Travis. I know the name, but I'm not sure how I know it.
His look spark something inside my brain, but I'm not sure what. Is it his eyes I am familiar with—a form of Brink's blue? What is he wearing--cargo pants? A navy jacket? Something about his character is so unbelievably tangible, but when would I have ever crossed someone like him? Nobody looks like he does around here. He's a complete outsider.
I'm confused. My brain hurting.
Travis's eyes jab into mine like serrated daggers, giving me a full-on view of his dirty, cut up, and bruised face. What's happened to him? I move slowly over to his side, but he flinches away when I reach out to him. His gleaming, silver reinforcements refrain him from yanking free.
"Somehow, I know you, Travis," I say, and glance at Stella and Brink for some backup, some explanation, but they remain quiet. I guess I'm on my own. "Can you speak?"
Spiteful eyes return to me, and I'd retract if I wasn't so curious, so willing to understand the connection I feel toward him. "You're alive, and I couldn't care less," he responds.
His voice triggers something deep within me. Suddenly, my brain is swirling with information, with lights and sounds I haven't heard in forever.
I see trees, a cornfield, and a campfire. Green. I see tons of green. Grass, bushes, moss. There's a house. A solid, yellow-paneled home, sitting next to a matching barn on a large patch of farmland. A woman is gardening. A man is under the hood of a truck. There's a horse grazing in the yard. The sun is high in the blue sky, so bright it's practically blinding.
Then in a matter of a blink, the hood of the truck slams shut. The woman gardening bolts out of the fenced-in area, and is running straight for me, yelling my name. The woman is my mother, and the man who jogs over, gripping a radio, is my father. "Get to the shelter!" they call.
My mind shifts, and I see a concrete grey, four-walled room. There's a little brunette girl sitting at the table, next to a blonde-haired guy with blue-grey eyes. Then the scene unravels and there's a campfire, sparking away in the night sky. The small girl is covering her eyes innocently as I sprawl out on a boy's lap. Her name is Katie, and his...Travis.
It all rushes back to me now, but how could I have ever forgotten all of those spectacular memories? How could I have forgotten who those people were, when I know and love them all so much? They're my family. More than family.
Something in my brain makes a funny zapping sound and my entire body twitches with one severe shiver. Before Stella's gasp is over, my body goes still again. Everything is so clear now. I release my clutching hands from my hair.
"Oh my god. Travis! What—why did—how did you get here? I thought you were dead, I—" My mind reels with numerous thoughts. Memories pour in, and I want to squeeze the guts out of the guy before me.
Travis's jaw locks with fury, and he's breathing so hard that I'm borderline worried he isn't getting enough oxygen in here. My fingertips touch his cheek gently and more recollections of my past swarm around me, dragging me in to re-experience them all over again. Travis. Is here. But how? It's impossible. I can't fathom...
"Say something!" I scream at him desperately, tears welling up in my eyes.
When he looks away, I spin and glare at the two behind me. Since Travis won't speak any further, I've got no choice but to interrogate them on what happened. "What have you—" I choke midway, but swallow it down to continue, "done to him?"
YOU ARE READING
OTHERS (Formerly The Scarlet Effect)Science Fiction
The pandemic was just the beginning. After an unknown virus sweeps across the globe, Aurora and two other survivors seek out safety in a bomb shelter with enough supplies to last a few years. Just as she starts to adapt to her new way of life, she i...