Author's Note: The song in the first Durham scene is the following: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx2iLOvP0rM – Credit to Roxette for it! Amazing band, by the way.
[[THREE YEARS EARLIER]]
The boy looked up at the sign in front of him, regarding it with an odd sense of pleasure. It was as if this place was his destiny. He could feel it in his blood. He felt as if he were meant to stand here in front of this colossal giant, standing on these silvery metal legs, words printed in forceful bold.
Welcome to tiny Summersville!
Where you won't find bright and sunshiny anything but the weather!
“I'm tired of your ********, Bea,” his mother chastised.
The boy - “Bea” - glanced around him, only seeing the green hills and trees dotting the landscape, along with the brown of the dirt road he stood on. He reached up and wiped sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand, pushing away strands of jet black hair in the process.
Bea looked up at the sign for a bit longer. He liked the look of it. The large, bold text made him feel powerful for looking at it, while the italicized line below it was amusing and also fmade him feel gentle. He liked gentle. It was such a peculiar but also familiar feeling.
He gave the sign a nod, before sliding his hands into the pockets of the jeans he wore. He shuddered at the feeling of the foreign fabric. His tail uncurled from his waist and cracked outward, stretching itself. He walked down the road, curious to see if the sign was accurate: would it really lead him to Summersville?
“How do you do? (Do you do?)
The things that you do!
No one I know could ever keep up with you!”
Catherine Durham was writhing. She danced around virtually on one leg in the confined space of her room, music so loud that her ears were ringing. But she didn't care. She switched between imitating a drummer and playing air guitar. Both of which she was an amateur at, but once again, she could have given less of a damn. She belted out the music as it came.
“How do you do?
Did it ever make sense to you?
To say bye-
Catherine stopped herself in the middle, pinned both her legs together, tilted her head to the side and waved good-bye to a nonexistent figure excitedly.
Or, what she thought to be a nonexistent figure. But she saw a slim woman in the doorway, her hands pressing the fabric of her purple dress against her hips. The woman wore a grin that looked like it was about to break her lips.
“...Oh. Hi, mom.”
Catherine quickly moved over to her stereo and hit the pause button.
Catherine's mother nodded slowly. “Hello, deary. Keep the music down, will you? Miss Agnew was already over here complaining, and we've yet to leave for tonight.”
Catherine's face was as red as a cherry. She nodded in response. “Yes ma'am! Tell Miss Agnew I'm sorry...”
“Will do. You guys be good, okay? Don't bug your poor brother.”
Catherine decided to go ahead and flip off the music for the night. “Okay.”
Her mother shut the door, and Catherine flopped down to the bed, her mind thinking of how amazing it would be to live in the shoes of Marie Fredrikkson one day – so she could be near the amazing Per Gessle.
Jordan Durham flopped down onto the couch, rejoicing in the coldness of it. He had slept all he could for the day, and he refused to just lay there doing nothing, so he had come downstairs to watch television in his misery.
He lay his head down onto one of the pillows, and stared at the ceiling for a few moments, before reaching out to grab the remote. He heard the sound of footsteps, and sighed – even in his sickness he dreaded the worrying mother.
She reached out to lay a hand on his forehead. Her skin was freezing; Jordan shivered the moment she touched him.
“Feeling awfully warm...” she mused. “Are you sure you don't want me staying home tonight, Jordan?”
Jordan took his glance off the television for a moment, satisfied, as he had found his favorite channel. “No, mom... I feel like ****, but I'll be fine.”
His mother let a grin tug at her lips. She reached down and gave him a quick peck on the top of the head. “You kiss your mother with that mouth?”
Jordan returned the kiss, giving her one on the check. “You're damn right I do. Love you, mom.”
“Love you too, Jordan. Try to maybe get some more sleep on the couch. When you're sick, the best thing to do is...”
“...sleep it off,” Jordan finished for her.
“Yep. Let me know if your sister gets to harassing you too much,” she said.
“I don't think she will. Even little sisters have hearts.”
His mother let herself giggle. “Even when he's sick as a dog, little Jordan still gets out a good one. I'll see you later.”
“Right. Tell Dad I wish me and Catherine could be there,” Jordan murmured.
“I will. Be good,” his mother said, before heading toward the door. Jordan heard it slip shut, and he let his eyes do the same. He thought it would be impossible to sleep again for the night, since he had been dead the entire day, but soon his consciousness also slipped away from him, and he lay there in a restless sleep.
His eyes were not his own: they were of someone different, but familiar.
He heard screams all around him. They were the screams of those who knew nothing but the red fields: both fields of poppies and fields of blood. They were the screams of those who were frightened, because they knew they were going to die.
He felt the rifle in his hand, and raised it. Enemy lines were in front of him, and he pulled the trigger without aiming, only hoping to hit.
He heard a specific scream, and he knew he did.
He ran over to check out what he had done. His eyes widened in horror as the gaze of his dead best friend was focused on him. The gaze had locked onto him in his best friend's last moments of life, when the trigger had been pulled
He let loose a howl of sorrow, and placed his head against the blood soaked chest of his best friend, beginning to cry.
Jordan awoke with a start, hearing the voice of his sister but not really caring: the only things on his mind being the horrified screams and the wide eyes of... who? Who had he shot again? Why had he shot someone?
“Jordan, are you okay? You were screamin' pretty loud... I could hear you from my room...”
“I-... I'm fine,” Jordan stammered. “Just a bad dream. Don't worry 'bout it sis.”
Catherine looked worried, but seemed to dismiss the incident. Jordan nodded toward her.
“What time is it?”
Catherine got up and looked toward the kitchen, where their clock hung. “Seven thirty on the dot.”
A sigh escaped Jordan's lips. He had only been asleep for about fifteen minutes, and the rest hadn't done much other than upset his already nauseous stomach.
He heard the ring of the phone, and lay his head down on the pillow again. His only consolation was that his favorite television show was now on.
“What?!” He heard Catherine's voice scream this, and he sat up rigid, turning to face her. He saw her face go pale, and he felt his heart begin to thump fearfully in his chest. “How?!... O... okay... yes, we'll be ready in five... see you then.”
She set down the phone, not even hitting the receiver, and moved toward the couch. “Jordan, we need to get ready to go.”
Jordan stared at her for a moment, silent.
She continued on. “A bomb went off at the ballroom.”
Jordan's eyes widened to the point of where he thought they would pop out of their sockets. His mother and father had gone to this ballroom for the military ball that was being held there. “...Right-...d...do they know what happened to... you know...”
“...They know the b-...b.... – -it- went off near Dad... and the... chances... oh, Jordan, they -know- he's dead!”
Jordan felt his muscles tense. He bent his head forward, unable to stop the expulsion of vomit before he could get to the restroom: the floor and coffee table in front of him were splattered with a liquid mixture of his stomach acids and this evening's lunch.
It happened twice more before he could even get up.
“...Mom is alright, though. The bomb went off a couple of minutes ago, and they have the building evacuated... mom's got Miss Agnew picking us up and taking us to the scene...”
Jordan looked at the vomit splattered in front of him, then to Catherine. He stood up and began to move toward his room, so he could get his shoes, in complete and utter silence. He heard the sound of her gentle weeping.
He wanted to do the same himself, but he had to be strong. This is what he told himself: he could cry when Catherine wasn't around, because if he did while she was, it would do nothing more than make her more frightened. It was his duty as big brother. He wished it wasn't. He wanted to cry, to scream, to punch things.
He swooped into the bathroom, fell to his knees in front of the toilet and vomited once more.
Bea looked at the man in front of him with indifference.
“Why are you so jumpy?” he asked.
The man looked at him like he was growing lobsters out of his ears, however. “...Child, where are you parents? They weren't... were they?”
“My parents are on Vegeta.”
The man looked a slight bit concern. He extended a hand toward Bea, nodding to him. “Come on, child, let's get you to a police officer so we can find your parents... I'm sure they must be worried sick.”
“My parents don't care. Why is your hand out? Why are you so jumpy?”
“I'm sure they do – take it, child, I'll lead you.”
“...Take your hand?” Bea asked slowly.
“Yes, child, take my hand,” the man said.
“Are you sure?”
“Of course! Take it!”
Bea grabbed the man's hand, squeezed it firmly, and began to pull. The man's shoulder joint was disconnected from its socket with an audible pop, and the man began to scream.
Bea let the man's hand go and grabbed his temples, digging his fingernails into his skin. The world around him grew wavy, and everything moved in slow motion.
Except for her voice.
“I'm tired of your ********, Bea! What the hell do you think you're doing?!”
“I'm sorry!” Bea screamed. His eyes were wide and bloodshot.
“Sorry's not good enough!” the man shrieked. “Ah, my ****ing arm!”
The world around him was full of screams. Distorted voices, all of them filled with fear. Of him? No, of his parents. That was the only explanation. He wouldn't hurt a fly – why would they be scared of him?
“STOP SCREAMING!” Bea bellowed.
He thrust his arms out to the side, and felt energy pulsate from his hands. The air around him distorted now, growing hotter. He heard things crack – both the sickening crack of bone and the splintering crack of trees. The screams around him were of fear.
“STOP YOUR ****ING SCREAMING, BOY!!!” The voice was not his own: it was his father's.
Bea felt a hand on his shoulder, and instantly, he relaxed. He fell to his knees, and began to sob.
“...The boy did good,” the voice behind him said. “Wasn't supposed to make the destruction so widespread, but hey – it ****in' works, eh, Basi?”
“Right, Tommy. Amazing job. So much power, and so ****in' easy to control... If he don't wander off on ya anyway.”
“...I did good...” Bea whispered. He saw through a gray, primal vision, smoke rising from the ground.
He stood up and smiled. “I did good.”
Jordan slipped into the car, scooting to the other side where the door was shut – Catherine slipped in next to him. He slid an arm around her shoulder, and drew her in close, gently stroking her hair.
“Miss Agnew, thank you so much... do you... know anything else on what's going on?” Jordan asked. With his free hand, he rolled down the window next to him so that he could get his head out in case he needed to vomit.
“It's horrible, I can imagine... you poor children... your mother sounded so upset. I'm sure having you guys around will make things a bit better – as for any new information? No. But I've got my cell phone with me so your mother can reach me if necessary.”
The car began to move. They were silent for a long time – Catherine's occasional moans being the only exception.
And of course, their collective gasps as, when they neared the area where the ballroom once stood, they saw the crater.
Miss Agnew stopped the car and got out. Jordan and Catherine watched in the back, feeling the sweltering heat in the area. They watched, horrified, as she explored the area for a few moments.
She came back, and sat down in the front seat, turning her head around. “...Something much more major must have happened. There's... nothing here... no bodies... no grass, no trees... it's just... gone... we need to get out of here.”
“As if,” a gruff voice interfered.
Author's Note(End): Well, here we are. The end of chapter 2. I've decided that, for right now, all other projects are on a -short- hiatus in exchange for this one. I love Dragon Ball Z, and I love to write: I love Pokemon to, but I am completely and totally short on ideas for any of my other stories right now.