In The Shadows
By. S. F. Wheeler
We both flew threw what looked like a really bright tunnel and fell out the other side right next to the plane.
“My god.” Conner said. “There it is.” he touched the broken wing of the plane and skimmed his hand along the half burnt wall of the cockpit. He walked around the rubble and burnt rocks until he found the passenger seats. The bodies were long removed but somehow I think he knew where his parents sat. He brushed some ash from the handle of half a seat and read the number allowed.
“14 B.” he said. “That’s it. They sat here.” he found an almost un-damaged red leather suitcase and tried to open the melted clasps. He cursed when they didn’t open. I took my marker and drew the open symbol. The case snapped open. He held in a small choking sob. A silver dress was on the top in perfect condition. In the pocket was a silver chain with a crystal dove hanging from it. There was a reason I didn’t try to find my mom and dads bag. I found mine and Colby’s and salvaged our cloths but that was it.
Conner dropped to his knees and sorted threw the fancy dresses. He pulled out a silver locket on a chain and tried to hold in a sob again. In it was his mom and dad’s pictures. He tried so hard not to but he finally broke and tears streamed down his cheeks. I didn’t know weather I should leave him to himself or try to comfort him so I just stood there. When the crying started to shake his shoulders I knelt next to him and put my hand on his back.
“Not very manly now am I.” he said threw gasps for air.
“I’m not sure I ever said you were manly.” I replied. He laughed or choked, I’m not sure, but he smiled. “In fact I don’t remember that word ever coming up.”
“For your information I am very manly.” he said. “Just not right now.”
“It’s alright you know.” I said. He snorted and grasped the locket tighter. He put the locket on and closed the bag.
“Did you find your parents stuff?” he asked wiping tears from his cheeks.
“I couldn’t.” I said.
“Why?” he asked.
“I think you know why.” I said.
“Victoria Forrest.” Conner said.
“What?” my voice cracked.
“There.” he said pointing to a blue leather suit case. My mom’s hand writing was on it.
A passport was next to it and I picked it up.
“Victoria Angel Forrest.” Conner read over my shoulder. “DOB December 13th 1996? that’s not your mom is it?”
“No. That’s me.” I said. “My real name is Victoria but no one calls me it anymore.” I slipped the passport in my pocket.
“Is it your bag?” Conner asked.
“No. My mom’s name is Victoria too.” I said.
“Should we go then?” Conner asked. I looked at the bag then at Conner’s red eyes. I knelt by the bag and opened it. My mom’s perfume rushed to me and suddenly I felt safe. Like I was back home on our ranch.
“A horse racing ribbon?” Conner said quietly.
“My mom was a racer.” I said. “We owned a ranch.” I felt my throat close up and looked away. I pulled out my mom’s favorite plaid shirt and hugged it to my chest.
“Puteus ‘memini te semper.” Conner said in Latin I think. I looked up at him and the words came to me.“We’ll always remember you.” I translated.
“You took long enough.” Tex said waiting by his door.
“Sorry.” I said. “We had to look for something.”
“The doc said I could go.” Tex said. “And I know where I want to go.”
“I still don’t know if it’ll work on you.” I said. “But I’ll try. Where is it?” I took out my marker and pulled up my sleeve.
“An island. A deserted island.” he said.
“A what?” I asked.
“I want to start over. Completely.” he said.
I nodded and wrote his destination on my arm. I took his hand and drew the teleport symbol on my hand in his. We vanished. Unlike me Tex was spinning wildly in the tunnel of light and he would have flew off if I hadn’t grabbed onto him. We fell very harshly onto a hot beach and the sand puffed up around us. After a few coughs we got up and looked around. It was a nice size island with plenty of coconut trees and other odd fruit.
“I’ll put my house here.” he said climbing onto the lush grass part of the island.
“What will you call your island?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” he said. “I’ll think of something some day.”
“Think fast.” I said. “It needs a name if I want to come back some day.”
“You’d come back?” he said.
“If it has a name.” I said.
“I’ll call it cennet.” he said.
“It’s Turkish for paradise or heaven.” Tex said.
“Then I’ll come visit you at cennet.” I said. “Goodbye Tex.”
“Goodbye Angel.” Tex said as I vanished.
“Where is he?” Conner asked when we got back to camp.
“He calls it cennet.” I said. “It’s beautiful there.”
“He called it paradise in Turkish?” Conner asked.
“How many languages do you know?” I asked.
“All of them.” he said.
“Really? How?” I asked.
“My talent.” he said. “Like you are natural with those symbols I’m natural with languages. Your brother is natural with speed, Will is natural at healing if you’ll believe it. We all have natural talents that we cant explain.” he said.
“Where were you?” Colby asked running up to me.
“Sorry Colby. I had to help a friend.” I said.
“Is your friend okay now?” Colby asked.
“Yes.” I said.
“Then I forgive you.” he said skipping away.
“Well.” Conner said.
“Yeah. I’m not sure why but I think he knows more than I do sometimes. He’s actually the one who told me to chase after you when we first seen you.” I said.
“Smart kid.” Conner said. “You want to go for a walk I want to show you something.”
“Sure.” I said.
We quietly walked up a hill and I noticed the burnt flower on the cliff. This was the cliff I found last night. He pushed some trees out of the way and it opened into a clearing. Conner had vines strung across the trees to form a sort of roof and bamboo grouped together to make beams that the vines spiraled around. It looked like a homemade gazebo. It was beautiful. He even had a swing hung from one of the oak trees.
I sat on the swing where I could see the whole forest and laughed.
“What’s funny?” Conner asked.
“If I weren’t here right now I would not believe this.” I said.
“Believe what?” he asked
“This. Me sitting on a swing next to a beautiful gazebo.” he pushed the swing as I spoke. “You pushing me on the swing. A mad man trying to kill us. Magic. It’s like a story.”
“Maybe it is.” Conner said. “If it is, what part of the book would this be?”
“The part where the hero tries to kiss the heroine but before he can the bad guy attacks.” I said. “Usually a suspenseful part of the book.”
“Attack? I think I liked the first part better.” he said sitting on the swing with me.
I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. The only guys I can remember were my dad and brother. After the crash I didn’t think I’d ever see another guy and I especially never thought one would try to kiss me. Did I want to kiss him? I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know much about him it’s only been a day and a bit. As he leaned in I couldn’t think of what to do so I followed his lead. We both jumped when a gun shot fired. “I told you.” I said shaking my head. Always happens. “The readers are on the edge of their seats waiting for them to kiss when ‘bam!’ the bad guy ruins it.”
“Damn!” Conner said. “Lets go.”
“No wait.” I said. I took out my marker and looked at Conner. “We can be invisible.”
“Good idea. Then we can take his gun… again.” Conner said.
“Exactly.” I said.
“Hurry then.” he said.
I drew the invisible symbol on us and we vanished. I could hear heavy foot steps coming toward us, crunching leaves and sticks as they neared. I could see his shadow now, emerging from the darkness. I seen Conner’s foot steps in the dirt and realized too late that the man wasn’t Mill. Conner leaped at him and disarmed him as I called ‘no!’. the poor man ran from the woods screaming ‘Ghost! Ghost!’.
“My bad.” Conner said.
“It was dark.” I said. “We didn’t know.”
“Well… we can add this gun to our stash.” Conner said.
“And pray he doesn’t tell people.” I said.
“At least not people that will believe him.” Conner said. I wiped the invisible symbol off of me and reappeared.
“Um…” Conner said. That didn’t sound good.
“What?” I asked.
“I don’t know where the symbol is.” he said. I laughed and found the invisible him. I took his arm and found the symbol in a second without even seeing him. It helped that it was on his muscle and that was easy to find.
“So where were we?” Conner said.
“You’ll have to catch me first.” I said leaping and shifting into a wolf. I ran off threw the trees and I could hear Conner following. I wasn’t sure where I was going but I kept running and dodging Conner’s attempts to catch me.
We came out by a big lake when another gun shot went off. We shifted human again and tried to find the person with the gun. I was going to suggest it was another hunter when I heard Mill shout.
“Here pretty pretty.” he said. “I know you’re out here.”
“Damn.” Conner said.
“We’ll have to run in the opposite direction of the camp.” I whispered.
“I know you’re with them Tex. I’ll let you come back.” Mill said. I tried to stifle my laughter.
“Who in the right mind would go back to you, after that.” I called. I threw a rock into a nearby tree and three birds flew off. Mill, thinking they were us, shot wildly at them while Conner and I made our way around the lake.
I thought we were doing good when I heard him behind us. He was far but he was still there. We tried to move faster but it only drew Mill’s attention. When I turned to see where he was I noticed his rifle had a green lens. Thermal scope. I didn’t feel it or see it or even here it. He had a silencer on his gun. I stood there for a second until I felt my shirt dampen. I moved my hand to my stomach and felt the warm sticky blood. Then everything was swallowed by darkness.