A Hard Tomorrow Part #5

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.

HOLLY WAS FROZEN. NATASHA WASN’T MOVING. HOLLY DEADENED HER EYES ON HILL.

“YOU.” 

HILL THEN DIRECTED THE GUN AT HOLLY. THE TWO OF THEM STARED AT EACH OTHER AS HILL SQUEEZED THE TRIGGER. BUT IT DID NOT FIRE. HILL DROPPED THE GUN AND MADE A DASH FOR THE DOOR. HOLLY CUT HIM OFF. SHE LIFTED HIM OFF THE GROUND. 

HOLLY GRITTED HER TEETH. SHE HELD HILL’S HEAD IN HER HANDS. 

“LOOK AT HER.”

HILL ADJUSTED HIS EYES ON NATASHA.  

THERE WAS A LOUD SNAP AND HILL COLLAPSED. EVERYTHING WAS STILL. 

“NATASHA?”

THERE WAS NO ANSWER.

“NATS? PLEASE.”

“HOW GOOD DID IT FEEL?”

“NATASHA?!” 

HOLLY’S EYES FILLED WITH TEARS.

“YEAH.” NATASHA GROANED. SHE STOOD UP. SHE HAD BEEN SHOT THROUGH THE LEG. “WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE WE GET CAUGHT.”

NATASHA STUMBLED AND HOLLY CAUGHT HER.

“I GOT YOU. LET’S GO.” 

THERE WAS A LOUD CRACK AND THE TWO OF THEM DISAPPEARED. THEY CAME BACK TO THE CABIN. HOLLY DRAGGED AN UNCONSCIOUS NATASHA INTO THE KITCHEN. 

“I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.”

JUST THEN SHE SAW A BRACELET AROUND NATASHA’S ARM. THERE WERE NUMBERS INSCRIBED ON IT. HOLLY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY MEANT OR WHAT TO DO WITH THEM. BUT SHE HAD TO TRY SOMETHING. SHE LIFTED THE PHONE AND DIALED. ON THE OTHER LINE A WOMAN ANSWERED.

“WHAT’S YOUR LOCATION?”

“WHAT?”

“YOUR LOCATION.”

“I CAN’T GIVE THAT.”

“LISTEN YOU NEED TO TELL ME OR NATASHA WILL DIE.”

HOLLY TOOK A DEEP BREATH.

“TEN MILES SOUTHEAST OF ST. PETERSBURG.” 

THERE CAME A LOUD KNOCK AT THE DOOR. HOLLY OPENED IT AND SAW A SMALL WOMAN STANDING ON THE PORCH. HER VOICE MADE HOLLY CALM.

“HOLLY, MY NAME IS GABRIELLE. I’M HERE FOR NATASHA.” 

HOLLY SHOWED HER INSIDE. FOR A MINUTE A SILENCE ENVELOPED THE ROOM.

“HOW BAD IS IT?”

“IT ISN’T GOOD. BUT IT ISN’T CRITICAL. SHE HAS A CHANCE.” 

“WHAT CAN I DO?”

“STAY WITH HER. KEEP TALKING TO HER. SHE IS RESPONDING TO YOUR PRESENCE. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE.”

“HOW IS THAT?”

“NATASHA HAS BEEN HURT BEFORE AND SHE’S NEVER RESPONDED TO ANYONE’S PRESENCE. THERE IS SOME KIND OF CONNECTION BETWEEN YOU TWO THAT IS KEEPING HER ALIVE.” 

HOLLY WAITED BY NATASHA’S SIDE ALL NIGHT. GABRIELLE HAD DONE EVERYTHING SHE COULD DO. THE NEWS SLOWLY TRICKLED IN THROUGH THE NIGHT. THE RUSSIANS HAD FOUND HILL’S HEADQUARTERS. HIS BODY WAS FOUND IN THE CELLS. NECK BROKEN. HE DIED INSTANTLY. HOLLY DIDN’T CARE THAT HILL WAS GONE. NATASHA WAS ONLY HANGING ON BY A THREAD. IF SITTING NEXT TO HER WAS THE ONLY WAY NATASHA WOULD LIVE SHE’D SIT BY HER FOR AS LONG AS SHE NEEDED. HOLLY REFLECTED ON THE LAST FEW WEEKS. SHE HAD BEEN NO ONE. A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE KNOWN BY NUMBER. NOW SHE WAS HOLLY. SISTER. SHE CLOSED HER EYES. AND A SINGLE TEAR FELL DOWN HER CHEEK. 

GOING INTO THE MORNING NATASHA HAD SHOWN NO SIGNS OF PROGRESS. GABRIELLE SAID THE NIGHT WOULD TELL HOW NATASHA WOULD FAIR. NO PROGRESS. THAT WAS NOT BAD THOUGH. NOT ACCORDING TO GABRIELLE. SHE TOLD HOLLY THAT NOTHING WAS GOOD. NATASHA’S BODY WAS IN A FIGHT. HER BODY HAD TO HEAL ITSELF. IT WAS PART OF HER POWERS. BUT THIS WAS DIFFERENT. HER BODY WAS INTEGRATING OUTSIDE ENERGY. IT WAS USING HOLLY TO SPEED UP THE PROCESS.

IT WOULD BE DAYS BEFORE ANYTHING HAPPENED. HOLLY NEVER LEFT NATASHA’S SIDE. FINALLY, AFTER TWO WEEKS, NATASHA BEGAN TO STIR. HOLLY AWOKE TO THE SOUND OF NATASHA SITTING UP. 

“NATS!” HOLLY SAID AS SHE WRAPPED HER ARMS AROUND HER.

“HOW LONG HAVE I BEEN OUT?”

“TWO WEEKS. YOU WERE IN CRITICAL SHAPE.”

“WHO CAME TO HELP?”

“GABRIELLE. SHE IS STILL HERE.”

“HOW MANY IS THAT GAB?” NATASHA YELLED.

“THREE!” GABRIELLE RESPONDED.

“PUT IT ON MY TAB!”

“I DID THE SECOND I WALKED IN HERE.”

HOLLY STARED AT NATASHA. 

“WHAT?” NATASHA SAID. 

HOLLY SAID, AT HILL’S LAB I USED MY POWERS. I THOUGHT HE DISABLED THEM.”

NATASHA FELL QUIET. THEN SHE SPOKE. 

“I GOT IT. HILL HAD NOT ACCOUNTED FOR YOUR DNA. YOU TWO ARE SIBLINGS. HAD HE LET HIS POWERS BE AFFECTED IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HIS DOWNFALL. HE’D NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN. SO HE MADE SURE THE MIST WOULD NOT AFFECT HIM.”

HOLLY WAS MYSTIFIED. BUT THE TRANCE WAS INTERRUPTED BY A RAP AT THE DOOR. 

“WE KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE! OPEN UP!!” 

THE GIRLS STOOD IN SILENCE. NONE OF THEM HAD THE COURAGE TO OPEN THE DOOR. ANOTHER KNOCK VIBRATED THROUGHOUT THE CABIN. 

“OPEN THE DOOR HOLLY!”

“WHAT DO WE DO?” HOLLY WHISPERED.

“I DON’T KNOW.” NATASHA SAID.

HOLLY HESITATED AND THEN WALKED TO THE DOOR. 

SHE HELD THE KNOB IN HER HAND AND TWISTED THE DOOR OPEN. ON THE PORCH WAS A STOCKY MAN. HE HAD A THICK BEARD THAT COVERED HALF OF HIS SCARRED FACE. HE PORTRAYED A QUIET CONFIDENCE.

“BOUT TIME. I ALMOST HAD MY GUYS KICK THE DOOR DOWN.”

“WHO ARE YOU?”

“NAME’S HANK GHIGG. AND I’M HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE DEFENDER INITIATIVE.”

 

THE END

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 Saturday, March 5th, 2022 in I-ASC THE EXPERTS

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