A Hard Tomorrow

By: Sarah Ackerman

INTRODUCTION
A PLEASANT HELLO TO YOU! I AM SARAH ACKERMAN. I AM THE AUTHOR OF THIS STORY. THIS IDEA STARTED AS NOTHING MORE THAN A PROMPT. TOM, ONE OF MY CPs, AND I WERE DISCUSSING SUPERHEROES. HE ASKED ME TO WRITE MY OWN SUPERHERO ORIGIN STORY. I’M FEMALE IN A MALE-DOMINATED DISORDER. IT WAS APT TO CREATE A FEMALE SUPERHERO IN A MALE-CENTERED SUBJECT. I PERSONALIZED THIS HERO TO BE WHAT I ASPIRED TO BE. A PIECE OF ME IS IN HERE. THERE IS A HERO IN EVERYONE. WE JUST ONLY NEED TO EMBRACE IT.

IT WAS COLD AND DARK WHEN THE WOMAN IN RED CROSSED INTO TOWN. HEADLIGHTS ILLUMINATED THE SIGNS BEFORE HER. WHAT LAY AHEAD OF HER WAS ONLY DESCRIBED AS CARNAGE. BUT THAT WAS BEING KIND. ONLY THE DEAD WERE THE LUCKY ONES. THE WOMAN CONTINUED ON, HOPING HER PAST WOULDN’T CATCH HER. 

TIME SEEMED TO DRAG AS THE SUN REARED ITS HEAD OVER THE HORIZON. THE RED WOMAN PRESSED ON. SHE DID NOT KNOW HOW THE TOWNSFOLK WOULD REACT TO HER RETURN. IT HAD BEEN TWENTY YEARS SINCE SHE HAD BEEN EVEN CLOSE TO HER HOME. AND HER DEPARTURE HADN’T EXACTLY ENDED ON THE BEST TERMS. BUT SHE COULD NO LONGER STAY AWAY. NOT AFTER HEARING THE NEWS. TWELVE DEAD. HUNDREDS INJURED. CAUSE…UNDER INVESTIGATION. “BROCKING” SHE SAID TO HERSELF. IT COULD ONLY HAVE BEEN HIM. SHE PRESSED ON, REPRESSING HIM FROM HER MIND. THE SUN HAD BEGUN TO ILLUMINATE THE EARTH. SHE FLICKED THE HEADLIGHTS OFF AND CONTINUED. 

SHE PULLED UP TO THE CITY HALL. THE TOWN WAS EMPTY. 

“IT’S BEEN A WHILE NATASHA.”

NATASHA TURNED AROUND TO SEE A BLONDE WOMAN STANDING BEFORE HER. SHE HAD HER HAIR IN A BRAID. IT SAT ON HER SHOULDER. HER EYES STILL AS ICY BLUE AS THE LAST TIME NATASHA SAW HER. 

NOT LONG ENOUGH. I HATE HIS TOWN AS MUCH AS I DID WHEN I LEFT.”

“SO WHY ARE YOU BACK?”

“TIRED OF RUNNING. I CAN’T KEEP RUNNING FROM HERE.” 

“NATASHA YOU CAN’T FACE HIM ALONE.”

“YES, I CAN. I HAVE TO.”

“I’M NOT GOING TO LET YOU DO THAT. I’M GOING WITH YOU.”

NATASHA INHALED DEEPLY. “THIS ISN’T YOUR FIGHT.”

“IT BECAME MY FIGHT WHEN HE WREAKED HAVOC ON OUR TOWN. I’M GOING. BESIDES YOU’RE NOT ONE FOR STEALTH.”

THERE WAS NO SHAKING HER. HER VOICE YIELDED A VENGEANCE THAT HAD TO BE FILLED. 

“HOLLY I KNOW IT’S USELESS TO ARGUE. WE LEAVE TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT.”

NATASHA AND HOLLY SET OUT UNDER THE COVER OF DARKNESS. 

“WHERE ARE WE GOING?”

“ST. PETERSBURG. I HAVE IT ON GOOD AUTHORITY HE’S HIDING THERE.”

“BUT HOW DO WE GET THERE? THE BORERS ARE ON LOCKDOWN.”

“I HAVE A GUY WHO CAN GET US IN WITHOUT A TRACE. I GAVE HIM A CALL WHEN I FIRST HEARD THE NEWS.”

NATASHA AND HOLLY MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH THE WOODS AND INTO AN OPEN FIELD. WAITING FOR THEM WAS A MAN AND A SMALL PLANE. 

“EVENING GIRLS. WHERE TO?”

NATASHA HANDED HIM A SLIP OF PAPER AND CLIMBED INTO THE PLANE. 

IT WASN’T LONG BEFORE THEY WERE OVER OPEN OCEAN. HOLLY HAD FALLEN ASLEEP BUT NATASHA STIRRED RESTLESSLY WITH THOUGHTS AND MEMORIES FLYING AROUND IN HER HEAD. SLEEP WOULD NOT COME TONIGHT. 

“START WITH THE BASICS,” AN OLD VOICE ECHOED IN HER HEAD. 

SHE REPRESSED THE MEMORY. SHE HATED THAT VOICE. THE VOICE THAT MADE HER INTO WHO SHE WAS TODAY. THE VOICE THAT RUINED HER LIFE. SHE WIPED AWAY A TEAR. ONE DAY SHE WOULD SILENCE THAT VOICE FOREVER. 

THEY LANDED UNDER THE COVER OF DARKNESS. NATASHA AND HOLLY STEPPED OFF THE HELICOPTER AND INTO A DENSE FOREST. 

“WHERE THE HELL ARE WE?”

“ST. PETERSBURG. ONLY SPOT LEFT IN THE WORLD FOR THAT WEASEL TO HIDE.”

“BUT WHY ARE WE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE?”

“I KNOW BROCKING BETTER THAN ANYONE. HE WANTS US TO FIND HIM.”

OUT IN THE DISTANCE A PUFF OF SMOKE BILLOWED IN THE AIR.

NATASHA AND HOLLY FOLLOWED THE SMOKE TO A COTTAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS. A SMALL, SLIGHT MAN WAS CHOPPING WOOD. AS NATASHA AND HOLLY APPROACHED THE MAN LOWERED THE AX AND SPOKE WITHOUT TURNING BACK. 

“HELLO NATASHA. IT HAS BEEN A WHILE.”

NOT LONG ENOUGH,” NATASHA SAID. 

“YOU KNOW HIM?!” HOLLY SAID.

“UNFORTUNATELY SO. HE MADE ME INTO THIS MONSTER.”

“MONSTER? I GAVE YOU WHAT OTHERS HAVE KILLED TO GET.”

“YOU RUINED MY LIFE.” 

“I MADE YOU INTO SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY.”

“YOU MADE ME INTO A MENACE. YOU CAN NOT FATHOM WHAT I EXPERIENCE.” 

“WE BOTH KNOW WHY YOU ARE HERE. DO WHAT YOU CAME TO DO.” 

NATASHA’S HANDS LIT UP AND GREEN BEAMS SHOT FROM HER PALMS.

“I’M SORRY DAD.” 

AND A FLASH OF LIGHT BLINDED HOLLY. 

WHEN HOLLY REGAINED HER SIGHT NATASHA WAS ON HER HANDS AND KNEES SOBBING.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?” HOLLY SAID.

“IT IS NOT EXACTLY THE MOST PLEASANT THING TO SHARE.”

“YOU DID WHAT YOU HAD TO DO.”

“NOT THIS WAY.”

“HE DESERVED WHAT HE GOT. THE WORLD IS BETTER OFF.”

“HE WAS STILL MY DAD AND YOURS TOO.”

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”

“I’M NO LONGER HIDING THAT WE ARE SISTERS. IT’S TIME I TOLD YOU THE TRUTH.”

“THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT?”

“EVERYTHING. COME WITH ME. I KNOW A PLACE.” 

 

END OF PART 1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

SARAH ACKERMAN IS AN AUTISTIC WOMAN. FOR MOST OF HER LIFE SHE WAS UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE. THEN IN 2017 SHE LEARNED THE SPELLING TO COMMUNICATE METHOD AT INSIDE VOICE IN SPRINGFIELD PA. SINCE THEN SHE HAS FOUND HER VOICE THROUGH HER STORIES. 

SHE HAS A PASSION FOR BOOKS AND BEING IMMERSED IN DISCUSSIONS. MANY OF HER PROJECTS CENTER AROUND EMPOWERING AUTISTICS AND WOMEN. SARAH IS AN ADVOCATE FOR HER FELLOW NON SPEAKERS AS A MEMBER OF THE I-ASC’s SPELLERS AND ALLIES ADVOCACY NETWORK AS WELL AS SEEN (Spellers Empowering Education for Non speakers).

 

Posted By on Saturday, January 29th, 2022 in Autism,Community,Families,Nonspeakers,S2C,Spelling to Communicate

3 responses to “A Hard Tomorrow Part #1”

  1. Debbie Howley says:

    Sarah I love this story! I cannot wait to read part 2. You are my Super Hero!

    You are incredible!

    Love you, Debbie!

  2. Will Stephanou says:

    Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for writing this story and sharing the first chapter. That was wonderful and entertaining. I enjoyed the story and believe your characters will continue to provide amazing adventures!

  3. Elaine Mendelow Pinchuk says:

    Sarah, thank you so much for sharing this story with me.
    Like any good author, you have accomplished the desire in the reader to know what happened before and what happens next.

    I am in awe of your ability to do this and I can’t wait for Part 2. In this short time you managed to whet my appetite and I want to know how long it will be until we see Part 2 and Part 3 and more! I, too, love to read and can’t wait until you’re ready to share what happens next.
    Love, Cousin Elaine

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