Unlived - Henry
No one saw it coming. Not the scientists. Not the mathematicians. Not the kindergarten teachers. No one could have expected the end of the world on December 11, 2012. But it wasn't. Because not everyone died. Including me and the entire 8th grade attending H. Taed Catholic School in Washington. It all started with a flash.
It was as if a meteor had shot past all the windows but never crashed. My skin felt as I was being burned alive. And then darkness. I awoke in panic as I realized I was the only one awake. I laid completely still and found that i was neither cold, nor hot, nor warm. I just was. Through some scientific miracle, no one in the class was injured, as if someone had wrapped the class in bubble wrap. I could only hope that the other class was the same...
I went over and surveyed the class, they seemed to be sleeping. I wondered if I should wake them up. So, hesitantly I walked over to my best friend Alex and tapped his shoulder. A great shudder ran up his back and he awoke, looking confused. I gave him a minute before I said anything. "Hello?" I whispered, my throat so dry I could drink about anything. He only stared, and then pointed at my arm. I looked, and immediately wished I hadn't. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, as I realized I was as pale as the white wall surrounding the room. And i was the only one.
I was white all over, and not your Michael Jackson white, I'm talking paper white. And the weirdest thing was, I felt pretty powerful. That's a first, coming from a weakling like what I used to be. I felt the sudden urge that something was missing. And then it hit me. What about the other class? I tried to open the door and with a slight push it swung open. Weird. Anyways, I walked 6 feet outside to the other class. But before I opened the door, I looked at my surroundings. There were large cracks covering the earth, and not a single cloud in the sky. But I could actually look at the sun. Could anyone else do this?
Before I opened the door opposite of my class, I wondered, could Kay have survived? (By the way, if you don't know who Kay is by now, you shouldn't be reading this.) I hesitated, but slowly opened the door. It was the same. Everyone had passed out on the floor. Surprisingly no one was visibly hurt either. I saw Kay laying down on the floor, hands on her stomach, and I realized she must have saw this coming. I walked up to her and crouched down to look at her. It was the most perfect of moments. I slowly moved a strand of hair from her cheek. Her eyes bolted open, and she looked at me for a moment. It wasn't a look of surprise, like that of Alex. Rather, or so I thought, a look of relief. She wordlessly stood up and surveyed the classroom. I finally gathered the courage to speak.
"Are you okay?" I questioned. Of course I was worried about her reaction to my new "skin tone".
"Yes." She said matter-of-factly. Sometimes the simplest of comments have the most meaning
As we began waking everyone up, I realized something. The teachers were no where to be seen. But I remember them being with us at the time of the incident. I spent a moment grieving our loss. And it was a very brief moment.
Well, by then I decided to leave Kay to tend to 8B and I went back to my classroom. What I saw there was utter chaos. I had originally thought I was the only new-found freak, but I was wrong. Very wrong. Some of them were quiet. Some were moaning in pain. And some of them were dying. And I realized one thing that sent a ripple down my spine. Alex and I were the only guys awake. I ran to Joey, a good friend of mine with blonde hair and felt his forehead. Cold as ice. I repeated with every guy in the room, and was startled to find that a certain red-haired kid named Randy had about a degree of heat in him. I looked up at Alex, who had appeared next to me silently, and said, "How long has he been dead?"
He looked sad, and a wave of sympathy rushed through me. They had been close friends. "3 minutes, and gaining."
I then heard a noise like crackling paper, and... It was weird. Everything went white, and then slowly blurred into shapes. A few seconds later I could see clear again. Thing was, I didn't believe what I was seeing. Surely, a minute ago Randy had been cold as a certain religion teacher, yet there he was sitting up. Clearly, I wasn't the only one in awe. But right now, nothing could surprise me. At least another guy had survived. But of course, with my luck, that usually meant other people were going to die. A soft voice behind my ear confirmed it.
"People are going to die." I whipped around to see Alyssa smiling. Apparently I wasn't the only one who had changed. Not that she doesn't usually smile, because she does (and I'm surprised her face doesn't stick that way!), but that she looked like a child that had just opened her Christmas present. I was not feeling good about this. "Boo!" she said to me. I suddenly felt very vulnerable. Because she had spoken. Because I heard it. And because her lips hadn't moved.
"How the Hell did you do that?" I whispered.
She didn't answer my question. "You're thinking about Kay." My life was officially over. If Liz could really read my mind, I couldn't ever bear to be around her. Everything I ever thought she would now be open to, and Liz couldn't keep a secret for her life. I was screwed.
OK. Maybe I was a bit over-dramatic. Liz is a good secret keeper, I'm just overly protective of my secrets, but anyways... Things were going wrong. This was supposed to be a regular day at the school. Yet here I was in a living hell. I gathered Randy and Alex, and went into a corner. I wanted to see if anyone else was at their nerves' end.
"What the **** is going on!" exclaimed Randy.
"Calm down." I said blatantly.
"Calm down? There are no more hot girls alive anymore! What the hell are you talking about?"
And then I made a face like this: 0.0
And said "We are possibly the last three guys in this country and you're worried about girls?"
"I'm not the one who just walked into the other class to check on my girlfriend."
I grabbed his shirt and looked him in the eye. "Say that one more time."
And something weird happened: I scared him, and I scared myself too. Weirdest thing was, I think I liked it.
Sabrina screamed. Which was weird. Sabrina doesn't scream. Ever. She gasps, inhales deeply, and occasionally jumps, but this was the first time I ever heard her scream. She was standing next to Amber and Heather. I ran to her and asked her what was wrong. She just looked at me. Staring at me. No, through me. And then her eyes rolled back in her sockets and came back up again in a sickening *pop*. Amber and Heather both went outside, and the metal doors did little to mask the sound of two girls losing their lunch. I always knew something was wrong with those goddamn burritos. I turned my attention back to Kay, and she began to teeter back and forth as if she would fall at any second. As she fell towards me, I caught her, and gently laid her on the table. Randy came up then, and said "What happened?"
"I don't know". I said subconsciously. "Take this and elevate her feet. Keep the blood going to her head," I said as I handed him an algebra book. I looked down at her and immediately wished I hadn't. Her eyes were clouded, almost like fogged glass, and she gazed into the ceiling. "Are you okay?" I managed to whisper.
Her eyes immediately cleared, and she jolted up. "I saw them. I saw him." I raised an eyebrow, silently indicating that I thought she had managed to hit her brain with her eye and caused some serious damage. She said, "I saw him. The guy for me. He was perfect, and he looked at me and smiled and-"
I had already walked away. Amber and Heather could deal with her. Meanwhile, Alex was tending to the rest of the girls. He'd managed to revive some, but some hadn't even woken up. Great.
And then I woke up. I screamed and hit my head on the desk. Then looked up to find everyone looking at me. That was my last day at that boring Catholic School. I was expelled and sent to a special school, where I tripped while holding some scissors and stabbed a kid in the neck. Juvenile hall wasn't that bad, till it visited me. It looked almost humanoid, like a tall person with a cape, only it was floating. And then it pointed its finger at me, smiled, and I fell through the floor, no, the earth. I was falling, falling, falling, for years. And then I woke up. I screamed, and hit my head on the desk.
And then I woke up.
the end of the beginning
And then I woke up... Again.
I made a weak attempt to stand, and finally manage. However, my legs were still wobbly from the Blackening. Yes, that's what we called it, a bit on the dreary side... Blackout, Aftermath, Aftershock, call it what you want. We all slowly began to stand up. Everyone who didn't (as we found out later) was dead. We were few.
We were in every essence of the term, picked out. Why did we survive? Why did we survive? Perhaps it was luck, perhaps it was fate. Perhaps. But it didn't matter. Some of us had wings.
Seekers. Kay coined the term after a movie she loved. Everyone else just went along with it. And yes, I will say it again: wings.
We stepped outside. The Seekers immediately began to stretch out their new wings, whilst the others checked to see if anything about them had changed. This is where it got interesting. As everyone else checked over themselves, I couldn't help sneaking a hand down the back of my cotton, Peruvian shirt. There it was. I flinched as I first touched my new, feathery appendages.
"What color are they? Are they big or small? Can I fly?", where the thoughts going through my mind. I watched as Joey ripped off his shirt and extended his wings. I watched in awe. They were golden, and shimmered in the sunlight, with a 14 foot wingspan.
"They're so light!", he gasped. "I feel just as heavy as I did before!" In a matter of seconds, everyone had gathered around Joey, everyone but me. I began to slowly take my own shirt off (self-consciously, of course). It was as if I had a new body, in the essence that I felt muscles where no muscles had been before. I tried to flex, and a great ripple flew (bad pun) down my spine. They were about 9 feet long, each, and white as snow.
"That's going to be a pain in the butt to clean," I said to myself.
I soon realized Joey and I were not the only ones with wings, we were soon joined by Amber and Heather.
Alyssa walked to Amber and said, "Alright Girly, turn around." And then I remembered her newfound ability. Alyssa made two, long slits in the back of Amber's shirt, and Amber soon followed my example. Flexing, her wings, possibly a whole two feet shorter than Joey's, appeared. They were a glossy black with silver tips. Alyssa repeated the same process with Heather. Her wings were a dark brown, with creamy, tan tips.