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You will see that I have rearranged scenes from the old version of Kristen and added some new stuff as well. I hope that you enjoy! I rewrote this partly because of my fiction class.
I’m alone once again. Rain began to fall a little as if it were a timid mouse. Then more as if the heavens decided to give everything they’ve got. I stripped off my sunglasses, it’s the worst time to fly, but I didn’t care. I stretched my wings toward the sky. I wanted to tell her, but I couldn’t. My revelry didn’t last long, with shirt, vest, and sweatshirt back on; I plopped down on a swing as the rain slowed to a stop. A little boy in a crinkled blue raincoat ran up to a little girl in a yellow raincoat. Grinning ear to ear, they commandeered the swings beside me. Swinging back and forth, it’s almost like a young me and a young Kristen playing together. Innocent laughter surrounded me like a blanket, and for a moment I forget everything. But only for a moment. I stood up and the younger us ran off, hand and hand, shrieking with mirth. Tinges of indigo had begun to paint the sky, as I began my trek home.
I reach the river that separated the southern part of town from the northern part of town. A rainbow of umbrellas moved across either side of the bridge. Rushing water bubbled below, as I meandered toward to bridge, which also separated me from home. My hood pulled tight, I kept my head down. Little shouts announced a verbal fight between a group of young boys and a little girl in a hot pink jacket. Her back faced the edge of the bridge. The wind sent their words away from me, so it was hard to tell what they were fighting about. Why no one broke up their fight, I don’t know. After a few moments, she shoved one of the boys to the ground. He dusted himself off and returned the favor in order to protect his honor or for some other lame reason. It appeared that he didn’t know his own strength, because she went up and over the barrier. Her screams ripped through everyone and every head turned in her direction. I pulled my hood lower and broke into a run. At the point, what didn’t cross my mind was my mom screaming at me for revealing my wings or destroying my clothes, nothing really crossed my mind. All I could see was a little girl falling head first toward unfriendly water. As fast as a pair of wings could go, I pushed myself toward her. I caught her before she hit the water. A hand under each of her arms, toes brushing the surface of the water, we studied our reflections. Both of us are out of proportion like in a fun house mirror, but it didn’t diminish the look on the girl’s face. Her eyebrows knitted together and mouth agape revealed two missing front teeth.
It’s not easy carrying the weight of two people, let alone one. Though she was small, it took some effort, and more than once I felt as if my arms would pop out of socket. I really needed to start going to the gym.
A bewildered mother and father, stared at their daughter as I lowered her feet to solid ground. A hero’s welcome? Not.
Feared, was more accurate. Their image of a hero must have consisted of a white winged savior. Not me. The little girl, the sweet little girl the only one that instead of staring, broke into a huge grin. She ran up to me, and gave me a big hug and whispered, “Thank you,” before running back to her mother.
It’s no secret that wish more people would react to me that way. All that mattered in that moment to me was that the little girl was safe. The crowd around me had started to swell, my cue that it was time to leave. I leapt over the barrier and flew toward my only escape, the woods.
In my head, I could hear my mom say, “What were you thinking?”
. “I was saving someone’s life.” Simple, straightforward.
“They saw your wings.” I could see her hands, palms up toward the ceiling moving up and down.
“Who cares?” Wow did I just think that? Me who’s paranoid about revealing my eyes, let alone my wings? As I got past the tree line, I decided not to mention to my mom about what happened.
Home sweet home, seemed like a joke, when blue and red lights flashed like beacons in the dark around my house. A man in blue looks at me his eyes cold and distant, as if he’s seen more than a lifetime’s worth of action. “Son, you can’t come any further.”
He didn’t have to say anything. I don’t think that I could’ve moved if I’d wanted to. All I wanted to know is that my parents are okay. That this was some clichéd dream I’d wake up from like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I almost click my heels together and say there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.
All the lights were on inside and shadows moved across the windows like unwanted specters. I spot John, tall, hair colored like bark, and bottle green eyes, whispered softly into his radio. He was my dad’s best friend and my godfather, I took a step back, he looked up at me and his eyes softened “Amolas,” He murmured.
I adjusted my sunglasses and looked at him. “What’s going on?”
He didn’t answer, but he began to whisper into his radio.
I waited until he had finished before I asked, “Where are my parents?”
“As in dead?”
“As in missing?”
“Missing?” My parents wouldn’t just go missing. There is something else going on.
“Neighbors reported suspicious activity earlier today, odd sounds, and a few gunshots. Neither of your parents have been reachable in over 24 hours.”
I blinked, unable to utter more than air.
“We thought you were missing as well.” He placed a heavy hand on my shoulder. “I understand you are having a hard time with all this.”
A hard time felt like an understatement. I went from worrying about my mom flipping out on me, to freaking out about my mom not here to flip out at me. What a change.
“You’re coming to stay with me.” John said.
“Your Dad told me if something ever happened to him, that he wanted me to take care of you as if you were my son.” John stepped back examining me for some kind of reaction.
Inhale, exhale, I reminded myself. Words couldn’t find me, so I nodded instead.
“We’ll find your parents in no time kiddo.” John winked.
Somehow I doubted him, no matter how much enthusiasm he put behind those words.
“They would like to ask you some questions, but only if you are up for them.” John said.
“Uhhh… not really.”
“Understandable, they’d like it if you did when you are ready. You can go inside and get your things, the house does not seem to be disturbed in any way.” John pointed to the house. “I will be waiting for you when you are done.”
“Ok.” Though I’d rather not go back in that house, I knew that I had to.
It was eerie how quiet the house was. Usually mom and dad were watching some random sitcom on TV or dad would be tinkering about the house on his latest home improvement project. I ran up to my room, my shoes echoed in the silent house. I cringed, but kept going. Once in my room, I searched around for what I needed. A couple of things seemed to missing, at the time but I didn’t think much about it. Downstairs, I noticed the answer machine flashing announcing it had a message for the entire world to hear and I wondered if the cops had missed it. I hit the answering machine button and listened. It was quiet except for breathing, like you hear in all those horror movies and there is a reason why it’s freaky. Then the classic horror movie voice picked up.
“We know where you are, it’s been seventeen years but we’ve found you. We’re done—”
I couldn’t make out the rest, the guy must have asthma or something. These are the times where I hope it’s a wrong number, a misunderstanding that in fifty years I can look back on this and laugh. I wondered if the police had thought the same thing, or that is was a prank, and I decided to keep quiet.
The difference between my house and John’s house was clear from the moment you step through the front door. Bright colors and a family portrait greeted you. The general construction of the house being the only similarity with a staircase leading you up out of sight to the right, kitchen and dining room to the left, living room straight ahead, and narrow hallways. The hallways were lined with photographs, paintings, and scrawled drawings that matched those tapped and held in place by magnets on the fridgerator door. In the living room, there was a picture of a little girl perched on top of a brown pony, both covered in pink. Another picture showed her wearing a ballerina tutu like any typical four year old girl, but she wasn’t looking straight at the camera, but far off in the distance.
A woman nearing her middle 30s came clopping down the stairs in pink flip flops that matched the shirt she was wearing. Blue jeans with some artful rips completed her outfit. Her eyes were a chocolate brown like my mother’s but her eyes were soft and gooey like the chips in a fresh chocolate chip cookie.
“You must be Amolas, I am Gwen, John’s wife” She said, her smile brightened her whole face and without another word came over and wrapped her arms around me like a quilt. When she finally let go, she looked me over like she was x-raying me with her eyes. “You’ll be sleeping in the guest bedroom. Let me show you” Gwen takes me by the shoulders, her face more serious, her mouth in a slight frown, looks directly into my eyes. “They will find your parents. John will make sure of it.”
I want to believe her, but why should I get what I want? Mom never seemed to care, but then why do I miss her and dad so much?
“It’s okay to cry Amolas.” Gwen said and hugs me like she might her daughter. No tears, but there’s a pain in my chest that won’t go away. She released me from her grasp once again and I followed her up the stairs. Her short auburn hair did nothing to hide the sunburst tattoo on the nape of her neck.
Upstairs, more pictures arranged in different patterns hung on each wall. “Here is your new room.” She opened the faux wooden door. The walls were empty except for a mirror and a painting of a sailboat. The bed was neat with a pale blue bedspread, with a bedside table to match.
“Dinner is at six, if you’re not hungry I understand.” Gwen closed the door and left me alone to listen to her clomp down the wooden staircase.
My hands cover my face. My parents were missing, I was in a strange house, and people I barely knew were actually caring! What would they do if they knew about my wings? As far as I knew John doesn’t know anything about my wings, but then again, I have no idea what dad and John talked about. I started pacing back and forth across the white shag carpet only a knock snapped me back as a little four year old entered the room. Her wheat hair tied in braids with pink ribbons matching her dress, her eyes lit up like fireworks when she saw me.
“Hi,” she said twirling.
“What’s your name?”
“Amolas,” I answered.
She stopped. “Amoowaz?”
“A mole.” The little girl’s lips puckered “Wes?”
“Just call me Amole”
“Ok! Amole, Amole, Amole,” she sang.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Amy, Amy, Amy.” She continued her song.
“Well, Amy, Amy, Amy.” I smiled.
“No silly, it’s Amy.” She stuck out her tongue.
I did it back.
“Do you want to have a tea partee?”
Amy grabbed my hand and led me to her door. There was a gold star on it that read ‘Amy’s Room’. I was blinded with pink when Amy opened her door. How one person could stand that much of one color, I’ll never understand.
“Amole sit there and I’ll sit here,” Amy offered me a tiny chair. Within moments, I was sitting beside a mountain of stuffed rabbits and teddy bears, some with missing eyes or limbs. Straw hats with matching pink bows were perched on our heads.
Amy couldn’t stop smiling and I decided to pretend to be dainty by extending my pinky as I sipped imaginary tea. Sure enough, Amy imitated me and began chatting away to her stuffed friends.
I looked up from my imaginary biscuit. “What?”
Amy hums a tune as she eats her pizza. John stares at his plate, briefly looking at his wife. She does the same as her husband. Their eyes meet and then they look at me.
“We’re glad you’re here Amolas,” John says. “Gwen and I want you to feel right at home, until your parents are found.”
I nod. Gwen eyes are red and her cheeks are tearstained. “I need a moment.” She gets up and walked out, her bare feet slapping the blue tiled floor.
“It’s not you Amolas. I’ll explain later,” John said. His expression matched his wife’s. “I’ll go check on her. Keep an eye on Amy.”
Amy continued humming pretending to feed her doll, its plastic face covered in pizza sauce and grease.
“Amy why are your parents so upset?”
Amy shrugged her shoulders and kept on as if she hadn’t heard me.
Gwen checks on me before she goes to sleep, her hair in multicolored hair curlers. John stood beside her, a hand affectionately placed on her shoulder. I don’t think either realized that I was still awake.
“Any leads?” Gwen asked.
“I can’t really say. Don’t worry about it, and leave it to me, ok darling?” John said, “I think that we should let the poor boy sleep.”
“Yeah, he reminds me of—”
“Gwen, we just talked about this. Please let’s go to bed.” John’s voice was tinted with sadness.
Gwen didn’t say anything, but nodded her head, and I watched John slowly close my door.
I closed my eyes, letting the darkness of sleep take me from this world into another.
Prom. That one night where everyone dresses up in tuxes and extravagant gowns and dance in a dark room together. A place when people are happy when they come and could leave broken hearted or come with a broken heart and leave happy. It was after everyone has eaten the fancy dinner that was served. People had started to migrate to the dance floor, but some still meandered around the tables, visiting with friends and taking ever photo opt they could think of. A few asked if I can take their picture. My photography ability is not a secret. It was the only time I felt accepted by others. I take every photo request thrown my way. If anything it helped take my mind off the fact that a certain someone wasn’t there.
A slow song picked up. I sat beside one of my classmates on the sidelines of the dance floor. What was his name? Nick, Jake? I felt like one of those sideshows that people paid 50 cents to see. Too many people glanced at me and looked away. That may be how Napoleon Dynamite must have felt at his dance. I considered leaving and ending this nightmare.
As I stood up, I saw the doors open, my hands started to shake. Kristen walked in, her dress was a royal purple, her hair in ringlets of black. Another slow song picked up at the tail end of the first. She held out her left hand and we glided on to the dance floor like a set of figure skaters on the ice. The beat is even when we get into position. Kristen hadn’t spoken a word, but no one stared at me like I was dancing with an invisible person, so it must have been reak or if anything a realistic dream.
Kristen was wearing the perfume I like.
*I don’t want the world to see me, because I don’t think that they’d understand. When everything is made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am*
Floated up, I think I knew how the guy in the song felt.
Kristen, still smiling when the song ended, whispered “Thank you.” She kissed me on the cheek. “I have to go,” and she ran out like she was Cinderella at midnight, and I was Prince Charming left to find her slipper.
Too bad it was only a dream.
“Are you alright Amolas?”
I stared into Mr. White’s steel blue eyes. I wanted to scream, too much pity from too many teachers. No Kristen, so I didn’t have anyone to talk to about anything.
“Fine, Mr. White, fine.”
“You take as much time as you need to finish your portfolio.”
“It will be in on time.” I said. “See you tomorrow.” I gathered my books and walked out of the classroom.
Alex and a couple of people I don’t know were standing by my locker.
“The bell isn’t going to save you this time,” Alex said, my nose wrinkled at his breath. Someone needed to turn this guy on to the idea of a toothbrush.
“Don’t-” I started spinning my lock until it clicked.
“What are you going to do? Go home to mommy?”
“He can’t, his mommy is missing,” The four of them laughed.
“Don’t-” I could feel my wings threatening to burst out
“There is no one to hide behind, Amolas.”
“What about his sunglasses?” My stomach dropped at those words.
Bam, my locker banged closed, and made them all jump.
The halls are deserted now, like a mall after closing time, and I’m security making the rounds.
“Not so fast.” Alex said, his voice froze me in my tracks.
Where’s backup when you need it? My arms are pinned to my sides and two red heads pressed me up against the lockers. Shouldn’t they have gone to class? No one was going to look for me. Ms. B must have assumed that I needed some time alone.
“Let’s see what you hide behind these things. It’s not like you’re Cyclops from X-Men.” Not this joke again.
I try to move, to do anything to stop Alex. I was stuck fast like a fly caught in some hungry spider’s web. I didn’t think there was any difference between Alex and the spider, or me and the fly.
Its slower than it should have been. Alex’s hands curled around my sunglasses. He backed up almost knocking the rest of the pack over. “You’re eyes.” The sunglasses clattered to floor. “Bird eyes.”
Alex’s friends took one look at me and dropped my arms. I wanted to run, but I couldn’t move. What would Kristen say if she had saw me then?
“Are you some experiment gone awry?” One said.
“No,” I reached out, snap.
In an instant, my sunglasses were beneath Alex’s heavy booted foot. I tapped my fingers against the toe of his boot before I knew what happened. I pushed on the floor like a 100 yard dash runner. And there was the gunshot.
Not exactly sure what to think anymore, first of all my parents are missing and could be dead, John and his family are treating my entirely different from my own, and in general my life had been flipped upside down. I was afraid that John or Gwen would read the newspaper or watch the news and my little act of heroism would show up. Would it be different then when Grandpa Birch made headlines? Bird Man Flies Over New England? Will I have to go into hiding? Maybe if I ignore it, it will blow over.
It felt like once I saved that little girl’s life that I would somehow end up doing it again. Saving someone’s life that is. As I walked home, I kept my hood low, but it didn’t stop me from hearing the screams first and then warmth. I realized that the old apartment building, a block from Amy’s preschool, was making good fuel for the growing bonfire that engulfed it. Orange and red tongues licked its wooden sides like a child might lick a lollipop.
“My mommy is still inside!” A young boy wearing a pale blue jacket cried out. An older man, his hair graying with age, stood beside him.
“It’s ok son,” the man cooed, sweeping him up into a hug. “His mother is in a wheelchair,” he said to the soot covered firefighter beside them. His finger pointed like an arrow settled on the middle 3rd floor window
“It’s too dangerous for us to go back inside. I’m sorry.” The firefighter hung his head low.
The father nodded and held the tiny boy tight.
I knew it was stupid, I also knew if anyone could save this woman it was me, and I knew I couldn’t let the woman die if she wasn’t already dead.
|The Forbidden Children: Chapter 16||Umbrella Man|
|The Forbidden Children: Chapter 1||Wings|
|The Forbidden Children: Chapter 4||You Can't Fly (also known as Kristen) part 5|