A Hard Tomorrow Part #2

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.

NATASHA AND HOLLY WALKED IN SILENCE. HOLLY WAS THE FIRST TO SPEAK TO NATASHA.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?”

“I HAD TO BEAR THAT ON MY OWN. IT WAS NOT YOURS TO CARRY.”

“IT WAS NOT YOURS TO KEEP EITHER. YOU HAVE ALWAYS KEPT ME IN THE DARK.”

HOLLY STARED AT NATASHA. HER EYES CUTTING INTO NATASHA’S SOUL. NATASHA SIGHED. 

“OKAY. NO MORE SECRETS. HOLLY THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW.”

“WHAT IS IT?”

“HOLLY YOU TOO POSSESS INCREDIBLE POWERS. DEEP INSIDE OF YOU IS A POWER BEYOND YOUR COMPREHENSION. A POWER GREATER THAN MINE.” 

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED ANY KIND OF POWER.” 

“IT IS BURIED INSIDE YOU. YOU HAVE NEVER KNOWN. NOW IT IS TIME TO HARNESS IT.”

“WHAT EXACTLY IS IT? I STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND.”

“TRUST IN ME AND I WILL SHOW YOU.”

“HOLLY HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE YOU COULD MOVE OBJECTS WITH YOUR MIND?”

“THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHERE I SWORE SOMETHING MOVED! OH MY GOD CAN I ACTUALLY DO IT?”

“YES IT IS PART OF YOU. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE.”

THEY ARRIVED AT A SMALL CABIN TUCKED AWAY IN THE MOUNTAINS. NATASHA GATHERED WOOD FOR A FIRE. HOLLY MADE HER WAY INTO ONE OF THE NEARBY ROOMS. SHE COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW MUCH HER LIFE HAD CHANGED IN THE LAST TWELVE HOURS. HER THOUGHTS WERE INTERRUPTED WITH A KNOCK ON THE DOOR. 

“ARE YOU OKAY?”

“MY WHOLE LIFE JUST GOT FLIPPED ON ITS HEAD. HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO PROCESS THAT?”

“I KNOW IT’S A LOT BUT I PROMISE IT WILL ALL COME TOGETHER.”

“LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING. WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME ABOUT DAD?”

NATASHA WALKED AWAY. “GRAB A SEAT. THIS WILL TAKE A WHILE.” 

THE FIRE CRACKLED OVER HER THOUGHTS. “HOLLY ARE YOU READY?”

“AS READY AS I’LL EVER BE.”

“I KIND OF DON’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN. I GUESS I WILL START WITH DAD. IT STARTED WITH A GOVERNMENT PROJECT. I WAS ONLY A GIRL. MAYBE SIX OR SEVEN. EVERYONE KNEW DAD WAS OBSESSED WITH THE IDEA OF BECOMING INDISPENSABLE. 

“IT’S ALL HE THOUGHT ABOUT. MUCH TO THE NEGLECT OF HIS FAMILY. HE THOUGHT IF HE CREATED A SUPER SOLDIER THE GOVERNMENT WOULD REWARD HIM.

“HE STARTED CONDUCTING EXPERIMENTS ON ME TO FIND HIS PRECIOUS SOLDIERS. HIS OWN DAUGHTER. THE BASTARD! HIS EXPERIMENTS CHANGED ME. I COULD MAKE THINGS LEVITATE WITH MY MIND. I HAD BEAMS THAT INCINERATED ANYTHING. I WAS HIS EXPERIMENT. HIS LITTLE DOLL TO WHATEVER HE PLEASED.”

“IT CHANGE ME MENTALLY TOO. I DON’T KNOW WHY BUT IT MADE ME MORE VIOLENT. I DON’T WANT TO BE BUT IT IS ALWAYS PRESENT. I GET BLACKOUTS WHEN I’M STRESSED. I HATE WHO I AM BECAUSE OF IT.”

HOLLY PAUSED BEFORE SPEAKING. “SO WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ME?”

“HOLLY YOU ARE WHAT HE WANTED. HE NEEDED ANOTHER TO COMPLETE HIS SPECIAL EXPERIMENT. ONLY HE WASN’T ABLE TO COMPLETE THE JOB. I STOPPED HIM BEFORE IT WAS DONE. I COULDN’T LET HIM DESTROY ANOTHER LIFE.”

“WHAT DOES THAT MEAN THOUGH? WHAT CAN I DO?”

“YOU CAN TRAVEL TO ANY PLACE IN THE WORLD WITH A SNAP OF THE FINGER. YOU ARE IMPERVIOUS TO BULLETS. YOU CAN SHAPE ANYTHING WITH YOUR MIND.”

“SO I’M A MUTANT?”

“YOU ARE NOT. THAT IS THE THING. YOU ARE GENETICALLY ENHANCED. NOW WE MUST LEARN YOUR TRUE CAPABILITIES. YOU CAN MAKE ANYTHING YOUR MIND CAN ENVISION. JUST FOCUS ON IT.”

HOLLY CLOSED HER EYES AND GAVE IT A TRY.

“TOO BIG HOLLY. START SMALL. THINK OF EVERY SINGLE DETAIL. ENVISION IT IN THE DEEPEST PART OF YOUR MIND.”

HOLLY TRIED AGAIN.

“I CAN’T DO IT.”

“YES, YOU CAN. STOP LIMITING YOURSELF.”

HOLLY THIS TIME GROUNDED HERSELF. SHE FOCUSED HARD. OUT OF THE SILENCE CAME A POP AND A FIRE STOOD IN FRONT OF HER. NATASHA SMILED.

HOLLY COULD ONLY CHUCKLE AT WHAT SHE DID.

“GREAT ONLY THIS IS THE BEGINNING.”

“HOW MUCH BIGGER CAN WE GO?”

“AS BIG AS YOU WANT. YOUR POWERS ARE ONLY LIMITED BY YOU.”

“LET’S GO FOR IT. I’M GOING TO MAKE THE COTTAGE.”

HOLLY AGAIN GROUNDED HERSELF.  SHE DUG ONCE MORE INTO HER MIND. THE GROUND SHOOK AND ANOTHER SNAP REVERBERATED. THIS TIME FROM WITHIN THE CABIN. NATASHA AND HOLLY RACED INSIDE. THEY WERE GREETED WITH A BOUNTIFUL FEAST. THEY STOOD THERE IN THE DOORWAY AND LOOKED AT EACH OTHER. HOLLY COULD ONLY SMIRK AT THE LOOK ON NATASHA’S FACE. 

THEY TOOK ALL NIGHT TO CONSUME THEIR FEAST. EVERYTHING FOR HOLLY FELT RIGHT. 

NATASHA ROSE AT DAWN. SHE WOKE HOLLY. 

“COME ON. YOU HAVE WORK TO DO.”

“THIS MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT POWER YOU HAVE. IT IS ALSO THE DEADLIEST. YOU’RE PUSHING YOUR BODY THROUGH TIME. THAT MEANS YOUR BODY MUST BREAK APART AND PUT ITSELF TOGETHER AGAIN.”

“NO PROBLEM. I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE HUMPTY DUMPTY.”

“IF YOU’RE DONE WITH THE WISECRACKS I WANT YOU TO MOVE FROM WHERE YOU ARE TO ME.”

“HOW DO I DO THAT?”

“SIMILAR TO CONSTRUCTING. TRAVEL TO THE DEEPEST REGION OF YOUR MIND. FOCUS YOUR ENERGY THERE. ENVISION WHERE YOU MUST GO.”

HOLLY TRIED AND FELT NOTHING. AGAIN AND AGAIN, THE POWER ELUDED HER. THE COLD ONLY INTENSIFIED HER FRUSTRATION. THE CRISP AIR WAS THE ONLY THING KEEPING HER AWAKE. 

AT ONCE NATASHA’S VOICE ECHOED OUT. 

“TRY AGAIN.”

HOLLY WISHED SHE WAS BACK IN THE CABIN. NATASHA’S VOICE CRACKED THROUGH THE AIR AGAIN. 

“LET’S GO!”

HOLLY COULD NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. 

“I’M DONE. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.”

“HOLLY DON’T GIVE IN. YOU’RE NEARLY THERE.”

“NATS I’M TIRED. I’M FREEZING AND THE ONLY THING WE HAVE DONE SO FAR IS GET HYPOTHERMIA.”

NATS WALKED OVER TO HER. 

“ONE MORE TIME.”

HOLLY AGREED. SHE SUMMONED HER LAST BIT OF ENERGY AND CLOSED HER EYES. 

THE GROUND SHOOK BENEATH HOLLY. SUDDENLY SHE FELT LIKE A PORTAL HAD OPENED UNDER HER. IT SUCKED HER IN AND SHE FELT A SNAP REVERBERATE THROUGH HER BODY. THE NEXT THING SHE REMEMBERED WAS REGAINING HER FOOTING NEXT TO NATASHA WHO HAD BEEN TEN FEET IN FRONT OF HER. HOLLY OPENED HER EYES. NATASHA LOOKED AT HER WITH A KNOWING SMIRK. 

“CONGRATS, HUMPTY DUMPTY. YOU JUST TRAVELED THROUGH TIME AND SPACE.”

END OF PART 2

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).

 

The mission of I-ASC is to advance communication access for nonspeaking individuals globally through trainingeducationadvocacy and research I-ASC supports all forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with a focus on methods of spelling and typing. I-ASC currently offers Practitioner training in Spelling to Communicate (S2C)with the hope that other methods of AAC using spelling or typing will join our association

Posted By on Sunday, February 6th, 2022 in Advocacy,Autism,Community,Families,Nonspeakers,S2C,Spelling to Communicate

One response to “A Hard Tomorrow Part #2”

  1. Elaine Mendelow Pinchuk says:

    Dear Sarah,
    You have mastered the art of suspense in your writing.
    How many parts are there to the story?
    I am sure I won’t want it to end!
    Thanks for sharing Part 2 with me.
    I eagerly await Part 3!
    Love,
    Cousin Elaine

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