Serenity looked at Yoi, then Matilda and continued to bag the meat. "Even though the weapons are made of bone, they still will he useful. Bones are a lot stronger than you think." she said as she filled another bag and started working on her third. She had now broken a sweat, causing her to remember something.
FIVE YEARS AGO
Serenity looked at her father and gritted her teeth together. She hated this uniform with a burning passion. It was a long sleeved ACU, that was covered with thousands of pockets. Some of which Serenity thought were useless. "Atten-TION" her father yelled, causing her to snap her feet together. "You're still to slow..not to mention your posture is beyond fixing." His words eechoed around in her mind, but she stood still and held her tongue. She knew that if she argued with him, it would end well. "Parade REST." her father called, as she placed her feet shoulder width apart and looked dead ahead, her gaze never shifting from one point to the other. She could feel as drops of sweat traveled down her back and into her eyes. It burned, but she couldn't move. Her father was very strict on his rules.
He walked in front of her with a smirk, and pulled a gun our of his back pocket. "Now, do you think you're up for the challenge?" he said, loading a clip into the chamber. Serenity didn't move or speak. "I take that as a yes. At ease soldier." He handed the gun to Serenity as she relaxed her muscles. She has been planning this day for ages. It was her day of freedom. "Dad..you just made the biggest mistake of your life." she said, moving away from him slowly. He showed no emotion, but she could see that the gears in his mind were turning."I am tired of being you soldier. I am not a pawn in your silly little games. I am your daughter." she spat, aiming the gun at his head. He shrugged his shoulders, looking her dead in the eyes. "You won't do it. You don't have it in you. You're weak, just like your brother."
Serenity felt a burning rage ignite and consume her. How could he talk about Jay like that? Jay was his son..and he didn't care? She lowered the gun, aiming it at his left shoulder, and she pulled the trigger to the gun. She held the gun firmly as it jolted back, and watched in amusement at the surprise on her fathers face. "I'm not weak. I've been scared to stand up to you. I'm leaving..for good. Try to find me, and I can guarantee you'll fail." she said, tucking the gun into the waistband of her pants. Her father was still standing, but he didn't try to run after her.
Serenity finally finished bagging up the meat. "Okay, what I want you to do is; grab anything important. We won't be coming back to this hiding spot for a while." she said, putting the meat into the wheelbarrow.
Matilda blinked. She didnt like that they were always changing spots. This one survived the fires. Its strong. She told Serenity. She didnt want her friends to be annoid with her though. So she grabbed her suitcase. Her suitcase was beginning to rag from all the times she used it. I can fix it with the deer fur. She told herself, packing her lap top, crossbow, books, clothes, and her teddy bear named Charles. She zipped up her suitcase once everything was inside and organized the bagged meet, the bagged organs, the bones, and the skin into another suitcase. Where are we going this time? Can we go to a real house next? Matilda asked. She knew the probability of the answer, it was most likely no. But she still asked just in case.
Serenity looked at them and started to grab her weapons and put them in the duffle bag that was slung across her back. It was time to let them meet someone. Someone that had helped her when she first began this rebellion. "We might be able to stay in a house this time. It will he a permanent residence for you both, until it's safe for us to be out in the open." she said, grabbing a blanket that was slung over the weapons rack. After that she walked out of the building, waiting for the others to follow suit.
Matilda smiled. She was excited to perhaps feel a real bed again. She remembered the last time she layed on a real bed. It was a week after the fire. The night she ran away.
Matilda layed under the covers, still stimulated over the events of the day. When she found her way home after a week of searching, her mother was crying with joy. Her father was angry that the school had just left Matilda and the other Special Needs children there to die. Now her parents were fighting downstairs. Matildas father wanted to sue the school. Matildas mother wanted him to just drop it and be glad she arrived home, saying that you cant blame the school in times like these. Why didnt you just stay dead? Matildas sister Cloe asked from the other side of the room. Cloe and Matilda shared a room at her house. Cloe was sitting on her bed, glaring at Matilda.
What do you mean? Matilda asked in confusion, sitting up. A week ago mom and Dad were told you were dead. They were heart broken. But for once they werent fighting. For one week, I didnt have a flight risk sister that I had to watch over. For one week, my parents werent fighting twenty four/seven about special education and money for services and aids. For one week, my parents actually focused on me instead of you! Cloe yelled, crying angry tears. If you did die in that fire... We would have been better off! She yelled. Matilda blinked. I read somewhere that there are four stages of grief. Denial, Depression, anger, and Acceptance. Matilda told her sister, staring at her lap. She didnt understand completely what her sister was mad at her. She thought her sister was just going through a hard time.
Wow. I know youre retarded and all. But you cant even understand the simplest logic. Im not grieving. I. Wish. You. Were. Dead!!! Cloe yelled. IM NOT RETARDED!!! Matilda screamed, throwing her lamp at her sister. The lamp hit her sister on the head and Cloe past out from shock. Matilda stared at her sister, not knowing what to do. Not knowing how to respond as the memory of what her sister said replayed and replayed. Matilda wanted to sit there and cry and scream. Thats what she normally did in situations like this. But that would only prove what her sister just said. Matilda? Cloe? Whats going on? Matildas parents called, coming up the stairs. Matilda climbed out the window, glancing again at her sister as she remembered their once happy friendship. She also remembered all her sisters birthday parties that she ruined by having a meltdown, embarrassing Cloe in front of her friends, or Cloes friends bullying her. Matilda sighed. I hope youll be happy. She told Cloe who layed there unconscious before leaping out the window just before her parents entered the room. Matilda!?! They called, but Matilda was running down the streets to hide in a dark alley.
Matilda cried a bit from the memory and rubbed the tears away from her eyes. Who is it? Matilda asked Serenity, gently but firmly pulling on her own hair. Matilda did this to keep herself calm when sad.
"It's my brother." she responded, her voice now havig a stronger tone to it. "He has just about anything and everything you could ever ask for, considering the circumstances. If I'm not mistaken, he has the only house that has been authorized by the government."
Matilda smiled. Cool! She replied, trying to keep the tears of her memories out of her voice. She used to get in trouble for crying or yelling in public. Her sister and teachers thought that every tear or raise of her voice would lead to a melt down. So they got very tense when she cried, jump, or made a sudden movement. She didnt want her only friends to be tense around her. She loaded her stuff into the trailer as she held her emotions in. Matilda hummed Down By The Bay while she lifted her two bags. Her mother used to sing Down By The Bay in order to calm Matilda down because Matilda would focus on naming an animal doing something silly that rhymes with said animal instead of focusing on her problem.
Serenity looked at them, and smiled. She was glad that she was with them. It was like before everything went down the drain. Before her dad started to home-school her.
Eight Years Ago
Serenity sat in her classroom seat, her legs dangling without a care in the world. She wore a fluffy black sweater and a floral printed skirt. Her shoes were old, but somehow gave off the effect of newness. "Hey Serenity!" one of her friends called to her. "You going to be able to come over?" Serenity nodded with eagerness, as her teacher waved her off and let her leave. Serenity ran off and stood next to her friend. He was fourteen,
while she was ten, but even then, he understood her predicament. Her father was a control freak, and loved perfection. He was the Chief of Staff after all.
"So, what are we going to do today?" she asked, her voice timid as her hair flew into her face slightly. This wasn't the first time she had been to his house, but it felt like it was. "I was thinking that we could play some video games, maybe get into a game of Dungeons and Dragons." he said, shifting his backpack on his shoulder from side to side. "Ooo, that sounds fun!" she said, her eyes giddy with excitement. Before she could say what she wanted to next, they were at the front door of the school, and standing there was her father. His arms were folded in front of his chest, and he looked displeased.
"Serenity, you're coming home." her father said, his voice hard and gruff. It sounded like he had been through the pits of hell and back. "B-but dad, I was going to go home with Carter." she protested, slight tears forming in her eyes. "Well, you can cancel any plans you have with him, because you're not going." he looked at Carter, then back at his daughter. "Listen Mr. Chase,
she's only going to be at my house for two hours, max. If you can't let her do that, there's something wrong with you." Carter sneered, stepping toward Serenity's father. Her father glared at Carter and stepped forward, cocking his hand back and punching the young boy in the nose. "You don't tell me how to run my house, prissy boy. Now run along. I promise you Serenity won't be here when you return."
She remembered that clear as day. It was the first friend she ever had, and that she had lost. Her father had moved across the state and home-schooled her. She was taught with discipline, and it was something she hated. Serenity piled her things in the trailer and looked at them. "The first pit stop is the grocery store. We have to put the deer meat there. After that, we'll head eastward. We have to make sure we're not spotted though, and if we are, we don't leave each other behind, because that's not who we are." she said, hugging Matilda and Yoi. "Time to head off." she said, walking toward the store.
Matilda smiled at the hug. Many people with Autism didnt like hugs. She loved hugs. When she was little she would hug everyone she knew upon meeting them, and people she thought she knew but didnt really know. But her parents taught her not to randomly hug people because it could make them feel awkrawd. Being a teenager and knowing about different versions of love and affection, she understood that better and felt anxious when people randomly hugged her. However hugging always made her feel safe and secure at the same time. Why would I leave you behind? Matilda asked, not quite understanding what exactly would happen if they got caught. She thought it would just be the army bringing her home to her parents and sister. She didnt understand that the government became corrupt in these hard times and would attack them. She didnt believe she did anything wrong, so she didnt believe the government would do anything worse then send her back. Nethertheless, she didnt want to g9 back.