The Power Within
Ethan CT Burwell
It was hot, way too hot. For the fourth day in a row all of the thermometers were pushing 97. People in the park were well into the process of seeking shelter, for only six hours earlier, the now blistering asphalt jungle had been a welcoming place with a stiff cool breeze. As the unforgiving sun of late July rose higher and higher, that was simply no longer the case. The stiff cool breeze that had once flown through the park had now evolved into a retreating river of hooky -playing students and off-work adults. Some wore suites, others wore dresses, many wore shorts; how the suite-wearers were still alive is an unsolvable mystery. Some of the people wore Mitch matched clothing, others ate raspberries, and some had hair that could only have been found somewhere in the rainforest. Among the group of people eating raspberries was a woman. At first glance it would have appeared that she was around 30 and it was obvious that she was far along in her pregnancy, she knew that everyone around her knew it and she was proud of it. Now what the woman didn’t know, and neither did anyone else on the small black and purple planet was that the reason it had been so unbearably hot lately was that 265 million miles away a gigantic cosmic magnifying glass was beaming down on the planet, cooking everything below as it zoomed in on her life. 265 million miles across the vast empty darkness of the universe something was watching every move she made.
On the small sizzling planet there had developed a great confusion in the crowd of people seeking shelter from the heat. The woman who ate the raspberries had suddenly, from seemingly out of nowhere, fallen to her knees, crying out in pain as she wrapped her arms around her extra swollen stomach. “What’s wrong?!” “What happened?!” Questions swarmed through the tumerous crowd. “I think she’s in labor!” cried a voice. “Oh my gawd! Get an ambulance.” Screeched another.
Within two minutes an ambulance arrived at the scene and magically parted the crowd. They loaded her on to a stretcher, placed her in the vehicle, and were gone. The crowd paused to watch the flaring lights fade into the distance in a similar manor that the heat mirages that you find in the road do.
One ride in an ambulance, sixteen phone calls, five relatives, and what seemed like an eternity later a baby was born. The new baby girl, whom the woman decided to call Anastasia, after her great, great, great grandmother, sent ripples throughout the deliver room and along the busy telephone wires, to which the room was connected. But the waves of joy, strong enough to cool even the hottest day, were not shared by all. 265 million miles across the vast emptiness of the known universe an alarm had been triggered by the same magnifying glass that now beamed down on the newly born life. Throughout a distant unearthly complex panic was growing as a vast innumerable army was being assembled. Fore the entire distant world, who had now seen the child, knew that the future of their time-old world lay sleeping in a miniature bundle, weighing only seven pounds, 265 million miles away. In this one tiny everyday occurrence was locked away an incomprehensible power, capable of systematically dismantling their entire known universe if immediate action was not taken. The awesome force within the child had somehow been introduced into the girl’s ancestors in the frozen foothills of Russia, but the power, itself had remained undeveloped until this point. The exact details of the power being introduced onto the small black and purple planet, know as Earth, had been long forgotten and no records were ever made of it, or if they were they no longer existed, but at the moment none of that mattered. What did matter was that an unseen power had been born and that the assembling army knew it.
Within an hour of the girl’s birth an army built to outnumber the stars in even the largest of galaxies had been assembled and was taking off on the long trek to the black and purple planet that housed the infant. The immense army, which carried the unassembled pieces of the weapon that would neutralize the threat, knew very well that by the time they reached the planet seventeen Earth years would have passed, but seventeen minutes in a time-old world are as minute as a summer’s storm.
Back on Earth, the late July sun now took up residence in the month of August, in a similar fashion that mother and daughter had moved from the hospital to their home. On this particular day there was, for a change, no visitors. The woman who ate the raspberries sat on the floor of a pink room playing with her daughter; her husband was at work.
“Hello, Stacy!” She gently would say as her face jumped out from behind her hands. The newborn’s eyes grew wide and a giggle would flow from her silent lips with every “hello.” Sasha, the kitten, curiously inspected the new room ornament, but promptly ran away when the woman who ate the raspberries magically popped out from behind a set of hands and said “Hello, Sasha.”
Seventeen short years later Stacy and her younger brother, Albert, tumbled down the stairs. “Cut that out, you two.” Their mother had heard the from all the way in the kitchen. “And hurry up, you’ll be late for school!” Albert and his sister stormed into the kitchen. “Bye, mom.” They called out as they grabbed their bags and scurried out the door to their bus stop. “Stacy, wait a minute.” Her mother called to her. “What? I’m going to be late.” Stacy impatiently waited for her mother’s reply as her brother raced down the street. “I know.” Her mother answered. “It’s just that I need you to come straight home after your dance lesson, this afternoon. I need you to clean up around here.” “Fine.” Stacy answered, and the ran after her brother. The two boarded the school bound bus with their neighborhood friends and within minutes they were closing in on the school’s bus turnaround. They, however, were not the only ones who were closing in. 150 miles above the school the innumerable army was finishing its years-long journey and were stationed on the doorsteps of earth. In a massively organized system, the army began to assemble the weapon of choice, which was set to neutralize the threat. Now that the girl was seventeen, the power within her had matured to an extreme force and the threat that it posed was now more imminent than ever, even though the girl along with everyone else on the small black and purple planet, could suspect nothing of the sort. In the school, the alarm on the girl’s watch was going off, having recently changed the battery the alarm had obviously reset itself for a time unapproved by her. It was 1:22 in the afternoon. She had just finished English. At the same time the army had just finished piecing together the weapon. One hundred and fifty miles from the surface of the Earth now stood rectangular frame contraption constructed of a metallic liquidy rock substance. Within the immense frame of metallic rock a thin veil of a blue-toned light connected the sides. The sheet of light was far thinner than any sheet of paper, in fact, if one were to have viewed it up-close from the side, they would have been able to have seen nothing at all; but the earth sized weapon was there, and its makers were ready to use its full force. Slowly, the army slid the contraption around the earth, so that the entire globe passed through the thin blue light, gradually disappearing as it reemerged on the other side.
No one on earth panicked. They didn’t have time to. The only thing anyone had time to do, was to look up and see a deep blue tone moving across the sky at about the speed of a commercial airplane. Eventually the blue light engulfed the entire world and the planet disappeared. After a brief period of no more than several seconds, however, the once obsolete black and purple planet flashed back into existence. However, this time the Earth looked very different. Instead of its black and purple color it was now an odd blue and green, a color that hadn’t been seen on the planet for nearly five generations. With the mission complete, the vast army dismantled their blue light weapon and began the long trek back to their own planet.
On the now transformed earth, dozens of people sat in a park as the noon-time sun beat down. It was July and the park was filled a sea of children and their parents. The summer sun was hot, but the shaded areas around the trees and the mist that the breeze blew of the fountains made it bearable. On one particular bench sat a woman engaged in a bag of raspberries that she had brought from a multipurpose raspberry vendor in the park. “Honey?” She hesitantly called to her husband, who sat beside her reading the latest weekly paper. “Yes?” He replied.” “I think it’s time.” The woman had put down the raspberries and was grasping her swollen stomach. “Really? Are you sure? I’ll go get the car.” Her husband ran to where the car was parked. Two minutes later he pulled up next to the bench and helped his wife into the car. The disappeared into the distance and turned a corner.
Two hours later, the cries of a newly born life flooded the hospital room. “It’s a girl.” The doctor announced. “Do you have a name picked out, yet?” He asked. The baby’s father answered him. “We were planning on giving her a family name, but we’ve decided to name her Anastasia- something new and original.” “That’s a pretty name” The doctor commented as he went to leave the room. “Perhaps someday ‘Anastasia’ will be a family name, too, and her great, great, great granddaughter will have that name.” The doctor closed the door behind him as he finished talking, but it didn’t matter anyway. The two new parents didn’t appear to have heard. They were too occupied with their new little bundle.
“Hello, Stacy.” The mother whispered to the tiny creature. “Hello, Stacy Belikov.”
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