Hidden Souls

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The Hudson

The back of the military truck is dark and crowded with boxes. A soldier sits across from me rigidly, watching closely for any movement I might make. His head is buzzed, but from the slight stubble sticking out of his hat I can tell he's a blonde. There's a tattoo peeking out from the top of his uniform that travels up his neck and to his cheek. I think it might be a dragon. He's strong and wasn't gentle in the slightest while taking me. My shoulders burn slightly from how hard he had grasped them and my wrists sting from behind my back where they're cuffed.

Harsh rain against metal is the only noise to be heard. My heart seems to want to match the rhythm of the outside droplets with how hard its pounding. I have to focus hard on my breathing so I don't begin to hyperventilate.

They took my brother too. He's a year past the age range but that didn't stop them from shoving him into a separate van. My parents fought relentlessly against the ten or so SIF'ers that trampled into the apartment. They couldn't do much. Within seconds we were all being held face first against the floor. Their screams of disapproval and rage were the last things I heard as they forcefully took us away.

I have no idea where we are going. No one knows. SIFA has always been a secretive organization. All I know is that they have facilities scattered all over the country, at least that's what I've heard. They take the creatures they find there and once they go in, they never come out.

It was crazy how fast the organization was put together. The curfew, creature clinics and so-called facilities were set up in a matter of days after the Awakening. Conspiracies say that the worlds governments were the ones who let magic loose in the first place. That they needed a way to bring the population down that didn't put the obvious blame on them, but no one really knows.

The car comes to halt, jolting me out of my thoughts and nearly out of my seat.

"What's going on?" I ask the guard frantically.

"Shut up or I'll put a muzzle on you." He spits and stands up. His hand is resting on the holster of his gun as he makes his way to the back of the tented truck.

We zoom forward just before he can lift the flap, nearly causing him to fall out. We start moving quickly, taking sharp twists and turns.

"What the hell?" the guard yells and goes to the front of the truck, opening a slot to talk to the driver. "Drive straight, idiot!"

"We've got followers!" the driver shouts and makes another sharp turn.

"I'll shoot their wheels then." The guard says and takes his gun out.

The man in the passenger seat reaches through the slot and grabs his wrist. "They're not in a car, they're on foot." He says and takes the man's gun to the front with him.

I see the guard's eyes widen and he turns towards me. He grits his teeth then returns to the back of the car.

As he lifts up the flap to look outside, I see an opportunity and I'll be damned if I don't take it. He never shackled my feet.

I bring my knees to my chest then with all my strength kick his backside. Luckily, I have enough force and he goes flying out, taking a part of the tent with him. It must've been held on by buttons or something. The man fades quickly from my vision as we continue driving.

Rain and mud begin to splash onto me from the road. A fastmoving figure appears to be running behind us, it seems inhuman with the way it maneuvers through the streets flawlessly. Something large is hanging off of its back, which I assume to be a cape or hood of some kind.

Gun shots start ringing out through the air and the figure disappears.

The driver and passenger haven't noticed what I've done yet, so I stand up and use my head to shut the slider. Hopefully they're too focused on whatever's following us to acknowledge that there is now one less passenger aboard. Soon to be two.

I look around the vehicle to try and find something to unlock my cuffs. There isn't much in here besides for wooden boxes. They're all nailed shut so essentially are useless to me. As I'm searching, I notice my back pack hidden under the bench the guard was sitting on. I thought they left it at the apartment after they ripped it off of me. I turn around and pick it up, groaning when I realize I didn't pack anything to help me out of my restraints.

Ugh! Jumping out of a car is already bad enough, doing it with no hands is a million times worse.

I step up on the tailgate and prepare myself to jump. Before I'm able to the truck halts and throws me onto my back. There's a moment of silence where all I can hear is my groans of pain from the air being knocked out of me.

In a split second the truck is flying through the air, me along with it. We're slammed into something hard and it doesn't take long for me to know that it's water. The Hudson floods in around me. I'm able to get a quick breath in before I'm completely submerged.

My legs are the only things that are allowing me to swim. I kick hard but I can no longer tell which way is up or even how to get out of the vehicle; the waters too dark and my limbs are becoming stiff from the cold.

A heavy weight presses on my chest, telling me I need to breath. Everything begins to convulse and I fight harder to get air. It's difficult to tell when my eyes officially close because of the darkness already surrounding me.

I'm only partly conscious when I feel a hand grasp onto my elbow and pull me through the water. The cold rushes past me and soon I'm flying through the air. I'm thrown against the ground brutally, which knocks the water out of my lungs and onto the pavement.

I cough viciously, the air coming in and water coursing out getting caught in my throat. My chest burns and my head aches miserably.

Finally -after what seems like an eternity- my breathing evens out and my vision focuses slightly. Black combat boots come into my view, droplets sliding down the sides of them.

My gaze travels upwards where I find who I believe to be the stranger that was following the truck. Thanks to the street lights I can now clearly see her. What I had thought to be a cape or hood, is actually a pair of large white wings. They are magnificent and match her short platinum hair perfectly. Her features are sharp and her nose piercing only accentuates them.

When our eyes meet, the wings on her back fold in on themselves and disappear. She gives me a slight glare and folds her arms across her chest, making the many pieces of jewelry on her neck jingle.

"Congrats." She says dejectedly. "You've just been liberated."

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