(I realized much later that I had titled the first post as "prologue" when I had decided not to do a prologue and just have a continuous story throughout with some needed time gaps in between. My bad. Also, sorry about the format. I type this shit up when I'm tired....which, to be honest, I'm always tired. NOTE: The original is posted on my blogger http://vonnieness.blogspot.com )
DECEMBER 25, 3012
In the darkness, Kaya lays under a stack of boxes, not knowing how many days have passed, waking up to a completely new world. Opening her eyes she sees how bright the colors are, everything in a new focus. Someone has come in the house, calling out to her, hoping that someone is alive. "Jason? Kaya? Jasmine? Anybody?" asks the voice. A woman's voice, Kaya realizes. It's the neighbor, Sun. She has now called out all of their names, but Kaya is the only one who can answer.
"I'm in here!" Kaya cries out from underneath the boxes. Her voice is weak and her entire body hurts. How long have I been here? she asks herself. How many others have survived? Sun opens the door to the storage closet, temporarily blinding Kaya.
"Oh, honey! Are you okay?" Sun cries, rushing to her friend and squatting down to be near Kaya's head. Kaya makes a noise in reply. She doesn't know how to answer. Her body hurts, but nothing feels broken, just sore. The boxes are heavy, but not so heavy that serious damage has been done. However, Kaya's heart is broken. Physically, she's okay. Emotionally, she's breaking.
Sun assesses the situation. Carefully grabbing the boxes, Sun lifts them and somehow manages to remove them all off of Kaya. It was interesting, considering that she and Sun were both small and frail-looking. "How'd you find me?" Kaya asks as she and Sun clasp arms and she is gently helped into a standing position.
"I knew you were here," Sun says. "I could smell you. Does that sound weird?"
Kaya looks up at her friend, seeing an aura of color around Sun. Looking around, Kaya notices she could see colors everywhere, halos of energy around everything. "No," she said. "You have no idea how normal that sounds right now."
"Where is everybody?" asks Sun as she guides Kaya out of the storage closet and onto the couch against the south wall of the living room. The floor is still littered with glass, the television no longer attached to its cord and in complete disarray on the floor. They both sit on the couch, Sun looking concerned for Kaya, and Kaya looking straight ahead, facing the television cabinet, yet not really seeing.
"They were in the city," she says, not looking at Sun.
"Oh, honey bunches. I'm so sorry." Sun wraps her arms around Kaya. Kaya winces at the sudden touch, causing her to cry out in pain. "Do you need me to get you anything?" Sun asks, quickly letting go.
"No. There's nothing I want and need that you can get me."
"Have you been under those boxes since it happened?" Sun continues.
"Yes. I've been out the whole time. Your voice was what woke me. If I hadn't heard you, who knows how long I would have stayed under? Hell, if you hadn't come, who knows how long I'd still be there?"
"Like I said, I smelled you out. I could hear your heartbeat. It's been four days, and they have been the strangest four days of my life. I went into some kind of shock that left me incapacitated for a day or two, like I was dying. Then out of nowhere, I'm okay, and I feel different. New. My sense of hearing is off the charts and so is my sense of smell. That's not all if it, either. The way I walk and run and jump; all of that has changed. And you want to hear the strangest part?" Kaya stares and nods. "I can talk to lykoi. All of them. I went out into the woods just yesterday to try and find something to eat, when a lykos came sniffing around the same area. I originally guessed that she was hunting like I was, until she spoke to me."
Kaya's eyes widened. Sun spoke to a lykos? They were feral beasts, four-legged and full of fur with sharp canines that could tear meat to shreds. They also liked the taste of human if you were alone, wandering around the woods, and the lykoi hadn't eaten in days. The domesticated kynesi were descendants of the original lykoi, and now a distant cousin. Kaya had had a kyon as a child, and her parents eventually ended up with two kynesi later, but she couldn't imagine ever talking to any of them.
"She didn't actually speak," Sun continued, snapping Kaya back to the conversation. "It was weird, actually. Lykoi don't have cheeks, so it's not like they can actually talk, other than their barks and howls, but I could hear her so clearly. And it wasn't really in words. You see, I could hear her in my mind, but it was more like it was all in pictures. Am I making any sense?"
Kaya shook her head. She was sore and confused, and, now, a little scared. What if Sun was losing sanity? What if Kaya herself was losing sanity? What if this entire conversation was all in Kaya's mind and she was actually still unconscious under a pile of boxes?
Sighing, Sun frowns and looks down at her hands. "I don't know what's happening, Kai. It's really freaking me out, and I can't explain it properly. All I know is that I'm somehow connected to lykoi. Whenever I'm out in those woods, they find me and follow me. I'm okay with it because I know, and I do mean know, that they aren't going to hurt me. It's like, they see me as their own; we're family." With another exasperated sigh, Sun flops against the back of the couch and looks up at the ceiling. "All of this sounds completely insane," she says to herself.
Kaya stares at her friend and really looks at her. A halo of colorful energy surrounds Sun in various shades. Shades of yellow and orange play around the edges of Sun's body with wisps of grey suddenly forming throughout. Kaya doesn't fully understand what she's seeing, but upon looking down at her own hands, she realizes the colors surrounding her own body. Shades of red and tendrils of black play around her, swirling, vibrating, pulsing.
"Sun," she starts. "It's not crazy. If you could see what I see right now, you'd know that what you've experienced is just the tip of the iceberg." Kaya and Sun gaze at each other. Tentatively, Sun reaches out for her friend; Kaya responds slowly, measuredly, and hugs Sun in return.
In their embrace, Kaya realizes how nice Sun smells. She smells clean, washed. Pulling away, she is aware of how she must smell. She's been in a storage closet for four days.. Her clothes are dry, but they smell, and she realizes she must have expressed herself unknowingly because of the large stain along the lap of her jeans. "I need to change," she says to Sun, and instinctively stands and heads up the stairs, Sun closely behind.
Kaya heads into the first bathroom directly at the top of the stairs. The lights don't work. Of course, nothing would work at this point. Wait, where is all the light coming from? She leaves and heads down the hall into her own bedroom. Of course, the windows. The curtains hadn't been drawn, and light spills through the pane-less frames, glass still scattered underneath and stuck within the carpet.
In her closet, Kaya moves mechanically and unseeing, undresses, and grabs a dress, long at the skirt and sleeves to keep away the cold of the season. She it dawns on her that if the electricity is not working, than the plumbing probably isn't either. She's not even going to take the chance. Dressed in clean clothes, flattens her curls to the best of her abilities and walks out into the hallway, all the while being carefully watched by Sun.
At the end of the hallway, opposite to the stairs' landing, is the children's room. Kaya slowly walks in, hypnotic and dazed. She takes in the room. The frames on the walls have all fallen, sitting broken either on the floor or on the top bunks. The striped curtain sways in the breeze against the windowless frame. Other than the remnants of having the entire house shaken from an asteroid hit, the whole room has been left untouched. Kaya sits on her son's bed and grabs the one stuffed animal he left on top after the room had been initially cleaned. It's an old thing, originally hers as a child, and had been passed generation to generation for only Jove knows how long. It is tattered and patched, and none of the original fabric has survived. A small, soft elephant, an ancient animal from earth that resembles their pelefante, sits cradled in Kaya's hands as they rest in her lap.
Kaya lets out a strangled sob and collapses on the bed, her cries being smothered by the pillow. She wails and lets her tears be absorbed by the fabric. Everything hurts. Everything. If only I had gone out with them. If only they had stayed. If only that fucking washing machine hadn't busted. I would still have them; I would still have my babies.
Sun, who has been patiently waiting at the doorway, now walks up to the bed. Reaching above her,she grabs a quilt and gently wraps it around Kaya. Crawling into the bed, she lays behind Kaya, who cried uncontrollably still clutching the elephant, and wraps her own arm around her friend. Sun stays quiet and just holds Kaya, until the sobs and wails quiet down, and Kaya eventually falls asleep.