I froze as I heard the terrified and agonized screams of my friends and neighbours. The second I stopped I felt all the adrenaline I had been relying on abandon me, and the screams were drowned out by a far more terrifying sound. Splitting wood. I attempted to run again, to continue on my desperate flight, however I no longer had the energy. I stood there, as rooted to the ground as the trees around me. I waited.
"There's no need panic Mokoto." Her voice was soft and silky, yet somehow even more terrifying than her previous child-like shriek.
"I won't harm you for now. Return home! We will be back..."
I shuddered as she let out a sinister cackle and faded into the night. My situation began to dawn on me. I was alone, in the dark, vunerable. I realized that she was right. I needed to return home. I needed to find out whether my mother was alive or dead. I waited for a moment to calm myself, a million questions circling my mind.
"Is my mother alive? Should I give myself up? Oh daddy..."
I left the forest far more slowly than I had entered it. I knew I had to get home but a part of me didn't want to, a part of me wanted the walk to last forever. The ignorance I was wrapped in was almost a comfort. Alas, this coudn't be.
The first thing I noticed as I approached my town was the smell of burning. The acrid scent filled my nose. I looked up, the only place I thought might provide some comfort. The sky above me was flushed red, a bad omen. The next thing I saw were the buildings. Places I had known my entire life, that I thought would be there forever, were now no more than rubble. My legs shook as I trudged through the concrete dust and unidentifiable corpses that were scattered across my eyeline. I was forced to choke back the bile rising in my throat.
As I approached the centre of the town I saw that some buildings were still intact. Falling apart, covered with the black soot of their companions, but intact nonetheless. I approached my home and I stood there in a kind of twisted wonder as I stared at the hollow shell when a large lump of nearby rubble began to shift very slightly.
"Mokoto?" I recognised the voice with horror!
"Jairo!" I panicked and used my powers to fling the block of concrete that pinned my childhood friend to the ground. There was a headache at the back of my mind, and my eyes were swollen with painful tears, the pain was aggravated by my powers until it was nearly unbearable.
"Are you ok Mokoto?"
"I'm fine but are you ok?!" He was the only person that had always been there for me, the thought of any harm coming to Jairo in someways frightened me more than the death of my daddy.
"I'm fine, it's ok!" As always he wasn't about to let me see that he was injured. He wasn't like that. But I knew he was lying as a dark patch spread slowly across his shirt.
Jairo turned pale and passed out. I was ripped with panic for a few moments before sense stepped in and I used my powers to heal his wound. The colour returned to his face and I knew my friend was safe, at least for the moment, and I needed to locate my mother. Alive or dead.
As I continued to struggle through the remains of my town I reached the doctors office. One wall of it was completly missing and I could see some civilians gathered around a makeshift bed that used to be a desk. They were all injured in some way, bandages held broken limbs and torn flesh. Faces were scarred and morphed. As I approached they fell silent and stepped away.
"Ah! Mokoto dear! No wait I don't think you should-"
I ignored Mrs Flintwich, my elderly neighbour, and continued on my way to the bed. As I had suspected, my mother lay on it. She didn't seem injured, her face was peaceful, she was pristine. I saw that she was breathing and relief washed through me for a heavenly second. But then I took a glance at the doctor's stern expression and realized that it wasn't as it seemed.
I reached out to the woman that raised me....
My mother's shreik frightened me somewhere deep inside. I had been through a lot that day but this was too much, the straw that broke the camel's back. I finally sucumbed to the dark claws of sleep that had been tearing at the edges of my consiousness.
When I woke up I was in the same doctors office with Jairo by my side. For the few seconds in between sleep and wake I forgot where I was. For that one, heavenly moment I was safe, and none of this had happened. Then my mothers terrifying, demon-like scream pierced my mind and I sat blot upright in a cold sweat.
"It's alright Mokoto.."
Jairo held me until my shivering stopped and my tears finally began to cease. I realized that this was my fault. All these people were suffering because of me and my stupid gifts! My mother had been moved now and the rest of the civilians were out, trying to piece together what was left of ther shatered lives. I knew what I had to do. When Jairo next spoke it was as if he read my mind.
"I'm coming with you."