The Chrysalids: Petra's Story
The bright rays of the sun fell across my eyelids chasing away the last remnants of my slumber. I awoke to the soft humming of voices in my head, like a horde of bees. It was the same sound that I awoke to every morning since I was a young, naïve girl of ten years.
It seemed like another life time ago when I lived in Waknuck, but only six years had passed since the event that changed my life forever. I was so young then, only ten years old. But I could remember everything as clear as if it happened yesterday. Those days that I travelled with David and Rosalind would be ingrained in my mind forever.
But back then I didn't understand the gravity of the situation. We were running for our lives and the lives of many others. So many people were killed due to the prejudice of one race of men. Our unique abilities were something to be feared by those who thought us to be mutants and thought themselves to be the pure race of God. But I regret nothing that I had to go through. It made me the strong, confident young woman I am today. But I knew I never would have my sweet, innocent childhood back again. It was lost the moment I saw the lifeless bodies of the Fringe people and the people from my own village, including my father.
When I grew older I realized why my father was with those men who were coming to take us away and who fought against the Fringes. He feared me and the rest of our group and he wanted to get rid of us. I never understood that when I was little. When I heard Michael tell David that my father was coming I had thought he was going to rescue me from the horrid conditions that the Fringe people had to live in. I was wrong.
That day I shed my ignorance and learned not to trust so foolishly.
At times, I let myself think that my father really was trying to rescue me. He was my hero growing up. He would shower me with sweets and small toys for no reason but to spoil me. I was his little angel. The thought that my own father would rather have me dead than living was scarring.
I remember David telling me about Aunt Harriett and how father had reacted towards her baby. The infant was family but he would have no connections with anyone who did not receive a normalcy certificate. He was a cold, unforgiving man to those who were born different.
The moment my father died I surprisingly felt no remorse and little sorrow. And when I arrived at Zealand I all but forgot about him.
Zealand was a magnificent city. The sun shined brighter on it and reflected off the vibrant, blue bay and the glass towers casting a majestic glow throughout Zealand. I always believed it to be called Zealand and not Sealand like what David, Rosalind, and Michael thought. I liked to rub it in their faces that I was right and they were wrong.
When I first stepped onto Zealand soil I was stunned and in awe. The huge white towers made me feel small and insignificant. When I looked up it seemed as if the buildings were going on forever, reaching towards the heavens. I also realized how ignorant I had been living in Waknuck. I saw things that I never would've imagined possible. One thing that had intrigued me most was the moving machines that carried passengers. And I did not see any horses anywhere! I soon came to learn that they were called automobiles or simply, cars. They ran on fuel and they were much faster than a horse and could go from one city to another in less than a day.
The contraption we first came to Zealand in was called a helicopter. The blades above it was what made it float in the air, and it also used fuel to move the blades. And I had always thought only birds could fly!
The 'Sealand Lady', who I discovered was named Charlene, took us to many places and showed us many things. It was incredible. And I came to realize that when Charlene had called us savages she was not far from the truth. Compared to the Zealanders our style of living was barbaric.
After a quick tour of the city Charlene showed us to a quaint, white house. She told us it was for us, that it was provided for by the government. Our government had never given us anything before. The small house was perfect for us three to live in. It had a cute garden in the front and three spacious bedrooms, a large kitchen, a living room, and a roomy bathroom inside. I was so excited to live there. My bedroom was decorated just right for a little girl. It was painted a pale pink and there was a row of dolls and toys. One resembled my beloved cross-eyed doll so much that I pretended I had never lost her.
The next day Charlene started on training me to control my powers. I was able to communicate through my mind to people farther away than ordinary people. But I did not have the knowledge to control that power. So I was taught how to channel my mind-speech without hurting others around me.
There were two others who were also pupils of Charlene. There was a boy about my age, perhaps slightly older, named Noah and an older girl named Hannah. Hannah was perhaps six years older than I. Because of our difference in age Hannah was not as close as Noah was to me. Noah and I became fast friends. Also, the way that Charlene always tried to play matchmaker between us brought us closer together. She wanted babies that had our abnormally strong abilities. If we were to marry and have children, they would have the genes for our rare powers.
We did everything together and the Zealanders soon came up with a nickname for us. They called us the 'terrible two'. We were little mischief-makers when we were younger. We would play juvenile pranks and cause mini havoc in Zealand. But it was our uncommon powers that bonded us together.
I heard Michael say that living with a normal person, if you have the gift of mind-speech, is like living with a cripple. For me, if I lived with someone with less powerful mind-speech abilities than I it would be suffocating and a burden. I would forever think that I was superior to them. But Noah's abilities rivalled mine and we connected beyond simple words and mind-shapes. We had a way of communicating with stronger shapes and we understood each other better because of our similar powers.
Through the years Noah and my relationship progressed and soon friendship turned into love. I couldn't imagine loving anyone as I loved Noah. The day I realized I loved Noah was the day that I knew my life could be forever happy with him. I didn't need anyone else as long as I had him. He was a friend, a lover, and my other half. He made me feel complete.
After the realization of my love for Noah life went on. Nothing terribly exciting happened until one day a few years later.
It was when I turned fifteen that the most unexpected and wonderful thing happened in Zealand.
It was daybreak and everyone was just waking up for the new day. Two figures came galloping through the entry gate of Zealand. Their faces were hooded with dark cloaks and they looked the worse for wear. They seemed to have travelled quite a long ways. It was David who first spotted them and alerted everyone of their presence. Most people were wary of the two strangers because outsiders weren't welcome in Zealand. When the two horsemen dismounted everyone took a small step back. Finally they pulled back their hoods and revealed their faces. Everyone soon came to see that they were not two horsemen but a man and a woman. And it was not just any man or woman, we all realized. The two strangers were Michael and Rachel.
Their beaming faces looked back at us covered in dirt and sweat. David, Rosalind, and I were speechless. I broke the silence by screeching in joy and running to hug them and firing question after question. "How did you get here? What took you so long? Why didn't you warn us you'd be arriving today?" I asked.
"One question at a time," Michael said laughingly, "We had one hell of a journey and we would like some rest and food first."
This seemed to jar David and Rosalind from their stupor. "Of course, you both must be starving," said Rosalind. She paused and looked at Michael and Rachel then started laughing happily and went over to hug them too. David too came over and gave Rachel a kiss on the cheek and Michael a brotherly hug then stood back and smiled joyfully at them.
"We're so happy to see you both here safe and sound," said David as we began walking towards our home. We caught up on each other's lives as we walked and talked about what had happened after going our separate ways. Laughter and chatter could be heard from us as we walked through the streets of Zealand to the house. There were so many things to say and tell each other that one day wouldn't be enough. But that was alright because now we would have a lifetime to catch up on each other's lives. The sky was the limit here in Zealand and now we would be able to share its wonders with Michael and Rachel. A whole new world awaited us.