Prompt: "The answer was clear. Shoot her."
Summary: Her name was Earth-Born because she was born on Earth. Her parents were, like every Soul, perfect citizens of the nation. They lived peacefully in society. But Earth-Born has always felt different because, unlike other Souls, she didn't have the silver glow in her eyes nor a pink line along the back of her neck. She was, in some elemental way, an outsider. And when fate leads her to meet an unlikely couple, things become stranger than ever.
"Honey?" My mom called to me. "Where are you?"
"I'm in the bedroom, mom!" I immediately closed my diary and hid it under the bed. A silent knock came through the door.
"Earth Born?" Mom's glowing silver eyes looked at me pointedly. "What have you been doing?"
"I was just writing in my diary, mom."
"In the middle of the day? Honey, you should really go out some time. Have fun with your friends." She suggested and left the room.
Mom looked worried. It wasn't that I didn't like going out. I'm a teenager, anyway. It's just that I can feel the others behave differently around me. And I'm sure it's because I didn't have the silver glow in my eyes. I already knew that I was different, but that didn't mean that I was bad. So what was everybody getting worked up about?
Whatever it was, it has seriously impaired my ability to make friends. So I didn't have a lot of friends, hence, the seclusion in my room.
I've always shared my thoughts with my parents. But now as I grow older and learn more things, I started to question a lot of things, things that are accepted in society, but were a little weird in my eyes, things that shouldn't be questioned.
Why was everyone so nice and happy? Why did Souls care so much about each other and never question other Souls motives?---because the motives are always honorable. But then, why are their motives always honorable?
Could there be an opposite to that? There should be. Nothing would mean anything if the opposite didn't exist. Like in the desert for example. Water is very precious because we don't have a lot of available water. But in some parts of the world, water is a lot lower on their list of priorities because in other places, water is abundant.
But that's in terms of opposing necessities. When I say opposite, I wonder why it doesn't exist in the other sense of the word. Everyone in my world is always happy, but I don't think we fully comprehend the meaning of the word because we've never experienced ever being sad.
But what was the meaning of sad? If it's the opposite of being happy, then I'm sad. But I didn't know how to be sad. I'm the first person I know who's not happy. But why? Am I not contented? Am I not satisfied? What do I want?
I? How can I be so selfish? So bad?
I definitely couldn't say this to my parents. So I wrote it all in my diary. Everything I think of that's not supposed to be thought, I write it down there, things that I didn't need, but things that I wanted nonetheless.
I take my diary everywhere I go. And when I finish an entry, I close the notebook and never think of it again. I act the way I'm supposed to. I smile all the time and compliment everyone I meet. I even feel bad sometimes because some compliments are not entirely true. And I hate myself for lying. But I guess lying would be better than giving them the hurtful truth.
Can lying be so bad then if it was for a good cause?
I should really stop thinking this way. It's wrong. But am I hurting anyone?
"Honey?" My mom was calling me again. So I went downstairs.
"Honey, I'm going over the George's and buy some ice cream. What flavor would you like? Green Tea, I suppose?"
"Of course!" I answered. "I could go and get some for us, mom. You look like you couldn't stand the heat out there."
"Oh, my dear, you're quite right." She removed her hat and placed it on top of the table. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
I smiled warmly at her. My mother. "Quite sure, mom. Besides, you're the one who told me to get out more"
"I didn't mean that quite so literally, my dear."
"Just the same. I'll go now. See 'ya" I swiftly ran to the door, eager to tast the sun on my cheecks.
"You safety helmet, Earth Born!" My mom called over my shoulder. "Don't forget it!"
I picked up my helmet and raced to the sun. "Bye mom!"
* * *
The heat of the sun was piercing through my skin.
It was summer now in the desert, and that meant the weather is going to be more uncomfortable this afternoon. But my mom wanted some ice cream so I rode my bike to the nearest store, which was at the outskirts of town, unfortunately.
"Good morning George!" I said as I merrily walked through the glass doors of the store. I was eager to get my hands on a cold cup of freezing ice cream.
The store was empty of people and George was sitting luxuriously on a chair, watching TV. He looked up to me and smiled. "Well hello there, Earth Born! What can I do for you today?"
"Mom just wanted me to get some ice cream before heading back home. Strawberry's her favorite. Do you still have any of those?" I brought out my handkerchief and wiped away the sweat that framed my face.
"Of course!" He pointed at the refrigerators at his left. "There are a lot of flavors to choose from. Take anything you like."
"Thanks George." I swiftly went to the ice cream section and picked mom's Strawberry ice cream. Picking flavors is hard work! I deftly removed my safety helmet and lodged it on the floor so I could choose for freely.
Just then, the bell rang and the doors opened. Another customer has come. I didn't turn to greet the folks like George did because then, I saw the Green tea ice cream. I personally loved the Green Tea flavor so I got one for myself. Maybe dad wanted one too.
"Hey George, what flavor do you think dad would like?"
"Hmmm…" he stood up and went to where I was standing. "I think your father would love the Rocky-road flavor."
"Rocky Road it is, then." I picked the pint up and followed him to the counter. It was then that I saw the new comers. "Hi there! Hot day isn't it?"
The beautiful blonde girl with big silver eyes smiled at me. For a second, I was momentarily unable to think. She was dazzling. "Yes it is." She answered. Her voice sounded like bells ringing. "My partner and I were just about to get some ice cream too." And then her eyes widened as she looked at me closer.
I turned my attention to her partner. He was evidently older than her. He had dark hair but some whites were already showing. His lean figure indicated that he was very athletic and strong. I couldn't see his face though. He immediately went to the ice cream section. So I turned my face back to the pretty girl.
"I recommend the Green Tea. It's my favorite!"
"Th-thank you," the woman whispered. And she stood there frozen for a while as I went to the counter where George was already listing my items on a piece of paper.
"Tell you parents I said hi." George placed the goodies inside a paper bag.
"Will do, sir" I answered as he gave the paper bag to me.
"Wait! You forgot your spoon!"
"Oh I'm sorry, George." I said shyly. "Thanks" So I grabbed three plastic spoons from the counter. "I'll see you later!"
"Take care of yourself with that bike of yours!"
"Oh yeah" I nudged my head lightly. "My helmet!"
I hurriedly went to the ice cream section where the pair was talking softly to each other.
"Excuse me?" I said. Both turned to face me. "I forgot my hel---" I didn't finish the sentence because at that moment, only one pair of eyes were glowing the familiar glow. The other, a striking midnight blue, looked so much like mine.
Finally. Someone like me.
* * *
"What are you?" the girl asked. Her wide green eyes were filled with honest curiosity and a deep sadness. But most notably, she didn't have the silver glow in them. And yet, she had conversed lightly with the Soul in the counter.
Who am I to dissuade her? Who am I to tell her the truth about what she was when she was safer and more well off here in society than with us in the caves? Humans have become fables among the new generation. I'd bet she believes in the existence of rogue humans just as much as people believed in ghosts.
"I'm Wanderer." I told her the truth. It felt wrong to deny the truth to this girl. Ian turned his face away quickly and went out the door. "That was my partner, Ian"
She was looking after him. "I—I'm sorry to be rude. I need to speak to that man." Then, she picked up a safety helmet and hurried after him.
This was bad. I picked up the groceries we took and went over to the counter. "Hey there, George! I'm in a hurry. There's eight ice cream pints here. They're all Chocolate."
"All righty" He said as he wrote the items down on a piece of paper.
"Thank you!" Then I half ran to to the van filled with hungry humans.
* * *
"Sir! Excuse me, sir!" I called after the man. "My name is Earth Born. May I speak with you? Please?" But he didn't look at me.
"Go home, kid." He answered. He opened the door to his van and started the engine. From there I could see his eyes, and I was right. He was like me.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Wanderer hurrying pass me.
"Earth Born," She told me. "We have to go now. We'll just see you around. Okay?"
But I had the feeling that it wasn't true, that she was lying. "Liar." I said. "Who are you? What is he?" She was already in the car. It was maneuvering to head to the east where the lands stretched through without any sign of civilization.
"Please!" I begged. Tears were forming in my eyes. "Please! Tell me the truth!"
But the car and it's passengers didn't falter. I kept banging the sides of it. Not a very nice thing to do but I couldn't help myself. Suddenly the car stopped and the driver, the man, was looking at me. I wonder if it was rage that showed on his face.
This was the only chance I'm going to get. "What am I?"
And I was frozen in place as the car drove away.
* * *
"Did you get one for your father?" the stranger asked me. Who was she? My mother or a Soul who had conquered my mother?
The next minute, the doors bursted open. Then came a dozen or so Seekers, including my father. They were all ganged up and encircled me.
"Tony!" My mom shouted. "What is this?"
"The time has come, Lillian" Said one of the Seekers. "That daughter of yours have started showing signs of the human she is. We have to take her to The Facility along with the others."
"No!" My mom shouted. "No!"
"Others?" I whispered. "Others like me? Humans like me? Born in the perfect society of yours?" I spat at them. "I was taught many good things. But I cannot believe how much hypocrites you all are!"
Suddenly the men were trying to get a hold of me. "Let go of me, you…you parasites! You, you murderers! You've taken a world that's not for you!"
"Earth Born, no!" My mom said. She was crying.
"You're the monsters!" I kept shouting. I knew all about the fabled humans. How it was their demise that brought the Souls this home.
"Shoot her!" I recognized the voice. Dad.