My name is Marra Whitley, and I am different in many ways. I may be different from the humans but I am also the same in most ways. I eat, I sleep, I have emotions, I feel pain, I breathe, I may not age as fast but I still do, and I even use the bathroom. Most humans just refuse to believe that my kind is like them in an way.
My great-grandma was the only one left in my family line that knew exactly what I was because she had once been married to a man named Zeke, and he was like me. So he told her stories and she promised him that one day she would pass them down when they needed to be. Zeke was killed just 3 years before I was born so I never got to meet him. But my grandma did as she had promised and told me stories about people like me, and that the name for our kind was Hezerathians.
Apparently they had been living here in America since before it was discovered, and back then they thought they were the only people in the world and that our kind was normal. It wasn't until the first people came over and discovered America that they finally realized they weren't the only people in the world. My kind thought they could live in peace with these people. But when the others found out what the Hezerathians could do they saw them as nothing more than demons. They would refer to themselves as humans as if my kind was nothing more than a blight of nature, and over time the humans found ways to kill my kind leaving only a handful of them scattered throughout the world.
At one point a few years after that some of the remaining Hezerathians discovered that not all humans thought my kind were demons. Being separated from their own kind, those Hezerathians became close with humans, even falling in love with them. Through those humans my kind adopted a new name, the Keepers. They said it was because they believed we were put on Earth to keep peace, we are not so sure. But, we were relieved to be called something other than "demons".
These select humans realized that they could live an almost normal life with a Hezerathian. They even had children with the humans, and in all cases the child was born human. But what they didn't know at the time was that when a human and a Hezerathian have a child together that child may be human but they will also carry the blood of my kind within them and eventually another Hezerathian is born into that family line. This made the humans that hate us want us dead even more.
Yes, we may look a little different, we may have strange unexplainable powers, but that does not mean we are evil! The one and only thing that makes us look different from the humans is our eyes. They are a deeper blue than the middle of the ocean, but as bright as the summer sky at the same time. If you look into our eyes you will also notice that they are ever-changing, they hold almost every shade of blue you have ever seen. Looking into our eyes is like looking down on open waters, it seems as if there are waves lapping at our pupils. But our eyes don't just stop at being the bluest you've ever seen, they are also always glowing. They may sound very beautiful, but to us they are very dangerous. Our eyes are the main way the humans can tell that we are Hezerathians, but ever since I was young my grandma said that I have been able to will my eyes to stay a dull color, and that has saved my life. But when I am at home with nobody but my family I relax and my eyes show their true color. Also, when we use our powers our eyes will glow even brighter.
There are many different powers scattered amongst my kind, and normally each of us would only have one power. But in some special cases one Hezerathian would get all the different powers, and I just so happen to be one of those cases. I can move things without touching them, control the elements, make people see and believe whatever I want, and I can even protect people by picturing them in my mind and willing a boundary around them like a force field. My grandma saw this as a blessing, but I'm not so sure that's what it is. I can't even live a normal life because I'm constantly scared that someone is coming to kill me, my family, and anyone else I love. I can put a fake smile on my face and pretend like I'm happy, but at the end of the day there are still people who want me dead just because of my powers. These people call themselves "The Protectors", and they are out to kill every last one of us. They claim it is for the safety of all humans, but we have never hurt an innocent human. The only time any Hezerathian has harmed a human is when they tried to kill them. We mean no harm to anyone but they just can't see that.
I tried not to get close to anyone in the beginning, because a long time ago my kind also found out that when a human accepts us and becomes our friend they are instantly bonded to us. Something in their body tells them they couldn't live without us and they would even give their own life for a Hezerathian. I hate this, it makes me feel as if we are controlling those humans that accept us. I wish I could will a person to not love me, just as I can will my eyes to not glow!
Family is one thing, when a Hezerathian baby is born into a family everyone is instantly bonded, but isn't that normal? Don't humans love their babies just as much? Wouldn't they give their lives to protect their own human children? But the fact that bothers me the most is if we want to be normal and have friends or even a lover, we are risking their lives because the Protectors will kill them just as they would one of us. This is why I hate what I am so much, I am risking a lot of lives by just being a Hezerathian.
My past still haunts me, I shouldn't have done what I did almost 5 years ago. It was before I knew that humans bonded to Hezerathians. I was just so tired of hiding and being scared, I needed to taste the real world. I went against what my parents and grandma said and I left homeschooling and went into high school when I was 16 years old. Everything was fine for a little while, I was finally feeling normal. I made friends easily, but I didn't fully open up to any of them besides one girl named Lauren. She was much like me except for the fact that she was human. We would go out and have fun just like any normal best friends would. But about a year after I joined the high school Lauren thought it would be a good idea to go to our first party. I didn't want to but at the same time I wanted to be normal so badly that I did. That was the first and last night that I had ever drank alcohol. I loved the feeling, I felt like I was really just another human. I should have stopped after the first few beers but I just couldn't. I felt myself slowly losing control of my emotions as the alcohol took hold of my body. I don't remember much of the night after that, but what I do remember is somehow ending back up at home and my dad and mom yelling at me and Lauren already there and crying.
Apparently at one point Lauren and I had gotten into an argument because I wanted to leave the party with some guy I didn't even know and she wanted to go home. That's when I discovered that I had another ability that I never knew about, and it was that some objects have stories to tell and when I touch them images are played in my head like a movie. Lauren handed me my purse that I had left with her that night and began to walk away. Instantly I could see everything that happened the night before.
I saw me drinking more than I should have, I saw the guy I wanted to leave with, I saw Lauren grab my arms and try to stop me, and I saw me yell at her and walk out anyways. But the part that really upset me was that while I was yelling at her to let me go I saw myself show her what I really was. In the process of yelling at her I was so angry and intoxicated that I lost control over my eyes and for only a few seconds they showed their real color and brightness. Lauren let go of my hands and I walked out with the guy.
The last part of my vision was enough to take every breath out of my body and send me crashing to my knees onto the floor and clutching my stomach. Lauren was no longer angry with me and was at my side, as was my dad and my mom. They were all hysterical and asking me what's wrong and shaking me trying to get me to speak. That moment I felt as if someone had taken every word from my body, I couldn't speak or even cry. Finally in a very shaky voice I managed, "I'm pregnant."
How could I let this happen?
Present Day 2014
Today was the day of my Great-Grandmothers funeral, and this is my fourth sleepless night due to the nightmares that I've been having since I heard of her death. I sat in the floor of the bedroom, my arms wrapped around myself as I watched the sun rise through the window. The nightmares haven't really been the same except for one part, the voices. The first voice I always hear is a woman's, she sounds so angelic yet horribly terrifying at the same time. Each time she says, "I will find you Marra! Don't think you can hide from me forever!" I know that I have never heard that voice before. But then the second voice comes and I'd know it anywhere, it's my grandmother's voice. She says to me, "Be strong my Marra! You are much more powerful than she knows!" Every time I wake up I find myself crying, and unable to understand why I am having these dreams.
The day I was told about my grandma's passing my dad handed me a cross pendant, Not just any pendant though. It was one that my grandmother wore everyday. Never had I seen her take it off, he told me that she would have wanted me to have it. But this was one of those objects that had a story to tell, and as soon as I grabbed it I saw the final few moments of my grandma's life.
She had been visited by a group of Protectors asking about me and they were demanding she tell them where I was. Of course my grandma refused because she would rather give her own life than to tell them where I was just so they could kill me, and that's what she did. The last thing my grandma said before she died was, "I will never tell you where she is, I would rather die! Marra is the one who will end this all, and my death will not go unheard. Marra is much stronger than you anticipated and she will find out and she will get revenge and end it once and for all!" As soon as the last word left my grandmas mouth a tall blonde man stepped forward and grabbed her, "Then die you shall you old fool," and he threw my great-grandmother down her own stairs killing her. The vision was enough to send me into a rage causing a horrible storm to take over our town, it caused a lot of damage before my father could snap me out of it.
As I watched the sun fully show itself I heard tiny footsteps tromping down the hall in my direction. I stood up quickly, straightened my hair, and wiped my face with my sleeve to remove any signs of tears. As I was sitting down on the bed the door swung open. Standing there in the doorway was a girl with hair sticking up in all directions, pink and purple mismatched pajamas, one eye open, and the other hidden behind a fist that was still wiping the sleep away.
"Good morning, Mommy"
"Good morning, Auralee" I responded as she climbed up onto the bed and over onto my lap.
"I'm hungry," she told me as she was yawning the last bit of sleep away. Before I could respond, from the doorway behind me another voice spoke out,
"How about some pancakes?" I turned to see my father standing there.
"Pa-Paw!" Auralee proclaimed as she bounced to the floor and ran over to hug his leg, "You're awake!"
A grin spread across my fathers face showing the few wrinkles he has, "Come on, you can help me cook!" He bent down and scooped her up then walked down the hall towards the kitchen.
I sat on the bed a few minutes longer then slid my Realtree hoodie on and followed after them, being alone is the last thing I want right now. I found my dad by the stove flipping some pancakes onto a plate, Auralee was standing on a stool making quite a mess while stirring the batter, and my mom was sitting at the table reading the newspaper. I poured myself a cup of coffee and joined my mom at the table.
She isn't really my mom though, she is actually my step-mom. She adopted me when I was 14, after my biological mothers death. They told me she died in a car accident, but I have always had a feeling that they were lying to me. I have been calling Emilee, mom, since I was 7. I don't remember much about my real mom. I never really visited her because she had been an alcoholic since before I could remember. My dad didn't want me around that, and it's not like I blame him.
"How did you sleep?" My mom asked, snapping me back to reality. Judging by the look on her face, she already knew the answer.
"I had the dream again. Different, as they all have been" I answered, glancing out the picture window by the table. As a kid I loved watching the life outside that window. To most people you just see the woods, but to me I see life. Birds singing their songs, squirrels dancing through the branches, the branches swaying in the wind, and occasionally I'd get lucky enough to see a deer or two make it's way to the edge of the woods for a glimpse of what lies on the other side.
"And the voices?" my mom asked, once again pulling me out of my own mind.
I sighed and took a small sip from my still to hot coffee , "The Same."
My mom looked back down at the paper, but I knew she wasn't reading it this time. Instead she was trying to figure my dream out as well as I was. I know she will never figure it out, but I decided I'd let her try at least. I looked across the kitchen and watched as my dad flipped another pancake onto the plate. I could hear Auralee giggle every time she would splash some more batter onto the counter. She was making such a mess, but she was loving every minute of it. That alone was enough to put a smile on my face. I watched her as she laughed and made an even bigger mess, she loved it here. She loved being around her Pa-Paw and her Nanna. We live about 30 minutes away, but we have been staying with them since my grandma's passing. My mom said it would be easier if I was here with them. To help each other through it, but I knew what they were really thinking. That I would lose control over my powers if I was alone.
After breakfast was over I got myself ready and helped Auralee put her clothes on. She is in this phase where she has to pick all her clothes, so of course not a bit of it matches. She decided on blue jeans, a camo shirt reading "I Dig My Grandpa", mismatched socks, pink rain boots with cupcakes on them, and a green jacket that was still a size to big. She was always so proud of herself when she picked her own outfits, so I would let her. When we came back into the kitchen my parents couldn't help but laugh at Auralee's outfit while they scooped her up and traded kisses. They were still in their robes and pajamas, I had to get dressed a few hours early in order to get Auralee to Lauren's house and back in time for the funeral. It was an hour drive both ways, and I wanted some time to sit and talk with Lauren before I had to watch my grandmother be buried.