Chapter One: The Disappearance
Alexandra walked to the bus stop as any other day, quickly so as to keep warm. She shivered, thinking about how cold it was outside. The winter months were so frigid in her city. She had lived there for 3 years, but still couldn't quite fit in with the others. The bus pulled up and she rushed up the steps onto the heated bus. She noted that there was a different driver, probably a substitute. She sat in her seat, the one across from her best friend. Zasha. He was sleeping, or pretending. She looked at him and smiled. He opened his eyes and closed them sleepily.
She rolled her eyes. Zasha tended to be quiet most of the time. She took out her notebook and wrote poetry to pass the time. The bus ride was lonely even in the midst of people.
The bus lurched to a stop and threw her both off-balance. It was only then that she noticed that Zasha was the only other person on the bus. She would have told the driver that he must have missed some stops, but Chance swaggered on at that moment and plopped down next to Zasha. Alexandra settled back down in her seat. Chance made her really shy, because he was so loud by comparison. He started talking away to Zasha.
She tried to tune Chance out by studying the scenery out her bus window. The sunrise was just coming up, with streaks of glamour across the sky. She jotted down some phrases. She noticed with surprise that the bus still wasn't taking the normal route. It appeared that they were in rural areas, far away from the city. She glanced out the front window and found with increasing alarm that the bus was moving towards the side of a small building. She caught her breath, unable to make a sound, and looked at Zasha. He still had his eyes closed, but was slumped in his seat. She glanced back out the front window, watching with eyes half-lidded, as the building opened to a garage. She finally screamed, but did not hear it, and felt her breathing become slow and heavy. Her nostrils filled with an unknown scent. She faded into unconciousness.
There was nothing but a throb that pulsated deep within her chest. Nothing. No feeling, no thought, no emotion. Wait...her head was feeling lighter, as if someone had taken off the stone that was crushing it. The lights were on, they were seeping past her closed eyelids, but she could not open her eyes, not even a flicker. Actually, she couldn't move anything. Alexandra started to panic. She was immobile, alone, possibly kidnapped, and afraid. The panic didn't help her situation, but she had no experience in this kind of problem. She was not a secret spy hired by the government to root out evil, she was not trained by the military and ready for field work, and she was not a karate ninja waiting for her next mission. She was a simple girl, and nobody had any motive to mess with her. This wasn't fair. She had done nothing wrong, and here she was with a headache that wracked her head. It was worse than any migrain she had experienced.
Her senses were coming back, gradually, but she still had no control over anything. She could feel tiny vibrations, if she concentrated, through whatever she was laying on. Somebody was moving around in the room. No, somebodies. They were discussing something, and it was muffled and far-off. Now it was clearer. They were having a conversation...about someone, probably her. She could only comprehend snatches.
"Erase her memory."
"All of it?"
"won't...work... She can't survive!"
"...that part...leave alone..."
"That's right. Make sure she's unconscious, first!!"
Alexandra was growing desperate. "Zasha!!!" she screamed. The throb deepened and quickened, and the stone felt like it had been dropped upon her head again. "Zasha," she murmured. "Don't abandon..."