Resisting Power

*I have never written a science-fiction book in my life, so I'd like some honest feedback please!* .............................................................................................................
What if only one person held the future in their hands? What if every move, every breath they made, meant everything? If the sky was a darkened sunset or a shining summer day, the weather would tell that person the scale of goodness for the future, the length of time the world would go before it...
...never even existed.
What if that person was me?
And what if, despite my power to control everything, not a soul could be told?

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I, Maci Goodwill, didn't realize I was in control of the world's future until I was only 8 years old. It wasn't the kind of misfortune you'd expect - there were no flashes or bangs; no turn-ups of angels or spirits; no magical hurricane flew me to another universe. Oh no. Instead, it began with a simple key, a silver encrusted charm engraved into the palm of my very own hand. You'd think it would be easy to spot, easy to find, but in fact it's only barely visible in shining rays of sunlight. Maybe I was meant to find it there that day, when I sat cross-legged on my windowsill, my eyes a flood with screaming tears and my body shaken up. At first, all it was was a part of my exaggerated imagination, but then I realized that maybe it meant something. Maybe my surname, too, was a sign.

~ ~ ~

You see, being eight years old was imaginably difficult as it was - running around in the playground; eating up all your mother's homemade food; playing with your new friends, and having to do what seems like a lot of very hard work. Well, that's what I thought anyway. But it never really occurred to me how difficult my life would be like, until I found the hidden key.

That day was definitely the worst day of my life. Not only did I feel like crying my eyes out, I felt like scrunching myself into a ball and throwing myself somewhere unknown, like life was too tough for me and so I wished I was never even there.

It started that morning when I woke up around nine. The sun was ablaze, shining wildly through my tattered, old curtains - Dad still hadn't had the time to fix me new ones - and my door, as it never was in the mornings, was closed.

Where's Mummy?

After pulling on my uniform for school and slinging my school bag (pink with lots of badges) over my shoulder, I had run down the corridor to wake Mum up. She always would wake me first, like a human alarm, but that day I figured she'd accidentally lain in. My feet prancing across the space between our rooms, I pushed the door wide open.

"Mummy! Time for school!"

No movement seemed to occur beneath the duvet, but I ran over as I always did on the weekend, pulling them up as high as possible to see if anyone was lurking inside.

Where's Mummy?

That was when I knew something must be wrong. Anyone could figure that one out.

Sprinting down the stairs, I tried to keep myself from crying, letting loose. Not paying attention, my bag slipped down my arm, catching on the end of the banister. I yanked it violently, the zip ripping down the front.

Wailing like any child would when they're in a tantrum, I stomped my way down to the living room. My body was alive, breathing, deeply. It wasn't the way her face stared into the depths of my soul as I entered, it was the way she was strewed across the carpet, broken.

Mummy!

I never really remembered what happened next exactly. I must have rushed over and helped her up because the next moment we were driving to school in the pouring rain. Her hair was a mess and blackened tears from her mascara were still sliding down her pale, almost white, face.

"What happened Mummy?" I asked, staring out the window, stripes of tears running down it as if they were copying my Mother’s emotions.

"Please don't ask that again, Maci." She said, one tone fitting every word. Clearly she didn't want to talk about it.

But as we approached school and the silence had already built to a climax between us, I stared down at my bag.

"It's broken." It’s all I could manage.

Then, for the first time that journey, my Mother turned to look at me.

"Here," she said, after a moment of hesitation, "Take this one."

She hurled a bag to me from the back seat and told me to quickly stuff my packed lunch and anorak into it. I did as I was told, scared she'd lash back at me. She never did such a thing, but her mood that day and the way she was cautious with every word, scared me like hell.

So whispering a solemn goodbye, I hurried off through the school gates and left her to drive off into the bitter weather, the approaching storm. Maybe it would have been best to forget about it, and that's what I intended to do, but no matter how much I tried, everything that day reminded me of what happened that morning. Every person and being was just a hurtful obstacle standing in my way.

Everything hit me hard in the head, in my stomach, in my mind.

Like I was meant to be the punching bag.

 

But that wasn't all. The day went by and still, every word and everyone was a jumbled up playlist replaying in my head.

Whatiswrongwithyourbagwhyisyourhairnotinbunchieslikeusidontwanttobefriendswithyouionlylikegirlswholikemyponieswhyareyouwalkingawaywhycantyou...

Shut up.

It was as if my mind was playing a trick on me, not letting me take in anything and flush it away so it could be forgotten forever. Everything hung onto me like it could never let go. Everything, and everyone, turned against me.

~ ~ ~

Now I never like to think about that day, unless I'm reflecting on the evening when I first found the key. You see, what happened with my Mother wasn't something she wanted to share with me until I was much older. Why, I wasn't sure at the time, but I definitely got the impression I'd have to keep all my questions to myself. And whilst my Mother tried her best to go back to her usual self, it never worked. She'd shout at me for forgetting to hang up my coat; at using up the last of the toilet paper; for not offering to lay the table. Every single thing made her words backfire and scream their way into me. I felt like I was tiny, ever so tiny, and she was a giant looming right over me.

So that night, all my emotions let loose. From being someone my Mummy cared about more than anyone in the world and someone who never worried about friendships or classmates, I became a shy little girl who spent her nights crying herself to sleep. I wanted my Mummy there to tuck me into bed and sing me a lullaby to sleep like she always would; I wanted her to be my human alarm and shake me alive into the next day; I wanted that comfort any child would want when they were feeling down.

Except my Mummy was the problem.

And as Mummy's problem slowly died away, my problem was gradually growing. Living with the lives of everyone in your very soul was hard to believe was even possible. Being eight you'd want to take it as a mission, as a new adventure, but I couldn't. This wasn't a joke and I had to take it seriously.

So that night, when all other children would have sunk deep into the mattress of their comforting bed, I sat up, torch at the ready, reading a book. It wasn't any kind of book - it was the book. It was the book that told me exactly what I had to do and how to do it fast; it told me the strengths of my control and the weaknesses; the power I had that was uncontrollable; the way certain words must be unspoken to the outside world. Whilst I was living my everyday life this very book was sitting, hiding, in my bookshelf, ready to be opened. If I hadn't noticed that little key there that day, I wouldn't have watched as it almost came alive before my very eyes, flying across the room and slotting itself into the lock on the book on my shelf. Hand reaching out I had touched the lock, to find it was only an illustration. How had the key just disappeared? I never knew. All I needed to know was that to open the book you needed the key - like you would need the key to open a door.

Every night after, I spent my evenings examining every inch of the book. Letting the key slot itself into the book, I got to reveal more secrets every day, learning more about the life of the resisting power. My eyes had some sort of laser that connected with the key on my palm, therefore telling it to open the book of the future. It was the most interesting book I'd read in ages. From front to back it was a new world; a new universe; a new future, waiting to be fulfilled.

Except I had to remind myself this wasn't a story.

This was, and still is now, real life.

                                     

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