"Ellie," he said. "You have passed your use by date because you have been called for a very important duty…"
At Birth, Everyone Has the Date They Will Die Tattooed on Their Arm. You Were Supposed to Die Yesterday...
I stared disbelievingly at the tattoo I had been born with, swirling daintily across my inner wrist. At birth, everyone has the date they will die tattooed on their arm. The number on my wrist matched up with yesterday's date. I was a mixture of emotions. I was angry, yet curious. No one had ever passed their 'use by date', as people called it. All of yesterday, I had wondered when I was going to die. If I would die in a car crash while driving to my parents house, in a crazy shoot-out at the shops, or simply pass in my sleep. The last had been my main speculation once I got home. I just presumed I would pass from a blood clot at the heart or brain, or possibly I would choke on my own saliva during my sleep. It was a terrible thing to think about, yet when you know the exact date you will die for your entire life, you think of many terrible things. Coming back to the present, I brushed my thumb across the lumpy, delicate skin on my inner wrist, wondering what would become of me. Would I live for eternity, watching all my family and friends as they reached their use by date and passed? Or would I have to wait until something written in the ancient books dictating life in the past, called "old age"? No one had lived till then for over 4000 years. Suddenly, I glanced up. The TV had turned itself on in the other room. The morning news music was blaring through the speakers which had been at full volume while listening to my favourite band, Muse, last night. Walking slowly into the living room, I barely saw the newsreader before the image distorted and shifted to a man wearing a black burka.
"Ellie," he said. "You have passed your use by date because you have been called for a very important duty…"
When my older brother banged on my bedroom door for the hundredth time, trying to disrupt me from my homework, I decided I couldn't take it anymore. Both of our parents were working all the time, and my brother had become almost the sole carer for me. In his spare time, he took to annoying me while completing homework, most of the time causing me to arrive at school the next day handing up a blank sheet of paper. I was failing in school, rarely saw my parents, and lived on cold tinned baked beans and spaghetti in a disgustingly filthy house, because my brother could not be bothered to do anything. He was sixteen and very well capable of running a house, but he chose not to because of sheer laziness. I on the other hand, was twelve and had just started high school. I was inundated with homework every night, and had little time for any fun. As I pondered my miserable life, the banging at my door started up again. Infuriated, I did the unthinkable. I grabbed a concrete door stopper that was inside my room, ran to the window and smashed it with the concrete. With that, I pulled my bed quilt over the broken glass littering the ground and crawled outside, wary of the razor-sharp shards. The banging on my door continued, but it was more frenzied now. He was probably wondering what that noise was. Even if he wasn't the best brother in the world, he still had to care for me. Worried he would break down my locked door, I stood up, now outside, and ran down the path running past our house. My bare feet slapped against the pavement in time with my thudding heart. I glanced behind me to see if anyone was coming, but the pathway was eerily silent.
After about five minutes, I slowed down to a walk. I was well over a few streets over now, so I was quite certain I was safe. Until a police car rounded the corner in front of me, and upon sighting me, tooted and flashed his lights.
"Oh no", I whispered, and immediately turned and pelted back down the pavement. Instantly, I heard the sirens start up behind me, and a revving engine. Worried they would catch me and force me to go back to my dump of a house, I continued running. The car police car caught up to me easily, and coasted alongside me as the window was wound down. I glanced over while continuing to run. Inside, a police officer sat with my brother in the two front seats. My heart clenched. My brother looked so worried, and the police officer looked concerned too.
"Mary Elina," the police officer shouted over the car engine. I ignored him, still too upset to go back home.
"Stop running, and we will discuss the issue with your parents. They have been alerted and are on their way now. We can talk it over and come to an agreement."
I sucked in a deep breath when I heard my parents knew. What would they make of this? They were easily irritable, which resulted from working all day with only a couple of hours sleep. They were also very harsh with punishment. Being forced to go hungry for a day or two was common for disobeying my parents, and they considered it a favour for saving money. No, I decided. I wouldn't put up with this anymore. My eyes scouted the path ahead of me, and with a stroke of luck, I noticed a bike leant against a fence ahead of me. I sprinted to it, jumping on and pedalling away, ignoring the cries of anger from inside the yard and the tooting horn of the police car. I legged it down a narrow bicycle lane, which was too narrow for the car which was in hot pursuit. Summoning the layout of the neighbourhood in my mind, I remembered that the bike lane opened out on a busy highway. It might be enough for me to get away from the police. As the lane widened, I sighted the highway right in front of me. It was peak hour traffic, with cars speeding along in all directions. I looked at the scene with wide eyes.
Running away wasn't nearly as easy as they say.
I rode the bike onto the shoulder of the road, where I pedalled along on the small strip of bitumen as quick as I could go. My legs were burning, but I refused to stop until I had gotten down the road to the subway. Maybe there I could sneak onto a train or something. Cars blew their horns as they raced past me, swerving to avoid getting too close, but I shut it out. There was still no sight of any flashing lights, which I took as a good sign. Possibly they had given up, coming to the conclusion I simply needed to be left alone for a few hours before I came back on my own accord. Coming to a busy intersection, I sighted the subway over the road. I screeched to a stop and punched the traffic light button, waiting impatiently for the light to go green and say I could safely cross. It would be suicide to cross now. Suddenly hearing sirens, I nervously glanced behind me as the crossing light turned green. Three police cars were lined up behind the cars awaiting to drive through the intersection. Me pressing the crossing button had bought the entire intersection to a halt. I pedalled with all might across the road and up to the subway. I almost sobbed in relief as I climbed off the stolen bike and my shaky legs climbed up to the awaiting train.
Until the door closed shut behind me and I saw the two police officers standing there with their hands on their hips, disapproving looks on their faces.
Okay, I know, I have missed two now. So I created this super long one that can account for three nights. Hope it's good! It certainly got me thinking of sneaky ways to evade police :).
A cough from behind me woke me from my daydream. When I glanced over my shoulder, my friend Tilly smiled back at me. She could tell I had started drifting off. This two-hour lecture was so boring, and I had already learnt it all from the textbook. Mr. Man, the silver-haired teacher, droned on, his head glued into the fat textbook he was reading word-to-word from. I sighed and rested my elbows on the table. After awhile of studying my colour-changing screensaver, I noticed the teacher's dreary voice had died off. Confused, I lifted my head. We still had over half an hour of this lecture to go. My eyes found Mr. Man, and I almost gasped in surprise. His drooping, fair-skinned face was sagging more than before, his skin turning from normal to ashen coloured. His lips were still moving, but no sound was coming out. After another five seconds, his eyes closed and he slumped to the ground, unconscious. I started, half-standing in my seat to go and help. When I saw everyone else though, I froze in my tracks.
Everyone was falling asleep. No, it was more than that. They were passing out.
I whipped around to face Tilly. Her slender body was already sprawled gracefully over her desk, her pale lips parted. A sudden thought struck me, and I raced over to her desk and pressed my fingers into her neck, praying for a pulse. I felt a fluttering under my fingertips, like the beating of a moths wing, then suddenly, nothing.
That's when it hit me.
Darkness swam at the edges of my vision, and I clutched at the nearest desk to stay upright. A feeling unlike one I had ever felt before clutched at my chest and lungs. It felt as if a huge hand had closed over my torso, squeezing the air out of my lungs until they were shrivelled, dried sacks of nothing. I felt my face burning and greying from oxygen loss, and desperately tried to think as the blackness of death drew closer. My unfocussed gaze swept over the rest of the class, taking in the unmoving, lifeless forms of my fellow classmates, and I realised suddenly: I would never get out alive.
I tried to take a step, but my leg failed to take my weight, collapsing under me. Struggling to keep my heavy eyelids open, I rolled to the ground. My lungs blazed with flames that licked their walls, charring them beyond oblivion.
The last thing I saw before I died was the maroon coloured carpet, upon which my deceased friend Tilly's legs rested upon.
I walked through the door of the dance club with my friends, laughing and care free. We were celebrating Renee's Sweet 16th birthday, and as a last-minute idea, we had decided to go to a club. Half of us had never been, and we had to come up with a cover story for the parents, but we'd finally made it. Immediately, my friends were drawn to the bar like a flock of vultures circling around prey, so I followed them, ordering a Margarita. Unlike me, however, the other girls ordered shot after shot of Candy Corn. I shook my head in amazement after watching Renee down her fifth shot, sipping my Margarita daintily. It seemed I would be the designated driver on the way home. Suddenly, Felicity, one of the other girls in our group, slumped over the bar, her limp hand knocking into her recently refilled shot glass and causing it to smash on the ground. Most of the girls were too drunk to notice or care, so I hurried over to her. Shaking her shoulder, I tried desperately to awake her, knowing she could have alcohol poisoning. When she failed to wake up, I alerted our friends to the situation.
"Well, we could always chuck her in the taxi and drop her off at her house", Jackie laughed loudly. I could smell the alcohol on her breath.
"But then her family would find out where we were tonight, and we would really be in deep shit then." Holly argued. None of the others came up with any suggestions, so I left them to go up to the bouncer waiting at the door. He was a different guy to the one that let us in. As soon as he laid eyes on me, my skin prickled from an unknown cause. I felt, suddenly, that the centre of this man's attention was a very bad place to be.
"Umm, ex-excuse me", I stuttered. The man continued to look me over, eyes roaming my body with an uncomfortable intensity.
"My friend has passed out, would you please be able to get help?" I finally managed. The bouncer saw the direction of my gaze and started walking. I hurried after him, not wanting him to be let out of my sight. Suddenly, I wasn't so sure about asking him for help. . .
. . . Looking back, I should've never asked him for help. Maybe then, Felicity would still be alive today.
Noooooooo! I didn't post yesterday! The internet decided to not work. Over the next few days, I will endeavour to do a double-daily-dash-day.
I was walking along the dusty road until my foot kicked something in the gutter. It was a dented, scuffed lamp, which was missing a lid. Intrigued, I bent down and picked it up. It seemed shabby, but well-made. If it was polished up nicely, it might make a dollar or two at the flea market. I rubbed the lamp, intending to see through all the dust, and a genie appeared. Unlike how I'd always imagined genies, in wisps of blue and shimmery vapour, this one was green, and roiled out from the lamp as if it couldn't wait to escape. My mouth dropped open in shock as a well-toned man wearing nothing stepped out of the green mist, rolling his shoulders and cracking his knuckles.
"Don't talk", he spoke in a honeyed tone. Immediately, a needle and thread appeared out of nowhere, and sewed my mouth shut. My eyes watered in pain as my punctured, bloody lips struggled to open.
During this process, the man had been observing through heavy-lidded eyes, studying me intently. Finally, he clapped his hands, capturing my attention so much the only thing I could think of was what he would say next.
"I know what to take away from you. Everything."
Everything I knew disappeared.
Last night, I had a dream. I dreamt that I went to school, except the grounds were deserted. I wandered around the buildings, unsure of what to do, until I encountered someone with their back to me. From the uniform, I realized it was a school work man. I tapped his shoulder, preparing to ask him where everyone was, except when he turned around, he had no face. Instead, a skull with loose eye balls rolling around in their sockets jeered back at me, and I found I was unable to break my gaze. A scream choked in my throat and I could hear maniacal laughing. The world around me fell away as the skull loomed closer to my face, eyes rolling around uncontrollably…
Until a different world met my eyes. I realized the skull was gone, yet somehow I wished my gaze couldn’t wander. The world was the same. The world was completely foreign. Everything was shrouded in darkness and was distorted, as if someone had spilt water over a picture and the colours had bled. I stared at the world in horror, circling on the spot until I spotted a gathering of people on the school oval. I approached them cautiously, expecting more skinless skulls, but they appeared the only normal objects in the ghostly landscapes. The only abnormality was the completely white eyeballs, without a speck of colour. I recognized my fellow class mates, but they weren’t looking at me. Their bodies seemed frozen, their blank eyes locked on an object in the distance. Standing on my toes, I craned my neck, curious to see what could captivate their attention to this extreme level. I saw a red, blinking light. It blinked three times, then a blinding white light blanketed everything. I could not see, hear or feel anything. There was nothing…
Then I woke up.