Life (17)

Life

‘SURPRISE!!’ Light suddenly invaded the eighty foot square living-room where the group raised their hands in the air to greet the birthday boy. As they came closer to hug him and wish him the best for the his next year of life, the latter let slip a smile. The night went by as they were chatting, drinking and playing bored games around the coffee table at the center of the room while Chester Bennington’s voice floated in the background. John’s pocket went into motion, startling him. He checked his phone and read:

From: James A

Found him. He’s pretty wounded. We’re here.

 

John stood up and taped on Chris’ shoulder. The two men stepped away for privacy. As he told the news to his friend, John observed with attention the latter’s reaction, but only his usual poker face appeared. ‘They’re home, by…’. John didn’t finish his sentence that a wind blew his hair and particles of dirt in a circle around a shape of Chris, ‘…now.’ The rest of the crew turned to him with interrogating looks on their faces. ‘All good. Nothing to worry about.’ John reassured them.

 

A second later, Chris appeared behind a tree, next to a broken lamppost. He took a breath, waited few more seconds, his eyes locked on the ground shifting from left to right quickly then walked into the light of the moon. His pace accelerated as he got closer to the maroon door. He checked one more time his surroundings before disappearing behind it. Once inside, a noise of glass attracted his attention to his left. As he approached the kitchen, he saw his old man serving himself a bowl of cereal while dark coffee dripped in a pot. The latter looked up to his son, a smile on his face. He slid the bowl to him, inviting him to sit down. Chris obeyed in silence, then Turner, in turn, took a seat in front of him. ‘Happy birthday’, he sweetly said. Another shy smile formed on Chris’ lips, quickly followed by a worried look when he noticed a stain on his father’s shirt. Miles Turner looked down then up: ‘It’s nothing. It will be gone by tomorrow.’ A silence passed. Chris’ expression hasn’t changed. ‘You’re so much like your mother.’ In an instant, the young man went from surprised to sadness, by way of half a second of happiness. ‘I’m fine, stop being so worried.’ Turner supported his son’s gaze until the latter returned to his birthday treat. After a while, Turner stood up, opened a drawer behind him, took a small box then put it on the counter, before sitting down. Chris looked successively at the wooden box then his father, who nodded. He opened it then looked back at his father, while tilting slightly his head. ‘It belonged to your mother’s family. She wanted to give it to you on your eighteenth birthday, but things got complicated.’ Turner gave a gently smile to his son, hoping the wound in him healed enough for them to speak about her, even just a little. Chris took a necklace out of the coffer: it was cold on its edges but warm in its heart. The pendant was carved naturally by ridges, more or less wide, with a black dot at its bottom. While Chris analyzed the object in his hands, Miles Turner analyzed his son and the interaction displaying before his eyes.

 

‘In 1962, Edward C.T. Chao, a geologist, discovered this mineral in a sample of Meteor Crater. It’s called stishovite, after the physicist who synthesized a year earlier.’ Jean Turner explained to her husband. ‘One of his assistant touched this piece and striations started to move slowly.’ She handed it to Miles, who took it. As soon as he went in contact with it, the striations in the rock went in motion and a black dot grew slightly bigger. Miles Turner gave an interrogative look to his wife who childishly smile at him. ‘The assistant was my mom. She sort of stole it and showed it to my dad. The same thing happened but at a different pace and the dot was smaller.’ Miles returned the stone to her. ‘We passed it to others but it seems to only react to our kind. We don’t know what this means exactly.’

 

‘She kept it with her at all time because she found it funny.’ Miles stared at his son, amused by the similarities they share. ‘It doesn’t do much. Just ridges moving to a certain pace, according to one’s capabilities.’ Chris looked up to his father.

‘It moves fast.’ He said in his broken voice. Miles smiled.

‘That’s how powerful you are.’

Chris put it around his neck and beneath his shirt. When the rock made contact with his skin, a warmth covered him. A strange feeling invaded his being, as if a constant gentle tornado stood next to him. He looked around, squinted his eyes, but nothing appeared. When the young man reached for the necklace, the feeling swiftly vanished, while the stone kept a stagnant heat. Miles Turner watched his son with tender eyes, his mind appeased by the other particularity of this mineral.

You felt it, haven’t you, Chris? Your mother’s presence.

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Life (16)

Life

The sun’s warmth cuddled the first night of May, a sign that summer was closing up. Although the sky above him was clear, revealing its shiny dress, on the horizon, a wave of clouds was approaching dragging a curtain of commotion with it. A smell of ocean traveled by wind through the field of green grass surrounding the barely noticeable house. Strange, he thought. He looked around and judged his position: the closest sign of life was miles away and no sound of crashing water was perceptible. Cautious, he walked to the entrance of the one story house covered with leaves, then opened the door, making as less noise as nature. But as soon as put a foot inside, his body was abruptly pulled into the darkness before hitting the floor. A foot stepped on his hand, a knee crushed his chest while a hand covered his mouth. His breathe was heavy as a shy light uncovered a man, blood on his face. After lurking the roof for a good minute, the man finally let go of his grip then turned to his prey.

‘James.’ The man said.

‘Mr. Turner.’ James replied in between two breathings. Miles Turner helped the young man get back on his feet then walked to the main room.

‘What are you doing here?’

‘Euhm, I was send.’ The young man felt a huge pressure growing in his chest. The man looked at him.

‘Chris?’ James shook his head. ‘John.’ He kept a poker face. Miles Turner glanced at his reaction and tried to smile as he achingly laid on one of the couch placed in the middle of the living room. ‘How did you find me? Ha, no need to answer.’ James fell into a deep silence, analyzing closely his friend’s father: a dirty piece of fabric was loosely covering his left shoulder, blood flowed profusely from his body dripping on the floor. Miles Turner sensed an insistent look on him: ‘It’s not that deep.’ He paused. ‘What are you doing here?’

‘Today is his birthday.’ Turner took a deep breathe.

‘I know. I planned on coming home.’

‘What happened?’ Turner looked at James then diverted his eyes. Wow, so much like Chris. Or the other way.

 

Five hours before, Miles Turner was deep into the ennemy’s lair. He woke up in a dark room, shone by a shy light passing through the clearance of the door in front of him. As his vision brightened, he noticed his knees were one inch deep into water. Miles looked up and scanned his surroundings, recalling the events and reasons that lead to his situation. Right: i let them follow me  away from Chris then they ambushed me. A constant sound of water dropped from his left. Air was humid and cold despite springtime. After assessing his situation, Miles Turner stood up then suddenly found himself face on the ground. Ha, that hurts. He realized that his hands were cuffed behind his back. At the same moment, footsteps came closer to his cell. Turner managed to get back on his knees as the door unlocked then opened. A tall man in a black trench coat stepped in and looked down on Turner. Not a word came out of his mouth before the man started slamming Turner’s body with a wooden stick. The latter took the beating in silence, his face expressed no emotions. The persecutor stopped to switch arms, Turner interrupted him: ‘What day is it?’ No response. As the torturer swang his arm backward, Turner leaned on his leg to tackle the latter, breaking his chains in the process. In a matter of seconds, he knocked him out, eliminated the guards watching behind the door and started to run. A loud alarm went off. At an end of a corridor, Turner turned to the right where a squad armed to the teeth was waiting for him. He stopped dead then took a deep breathe. A second passed slowly. They abruptly fired up on him, when he rushed toward them his arm creating a invisible shield in front of him. He jumped them on by one, making his way to an exit. His last opponent was a little bit more resilient than the other, pulled out a knife as a last resort and in a lucky move, stabbed Turner in the stomach. Miles Turner disarmed the man before slashing his throat then fled. On his way out, a gunshot resonated in the warm air of May. Turner fell forward, rolled over his shoulder and looked back at his persecutor. ‘Fuck, that one hurts too.’, he whispered to himself. With his remained energy, he took off of the ground and disappeared in the light of the sun. In about two hours, Garner’s henchmen lost his track.

 

‘Nothing’, Miles Turner said in a sigh of pain. He waited a moment, scanned the roof again then stood up. ‘Let’s go.’, he limped to James, grabbed his bag next to him, then walked out. The young man followed him, still in silence, worries invading his mind as Turner’s breathe gets heavier.

 

 

To be continued

Life (15)

Life

‘Hi! Where have you been?’ A voice came from their right: Karen was running toward them, her brunette hair swayed from left to right. She wore a full on Nike outfit with a fierceful look on her face, ready to destroy her enemy.

‘Wow! You’re taking it seriously.’ John joked.

‘Of course! And you should too, if you don’t want your ass kicked.’ John’s competitive mind was triggered.

‘We’ll see about that.’ He claimed as he stepped away, stretching his arms.

Left alone with Chris, Karen turned to her left and took a long look at the man walking next to her. Nothing much has changed in the few months that he had been away: still walking at a slow pace, with no intentions of going somewhere specific, hands in his pockets and a hood always covering his head. Though his silence felt less heavier than the first time they met. She waited for him to notice her then gave a smile when he finally did.

‘John told us you had to leave for a while’, her voice breaking the sweet music created by the breeze. ‘Was it because of my father?’ A pause set. Karen’s heart pounded in her chest, a drop of sweat teared down her spine as her temperature increased. When she was about to touch on another subject to lighten the atmosphere, her momentum got cut short.

‘It was more because of mine, but yours played a role.’ His voice was low, barely audible and slightly broken as if he hasn’t said a word for a while. Eyes locked on the ground, Karen fell into a silence, the guilt growing stronger. ‘Where are we?’ She looked up and realized he was staring at the tumult few meters ahead of them.

‘Oh! The guys are training us in kick-boxing.’ She said while throwing punches through the wind. ‘Wait. How are you here? If you didn’t know what we are about to do? Don’t tell me you didn’t ask.’ A silence. ‘Did you really follow John, above anyone else, no questions asked?’ Chris glanced at her. ‘You did! Oh my. Wow! I’m impressed by the level of trust you put in him. And a little bit scared for you.’ A smile transpired on his face. ‘You really are not afraid of anything, are you?’ She mumbled before running inside where the others gathered around John to begin the session.

‘Alright! Our beloved sensei do us the honor of being amongst us today, so training’s gonna be a little bit harder.’ John glanced through the door where Chris was standing straight like a Queen’s guard. ‘Ok! Mark! Mark? Who’s Mark? Mike, can you do the warm-up, please? Thanks.’ He walked toward Chris who stepped away. ‘You’re planning on joining us?’ Chris stared at him right in his eyes. Back to mute mode.

The day of he came back, conversations flowed easely: going from the life threatening subject to a more frivolous one like his relationship with Karen. When it was time to go separate ways, it only occured to John that the person he was speaking to rudymentary responded. That night, John decided it was best to keep Chris’ return from the others, giving him some time to recover and slowly return to society. It was two weeks ago.

John looked back a quick second, pointed at the inside and sat on the three steps in front of the dojo: ‘Sarah asked to learn how to fight, after, you know, the attack. She’s finally at a place where she wants to take action and not endure anymore. She told us that a week after you left.’ He paused, waiting for a reaction but nothing happened. Chris made few more steps backward as he looked away. ‘They asked questions about you.’ They locked eyes for half a second. ‘Where you were? If you’d come back. And if you were safe and sound.’ He paused again. John briefly smiled, seeing that Chris didn’t flinch at the idea that, beside him and his father, there are people who cared about him. ‘I just told them you went away for a moment. For the rest, they filled the blanks on their own.’ John observed his friend: no emotion surfaced on his face. ‘I didn’t tell them anything. But you already know that.’ Another smile appeared on John’s face.

Chris remained silent and still. Nothing in his posture nor behaviour showed that he was on the run for the past four months: going from a safehouse to another, in the middle of nowhere with no other way of transportation than his feet. No time to rest, sleeping on the ground, in the cold nights of winter, rationning water, food and energy. In two weeks, he managed to low his surveillance reflexes, although his muscles tense at any odd sound. John stared at him: he seemed at peace, standing there in the middle of the woods. But John knew something bothered him.

‘Have you heard from him?’ No response, as John expected. A silence passed. ‘He will get in touch. You’re his son, he can stay away for so long.’ A reaction: Chris slightly tilted his head to the left. John stood up and walked up the stairs then turned around: ‘Come on. Come back with us.’

 

 

To be continued

Thinking out loud

A day in my mind, IRL, Life, Random Thoughts

2006. A movie on channel 9 changed my life. The idea that was presented sprung up in my mind to blossom into a state of mind. I started to see the world differently. I started to see myself differently.

Before, i just moved around, acted like i was living life but in reality, i was just mimicking others, their behaviour, reactions and thoughts, without knowing why they do things that they do. I still don’t know, but now, i feel like i have the compassion to get a glimpse of their way of thinking.

After the movie, i realized that i could do… Things. To change my life. But not just mine, others if i took actions in certain situations. I began to take control of my thoughts, actions and emotions, looked at the world and people as if it was new. It took me a long time to adapt to that new way of thinking. But the decision was made in a matter of hour.

Now, let’s move forward to about two years ago. When i lost my mom, i shut down: my brain, my consciousness, my common sense even for a while. I focused on myself, became selfish and unaware of others. I tightened the bubble that is called ‘comfort zone’ to the strict minimum. Anything outside of myself was rejected. About a year and half later, meaning few months ago, my curiosity to the outside world woke up. But, it was a low light. Very low. Fast forward to February of this year: i met a friend of my brother. We didn’t really talk much, mainly because of me since i’m not that expressive. But there was one conversation that stuck with me. He’s a filmmaker, went to cinema school, made some successful short films and doing great in this new era of social media.

Me: So, do you think you’ll make a feature film one day?

Him: Well, not really. I make shorts because it goes to the point. I like to convey messages into my stories, but if one of those stories require a longer version, then yeah, maybe, i’ll make one.

Me: I see…

Him: But you know, making a full-length film isn’t my goal.

Me: Ha?

Him: My goal is… (looks at me) To change the world. And i need you to do that.

My bubble exploded. Through his direct words, he reminded me something that i knew and forgotten: i want to change the world and other people have the same dream. A burst of energy, motivation and determination woke me up completely. I remembered why i had the tattoo on my arm.

It’s been four months and i’ve been thinking on how to accomplish the impossible. A conclusion appeared quite quickly: i can’t do this alone. As he said: I need you. Another part of the answer i’m looking for is that improving people’s life isn’t going to change the world. Not permanently. Inegalities won’t disappear because people will reach a higher social class. A change of mind is what the world needs.

I’m aware there are already millions of souls who have a mentality that will lift human kind. I see it. And some of them are making moves and changes. But here’s where i have a slight problem with it: they reach for people who already agree to make a change in their lives. It’s not a problem in itself. It’s a good thing. People need example to live by and show the way, me included. So here’s the obstacle:

How to convince those who aren’t willing to change?

I can’t seem to find a solution. How to reach them in a way where they are willing te see things differently? I’ve been struggling on that for quite some time now. And, my thought process led me to this post. Like it’s been said: i can’t do this alone. I need help. Anyone?

Life (14)

Life

His breath was heavy and loud. His steps slowed down as he closed up on destination. He looked around him: dumpsters were filled to the brim, moonlights reflected on the plastic bags lying around against walls creating a path through the darkness of the night. A can rolled behind him. The young man, startled, turned around, his heart ceased to beat. He froze, analyzed the origin of the noise and waited. Suddenly, a furry tailed creature ran out from behind a cardboard box. The young man exhaled of relief, then proceed with his plan. He looked at the fire escape above him, still out of breath. Why did i run? He judged the distance between the first ladder to the ground, took few steps back and ran. His feet left the gound and his hand reached for the stairs. At his apex, his fingers barely brushed past them. ‘Oh, dude!’, he whispered as he stumbled. ‘Shouldn’t have run’. He warmed up his ankle and went again. This time, he had a strong grasp on the ladder. He pulled himself to the first floor where he took a second to get his breath back. ‘Man…I’m heavy.’ He climbed to the second floor and looked through the window facing him. A shy light allowed him to see the empty bedroom. Untouched for days. No one’s home. The young man sighed as he looked down. ‘Damn it! Where are you?’, he whispered to himself before going back to the ground.

‘John!’ The latter froze at the sight of a silhouette at the end of the street. The  voice was deep and strangely calm. The two men approached each other with caution. John squinted his eyes to make sense of lights and shadows on the man’s face. In a second, his eyes widened. Oh shit… John realized he just had an anime reaction: swallowing loudly his saliva. ‘What are you doing here?’

‘I, i was just…’ His sentence was left in suspension. The man in front of him waited. John raised his shoulders, stared at the man, looked behind him then back to the man. He sighed. ‘He’s still not there.’

‘Son.’

‘Father.’

‘Stop searching for him.’ John looked away. ‘You know, i start to find it annoying repeating myself.’ They shared another look. ‘I really do enjoy this bromance that you have with him. What? I can’t use the word bromance?’

‘How do you know the word? That’s the real question.’

‘Saw it on the internet. Do we say ‘the’ internet or just internet?’

‘Internet.’

‘Noted.’ A ghost went by. ‘Garner is back. If they see you lurking around here, they’ll get to you. And that’s not something either one of us want. Miles didn’t just take his son and run away. He left to lead them away from us. To protect us.’ He paused. ‘But if you keep on looking, it will all be for nothing. Now, let’s go home.’

 

Spring came around. Winter slowly left the city to invade the other hemisphere of the planet. John kept on walking by Chris’ house at random hours, in hope of finding signs of change, but everything remained still. On a sunny afternoon, John knocked at a wooden door endlessly for the last five minutes. Out of no where, the door widely opened. John stepped back then froze, his heart pounding against his chest, his eyes widened. There he was, standing, a pair of jeans on, shirtless, leaving his scar in plain view, his face closed and his eyes yelling: WHAT?

‘Hé! It’s been a long time.’ John paused with a huge smile on his face. ‘Where have you been?’

 

To be continued

Life (13)

Life

The sun was shining high but his surrounding was dominated by darkness. The water runoff clothed the crisp air of the corridor. His eyes locked on the stains, his hands repeated the same pattern automatically. What are you doing? What are you doing? The question was on a loop in his head. Suddenly, footsteps pulled him out of his bubble.

‘No.4! Where is he?’ The latter looked straight in the eyes of his commander. ‘The asset? Where is he?’ As the commander stepped closer, he noticed the disfigured visage of his subordinate. ‘What happened?’

What happened? Years earlier, No.4 had a different name. A different life. Away from the on-going war that his family found itself involved in. He managed to escape his destiny longer than he ever could have imagined. He has found peace in isolation, lived life in his world. Until a girl dared to talk to him, made him love her and created a life with her. His peace extended. He started to appreciate what life was really about: the meaningless moments that everyone seemed to have taken for granted over time. He has forgotten the horror of his kind. Until the greedy daddy’s boy decided to resurface. In a matter of hours, No.4’s world shifted from simplicity to complete mess. His wife and kid were taken away, giving him no choice but to dive into the world he tried in vain to avoid. Over a span of months, he helped track and torture more souls than his father did in his lifetime, his hands constantly covered in red. His heart and mind weren’t in synch anymore, giving frustration and anger fuel to invade his body. His actions became natural. Emotionless. As his conscious took a leave of absence until an opportunity or a brillant idea would come up to save his family and himself, his unconscious made all the decisions for him. A routine installed. His skills were noticed and an important assignement was giving to him. ‘Find the child’, his commander ordered him. It took him few months on the field to find any lead on the whereabouts of the child prodigy. His lead was kidnapped and tortured for days but results weren’t as conclusif as No.4 hoped for. In front of him, chained to the floor, a young man was kneeled, his face down, blood dripping off of his face and body, his clothes stained and soaked in blood, sweat and tears. As he stared at his prey, No.4 slowly started to realize his doings. I’ve become a monster, that’s what happened.

‘An intruder infiltrated the forteress and found its way to the captive. He took down the guards at the door and myself. I blacked out few seconds. When i came back to myself, the intruder was caring the captive away. In an attempt of stopping them, i managed to injure him on the leg.’ No.4 pulled a piece of fabric out of his pocket and handed to his commander. ‘This is a bit of his cloak. The embroidery is from one of the council members.’ No.4 paused. ‘The Turners.’

The commander looked startled. Then his serious expression rapidly came back.

‘He’s onto us. We need to alarm Master Garner.’

 

 

To be continued

Life (12)

Life

‘Karen!’ Thomas Sawyer pulled over on the crosswalk, got out of his car, slammed his door, attracting her attention, then walked to them. ‘Where have you been?’ He shouted, his eyes locked on his daughter. ‘Your brother has been found by…’ For a split second, his attention shifted to his right, noticing two men next to her: one of them with a thin light around him and the other one with a dead look. His pace stopped abruptly. A wave of clarity hit him. ‘You would wonder how he could become evil!’ He made a realization: ‘The child…’. Without any further thought, his fist tightened automatically as he came closer and, in a flowing movement, his hand smashed into the young man’s jaw who stumbled without a reaction. Unlike his friend who made a quick step forward that stopped dead. Sawyer glanced at the latter: a hand held him back. A second later, a huge amount of energy appeared further on his right. Thomas Sawyer felt a weight crashing on his shoulders. He stepped back slowly, as a man approached him. His palms were sweating, his heart pounding in his chest, making his breathing heavier. His back hit a tree and the man’s face was inches away from his. Sawyer couldn’t help himself but to dive into his eyes: they were filled with hate and anger. In the most calm voice ever, the man said:

‘Don’t ever touch him again.’ Sawyer swallowed with difficulty. They stood still a moment, before the man turned his back to get to the young adults. Gravity still weighed heavily on Sawyer’s body and air started to rarefy in his lungs. The man glanced at him one last time before lightening up the atmosphere.

‘Because of your son, mine ended up in a hospital.’ Thomas Sawyer claimed. The man stopped his walk short, took a deep breathe then turned around.

‘I don’t see the corrolation.’

‘Peace was made because you were dead. Your name resurfaced once and my son gets tortured.’ The man glanced behind him then laid his eyes on Sawyer again.

‘It’s what you did after that led to his torture. Not us.’ Sawyer remained silent.

 

Since his daughter mentionned the child, a terrifying idea bloomed in his mind: the family he once served was still alive and threatning his peace and family. Sawyer was on alert, analizing any odd event that could occure. Then began to see a pattern: Garner was building his empire back. Sawyer felt the sword of Damocles hanging close above his head. After assessing his situation, he decided to protect himself and his own by any means necessary. And for that, he contacted old partners, asking questions and therefore spread his suspicions to the world. One day, one of his fears became reality: his youngest son has been caught. For days, he looked everywhere, each corner of the city were combed and yet, he found nothing. Until an early morning, when the city broke, an barely audible groaning behind his main door attracted Sawyer’s attention. As he opened the door, he stared for a second at the body lying before his feet. Regaining his senses, he rushed to carry his son into his car then to a hospital.

 

‘You shouldn’t have done what you did.’ he said.

‘We did nothing wrong.’

‘You did that.’ He pointed at the young man next to his daughter. The man’s eyes changed: death appeared.

That is my son. He’s name is Chris Turner. Don’t forget that.’ Miles Turner kept a frightening composure. He took another breathe. ‘What we did didn’t arm anyone. You were the one murdering my family and friends. You are the one who did wrong.’ He paused. ‘But it is a time gone long ago. That doesn’t involve my son nor yours. You may blame me and my name for any of your fears for the future. But on this moment, you can only blame yourself for what is happening.’ Miles Turner noticed that he pushed a sensitive button and, before things got out of hand, he decided to walk away. As he turned his back, his attitude swifted: his body relaxed, his heartbeat slowed down and his eyes showed nothing but love when he put them on his son. ‘Are you alright?’ Chris nodded. ‘Let’s go home. Our situation is in jeopardy. You’re coming too, John.’

 

To be continued

Life (11)

Life

‘Karen! Open the door… please.’ Karen locked herself up in the bathroom for five minutes since her father confessed to his past acts. ‘I need you to understand…’

‘Understand what?’ She said as she opened the door. ‘That you chose to follow a senile old man threatened by a baby?’ They stared at each other in silence: Thomas Sawyer could see in his daughter’s eyes disgust and disdain. It was at this moment that he knew the worst happened: he lost her.

‘Times were different back then. We didn’t know, i didn’t know what was happening.’ He tried to sweeten his voice to gain her sympathy. ‘I just did what i thought was right for me, for my community, for my family… For you.’ Karen felt sick again.

‘You’re telling me you slaughtered an entire family and you didn’t even know why?’

‘They were dangerous. No one knows what that child is capable of. It’s an abomination. An unnatural creature. A monster!’ He became louder.

‘Says who? A mad man? And isn’t it every child’s future uncertain, though? Or even anybody? Did you know what i was capable of accomplishing when i was born? Didn’t you think for a second that your actions would the cause of his future?

‘Karen, be careful.’ Her mother interrupted.

‘What? They didn’t even give his parents a chance to raise him properly. And you would wonder how he could become evil!’ Thomas stepped closer to his daughter but she stepped away. ‘You know what: i can’t even look at you right now. I need to go.’

Karen isolated herself from anything and anyone to process her thoughts and feelings. She avoided her father knowing that if a conversation was engaged, words would travel faster than thoughts. And she stayed away from Chris feeling the guilt of her father’s actions rubbing off on her.

 

After few rainy days, clouds finally cleared up the sky, giving space for the sun to shine and cooling the atmosphere more than it already was. Karen decided to take advantage of this rare day and get a sunbath. Earbuds on, she walked in the streets, her mind still confined in her cave. A familiar voice suddenly pulled her out of her bubble. When she looked up, Chris removed his hood, revealing his hair to the breeze. She stared at him, startled by the coincidence.

‘How are you?’ He asked. As Karen stayed silent, he put his hood back on and started to walk away, when she stopped him.

‘I’m sorry.’ She abruptly yelled, her hand on his arm. ‘Sorry.’ She repeated, her head down as she realized passants gazed at them. Chris fixed her with a look then glanced at her hand tightening on him: he understood.

‘You don’t need to feel sorry. You did nothing wrong.’ He calmly said, as if he repeated those sentences more than once before. Karen let go of his arm and looked him in his eyes. He stared back at her and revealed a shy smile.

After a quick moment of silence, she glanced at a coffee shop behind her and invited him to have the talk that they both knew needed to happen. Sitting in the corner, beside the window, Karen waited for Chris to come back with their drinks. She ran in her minds, the speech that she would say to him to make him understand where her father stood during The Hunt and her feelings about it all. But when he took the seat in front of her, her mind went blank. She grabbed her hot chocolate and took a sip. She stared at him for a moment: he was sitting straight, his back against the back of the chair and his eyes staring blankly at the milkshake place between his hands on the table. She noticed that his hood was off. The silence that prevailed became heavier at each passing seconds, but Chris didn’t seem to disturb by it and Karen couldn’t find think of any ways to engage smoothly the obvious subject.

‘My father told me… What happened.’ she finally found the courage to say. He looked up at her, his expression still unchanged. She waited for him to reply anything to that statement but nothing came out. ‘I… I am sorry for what my father and the rest of my family did to yours.’ A gentle smile quickly appeared on his face. ‘You don’t seem upset.’ His brows frowned of interrogation. ‘If i was in your shoes, i would be angry at the world. I just know my father’s version and i’m ready to cut ties with him.’

‘I am… Angry.’ Chris confessed. Karen looked at him, startled. ‘But not at the world.’ He paused. ‘Just at the last member of the family that started all of it.’

Karen analized him: she couldn’t begin to imagine how Chris could feel seeing each member of his family die one after another, his entire life. She remained speechless, once again. A ringtone interrupted their silence. Karen glanced at her screen before turning it to silent mode. She looked at Chris who also was checking his phone. The latter felt her eyes on him.

‘I’m supposed to meet with John.’ He said. They exchanged a look. ‘Do you have some other place to be?’

 

After finishing their drinks, they stepped outside into the sea of body constantly moving on the sidewalk. The two of them followed the stream and headed to Chris’ favorite fast food where John waited for them. Once reunited, they walked in the Wok to Walk shop and ordered some food before sitting at a table far away from the entrance. While their noodles are being cooked, Chris disappeared into the bathroom, leaving Karen and John on their own. The latter glanced at her and noticed something has changed.

‘You know.’ She said. Karen stared at him as he nodded. ‘For how long?’

‘Our parents are close friends. I’ve known Chris since birth almost.’ John replied. Karen showed an interrogative face. ‘My father helped his family hide from the Garners. He knew what he was getting involved in.’

 

‘So you know about mine?’ Her voice lowered. John simply smiled. ‘Who else knows… About him?’ John glanced at her once again. She lifted her right eyebrow. ‘Everyone!? I’m the last one to know?’ John nodded. ‘How did they found out?’

‘For the guys, they figured it out by themselves. I just filled in some blanks for them. Sarah knows from what happened to her. And Charlotte from Sarah.’ He paused. ‘And for some reasons, he wanted to tell you.’ He paused again, letting the informations sinking in. ‘Do you know what that implies?’ Karen stared at him uncertain. ‘We are a very few people who know who he really is. And it has stay this way. For his own safety and ours. Unfortunately, amongst us, there are people who want him dead…Unless you’re one of them…’ His sentence stayed suspended in the air as Chris came back.

Their afternoon went by without any of them mentionning the past. A light mood hovered over them. They wandered around at a slow pace like old people. The sun traveled half of the world to meet the horizon, as the moon revealed itself. Streets cleared up when lights turned on. In between subjects, a vibration made Karen jump. She checked her screen and stared at it until vibrations ended. Her locked screen showed twelve missed calls and the same amount of voicemails. Intrigued, she listened to one of them. Through the device, she heard her father’s voice panicking and shouting scary words like ambushed, beat up and hospital. She froze in mid-walk. Suddenly, a car pulled over next to them. A man stormed out and furiously walked toward them.

‘Karen! Where have you been?’ He shouted. ‘Your brother has been found by…’ His eyes shifted from left to right, then locked on her hooded friend. He froze. In a second of full clarity, he made a realization: ‘You!’. Without any further thought, Thomas Sawyer approached him, his fist closed and, in a flowing movement, punched Chris.

 

To be continued

Life (10)

Life

Thomas Sawyer froze in mid-step, his face horrified by the question he just heard. His brain shut down, his heart pounded in his chest and sweat dropped profusely down his back.

‘What happened between the Garners and the Turners?’ she repeated. He remained speechless for several moment. ‘Dad…’ Her breathe was short.

‘It’s too early for that kind of story.’ Thomas Sawyer said. His daughter stepped forward about to object the statement: ‘Karen.’ His tone was severe.

‘Dad.’ Thomas took a deep breathe. From her eyes, he knew he couldn’t escape from this moment. No matter how long he tried to stall. He took another deep breathe then walked to the living-room to take a seat. Karen joined him.

‘You already know that we are different from most of the world. Not just us. But a handful of humans.’

 

Over six million years ago, evolution enabled the developpement of early humans from apelike ancestors. Through time, species appeared and disappeared all around the world, some of them leaving evidence of their existence: tools, fossiles, even remains of hearths and footprints. As paleonthropologists kept on searching places on Earth and digging bones to complete and understand the historical journey of human beings, paleongenecists came across a phenomenon occuring in neanderthals’ DNA. One specimen, from the dozen where DNA could be recovered, seemed to have an additionnal pair of chromosomes. Paleongenecists found few replicas of such anomaly in other relics of the past. But in the year of 2000, every trace of this discovery vanished in thin air, altering the veracity of a still existing rare species.

‘It was the making of the council, composed by the Garners, Morgans and Turners. The three most powerful families of our kind.’ Thomas continued. ‘They kept us safe from the ‘outside’ world.’

 

In recent History, stories of mysterious events were reported in literature and newspapers. Singular events happened now and then but were always referred as miracles or illusions by the population. Until in 1992, when an agitation all around the world could be felt.

‘It was the beginning of a forbidden relation between Jean Morgan and Miles Turner.’ Karen twitched but remained composed recalling an inkling of her father’s diluted version of History, that he told her when she was smaller. ‘They broke the only rule that maintain the balance between us all and amongst the council.’

 

The agitation grew bigger and bigger as warrants for an ordinary couple spread rapidly from city to city. Suddenly, in 1996, a massive wave of energy made the world stand still for several minutes.

‘The inevitable happened. And only our kind knew it. We all felt it in our bones.’ Thomas said. Karen was confused.

‘They had a child.’ His wife interrupted. ‘A child that holds the power of two powerful lineages.’ Karen looked at her as she sat next to her husband. Chris…, she thought.

 

For seventeen years, a succession of killing spree were reported all over the world, families went missing, cold cases skyrocketed and members of respectable families were murdered without motives. An unexplicable wind of violence raised in the atmosphere.

‘Ralph Garner, the head of the Garner’s family, warned the council of the potential threat of that relationship, but they didn’t listen. A lot of families agreed with him and followed his lead.’ Thomas continued. ‘He tried to restore the balance by sending men to find the child and keep him under careful watch, but his face was unknown to any of us.’

 

In 2005, a journalist digged in a case that occured in his building. One of his neighbor, a quiet person without any trouble, was brutally murder in his appartment. There was no trace of break ins and nothing was stolen. His researches led him to other cases where bodies were found and everything around them seemed to be in place. Through his investigation, he noticed two recurrent names amongst the victims: Morgan and Turner. Before he could corroborate his suspicion of a possible genocide, the journalist was involved in a car accident, putting him into a deep coma.

In 2013, what appeared to be a gang war broke out under the eye of a helpless police, in northern Nevada. The crime scene revealed clues that two groups of people were fighting each other, no guns were involved. Hundreds of inanimate body were found in and between craters: both side suffered damages. The investigators spend months trying to make sense of the inscrutable carnage displayed before them but only more questions resulted from their reflexion.

‘The Great Battle put an end to everything: Ralph Garner and his son, Marvin, died on the field by the hand of Miles Turner. Cal Garner, the Garner’s last descendant, fled after being seriously injured by Turner’s child. After that, each remained families stayed low and hidden. In a way, the balance was restored.’ Thomas Sawyer’s face darkened.

‘At what cost.’ His wife replied.

 

A heavy silence fell between them. Rays of sunlight pierced through the curtains to lighten the living-room. Sounds of engines created a relaxing stream through walls. Streets returned to life. Karen processed the informations she just received. Her eyes traveled around her then went back on her father who still had his face down. A thought then struck her: her father took part of the hunt. Horrified, she put her hand on her mouth, stood up, exchanged a look with him then slamming the door of the bathroom.

 

To be continued