#BlogBattle is a weekly writing challenge organised by Rachael Ritchey. You can find more information about it here. It’s a fun battle, and a supportive group – a great place to hang out! The theme this week is ‘PROPHET’.
Here is my contribution to the challenge. I hope you enjoy.
The sun was setting as I reached the brow of the hill. The sky drew my attention like a moth to a brightly coloured flame. For a moment I stood, watching the colours bleed together; reds, and oranges, and a fading blue.
I knew what I would find when I turned, had seen it as a moving picture predicting future events. It’s what the facility expected of those like me; a personal viewing of what was yet to come.
When the sky no longer held my interest I turned, finally ready to face what had to be done. I barely registered the cabin as I walked towards it. It was exactly how it was supposed to be, down to the smoke rising from the chimney. The bright blue curtains were closed, their shade darker now the sun no longer lit the glass. Glancing down I was not surprised to see the worn boots by the door, or the shovel resting against the doorjamb. Everything was at it was supposed to be. All except me.
This was David’s path, not mine; a path which was set to end in exactly two hours. That’s how long I had to change my friend’s future, to save the leader of our kind.
David and I were born in a facility, one he had managed to escape. Most saw his freedom as a symbol of hope. All I felt was loss. I knew what would happen before I saw his path. If things had been different, if I had been different, I might have let it play out and accepted my life in a cage. But it was a test, one set by those in power; the monsters who studied our kind like lab rats, and forced us to predict the future of strangers.
My pulse jumped when the door cracked open. This was the part I hadn’t foreseen; from here on out it was unscripted.
“Joseph?” I had only a second to process David’s words and then I was dragged across the threshold, into the room in which my friend was meant to die. “What are you doing here?”
“Buying you a little extra time. I hope.”
We stared at each other, pale gold eyes clashing with pale gold.
“You saw my future.” David dropped his head in defeat. “This was a test.”
“It will be the last. Whatever happens, I can promise you that.”
Where did such conviction come from? I wondered. I had always been the weak one; the runt of the litter. Yet David had never viewed me that way. I was never P395 to him. He had named me Joseph, selecting a prophet because it amused him. In the facility we were known only by our designation.
“You’ve seen my path, haven’t you?” David said.
For the first time in my life I lied to my friend, or perhaps it was bending the truth as David often saw it. “No. When they strapped me to the chair, and brought up the candidate, I saw only you. Finding you was easy.”
I don’t remember whose face had been on the control screen; not their race, their age, or gender. I had no intention of connecting with them.
David blew out a surprised breath. “But how-”
“I made it up.”
“You made it up?”
I glanced away so he couldn’t detect the emotion behind my words. “I put on quite a show. Stuttering through the horror of what I’d seen.”
David was nodding. “You knew they wouldn’t share a negative result with the candidate.”
I didn’t tell him that my anguish had been very real. That watching my friend die almost tore a hole in my sanity.
“But if you didn’t see my path, how did you know where to find me?”
My pulse kicked up, the guilt like acid in my gut. “I saw all I needed to see, that you were allowed to escape. It was all the incentive I needed.”
I could feel David’s gaze burning into the side of my head. If I looked at him, eye to eye, he would see straight through me.
“So what happens now? How do you know your escape isn’t part of the same test?”
“You’ll just have to trust me,” I said, my words punctuated by the sound of an approaching engine. All we had to do was evade the team who were closing in on David’s location. I hadn’t been quick enough to stop them.
I looked across at him, meeting his eyes again. “We’re not alone. The others came with me.” I nodded towards the headlights. “That’s them.”
“The others?” David took a step closer, his gold eyes lit by too much knowledge. “What did you do?”
“I told you. I bought us a head start.” I glanced at the door and back again. “And the others are here because we all earned our freedom.”
“Joseph.” David stepped out into the night with me. “Tell me what you did.”
My gaze roamed the sky, recalling the colours which had drawn my attention earlier. “I burnt the facility to the ground.”
Thanks for stopping by.