The Seven – Chapter 1
It is said that on the seventh full moon of the year of the Strexlar comet, the power lines are stronger than ever. The comet only passes once every ninety-eight years. Those with the ability to harness the power use this time to their advantage. It is a long and dangerous eighteen months for those without power.
I woke up in a haze of confusion. My eyes fluttered in the brightness above me. I blinked through the fluorescent light, taking in my surroundings. The eerily white walls and the narrow bed I laid in gave little indication to my location. Tubes and wires connected to me in various places. I tried to sit up, but as soon as I lifted my head, searing pain shot through me like no headache I’ve ever had.
“Don’t try to move,” a woman’s voice said from my left.
She moved around and stood where I could see. Dressed in an all-white jumpsuit, she typed into the small, wrist-keyboard that was required of all medical workers. In the floating screen above the device, I saw my name, birthday, and too many numbers to make sense from this angle. The glowing digits made my head spin. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping for the pain to ease even the tiniest fraction.
Why am I in a hospital?
The nurse stopped typing and asked me to look at her. She pulled out a small flashlight to observe my eyes, then felt my wrist for a pulse.
“Hmm…” she said as she mentally counted the beats of my heart. “That’s still pretty high.”
After typing in the results, she flipped the small cover over the keyboard, which turned off the projected screen. I tried to look around again, but the room was bare. There was no one else around or anything to tell me why I was there.
“Wha—” I cleared my dry throat before trying again. “What happened?”
My scratchy voice told me it hadn’t been used in a while. How long have I been here? As if reading my thoughts, the nurse grabbed a pitcher of water and poured it into a glass.
“You don’t remember?” she asked, bringing the cup over. After mumbling that I didn’t, she put the straw to my mouth and continued hesitantly, “You were in an accident. There was an explosion. Your sister…”
She trailed off, but as soon as she mentioned my sister, I could see it.
We sat in her apartment. It wasn’t anything fancy, but as the eldest of eight girls, she did better than most of the family. I finished class early and decided to stop by to visit. We had always been close, but with my new school being near her, we spent more time together and got along better than ever. We had eaten dinner and were chatting when my phone rang. I stepped out on the fire escape to answer, and when I came back, a dark figure stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t understand what I saw, but then my sister’s still body on the bed registered. Without thinking, I ran to her and noticed a weird, glowing, blue light. As I reached her, it grew too bright…
I choked on my water, and the nurse set it to the side before patting my chin dry with a hand towel. The fragmented memory ended too soon and too fuzzy. None of it made sense.
Then it hit me. Her words. “Where is my sister?”
The nurse looked down, afraid to say what I already knew was coming. She twisted the towel in her hand. When she sighed and met my eyes, my pulse pounded in my ears. I started to shake my head before she even opened her mouth. I didn’t want it to be true, but I could feel it.
“Kira, I’m so sorry. They’re saying the explosion was too close to her. There wasn’t a body…” the nurse replied quietly as she reached out to hold my hand. She squeezed it as she told me, “Your sister is presumed dead.”
The world spun again and I closed my eyes. My chest felt too tight—the breath stilled in my lungs.
Of course, there wasn’t a body, I thought. But the explosion wasn’t just too close.
She was the explosion.