Random flashbacks of a life screamed through: a birthday party, a graduation scene, an all-nighter that almost went wrong. Then, there was darkness; a void with no light or sound. It was the most terrifying thing anyone could go through. Just when the mind was about to scream, the will of the soul was about to ache for anything to happen, an excruciating zap was felt and coursed throughout the body. It was enough for Tabitha to yell out in pain, holding back tears. She let the pain dissipate before she attempted to gather her senses. Noises and smells, finally; not the best of smells but it was a small relief that she was able to sense something. She slowly opened her eyes; her vision was blurred but she could tell that it was raining: she was also finally able to feel.
Out of instinct, the first thing that came to mind was trying to remember who she was. Name: Tabitha Nicole Lyght. Born and raised in Tennessee. Occupation: Army staff sergeant. Date……
She rubbed her eyes and slightly moaned; the effects of whatever had struck her still coursed through her body, making her lightheaded and confused. What day was it? Why couldn’t she remember the date? And, more importantly… where was she?
A jolt, a voice repeated in her mind. Her eyes finally focused and she realized in disgust that she was in an alley. She slowly started to remember things as she tried to figure out why her body felt so weird… and why she was in an alley! An experiment; some type of liquid being injected inside of her and then a jolt to her body. An over-zealous general and terrified green eyes. She recalled smoke from some type of machine and the sudden sensation of something that felt like it ripped her in half.
Did she die? Tabitha tried to stand but her legs would not cooperate; she immediately fell back down. Not wanting to try it again, she scooted herself to the side of the building and propped herself up against the wall. She did die, she slowly realized. The only explanation as to why she was in that alley… was that the general had her dumped there. Her brain was still cloudy, she was still feeling funny but she knew that she was a dump job.
She felt like she was on fire, a pins and needle feeling coursing through her entire body. She angrily wondered what the general had told the others in her unit. She couldn’t even imagine the web of lies he told them. Because, if he would’ve told the others that she had died, she would’ve been still in the “comfort” of the darkness she was experiencing. That thought made her wonder how she was revived… or even if she had even died. Maybe she was just unconscious.
It made her even more upset; if she was merely unconscious and woke up in that alley, that meant that the general didn’t need any evidence that something wrong had happened. She imagined him telling the others that the experiment was actually a success; the electrocution was just a small setback. They would be slightly celebrating that the staff sergeant would be one of the first to be deployed overseas to test it out even more; they would line up to volunteer to fight alongside her. It was the perfect lie; no one would ever think to question it.
Tabitha had to stop thinking about that and start worrying about the weird feeling that coursed through her veins. It felt like… electricity. Her eyes widened as they were fully focused… and she saw a hint of electric currents waving throughout her hands. She closed them shut, shaking her head; she was having an illusion. She had never been electrocuted before; she had no idea of what side effects she would have from being shocked to the point of unconsciousness. The only thing that she knew was that she needed to calm down and get out of that alley.
Tabitha willed herself to stand, leaning on the wall for support. It was a small struggle to become upright but when she finally did, her legs became jelly yet again. No… no, she tried to reprimand herself; she was not going to cry! She curled herself up into a ball, trying hard not to let her tears fall. She just wanted things to go right; she wanted that electric feeling gone, she wanted to walk, she wanted to get out of there… she wanted to find that general…
A sudden shuffle startled her and she popped her head up. A homeless person, she sighed to herself. With everything that was happening to her, she hadn’t noticed the man across from her. He got up slowly and approached her. She glanced down at her hands; the currents were starting to become noticeable and she buried them underneath her arms. She was slightly frightened; Tabitha had never encountered a homeless person before and figured that they were just like how they had been portrayed in movies: drunk, smelly and incoherent, possibly delusional and violent.
However, the man was sympathetic as he approached her with what looked like a blanket. She could see his eyes beyond the filth, a filth that came from living in the alley for a while; they were as brown and gentle as her own were. He smiled as he draped the ragged blanket over her.
“I’ve been waiting on you to wake up. Could’ve passed for a dead woman…” his southern accent had her hoping that she was at least still in the city. She didn’t remember any alleyways in Chattanooga but that was the least of her worries.
“How… long I’ve been out…?” the coarseness of her voice sounded as if she had come out of a deep sleep. The man continued to smile as he held out a grimy hand; he wanted to help her at least stand up.
“Oh… ‘bout a day or two. Thought you were an old woman at first… but I can see that you’re a young’un…” he mentioned. He had grabbed her shoulder to help lift her up. It was then when she had felt it; that pins and needles feeling that was making her uncomfortable fired up, making her grab the man’s arm. Without warning, the currents that had started as small waves around her hands exploded into streams of lightning, traveling from her fingertips and up the man’s arm. She couldn’t stop it; Tabitha watched in disbelief as the man who was trying to help her had been immediately engulfed in an electrical surge. After what seemed like forever, he finally fell to the ground, still convulsing from the lightning… the lightning that she had seen come from her fingers. The feeling that had made her immobile calmed down enough for her to move; still in shock, she hurriedly crawled into a corner deeper into the alley. She watched as the surge that had killed the man finally disintegrated and was replaced with the awful smell of burnt flesh in the air. Confused, frightened and almost sick to her stomach, Tabitha curled up into a tight ball… and finally cried.