s soft spoken, kind, and she has the gift of healing. She doesn’t care about my past. She was part of the first wave of kids that came to the school. She had emotions, but doesn’t remember. Still doesn’t. Before all this,” he spread his arms wide. “She wanted to get close while we were at the school but I pushed her away. I didn’t know she cared about me that much until I used my gift and “vanished”, never learning how to turn myself back. Everyone, including her, thought I was dead. But, no, I’ve learned things about the project and stayed around and played practical jokes on the staff. Ari’s parents worked there and knew it was me somehow.” He chuckled and smiled at the thought.
While Kelly wanted to learn more about Karly, Trey had said something that she wanted to understand. “What school? Someplace people learn to control their powers?”
Trey nodded. “Yep, and a place where the ghosts of experiments past lurk around. Oooh…” He wiggled his fingers and tried to act like a stereotyped ghost. He knew it was a wrong time to be laughing, and it was probably a bad joke, and he stifled a laugh.
An amused smile tugged at Kelly’s lips, and she shook her head. “Quite the prankster, aren’t you? What is the best prank you ever managed to pull?” With a grin, she leaned back against a tree trunk and looked across the way at him to see what he would say.
He liked this question. “Well, at the school, while I was still invisible to pretty much everyone, I turned off all the computers in the lab at once and all the staff freaked out, thinking they lost everything! It was hilarious! You should’ve seen their faces.” He covered his mouth, trying hard not to laugh.
Kelly laughed. “Oh, that is cruel!” She shook her head still smiling, but then she let her smile fade as she pondered a more serious question. “Now though, with your invisibility, you’re given the unique chance to learn things others can’t….if you’re quiet, of course. Have you discovered something you never wished you’d learned?”
“The school doesn’t bury their dead properly.” Trey said, his voice becoming serious. “I’ve met some experiment kids who were lurking around the grounds and found out they died ten years ago when the experiments first started. Their powers backfired and they pretty much died on their own. I found out that my invisibility gave me the option to see and talk to ghosts.” He sighed as he remembered the sad scenes of the dead experiment kids.
“So there really are ghosts?” Kelly though he had been joking and had convinced others of ghosts due to his ability, but apparently not. “What have you learned from them?”
“That my father was a cruel man and doesn’t care about anyone but himself,” he said and then realized he revealed too much. He sighed. Well, at least I tried. “I told you before, he has a God Complex. I also found out that my father had a gas chamber hidden in the school. That’s where the rest of the kids died. If we rebelled against him, it’s a one way ticket there if he finds us.”
Reminded Kelly of Hitler but with people having superpowers. This gave her an idea. “So…with you all having different abilities, why hasn’t anyone stood against him? Brought him to justice?” She glanced at him as she twisted the flower in her hand.
“He is probably brainwashing all the kids now,” Trey said with a shake of his head. “Ari’s mom is a nurse there and she said that the Serum is going to be changed and that’s why she wanted us to escape. I knew what that meant. My father was going to try to control the kids who stayed behind and have them go after us…and take us down. But I know he wants Ari alive because of her gift.” He walked towards the pond and sat down on the grass that lined the dark sand and sighed.
“Are you all planning an escape? Or what?”
“We have already escaped,” Trey said, looking at her confused. “Somehow. Bu, we endured lots of obstacles along the way to get here, while still trying to make sure Ari was kept alive. We are all just trying to get as far away from the school as we can.”
Kelly nodded. There was a lot she didn’t understand about this world, but she didn’t have the time to learn it all. Instead, she wanted to focus on Trey as an individual–as a person, so she tossed the flower aside and clasped her hands together as she leaned forward and regarded him closely. “What is your dream of the future? What would you like to accomplish in life? If you could choose the future, what would it be?”
A simple question, Trey thought. He scratched the back of his head with his hand and thought about it. “Um, I don’t know actually,” he said. “I just take it one day at a time for now. I haven’t really thought about it much. If I do have a future, then so be it. I’ll deal with it when it comes. But, for now…” He paused and then blushed with embarrassment. “I’m sorry I couldn’t answer that question.” He looked at her, waiting for her response.
“It’s okay, but it’s something to think about.” Kelly smiled at him gently but then grew grave. “I have one last question for you, and then I’ll let you go. What is your greatest fear?”
He paused and looked down at the ground for a second. What is my greatest fear? First choice was his father, that was the obvious choice. But, what was the other fear he had that he didn’t want to happen.
Then, the answer came to him.
“Seeing my best friend die,” he muttered. “That’s the worst fear I have right now. If Ari dies, I don’t know what I would do.” He looked at her like he just revealed his deepest secret ever. But, he didn’t reveal all of it. Alec told him not to tell the full truth to anyone.
Kelly stared at him then tilted her head. “You’re not telling me everything. You can trust me. No one can even hear our conversation, and no one will ever know what you tell me.” She wondered if she could push him, if he would open up to her, but she’d respect him if he refused.
“It’s better if you don’t know,” he said with a sad smile. “It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen. Ari’s choice effect everything from here on out. It effects her future. You’ll probably find out soon anyway.”
“Maybe.” Kelly nodded, respecting his choice, and then she took a deep breath and rose to her feet. She dusted off her clothes and gifted Trey with a smile. “Thank you for answering my questions, and whatever happens, I hope you all the very best. Stay loyal to your friends, to those closest to you, but be careful.” With that, she gave him one last smile then turned, walked away, and vanished from his world.
Trey looked at the spot where the woman vanished from thin air. He wished he could tell her everything, but he was pretty much sworn into keeping it a secret. It was okay though, because he knew Ari was writing in her journal and told him one night that if anything happens to her, she wanted Trey to share her story for generations to come. He knew what, and who, she was. Even if she didn’t know it herself. He stood up and saw the sun set behind the trees. It was time to go back, he thought and walked through the forest.
Autumn’s novel ‘ReAwaken’ is now available on Amazon, and you can find it here: ReAwaken by Autumn Seigel.
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