It was 4:02 in the afternoon when the girl got home from school. Even though she got out at 2:30 PM, it took a while to walk all the way back to her house, seeing that it was far from any other places in the area. She didn’t have any neighbors. The house was completely isolated, sitting atop a tall hill. As she always did when she got home, the girl went straight to her bedroom. It was a one-story house with an attic, which was her room, separated from the rest of the house. Her room, with a mini fridge and a connected bathroom, was the only place in the whole house that she ever went: the attic was hers, the first floor was her mom’s.
Sitting on the window seat of her bedroom, the girl gazed at the entire world which was kept from in her small room. There were streets and bridges and parking lots, highways that always had cars that drove back and forth on them. There were trees and bushes, greener and more beautiful each day as the seasons shifted. There were skyscrapers and rows of houses that she knew she would never have the chance to go to. The only building visible from her window that she had any chance of visiting was the nearby jail. It was a huge, intimidating structure with hundreds of small boxed windows lined evenly across the walls. The entrance was uncomfortably grand, connected with a big bridge, as if it was some kind of royal palace, not an unfriendly home for criminals. The name of the jail was printed in bold, black letters at the entrance: “Allevran County Jail.”
It baffled the girl how tall and wide the building was; she thought about all those outlaws looking out from their tiny windows on the city they were completely separated from. Even though she already felt as though she lived the life of a prisoner from the distant perch of her bedroom window, she felt sick to her stomach at the idea of being put in that oversized, suffocating box.
Her phone rang suddenly, startling her and making her almost fall off her window seat. She fumbled around in her book bag before she found the source of the sound and took it out. The screen read “Mom.” The girl’s heart stopped, her breath caught in her throat. She knew her mom only called when there was an emergency. She quickly answered the call.
“Hello?” the girl asked nervously into the phone. “What happened?”
Her mom spoke briefly and to the point, without even bothering to sugarcoat anything. The girl hung up immediately after her mother said what she needed to without saying goodbye. The speed of the girl’s heartbeat increased to record speeds, threatening to beat right out of her chest. Her breath became rushed and uneven as she tried desperately to not have a full-on panic attack. She dropped the phone to the ground as her eyes and hands began to brightly glow a vibrant shade of blue. She started to first whisper and then scream the word “no” over and over as she grasped desperately for the air that escaped her. Tears streamed down her face as the color quickly drained from her cheeks. The blue glow of her hands and eyes faded as she collapsed to the ground, hugging her legs and hiding her face in her knees. She rocked back and forth in a failed attempt to comfort herself.
“It’s over,” she croaked between hopeless sobs, the words barely managing to escape her quivering lips. “It’s all over.”
There was a knock at the front door, so loud that she could hear it from the attic. Her head shot up and her crying abruptly stopped. An intense sense of fear washed over her and froze her in place. Her breathing stopped, along with the frantic thoughts that ran through her head. She had absolutely no idea what to do.
“Not already,” she whispered. “This is too soon,” she said in a panic, as she grabbed her head and squeezed her eyes shut.
She heard the door be knocked down on the first floor of the house.
“We know you’re here,” a powerful voice called from the front door. “There’s no point in running or hiding. The more you cooperate with us, the less violent we’ll have to be with you.”
The girl jumped onto her feet and ran to her bedroom door which she locked as quickly as she could. She then dashed to her desk and dragged it over to the door to use as a blocker. Once this was done, she rushed back to the window, peering out and wondering how painful it would if she jumped out. “I could try,” she whispered to herself, “but I’ve never been able to do it before...”
Her heart raced at the sound of heavy boots marching up the stairs to her room. The doorknob shook violently as she climbed up onto her windowsill, her breaths short and sharp as she looked down at the ground far below.
“There’s no point in doing this,” the same person shouted. “It isn’t a difficult task for my men to break down walls.” There were now violent bangs on the door, making the girl flinch with every hit. She looked over her shoulder at the shaking door and desk, doing little to protect her from the group of guards on the other side. The man shouted again: “You aren’t altering your fate by doing this, just slowing down the process.”
This single sentence hit her like a blow to the gut, and she stumbled back and fell off the windowsill back into her room. She flinched at the pain that shot through her back from the impact on the wooden floor. She made no effort to get back up onto her feet, but slowly rolled from her back to her stomach as the men continued to pound on the door. The loud pattern of hit after hit on the wood was starting to give her a headache. The girl pushed herself up off her stomach and then swung her legs around into a cross-legged sitting position. As she wiped the salty tears from her eyes, she sat facing the door and waited for them to come and take her away. She had officially given up.
The door crashed down and the desk was kicked over and out of the way. Five large men entered the room, four of them wearing full-body protective suits while the one in the back—who she assumed was the one who gave the orders—wore a fancy, black business suit. The man in the back took a photo out of his briefcase and handed it to the closest guard. “Verify that this is her,” the leader told him. It was, in fact, the same voice that had yelled at her from downstairs. “We don’t want to bring in the wrong prisoner.”
Once she decided the man who held the photo had looked up and down between her and the photo for far too long, the girl rolled her eyes and lifted her hands up from her lap. “It’s me,” she announced. To confirm this claim, her eyes and hands began to dimly glow a dull shade of blue. The men all jumped back in surprise. “I’d appreciate it if you stopped ‘slowing down my fate,’ or whatever it was you said.”
“Get her,” the boss said from the back of the pack. “Don’t run away from her, get her!” The girl braced herself as they came at her, trying hard not to show any amount of fear behind her eyes. Two men on either side of her grabbed her arms and pulled her up onto her feet. Another man put his large, intimidating hands on her shoulders. The fourth man stood in front of her, taking out a pair of bizarre metal gloves. He roughly took her wrists and forced a glove onto both of her delicate hands. Once the gloves were on, the blue glow in the girl’s hands and eyes was put out easily, like a weak campfire. She gasped and looked down with exasperation at her metal hands.
“What did you do?!” she exclaimed, both in terror and in awe. Without bothering to answer her question, the man then took a pair of handcuffs off his belt and attached them to her metal gloves so that she could no longer move her arms. The boss who stood back nodded his head in the direction of the door behind him before turning to walk out. The men who completely surrounded the girl and dragged her forward against her will followed close behind him. She didn’t fight it, because she knew that there was nowhere to go even if she miraculously managed to slip away from the men who guarded her from all sides.
“I never even graduated high school,” the girl said to the guards, who pretended as though they couldn’t hear her. “I was gonna be a senior next school year...” she continued, as her gaze sank down to her feet. “I was gonna go to college, too.”
The leader at the front of the pack stopped abruptly and turned to face her. The four guards around her stopped as well, and the girl looked up. Still holding onto the chain in between her handcuffs, the guard in front of her stepped to the side so that the boss could better see her. They locked eyes. His eyes were harsh and cold, showing no pity or regret towards her. “Don’t try to make us feel bad for you, kid,” he said flatly. “Your fate is sealed.” He spun on his heels and continued to walk. The four guards followed, pulling the girl along with them.
“I have to pee,” she said loudly as they exited the house. The men all stopped for the second time, and the boss turned to face her again.
“Can you hold it?” he asked through clenched teeth.
“No,” she said simply with a straight face. “But if your minions want piss all over them, then I can just pee my pants.”
The guards all distanced themselves as much as they could while they still maintained a tight grip on her. Their boss groaned. “Fine,” he snapped, rubbing his forehead to try and ease his headache. He walked off the sidewalk and headed towards some bushes, gesturing to his guards to follow. The girl repressed a grin as the guards led her to a nearby bush. Once the group approached it, they stopped to let go of her arms, shoulders, and wrists and take a few steps back. They stayed in a fairly tight circle around her. She looked at them expectantly, and then down at her cuffed hands.
“How am I supposed to wipe?”
“With a leaf,” the boss growled, on the brink of exploding with rage.
The girl put up her wrists and shook her hands in his face. “Ah-hem.”
The boss looked at the guards, and they shrugged.
“We’ll still be surrounding her,” one of them whispered.
“It’s not like she’ll be able to get away,” another one said.
The boss threw his arms up in the air dramatically. “Fine!”
He nodded his head irritably in the girl’s direction and the man who had put the handcuffs and gloves on her removed them. Once they were off, the girl continued to stand there, staring at the men as though she was waiting for something else. The boss sighed aloud, shaky breath. “What do you want now, brat? You’re wasting my time.”
“You’re not gonna watch me, are you?”
“Policy,” he stated. “We can’t turn our backs on you.”
The girl gave them a disgusted look. “That’s gross...” When she got no response, she added, “Can I have, like, less than a minute? I promise I’ll be quick.”
The boss groaned again in frustration and rubbed his eyes, but then begrudgingly turned his back on her. He spun his hand in a circle above his head as a signal to the other guards to turn around as well. Remaining close and surrounding her, they turned so that they no longer faced her. She beamed with a confident grin in the hopes that she would be able to do something she’d never done successfully before. Her eyes and hands lit up as she reached up to the sky and relaxed all her muscles. “Come on... come on,” she whispered to herself. “You can do this...”
The leader sighed loudly. “Can you at least stop talking while you take a dump?!”
“Sure,” the girl said with amusement in her voice as she focused all her energy on the sky above her. “That’s exactly what I’ll do.”
With that, the girl began to rise up off the ground. She gasped as the guards and their boss all whipped around. “I’m doing it!” she squealed, a big smile on her face as her entire body glowed a vibrant shade of blue. She floated up above all the guards before they could grab her. Her laugh filled the air overtop the furious and crazed shouts of the boss to his guards.
She smirked and waved at them as she flew over their heads. “I guess you could call this ‘altering my fate,’ wouldn’t ya say, boss?”