food for thought
I hunched behind the abandoned car, not daring to move a muscle. I focused hard at the dark, shadowed corner where I knew Jarrod hid. The coldness seeped into my lungs as I inhaled the night air, chest moving in a calm and controlled rhythm, soundless. When the coldness came, they came. A glint of metal flashed as Jarrod shifted. My heart paused, hoping against all hope, they hadn’t seen it. My energy field wanted to lash out, protect itself from their coldness. Instead, I pulled it into my center and locked it away in that secret place inside. They could sense any emotion. They fed from it, after all.
Greedy, gluttonous parasites.
Each second passed by, like a drawn-out sentence of death, one after another. I slowed my breathing down to the slowest of trickles. Eventually the coldness faded, and I could feel them getting further away. Jarrod shifted, and his dark face emerged, his black-out glasses flashing. I shook my head slightly, still sensing them. The others couldn’t feel them the same way I could. Sometimes I envied them that.
Jarrod frowned and melted back into the shadows, disappearing as if he was never there. I didn’t know exactly what Jarrod did before the timeline was altered and The Shift occurred, but I highly suspect the words secret and military were included.
A lot of things changed with The Shift. When the timeline changed, the frequencies shifted too, making it easier for them to exist and change the tide of humanity. After The Shift, they emerged and those who were Awakened were targeted first. The Awakened remembered the other timeline. We didn’t forget. The Shift was executed almost seamlessly because they had been here forever, hidden, biding their time.
They didn’t have the ability to feel emotions, feeding on humanity to actually experience feelings, like a narcotic. It’s almost as if they fed off our light too, our souls or divinity, if you want to get all esoteric about it. They were dark, cold abysses, void of emotion and soul. I imagined that if there was a Hell, that’s what it would feel like. Like a sensory-depravation chamber of nothingness, a hopeless, dead void.
The strap of the backpack dug into my shoulder from the loot of canned beans we found, but I focused my mind on my breath and being as inconspicuous as I could. To be invisible. When I felt that silent nudge, something born of my intuition, I knew we could head back. Unfurling my energy, I brought it to just under my skin and silently hitched up the strap to a more comfortable spot. Jarrod stepped out of the shadows like a sleuth, black panther in human form. One look at his face and you thought one word.
Good thing he was on our side. His black-out glasses blocked out all light. Jarrod was practically blind, and yet, he could see perfectly. It was his talent. He saw the world without his using his eyes. He explained it once, how he tapped into the unified field and used it to see in his head. He said he could see that way better now than when he had his full eyesight.
Jarrod took the lead as we crept through the empty streets, reaching the bicycles we stashed. Our transportation to one of the safehouses a little outside of town. It had been built over a small vortex, but powerful enough to cover our energy signatures. Our group was small, the mission was to scavenge for supplies. We had a good run this time. The curfews that had been enacted since The Shift got earlier and earlier it seemed. Not that it mattered, most of humanity had basically devolved into little mindless drones at this point. We called them the Asleep.
I had to struggle a bit to keep up with Jarrod, as we pedaled through the back roads. Now days, being in shape was the difference between surviving or being captured and becoming food. I’d been fed on once, and believe me, one time was one too many.
A light sheen of sweat covered my skin by the time we got back. We locked up our bikes in the shed out back of the old house and headed inside. Black out curtains hung over the blinds kept the soft light from being seen on the outside. Bree, short for Sabrina, sat in the recliner, sharpening her knives while Hector sat in front of his travel altar, eyes closed. I placed my bag on the table, quietly, while Jarrod locked the door behind us. I looked at Bree and pointed to Hector, silently asking what he was doing.
“Dream Walking,” she mouthed, and I nodded.
Hector was a Shaman, his energy closely tied to the earth and sky. Power radiated off him like something nuclear, making him the lead of our team. I softened my eyes and saw a faint silver cord linked to Hector. Suddenly, a flash of an incorporeal body, slid down the cord, settling into his body.
“You almost got discovered, Roselle,” Hector told me, opening his eyes.
I blinked. Sometimes that was just creepy.
“You saw that, huh?” I asked, tightening my ponytail.
“I saw enough that you had a good run. We leave early tomorrow. This area is too hot,” he responded.
“No kidding,” Jarrod grunted, flopping down on the puke green couch. The furniture in this place had seen better days, but it was just a safehouse supplied by The Awaken.
“I’m tired of this town of Asleep assholes, anyway,” Bree complained.
The Awakened created teams with different talents. Two fighters and two sensitives. Bree was our psy-attacker. Besides being able to kill a person ten different ways in sixty seconds with her bare hands, she could mentally use frequency waves to psychically attack another.
“Get some shuteye,” Hector instructed, “We leave in a few hours.”
Jarrod splayed out on the green couch, closing his eyes, while Bree put her knives away. I retreated to the room that Bree and I shared, flopping down on one the beds. I pulled the heart-shaped locket out of my shirt and opened it, gazing at the family I used to have. A husband, and two children, a boy and then a girl. They were gone now, disappeared into The Shift, and yet, somehow my locket remained, the picture still intact. A remnant of a life that didn’t exist in this reality.
But looking at the piercing blue eyes of my now gone husband, I found myself forgetting a little more each day. The boy’s presence was strongest in my memories. I didn’t know what that meant, or why, but the only name I could remember anymore was my son’s.
“Archer. His name was Archer,” I reminded myself out loud, praying to the Gods that abandoned us, that he wouldn’t disappear from my mind too.
By the time Bree came in, my eyes lids had fallen, bringing blessed darkness. I went to sleep, clasping a keepsake from another timeline, not knowing what I would wake up to in the morning. The days blurred together now, like that clock painting by Salvatore Dali. Clocks melting, distorting time in the barren landscape, like my mind and memories.
My eyes snapped open. Goosebumps pimpled my flesh as the coldness seeped in, like an invasive, invisible fog. I knew what this meant.
They had found us.
They were here.
"Go to hell, love suckers," I whispered.
I looked over at Bree, as she lay peacefully in the dark room. I closed my eyes and felt out with my senses. I could feel the vortex pulsing underneath us, but I could also feel the coldness surrounding the house, pinpointing six arctic voids. We were surrounded.
I threw my pillow at Bree, shocking her awake. I put my finger over my mouth, held my fingers up to six and pointed in a circle around the house. We moved fast. I didn’t need to change, we slept in our clothes most times. Hector was coming out of his room at the same time. None of us spoke, creeping down the hallway, Bree taking the lead.
She stopped abruptly and then I felt it. The room was ice cold. I moved slightly to see what made her hesitate. One of them stood over Jarrod. Feeding. Jarrod lay frozen, unable to move, eyes wide open. His eyes flicked to the hallway; terror filled. I knew the feeling.
The coldness, the hopelessness, the defeat.
Bree lifted her hand and counted down from three. I used my energy to shield us, feeling Hector do the same, and our energy fields connected and strengthened. By the time Bree’s finger got to one, I felt a distortion in the unified field as she shot a psychic attack at Jarrod’s attacker. The Feeder stood up and turned, bringing his hands to his ears, trying to block the sonic wave. He looked just like any other human on the outside. It wasn’t until you looked into their eyes that you saw the emptiness. They looked like us, talked like us, some had families like us, but in the end, were not us.
Jarrod unfroze and rolled off the couch, getting out of range. A burst of ice flooded the room.
“He’s calling out to the rest,” I warned.
Bree threw three of her knives, fast like little bullets and the Feeder fell, and the call stopped, but it was too late. I sensed it.
“Move,” Hector barked.
He ran to the window and moved something on the floor. It was a large quartz crystal, and an energetic grid snapped into place. The Vortex beneath the house lent a boost, as geometrical shapes flashed in my peripheral vision. Bree knelt on knees by the Feeder and retrieved her knives, cutting his neck with swift efficiency in the process. If he wasn’t dead before, he was now.
I moved to Jarrod, helping him up. He was cold to the touch, hands shaking. I took a moment for me to open up and allow the Reiki to flow through me, into Jarrod. His body relaxed, soaking up the universal lifeforce energy.
“The grid won’t hold long. We need to go,” Hector said, stuffing some things into his bag. I glanced at our stash, shaking my head. I didn’t want to give up our supplies.
Bree moved the curtain just enough to peek out and cursed.
“Looks like their F.B.I. this time,” she told us.
“We’re surrounded,” I said at the same time, feeling the pinpricks of coldness.
“I know. We’re going to Link,” Hector said.
“Too risky. I’m not strong enough, H,” Jarrod rasped.
“We’ll cover you,” he replied, his word final.
He knelt and grabbed Jarrod’s hand at the same time I grabbed the other one, connecting us energetically, linking us. Jarrod was right, it was risky with him in a weakened state, but I was with Hector. I wasn’t leaving Jarrod behind to be fed on. Bree was last to the circle and as our hands connected, the energy spiked. With the vortex beneath the house, it took a moment for us to stabilize. I could feel where the lines were weakened, almost like a living circuit board. Bree, Hector and I attuned and recalibrated, getting the flow fluid.
“Damn,” Jarrod rasped, struggling to keep up.
“Jarrod, just focus on staying connected and balanced with in the flow. Bree, get ready to attack their minds, Roselle and I are going give it a push. When they go down, we attack. Got it?” Hector instructed.
We all nodded, but Bree and I shared a look.
The thought was loud and clear, we were screwed.
Thanks for reading! This was outside my comfort zone, never writing a Dystopian Tale before. I realized it was a lot of fun and think I might play with this a little longer.
© 2021 A. N. Tipton
About the Creator
I am a Writer, a Lover of Books, a Mother & an Usui Reiki Master who loves to read & write & all things Universal. Words move me, inform me, inspire me.
Find me at Twitter: @iambeauty111
© 2023 A. N. Tipton
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