The Numbers (Working Title)

Draft 1

Episode 1

The explosion would have been heard miles away, if the laboratory facility wasn’t hidden in remote woods somewhere in this earth. Trees burned bright as the metal-enforced concrete shattered extending beyond the dark forest to the mountains surrounding the laboratory. Ashes filled the night sky as we rushed out of our cells. Might have been thousands of us in that vast pale-yellow building, but I only saw few of us run outward. The rush of the escape left us no time to look for our mates nor count how many of us survived the explosion. I ran fast, forgetting that I can teleport. And as more and more of us escaped we joined in a group. We don’t know our birth dates but Four was our leader at the moment. He was pointing us to a safe cave miles from the explosion. We had been running for 10 miles, at least, but I didn’t feel tired at all. I wanted to keep running. Four grabbed my thin left arm firmly and pushed me inside the cave.

“We must rest and gather our thoughts.” he said.

“But they might come after us!” I yelled jerking my arm away.

“Where’s 21, your mate?” Four asked me.

I looked around at the dark cave, only few of us made it here few identical uniforms. Pale-yellow loose pants and baggy shirts, some uniforms were stained with blood, others stained with a mixture of black and red. Making the numbers on their backs impossible to read. I finally said:

“I don’t know. He… he wasn’t in his cell tonight.”

“Let’s rest, take a head count. OK?” He said as he looked down to me.

He was, maybe 6 feet and 3 inches tall. That is a foot taller than I am. Also he was a much stronger man, physically, than anyone I have ever met. I nodded agreeing with his remark. I walked among the pale yellow uniforms, trying to find my mate, 21. But he was nowhere to be found. The darkness of the cave didn’t help my search, but I already knew he wasn’t there. The magnetic pull I feel when he’s around is no more. He must be very far away, extremely far. I thought.

I sat in a corner of the cave holding my knees to my forehead, trying to silence the chaos around me, trying to connect with 21. If 9 was here, she’d help me find him. She’s a stronger telepath than any of us but I see no odds, only even numbers are here. I make out 4, 8, 10 and me, 22. All others seem to blend together, injured or bruised. 8 sat next to me and whispered: “Did you notice that you’re the only one without a cut or a bruise?” he paused expecting an answer. I picked up my head that was resting on my knees and said nothing.

“People will start to talk.” 8 added.

“I don’t care, go away.” I replied with a muffled voice as I rested my head on my knees.

“I don’t mind cutting you, if you’re into that?” said 8 flirtatiously.

I didn’t move my head to acknowledge his stupid suggestion. Then 4 approached us, standing tall he said: “There are far fewer of us than I thought.”

I said: “All evens, right?”

He looked at me with shock “yes, you’re right. All evens.”

“well, the odds house sucks anyways. Who needs them?” 8 said.

“our mates are odds. All of us need our mates.” I said.

“I don’t! I haven’t seen 7 since they…” said 8 as he was interrupted by 4.

“8 we don’t need your life story right now.”

“I’m just saying, I’m single and now free. And little 22 finds herself single finally.”

I yelled “I’m not single, my mate is on the other side of the freaking mountain. I will find him!”

I got up and dusted off my pants angrily. I walked out of the cave looking down on the tops of pine trees as the sun started to rise, slowly. I took a deep breath and smiled. I am free, I realized. Sure, 21 is not here and most of my friends aren’t either but at least 4 was there. I can always count on 4, I thought. Then I was startled by 4 putting his hand on my shoulder. I looked up and patted the earth next to me motioning him to sit down. He sat next to me and rested his head on mine “what are we going to do now?” he said. I put my hand on his knee and smiled “We’ll live! Do things people do.” “We’re not meant for living, 22. We’re meant for…” I interrupted turning my body to face his, biting my lips I said: “No one can tell us what we are made to do anymore! No one but us. So don’t justify our existence based on what experiments we were meant to be.” I leaned over and hugged him, and he hugged me back. The sunrise added warmth to our embrace. I fell asleep in his arms and he dared not move, so he watched the rays of the sun multiplying through the tops of the trees until we were consumed by light.

We were all more exhausted than we thought, as the adrenaline wore off we all fell asleep soaked by day light.

 

Change

They wonder why

She sits there

Speaking language she didn’t choose

Getting much too close

To forgetting her mother tongue

Wings sealed in a box

Her brown locs

Painted blonde

They wonder why she changed

She only did it

To survive

Episode 1- The Hounds

Episode 1

The Hounds

I was determined that it was O.K. that the government was making a big deal out of nothing. Like the tornado sirens that were never followed by a tornado, flood warnings, and ‘terrorist attacks’ that never manifested. I had a test the next week. It was finals week. I went to the corner store and bought as much dry food as I could fit in my dorm room. My room had the prefect set up, a microwave sitting on top of a yellowish mini-fridge. The brown counter top was bursting with ramen noodle packages and the fridge was stuffed with energy drinks and vitamin water. I felt prepared for the next few final weeks. I studied most of my days and avoided classmates as much as I could. That day, I decided to take a nap at three in the afternoon. As I laid on my mattress that lacked sheets I noticed the tears on its light-blue box spring. Then I noticed that the clouds seem to find a permanent home here, lingering above campus. I thought; haven’t heard the cheerful bird songs in days. Come to think of it… I haven’t heard much lately. The parties that never stopped across the hall seem to have ended—finally!

I changed my voice mail message to “I’ll talk to you when finals are over.” I must have a had hundreds of messages by now. 70% of them were from my boyfriend JAMES. We had been together (on and off) as-long-as I could remember. We’d met when we were 15 years old, and well, we’ve been together ever since. He’s not into change and I’m not into confrontation so we went to different schools. He stayed in Michigan and I moved down to Florida, it’s nicer here. I would have a tan on those skinny pale bones if I didn’t have so much studying to do. The goal is to get into the medical school down here. James wanted to be a wildlife biologist, somewhere up north was his plan. We were two busy individuals, so it’s a perfect situation. When someone asked me if I was single, I don’t have to lie and say that I’m not! James called me a lot, but my parents usually understood that I needed to study. This time they had left 55 messages on my phone. I didn’t get why they keep calling me. “IT’S FINALS WEEK PEOPLE.” I thought.

Now it’s been a few days of quietness. “It’s too quiet here. It’s like everybody has left. The reconstruction on this third floor has stopped for no good reason. Maybe I should go to the store and watch the news or something, a break from microbiology is not such a bad thing.” I thought to myself.

I decided finally open my dorm room door. As the door creaked open, a loud howl came from down the hall and a white animal rushed toward my door. I closed the door fast and ran toward the fire exit through my window. I rushed down the stairs thinking that the large dog-ish creature was following me. I stumbled and ran into a person—a guy on the fire escape. We didn’t talk or pause we just ran down the stairs, seemed like we were running for similar reasons. After going down the three floors we realized that nothing is following us.

I thought we needed to get out of this place then I asked: “Do you have a car?”

He said: “yeah! I don’t have much gas though I’ve been driving for few days to come here and see my girlfriend. She hasn’t answered my calls. You think she would after the horrifying news.”

“What news?” I asked confused.

“The…the ‘outbreak of the creatures’ the white hounds.” He replied with a sarcastic voice.

“So I wasn’t imagining? The… the…”

“It looks like they’ve evacuated the campus, didn’t you notice?” He asked.

“Well I have a bathroom and a microwave in my dorm room. It’s still being renovated, my floor that is, so no one wanted to live up here but me and those partiers across the hall. We get to do whatever we want since we are more isolated from the other floors of the building.”

He scratched the back of his head and nodded then said while looking distracted: “Well, I’m ahhh… call me ‘T’.” After a brief pause he continued: “So let’s find a car with good mileage per gallon and lots of gas, shall we?” I nodded. We walked around the campus’s parking lot till we found a hybrid car with over half a tank of gas. He said: “Well these are hard to hot-wire.” I looked under the car and found a spare key under a hidden spot.

I smiled saying: “My boyfriend has this model, he’s always said that it’s stupid to leave your keys there because it’s a known ‘secret spot’ in these models for keys”.

“Well I’m glad this person didn’t think so.” Said Tee. We got in the car and as Tee started driving we wondered about our destination. Where will we go? We weren’t sure. As far as this car can take us, that seemed to be the plan for now.