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Fire lines

The effect of the attack left every one unconscious. Ria, had been inside the house when it happened, the kitchen, to be precise. She woke to find herself lying on the kitchen floor, her head hurting and her skin tingling. Slowly, carefully she pulled herself from the cold linoleum to take in her surroundings, wondering what had happened. The house seemed fine, and aside from the pounding in her head, she was physically all right. She remembered hearing a high pitch sound, and then everything had grown black, both outside and inside her head. She had never passed out before. Was that what happened? Couldn’t have been, she had definitely felt some type of force knock her to the ground. An earthquake? She’d step outside to look, make sure all the neighbors were okay.

Ria opened the front door and stepped onto the porch. Everything seemed normal, houses were still standing, Mr. Conner who had been mowing his yard was bent over his push mower tinkering. The dog next door was running back and forth, on his leash yipping at her. She ruled out an earthquake, but what had happened. Stepping off the porch, Ria grew dizzy and struggling to keep her footing, grabbing on to the railing for support she stilled. A rush of blood swept over her body, warming her skin. The feeling passed and Ria continued down the steps and into her yard. The day was cool, it was autumn and the leaves had long since changed and fallen to the ground, leaving the trees bare and dead looking. Ria tossed a quick glance at the sky and her breath caught in her throat. It wasn’t blue anymore. It was dark, almost black, with dark slashes of purple and blues, yet the sun continued to shine through it brightly. What was it? Even as she watched, the colors seemed to seethe and shift above her. Was it growing? Panicked Ria rushed over to her neighbor Mr. Connor who was still bent over the mower.

“Mr. Connors.” Ria called, had he not noticed the sky? Mr. Connors looked up from where he was crouched. Ria’s eyes were glued to the sky, part of her afraid to take her eyes from the sight least she miss something.

“Lovely day isn’t it Ms. Sinclair.” Mr. Connor’s spoke politely.

“Mr. Connor’s have you noticed the sky?” Ria asked while she hugged herself with her arms. Something was terribly wrong.

“The sky? Can’t say as I did. It’s pretty much the same as it was yesterday I’m guessing.” Mr. Connors laughed but looked up at the sky anyway.

Ria glanced down at the older man and for the first time since walking over to him saw his eyes, or the lack thereof. Mr. Connors normally green eyes were gone. Instead, there were perfectly round black holes. Ria couldn’t help but shrink back from him in horror.

“Well now, that’s right pretty isn’t it.” He continued, “All them colors. Must be the chemical plant down the road. Probably releasing chemicals into the air, they ain’t supposed to. You know those big companies always do that kind of stuff.”

Ria’s heart was stuck in her throat. How had he seen the colors, he had no eyes. Nervously Ria looked around her for something, anything to alert her as to what was happening. Yet, everything remained normal.

“Mr. Connors is your wife inside?” Ria asked, maybe Sarah could explain what had happened to her husband.

“Well she was few minutes ago. If she’s not you check out back, she messing in the flower beds I’m sure. Always messing in them flower beds.” He mumbled going back to his push mower.

Hurriedly Ria rushed up the Connor’s porch and knocked on the front door. No one answered so Ria let herself in. She heard something from the back of the house and paused to listen. It sounded like laughter, Sarah’s laughter.

“Sarah? It’s Ria, may I come in.” The only reply was laughter. Ria closed the door behind her and went in search of Sarah. Half way to the back of the house Ria grew dizzy again. She braced herself against the wall and closed her eyes, waiting for the vertigo to pass. Her fingers shook when she brushed the hair from her face and as her hand lowered Ria caught a shimmering of silver on her hand. What is that? She wondered. Holding her hand out in front of her she turned it from side to side, trying to find the silver shimmer but to no avail. Her hand only inches from her face now Ria looked closer. Her skin seemed pale, almost…thin? No that wasn’t right, skin couldn’t look thin. It had to be the lighting in the house. Maybe it was the fact that she had woken up in her kitchen floor. Could she have a brain tumor? Was she dreaming? Either way she needed to quite being so paranoid and go find Sarah.

Ria pushed herself from the wall, stuffed her hands into her jean pockets and went in search of Sarah. She found her in the kitchen, in front of the sink, giggling to herself. Ria couldn’t tell what she was doing but whatever it was seemed to delight the older woman.

“Hi Sarah.” Ria called, keeping her place in the doorway.

“Hello Ria. Are you out enjoying the weather?” Sarah spoke from over the kitchen sink, her back to Ria.

“No. Sarah, I wanted to ask if everything was all right with Mr. Connors.”

“Oh he’s right as rain. That man may grow old on the outside but inside he’s as healthy as a teenager.” Sarah giggled again, bending closer to the sink before laughing loudly.

“Sarah what are you doing?” Ria asked. She couldn’t pretend Sarah’s behavior was normal.

“Come look. It’s the strangest thing.” Ria moved beside Sarah as she spoke, “I must have dozed off at the kitchen table a few minutes ago and when I woke I discovered I had learned a new trick.”

Ria’s eyes grew large and for a moment she forgot how to breath. The sink was full of water. Sarah was dipping ice trays into the water and lifting them closer to her face. Ria watched as she took a deep breath and blew over the tray, the water instantly freezing.

“It doesn’t just work with water. It’s anything liquid.” Sarah explained laughing “Isn’t it just wonderful?”

Ria backed away from Sarah, glancing around the kitchen. The counters were cluttered with cooking pots, pans and bake wear. She had noticed them upon entering the kitchen, but assumed Sarah had been cooking. Now she knew, they were full of frozen liquids, milk, juice, tea, and coffee, even vegetable oil, some held flour, sugar, salt. It seemed as if Sarah had tested her ‘new trick’ on everything in her kitchen, liquid and solid.

Scared and not wanting to see anymore Ria ran from the Connors home until she reached her own. Shutting and locking the door behind her Ria sank into a chair and closed her eyes. The next time she opened her eyes, her skin seemed to hurt. Apparently, she had fallen asleep in the chair and night had fallen. It was all a dream, Ria sighed to herself, what a relief. But why did she hurt all over? Ria shrugged off the sensation of feeling sore and hot at the same time. It wasn’t a bad hot, actually, it was somewhat nice, the warmth soaked into her skin and bones, relaxing her tremendously.

She pushed out of the chair and walked into the bathroom for a drink of water. The warmth of her body might be comfortable for her aching muscles but it had left her mouth dry. She ran the tap water until it ran cold and without the aid of a cup stuck her hand under the flow of water. Ria cried out and snatched her hand back in pain. Glancing down Ria sank to her knees, both hands held in front of her. They weren’t her hands, well they were but something was terribly wrong with them. The skin was translucent, she could literally see through her skin. And her veins, god the veins were silver and throbbing in time with her heart. Her left hand that still dripped the water was flickering, the silver lines jerking underneath her skin, as though trying to get away from the cold water. Carefully, Ria pulled free a hand towel from the rack beside her and blotted the water from her hand. The bouncing stopped immediately, the lines settling down to the steady rhythm of her heart.

Ria couldn’t help it, tears sprang to her eyes and raced down her cheeks, the skin underneath her eyes started to bounce and jerk. Ria pulled herself up and looked into the mirror hanging over the sink. They were everywhere, the silver lines running over her face across her forehead, and nose, over her lips and eyelids, into her hairline. She swiped the tears from her face with the towel and the jerking stopped. Knowing without having to look but doing so anyway Ria lifted her shift over her head and stood in front of the mirror. The intricate lines raced over her chest, breasts and stomach, over her shoulders and arms, pulsing brightly with her heart. What did it mean? What had happened to her? Then she remembered Mr. Connors and his missing eyes, Sarah and her cold breath that would freeze liquids. Was this what she was plagued with? But what did it do? Water and tears had made her skin hurt and the lines jump. Was that all there was too it?

She pulled her shirt back on and walked into the kitchen, glancing out the window to check the sky. It was the same torrent of colors dancing across the land. It was the clouds, they had changed everyone, mutating them into freaks with unusually tricks. Was she and the Connors the only one? Ria didn’t think so. The lines on her skin continued to beat in time with her blood, so what did she do, aside from shrinking from water? She didn’t know now but she was sure over time she’d find out. The lines beneath her see-through skin danced in agreement. (Written by Jessica )

story Information

Upload Date: 31/12/1969

Downloads: 1959

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