Melinda wakes to find herself in hospital knowing how she got there and why. When she stumbles across the only other person in the hospital, she realises much has changed since she fell asleep.

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3. Gifted

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. How does he know about my time travel ability? Why would he call it a supernatural gift? Most people call me crazy for knowing things that are going to happen in the future, not gifted.

“No I’m not,” I lie and shake my head. “That’s a stupid idea.”

“Yes,” he says patiently, “you are. You have to be.”

“Have to be?”

“Yeah. No one in the world anymore is normal.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I may as well get this over and done with,” he sighs. “See that door over there?” he gestures to a wooden at the end of the alley. “If anything happens, I need you to sprint over there and get inside. That’s where everyone else should be.”

“Everyone else?” I perk up. “Everyone is inside that small place?”

“There aren’t a lot,” he frowns at me. “Only a small amount of us survived the ‘Whining’ and the only thing that links us are our supernatural gifts.”

I have to shake my head to clear my brain. I’m feeling certain that this is a dream, but it feels so real.

Please, please let this be a dream.

“Back up,” I raise my palms. “What do you mean by the “Whining”?”

“In April 2016, this massive screeching noise rippled across the world. No one knows where it came from, but it just suddenly started. It was like someone was dragging their nails across a chalk board, but like, ten times louder. It was horrific. People literally died. Their heads couldn’t deal with it and they just started dropping like flies. I was at home with my family when it occurred. No matter how bad we tried to muffle the sound, it was to piercing. My family died ten minutes after it started.”

He kicks a stone and buries hands in his jeans.

“How come you’re not dead?” I swallow.

“Because I’m gifted,” he shrugs.

“What do you mean? Like a really good music player?”

“No,” he laughs. “I mean I have a supernatural gift.”

“Really?” I cross my arms doubtfully. “Prove it.”

His eyes light up and the next thing I know, all the rubbish in the alley begins to rise into the air. At first I think it’s the wind, but the wind isn’t this formatted.

“You have telekinesis?” I whisper as the rubbish starts to swirl around us.

“I sure do,” he grins.

“That isn’t possible.”

“Just like your gift, huh? I know you have one and I know you know you do. Why don’t you just tell me what it is?”

“People think I’m crazy,” I tell him as the rubbish slowly lowers.

“Ha. Not me.”

Sucking in breath, I tell him about my gift of time travel. I can travel back into my own memories and get inclinations about the future.

“Really?” he grins. “That’s cool!”

“No it isn’t,” I cross my arms. “I wish I was normal.”

“Yeah, well, the normal people are dead.”

The full implication of what he’s saying finally hits and I press myself against the wall to stop from falling.

“My family’s dead?”

“If they’re not gifted, then yeah. The worlds like, empty. I guess this was Mother Nature’s way of controlling the population.”

“How many are left?”

“I don’t know,” he shakes his head, “but I’ve found like, ten people in this city alone. Usually, the people confined to psycho wards are the ones that are gifted. They say they see ghosts? Most aren’t lying. They say they can hear voices? Most aren’t lighting.”

“The others are in there?” I gesture to the door.

“Yeah. We were getting ready to leave for the next town. You’re lucky I found you. I just had to make sure you weren’t like the others.”


“They’re like us, but only much more evil. After the “Whining”, a lot of people turned darker. You can tell by a mark that usually appears on your cheek. Once, we had a girl with us who ended up having the mark appear. She killed three others when she lost it and used her superhuman strength to smash down a building.”

“This is too much,” I shake my head. “Way too much.”

“I know, but you’re safe now. Thank God you appeared when you did. Otherwise, who’d know what could happen to someone as scrawny as you?”

I try to smile, but it obviously doesn’t work.

“Hey, it’s okay. I know it’s a lot to take in and I know you’re grieving for your family...”

I cut him off with a laugh.

“I don’t grieve for my family. They put me in that facility in the first place. They couldn’t accept I was different so they locked me away for two years without a single visit. They aren’t my family. They’re sick.”

He lets me get it off my chest and I tell myself that if he apologises, I’ll lash out and punch him. I hate people who give me sympathetic looks.

Instead, he just sighs.

“Come on. It’s time you meant your new family. I can be like your bro if you like.”

I follow him further down the abbey and through the door. It slides open soundlessly and I step inside and realise the room is well lit with electric lanterns and candles.

In one corner, a whole heap of mattresses are laid out along with bedding, but what takes up most of the room is a massive table with people surrounding it. They look up when we come in.

I take in all their faces, but only one stands out to me.

It’s Percy.  



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