“You knew.” It’s not a question. My voice carries across the room to where my father stands silhouetted in the doorway.
Let me break it down for you. Picture a room with no windows. Synthetic sunlight streams in from the center of our world through a glass tube that plunges past each of the twenty stories stacked underground in this abandoned missile silo. Did you catch all that?
Right now, you’re standing in my living room, complete with sofa, end tables, reading lamps, ottoman, flat screen, surround sound system. You name the latest technology from the outside, and we’ve got it. Except that none of that matters to the people in this room. Not at this moment.
Mark stands next to me. His hands are worn, his skin is weathered, and he stands firmly planted to the spot where my father’s glare pins him. We are here for answers, we just didn’t think we’d be getting them this way. We thought we’d have more time.
“You forgot to mention that I am the answer.” I hear his voice, just above a whisper, like a telepathic connection that linked us the moment Mark gained entry to our underground asylum. “I have always been the answer.” His voice is insistent. “He tried to destroy me. Tried to keep me on the outside. Tried to keep me from this place. But now I’m here, and I want what is mine.”
I stand in the middle of the room, sweat beading on my forehead, my knees weak to buckling. My father takes a step forward and lets the door close behind him. I can tell by the way his hands are clenched at his sides that he is deciding whether to negotiate or to destroy us. He has enough experience with both.
Me? I have been on this side of things before, too. The scar on the inside of my left bicep itches; I ignore it. I say again, louder this time, “You knew.”
“No, Jaxon.” In only a few strides, we are nearly nose-to-nose. He pivots his body so that his shoulder separates Mark and me. Through gritted teeth, he asks, “Jaxon, what have you done?”
“He’s done nothing, but I have.”
“Stop,” I shout, crumpling to the floor at my father’s feet.
“I have to get you to the lab,” he says. His anger is replaced by determination, and he pulls me back to my feet. From here, I can see where worry has eroded his features. My dad looks ancient compared to the man who walked me through the gates less than a month ago. The man who, at that point, was faced with only one choice: save his son or someone else’s. Must have been easy.
His eyes fixed on me, my father says, “You have no idea… Mark, help me lift him.”
At that moment, the door swings wide and the man who’s living room we’re now standing in comes rushing toward us. “What’s going o…”
His words fall off as Mark steps between us. “Dad?”
I realize this is probably not the best place to start my story. To truly understand this moment, you’re going to need to know how it all started. Yeah, the day I was kidnapped will give you an idea of just exactly what you’re dealing with here.
In less than 600 words, this is where my story started from the very beginning. Of course, at that point, there was a pistol and this was more than an exchange of words. In that version, someone doesn’t make it. In this one, I’m not sure one will either.
Either way, I’d love to know
- What are you sure of?
- What are you wondering?
Please comment below, as it will help me to keep feedback all in one place. Thank you in advance for taking part in my first ever Work in Progress Challenge #WIP16. In the first five days of April, I’ve written all but one of them. Yeah, even I am a work in progress. 🙂