Filed under: Flash Fiction Thursday, Imagine, Stories, Writing | Tags: blogging, blood, flash fiction, heart, story, virus, writing
Cisandra won’t leave me alone. She’s been on my mind ever for the past 2 years. It started with research on blood types, heart conditions, and genetic diseases, which inspired a story about a boy… and somehow she ended up being in the middle of it which led to a whole new venture completely. What I love is that I know almost her entire past… but absolutely none of her future. She won’t tell me yet but she’s left hints. It scares me. So here’s a bit of Cisandra.
Breathe… whew. First day in school in over five years. There was no way I could feel more nervous. Nineteen and in high school for the first time. Well, the school didn’t need to know that. As far as they were concerned, I was an 18-year old senior intending to graduate at the end of the year. Wanting to complete my education certainly came with it’s costs after my dark years of not being able to attend school. Lying was one of the costs. Clenched in fists, my hands trembled my desk as my new classmates filled in.
“Try to avoid other students if you can,” my Uncle told me that morning. The other students seemed to make a impenetrable bubble around me as if they knew my secret. Mr. Grisham seemed nice enough, though he seemed as nervous as I. He was sweating the way I would be if I could sweat at all.
Wait a second. An abrupt heartbeat is somewhere among these kids. As if there was something stuck in their heart trying to stop it from beating. Could it be another one? I couldn’t bring myself to turn to look at the class yet. There was no way there could be one here. Uncle Garrison said he was the only known carrier in the state.
“Class, we have a new student I would like to introduce you to,” Mr. Grisham said, clearly choking on his words. Why would he be nervous? I’m certain I was the only one who had good reason to be. “Miss…” he started. Oh, here we go again. Who wants to bet on my mother’s grave that he will pronounce my name wrong?
“Cassandra?” he asked, looking at me in the eyes with genuine interest. I smiled sweetly and told him the correct pronunciation.
“Cisandra… The C is soft like an S.”
Mr. Grisham’s face flushed red, and I felt my stomach squirm. Oh, God, please not now. He may not be what I most craved, but he could easily satisfy… at least for a little while.
I wiped my face clean of any agony before turning towards the class to wave to everyone. Maybe someone will want to help me get acquainted with the high school scene. The couple girls that actually managed to make it into a Calculus class wore glasses and directly avoided looking at me. Maybe one smiled out of curiosity. In the back of the room, there were about six boys with maroon jackets on. One of them gave me an approving nod and an eyebrow lift as the others sniggered behind their hands. As my gaze crossed the room to see a guy in front of the boys with black hair, my eyes started to swell.
Quickly, I averted my eyes down to the bright red cast he was resting on his desk to avoid his eye. Oh, Jesus. It’s him. Now that I could center in on each person’s location, the erratic and abrupt heartbeat was coming from his chest. Although I was not looking directly in his eyes, I could tell they were puzzled. Did he feel the difference in his eyes too when he looked at me?
How could this be? I was told Portland was clean of people like me, except my Uncle who was only a carrier. Then again, this boy seemed to fit many characteristics. People avoided him. That was clear by the way no one sat on either side or directly in front of or behind him. Just like me. The fair tone of his skin nearly matched mine. His highly audible (to me anyway) and abnormal heart beat plus the cast encasing his arm was a clear indication to me that the Virus had not taken hold yet but had tried to recently. And his scent slowly started to become apparent, seeping through the atmosphere slowly like a gas. My mouth watered hungrily.
Leaving the Panhandle for Portland was supposed to take me away from people like me so my addiction could abate. And here… here was someone who was either doomed to die or doomed to change. Either way, there was little chance of his survival. He was nearly too old, too strong for the Virus to take hold easily. If the Virus didn’t kill him in his transition, then who is to say that I wouldn’t finish the job after he became like me?
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