Danielle Emefiele Posted December 15, 2022 Share Posted December 15, 2022 ~ prologue ~ The tightly-bound shackles left a ring of rust on her wrists. The pounding in her head felt as if a string of bombs were being set off in her head, the pounding almost drowned out the sounds of the unpleasant whispers surrounding her. Her legs and feet ached from having stood against a post for days on end, the common punishment for someone awaiting trial on the Skeltu planet. The woman wanted to cry in agony of the severity of her situation. She could feel the stares of the rest of her species piercing into her. Their gazes were sharp and cruel. She didn’t dare make eye contact, as she couldn’t bare the sight of distaste that everyone seemed to have for her. Since she could remember, her counterparts always seemed to have an issue with her. For one, she looked different. She didn’t have the trademark deep blue pigmented skin of the Skeltu species. Nor did she have the third eye that the Skeltu develop when they come of age. Her only means of resonance with the other members of her tribe was her extreme distaste for human beings on planet Earth. And if what her teachers taught her about Earth were true, then it is a vile, nasty place with humans. She recalled the horror stories her younger self would hear from the elders of her tribe about Skeltu who were exiled to Earth. The humans knew no end to torture. Starving, burning, beating, some Skeltu even subjected to vicious dogs. She couldn’t stop the violent images that flashed in her mind. Knowing how angry the Tribe King was with her, she just may suffer the same fate. The woman shuddered at the thought. Bang. The sound of the royal cane hitting the stand instantly caught the attention of all in the square. There, at the podium, stood her tribe’s king in all his power and glory. He was on the larger end for a member of the Skeltu species and had four eyes, instead of three. He wore fine cloth, much finer than she had ever really had the chance to see in person. His royal cane was gold-encrusted and shined bright as he lifted and lowered it to tap the stand seven more times. Dead silence ensued. Even with all the people in the square, one could hear a pin drop. His gaze swept across the square to look at all the members of the tribe, who stared back at him in both fear and admiration, before resting his gaze on her. Once again, he tapped his cane against the stand eleven more times, for a total of nineteen taps, in honor of being the nineteenth tribe. Her heart stopped completely. “Sevyn of Tribe Nineteen, you have been accused of conspiring to aid a human invasion of the Skeltu planet. I will not waste any time here. Reviewing all the evidence presented, I hereby pronounce you guilty of conspiracy,” the King bellowed, the expansion of his chest emphasized the intensity of his words. The audience erupted in shock and murmurs. A cold stare quickly silenced them. Sevyn’s eyes dropped to the ground, helplessly. “Conspiracy is punishable to the greatest extent. Since you enjoy the thought of human company, you can join them on Earth. I, King of the Nineteenth Tribe of the Skeltu planet, banish you, Sevyn of Tribe Nineteen, to Earth forever!” The woman didn’t know what was worse, the fact that she was being sent to die or the cheers of some of the members of the audience who were happy that she was being sent to death. She had no more time to ponder it, as guards flanked her sides and dragged her by the arms toward the podium. She fought and scraped at them to no avail. At the podium, the guards hold her body still at the feet of the King. The tears that streamed down her face blinded her. Nonetheless, she could only vaguely watch as the King’s outstretched hand made way for her forehead. As soon as he touched her, her fate was sealed. “No, please!” she cried out all too late, her vision turning black. ~ chapter one ~ The woman, sweating profusely, wakes up in a hospital bed, visibly shaken. Her eyes widen as she vividly remembers her exile from her kingdom and the warning from her caretaker. She then begins to take in her surroundings, noticing the strange wire in her arm and the loud beeping of the machine next to her. Immediately, she begins to gather herself in an attempt to escape. She runs to the window but stops as she peers down and analyzes the distance. Too far down. She then runs to the door, evaluates the door handle, turns it, and pulls it open. She peeks her head out the door to look at each corner. Then, as a nurse turns and spots her, her eyes bug open. Oh no! I’ve been spotted! Without hesitation, she takes off sprinting down the hallway and into the next corridor. She leans back against the wall to catch her breath only to realize this new corridor had plenty more nurses than the last one. I’m cornered. Think Sevyn think! Before she could give it another thought, a hand was reaching out to her. “Are you alri—“ “No!” Sevyn swats the extended hand and takes off, heading towards the exit sign she could see at the end of the hall. “STOP HER!” Sevyn could hear them clamoring behind her. She refused to look as she could feel their distance closing. She escapes and is immediately stopped by a balcony. Without thinking twice, she jumps over, and lands in bushes, losing consciousness. ~~~~~ Cole Mathers wakes up from his nap on his couch, only to check his phone and see a few missed calls from his two best friends, Will and Drew. “What?” He groans into the phone, as he returns Will’s call. “Really, Mathers? Asleep at this time on a Friday night?” Will demands. Cole removes the phone from his ear to check the time. 10:16 PM. He returns it to his ear. “So what?” He grumps. He already knew what his friend was going to say. He had known Will Scott since they both were deployed as marines in Iraq at just 20 years old. Now, at 28, the pair had left the military and settled back down in society. While Will chose to live a rather extravagant lifestyle with fancy cars, extravagant parties, and expensive women, Cole chose a life of isolation and simplicity, which is exactly why he had designed and moved into a cabin a few months ago. The cabin is exactly all that Cole had ever wanted from life. Modern Luxury. Cole designed the house himself, with a Prussian blue exterior, two stories, quartz countertops, a wall of windows, and a fantastic view of the skyline over the mountains. He has never been prouder of any other decision he’s ever made. Other than deciding to enlist rather than go to college, of course. “Cole, you’re 28, not 48. And you’re single. This is your prime. You should be out right now, living your best life,” Will explained. Cole snickered at this. “Oh, and you call what you’re doing living your best life?” “Oh, yes. I am living the best life. A life so good that it comes with a new woman to pamper me every night,” he said haughtily. Cole could just imagine Will popping his collar and dusting off his shoulder as he praised himself. “I think you mean a new STD every night.” “Whatever, Mathers. I know you’re in isolation out near those mountains, but it wouldn’t kill you to come out with us from time to time.” “Yeah, stop being a party pooper, Mathers.” Cole could hear the voice of his other best friend Drew Tate mutter in the background of the call. “I’m fine being here in the comfort of my own home. Not out wherever you two are.” It didn’t surprise him that Will and Drew were going out together. Like Will, Drew chose a life of luxury and entertainment after serving in the Marines. Though they had been like the three musketeers since their time in the military, Cole couldn’t be any more different than the other two. “Well, can’t say we didn’t try. Now, if you excuse us, we got a downtown party to attend,” Will declared excitedly. “And try not to be so boring, Mathers, or the wood on the floors won’t even wanna talk to ya.” “Yeah, yeah.” Cole could hear both Will and Drew laughing as he cut the line. He groans as he stands from the couch and stretches. He surveys the living room of his cabin home. “Could really use some decoration in here,” he thought. His stomach growls, prompting him to enter the kitchen and place a pot full of water on the stove. “Time for another episode of Cole eats Ramen Noodles,” he mumbles to himself as he leans against the kitchen island, waiting for the water to boil. Bang. Bang. Bang. Cole jumped up from his position. Who the hell is that? Immediately he reaches under the sink for his gun. Cocking it, he approaches the front door carefully, using the technique he learned through his years in the military. Bang. Bang. Bang. His nostrils flare and his blood pressure rises as the pounding sounds like desperate slaps against the wooden frame of the front door. “Please,” a voice cried out. Cole froze. He could detect that the voice was feminine. A woman at this time of night? Cole began to go through a list of women that he had had relations with in his head. To his dismay, none of them seemed crazy enough to make their way this close to the mountains alone this late at night. Huffing, Cole cracks the door open to get a peek of the woman disturbing his peace. Upon first glance, he swings the door open wider to see the figure of the woman. In front of him stood a very disheveled, disturbed woman, a black woman at that, wearing a torn hospital gown and only one dirty, beat-up sock. Her hair was a mess with thorns sticking out, her arms and legs had scratches and bruises, and her face - her face was what frightened him the most. The woman’s eyes bugged out as if she had seen a ghost, her mouth hung open as if to ask for a breath of life. “Are you ok?” Cole managed to ask. “Please…” She begged. To this, the woman stepped one foot inside the house before losing consciousness. Thanks to his years in the marines, Cole’s reflexes allowed him to catch her before her body hit the floor. There, he knelt cradling this strange, unconscious woman in his arms. ~~~~~~~~ A sigh of relief left Cole’s body at the sound of knocking at his door. He had been pacing profusely at the situation at hand. After she collapsed, he could only think to take her to his bed. After a few minutes of watching her, she had awoken with that same desperate look in her eyes. He had asked if she needed the police, only for her to fervidly refuse before passing back out. Half of him was concerned for the woman. She seemed desperate for help, but he had no idea what kind. The other half of him was concerned for himself and how bad it would look if someone were to find this woman, battered and disheveled, while he is unscathed, in his home. No one would believe that she came as she was all by herself to his house near the mountains. He shook the negative thoughts away, rushing to the door to reveal both Will and Drew and the annoyance that covered their faces. He called them as soon as he placed her in the bed. Like the loyal friends they were, they immediately dropped what they were doing and came to his aid. “What’s the emergency, Mathers?” Drew immediately questioned. “I got dime-pieces missing me in the hot tub back home.” Without answering, Cole turned around, walked through the foyer and up the staircase. Understanding, the two men followed their friend to the master bedroom of the cabin. Cole stops outside the closed door of the bedroom and turns to look at them. “Look, what y’all are about to see —“ “Save the dramatics, Mathers,” Will cuts in. Cole sighed, turned, and opened the door. The men took careful, timid steps inside the room in anticipation of what they were about to see. Cole pointed to the woman sleeping soundly on his bed. Will and Drew slowly moved their heads to look at each other, and then back at Cole. “I don’t see the problem,” Drew confessed. “She’s a stranger,” Cole countered. “Yeah, most men tend to like ‘em that way, man.” Will rubbed the nape of his neck, smiling. Cole rolled his eyes. “I’m not having sex with her. She came to my house a little while ago and passed out at my door. She was begging me for something… I don’t know what.” Cole looks up from the ground after his explanation to find Will standing near her, examining the marks and bruises across her cinnamon-brown skin. His marine instincts were kicking in, I could tell by the way his brows furrowed and his jaw hardened. The same exact look would appear on his face back on tour in Iraq. “Man, what the hell is taking so long?” A voice demanded while barging into the room. Like always, Damon Tate made his presence known in the most obnoxious way. As the little brother of Drew, a hometown hero who was an esteemed high-school basketball player and honorary marine, Damon was used to being in his older brother’s shadow. As a result, he tended to project his insecurities in foolish ways. Despite resenting being in his shadow, Damon respected Drew, and the two actually had a great brotherly relationship. “I thought I told you to stay in the car?” Drew questioned. “And lower your voice.” Drew gestured toward the sleeping woman. “What’s going on?” Damon responded, whispering. To this, Cole sighed. “I’m not sure, she’d — “ “She’s running from something.” Will broke his interrogative silence. He stepped back from the woman and made direct eye contact with Cole. “You need to talk to her.” Damon chuckles. “Nah, what you need to do is call the police to come get her out of here. I know girls like this from back in the hood. They’ll have you suffering, trying to fix their problems while they busy maxing out your credit cards.” He moved deeper into the room to lean on the fireplace. “She specifically begged me not to call the police,” Cole added. “Oh, hell no!” Damon declared. “Oh she’s running from something alright. Probably a baby daddy coming to get his revenge after paying child support for 6 years for a child that ain’t his…” “Damon!” Drew interrupted with annoyance. “Just thought I’d let a brother know,” Damon mumbled in defeat. “Thank you for that,” Cole uttered, sarcastically. “For sure, Cole. You know it’s always bros before hoes.” Damon smiled to himself, moving to his brother’s side. The rest of the men rolled their eyes and returned to the situation at hand. “I’m not sure what to do with her,” Cole started. “But, I know that I don’t think I want to call the police.” “I don’t know, Cole. I just think this looks bad.” Drew chimed in. “She looks horrible. Police are definitely bringing you in for questioning about this.” Cole nodded his head in consensus before looking over at Will, who was still actively assessing the sleeping woman, quietly. “I’m going to try and get her cleaned up a little bit. Then I’m gonna have a quick talk with her before I make any moves.” Cole began to pace as he vocalized his plan. “That may be a good idea,” Will finally spoke. “But call the police right after. No need to play savior, this has nothing to do with you.” Soon after deployment, Will made it a habit to remind Cole and Drew that they had completed their time in the military. Their roles to play as superheroes in society were over. No need to carry any more load than they already had. “I agree,” Drew stated. Cole always appreciated the fact that the trio could be goofy as ever, but he could always count on his friends to get down to business and be serious when necessary. “Now, personally speaking, I think the police should have been called from the get-go, but for the sake of brotherhood, I’ll just say that I agree, too,” Damon interjected. The other men were used to Damon voicing his opinion as his way to feel apart of the group. “Alright, bighead, I’m taking you home.” Drew directed his little brother out of the room. “Keep me updated, now, Cole. You always seem to forget —“ Damon couldn’t finish his request before his head was shoved out of the doorframe. Cole couldn’t help but chuckle at the comedy that was the Tate brothers. The light-hearted moment was short-lived, as Will placed his hand on Cole’s shoulder. “Be careful, Mathers. My intuition tells me something is off, very off.” “I know.” Cole’s heart rate picked up a little. “Mine, too.” Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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