I Will Become You

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


"I Will Become You," tells a story through the eyes of a bright yet broken twelve-year-old boy as he struggles to cope with the sudden and untimely death of his mother. He decides (reluctantly) to
adopt a tabby named Lucy to help alleviate his suffering and find solace in his new feline companion.



It becomes increasingly apparent, however, that shortly thereafter bringing Lucy home strange and irrational occurrences begin to arise inside the home of Ethan and his father, Harry. And the boy
soon realizes that there is more to his newfound feline friend than meets the eye...

Submitted: February 01, 2018

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Submitted: February 01, 2018

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The sun was so bright out, I could barely see anything in front of me. All I could see was my mother’s face as she was driving me to where I needed to go. I remembered her long, luscious dark brown hair descended a little bit past her shoulders, suspended with a scrunchie. I had imagined it was like a dark chocolate waterfall. She seemed agitated, but I thought nothing of it as I was jamming to the song “Careless Whisper” by -- who was it again? Was his name George? Her facial expressions and silky smooth tone assured me that everything was fine, although it was obvious in her body language that that was far from the case. She must’ve been late for work at the hospital again…

 

“Ethan, can we please get back to the moment when you crashed. I feel like you’re getting off track.”

 

“Oh, right.” I replied.

 

A veil of blackness soon shrouded my vision. I woke up confused, and a bit delirious. All I could hear was a ringing sound and some pedestrians chattering among themselves; what sounded to me like varied pitches of mumbling. When I finally came to my senses, I realized I was being dragged out of the wreckage, unable to move for a moment. I watched them pull a second body out of the ruined vehicle. Shock enveloped me almost instantly, as I struggled to comprehend the situation I was currently in…

At that point it became hard to breathe.

 

“ Stay calm Ethan. Can you remember what you and your mother were discussing prior to the crash? Maybe that’ll help with the anxiety.”

 

“Of course” I replied, staring at the rose colored wall.

 

What an inviting color, I thought.

***

“You know your father is going to be beside himself by the news I received from your principal about your… current antipathy for the established criteria set up by your school system.”

 

My mother always had a fondness for colorful words.

 

“Go on.” he goaded.

 

“Furthermore, I believe there is a matter I need to discuss with you.” she added.

 

I gazed at her intently.

 

“Well, since it is your birthday in a couple of days, and I do reward good behavior, I thought that instead  of the usual birthday traditions -- the gifts and the cake--”

 

“Yeah.” I said, growing impatient

 

“That instead you could give some of your money to charity.”

 

Naturally, I was appalled by this statement. As a kid, this is something you would never want to hear coming from a parent. She noticed the look of shock in my eyes as she said this.

 

“Or.” she continued, “You could prove to me that you’re responsible by adopting an animal. What do you say?”

 

It seemed as if my thoughts had reached an impasse and no decision could be made. But finally, after much hesitation, I responded with “Let’s go with a…”

 

Then that’s when I saw it.

 

“What?” he asked. “What did you see?”

 

“A cat.” I replied. “In the middle of the road.”

 

It was orange with black and white spots. It stared at me with those bright, unforgettable eyes, as if it recognized me. But I had never seen it before.

 

“What happened when you spotted this cat?” he inquired.

 

“Nothing.” I answered. “It didn’t move or anything. It just sat there, staring.”

 

That’s when my mother swerved to miss it and mistakenly diverged into oncoming traffic, making contact with a pretty large pickup truck.

 

“And that’s the last time you had encountered that cat?” he asked.

 

“Not since the impact, no.” I said. “That’s been almost a week now.”

 

The man had an expression of sympathy on his face.

 

“Well I’m afraid that concludes this meeting.” he said. “Do give my regards to your father, and may Margaret rest in peace.”

 

I nodded to him as I saw myself out, catching a glimpse of the sign outside of his door that said “Dr. Adam Galen, PhD.”

I met with my dad Harry shortly after exiting the building. He had a somewhat rough exterior and an unkempt beard that he usually kept trimmed. My dad was normally the one who worked long hours, while my mother saw to me in his absence. Now that she was gone, it was just me.

He gazed at me earnestly for a moment before he greeted me with a warm smile.

 

“C’mon.” he urged. “Or I’m going to be late for work again.”

 

“It’s a Saturday, dad.” I reminded him.

 

“Oh, that’s right.” he said. “Sorry.”

 

As I got into his modest vehicle, I remembered something important that must’ve slipped my mind.

 

“Wait a second!” I exclaimed.

 

My father was somewhat taken aback by this unexpected burst of sound.

 

“What is it?” he asked me.

 

“Weren’t we supposed to stop by the adoption center today?”

 

His face lit up as he immediately grasped the situation. It was obvious in his expression that he was profoundly embarrassed.

 

“That’s right. The cat.” he said. “Do you have any clue what kind you want? Have you done any research on the matter?”

 

“No.” I replied. “I like surprises.”

 

He smirked a little at that remark.

Once we arrived at the adoption center, I noticed a slew of cats of various sizes and colors. Most notably one that was orange with black and white spots.

 

No way. I thought. That couldn’t possibly be.

 

I gazed into its eyes. Those brilliant eyes that resembled a miniature universe, composed of blue and green colors.

I gave it a curious glare, and it seemed to notice. In return it gave me an indifferent stare, as if it were bored. And it didn’t seem to get along with the other cats well. In fact, it didn’t appear like it wanted anything to do with this place.

 

“Her name’s Lucy.” someone said. The man startled me. He apologized sincerely before proceeding.

 

“Strangest animal I’ve come across, that one.”

 

That statement sparked my curiosity.

 

“How come?” I asked.

 

“Well,” he replied, “Ever since these animal control guys brought her in, bizarre and irrational occurrences have started to arise.”

 

“What type of occurrences?” I asked.

At this point my curiosity meter was up to eleven. But instead of answering my question, he simply dismissed the matter entirely.

 

“I’m sure it’s just this building.” he assured me. “Damn place is older than I am.”

 

I kept a mental note of this. I was gesturing to my dad, who was at the other end of the building, that I was ready to leave.

 

No cat though. I thought.

 

I took one more look at Lucy. Only this time instead of giving me a look of apathy and boredom, she glanced at me with an expression of sympathy, as if she acknowledged my internal anguish. I stood idle for a moment, making a decision.

 

A weird cat is better than no cat at all. I pondered. Or you could just get a dog.

Nah. I thought. Too much work.

 

So I made the decision to go ahead and adopt Lucy, contrary to the shop owner’s wishes. The man waved as we departed. As we drove home, I pondered on what that shopkeeper told me.

 

Bizarre occurrences? I repeated in my mind. What in the world was he talking about?

I looked down at Lucy, my newfound feline companion, and she returned her gaze.

Could it be… her? I wondered.

 

No way. I thought. This isn’t a sci-fi. I swiftly dismissed the notion.

 

It was a longer drive than usual, mainly due to traffic. Despite being a relatively small expanse of land with a tight knit community, the town of Hope Valley was a busy place. Despite that, though, it was alien compared to the life we had before.

Finally, I had arrived home, where I could contemplate on the events which unfolded throughout the day. But something felt off putting. I couldn’t put my finger on it.

 

I glanced down at Lucy once more, and I noticed that she was staring straight at the house in a vague and puzzled manner, as if she wasn’t expecting this. My dad noticed her strange behavior too.

 

“You sure it isn’t broken?” he asked.

 

“Good question.” I remarked.

 

We went inside the house. The fireplace was burning furiously, as if it had a grudge. I released my feline friend to roam around. She hesitated for a moment, but it didn’t take long for her to settle in. Dad practically fell into his chair. There was another recliner that was placed beside the fireplace that I had claimed for myself.

Dad paused for a minute, thinking about what to say to me before breaking the aura of silence.

“I know it’s been a week already.” he said. “But these things take time.”

 

“Yeah.” I replied halfheartedly, gazing into the fire.

 

His face was grim as he struggled to find the appropriate words to comfort me in any way possible, ultimately failing in his desperate attempt to find hope in this poignant time.

 

“I don’t know if I believe that.” I told him. “I feel like there was a slot in my life that she filled, and now that she’s gone, there’s nothing. Just a big, dark, empty void. Nothing can change what happened, or how I feel about it. No passing of time can repair the damage. Not a week, nor a month, nor a year.” I stopped myself before I went any further. There was a long and anxious pause between him and me.

 

“I, I don’t…”

 

I quickly deterred his attempt to make a response.

 

“I’m going to go back to my room” I told him. “Tomorrow I’m going to try and make some friends. It gets lonely in this town.”

 

All he could do was nod and answer with “Sure thing.” as he slouched in his recliner. I couldn’t tell if he was taking the loss so intensely because he was an emotional person, or that I was taking it so calmly because I was secretly a sociopath. I trekked up the flight of mahogany stairs and up to my reasonably sized bedroom, only to find Lucy staring curiously at my statue of Picard that I placed on top of the desk adjacent to my bed. It was like she recognized it or was mocking its design in her head. As I jumped into bed, I just laid there, staring at the ceiling for what seemed like an hour.

I started weeping for the first time in a week. The tears didn’t seem like enough. Although I certainly felt something, I thought that a loss of this magnitude would affect someone my age more severely. Instead, I felt less compelled to shut myself out and more so to get out and explore and make connections in order to drown out the feelings of despair.

It was at that moment something very strange had happened, something bewildering and inexplicable. Lucy had left the room, and shortly thereafter, without warning, the entire house began to shake violently and relentlessly. I remember the lights bursting out and pictures and paintings falling from the walls, not to mention my grandfather’s prized collection of ancient science fiction books and acclaimed thrillers. It had been several minutes before the shaking had dissipated, and I had sat there in utter shock and disbelief.

 

Could this have been an earthquake? I thought to myself.

 

Can’t be. I figured. Not all the way out here.

 

Shortly thereafter, I heard my father’s panicked footsteps approach my door from the stairs. He could not hide the distressed tone in his voice as he called out to me through the door. I assured him that I was fine and went out to examine the damage, being wary of any fallen debris. Surprisingly, nothing was seriously harmed in this debacle, and there was a feeling of relief between me and my dad. I looked for Lucy, but she was gone. One of the doors in the back was wide open, and I could see paw prints in the flour that was spilled onto the floor.

 

“Damn.” I muttered, as I examined the paw prints.

 

“Strange occurrences, huh? Guess it wasn’t your building after all.”

 

I pondered a bit longer over the idea of this “earthquake” actually being Lucy’s doing, before being urged by my father to go back upstairs. And although it was late and a Saturday, I decided to do what I was told. But I wasn’t going to let tonight’s events slip my mind so easily. Lucy was still out there, and I was determined to seek her out.

***

The alarm on my phone went off, giving me a start. I must’ve forgotten to turn it off for Thanksgiving break. It was a Monday. There was still no sign of Lucy, despite taking out an entire Sunday afternoon to search for this mischievous animal. I stared into the mirror for a moment, examining the fatigued details of my face. I pulled both sides of the two-sided mirror inward and put my head between them. I saw how the mirrors reflected on each other, and I had imagined that my head was just one of an infinite number of heads, all existing in the vast expanse of the universe.

And somewhere, there was a version of me that did not lose his mother in a freak accident. The idea was both comforting to think about, and utterly terrifying to conceive. When I snapped out of my existential contemplation, I washed up and got dressed. I wasn’t going to spend a perfectly good Monday lying in bed. Putting on my coat, I gazed at my statue of Picard. His firm expression was brimming with self confidence.

 

“What would you do, Picard?” I asked him.

 

He said nothing. As I walked across the hallway and down the stairs, my dad caught me as I approached the front door. He was sitting next to the fireplace, reading the newspaper.

 

“What brings you up so early on a Monday? Hmm?” he asked curiously.

 

“What do you think?” I replied.

 

“You’re really going to be out all day looking for that cat again?”

 

“Uh, no. Just half of the day.” I told him.

 

“Well, if you insist Sherlock, I have another case that requires your attention.” he said.

“I need you to check the basement before you go. I heard strange noises coming from there.”

 

“Fine.” I said. “Why can’t you go down there?”

 

“That’s what I have a son for.” he chuckled.

 

Good point. I took off my coat and brought a flashlight. The basement was located adjacent to the back door, and I walked in cautiously.

I noticed a strange smell as I descended into that dark corridor underneath the house. As I went down further, it got colder and I started to notice a whispering sound, like someone was talking about me. I didn’t know where it came from, but it sounded like it was in my head.

 

Someone’s down here. I heard it say.

 

As I descended, the voice became clearer.

 

No. Not now. Who is this? It demanded.

 

I noticed a luminous glow as I approached the underground basement. At this point my curiosity had reached its peak, and I was getting really nervous. I turned to see where the glow had come from, and what I had encountered sent a shiver down my spine. There were candles arranged in a circle, and in the center a woman with long, dark brown hair was sitting in a chair, either unconscious or dead. From this angle she almost looked like… my mother. It felt as if my heart had skipped a beat, and my mind went racing.

 

That can’t be. I thought to myself.

 

Approaching the woman, I pulled her head back, only to find it wasn’t her. I gave a sigh of relief.

 

“It couldn’t have been her.” I told myself. “But who…”

 

I turned my head, and I was taken aback by what I saw. It was Lucy. She emerged from the shadows. For a moment, I was utterly confused and speechless,  then I heard the voice again. Only, it was speaking to me.

 

Oh, it’s you. It said.

 

I then realized that the voice was coming from Lucy, only not through her mouth.

 

I know you’re scared and confused. She said.

 

I’m not going to waste anyone’s time. This is important.

 

I managed to mutter “What?”

 

This was supposed to be easy, but now that you’re here, well, this just got a lot trickier.

 

“What do you mean? What are you?” I asked.

 

She kept her gaze on me as she approached the woman.

 

I’m going to be frank. She said. I’m communicating with you telepathically. Crazy, I know, but I didn’t have a choice.

 

Again, I was left dumbfounded. Lucy continued.

 

I need this person if I am going to continue my lifespan. I didn’t realize until it was too late that these furry creatures live dull and meaningless lives.

 

She noticed me glance at the woman, desperately trying to grasp the situation.

 

You want the truth? She told me.

I stumbled on this place searching for meaning in a universe without it. I grew bored, and wandered onto this little planet by some small chance. Then I met you.

 

“Me?” I asked. “Why me?”

 

Lucy stared at me blankly for a moment before answering my question.

 

I thought nothing of you at first, until you rescued me from that prison. Granted I could have easily escaped. I just wanted to keep things interesting.

 

“ What happens now?” I finally asked.

 

“Now.” she said. “You must choose.”

 

In obvious bewilderment, I gazed at the unconscious woman, then back at Lucy.

 

“Choose what?” I asked.

 

Between two strangers. She replied.

 

I was confused by her answer.

 

“What do you mean?” I asked her, equally puzzled and scared.

 

Simple. I will become her, and we will never cross paths again. Like nothing happened.

 

“And if I refuse?” I inquired. “What would happen?”

 

She stared into my eyes for a moment.

 

Who knows? She said.

I could return. I could just vanish. That doesn’t matter.

 

I took a moment to step back and collect myself as I contemplated the gravity of the situation. Suddenly, I heard another voice call out to me. It sounded like my mother.

 

Ethan. She called out. Come to me, my son.

 

I gazed at the long, brown hair of the woman, and she turned her head to look at me. Her beautiful eyes and stunning visage wrapped me in a warm embrace.

 

Do not be afraid, Ethan. She told me. You must set me free.

 

“But, but you’re dead.” I told her. “This is impossible…”

 

Let me be born anew, Ethan, and I can finally be at peace. She said.

 

Emotions were flooding within me like an open dam.

 

“No.” I said. “You’ve already passed. My mother is dead. And I have accepted that.”

 

As I said that, her warm aura changed to a scorching heat, and then a freezing cold. I felt the burning rage transition to a sorrowful chill. And then, nothing

***

I awoke in a hospital bed. My head hurt a little, and I was confused.

 

What the heck happened to me? I thought.

 

My dad walked through the door, relieved to see me awake.

 

“You’ve been out for a few days.” He said.

 

“I found you lying underneath the house, with this letter.”

 

This made me curious.

 

“A letter?” I asked. “From whom?”

 

“I never opened it.” He said. “Assumed it was for you. Though, it did look fresh when I found it. Strange.”

 

He left the room to give me some privacy. I opened up the letter. The handwriting was abysmal, like a small child had written it. All it said was:

Sorry.

 


© Copyright 2018 Sir William Pennybanks. All rights reserved.

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