Saturday, September 19, 2015

Crossed Off: Leaf on the Wind (Part XI)

Click here for the entire story.

Eight hours into the trip, they were near Chicago, and Starla woke up confused. She tried working things out in her head, but was having trouble making the necessary connections of logic. “We...um, so.”
“Yes?” Alec asked.
“Why are we trying to leave again?”
“Because you can walk again, and we have no medical way to explain that to others.”
“But we can trust Marissa.”
“We can, but not her parents. They don’t know about your ability, remember?”
“Right, right,” Starla remembered, and thought this over for the next ten minutes or so. “My parents don’t know about me either.”
He exhaled deeply. “I know that. I knew we had to leave, but I don’t know where we’re going.”
“Yeah,” she agreed. “But you’ve been driving too long. Pull over and get some sleep. I’ll drive for a little bit.”
“That’s too risky.”
“You said that I wouldn’t go back to the way I was as long as I stayed in my body.”
“I may have jumped the gun one that one,” Alec admitted.
Can I join the party? Jackson, one of Starla’s psychic confidants, asked of her through a connection. He was the only one of her friends who was somehow capable to sending his consciousness to her without her prompting. They thought maybe he had the same ability, but he was unable to replicate the phenomenon with anyone else. Alec called this some kind of statistic; that one in eight people were possibly capable of such a thing, but just had no way to attempting it. Starla just called it a happy accident.
She yawned before responding since her brain was tired and muddled. What party?
Everyone is introducing you to people with special abilities. Only Cam and I are left, Jackson replied.
She laughed out loud, then began to translate the conversation to Alec. “Who do you have for me?”
A whole group, Jackson said with excitement. The rest of them are out on a mission, but one of them had some business back here in England.
“A mission? They work for the government too?”
No. They formed their own organization. Apparently one of them turned evil...or was always evil? I’m not entirely sure. But he can fly.
“The evil guy?”
No, the one I met.
“Starla,” Alec jumped in. “I don’t know that you should be talking to him like that. You could relapse.
“My brain is still in my body,” Starla argued. “His is the one that’s moved. I should be fine.”
“You should be fine,” Alec began, “but there was also no real reason for your recovery. We don’t know what’s happening. We have to be careful.”
“I still need to talk to my friends, dad,” she spat.
“Your funeral,” was all he said.
And then it happened. She lost feeling in her toes, and then her feet, and then all the way up her legs. But then it continued. Her stomach felt stiff, and her heart was beating slower than normal. She shook her neck out of instinct, but the feeling there was lost too. Before she had the chance to say something out loud, she stopped being able to speak a word. She was fully locked in.
Alec began screaming at her in slow motion. She couldn’t react, and she couldn’t respond. He pulled over and tried to examine her, but there was nothing he could do. She thought she heard him say something about hospital, but the words were too hard to make out, and she was drifting away.
She felt herself floating in the air. No, not floating. Flying. The winds rushed under her chest and through her legs. But they weren’t hers. She was in the body of someone else. The name was Arnett. Gus Arnett. He was smiling and soaring along the White Cliffs of Dover. They felt familiar and comforting, just like Cumberland Island. She smiled along with him, and they did not speak to each other. They just kept flying. She didn’t know how she had formed a psychic connection with someone she knew of, but had not met, but it was a gift. After all this time of being unable to control her own body, this was more than a step up. She was a leaf on the wind. No one could catch her. No one could stop her. She could die happy, for she had experienced this.
After her flight session was over, she moved across the world to see her friends one last time. Tristan and Kathleen were having a meeting with Denton, Magnus Shapiro, and Ling in Kansas City. Sendoa was at orientation for his new job at the cloner’s factory in Brazil, Indiana. Marissa was back in Winnipeg, trying to get ahold of Alec to ask him where he and Starla were. Karam and his husband were on their way from Egypt to Finland, hoping to track down the three people with special abilities that Starla had met. Yenifer and Chantal were in some kind of Confederacy quarantine together, hopeful that they would get out soon, but fearful that they might never be let free. Jackson was watching Gus fly back to the ground. Cam was tutoring Quang, one of her students in Vietnam, but it looked more like she was learning from him.
Starla’s body remained under observation in a hospital in Chicago for a few days before being moved closer to her parents. After some renovations, her family had successfully built a tiny little medical facility in her old bedroom. It was fully equipped with everything she would need to live as comfortably as possible. But still, she ended up spending the next several months sharing Cam’s body with her as she went about her life. It was just too painful for her to remain in her own immovable body. She had been rendered completely paralyzed, and didn’t even have control over her eyes. But one day, she felt an unusual sensation, and returned to her body to have a look. She found herself in the middle of being murdered. Click here for the next installment...

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