The shopping centre was filled with the usual crowd, the dejected adolescents taking residence along walls and generally loitering. The small babies in strollers crying in spite of their mothers' attempts to calm them down. The singles sharing that first-time cup of coffee together, a knowing smile on each of their lips. And of course, no experience would be complete without the parents arguing loudly while their two children stand by uncomfortably, meeting the curious glances of strangers. In the back of my mind I knew it was bad that I was here. That I was recalling this memory, but it eluded my younger mind as she turned to face her older brother.
“What do you want to do?” she whispered, because she didn't understand why her parents had a say. Thomas opened his mouth to speak, but her parents' shouts interrupted him.
“He's far too young to go to a university!” Her mum yelled, taking Thomas' hand and hugging him against her. He didn't fight her, but the girl could tell he was unhappy. He didn't like being touched without being told so first and mother has grabbed him rather harshly.
“He's thirteen, he's not the helpless child you make him out to be. He's incredibly smart and deserves to explore that as soon as possible,” Her dad replied calmly. Refusing to give into her mother hysterics. Her mum opened her mouth to reply but the words were drowned out by a terrifying scream. Thomas clutched their mother's wrist tightly. He didn't like loud noises, never had. Everyone around them didn't move, even as scream followed scream. Even as the distance grew smaller. Until the scary creatures rounded the corner. Then it was a mess of bodies scrambling and blood, so much blood. Erika watched as one of the green, man-like creatures descended on her father and felt blood splatter across her clothes and face. A hand grabbed hers and pulled. Thomas, she remembered dimly. She couldn't see her mother anymore. She could see blood where her mother had been standing though.
“Need out,” Thomas muttered. He was shaking violently, his other hand covering one ear. They were almost at the big glass doors then something yanked her back and a scream left her lips as pain shot through her lower leg. She reached her other hand to Thomas, green eyes pleading. Thomas watched her, frozen, then he grabbed her other hand and hardened his grip. He pulled her back. Throwing himself in front of her.
“Tom!” She screamed, as he got grabbed and pulled through the crowd and out of her line of sight. She heard another hiss nearby and didn't think. Just ran through the doors and away from the utter chaos.
I threw the blankets off me and shuddered as the cold air touched my fevered skin. The sheets were soaked in sweat and I could feel my hair sticking to my skin. Instinctively I wrapped my arms around myself before covering my eyes as the familiar trail of tears began to fall. Even now I looked back at myself in disgust. Thomas had risked himself to save me but I'd never had the guts to go back for him. I shook the line of thought and flicked on the lamp light, closing my eyes in shock, before blinking them open again. I quietly showered and got dressed, because I knew there was no way in hell I was going to be able to sleep again.
I didn't bother knocking on Arik's door, drac didn't sleep very long so he'd already be up. I headed for the kitchen upstairs in the conservatory bit of the ship. Here it was a huge dome of thick glass where you could watch all the stars pass by. The first thing I did was fire up the coffee pot, because I knew I'd need the energy, I couldn't have slept more than three hours. I looked upwards and felt my breath go away, Arik had told me about being in space and seeing the stars up close. But I'd never actually seen myself until now. I'd only had my imagination, and it had hardly scratched the surface. I wished I was here because of better circumstances. Up here the stars shone even brighter, barely ever twinkling.