Sci-Fi Novel:An Other World Episode 7
I awaken to the stench of gasoline. When I open my eyes, everything is deathly still. The car lies on its roof while I’m stuck inside, upside down and unable to move.
Pain racks my body. I feel like I’ve broken every bone. My chest hurts with every breath. Sirens fill the air around me. I see flashing red and blue lights through the broken window. Two policemen jog toward the car, searching for me. They kneel, peering inside. I close my eyes and try to concentrate, overcoming the crushing pain in my chest and head. I have to twist their minds. It’s my only chance to be free.
“He’s not here,” I say through clinched teeth. Nothing happens for a few moments. I remain motionless, waiting. Time seems to stop. I don’t know if policemen see me or not. Maybe I’m too weak to break them.
Then I hear a loud voice, “Negative on the suspect, he’s not here!” “Anybody see which direction he went?” “Let’s do a thorough search and send officers to check his place of residence.” It works. I take a deep breath in relief. One noise and police will understand that I’m still in a car.
I have to keep silent. Kathy! I need to find her. The cops already have my address. Searching for me, they will arrive at my apartment and find Kathy just returned from school. Unprepared, she’ll be vulnerable. I can’t let it happen. I get an awful picture of my little sister being shot. The thought brings mental anguish to add to the physical pains I’m already suffering. I have to reach Kathy before the police.
Gasping for air and struggling with the seatbelt, I manage to crawl out of the vehicle through the broken front window. Taking a look around, I realize that this area is only a few blocks from home.
Limping, I stagger hurriedly in the direction of our apartment building. My left knee aches. My vision is blurry. I can see almost nothing with my right eye. I must have injured it as well. Convulsions shake my body and I fall, landing on my hands and knees. I close my eyes tightly for a moment. It’s all too much.
I can’t handle all this pain and suffering on top of being hated and chased. No, you can’t give up, I tell myself. You can’t fail Kathy. Now get up and move, you wimp! The image of my sister snaps me back to reality. Grinding my teeth together and gathering all my will power, I push myself up and stand still for a few seconds.
Keeping my head down, I wait for my mind to clear. Breathe, just breathe and regain your balance. There you go. Now move. I limp along the street, swaying and stumbling like a drunkard. I haven’t the strength to conceal my identity from any passersby.
Thank goodness, only a few homeless are out wandering around. They could care less. The sight of our apartment building sends goose bumps down my spine. Is she still alive or not? What if police have already arrived and shot her? I groan miserably at the thought.
Regaining a second wind, I proceed. I can’t lose Kathy. She’s my whole world. I can’t let anything happen to her. Breathless, I enter the building. It’s dark and silent. No sign of the police. Maybe it’s not too late? I rush up the dilapidated stairs leading to our apartment.
They seem endless. The stairwell creaks with each step, ready to break. Finally I see our door. I smack into it, turning the handle up and down. My shaky hands search for the keys in my pockets. I must have lost them in the accident, or during all the fighting and running before.
Insanely, I pound the door with my fists. “Kathy!” I scream at the top of my lungs. “Kathy, open the door!” Panicked, I don’t care about police who may be already waiting inside. Forget about any neighbors who might hear me yelling like a madman. I just want to see my sister right now. One more minute of waiting and I’ll lose my mind.
The door opens suddenly and there she is… unharmed. Still dressed in her school uniform. Seeing such a mess standing before her, Kathy’s jaw drops and her eyes widen. “Holy cow!” she exclaims. I push her back inside our apartment and shut the door behind. All the blood suddenly drains from my head and the room darkens.
Not feeling my legs, I slide down the wall and sit on the hard floor, resting. I know there’s no time for a reprieve, but can’t help taking a moment to collect myself. “What the heck happened?” Kathy asks. I open my mouth, but can’t speak. “Hold on,” Kathy says, running off. My mind floats between a dream world and reality.
All sounds seem muffled. Objects fade and silhouettes mix together. I drop my head down, fighting a bit of nausea rising in my throat. Kathy wipes my cheeks and forehead with a towel. “Wake up,” I hear Kathy’s voice. “Ben, wake up.” Her hand gently slaps my face. Kathy crouches beside me, holding a towel now stained with my blood. “What happened to you?” she asks. “The cops are coming. We have to get out of here.”
Kathy thinks for a second. Her eyes darken. “Do they know that you’re a breaker?” she asks. I nod. “Damn it!” she cusses. “I’m so sorry,” I say. “I had no other choice. I had to save my coworkers. Those thieves would have killed them.” “Really?” Kathy says. “What about us? What about me?” I don’t know what to tell her. Kathy sighs and helps me get up. “It’s unbelievable,” she says.
“Why do you always have to be the freaking hero?” She’s right. I screwed up. I always thought it’d be Kathy bringing Elimination down on us. What a fool! I was so wrong. “We gotta go,” I say. “They could be here at any moment.”
Kathy searches for her shoes. She’s no longer scared. Her expression reflects only disappointment. I change into an oversized hoodie and old pair of black jeans. The hood is large enough to hide half of my face.
Hopefully, it will prevent people on the street from recognizing me. The loud wail of sirens makes my heart skip a beat. They’re already here!
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