Revelaciones y Railroads

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Light. Screams. Blood. Wind. Death. These are the five senses of tragedy, these are the harbingers of fate.

These are her only clues to save someone's life. She focuses harder, letting the images roll over her, through her.

Light. The harsh light of the midday sun, and the glint of light on metal.

Screams. The screams of the train on its metal tracks, and the screams of the boy tied there.

Blood. From the mouth as he bites down in fear, from his chest as the train hits him.

Wind. The dry, arid wind of the desert.

Death. The final moment of each persons life.

Ainika snaps out of the vision, breathing heavily. This one was more intense than any of her previous visions, and she knew she must act quickly. Train...where would a train be? She was already out of the church and running as she realized the answer. The crossroads. That had to be where this tragedy was going to happen.

She stopped only long enough to grab a first aid kit and her beat up bicycle. She kicked off and willed the old thing not to break before she got there. She preferred walking, but speed was of the essence now.

She glided through the streets and out of the town. She got to the crossroads and threw her bike down. No one was here! Why was no one here? Her vision had been so intense, she knew ir had to be an immediate forewarning. She looked around in every direction, comparing her surroundings with the vision. ¡Mierda! It wasn't here, it was the other crossroads!

Ainika grabbed her bike and pedaled furiously. The next crossroads was three miles up the road. She hadn't been hit with a cloud of blackness, so she knew the tragedy hadn't happened yet, but it could happen any second. She didn't even think, she just rode. She tried to ignore the weight of fear that pushed at her with every second. She pedaled fast enough that she probably would have set some kind of record if there had been anyone around to see it.

She got the crossroads and ran toward the tracks. Just like she had seen, there was a boy tied to the tracks, bound and gagged mercilessly. She let out a cry and pulled out her knife. She dropped down next to him and furiously began sawing at the ropes that connected him to the tracks. She had just gotten one free when she felt the ground rumble. Fear gripped her, and she sawed even faster, blocking out the wind, the screams, the tracks. Nothing mattered but this rope. She felt it give under her hands and she immediately pushed the boy with all her might. They tumbled together off the tracks and fell into the sand on the far side. Ainika wrapped her arms around him and pulled them together as tight as she could as the train raced past. It was only when the train was completely gone, and silence had returned for several minutes that she moved again. She carefully disentangled herself from the boy.

She saw her knife laying on the tracks, somehow still in one piece. She snatched it up and returned to the boy, carefully cutting the remainder of the ropes off him. As soon as his hands were free, he pulled off the gag and the blindfold. "You saved me," he said, and his voice was filled with awe.

It was only when he spoke that she realized he wasn't Mexican. His dark hair had been the only thing visible when she was cutting him loose, but now she could see clearly that he was American. Not only that, but he was extremely handsome. As soon as this thought crossed her mind, she stopped it. He was American, and that meant evil.

"Si, yo hice," she responded, refusing to give him the pleasure of hearing her speak English. Confusion clouded his face. This was always the way it was. They assumed she was one of them, and got offended when she wouldn't speak to them in English. She could speak it fluently, of course, but she would not give in. If they would not learn her language, she would not speak theirs.

"You don't... aren't..." The boy stuttered for a minute and then tried again. "Uh, ¿lo siento? No hablo mucha español. ¿Quién estas?" His accent was atrocious, his words broken and forward, but at least he had tried. He didn't seem to be mocking either, just nervous.

"No, no estoy americano." Now she was just messing with him. His brow creased again.

"¿Quien estas, por favor?" He asked again.

"Chill. I'm just messing with you. I'm not American, but I do speak English.

He seemed even more shocked to hear her speak English. "Um, uh, ok. Who are you? How did you find me? They made sure no one was around."

A flash of anger came over her then. Why would anyone tie someone to a railroad track? An American boy, no less! She looked him up and down. His clothes were new, and didn't show the wear and tear if the desert. The ropes he had been tied with weren't in Mexican style, and it couldn't have been the gangs. No, this was deliberate, but why?

Suddenly, she looked up as she heard voices behind her. There were many men in black suits, and she could see that several of them were armed. She turned back to the boy. He had gone pale. "That's them." His breath hitched.

"¡Mierda!" She cursed again. "Can you run?"

He nodded shakily. She pulled him to his feet and grabbed his hand. "Come on! We need to go now if we're going to get you safe! I didn't prevent you from getting run over by a train just to have you get shot!"

He turned and looked at her suddenly, almost tripping over a stone as they ran. "If you prevented it..." He trailed off. "They're after you, not me. You're the one they want. They heard rumors of a girl who could tell the future, and they used me as bait. You've got to save yourself, don't worry about me!" He tried to pull away, but she held on tight.

"No. We're going to get through this together." Her words came out harsher than she meant, but they worked. They ran even faster, scrambling down the side of a sand dune as bullets sounded behind them.

"Where are we going? There's no where to hide, no where to run."

"Yes, there is. Stay calm." She prayed that her mental map of this part of the desert was correct. They scrambled up and down another sand dune, and then she saw it. She sent up a quick prayer of thanks. As they ran into the train station, a train was just beginning to pull out. "When I say jump, jump!"

"Are you crazy?" The boy yelled as they ran right at the train that was slowly picking up speed. They balanced at the edge of the tracks for a few seconds, and then Annika saw it. "Jump! Now!" She screamed, throwing herself at the train and dragging him along with her. She made it into the car and rolled, letting go of his hand as she did. Thankfully, a second later he rolled into the car too. He lay on the ground, his breath coming in short gasps.

She moved to his side. "Breathe. You're alright. We made it. Now they can't follow us until the next train comes, and by then we'll be long gone."

Slowly, his breath deepened and he sat up. "Thank you, miss..."

"Ainika." She didn't usually share her name with those she saved, but this was an exceptional case by any means.

"Caden." They sat in silence for a few minutes, as Caden seemed to be juggling what to say. "So..." he finally began, "you can see the future."

"I can only see tragedy, right before it happens." She kept her words clipped, not wanting to discuss her curse with this American boy.

"That's... that's awesome!" She fixed him with her piercing glare. "I mean, maybe that's not." He amended.

"It's not 'awesome,' as you say. It's a curse. If I fail to save someone, I suffer the consequences." She spoke softly, barely even realizing she had spoken.

"I'm sorry." He responded quietly, and Ainika looked at him, really looked at him. Here was an American boy, but he really seemed to care. His apology held more than just pity. It seemed to hold the actions of every one of his ancestor's crimes against Mexico. Maybe she ought to reconsider him, she thought.

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