The Hunted of 2060

The Hunted of 2060

A Chapter by amiwritinggirl
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America 2060. Three Lovers. Two Species. One Way to Survive.

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   Metamorphosis


I am torn. Two halves dividing. I feel it deep inside of me. There is no escaping it. There is no denying it. My body aches. The pain is too familiar. I clutched my hands around the metal student desk in Sophomore Biology class at Alaska University. Sweat dropped from my forehead in the air conditioned room. Chills rushed up my spine and I shivered in a brief moment only noticed by me. My long nails scratched the surface of the classroom desk and protruded into the hard aluminum. My class schedule appeared on the square shaped electronic device on my desk, beaming in and out of focus as my eyes blurred: 


Biology

English

Humanities II

Lunch

Calculus II

Ethics


The pain as sharp as a knife carved into my sides, my muscles, my bones. My mouth opened in silent agony. I didn’t want anyone to know. I cried out in a quiet prayer inside my own mind. Make me whole. Make me not think. Make me not hurt. Robert turned to me sitting in the back row, one desk away from me. 

‘Are you alright April?’ He whispered in an audible voice. His brows formed crooked angles. I wiped the sweat as it slid down my jaw line. I felt the color fall from my face.  

‘Yeah, I’m fine.’ I forced a smile to hide my pain. 

‘You sure?’ He insisted. ‘You look kinda pale.’ I excused myself and walked to  the restroom. The ceramic tiles of the bathroom walls swirled in dizziness. I fell to the hard floor, hitting my knee and then my chest before everything went black. 

I awoke in the nurse’s office, lying on top of a clinic bed, two doors down from the principal’s room. Not a room I wanted to be so close to.  Not a room I wanted to visit again. His office made me feel claustrophobic, and excited a certain angst inside of me, something I didn’t know how to control. I heard chatting above me, next to me, only no one was there. 

I turned my head toward the wall and listened. I heard the sounds in the next room, every word, every movement, every sigh. I turned my head away from the unwanted reality, curling up on top of the crisp white sheets. I stared at the ceiling and talked myself into believing I just needed more sleep. I didn’t want this. I didn’t understand this. 

‘April.’ The nurse’s warm tone called me. She swung the door open and in maternal instinct clung to my side. ‘Are you feeling better?’

‘How did I get here?’

‘A student found you unconscious in the bathroom.’ The nurse considered her words. ‘Have you been taking anything, prescription drugs, anything illegal that I should know about?’

‘No,’ I shook my head vehemently, ‘no.’

‘Are you sure? I need to know so that I can help you.’ She sounded so genuine. I could hear the sincerity in her vocal cords, in the thumping of her heart. She meant it. 

‘No.’ I said plainly. 

‘Ok.’ She smiled like she believed me. ‘I’m just going to run some blood tests to find out how I can better help you.’ 

‘Help me? I don’t need any help. I don’t need any tests.’ I pushed myself up off the bed. The palms of my hands grasped the clinic sheets covering the plastic cushion. The sound of it crinkling irritated my ears. I don’t need needles in my skin, my blood. I know I need help, but not the kind she can give me. Somewhere inside of me I knew what was happening, but my rational mind could not make sense of it. 

I pushed the clinic door open as the nurse tried to grab my shoulder and pull me back to her, but I turned the corner and disappeared down the hall. I moved fast. My fragile mind could not understand the pace which I took. In a moment I was at the door of the main office, leading outside. I couldn’t fathom how the spaces below my feet disappeared underneath me. I am safe now. I am outside. The fresh air feels right. It’s where I need to be. Robert nudged me from behind. 

‘April, how are you feeling? After Biology class I didn’t see you. I was worried.’ He raked his fingers through his chiseled blond hair that could be modeled for a shampoo television commercial. I shrugged my shoulders. I didn’t know how to explain this to him. I didn’t even know how to fully explain this to myself. I pulled my long wavy chocolate hair over my left shoulder. I fluttered my hazel eyes. Distraction is easy for me. Deception is like second nature

‘I’m fine’ I said, almost convincing myself. ‘Did I miss anything important in class?

‘Not really.’ We began to walk down the University campus sidewalk. ‘The same topic from Monday.’ 

‘Metamorphosis.’ I ascertained. 

‘So, what are you doing tonight?’ Robert brushed his crimson sweater against my arm sleeve covered in black silk hanging over a pair of faded blue jeans. 

‘I’m not sure.’ My lips tightened and I glared at the cobble stone below us.

‘Plans?’ Robert concluded and I could feel the drop in his enthusiasm. I opened my mouth to say something; something I wasn’t even sure of; but then closed it and nodded my head. It is better if he doesn’t know. 

‘Maybe another time?’

‘Maybe.’ 

‘Look, I gotta run to my next class, but call me if anything changes. You know I’ll be there for you if you need me.’ Robert said in a loyalty I knew only he afforded me. 

‘I will.’ I stood alone on the campus lawn and lay on my back. The grass squished up against my skin as I glanced over the stars hidden so well in the late afternoon sky. I miss moments like these. Moments of peace. The pain was gone. The knife had been removed. The vibration of sounds around me had vanished. I could almost feel the cold of Alaska again.


At my apartment I thought I was safe from it, from myself. My arms began to itch. I scratched. The tingling returned. I knew what was coming, the sharp intense pain. Unbearable. I threw myself onto my oversized bed propped up on steel bars and held myself. My hands clasped my shoulder bones. My head pushed into the pillows. My teeth gritted into the sheets. My fingers raked my skin as if I were an addict in need of another fix. My body shook and I felt engaged in a set of convulsions. My eyes shut. Instinctual, not of volition. It will pass. 

A sound bellowed from my lips. A sound I’ve never heard before tonight. I curled up like a baby in need of her mother and let the aching pass. It always passes. It always takes too long. Every minute felt like forever. I need him. I need him to help me get through this. When the violence inside my own body soothed, I called him on my phone. He will come. He always comes. 

The knock at my door drew me from my bed and to him in one fluid motion. I didn’t even have time to think about what I was doing. My pain needed his comfort. My mind needed his words. My body needed his touch. He walked in haste through my door to the foot of the bed. He sat in his dark blue jeans, still wearing his crimson sweater. I didn’t need to think of what to say. I was too desperate for games. Just the truth.  

‘I need you.’ The words flowed so easily. He drew close to me. I rested my weary head in his chest. The chill from his skin cooled my constant warm temperature.  

‘What happened?’

‘I don’t know. I just need you to stay with me. I need you here.’ He didn’t question me more about it. He held me in his embrace. His heart beat fast, too fast. I heard it too well, better than I should. Nevermind. He is here with me now. Everything will be fine. 

I awoke in his chest wrapped up in his arms, his large toned arms. He was asleep peaceful. I could never sleep so still. Every sound, every motion kept me awake. But with him near me I slept well. I climbed off the bed in cat like movements and crawled to my bathroom. He awoke at the sounds of running water in the shower. 

The day light was bright. I covered my eyes at first. We strolled out of my apartment and down the block over the chipped sidewalks. The sky cars in various metallic colors flew past us like birds overhead. The sounds of their quiet revving were like whistles blowing. The black apartment walls stayed in the shadows of the day and the windows glowed in fluorescent lights laced around their borders. 

The electrical newspapers beamed in and out against the shop walls and displayed current events. America clones President Strossey in an attempt to derail assassination attempts. The news faded out while the next page faded in. A trip to Mars is scheduled for next weekend: September 14th, 2060. NASA says the highly anticipated Anti Matter Propulsion is ready to use for distant travel. On the next slide of news, another space related event emerged slowly onto the screen. The RAM Jet Fusion Engine will reach the the Space Walker today to transport food and water to the Moon Station. Go green, Go Hydrogen!

The gray clouds rolled in like a tumultuous sea about to storm. The thunder crackled and a few rain pellets began to fall. Robert took out his compact umbrella stashed inside of his front jean pocket. He wrapped his hand around the miniature, rectangular tool and hit the silver button with his forefinger. The shape of the umbrella unfolded around us and clicked into place. The silver canopy kept us dry. People on the busy streets brushed past us in dark raincoats and silver radiated umbrellas. The silver color lit up against the lightning in the sky. I wrapped my arm around Robert’s arm and fastened my other hand over my waist. His cool temperature reminded me I was in Alaska. 

‘Are you…’He stopped his sentence. I knew what he was going to ask, ‘…alright today?’ He knew I didn’t enjoy those questions. He cleared his throat. ‘Hungry?’ I smiled at him and shifted my eyes to the chipped sidewalk underneath our feet like I was a coy animal. But I wasn’t. 

‘Sure, I could eat something.’ The truth was I was famished. I hadn’t eaten dinner last night. Lately, I’ve been feeling more hungry than usual. 

‘Where would you like to eat? We have the whole day to ourselves.’ His strong blue eyes were lighter than the sky, a sky that became dark unusually fast this morning. ‘Thank God for Saturdays,’ he smirked with a scar over his wrinkled chin. We ambled to the end of the sidewalk. A sky car slowed down, dropping out of the sky in front of us. Its wheels, in mechanical precision, lowered out of the car’s body and hit the aluminum street. The angular tip of the car and short rounded frame propelled forward down the road and disappeared after turning a corner.  

‘We could eat at Uro’s Deli?’ I stated the place with emphasis. ‘I’m craving a roast beef sub.’ 

‘Uro’s it is.’ 

The silver, black and white checkered walls of the deli stood out between the low brick building to the left that reminded everyone in the city of old architecture long gone. The spiraling crisp white tower to the right reached into the clouds. Music somewhere between disco and tech-no permeated Uro’s (a name based on the monetary exchange of America since 2025) and the sounds seeped out the deli door and onto the city as we approached. Robert tripped over some asphalt on the other side of the street.

‘Damn sidewalks. Do you know when they are going to rebuild them?’ He asked agitated. I don’t have answers. I can only think of my own pain. I can think of nothing else.

‘No.’ I walked ahead toward the door.

‘They’d better reconstruct them with nano-ceramic soon before someone gets seriously hurt.’ He followed behind. The entire city began to look like one large piece of nano material. Everything was remade into substance that wouldn’t bend or break in chaotic weather or over extended periods of time. Robert sat across from me in the oversized black seating booth. 

We punched our orders into the Electric Order Form. It was an efficient device, much like the internet was fifty years ago. It was square, about the size of a book, and fit into the table on each side near the end like it was engraved there. There was no more need of waiters. Robert fiddled with his projection watch. I brushed my onyx hair away from my face. Robert hit the silver button on his watch and the hologram of our Biology textbook appeared over the table. He hit the arrow button and it turned page after page until he stopped at page ten.

‘You want to show me something?’ I placed my elbows on the table and nestled my head in my left hand. My chin was cupped by my palm and my hazel eyes shot up at him.

‘I forgot to mention, Mr. Crougar said this was going to be on the quiz Monday.’ Monday, I can’t even think about tomorrow. I have to take this one day at a time. Whatever this is. I nodded like I was concerned about a quiz, like I was not thinking about something else over every word he read. He hit the arrow button again and the page turned. As he finished highlighting the important parts, the Intelligent Service Robot dressed in the deli uniform of silver, black and white checkered shirt and pants carried our orders on its metallic arms. It’s back squeaked as it bent over to place our plates before us. 

‘Do you ever miss it?’ I said in almost a whisper to Robert.

‘Miss what?’

‘Actual people serving food?’ The ISRs were manufactured and found in every business by 2050 and in most homes by 2055. They were a great relief to the extra work loads carried by most people, but they also took away many jobs. People were angry at first, until new employment opportunities for the manufacturing and upkeep of the ISRs became available.

‘Sometimes.’ Robert winked and began to eat his chili sandwich which was one of his favorites at the deli. The smell of the roast beef spun my head in a dizzy frenzy and I began to feel the aches in my bones again. All I can think about is the meat.










© 2010 amiwritinggirl


Author's Note

amiwritinggirl
If you are interested it is out now on amazon and the professional edition will be out 2010, July 1st!

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amiwritinggirl
amiwritinggirl

Wesley Chapel, FL



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http://amiblackwelder.com http://hotgossiphotreview.blogspot.com I am a teacher and writer. I have traveled extensively throughout Asia. If you want a review of your work, check me out and co.. more..

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A Chapter by amiwritinggirl