When The Air Strikes

By Mariya Nadeem All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Adventure

Torn Vocal Cords

28

Luke must have had a hard time telling the truth to the team all by himself. Not deliberately, but I couldn’t do anything. I’d temporarily lost my voice. A loud shriek formed in my bowel, cutting everything on its way out. I had lost everything. For a moment it irritated me how Ain wouldn’t laugh even when we tried so hard, but now I hated myself for it. Because I was one of them, I had become Ain in a split second. I was officially a child of war.

I still blame my presence for infiltrating the shield of goodness that the team members formed, but if it is any consolation, I did pay a huge price.

“Oh yeah,” my dad shouts scoring a goal. We’re at a beach. I think he knows but I let him score it because with his clumsy ways he’d never be able to do it. “Okay, now come here. Lunch is ready,” my mom’s voice shoots across the sunshine. Her long dyed hair blows in the wind. Dad picks me up and turns me upside down. We both laugh as the sea shells from my pockets scatter all around. There’s nobody at the beach except us. That’s when I see it- there’s another man swimming in the ocean. He has to be the only one around. The lunch is delicious but I don’t give one damn about it. All I want to do is look at my beautiful parents. The beautiful parents who left a sack of questions unanswered at my feet. I begin asking my mom questions, but not the ones i need to.

“How big is the ocean?”

“Not as big as your will to swim across it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Very?”

“Will you be here when I’m done swimming back and forth?”

“Of course, honey.”

That’s when the man in the ocean calls me. When I focus at him I realize he’s Andrew. He waves madly at me. “Don’t be gone too long,” my dad says and I stick my tongue out at him. He smiles at me and I wish I could have frozen that moment, but I walk away. Just as I am about to put both my feet in the cold water, I hear it. A huge meteor like thing falls on the exact spot that my parents had their stuff laid across.

All my nightmares end the same way, even the best of my dreams do.

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