The Chosen Ones

The number of cases of a terrible, hereditary disease is on the rise and those who have it are treated like monsters. Little is understood about it and it seems to be completely unique to any other disease. For those who have it, it can be a gift or a death sentence. You've just got to learn to hide it. There are no symptoms. No warning signs.
Ava has this disease. She feels alone, persecuted and scared. Then they find her. They're like her and to them it's a gift from God. But will they ever change the way society perceives them?

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   The coffee cup in my hand shakes violently as the draft hits me. I glance up from my table at the stranger who's coming through the door. It's not the men in white coats. It's not the police. It's just the coffee boy. He works here a lot; his name's Austin, I think.

   I look back down at the newspaper in my hand and read the headline "NEW CASES OF MALUM-MENS-MENTIS DISEASE CONFIRMED - Infected, aged 12, detained. Serious case, aged 20, euthanized."

   I slip a few drops of herbal calming remedy into my latte and take an aspirin to thin my blood. I can't be found out, I'll be euthanized; I'm at the cut off point.

   I finish my latte and go up to the counter to order another. I need to stay alert. I can't let my mind slip or I'll give the game away. I need to keep my heart rate down. Otherwise, I'll change. I can't; I'll die.

   "Another latte, please." I say without looking up from the floor. I can't read Austin's mind; I mustn't look into his eyes.

   "You can look up" A voice tells me. Did I just project my thoughts? That's another thing. I mustn't think too much.

   "No, you didn't." The voice says again. I glance around the room but upon not seeing anyone, I look back around.

   Austin smiles at me as he puts my freshly made coffee on the counter. "We're the same. You and me, we're the same."

   "We're really not." I say while grabbing my coffee and he grabs my wrist. My head begins to spin, thoughts about both of our lives shimmering around my head like little fireflies. Then the voice says "I, Austin Vieretti, am the same." I look up feeling both frightened and relieved.

   I thought I was the only one. The only one who'd not been exterminated or detained. I never thought I'd find another. Austin's an Airblood.

   A napkin lies beside my coffee. On it words read "Here. 9pm Tonight". I'm more frightened than ever.

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