by Ollie Cooper
If you could change the world but it meant losing everything, could you do it?
|Darkness. I can feel it creeping in, trying to strangle me. I want to cry out but if I do, they’ll find me. The only people in the world as strong as I am, the only people in the world like me, the people who want me alive because I’m no fun dead, my brothers. There were four of us once, quadruplets. Until one day, eight years ago, when four regular little eleven-year-olds went to their favorite lake in the forest behind their house and the very abnormal eleven-year-olds returned. I found a corner and I hear a voice, his voice. “Oliver, come on out. We just want to play with you again, Ollie. You can’t run from us forever.” I hear footsteps. I feel hot breath on my neck and a whisper in my ear, “found you”.
I wake up in a cold sweat, the memories of last week’s events still fresh in my mind and apparently in my dreams as well. This wasn’t the first time Damien and Ian had tried to catch me but it was the first time they’d gotten so close. I try to shove these thoughts to the back of my mind and force myself to get up and use the coffee maker my hotel room has provided. I’ve been jumping from place to place, mostly sleeping on the streets but this time I’d spoiled myself with a warm bed and a more than needed shower. I walk into the bathroom to wash the remnants of last night’s dream from my skin and catch a glance of myself in the mirror. I look terrible. Not terrible as in ugly but terrible as in dead. If I had enough sleep and less weight on my shoulders, some people would call me hot but right now, with my bruise-colored eyebags and five o’clock shadow turned multi day shadow, I look more like a zombie than a model.
My thoughts are interrupted by Kei, my only friend and partner in crime, saying “You look dreadful, mate”.
He doesn’t mention the dream or the fact that it’s three a.m. and I’ve clearly woken him up. He doesn’t have to, every time my brothers come close to catching us, I stop sleeping.
“We need to keep moving. I’ll pack the clothes and shower stuff if you’ll clean up trash and food supplies. I want to be out of here by the time the staff start to wake up.” I say in means of reply. Kei, tying his shoulder length, dark walnut hair into a knot at the top of his skull, just sighs and gets to work.