Words Alive! Writing Contest Winner: Kaylen Lassley (Short Fiction)
All around me I hear fighting: grunts of pain, the impact of flesh on flesh. I didn’t feel any pain, though. Was I supposed to feel pain? Am I already dead? These are my last thoughts as the room becomes silent again. Stars still danced in my eyes and my vision is clouded. The last thing I remember is a blur of a man standing over me with blood all over his face and clothes. I didn’t even have time to feel fear before I blacked out.
When I wake up, I’m in a dark hotel room. The curtains cover the window. I quickly shoot out of the bed and take in everything around me. A man is sitting in the chair across the room. He put his hands up.
“It’s okay. You’re okay.” His voice is deep but soft. “You’re safe now.”
“Who are you? Where am I?”
“We’re downtown. It’s okay. My name is Abraham. I rescued you from a man named Damien.”
A strange look crosses his features. I can only describe it as disappointment.
“Unfortunately, Damien is my brother. He wants a ring, and there is a rumor going around that someone that looks a lot like you has it.” A pause. “Do you have it?”
“What ring? I don’t even know what this ring is supposed to look like!”
I’m mad that this is all happening to me over a ring I know nothing about.
He doesn’t speak. He allows me a second to calm down a little, and I finally look over my rescuer. He looks like he’s in his early forties, with tan skin and black hair. His dark grey eyes weren’t unlike mine. Despite his age, he seemed fit. He must be to fight those men and carry me out of that room. He breaks the silence.
“The ring is very old, and the band is silver and very detailed. It has a blue stone on it.”
My heart sinks. That is exact the same description of the ring in my pocket that I just received as a gift from my boyfriend Trace.
“Like this?” I hold it out to him.
His eyes light up. What look like tears brim his eyelids.
“May I?” He reaches for it and I hand it to him. He spends a good five minutes just staring at it, admiring it with an expert’s eye. “I haven’t seen this in 20 years. I made it for my daughter,” He pauses, lost in memories. “May I keep it?”
“Of course,” I didn’t hesitate. This man deserves to have his ring. “Why does Damien want it so bad?”
Abraham sighs. “I don’t know if you’d believe me.”
“I’ve believed you this far, haven’t I?” I hold my breath, not knowing what to expect.
“Well, this ring is special beyond its sentimental value. I designed this ring specifically for my daughter and her DNA. The ring has special DNA technology in it that would permanently attach to her and only her. It would make her physically stronger and give her fighting capabilities to help her survive. Damien wants to make copies of the ring and its technology to build an elite army. Believe it or not, he literally wants to take over the world.”
Silence. I release my breath. This man is crazy. He honestly thinks that a ring can give his daughter special abilities? This man has lost it and he has me alone in a hotel room. I decide to play along until I can get away.
“Where is your daughter?”
“I don’t know. When she was born, we gave her to her grandmother because people, like Damien, were after the technology that I made. Her mother died a couple of months ago and I’ve been looking for my Adeline ever since.”
My whole world froze. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t speak. That was my name. Adeline is my name. This couldn’t be happening. I did grow up with my grandma, but she told me that my parents both died.
“My-My name is Adeline.”