hardcore copyright on this one guys. Its the basis for my next novel. I've got it insured, please respect me and my writing! Enjoy (sorry for minor typos)
Part 1 (GAIL)::
The alley was dark, almost pitch black. The only light she could see was coming from a window on the second story. A lamp was just close enough to the window to cast a slither of light across her path.
Gail put her hand to her mouth, smothering the sound of her heavy breathing and sobs. If she kept quiet enough they’d run right passed, wouldn’t they?
She hoped and she prayed and a second later three shadows swept passed the alley and into the night.
She was safe.
“Oh god,” she exhaled and rested her head against the wall, her body sliding down it without her permission. She was utterly exhausted.
Gail knew it was only a matter of time before they backtracked their steps and found the tight alley she’d threw herself into. She didn’t want to be here when they came looking.
With another sob, Gail dragged herself back up the wall and continued down the alley, into darkness.
Oh gross, she thought, pinching her nose shut. Years and years of trash lay rotten and decaying at her feet. She was sure she’d just stepped over a syringe or two. Who knew what people did down here.
She’d passed the alley many times on her way to class. It sat between a café and a barber shop and she’d never given it a second glance until tonight, it had been her only chance. The walls of both business almost touched her shoulders, making her feel claustrophobic. If she was a few pounds heavier, she probably wouldn’t have fit through.
“In here,” a sharp voice hissed out from the darkness. “To your left.”
In where? Gail thought. She felt along the left brick wall of the alley for some sort of opening. She’d passed the little light from the above window and the moonless night left her in complete darkness.
Wall, wall, wall, wa….wait.
No more wall.
Gail almost fell over as she leaned to feel the wall one more time and found nothing. She steadied herself and squinted into the darkness. She was in some sort of opening.
“Psst! This way,” the voice snapped and Gail followed it a step or two until a hand reached out of the darkness and grabbed her. She let out a scream, knee jerk reaction and another hand clamped over her mouth.
“Shhh, I’m not gonna hurt you,” the voice whispered and somewhere near a door was closed and locked. “I just had to get you out of that alleyway.”
Gail’s eyes shut in defense against the bright light.
“Wow you’re a mess,” he said.
She opened her eyes and let them adjust. A guy who looked about eighteen, nineteen years old stood in front of her running his fingers through his dark shaggy hair.
“You alright?” he asked.
“Eh, yeah. I think so,” she answered. They stood in a supply room of some sort. After looking around she realized it was the back room to the café beside to alley. Tins of coffee beans and retired chairs and tables scattered the room around them. She scanned the room again quickly, no windows.
Good. They wouldn’t see the light.
“Thanks,” Gail forced a smile. “I’m Gail.”
“I’m Tyler,” he smiled back, a crooked smile that showed bright white teeth. Too white. He must get them bleached, she thought.
Before she could say anything Tyler held up one finger and disappeared through another door. Gail said down in the closest chair.
He was right, she was a mess. Her long blonde hair was hanging half out of it’s ponytail holder and her bangs were matted to her face. The jeans she’d bought just that morning were covered in dirt and wetness from the alley. And her shirt…well…there wasn’t much hope for the previously white, now brownish/grayish mess of cloth.
Tyler returned, holding a red cup, steam wafting off of the top.
“Here,” he said. “It’s hot chocolate. You don’t look like a coffee type of person.”
“I hate coffee,” Gail smiled. “How did you know I was in the alley?”
Part 3 (SURRENDER)
“I was cleaning tables when you ran past the window and into the alley,” Tyler said. “I waited for them to run pasted and went out there for you.”
Gail smiled. She didn’t even know Tyler but she was more grateful to him than he could imagine. “Thank you. So much. You didn’t have to do that for me. I mean, this isn’t your battle.”
“What, and leave a pretty girl to fend for herself out there?” he laughed and kept his eyes on hers. Gail felt her cheeks warm and looked away. It wasn’t like she wasn’t used to boys looking at her but this felt weird, different. Tyler had just saved her life and she owned him so much.
“You could get in a lot of trouble for helping me, you know?” she asked, tracing the lip of her mug with her finger.
“Yeah.” he shrugged.
“Yeah? I’m talking serious trouble.”
“They aren’t going to do anything to do anything to me, whoever they are.” Tyler said. “Who are they, anyway?”
Before Gail could get the words out glass shattering in the front room made them both jump to their feet. Voices. They had broken the window.
“Shit,” Tyler growled.
“You have to leave,” Gail snapped. Tyler opened his mouth to protest but Gail shook her head. “Now, Tyler. Go.” He was going to protest again but didn’t. Instead he went for the back door and turned to Gail on last time.
Go, she mouthed.
Tyler shut the door behind him and Gail counted to twenty, making sure he had a decent head start if they decided to look in the alley. When she was sure he was gone she turned the door knob and drew in a deep breath.
Three people were standing in the café room, they all turned towards her when she stepped through and closed the door behind her.
“I surrender,” she signed.
Her mom and dad nodded.
Part 4 (The Storm)
“I don’t know why you even run,” Darren sighed. Gail had always hated Darren. Hate is a strong word her parents would say. But it wasn’t nearly strong enough a word to describe how she felt about Darren.
He had been working with her parents since the storm or as council liked to call it, The Night Of Fallen Dust. That was three years ago and her parents had joined the recruitment just days later, even though Gail had been out during the storm.
She always felt like her parents choice to join the recruitment was traitorous. When Gail had ran home covered in eerie luminous dust, terrified that the world was ending her parents had been so supportive. As soon as she fell through the door and they had gotten a good look at her they had put her straight in the bath.
Of course, that was right after the storm. No one knew what it meant until days later and Gail was a late bloomer.
At first the news reported it as a freak phenomenon, just another reason we should prevent global warming. But then kids and teenagers started getting sick…
They weren’t actually sick. That’s just what the news and the recruitment called it, because it was wrong.
If you were between the ages of ten and seventeen and were outside when the winds stopped and brilliant blue snow fell from the sky you became sick. Even if you scrubbed your skin until it was raw and even if only a few flakes touched you, be it two days or five, you came down with the flu. Or at least it acts like the flu. But when you fall asleep you stay asleep for days.
So many kids got hospitalized, everyone thought they were in comas. Gail’s parents thought she was in a coma too and she had woken up in a hospital too. They doctors had waited for the signs that she had undergone the change while she was asleep but two days went by and nothing so they marked her off of the list and released her back to her parents.
The change doesn’t happen in everyone, some peoples bodies just didn’t take it and some peoples bodies took it badly. Only five kids out of the 326 that had been out in the storm had actually died, but the families and authorities saw that has five too many and formed the recruitment.
Gail had only been out of the hospital and home for three hours when it started. She was flipping through the channels when the remote stopped working and so did the television. Her fingertips were glowing the same brilliant blue that the storm had been and she had ran up stairs quick to hide it from her parents.
But you can only hide it for so long. If it wasn’t controlled the recruitment was sure people could die, even though nothing of the sort had happened. Anyone showing the signs were rounded up and shipped off to old community college building that had been turned into a prison, they liked to call it a boarding school, for people like Gail.