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 2046/8/5 - //Cloudburst//

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PostSubject: 2046/8/5 - //Cloudburst//   Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:11 am

She didn't know back then that there were worse things than being powerless. Being a blank was unfathomable; worst than dead, blanks were just all the little boys and girls like her that just never grew up, and her wild melancholic fantasies revolved around turning twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, without her gift ever flowering in her chest. Cailin wanted to shed Liberi's white-and-blues like it was a prison jumpsuit, even when nobody else in her class had broken through that invisible ceiling, the unspoken gate her teachers and doctors called a quickening.

All her life, she'd been surrounded by teachers and doctors. She'd come to resent the sterile white floors and smooth white ceilings and clean white walls and cold, metal instruments, and the frequent visits, being pulled out of class with every eye on her to get another shot of this or another dose of this or a new test they wanted to try. But her father had been a Guardian once, and she endured the pinch of needles and the touch of rubber gloved hands for him, and the silent promise that maybe all these injections and strange tablets would culminate in something amazing, a gift made richer with her patience.

It was August. She didn't remember the date, just that it was a school day, a thick and humid heat that laid over the school like a wool carpet. Her teacher had said these were the dog days of summer, and to keep an eye out for the star Sirius as it slingshot across the night sky; Sirius the drought-bringer, the cause of fever, mad dogs, and thunderstorms. Cailin just relished in the air/conditioning, cranked up to full blast, watching heat rise from the asphalt in shimmering waves, as if she were staring at the play-yard through a veil of tears.

When the nurse and Guardians came to fetch her for her, smiling and cooing at her, she'd trot behind them dutifully, sat on the big chair, silently endured the screenings and inexplicable monitors and routine questions. How was she doing in school? Good. Was she liking the new teacher's assistant, Ms. Meyers? Oh, yes. Had she felt anything strange lately? Nope. Okay, good, good. They slipped her a plain white tablet and told her to take it, and being so clever, and being so stupid, she'd taken the pill in her cupped hand and popped it up to her closed lips, letting the pill slip unswallowed down her sleeve as she drank down the water handed to her by the nurse. Okay, okay, she was good to go, and she'd see them tomorrow.

And she did the same thing the next day, and the next day. The pills she just kept in her pocket, foul evidence, but she didn't know what else to do with them.

A summer storm had stolen up on the city while she and the children of Liberi were holed up inside, and when class was dismissed at three, the sky was as dark as dusk.

Cailin had felt it inside her on the walk home from school, like flint striking steel, a spark in her chest, and she was engulfed. Blotches of white flashed in her vision like paparazzi, and she swung as she walked, her backpack becoming fifty pounds heavier, dragging to the ground. It struck her again as she folded against the concerete, a shuddering convulsion that started at the crown of her skull and rippled down her veins to the tips of her toes, spasms possessing her limbs, blue snakes of light coiling around her wrists, her legs. She spat up a fountain of sparks, a hot burning in her throat that boiled up from her gut, a shower of sparks filling her lungs, she felt like a balloon of hydrogen about to tear and burst. Lightning coursed through her heart, and she was resurrected, eyes shooting open with the white glow of an internal furnace.

Forks of white flame split the sky, and the crash of thunder in her ears resonated through her entire system. And from the inside out, she could feel herself start to burn.


esther's pics •• cailin's pics •• evander's pics
esther wright   cailin andrews   evander lupo
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