1. Hospital Tokens
I forced open my eyes, but the sunlight shocked my retina forcing my eyelids to clamp closed again. 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. It then vanished, never seen again. This is because she was special; she was a bonder. Bonders are genetic mutations originally from the effects of radiation exposure; they grow up and then become attached to someone else. They have a window into someone else’s mind. Bonders don’t choose their bonded but are forced to feel their pain, love, anger. The government wants them for testing to manipulate their gift for selfish purposes. There is one problem; no one had ever seen this token because only bonders can see it. I didn’t know whether to run, hind or cry. I am a bonder. As soon as I have a bonded I will be hunted, and most likely, murdered.
My great-grandmothers token was a dried snow drop encased in a glass pendent dangled from a sterling silver chain, I hesitated before swiftly scooping it up into my right hand, as I clenched it tight, It started. A chaos of anger and violence, I heard scream and fists colliding and ultimately silence. When my eyes sprung open I was sweating, breathing heavily and everyone was looking at me. I decided I needed to get out of there, so stuffed everything I had into my worn out green backpack covered in badges and key chains. I had to find somewhere safe and fast before I have anymore ‘episodes’.
Just to be clear I have no family. My mother walked out on my dad and me when I was two, her body was found 2 years later in Coverdean Woods. My dad died of cancer when I was eleven. So I was shipped to my aunt. She did the best she could but as soon as I turned sixteen I left, I grew up in a little town with nothing. Everyone living the same sad lives. I go from hostel to hostel trying to find my place in this world. I turned into the nearest hostel, hurried through the halls and collapsed onto a bed. I needed pain killers; concussion and 2nd degree burns on my forearms and left calf are more painful than you think. Before dozing off I took the necklace and clip it around my neck and concealed it under my top, before then finally dozing off in a place that didn’t smell of disinfectant.