November 12, 2011

Ch. 18: Subjugation Part 1

The sound of laughters and faint squeals of seagulls blended with the rumbling waves awaken her conscious thoughts. She followed them closely, then her memory returned. It was October 14th, 2002, the day at the time when everything around her enlightened by the golden glow of the afternoon light. Her and his shadow melted on the ground. At her left, a tomato plant grew out in their father's garden, sprouting several fruits hanging on the weak branches. Its height was about hers, but it was only a matter of time she would grow taller than the plant. One more year and she was going to turn seven.

"You can’t catch me, Rose!" Valentin  looked back at her as he shouted in happily rhythm. The sounds of their laughter mingled in the warm breeze rustling between the sunlit leaves.  Up above her head, a distinct sound of a plane caught her attention.

“Look!” Valentin pointed toward the sky.

She  lifted  her left hand and then pressed it on her forehead in a kind of salute.  “Where?”

“We’re here! We’re here!”

Hopping around in their father’s small garden; their feet stomped on the dry leaves scattered on the ground.  The sun radiated heat  into their damp eyes. She knew that those passengers sitting in the plane could not see them,  but still she  jumped around along with him—  splashing mud  onto her new pink slippers and  purple flowery dress.   Mommy was certainly going to be mad again at her for blotting her new dress especially bought for that night, but Valentin barely paid enough attentions for that evening either. Dirt remained thick on his cheek. He wiped it off with his sleeve.

“Watch out!”

The gurgling water out of the sprinkler and her squeals pushed the bees away from trying to sting her. She covered her face, even though it’s too late as the ripe tomatoes had already reflected the golden lights in the crystal dew upon their red skins. 

 “Got youl!”  Rosaline patted him on his back, a sign that it was his turn to chase her.
“Rose?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you know you look so funny from behind?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That I’m gonna catch ya.” Valentin ran past  her.  “Let's twisted inside, or that stinging bug will kill ya.”

Once  they were in,  they bounced a few thumps on the stairs. The pigeon she had saved at a lake last Saturday squeaked in its cage as they clunked in their father’s library. If  mommy were around, she would have already yelled at them. However, she was  far away  downtown, pampering herself in a new beauty saloon.  It wasn’t like her to leave them alone  with a babysitter chatting on the phone somewhere in the house, but she had mentioned about how they should appear nicely at  their dinner with  the richest family in the town who had financed their father’s research.


"Got ya!" Valentin patted her shoulder. She  stood still  as  she  halted at a view of a bookshelf inside their father’s library.

Propping up on her toes, she gazed up at the second top shelf, lifted her right hand and then traced her index finger on each embossed titles. "A..B.. " She stopped at a book with no title on it.  Her head tilted slightly, eyes widened in astonishment.

“You gonna read that book?” Valentin stared at the book which was quite thick indeed. It  had a blue hard cover with a picture of  a sun, planets, and stars. “ I’d rather go out and play.  Do you actually understand all of these?"

“Nope.”  Rosaline smiled.  At a single brush, slanting the book from its original position in the shelf,  a rumble sound and vibration on the floor startled them.

“What’s that?”  Valentin tried to balanced himself from falling.

She had been taught to hide under the desk or get out of the house if an earthquake happened, but  her feet froze -- her eyes followed the source of the rumbling. Full of  disbelief, she turned to Valentin standing in an awe, dropping his jaw while he was staring at the floor.


“What’s that?”

“A stair?”

“A stairway to where?”

“Dad’s laboratory.” Valentine said.

“Dad’s laboratory?” All she knew her father’s laboratory was supposed to be in the next room.

“Only one way to find out.” Valentin said, initiating the  first step toward the stair.

“Is it safe?” She pulled his shirt, trying to keep him from going into the unknown. Dust from the underground room pricked her nose.

“C'mon, It’ll be fun. " Valentin smiled.


 "I'm not sure."  

"C'mon."He grabbed her hand and then lead her  into the underground room.

After a long, narrow hall, they met a frosted glass door.


Valentin kicked it open slightly. 

“Aren't you supposed to push buttons to open it.” asked Rose.

“Yeah, but obviously Dad forgot to lock it.” he grinned.



Once they were in, he  let go of her hand. He was amazed by the view  inside  the laboratory.  Computers, centrifuge tubes, microscope, and laboratory equipments  were scattered on tables and desks.

“Hurry!”


They stopped at the view of a green crystal  emitted illuminating green light inside the glass pedestal.




“What do you think is this, Rose?”

“I don't know but I don’t think it’s OK, Val. “

Valentin smiled toward her and then suddenly  clutched at his stomach.   His brows knitted. "Rose, h-help!-”

Rose widened her eyes.
“It’s not funny, Val.” Her eyes rolled. She shook her head for his foolishness and quickly  spun around on her heels toward the door.

“Wait, wait!” Valentin stopped her from going onward. “Behold Stranger! This is Starship Commander.  Surrender or  we’re going to target you with  our laser beam.”

“Are you kidding me..?”  Her eyes rolled.  Her shoulders lifted up as she flexed down her muscles.


“Hahaha... I am the Commander and who are you Rose?” Valentin chuckled.

“Hulk." she said without any expression.


“Hey, hey... That's funny! we know Hulk can't  live  outer space, besides  you’re not green enough and big enough to be Hulk.”

“If I am green won’t you be afraid of me?”


"Nope. If you’re green, I’m gonna get you a rose and  slip it into your ear.  Got ya! “Valentin patted her shoulder . “.. It’s your turn now!” 
Rosaline chased him. She cornered him until he was confined  between singular equipments.  Valentin's elbow  shook a table behind him and  then something like  a glass rolled on the table.

“Whoa...”  Valentin held  the neck of the bottle gently.   "wow, that's almost."


Their mother  cornered them as they turned around.

“What are you doing, val? How did both you come here? You know your father is going to be angry if he finds out .”

“We’re just playing, mom.”

 Helen brushed the hair on her son's forehead gently. "You know you shouldn't be in here.   Now, get into the car. We must not keep Mr. and Mrs. Landgraab waiting.  “
"Are you ready, guys?" Alex, their father was already sitting in the driver seat as they fastened their seat belt.

"Dad, at what time we will come home?"

"The dinner will only take about one or two hours . What's up, sony? Feel bored already? There's Malcolm there and you'll love to meet Mr. and Mrs. Landgraab.  They are nice people. You will love  the dinner, and then soon you will forget the hours ."
---
But it seemed time ran unusually slow as they spooned the Turkey into their mouths, while sitting on  victorian chairs.

“Professor, have you heard about Professor Seethermen’s research? That’s quite ridiculous, isnt it? What kind of life  are genuinely more develop  than us are living in outer space?”

 Mrs. Landgraab's voice faded as Rosaline's eyelids turned heavy. All she wanted just to go home and sleep.  Her eyesr rolled as she felt sticky potatoes crumb slid on her cheek. Across the table, Valentin grinned at her.  The way he held his spoon  assured her who the convicted was."I'm going to get you, Val." but Valentin only laughed seeing her sullen face.

“I may say-“ Alexander White said, while fixing his glasses from slipping down his nose. “Any kind of extraterrestrial lifeform may live in outer space.  As on earth,  any creatures  would evolve  and adapt to their own habitats. There’s a possibility that small life forms   like microbes are developing, especially in a universe having more than 100 billion galaxies --  it is unlikely that life forms only existed on earth.  “

“But can they reach us... here?”

"With high velocity as they enter the earth, it's quite impossible unless they are very intelligent creatures with higher technologies than us.  In my opinion, we should avoid these kinds of extraterrestrial life form since they may endanger our own viability.”

“Yes,  and we'd rather invest in those other kinds of researches.  The knowledge would be beneficial for the university, but not in terms of business.  Right honey?” Mrs. Landgraab nudged at her husband who was being quiet the entire evening.

“Artificial Intelligence interested us. That reminds me, how's your research doing, Professor?” said Mrs. Landgraab.

Alexander  wiped the corner of his mouth with a white handkerchief and then again fixed his glasses which was already perked at the right place of his nose. Clearing his throat, he said "It's almost done. I  need to make a few observations, and then it will be done. “

"Time is money, professor. "Mrs. Landgraab put her fork down, and then clasped her hands together.  "But if you can guarantee  about the outcomes, we will surely invest in you more. “

Alexander White  stared down at the table, avoiding the glare of Mrs. Landgraab. "Actually,  it will be ready in a week. I'll  need to run a few  tests on it. I would like to ask you a question  though. What's the price you will charge for the new medicine?”

"That’s a quite early question, Professor ? We also haven't even tested it yet.”

“I agree, but  may I know your plan about the project,  since it’s  my research.”

“ I would say" Mrs. Landgraab said "About one thousand simoleons.”

“One thousand? It's  so high. Actually, I was hoping you could sell it at a lower price, so everyone could buy it.”

“Professor,” Mrs. Landgraab shook her head and smiled. “You’re a smart scientist, but you  must learn about business. Though we’re developing a new  medicine  to cure cancer, we’re not running a charity foundation. Besides,  it will  only take ten years and the generic  medicine will be produced soon. Ten more years and people will be able to buy it at  a lower price.”


Alexander White   sighed.
The crackles of fire muffled down their conversation. Golden light slanted across  the silverwares.  Staring at it,  Rosaline's eyes began to drop.

“Dad?" she said, shaking her father's hand.

"Yes, Rose?"

"I feel so tired. Can we go home, now ?”

“Yes, but we haven't finished the dinner yet, Rose.”

Rosaline  sighed again. She only needed a bed to lay down. She felt her forehead was going hit the table soon, but  a touch of her mother's hand shook her shoulder gently.  “Go and see your brother. He’s probably upstairs  playing with Malcolm now.”


Rosaline shuffled upstairs.  Her back hunched and her legs moved  stiff along the staircase.  She yawned widely as she entered Landgraab's family room.

"H- hi, Rose." Malcolm greeted her with a low voice. His voice got  faded by the noises from Valentin's laughter and the beeps  sounds from video game.



“Val, can we go home now?” said Rose, still yawning.

“Ha! Take that you monster!” Valentin said, without even looked at her.

"Val?"

Rosaline sighed again. At that point she knew that her efforts were going to be useless because obviously Valentin was  being  heavily occupied by the new Supersonic game.

Malcolm Landgraab jumped out of his seat and then stepped toward her. “D- do you wanna go home? Y-you can take my bike, if you want to.”

"Thank you, Malcolm. It's so nice of you." Rosaline smiled. Malcolm smiled back at her, but he almost jumped when he heard Rosaline shouted at Valentin.  "Val..!

“Yeah?”

"Tell mom and dad I’m going home earlier.” “

“Okay...!" Valentin said, again without taking his eyes off from the screen.  "Take that, you monster Hahahaha! Got ya!” 

Rosaline shrugged. 

Feeling so sleepyshe paddled the bike faster. Cold breeze gently blew, moisturized  her face as the drizzles dropped on the silvery pavement. She did not need anything but to rest her head on her grizzly bear pillow.

 She halted as she saw a man was sitting at their front door as she arrived home.  Quickly, she dropped Malcolm’s bike on the sidewalk and walked toward him. 

She knew she should have not talked to a stranger, as her mom had told her, but it seemed the man needed her help because  he looked so pale, his clothes were torn and he punched his forehead several times while taking a deep sigh. 

The man looked at her and then slowly arose from the ground.

She clasped her hands at her back , looking down to the grass “C-can I help you?”

The man observed her closely. “yes. but haven't your mother told you not to talk to a stranger?”

Rosaline nodded.  "B-but maybe you need my help. A-are you lost?  if  you’ve got lost, mum said we should call a police... ask where your mother and father”

The man stared at her for a while but then chuckled. “ I’m not lost, girl." he said "I just don't know  who I really am.” 

Rosaline stared  back at him.

“Mom said that if we confused we should take time alone and talk to  Him.  Mom said  He loves us, coz we are special, no  one can  replace us --  not even my twin. You’re precious too, Sir and He really cares about you. “

The man chuckled again, but then  the light in his eyes grew dimly.  “It’s not that simple.  I'll be out of this place soon --soon that no one wouldn't even notice it. You better go inside now.”

Rosaline pursed her lips and nodded.  "Good night, Sir. I hope you'll find  what you’re looking for. ”

At the single stroke of her palm coating the door handle, heat pricked into the blood cells inside  her skin.
The Lightning Strike: (i) What If This Storm Ends? by Snow Patrol on Grooveshark

 The man lifted her up and then carried her while he ran  across the lawn. He  pushed her across the sidewalk.  The night turned bright.. Red flames fused up into the sky. Heat shriveled the palm leaves across the street.  Buildings collapsed, leaving paltry of ruins above stack of charred woods and bricks.  Sun flowers and bees turned into tiny carcasses.
The man was unconscious, barely moved in spite of her effort  to wake him up.  She cowered as she saw the blaze of fire scorched her house down.
Her trembling fingers gripped the man’s cold and stiff hand.  Drops of tears fell from her eyes.
 
"You..."  The man wafted out a breath.





A sonic boom thundered above them, sweeping  off the dust particles above the ground.
A symmetrical oval mass hovered above their heads, spreading  electromagnetic fields circling around their bodies.

Red lights  emitted from the nozzle of an object which appeared to be an aircraf
A feeling of dread lurked in their chests.


A force stronger than gravity pulled them up into the craft which appeared to grow larger as  its blackness blocked out the sky.  Rosaline ducked her head, covered her ears, and screamed. High noise  broke her eardrums.
The man pushed her down. Her head bumped into the burned-out grass. Her nose smelled the burning fire and the last thing she remembered was the voice of her father,  Alex,trying to wake her up.

To be Continued to Part 2

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Cover Pic:

9 comments:

♥MJ said...

Please ignore the version in the email, because there are some text missing.

♥MJ said...

Finally, Lol! After a while...

This part is after Chapter 17. It 's still about Rose's repressed memories.

For the next, we will see Rosaline and Marie again in the hospital.

At the moment, I'm trying to install Pets. I'm crossing my fingers that it will work without glitches. I'm following steps in Crinrict's blog since I have so many mods and CC. I just hope that this neighborhood will still be the same.

Also, good luck for everyone who's writing for Nanowrimo this November! It's a big goal to accomplish. My best wishes for you all! :)

Jennifer said...

MJ, wow. I don't know how you do it but damn girl you dazzle us every time!!

This was a wonderful descriptive update. I really loved the opening scene you painted us with and I so loved seeing Val and Rose as kids. Agh my gawd, they are just adorable!

I thought it was so cute when Val said, 'If you're not my sister, I promise to marry you someday.'
A Val and Rose wedding, eeeeeee!!! I can just see those two, Rose would look stunning and Val would be so handsome in a suit. Okay getting a tad carried away...oops. lol But seriously I get excited when I imagine these two finally getting together.

Wonderful shots and can't wait for more! :D

♥MJ said...

Aww... thank you, Jennifer. I'm glad that you liked the opening scene. About Val and Rose :D
they are still young to be married, and I'm still stick to the game play regarding their wishes.

But I'm glad that you love seeing them get together, though.

Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Really appreciate it. :)

~Drew said...

MJ,

I am stunned, your pictures always, always blow me away. If ever the visual in a sim story had an impact it is your story!

Love this, Rose and Val are so heartbreakingly sweet, love the flashbacks were in B and W, then you switched back to color for the explosion. Made the impact even more intense! And the craft's appearance!

Your writing is near flawless and descriptive. Wonderful job MJ! Looking forward to more!

♥MJ said...

Thank you, ~Drew. It's so nice of you to say that, and I'm so happy that you said my writing was near flawless. I'm trying to give my best on it.

I promise the next one will be full of suspense. I'm so excited on writing it, and I hope you will love reading it.

PiB said...

MJ, sorry that NaNo has kept me from your work so long.

All the work and love that went into those flashbacks is quite evident. So it was the kids playing that made the compound unstable and all went boom. Ouch.

Great work, and it's wonderful writing. Now where do we go?

♥MJ said...

Oh, PiB, don't mind about it. I'm grateful that you took the time to comment here and read my update in the middle of your NaNoWriMo. I know how much the novel really means a lot to you :)

Yup, tragic wasn't it? They're still little kids though, and they didn't mean harm.

Thank you again for reading it. :)

iron mum said...

OOOH aliens, I love it.

The kids were so sweet, to play like that reminded me of my own childhood. These days there all into xbox's and PC...but then so are the big kids (I', thinking COD and MOH, he he)

I loved the shots, the effects where fantastic.

Great job and beautifully written.