Chapter 1: The Dream
The sky was pouring, as it had never poured before. Well, at least to the 4-year-old girl in the back seat of the 1997 Ford Laser Lynx.
Another one. The girl hid beneath her blanket.
In the front passenger seat was a young woman of about thirty, who was half-listening to Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog”, which was playing on the radio. She was staring intently out the window. As though she was expecting something.
“Hon, what is it?”
The driver, a 34-year-old American, had stopped the car.
“I don’t know, Jess, I just have a bad feeling…”
“You had the dream again, didn’t you?”
“You know Star Trek isn’t real.”
“I know…. But I just…”
Another thunderclap. The young girl in the back screamed.
“Look, we’re late, Jess, and she’s scared to death. We should be getting on…”
Jess looked at his wife and smiled. Most of the time she knew best, at least if she wasn’t watching Janeway and Tuvok… and they should really get home before their 17-year-old daughter did…
The four-year-old in the back was shivering under her blanket. As long as I’m in here, she thought, the sparks of the almighty can’t get to me.
She calmed down enough to look outside the passenger window.
Another thunderclap. She screamed again, but this time not because of the lighting streaking the sky.
A woman stood on the cliff above, momentarily illuminated by the lightning, intently looking down on the road below, and for a single moment, their eyes interlocked, and the girl saw in them hatred as she had never seen before.
Another flash of lightning and she disappeared.
The girl shook her head. Clearly, she was imagining things. And overreacting, too.
But then, she saw the woman again – this time on the side of the road.
But she was soon swallowed by darkness.
Jess hummed along to “Old Schoolyard” by Cat Stevens. Yes, he did remember those days, and when he first met Kalani. The day they first met… it was magical. Those were the days…
As if the radio read his mind, it changed to “Those Were The Days, My Friend”.
But suddenly, a flash of lightning illuminated someone on the side of the road. Jess saw ‘it’ – he wasn’t sure if it was a girl or a boy – ploughing through the 30 mph winds and the wall of rain as though it was a slight breeze on a summer’s day.
But he blinked, and the person was gone.
The girl was looking out of the window. No use, everything was black as charcoal. Except for the occasional lightning, all was dark. The headlights probed into nothingness.
Suddenly, Kalani shouted “Jess!” and the car swerved and narrowly missed a felled tree. Unfortunately, what it didn’t miss was the cliff face. The front of the car collided with the wall of rock at 20kph and scrunched up like that bendy part in those bendy straws. The girl even didn’t have time to scream.
When she woke up, she was on a stretcher. She moved her head slightly to the left. The car was nothing but a crumpled up mess of metal.
She looked to the right. There were two other beds with lumps of something under the sheet. Bodies. Dead bodies.
Beside the beds, a woman was chatting to two of the paramedics. Her vision was blurred, but she though she looked like something out of Star Trek: Voyager. She did catch snips of their conversation.
“What are you, the…?”
She then pressed her hand against both of the guys’ necks.
“This way, ma’am.”
One of the paramedics (Dr C. Sanders) led the woman to her stretcher.
She stared at her. She looked like a mutant zombie.
Then, she pressed her hand against the girl’s neck. Intense pain filled her body. She screamed.
And Lilo Pelikai woke up, her body soaked in sweat.