The thick indigo blanket was over her head. She was hiding beneath the blue comforter, staring at the darkness, her mind fixated on Whisper, or so she hoped.
Duncan’s raucous snort, an owl’s hoot, a lizard’s hiss, the wind’s howl and the air conditioner’s breath drew her back into the real world. The less interesting world. She tried to shut her ears and dull the filthy noises that were vexing the thought process in her mental paradise. The land of the Black Vultures. The land of the Pariahs.
Her ears were pressed against her pillow, blocking the noise from the world around her. Quiet…quiet. But what she heard next was far more unbearable. A voice…the Voice of the Black Vulture screamed in her head. Screamed with such ferocity that tears momentously burst out of her eyes.
You are the pariah.
Accept the reality for the world is an illusion.
Embrace your Brotherhood for you are one of them.
Learn who you are for you owe it to yourself.
You are the pariah and you are the chosen one.
You are the…
She immediately shut the formless voice in the eye of her mind and looked at her brother, snoring still, his voice less tormenting than the screamer in her head. The voice was dead, for now, but her stomach howled and her heart hummed a moronic tune.
I have to go now. It’s time.
Samantha slowly lifted her blanket and let her bright purple eye fall prey to the yellowish bed lamp. Her eyes gleamed with fear and the naked want for answers.
Time for the next experiment Samantha thought and slowly lifted the comforter off, just like she had done for a fortnight. She turned around stealthily, her bed hissing, and then she bent down.
The hiss woke Duncan up and stopped the snoring. He opened his eyes and looked at his sister. He looked at her for sometime and then he jumped off the bed and walked towards her. He held her head in his hands and slowly moved her away from the edge. He drew the comforter over her and walked back to his bed, turning the bed lamp off.
Samantha kept her eyes closed for sometime…until the grandfather clock in the room chimed twelve. She then gave in to the commands of the Black Vulture and brought her eyes back to life. With the light turned off, she quite couldn’t figure out what her brother was doing. Is he asleep or is he awake?
‘Duncan, Dan, Duncan,’ whispered Samantha and hoped that he wouldn’t respond…and so it happened. Samantha picked up her phone and unlocked the screen. She turned the phone screen towards her brother and saw that his back was facing her.
You have to go now. It’s already midnight. Whisper can’t wait that long.
She again repeated the errand, lift and turn, lift and turn, and then she put her hands down and picked up her sneakers.
Samantha wore the Pink Rabbit on her feet and looked at her brother. Duncan, please don’t wake up, said Samantha to herself and slowly and stealthily put her feet on the carpeted floor. She turned her pillow vertical, removed the pillow cover and covered the bare bag of foam with her indigo blanket. She clutched the white cover in her hand and she furtively made her way out of the room.
She left the door behind her open and slowly walked down the stairs. She traipsed across the drawing room, the dining room and then walked a corridor that led to the rear garden.
Samantha languidly stood in front of the glass door and admired the rhythmic tune of the waves. She then closed her eyes and slid the glass door open. Just a little. Just enough space for her to squeeze out.
The air scrolled through the frail opening and howled in her ears, as the icy cold breeze crept up her spine and sent a chill through her unblemished self.
You have nothing to fear for you are not alone.
The fourteen-year-old Vulture crept out of the threshold and slid the glass door shut behind her. The white cloth fluttered in her hands as she stood alone in the darkness and dwelled on her sinister scheme.
This is just an experiment. No harm will come to you. The Black Vultures will protect you. Your Brotherhood will embrace you.
Freedom without free thought is bondage.
She calmly walked towards Whisper’s kennel and opened the thick metal gate. Samantha stared at the three sleeping puppies, Whisper, Dexter and Scooter. She picked up her pup, Whisper, and she neatly slid her inside the white pillow cover.
You have no compassion for you are the Pariah.
Dexter morosely opened his eyes and looked at his sibling. He then cast his eyes on Samantha and nonchalantly went back to sleep, with no urge to bark.
Samantha closed the steel door shut and took Whisper behind the kennel. She left the pillow cover on the floor and she climbed up the home from whence Whisper was just taken.
I need to know who I am. I’m sorry, Whisper.
Samantha took one deep breath…two deep breaths…three deep breaths and then she jumped off the kennel and landed on the pillow cover.
Life is a spectrum.