Bonded

*Short Story for the 'Tape' Competition.* I gripped my head tightly as the pain had kicked in again; it was a repetitive thumping feeling. The bleach white walls and constant smell of disinfectant reminded me of where I was and what happened. Being flung from a car just before it burst into flames isn’t the nicest experience.Most seventeen year-old girls wake up in crisp cotton sheets surrounded by pink walls and teddy bears. But not me. I didn’t choose this is just has kind of always happened. I was dozing until I saw it. My stomach dropped, paralysis kicked in and parched mouth. It had been gone for years, lost, stolen, I don’t know. I thought that I saw it at the car accident but I thought I must have been hallucinating. I was definitely not hallucinating now. It was my great-grandmothers token; she always carried it until she was murdered.

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2. Chaos

I woke to a chaos in my mind, screaming, it was the same thing again and again, I couldn’t make it out, until the last line which sent a chill down my spine, ‘Simon run, before he kills you’ The most gut wrenching thing was the reply, ‘No mummy! NO!’ Before a child’s scream completely woke me from my trance. My fear hurdled me off the bed as I screamed. A tall boy burst it,

“What’s wrong?” He saw me on the floor and knelt by my side. I couldn’t tell him, I’d be called in a taken or worse. His short messy straight hair looked familiar, with deep green eyes that looked so deep that you could almost fall into them.

“I’m-I’m fine.” He furrowed his brow and checked my temperature with the back of his hand.

“You don’t seem fine to me. Come on and I’ll get you a glass of water.” As he grabbed my forearm to help me up, I winced causing him to pull up my sleeve and examine my burns. He didn’t speak or squirm, just observe. 

“I would say 2nd degree burns, with proper care and proper medication it should clear up in 2 weeks.”

“Hey how did you know that?”

“My father’s a doctor- was – a doctor.” I understood, it’s hard at first it’s like they will just walk through the door or call you but- they don’t.

 

In the medical room he applied a white soothing lotion to my burns. He sat observing me for about a minute before I spoke.

“You’ve been observing me for about a minute, what’s up?” He furrowed his eyebrow again.

“You seem familiar, have we ever met?”

“I’m sure I would remembered meeting a sarcastic teenage genius.” His furrow changed into a smile.

“Hey I’m not sarcastic, I’ve just got a thick skin you know.” I knew exactly what he meant.

“Foster home, what happened to your parents?”

“I was taken away by social services when I was 6, but I don’t remember anything before I was 9. They told me my mother left my father and me and 2 years later they found her body in Coverdean woods, my father had a breakdown and I was taken.” I was silent, frozen, like time wasn’t passing.

 

“What’s your name?”

 

“Caleb, you?” My mouth was parched dry I managed to spit out a few words.

 

“Cary, and I think- I think you’re my brother.” He chuckled, then saw my expression and his face dropped. “My mum left me and my dad and was found in Coverdean woods 2 years later but- I don’t remember you.”

 

My head felt like it was splintering, ‘Please don’t hurt him, he’s your son too. Please’ Then came another scream. I felt someone’s arms around me and I sobbed into their body. It was Caleb. It felt like my lungs were collapsing and blowing back up again.

 

“Cary, if you are my sister then I think I know what is wrong with you. I dug a little into my-our mother; she was a bonder. I think you are too.” I decided I trusted him because he was my brother; he was all the family I have really.

 

“Yes I am, 2 nights ago I was in a car accident, I was tossed from the car and it burst into flames and I thought I saw this” I unclipped my necklace and showed him.

 

“Saw what?” Damn, he’s not a bonder; he can’t see it.

“It’s our great-grandmothers token, and only bonders can see it. I thought I was hallucinating but when I woke up yesterday in hospital it was next to me. So I ran because I held it and had an ‘episode’” When I said ‘episode’ I used my fingers to gesture that I didn’t really know what it was.

“But my bonder is hurt and so is her son, Simon. I need to help her.” The speed of my voice had become erratic; Caleb placed his hand on my shoulder to calm me. Caleb tried to speak but stopped himself before he could. But the more I looked at him the more I knew what he was going to tell me. His skin was fair, eyes permanently glazed and stable hands.

 

“Cary, I was born normal, you took after mother and I dad. But after they took me from him I was sent to another family who were, different. They did things to me that still hurt me. Most of all they changed me. They took some blood from a dead bonder they found and injected me with it. I’m not a bonder but I can see things, you can hear them, I see pictures, of whomever I choose. If, I concentrate enough and they let me in.” I knew it, it’s almost like blood poisoning, the bonder blood is circling through him separate to his normal blood. Pumping constantly where it isn’t wanted. I spoke softly because I needed him to help me and most importantly my bonded.

 

“Caleb I need your help, my bonded is in trouble, and I know her and her son are in danger but I don’t know who they are or where they are. I want you to try and connect to Simon and see where he is.” I was pleading with everything, I had no family but Caleb and I know what it is like loosing a parent. They kneel in front of you and hold your forearms; they look deep into your eyes and draw a breath. They drop the bomb, which shatters your world; the shrapnel of tears buries itself deep into your heart. The force knocks you off your feet and you lay there, not wanting to move, just cry and after a while the tears stop. You become numb and cold, you never cry again, just suck it up and move on. All I knew at that moment was I would do anything to stop that happening to Simon. He hesitated before speaking.

 

“Cary, you’re going to get us hurt, just call the police-”

“Oh yeah so I’ll call them up and say, ‘I’m a bonder and my bonded is in trouble can you help her?’ That’s going to go down well isn’t it?” His stupidity amazed me. He was a genius but common sense wasn’t his thing.

 

“FINE. I’ll do it. I’ll need silence and I might look like I’m having a seizure but you need to leave me, okay?” I nodded sharply. He closed his eyes slowly and sat there still until it looked like someone had bludgeoned him around the head and he winced in pain and gripped his head tightly. Gasp. 

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