LET THERE BE LIGHT
Copyright © 2011 Hope Welsh
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including photocopying, electronic, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author.
Names, characters and incidents depicted in this book are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
“Let there be light.” - God, The Bible
Supposedly, when God created the world, the first thing He created was Light. Then, would someone please tell me this: why is it so freaking dark. Where did the light go? Okay, I know where went. There’s no electricity—so of course at night there is no light. Still...
As I walked into the room, the first thing I’d noticed was the darkness. Little hard not to—as it was absolute. Nothing could be seen. No shadows. No glimmers from beneath a door frame. It was strange to have darkness this complete. Nothing—pitch black. I’m sure that’s was movie title.
So, you’d figure that me, being a teenage girl, I’d be at least a little afraid, right? Well, maybe not so much as you might think. You see, I have this ability. Not one I tell many people about. I can create light. Not just a little glimmer of light at the end of a wand—you’ve read Harry Potter, right? Well, I can do that—and more—but I don’t need a wand at all. I can do these things with just a thought.
It was little trouble to open my hands and have a nice ball of light around me like a well-lit aura. It spreads out enough that I can see pretty well, actually. Imagine a 100 watt bulb suddenly lit. I almost wish I’d left it dark. I wasn’t afraid of the dark, of course. But, I was terrified of what I saw then the room was filled with the glow of my light.
Bodies. Lots and lots of bodies.
Shaking, I knelt down to the first one I came to. I learned CPR back when they actually had school—so I knew were to check. I felt for the pulse point in the woman’s neck. Much to my relief—there was a pulse. It seemed strong—but what do I know? I’m not a freaking doctor. Quickly, I moved to the others in the room.
I sighed with relief. All of them had pulses. I thought I’d walked into a room of death—though I’d smelled nothing. Apparently, the people here were just unconscious. It was doubtful they were sleeping, as none awakened with my light.
I really had no idea what I could do for these poor souls. I had other things to take care of. I was determined that I was going to find my best friend. Back when there had been communication; we’d talked on the phone all the time. We’d both had our cells taken by teachers for texting during class. Now, cell phones, of course, weren’t available. Hadn’t been for two years.
Oh, you don’t know about my best friend, do you? Her name is Lisandra Gibson. It’s a cool name—and it’s actually how we became friends. My name is Sandra Lisa Gibbs. So, her name is kind of like a play on words with mine. We’d laughed about it once.
When the powers that be had screwed up big time and not warned anyone about the massive sun spot storm, it had been instant chaos when the sun spots had caused some huge pulse that wiped out not only electricity—but cell phones, too. Goodbye Internet. Bye to my beloved cell phone. I know, I’m shallow, but the loss of my phone bothered me more than the loss of electricity.
I tried to blank out the memories. Now, I needed to focus on what I was supposed to be doing—finding Lisandra. She’d disappeared in those first chaotic weeks after the Pulse. Her parents hadn’t been able to find her. I was determined to. Lisandra is one of the few people that knows about my abilities other than my parents. Kind of hard to hide them from the parental units, since the day I’d been really tired of darkness and candles and thought let there be light. Well, voila, my ball of light. Needless to say, they were a little freaked out. I read an expression once, something along the lines of necessity is the mother of invention. Well, light was necessary, and I didn’t quite invent it—but I did create.
I think my parents figured I had somehow been affected by the Pulse. I don’t know if I was or not, to tell you the truth. Probably. All I know for sure is that within two weeks of it, I had all these strange abilities. I can create light. That’s come in very handy, of course. I can also make myself disappear—so maybe there is something to the whole radiation thing my parents freaked about, but I’ll tell you more about that later. I can also make people see and do what I want them to. The last thing I can do is move things with my mind. Telekinesis is a totally cool ability, by the way.
When the world went to hell, and people went freaking bonkers, there was a lot of looting. To survive, I had to get to food and water. Doors aren’t a barrier for me—nor are locks. Most of my new…uh…talents came when I needed something; with no warning at all.
Off on a tangent again. Keep me on track, peeps. Okay, so what am I going to do with all these people? As I said a while ago, I’m not a doctor.
I took a count of the people lying in the room. There were twenty. Men, women, and children. They looked like they were in pretty crappy shape, too. Most seemed to have been in some kind of fight, as their clothes were torn, and they were bruised.
Why were they here? I didn’t have the first clue. Obviously, someone had brought them here, and either sedated them, or found another means to knock ‘em out. That meant they’d probably be back. I glanced around the room, but I was at the only entrance.
I guess I didn’t tell you why I was in the warehouse. I sort of get feelings sometimes. But that’s not a new ability or anything. I’ve always sensed things. Something just felt wrong about this building.
The city is mostly deserted at night now. It’s just not safe to be out. I really expected to just find a group of people holed up together or something. People tried to stay in groups—safety in numbers and all that.
Of course, I don’t stay with large group. It would be too hard to hide my abilities. What was left of the government rounded up people that showed any kind of ability—saying that perhaps they could help and had said there was a radiation sickness causing the abilities. My parents had bought into that crap. I knew better. I could sense the fear in the places where those with abilities were being held—even before I knew for sure by being taken to one myself.
There were camps set up in all major cities—the people with any type of known ability sent to one. X-Men type of abilities were more common now after the Pulse. In those first days, the government had initiated martial law. They’d driven down streets in tanks with blow horns warning people to turn in anyone with abilities—for their own safety. Read that as: we want you where we can watch you.
My parents had been quick to turn me over—not wanting me harmed, they’d said. More like they were afraid of me.
It hadn’t been difficult to make the camp guards believe I was not supposed to be there. I just told them to let me out and they did. That was when I discovered that little fun ability. Remember what I said; necessity is the mother of invention.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t get everyone else out, too. I wanted to. But, after a few days in the awful camp, I realized that some of the people there did need kept away from others. A lot of the people had been enough to scare me. Abilities were one thing—but some of these people just seemed to be crazy. I have no idea why. To be honest, that kind of scares me big-time. In the back of my mind, I’m afraid I’ll go nuts, too.
So, you might be asking yourself what I’ve been doing for two years. I’ve been surviving. I’ve been searching for Lisandra. I’ve been helping people when I could. A small of us are hidden outside the city. There are a lot of rural areas where people are just trying to stay hidden until the world gets somewhere near normal again.
But, there are also a lot of people that are crazy. I mentioned that, right? As I looked around the room, I figured I’d probably stumbled on some more of the crazies. What in the world could anyone possibly want with these people otherwise?
Things were bad—really bad—but we hadn’t resorted to cannibalism yet, sheesh. Were they people like me with abilities? The government was offering rewards for turning in people now. The reward, you ask. Food. Safety. The things that every living soul in the world needs. Being allowed into one of the protected areas could mean the difference between life and death.
To say it isn’t safe out there is an understatement. The first weeks were bad, but instead of learning to gradually adjust to the abrupt shift to the Dark Ages, people had gone freaking insane. Everyone was afraid of people with abilities. Those without them were preyed on by the people with powers. That’s what we’re called, by the way. Really original. We’re the Powers. I mean—couldn’t they have come up with something brilliant to call us? I think they figured that term would make people more willing to turn them in way back in the beginning. I mean, who really wants to think that the man standing next to you might make you give him all your money or your food? No one. Exactly. See why those of us with abilities keep them quiet when we can?
We are far outnumbered by those without abilities. Get enough normal people after a few of us, and we’re likely going to lose. It’s not like we’ve suddenly turned into Clark Kent. And, to be honest—a lot of us aren’t nearly as civic minded as that dude was. Man, I miss my fav TV shows. I know, digressing again.
Well, obviously, I couldn’t carry out twenty people. Gas was darn near impossible to find—though I’d managed to…um…liberate a car a few months back. It was hiding in a barn in the place some of us were hiding. I had barely gotten my Learners’ Permit before the Pulse. Thankfully, the age was fifteen to get one—so at least I know how to drive.
I nearly jumped a foot in the air when one of the people groaned. As my heart rate settled down to normal, I knelt beside the girl that had made the sound. “Can you hear me?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said softly.
“I’m Sandy. What’s your name?” The girl looked to be about my age. I felt a tug of pain as I looked at her. She didn’t look much like Lisandra, but it reminded me that I’d yet to find her. The poor girl’s hair was a matted mess of blond curls. There were bruises under her eyes. My mom used to call them allergy eyes. I probably didn’t look great—but at least I wasn’t bruised, and I managed to keep my mop of hair in a ponytail. Curly hair can be a pain. And, it’s red—so of course, if I get mad, it’s always called a redhead temper. Sigh. Another tangent. I know.
She whispered so softly, I had a hard time hearing her, even in this silent room. “It’s okay, Heather. I’m not one of the bad guys. How badly are you hurt? Do you think you can walk?”
Her green eyes widened even more as she seemed to suddenly realize I had a light around me. “You’re a Power?” she asked.
Well, I should have seen that coming. “Yeah, but it’s okay. I promise I won’t hurt you,” I quickly assured her.
“You need to leave,” she whispered. “Hurry!”
I frowned at that. I mean, I had been able to stay pretty safe. Mind control, remember? “I’m fine,” I said, trying to make my voice soothing. “But we need to get us both out of here before someone comes. You were knocked out somehow.” I’d seen enough TV to know that the first thing most people asked when they woke up from being knocked out was what happened?
The girl moved her head back and forth in immediate denial before I’d even finished talking. What the hell?
“You need to go. They’re taking us to the camps,” she said quickly. “Go before they see you.”
Well, hell. Um, did I mention yet that hell is my favorite swear word? “I’m not just going to leave you here. Can you stand if I help you?”
I was beginning to get a little annoyed—worse when her head shook yet again. “I can’t go. They’ll come looking.”
“Heather, I can hide us. Um…I can become invisible, and I’m pretty sure that you will be to, if you’re touching me. So, let’s go.” There, that should do it. I was getting more and more nervous the longer I was in this place. I kept thinking of the documentary I’d once seen of a bunch of cows being herded into the slaughter house.
She sat up and looked around the room. I put my hand behind her back to steady her in case she was dizzy or something. “My brother,” she whispered, and tears fell down her cheeks silently. “I have to find my brother.”
“Was he with you?”
“Yes, we were looking for food when they found us.” She looked around the dismal room. “I don’t see him.”
I really didn’t have time for this. Both of us needed out of there. I couldn’t afford to stick around until everyone woke up. “We can go look for him,” I offered.
Her eyes brightened only slightly as she shook her head yet again. “I have to make sure they didn’t take him somewhere else. Don’t you see? Look around, there are no boys here. Just men, women, and children. No teenage boys.”
I hadn’t noticed that! That was strange, she was right about that. I couldn’t even imagine what they would be doing with just the boys. Maybe these people were just left here and it was the teen boys they wanted, although I couldn’t think of any good reason for that.
It looked like I was going to be sticking around after all.