Northern Lights

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
I've been stuck in this world, trapped, for as long as I can remember. Technically, that's not completely true. But it's pretty close...

Submitted: May 05, 2016

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Submitted: May 05, 2016

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Chapter 1

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? This is a world which is different from everything you’ve ever known. People never go to work, we never have to buy anything, and none of us are sick. Sounds like any utopia, doesn’t it? But you’d be wrong. Our world is probably worse than hell. There are no jobs to be had. There is nothing to buy. We are never allowed outside, never allowed to interact. We are the common people but we might as well be separate individuals in a world of our own.

I would say that we are each sorted into our different quarters at birth, but I’d be lying. There is no birth, because there is no interaction. There have actually been no babies in a long time. And I’m pretty sure that my life has definitely exceeded the average expectancy that you might have. But I might be wrong. Nothing is as it seems, in here, and being trapped makes you lose hope in counting the number of days you’ve spent in this cage.

Everywhere I look, I see mirrors, but I’m pretty sure that they’re really glass, and that everything I do is observed and analysed by my captors. Every breath I take, every tuneless hum I attempt, every second that ticks agonizingly by. I have stopped hoping. I have stopped living. The only reason why I am still alive is simple. There are no sharp objects, there are no big blunt things, there is no such thing as a piece of thread. The food they give us is little and I have little to no strength to do much. The only reason why I am still alive is I have no way to kill myself.

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Time is slow around here, and a day is ended by the artificial lights dimming to a dull grey. The blaring white gives me headaches, but it’s only enough to drive me crazy. Never enough to completely kill me. I have nothing to do at all. My life is subject to what happens in my brain, but during the day, I am mostly unable to do anything. So I suffer, until the lights dim. And then, the real fun begins.

I remember. I remember the days when I was still free. I didn’t have a family, and I didn’t have a peachy life. But I was happy.

Our world before the Observers’ arrival was terrible if you looked at the news. Wars were constant, pollution was at its peak, complete and utter destruction was imminent. But I was happy.

I was an orphan growing up on the street. Food was always easy to obtain, because who doesn’t want to help a gap-toothed five-year-old? Anything else was trivial. Some might say that a kid needs to have people she can rely on, security, education on how the world works. For me, this was all complete bull. Social services could never get me, and I stayed away from those mothers who would surely report me to anyone with real power. I was always careful, and I could predict every single little outcome that would occur if I did anything in a matter of milliseconds. If those who can’t do, teach, then those who are ignorant go to school. A life on the street is not meant for everyone, but it was a hell of a lot better than having a life performing masterpieces in front of pompous fools, or dedicating myself to countless years of studying, only to lose my ability to feel.

Like now, I mostly had nothing to do, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t do anything. I spent my days walking from city to city and learning about their cultures and traditions, how the people around me reacted to each other. I was born in New Orleans, but by the age of ten, I’d managed to get to Alaska.

Whilst I was there, I heard rumours of the Northern Lights. Some said that, if you were to meditate beneath the Lights on the eve of your birthday, the spirits of your dead loved ones will descend from the heavens and grant you a wish.

I was a child without hope, a child who believed in the power of imagination, and this wish sounded easy enough to obtain. After all, I had several dead loved ones. The meditation part sounded a bit tough, but I knew that by the deadline, a.k.a. six months from then, I would be able to do what I had to do.

Whilst I stayed in Alaska, I started to try to train my mind, but whatever I did was never enough. Most times I fell asleep halfway through, and other times, I couldn’t quite focus on what I was supposed to be thinking about. Pretty soon, my time was up and I had to start my journey farther north. Whatever hope I had had before had disappeared again; there were less and less people living around the general direction of where my path lay, and as I forged forward, I was hungry, wet and cold. Two days before my birthday, I started to cough uncontrollably and I wasn’t sure that I was going to survive for much longer on this suicide mission, especially since I’d spat out blood.

The eve of my birthday arrived, and I couldn’t move any longer. I couldn’t feel my limbs, it was difficult to breathe, and even if all this weren’t real, I was still hungry. I lay there in the cold, wondering what I had done with my life, and I spent what I believed to be my last breath reflecting on maybes and what ifs…

And then I died.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

I died and I woke up here.

I never made it beneath the Northern Lights, and I never got to make my wish.

And when I looked at myself after I had woken up, it seems like I had aged quite a few years, because I suddenly had two mounds of flesh, hair growing from everywhere, and a neatly defined figure.

Whatever had happened after I’d fainted – for I must have fainted – had changed me for good.

 

 

 

Chapter 4

A wolf.

A wolf on a mountain peak.

A wolf with fur whipping wildly in the wind.

She’s watching, always watching, never resting, always looking for the correct time to act. The snowflakes stuck to her silver coat, but she took no notice of them. Her cold blue eyes looked on, and through the darkness, a flicker of light appeared momentarily. Her ears flew back and forth, searching for sound. Sure enough, ten miles to the north, three sets of footsteps were crunching on the thick layer of snow. Each of the three sets had its own distinct rhythm, creating music with the chimes and howls of the wind.

The wolf leaped into the air.

She flew across the sky, feeling her fur flatten out against the wind and feeling free. Free to roam, free to fly, free to howl. She was a massive beast, and she soon started to fall. She stretched her feet out in preparation and she landed softly; her landing was softer than a tender lover’s whisper.

Without hesitation, the she-wolf started to pant her way down the ancient man-made and grass-ridden staircase and followed her senses’ guides. Once back on level ground, she started to race through the trees, weaving in and out, right to left, quickly gaining on the humans invading her territory just in time for supper. In a matter of cold minutes, she stopped. They were there, in front of her. She steadied her haunches, ready to pounce on the nearest one. She took one last glance at the people around her: one carrying a torch, another two carrying guns. Her target was the torch-bearer. If he were to be the first one to go, not only would she not get shot, but she would also be able to take out the others in the complete darkness.

She was ready. Once pounce, one scream, several gun shots. More shrieks of terror. And then, there was silence. The she-wolf knew how to make their misery a short one. She had to kill them for food, but it wasn’t in her to let them suffer. For all she knew, they did not deserve it…

She got back to her peak, and she looked up to the stars. And saw the Lights.

 

 

 

Chapter 5

Freedom is a strong word. It is neither a sense nor a state of being. It is an emotion. It is a memory. It is the very word which encompasses the cold crispness of snow, or the hot daze of the summer. Freedom is the one thing I wish I had. Freedom is the one thing I will never have again.

I see the wolf every night. Just before the break of dawn, my mind drifts away to the wolf and she gives me what I most lack. My imagination is not nearly enough. Back in the day, I’m sure that someone would have given me a psychological explanation as to why I have this ‘dream’. But now, there’s no one to do that. No one at all can tell me that she is just an embodiment of my emotions and that she is attacking those who prey on me. I can just imagine what I want. There is no one to tell me otherwise. If I am not free in anything else, I am free in that.

For the first time in ages, I can hear a sound other than my own breathing. It is the sound of footsteps approaching me. I am still dazed from the lack of food, but I can, at least, turn my head towards the sound. They’re coming…

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6

The wolf padded its way towards its home after another of its feeds. Blood was still dripping from her mouth, but she couldn’t care less about it. All of her thoughts were focused on the girl she was seeing in her mind’s eye. She searched for her, looking for any way she could place her recognition, but she couldn’t. She had never seen the girl, nor had she ever eaten her.

The cold of the night was particularly chilly right then. It was beyond what she had experienced throughout that season. And yet, to her surprise, she heard even more movement in her forest. Intrigued, the she-wolf jogged towards the sound. It had been like a cough. A particularly fatal one. There was another and another, forming itself into a terrible coughing fit.

The wolf’s teeth were on edge. She knew that cough. The hairs standing rigidly along her spine were proof enough. She knew what was going on. The dreams she had been having for the past few weeks, ever since the Lights had started. It was time for the events to occur.

The cough was that of the girl she knew was in danger of dying. She was the same girl who would be found underneath the ground in a few couple hundred human years, and who will be revived as an experiment. Her mind would be the only thing that’s active from her body and she would be trapped and alone. She was the girl who would go insane in a matter of days, and who will die while asleep after having an epileptic fit. She was the girl who would be turned into the very definition of a wasted life.

She ran towards the girl.

She had to change the future. This girl surely did not deserve to die and live again in misery. The she-wolf arrived by a hunched body in the snow. It was shivering and the she-wolf knew it was taking very pained breaths. She walked carefully towards the heap of limbs. She could smell blood, but it was only a trickle. She deliberately trod on a fallen twig, but the body had no reaction towards the sudden snap.

Taking the chance, the wolf got up to the girl, and lay over her, acting as a kind of breathing quilt. Underneath her beating heart, the wolf could hear the girl’s faint breathing. The wolf had not been fast enough to save the girl’s life. She only had two options left. She could eat the girl’s body to keep her from ending up in the terrible fate the wolf had foreseen, or…

The wolf looked to the heavens. Through the trees, she saw the Lights twinkling in all their magical potency. She made a wish.

Beneath her, the wolf felt the girl moving again. She looked down, trying not to hope too much. She was amazed. The girl was no more. Instead of her, a cub was lying asleep, twitching its legs and head in a wild dream. Its breathing was regular and it seemed completely at peace.

The Northern Lights had granted her wish. The girl had been saved.

And her lifelong dream of being a mother, was fulfilled.


© Copyright 2017 NathalieDFerrante. All rights reserved.

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