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Aftermath

The dust settling

By Lucy TorralbaPublished 2 months ago 13 min read
Aftermath
Photo by Lopez Robin on Unsplash

Feeling a sinister grin stretch across my face I placed my hand over her eyes to see what happened. Colonel Armstrong gave her his key to unleash Nightmare otherwise known to the rest of us as 'the thing from pit'. They argued about what to do with the breakout happening. Armstrong eventually slapped Aunt Patty to the floor, she barely got a look at him as he left out a secret door not even she knew about. Few seconds passed then Ed came into the room to corner her.

Letting her go Aunt Patty dropped to the floor in a drooling mess. Moving to the door that I saw Armstrong leave through, I gave a hard push for it to fall of it's hinges. "Ed come with me I'll need you to track down Armstrong, Mat stay here and make sure that bitch doesn't move", I said in a hurry. Running faster than I ever have before Ed picked up his speed to be at my side. Seeing another door up ahead I used my new abilities to swing it open as we both ran into the sunlight. Blinded for a few seconds Ed sniffed the door to catch Colonel Armstrong's scent. Hearing him think I've got it follow me.

Without waiting for my eyes to adjust to the light I followed along his shadow until we saw Armstrong up ahead running for the shoreline. There was a military speed boat there waiting for him with armed guards. Damning the pain in my eyes I screamed, "ARMSTRONG!" He turned to catch a glimpse of me running toward him. The armed guards shot and missed almost every time, the bullets that should've hit fell to the sand.

Armstrong was in the process of boarding the boat. With an outstretched arm I was barely an inch away from touching him. The feeling of a canon ball hitting me from the side sent me flying in the wrong direction. Seeing a blur about the size of a human being vibrating faster than the eye can comprehend I knew exactly who hit me.

The sound of the boat's engine running at full speed for the Colonel to be out of sight in a matter of second. Hannah yelled, "No...come back!" Before she could run I took hold of her shadow. Getting up to make my way to her slowly I heard her whimpering like a lost child. "Why?", I asked her. She still didn't stop whimpering. I asked her again slowly, "Tell. Me. Why?" Still no verbal response, she could barely shake her head. Finally out of patience I screamed, "WHY DID YOU LET HIM GO?!"

She regained enough sense to point while saying in a trembling voice, "He's my dad." Ed came to my side to hear her answer. Did I just hear her right? he thought. Looking deeply into her eyes I searched her deepest fear which was happening right now. What I had just done left her unconscious. I turned to Ed to answer, "Yes, you did." Wrapping my shadows around her body I walked back to the building with Ed by my side still in tiger form. We made our way back to everyone else in silence.

The others had to know, especially the ones that were still trapped in maximum security. By the time we entered the room where we left Aunt Patty and Mat some people were using duct tape to strap her into an uncomfortable chair. Mat to one look at me to know things had just gone sideways.

"Can we get some clothes for Ed here, he's a tiger right now", I said. Everyone turned their attention to us. One of them spoke on Hannah's behalf, "What did you do to her?" Turning to see a young man who I didn't know I asked, "Who want's to know?"

"Name's Ben. Who the hell are you?"

"I'm Z, the one who unlocked all the collars in the main and solitary area."

"Well thanks for that and all, but you still haven't answered my question."

"Well you see, Hannah here has been hiding a very big and important secret from all of us."

"What the hell does that even mean?"

"Did any of you know that she was Colonel Armstrong daughter not niece?"

Hearing everyone gasp told me the answer I already knew, even from Ben himself. Feeling Hannah begin to stir I gagged her before she could ask for help. "As of right now we need to get the others out", I told them all. Someone spoke, "Mat already disarmed the other collars and the doors in the Maximum security area just a few minutes ago." Seeing that is was a someone that I recognized. "Are you Shelly by any chance?", I asked. Looking surprised she said, "Yes, how did you know?" Taking a careful look to the person standing next to her I said, "I talked with Eric earlier today and he mentioned you." She turned to him to ask, "Really?" He said with a smile, "Of course I did." After seeing that tender moment I turned to look everyone in the eye before saying, "Even though we all no longer have to worry about the collars or the thing from the pit. Our main worry now is the fact Colonel Armstrong escaped thanks to Hannah here." She tried to protest before seeing that I had already gagged her.

"As of right now the best course of action would be to place one of the Maximum security collars around her neck. At least for now since she can't be trusted", I told them all. They all murmured yet no one protested on her behalf, not even Ben. Seeing the look of despair hit her as hard as she hit me brought a smirk to my lips. Noticing that they were still thinking if what I had suggested was the right choice I walked past everyone to get one of the collars myself.

"Mat come with me, I don't want Speedy here getting away", I said walking past him. He followed without hesitation. Going into the first room to see a still functioning collar I set Hannah down to place the collar around her neck. After hearing a click and seeing a small light go from red to green I asked Mat, "Do you think it'll keep her in check?" "It should, the Director said they would be disabled as long as that little light doesn't turn green." Looking at Hannah I had to ask, "Care to give us a show?" Hannah looked between the both of us to say, "This one is stronger than the one I had before there's no telling what'll happen if I try to use my power." "Does it look like anyone of us care about your safety? Run or I'll cut off your feet", I told her slowly. Hannah finally gave in to my demand the collar not only shocked her it nicked her neck. Seeing a few drops of blood around the collar was satisfying.

"Know this Hannah if I ever catch you trying to contact your dad or plan a coup I'll skin you alive then send you to Nurse Ratchet." Leaving her alone in the room Mat followed behind me. "Speaking of Nurse Ratchet, where is she?", I asked him. Walking past everyone to look Aunt Patty in the eye before saying, "Where is Nurse Ratchet, the other scientist, the rest of the guards, and why haven't they retaliated?" She pressed her lips into a line. Lifting my hand to her eyelevel again broke her silence. "We keep Nurse Ratchet underground with all the supplies and instruments she needs. For the scientist and other guards they are currently stuck in their rooms in the other buildings due to your friend here", she said with her body shaking. "Is there anyway for them to get out?", I asked. She only shook her head as a reply.

Inhaling deeply I felt the adrenaline slowly leaving my body. Looking back at Mat I said with a smile, "Good job." Seeing him begin to blush I turned to everyone else to say, "Everybody follow me." Leading the way outside I had to stop right before opening the last door to ask Mat, "Can I have my glasses back now?" As he gave them to me he said, "There was a camera with audio imbedded in them. I had the Director disconnect it from all monitors." With my eyes covered I looked at Mat to say, "Thanks, I could kiss you right now." Seeing his face and ears turn beet red I pushed the door open to say, "I hope everyone knows how to swim."

With my eyes ready this time I lead the way to the beach. Seeing people run past me with the look of amazement on their faces. Some even asked others to pinch them to make sure they weren't dreaming. Even Hannah came out to enjoy the view and sea breeze. They all ran straight ahead until one of them screamed, "It's real!" A smile came to my lips hearing the excited patter of feet running to the sand and the splash of water. I found a nice spot for me to lye down in the shade.

All the adrenaline left my body, I was surprised to have lasted this long. Looking up at the clear blue sky I inhaled salty air deeply, hearing the sound of purring I knew it was Ed. Still in tiger form he laid next to me. I had to ask him, "Can I pet you?" He laid his head on my chest. When I ran my fingers through his fur his purr only became louder. Mat eventually came to see us cuddling and had to ask, "Is it official now?" Side eyeing him I said, "You're just jealous cause I get to pet Ed as a tiger first." He let out a low growl while thinking if he wasn't my best friend I would've taken a chunk out of him for saying that.

Smiling I told Mat what Ed thought. Mat replied with, "Good thing I brought your clothes with me incase you wanted to take a dip. I would lend you mine although it's a little small for you Ed." Feeling his fur begin to turn into skin I moved my hand off him. "Hide your shame man", Mat said covering his eyes. I kept mine looking up at the sky. "Why should I be ashamed for being gifted", hearing the confidence in his voice made me chuckle. "If you had taken a look you're more than welcome to return the favor", Ed said seductively. I replied with, "You were just laying on my chest while I was running my fingers through your fur I think that's fair."

"Aren't you going to come and enjoy the water with us?", Mat asked. Turning my head to him I said, "I need a power nap, wake me up when everyone starting freaking out." "Why would they freak out?", Ed asked. I looked at him to say, "When has anything ever been easy in life?" They both looked down at me and shrugged. "I want everyone to enjoy this one moment before they remember that while we are free Colonel Armstrong is still out there. It's only a matter of time before our government or other countries try coming here to do the same. When that happens we'll need to fight back again." Seeing their minds begin to think critically I told them, "Right now I really need a nap. Go enjoy yourselves while you still can, I'll be right here. Still dead to the world." As they were about to take my advice I told them, "When it's time to wake me up have Hannah do it. I've been told I'm an angry sleeper, like a bear." Finally closing my eyes a strange feeling took over me.

It felt like Nightmare was engulfing me again. They took on the form of my mom. Before it could speak I asked, "Can you change into someone I didn't lose because of you?" It looked down at itself to turn into a tall broad shouldered man, with long black hair, emerald green eyes, thin and full lips, wrapped in muscles I'd kill to have. Feeling my heart skip a beat when it asked, "Is this better?" Having to look away I said, "Yes." My voice was barely a whisper, I could feel my cheeks flushing again.

"Why are you looking away?"

"I wasn't expecting you to look like a goth rock god."

"I chose this look from a memory of yours."

"Of course you did."

"Why didn't you go after him?"

"I tried to, his daughter hit me like a canon ball. Which hurt, I know you felt it, too."

"I did, why is she still alive then?"

"It's called leverage, I'm going to use her against Armstrong."

"Why would he care about her?"

"She's his daughter, every father cares about their daughter even if they leave them."

"Your dad didn't leave you?"

"No, he died."

"Did he love you?"

"Yes, I was his kid."

"He died that night with your mom and me?"

"Yes."

"I don't understand love."

"Love is a feeling, an emotion, and a promise. Do we really need to talk about it now?"

"Why not?"

"I don't have the time to explain what love is to you."

"Why?"

"To sum it up Love is a word that means so many things all at once. You say it to someone special to you, sometimes to animals, and things that really matter to you. There are even different types of love."

"Is that all?"

"No, look we can talk about love later. Right now we need to figure out what our next point of action should be."

"Then we can talk about love?"

"Humph, sure and everything else you want to know."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"You promise?"

"I promise."

As I made a pinky swear with Nightmare I began to feel someone trying to wake me up. Opening my eyes to see Hannah nudging me I grabbed her forearm tightly. "They told me to wake you up", she said pained. Before letting her go I told her, "Pathetic."

Barely seeing any difference in the sky I stood to ask, "Has the high finally come down?" Everyone either shrugged or nodded at my question. Taking a look around I said, "As of right now this island is ours. To keep it that way we're going to need to fight for it. Right now we have plenty of leverage against anyone who tries stepping onto our land. I'm taking command for the time being, if anyone disapproves raise your hand." Seeing a few hands raised I added, "Hannah doesn't count and all those who appose have to have a good reason which can't be because they are her friends." Seeing the raised hands fall I continued, "What we need to do is check the island for any landmines or any other secrets that cannot be found in The Director's mind or from anyone else who isn't us.

"Now I need three groups: One goes to search the island, two searches the building with the other guards and scientist, and the third comes with me to the main building. I'm going to need Alexia, Mat, and Hannah. If anyone here is tech savvy or can control electricity please follow me. The rest of you either search the island or get the scientists and the rest of the guards to the main building. To make it crystal clear no one is to hurt the guard by the name of Edgar. If any one of you have grievances and want to take revenge step forward and we can talk about it." No one stepped forwards with that option although someone did raise their hand. She towered over all the other woman. I asked, "What's your name and ability?" "It's Anya, I can control and become electricity", she said with a slight accent.

"Alright Anya, Alexia, Mat, and Hannah come with me. Everyone else talk amongst yourselves to see who's doing what. Eric keep me updated on all your findings. Are there any objections as of this time?" Seeing no hand raised I finished with, "We'll all meet back here when we're done. If everyone is here except me one of you call out my name and I'll come running."

Turning around to lead the way to the main area where Aunt Patty was left in the chair. Entering the room I saw her beginning to squirm. "What's eating you?", I asked knowing the answer. "I need to use the ladies room", she said with her eyes cast down. Looking to Hannah I said, "Take her to bathroom and come right back, if you try getting any funny ideas I'll gut you both where you stand." Shocked Hannah said, "You can't order me around, I'm not your servant." Taking my sunglasses off to show her exactly how serious I was, "You are whatever I want you to be. I can and will kill you when you're of no use to me. Now take Director Anderson to the bathroom or I'll send you to Nurse Ratchet." Seeing her whole body shudder filled me with a rush I didn't know I needed.

Once they were both out of the room Mat, Alexia, and Anya exchanged a look. I didn't have the time to deal with the mountain of questions I'm sure they had for me. Walking to Aunt Patty's office I pushed the door off it's hinges to keep it permanently open. I started looking through her files to find out all I could. Mat came into the room to say, "Was that really necessary?" "The best way to keep a prisoner in compliance is to have them so scared that they know escape is just a dream", I told him while sifting through the data Aunt Patty hand on us. "It's ironic how hypocritical we can become with the slightest of pushes", Mat said keeping his distance. Taking a look into his eyes only to watch him walk away. I felt my body begin to shudder from his last words. Looking down at my hands to see they were turning black as if to turn into a shadow, all I could think was what am I doing?

Young AdultThrillerScience FictionPlot TwistMysteryHorrorFictionAdventure

About the Creator

Lucy Torralba

Just a writer at heart trying to tell some stories of my own. Currently working on one main story, will update whenever I can.

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Comments (1)

  • Esala Gunathilake2 months ago

    Keep up the good work

Lucy TorralbaWritten by Lucy Torralba

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