Prologue to The Taken

NOTE: This is the prologue to a book I wrote several years ago. Although the character names are the same, it is not to be confused with The Fall of the Archer.

Prologue

It was dark outside, but then again it was always dark after the sky had gone haywire about a month ago. Kate and I were walking outside, glad to get away from the weather-terrorized crowds. Kate is my twin sister and my best friend. She doesn’t look like me though.  She has green eyes, dark brown hair, and short nose that she always complains about. And there’s me beside her,the exact opposite, with freckles randomly spattered on my face, red hair, blue eyes, and a longish nose that I know makes Kate jealous.

We walked for a little while, enjoying the freedom while it lasted. The people in the base were so paranoid they wouldn’t let anyone come out of the building for fear of some crazy meteorological phenomena or something that would suddenly strike if we took so much as one step out the door, so a walk outside was rare and was to be cherished.

I wish that moment could have lasted forever, Kate was my only family, and here we were just me and my sister, my best friend, just walking and talking like two normal people that had not been running their whole lives.

When the sky went black, the governments of all countries ordered lockdowns and soon the whole planet was hiding. We were forced into the base as thousands of people pushed forward to be the first to enter. We had been stuck in a corner of a metal warehouse for the last month. This walk was the first time we had moved in days.

But, shortly after we’d begun our little excursion we heard a loud CRASH shatter the calm quietness.   Flames leapt up from among the trees behind us where the base was located.  We raced back to find the metal warehouse we had called home for the last month, transformed into a crushed, flaming heap of metal. We couldn’t tell what caused it and couldn’t get close enough to see if anyone survived. The intense heat made my eyes water, as I watched the flames eat away at the landscape.

Suddenly, out of the fiery heap came a dark figure standing upright, but not in the way humans do, more like a dog standing on its back paws. It lunged at Kate, taking her to the ground, raking its extended claws over her arms, face, and chest.  I could see it better now. It was a grotesque mix of a wolf and a robot. The fine layer of furry skin that covered the frame of the creature was burned away in places revealing the shiny metal underneath.

I stood terrified, too terrified to move. I stared at my sister’s limp form, the blood from the cuts staining the ground. She’s dead. The words kept turning over in my head. She’s dead. She’s dead. She’s dead.

As if satisfied with its work, the monstrosity rose to its full height and turned towards me.  I knew I was its next victim and that I was no match for it. So I ran, as fast I could, adrenaline pumping through my body giving me a reckless boost of speed as I zig-zagged, looping around trees, desperately trying to lose my pursuer. It followed me through every twist and turn that I took, still coming.

I ran through the dark, the fear of being torn to shreds by the alien creature keeping me moving.  I feared for Kate as well, and prayed with all my might that she would somehow survive and by some miracle, I might rescue her. I ran and ran until I couldn’t, my muscles felt like jelly, every drop of my energy gone. I fell to the ground wishing for a fast death; hating myself for giving up so easily. The robot approached, it’s mouth open, displaying two rows of gleaming shark-like teeth.

I laid on the grass, utterly spent, as the now fully uncovered robot came up to me. I could see its dark red eyes flickering menacingly. Just as it reached for me, I heard a sound in the distance, a high pulsing hum that made the Earth throb beneath me.The lupine figure jumped at the sound, ignoring me completely. At the second blast, the wolf shot off east toward the source of the erie sound. I sighed with relief. I wasn’t going to die.

But then I remembered the lifeless form of my sister, the grass around her dyed crimson. A desperate hope filled me, as I sprinted back to the place she lay. When I reached the blood-stained grass, Kate was gone. I fell to my knees as waves of anger and failure hit me. I had failed her.

That was six months ago, the day the Earth was invaded. The day my sister was Taken.

-L

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