Rise of the Savior: Acolyte of Truth

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Chapter 4

Over at Logan’s household, everything is calm. Amanda sits cross-legged on her bed in her karate outfit, meditating. Saira walks into the room with an apple in her mouth and her laptop in her hand and sits on the bed.

Amanda opens one of her eyes and smirks. “What’s up, little sister? Did you come to wish your big sister good luck?”

Saira takes a bite of her apple. “Nope.”

Amanda opens both eyes curiously. “Then why the hell did you come in here?”

Saira takes another bite of her apple. “Mom forced me to.”

Amanda gets off the bed and kneels in front of her sister to look her in the eyes. “Do you love me? Because I love you.”

“Why do you love me?”

Amanda puts her hand on her sister’s knee, eyes full of joy. “Because you’re my sister!”

Saira’s face remains unreadable as she types on her laptop. “If I weren’t your sister, would you still love me?”

Amanda broods. “Probably not. You’re so smart that you treat us badly. You’re a jerk. We’re your family, and when no one else has your back, we will. Stop saying you don’t want to be around us and actually hangout with us. Show us you care, because if something happens to us, you’re going to end up with someone bad who’s not going to put up with your mouth.”

“So, titles determine your emotions toward people? Titles mean nothing to me and will never control my emotions. I neither love you or dislike you, and I feel the same way about everyone. Everything you love will die, leaving you hurt, broken, and pitiful. That’s something I don’t have to worry about. I no longer feel anything. I walk around like a robot, constantly processing information, thinking outside the box, and trying to figure out my purpose and what I am. Take my advice: it’s better to not love and guard your feelings than to love, lose, and constantly be reminded of things you once had that you’ll never see again. So, when I say that the further away everyone is from me, the better off they will be, I’m only protecting you and your feelings.”

“Why do you think you’re some type of plague? We’re all adults, and we live and die by our own decisions. You’re going to make me cry. Is that how you really feel about me? Sisters aren’t supposed to say that to other sisters. You’re breaking my heart!” Amanda covers her eyes and begins to cry.

“Sorry, I misspoke. Let me be clearer. Staying away from me is keeping you all safe,” Saira says in her soft, low monotone.

“Safe from what?” Amanda weeps.

“The blue deity with feathers that’s behind you.”

Amanda hesitantly turns around only to find nothing.

“Amanda, get dressed! We have to leave early. I need to make some runs,” Logan screams from downstairs.

Amanda is only pretending to cry, and her face straightens up. “These runs are getting ridiculous. When I get back from winning this tournament, that attitude had better be different.” Amanda walks out the room.

***

Amanda sits in the car in her karate outfit with a beat-up face.

Logan’s face is fixed with disappointment as he stares at the road. “Really, Amanda? You lose in the first round? It didn’t even look like you tried out there.”

“I did try, and now I have a black eye. I’m never fighting again. If someone slaps me, I’ll just turn the other cheek and let them slap that one too, and hopefully they won’t pound me into the ground after that.” Amanda crosses her arms and looks out the window.

“What do you mean, you don’t want to fight anymore? Just because you lose one fight doesn’t mean you have to give up. Just get stronger and faster, work on your technique, then go back and win. Even the greatest fighters in history lost more than once.”

“Yeah, and all that punching had demonstrable effects on their brains. Saira already thinks I’m dumb. I’m not getting hit anymore. I probably have PTSD now,” Amanda frets.

“De—what? Look, it’s not your fault; it’s mine for not listening to your mother. She knew this was going to happen.”

“Wait, Mom said I was going to lose?” Amanda whines.

“Yeah! I was shocked when she said that too. I had a little more faith in you, though. But it’s in the past now. You somewhat know how to defend yourself now, so some good came out of this experience.” He looks over at Amanda and sees her crying. “What can I do to make you happy right now?”

“Buy me some French fries, please,” Amanda sniffles.

“French fries you want and fries you will get.” Logan makes a right turn. He looks out the windshield and sees storm clouds brewing in the sky. “We’re going to have to skip the fries today. The news forecast didn’t mention rain today.”

Amanda looks up and sees something floating way up in the clouds. She squints—it looks like someone dancing gracefully. All the storm clouds migrate toward the person in the sky. “Dad, I think Storm from X-Men is floating in the sky.” The person goes higher in the sky, out of view.

Logan looks up and doesn’t see anything. “You probably got some eye floaters from getting punched so much.”

“Dad, that’s not funny,” she whines.

“Don’t yell at me! I wasn’t telling a joke!”

“Pretty sure there was a woman.” Amanda turns back toward the window. “Never mind, she’s gone now.”

Heavy rain begins to pour from the sky, and the car starts to hydroplane, making Logan lose control. The two of them panic until the car comes to a stop facing the wrong side of the road.

“Shit, what type of rain is this? It’s like we’re sitting under a waterfall. I can’t see!” Logan exclaims. Just as he finishes speaking, there’s a screeching of tires, and the last thing Amanda sees before her world outside the windows turns upside-down is a blue truck smashing into the side of their car.

Water begins to rise rapidly from the unusual amount of rain, creating a flash flood within minutes. The passenger side of the vehicle is facing up, and both are unconscious. Amanda comes to first and immediately starts gasping for air and coughing. She looks to the left to prevent water from going into her nose from all the rain coming through the broken window. Once she’s able to breathe again, she screams out in pain. Amanda feels something sharp digging into her side and reaches down, wincing. The shard of glass she pulls out is coated in blood.

“Dad!” she screams out. She sees he is unconscious and the water is getting ready to engulf his head. “Dad!”

Amanda tries to unfasten her seatbelt, but it’s stuck. The ground shifts from the rain, and the car ends up on its roof. Water continues to fill up until Amanda and her father’s heads are engulfed in it. Amanda tries to hold her breath for as long as she can, but inevitably inhales water. She begins to drown, but suddenly the car is picked up off the ground and set in an upright position on its tires.

The driver’s door is ripped off, and water pours out of it. Logan is freed and pulled out. Then, the passenger door is pulled off, and more water pours out of her side. Amanda begins coughing and throwing up. She fades in and out of conscious but manages to see a furry brown hand rip apart her seat belt.

“Do you want my help?” a female voice asks with a sense of urgency. Amanda doesn’t respond. “Say yes!” she pleads.

“Yes,” Amanda says faintly.

Her arm is grabbed by the furry hand, and after being pulled from the car and thrown onto a shoulder padded with fur, Amanda feels the pressure and pain of something biting into her arm. The pain from the bite keeps her conscious long enough to see a tail wagging and then her world goes dark.

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