The Shimmer Project

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Number 5

Caleb sat opposite me sipping a coffee, he kept his eyes on me. There were a few more people in the café, most were running around the streets. I didn’t know why, but I was happy with Caleb, he made me happy, made me laugh. He told me a little about his life but not much, apparently not much had happened. I didn’t tell him much about me, I tried to tell him the truth, but that was hard. I made him understand that it was not a topic I wanted chat about. He didn’t insist much more.

He and I had been hanging out for a few days, watching the citizens running around happily excited with the radical change in their lives. I heard so many rumors around the war, nuclear bomb? Germans? Aliens? Ghosts?

I had taken to wearing hats, I hid my hair up in it and wore sunglasses. I could walk by policemen and they would never know. They were pretty preoccupied though, after their big loss of workers. The new men were the SATs. I recognized their guns. Special guns designed to kill us with poison.

The more time I spent with Caleb the more I needed to kill. My powers grew when I was around him, I was in constant pain. I started to wonder if it wasn’t me who had killed our mother, maybe it was her powers. Maybe after sixteen years they grow too strong and there’s nothing you can do to numb them. I tried not to think about it. I concentrated on Caleb and his smile.

I went out at night, killing as I went. I traveled further than before, covering up my murders amazingly. I never killed in town anymore or around it. I made everything look like an accident or like someone else did it.

I didn’t want to kill Caleb though, it was the first time I had ever felt like that. I couldn’t kill him. He meant too much to me. My powers didn’t push me so much when I was around him, only when we separated that I started burning up.

Every time I saw him my heart pounded in my chest and my breath caught I my throat. I couldn’t move my eyes away from his. I couldn’t spend time without him, every time he left I was daydreaming about him. We laughed a lot together, and I was happy. Happy with Vigidis and Concordia. We hadn’t fought in a long while. All because of Caleb. Our savior, mine especially.

Caleb smiled sipping his coffee, he set it down again and looked me in the eyes.

“ You know what?” he demanded.

“ What?” I challenged gazing into his sparkling eyes. He chuckled darkly.

“ I really don’t like this coffee,” he admitted, I burst out laughing and soon he was too.

“ Well. I don’t mind it,” I answered. “ I didn’t get a lot of it at home.” I added a little quieter. He gaze me a curiously look.

“ At home huh,” he shrugged once. “ How ’bout these cookies?” he held up a chocolate chip cookie. I laughed shaking my head.

“ I actually can’t stand chocolate. I just found out like a month ago. Sugar. It’s not my thing,” I replied. Caleb grinned at me.

“ I really don’t get that. Chocolate and girls. Why is it girls like chocolate so much?” I arched my brows and leaned towards him slightly.

“ Beats me,” I admitted then shrugged. “ Vi loves chocolate.”

“ What about Concordia?”

“ I don’t think she has a very strong opinion about chocolate.”

“ You do,” he gazed into my eyes calmly. I nodded giving him a half smile.

“ I have a strong opinion about everything,” I admitted then laughed tossing my head back.

“ You know, if this café is so bad. What are we doing here?” Caleb demanded his eyes sparking.

“ You’re not gonna pay are you?” I guessed, he shook his head slowly grinning.

“ At three we run for it,” I bit down on my bottom lip to stop from giggling and nodded.

“ One…two.”

“ Three!” I shouted suddenly and shot up form the table. Caleb scrambled to his feet and we took off down the street. I could hear the waiter calling after us, cursing. Caleb and I were laughing so hard we had to stop running. I smashed into him as I toppled over with giggles. His arm wrapped around my waist to support me and stop me from falling in the ground. We were leaning against a tall building, people were giving us small smiles. We didn’t say anything, we just both thought it at the same time. We took off running again, laughing at the same time. Caleb ran faster, but I kept a good pace just behind him. I wasn’t paying attention to my speed though. I was laughing too much for that. We arrived at the beach, the dunes. The lower beach was crowed with people, but the dunes were practically empty. Caleb and I ran across them, the wind whipping against our faces. My hat was ripped off violently. My long silvery hair fell out and trailed behind me as I ran. I gasped still racked with giggles as I jogged back to get my hat. Somehow Caleb got there first and snatched it from the sand first. He grinned at me and held it out. I reached for it but he pulled back just in time. I gasped in surprise. He was grinning, I gazed up into his eyes the corner of my mouth lifting.

“ Aren’t you gonna give me my hat?” he cocked his head to one side and then grabbed my shoulder gently. He pulled me a little closer to him then fitted the hat back on my head leaving my hair out. But I had understood his game. Probably a game he had been playing all his life. I grabbed his sunglasses from his head and took off with them. I heard him swear and run after me. I headed down the dune, falling more than running. But I was laughing too hard to care. Caleb caught me at the bottom, he grabbed my wrist and twirled me towards him. I tried to pull away but he was too strong. I bent over protecting the glasses with my body. He wrapped one arm securely around my waist and made a grab for the glasses. I giggled and collapsed onto the sand. He rolled next to me grabbing the glasses out of my hand. I lay back giving up, my hair was already full of sand. Caleb was sitting up fitting his glasses back on his face laughing at the same time. I gazed up at him, his hair looked brown in the sunlight. He glanced at me his glasses back on and grinned.

“ Nice try girlie,” he teased, I grinned and shoved him gently. He laughed and stood up. I sat up slowly and reached towards him. He hesitated for a second grinning then grabbed my hand and pulled me up easily. I brushed myself off grinning.

“ Where’s your hat?” he asked bluntly looking around. I tapped my head then gasped. I couldn’t see it anywhere. I turned around in circles for a few seconds until I realized Caleb was laughing. I turned on him my eyes narrowing, my grin widening. He held my hat above his head, way out of my reach. But I went for it anyway. Jumping up and falling against him to get it back. He roared with laughter then finally had mercy and handed it back to me.

We moved back towards town slowly, I hid my hair up into the hat again.

“ I like you Eris,” Caleb told me as we walked. I smiled at him my gaze warm.

“ Well that’s good. I like you too,” Caleb smiled as well running his hand through his dark hair.

“ I like the way you’re so silent, but you’re strong huh. You’ve been through hard times but you know how to laugh. Plus I like how you’re great fun, you do and say crazy things. You’re beautiful too and just so kind,” his tone was serious, his hand reached over to me slowly and touched mine as we moved forward very slowly. I didn’t move, I just watched as his hand stroked mine. My heart rate was accelerating.

“ Uh thanks,” I bit down on my bottom lip. Caleb laughed.

“ Eris can I try something?” he asked. I cocked my head to one side. We’d stopped.

“ Depends what it is,” he smiled and leaned towards me. I watched his hand pull away from mine gently and reach up to touch my cheek. I let him stroke it.

“ How did you get this skin?” he murmured. I smiled again.

“ My mother,” I breathed confused. He nodded slowly then drew back blinking.

“ What is it?” I asked realizing I was enjoying his hand against my skin. I wanted him to touch me again. Caleb glanced at me shyly.

“ Don’t you understand?” I frowned.

“ Understand? Understand what?”

“ Nothing,” he shook his head slowly. “ Nothing I was being stupid. You are way out of my league.”

“ League? What league. Caleb?” he was starting away again. Confused I followed him taking a few fast skips to keep up.

“ Caleb I’m confused,” I admitted as I caught up with him. He laughed bitterly.

“ Obviously. I’m sorry. Listen I was being stupid.”

“ Why? Caleb please explain,” he glanced at me.

“ I’d love to Eris. But I’m just not sure it’s the right thing to do.”

“ Caleb please tell me.”

“ Eris I uh…” he blushed slightly. I held up my hand shushing him as two SAT men dressed as policemen appeared at the far end of the street. They were walking slowly towards me their eyes wide and weary. I glanced around at the large buildings. I couldn’t walk back, I hated seeing the assault team. Even though I was wearing my usual disguise it didn’t cover my skin and different way of dressing.

“ Damn,” I swore. “ I’m sorry Caleb.”

“ What do you mean?” my eyes clouded as I faced the assault team.

“ Eris do you still want me to show you?” Caleb demanded shaking my shoulders I looked at him surprised.

“ Caleb not now I…” I didn’t have time to finish. Suddenly he grabbed my waist and swirled me so his back was against the building wall. His hand slipped around my waist pulling me against him and his mouth pressed gently against mine. I was too surprised to move. He was kissing me, harder, more vigorously, passionately. I felt like I was falling, a weird, eccentric feeling filled me, my heart beat like a maniac and my breath was coming fast. I allowed my hand to reach up into his soft black hair. I didn’t know how long our kiss lasted. He tasted sweet and his skin was soft, smooth where he had just shaved. He smelt wonderful as well, like some fragrant old building, mint. Fresh. My eyes were closed. We could have been there for hours, days I wouldn’t have noticed. I couldn’t even feel my powers in the pit of my stomach.

When Caleb pulled back I held on to his shirt my eyes wide. He smiled.

“ Are they gone?” I whispered, my breath still coming in small gasps.

“ They left while ago,” he answered his grip tightening again. This time I was ready, I pulled him closer to me brushing my lips against his. He smiled before kissing me again. Again I was falling, everything was churning, disappearing, we were the only people left. I felt my powers pounding in me, filling me with such joy. They didn’t burn, they warmed me. I had never felt this way before. When he let me go again my eyes had clouded over completely black.

“ Eris?” I blinked letting it fade.

“ Uh yes,” my voice was small, full of emotion. He smiled and stroked my cheek again.

“ You’re really weird did you know that?” I laughed tossing my head back.

“ Yeah. People have mentioned that before,” he kept his hand tightly around my waist and started down the street. We didn’t talk, I just let him lead me all the way back to the beach. It was close to empty, some people were mingling around on it. Some even in the water. I sat down in the warm sand on one of the dunes, Caleb lay down next to me his hand in mine. I gazed towards the sun, it made my head swirl so I looked back at Caleb, he had the same effect on me, only in a nice way. I smiled and lay down as well resting my head on his chest. He slowly pulled my cap off and let my hair tumble white onto the sand. I felt him stroking it slowly. I smiled, never had anyone touched me like he did, never had anyone’s touch feel so nice. I hadn’t even realized I liked him that much.

Caleb took me to dinner that night. We went to a small restaurant that I hadn’t even noticed before, it was almost full but the waitress seemed happy to serve us. We ate simple but good food. Caleb chatted non-stop grinning, I had never seen him so happy. After our dinner I followed him back to our apartment building with his arm tightly wound around my waist. It felt good there, like it had always belonged.

He gave me a kiss goodnight then I slipped into my apartment. Almost as soon as he disappeared my powers shot through me. They stung, pushing me to kill, destroy. I moaned pulling my cap off and letting my hair flow down. My eyes were flashing dangerously. I could hear Vigidis and Concordia arguing in another room. I rubbed my temples as I walked towards them. I frowned watching them stuffing clothes into their bags.

“ What are you doing?” I managed my head spinning as my powers filled me. My eyes clouded and I scowled. Vi looked at me surprised.

“ Eris what is it?” she asked slowly taking a step back. I tried blinking my powers away but I had no choice. I had to kill tonight. My powers had never longed for death so strongly; I had never longed for death so strongly.

“ Where have you been?” Concordia demanded still stuffing clothes in her bag.

“ With Caleb,” I frowned. “ What are you doing?”

“ Leaving,” she snapped angrily.

“ What?” I cried grabbing her bag. “ You can’t leave? Why are you leaving? If we leave we’ll never find peace!” Concordia snorted.

“ Find peace? You’ve been right all along Eris. We’re just specimen remember. We’ll never find peace. We’ll destroy everything in our paths. We have to leave here before they hunt us down and kill us.”

“ What happened?” I demanded.

“ I got recognized. By those weird policemen. They started shooting at me in the street!”

“ Did you kill them?”

“ No, not in front of every one. I ran then followed them and killed them when they were out of sight.”

“ But. Sure it’s bad but don’t you want to live here?”

“ Live here? Where we’ll be hunted and killed! No way!” Concordia cried.

“ Where are you going to go then?”

“ I don’t know. I’ll take the train. Somewhere far away. I’ll keep moving.”

“ But that’s not what you wanted,” Concordia turned towards me scowling.

“ What I want means nothing Eris. God what is it with you? We’re not even humans! Now go pack your bag,” I started at her wide-eyed.

“ Pack my bag! I’m not packing anything! I’m not leaving!” Concordia started at me in awe.

“ What?” Vigidis uttered. “ Eris this is the right thing to do.”

“ If it was the right thing to do I’d feel good about it,” I answered stiffly.

“ You’ve never felt good about anything,” Concordia retorted. I glared at her.

“ That’s not true,” I answered quietly then swirled on my heels and marched off.

“ Where are you going?” Vigidis called after me.

“ Out!” I screamed back.

“ Out to commit another murder! It’s all your fault Eris!” Concordia shouted after me. I screamed my eyes turned black, I didn’t need to see her, I used my powers, stronger than usual, to propel her against the wall. I started sending furniture at her all the while keeping her pinned on the wall. She screamed out in pain.

“ Eris stop it!” Vigidis cried her eyes stinging with tears. What was the problem? I cried out again then let Concordia drop to the floor.

“ Don’t ever say that again, or I swear. I. Will. Kill. You,” I threatened before leaving the apartment.

I jumped on the first person in the road, a lady talking on the phone.

“ Hey!” I called out to her my hair out and shimmering in the moonlight. I was glowing slightly. She peered at me curiously, her blue eyes wide.

“ What is it hon?” she demanded. I blinked once letting my eyes turn black, she wasn’t stupid, she knew what was going on. She let out a horrible shrill cry that I broke off sending her into the wall on an empty alley. She lay limp and unmoving on the cold black road. I stood over her then squatted down and ripped her head up. She mouth was covered in blood and her nose and crushed. She started at me with wide scared eyes.

“ Oh please. Please don’t kill me,” she begged. I gave her a sour look.

“ If I could stop myself I would,” I told her standing up again. I twisted one of her legs and cracked the bone. She screamed, I sent a rock in her mouth to shut her up.

“ Life is cruel,” I told her. Then I ripped one of her arms off. She withered in agony spitting the rock out.

“ Please. You’re so young. Don’t be rash. You’re young enough to be my daughter! I could be your mother,” I paused and squatted next to her face. She started at me.

“ My mother? Just to let you know, my mother is dead. And surprise surprise I was the one to kill her.”

“ I’m sorry,” the lady murmured, I chuckled darkly.

“ Don’t be. I’m sorry. I hate having to do this. You see I don’t actually have a choice. My mother was tortured all her life just because of who she was. And you know what. Me too.”

“ I’m very sorry to hear that. Maybe I can help you. I’m a lawyer,” I snorted and shook my head.

“ There’s nothing you can do for me. Nothing anyone can do for me,” Caleb. Maybe Caleb could, but he only made things worse.

“ I’m sure…”

“ I don’t even belong to myself. I was born in captivity, I belong to another man. I’m sorry. You know too much,” I started walking away.

“ No! Please! Don’t leave me here!” I turned slowly casting my eyes downward.

“ I can’t help it,” I told her as her wrist slid open. She cried out but her blood loss was too strong. She was dead in minutes. I picked her body up and placed it against the wall. I gazed down at her, she had been a nice person. She could have saved people. I just killed her. My whole body was racked with guilt, I screamed, my powers taking control of my body. I bolted away to the beach. Why was it the only place where I could find peace?

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