Life goes on

The Skies over Al Mansurah City, 2003

The city lay quiet as the silent night cradled the people to sleep. A blanket of clouds covered the sky, not a single star was to be seen. Rain had started to precipitate, mildly at first but then the droplets grew larger, thunder accompanying the rain now, the three elements combining together to form a storm, an orchestra in the sky playing tense music. Lightning streaks danced in the clouds, rain falling from the heavens cries of the angels above, roars of thunder piercing the once silent night. The wind now playing its part, pushing the rain back and forth, side to side, the storm now fiercer than ever.

Deep in the heart of the city, a three storey high building stood tough in the raging storm. The building is a museum, at this hour it is closed. Its dark halls filled with memories of the past, artifacts lie in their glass cages placed upon a pedestal, displayed for all to see. Ancient tales now a page or two in most history books. Walking through the dark corridors, armed with only a flashlight, the museum guard called 'Ahmed' explored the innards of the old building.

In the main museum hall, the statues of the Egyptian gods proudly stood in all their glory. In the center of the main museum hall. A bright white light in the form of a round ball mysteriously emerged from thin air, the light growing with every passing second. The ancient kings shined in their golden armor reflected by the shining light. Eventually the whole hall was engulfed by the blinding light.

Ahmed saw the white light pour out from the hall entrance, he immediately ran to the hall. At the entrance, Ahmed was greeted by the light, almost blinding him, he raised his arm to cover his face. Suddenly the room darkened, Ahmed noticed the change and slowly lowered his arm. He reached for his flashlight, turned it on, took a step forward into the hall and began to investigate. In the very center of the hall, stood a teenage boy, his arms hung by his side, the boy was wearing light blue jeans, black T-shirt and on his chest hung a pendant. He stood there in the center, like a lifeless statue.

As Ahmed shone his torch past the center, he noticed the boy standing in the center. He shone his torch directly into the boy's face and shouted, "What are you doing here?" he paused then he shouted, "The museum's closed…". As Ahmed finished his last sentence the boy's eyes opened wide, his pupil contracting into a small dot. Suddenly a flash of white light swept the hall swallowing everything in its path. Ahmed  stood in his small office, unknowing that he had lost time, but in his mind he remembered that he finished his patrol a few minutes earlier. The boy disappeared into thin air, outside the museum, the raging storm calmed down, the clouds slowly moving away from the city, revealing the star filled sky and the bright full moon, the night fell silent again.

A week later…

Seattle, Washington, 2003

Rain poured down from the grey sky. It was mid-afternoon in Seattle, everywhere people were trying to get shelter from the rain. Inside the sun-lit apartment, Lisa sat alone on the couch, she was deep in her thoughts as if reliving an event in her head a thousand times, her face showed a saddened expression.

The television was on at the time, the news reporter reported recent events that had happened throughout the entire world. Excluding the incident that happened a week ago, only those who were there knew what had happened that horrible night and forever shall they keep the memory of such a great loss.

 It's been a tough week for all of us, I'm really glad that Charlie is here, I just can't go through all of this alone.

She stood up and walked slowly to Allie's room.

Why did you have to go…

She tried hard to fight back the tears, but she couldn't resist it, the tears rolled down her cheeks as she entered Allie's room.

The supermarket was packed with people, some were seeking shelter from the rain, to most of them it was a perfectly normal day but to some the day brought undying pain and eternal suffering. Charlie walked down the aisle, evading the other customers in front of him, he stopped in the bakery section.

I wonder if Lisa likes donuts

He reached for a pack of donuts and put it in the basket. As he began to walk to the counter, a little girl with golden hair wearing a red jacket caught his eye.

Could it be?

He dropped the basket and ran to the little girl

Has she come back?

He bumped into a man in front of him.

"Allie!" he shouted and grabbed the child, he spun her around and saw a terrified little girl staring at him. His high hopes crashed down to earth.

It's not her… I was stupid to think it was her

"Can-can you let me go?", said the little girl trying to get free of his grasp.

"I'm sorry", he replied letting her go, "I'm really sorry", he walked to the counter, his face showed great disappointment.

Back in the apartment, Lisa lied down on the couch trying to calm herself down, she looked to the window,

It's still raining the weather seems to know what I'm feeling right now

She looked to the clock on the wall

I wonder where Charlie is right now. He's been gone for quite a while, I hope he's okay

She closed her eyes, thinking of all the possible places where her little girl would be, suddenly a loud knock on the front door startled her

That must be Charlie

 "I'm coming!", she responded. She walked to the door and opened it, shock swept over her as she saw a boy instead of Charlie, her eyes locked with his, fear fell upon her. "Who are you?" she finally found the courage to speak

"My name is not important right now…" he looked deeper into her eyes ,"But I know that your little girl has gone with them".

"H-H-How? She stammered, the boy stared her in the eye whilst slowly fading away into thin air. She slammed the door shut

What is happening to me?

The whole room spun around her, she took a few steps backwards, she swayed uncontrollably as if drunken by a drug, she felt an unbearable pain in her head and then she fell onto the floor unconscious.

The loud music blared out of Charlie's car. "Yeah!" Charlie shouted, "I like this song!". As he tried to mask his sadness with happiness. Outside people were looking at the car as it stopped at a red light, Charlie noticed the people were staring at him, he instantly reduced the volume. He looked towards the sky

It's a very gloomy day today, I wonder if Lisa is ok, she's been through a lot lately

The red light changed to green, he drove up the street and noticed a green car behind him. He turned left and the car followed him

If I didn't know better I'm being followed

Charlie sped up, and the car behind him speeded up as well. He parked his car beside the road, Charlie and the driver of the green car, exchanged looks and the car sped off into the distance. He let out a sigh of relief

That was too close, too close for comfort

He started the car back on again, and continued his journey back to Lisa's apartment.

In the apartment, Lisa still laid there unconscious on the wooden floor. The air was still, it's as if time has stopped only in that room. The news ended a couple of minutes ago, and now a talk show began to fill the room with discussion and arguments. But the talk show and all it's arguments failed to wake her up, as she laid there like a dead body.

Charlie parked the car at his usual spot. He took the brown paper bag and began to walk up the stairs. He walked slowly to the apartment door, he could hear the talk show from outside. He knocked on the door. "Lisa, it's me Charlie…", he waited for her to open the door, but it remained closed

Hmm… I guess she can't hear me.

"Lisa, open the door…" he said again. He got tired of waiting and twisted the knob on the door. Much to his surprise the door opened, as he stepped into the apartment he saw Lisa lying on the floor. "Oh my god!, Lisa, are you okay?". He put the brown paper bag aside and shook her gently trying to  revive her.

At last she opened her eyes, "Charlie?", she looked puzzled and remembered what had happened. "The boy...", was the last words that came out of her as she fainted again.

Charlie was puzzled by what she had said, "Lisa, I'm getting you to the hospital..", he picked her up and immediately rushed her to the hospital. Ignoring the T.V and all that was around him.

As he drove to the hospital, he was troubled by what Lisa had said earlier.

The boy? Who could this boy be?

He looked at Lisa, who was still unconscious in the passenger seat.

Did something bad happen to her?

The thought that the government had tried to take her was immediately dismissed by him

If they wanted to take her they would have done it a week ago

Questions he needed answers were really bugging him, he looked over to her again.

I hope that nothing serious happened to her, you can't die just yet, Allie is somewhere out there and she needs you when she comes back, I need you too.

Over the distance he sees the hospital sign, 'Northwest Hospital', he stopped in front of the hospital foyer. Got out of the car and took Lisa in his arms, as he went into the hospital he immediately went to the front desk.

"I need a doctor, she suddenly fainted, help me"

"Wait a minute, you'll have to fill out some forms" replied the clerk

"I don't have time to fill in the forms" Charlie growled, "I need a doctor now!"

"Calm down sir, the doctor is on his way" replied the spooked clerk

The doctor came moments later with a stretcher, "Put her in the stretcher, and I'll see what I can do"

"Is she going to be alright?" Charlie asked the doctor

"I'm not sure but I'll take good care of her, don't you worry" replied the doctor

"Sir you'll need to move your car, an ambulance is on its way" said the clerk

Charlie wanted to follow Lisa as the doctor took her through the double door, but he know he had to move the car first, he came here to save Lisa not get in trouble. He parked the car near the entrance.

As he walked into the hospital, he felt something had changed suddenly the atmosphere of the place was tense. He walked to the reception. He asked the clerk where Lisa was, the clerk told him that Lisa will be in the fifth floor. He thanked the clerk and went to find the elevator.

He pressed the button, the doors opened and it was empty. He went inside and pressed the button for the fifth floor, he was alone in the elevator.

What happened? She was fine when I left her this afternoon

The elevator stopped at its destination. He got out and saw the doctor that took Lisa away. He ran to the doctor.

"Doctor, is she going to be okay?"

"She is going to be okay, she merely fainted out of exhaustion"

"Thank you" Charlie was relieved to know that nothing horrible had happened to her. "Where is she?" he asked.

"She is in room 205, I'm going to run some more tests just in case" as the doctor looked to Charlie, he was already gone running to find room 205.

When Charlie found the room, he was exhausted. Lisa was still unconscious, he took a chair and sat next to the bed. After all the searching he was now tired, he held Lisa's hand and fell asleep next to her.

Moments later, Lisa woke up to find she was not at home

Where am I?

She sat up and saw Charlie next to her, she realized that she was in the hospital.

"Charlie, wake up", she pushed him a little.

How long have I been out

Charlie waked up as Lisa resorted to more violent pushing when he didn't respond. Charlie hugged Lisa when he realized where the disturbance came from.

"I'm glad you're okay" he said. "What happened?"

Lisa slowly pushed him back, "Someone came Charlie, a boy" she replied. "I think he's in his teens"

"Don't worry wait till I find out where he lives, then…"

"NO!"

Charlie was surprised by her response.

"I don't think he's any ordinary boy Charlie"

"You mean that he's maybe…."

"One of them" Lisa finished his sentence. "Maybe, he said to me that he knows that Allie went with them"

"Did he do this to you?"

"I don't know, maybe he did"

"Whoever this boy is he's dangerous"

"I'm sure he meant no harm"

"You could have died, who knows what could have happened if I didn't come any sooner"

Lisa thought of the possibility and knew that he was right.

"It's not that I don't believe you Lisa, but we don't know anything about him and I think we should be aware of the dangers he can cause" Charlie said again.

"I'm just afraid that something has happened to Allie",  a tear rolled down her cheek.

"Lisa…" Charlie said softly, "I'm sure nothing has happened to Allie, besides John will not let anything hurt her"

Charlie sat on the bed, Lisa cushioned her head on Charlie's shoulder. And they both stared out the window into the sky.

El Paso, Texas

The sun heated the sand as usual, what is expected to happen near the deserts. Rain had not dropped there for a couple of weeks now. The afternoon was no different from the morning. To the north of the city, an activity was being held.

Near the borderline a building, five storeys high it stood out in the desert. In front of the main entrance a small crowd awaited. A red ribbon was held by two people across the stairs. It was an opening ceremony for a company.

On the marble stairs, stood an old man "Welcome friends and associates" the man announced. "I am pleased to say that a new industry has rooted in our city". The crowd cheered. "And now we will skip the long boring speech and proceed to the ribbon cutting.", the old man motioned for the large scissors to be brought forwards. The crowd laughed.

Then a man in his forty's came up to the ribbon took the scissors and cut the ribbon into three fragments. Flashes of light caught the moment, the crowd clapped in unison of what seemed to be a great achievement. The man smiled at the crowd, he then shook the hand of the old man.

"Thank you all for coming today, I am eternally grateful for your appearance" the man said. "I hope that in the near future we will be able to help each other"

"Now if you can all proceed to the hall, we will serve the food in a few minutes" said the old man.

A young man came up to the man. Whispered something in his ear, the man left with the young man. The man went into a room in the building. Inside the room, a man by the name of 'Winston' stood waiting.

"Mr. Crispen, I have what you want" said Winston.

"Please call me Linn" he replied "May I see the documents before I pay you"

Winston took out a brown envelope, and handed it to Linn. Linn graciously accepted the envelope, and opened it. A smile appeared on his face.

"Excellent work Winston"

"Now I want my money"

"Don't you want to join the party?"

"No, I don't I want my money now!"

"Go outside and walk two rooms down, tell the person there that I sent you"

Winston went outside as ordered, walked down the corridor and found a tall, muscular man awaiting the door.

"Mr. Linn sent me" he told the man.

The man opened the door and pushed Winston inside. Winston stood speechless as he entered the room, it turned out that the room was enormous, Winston walked to the center, the room expanded and he stood underneath a massive dome.

"Hello" said a sixteen year old boy.

Winston was surprised to see a boy standing behind him

"Where'd you come from?" he said

"Are you the man who came here for the money?"

"Yeah, you got it?"

"Sadly no, my dad does not wish to pay you"

"Why that bastard!" Winston shouted.

"There is no need to call my father names!" replied the boy.

Winston pulled out a gun and was ready to shoot the boy. "I'm sorry to do this but your father is a liar and a cheat"

"I don't think you should do that" replied the boy.

As Winston was about to pull the trigger, the boy's hand shot up, then suddenly Winston dropped the gun and screamed, his veins burst open and blood spilt out. Winston felt all the blood being drained from him. His lifeless body, dropped to the floor. Linn moved towards the boy clapping his hand. The boy looked to Linn, he smiled.

"How did I do father?"

"You did an excellent job Cloud, more practice and you'll be the best"

"Come, we have a party to attend" said Linn

Cloud walked up to Linn, and they both walked out of the room, leaving the mess behind for the cleaners to worry about.