She had always been different. Her mother and father were always concerned as she interacted with others. She was never easy to read and though she looked as normal as every other child her parents knew there was something special about her. It has started early while she was in the crib, her smiles were always amazing like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day and when them made her laugh the world itself seemed to be a better place. It was rare that she cried but it only seemed to be on rainy days when they felt as bad as she, seemingly impaled by the dark clouds and oppressive atmosphere. Their rural farm was a perfect place and it the grey skies always faded and the weather stayed unusually calm.
When she was just over a year old and taking her first steps across the cheap blue shag carpet her parents were so proud and when she fell on her bottom and began to cry, they heard the massive thunderclap and thought nothing of it. Laughing and having her try again she rose, smiled, and again the world was a better place. Although she liked being around other children as she grew up she did not interact consistently, it was almost as if she knew something more than the others., as if she was aware of something different than they could perceive.
Her parents shielded her from conflict as it was just easier and because they loved their daughter more than most parents understood. They doted on her, treated her as though she were a princess, and when times were bad, she rarely was upset because she knew they were there, loving her, there to hold her when she needed them, it would always be ok.
As she started school the other children though she was fun and cute, but a little strange as she stayed to herself more than others, and just enjoyed the moment with her teddy bear in hand when it was allowed. The teachers were always impressed with her as she quickly did her lessons and was hungry for more. She was never a problem and they only murmurs ever were when an older boy had begun teasing her and taken her teddy into a tree only to have it fall out of the tree as if pushed by a gentle breeze, when the boy tried to take it back he seemingly tripped and later said his legs were pulled out from beneath him.
On the night of her ninth birthday her parents picked her up from school and were frantic. She was not used to this type of anxiety in her home and as they drove her home they chattered almost unintelligibly about so many topics she became confused. She cried and asked what was wrong and the clouds seemed to mimic her worry, their darkness mirroring her own internal confusion.
“Don’t worry sweetie,”, her mother said, “it is going to be all right. Look at your pretty new dress, it looks so nice.” Her mother’s smile was reassuring and her anxiety faded. She saw the sun peak out of the clouds as they drove only to be stopped just before their house by a roadblock. She smoothed her pleated dress.
“Stay here honey,” her father said as he got out of the car followed quickly by her mother.
She gripped her bear tightly as then men in black suits and white lab coats exchanged heated words with her parents, she could not hear them but her anxiety mounted and soon she felt little bits of panic crush in on her. She tried to be calm, but it was so hard.
Outside the clouds began to swirls as the men in white coats pointed at her and she watched as they moved towards the car. Her parents were forced into a large white van and were screaming and struggling to reach her, trying so hard to break free as she watched in horror.
The black clouds circled and became more intense as the van rushed away with her parents inside and she watched her mother scream for her against the back window and then watched as an unseen person violently pulled her away as the van fishtailed and headed towards her and town beyond. She cried just a little, then a strange calm came across her as the van rocketed past her car and towards the city, then men still walking in her direction. They were big and one opened the passenger door.
“Get out,” he said and she did so, first taking off her seatbelt, then grabbing her bear and moving towards the door. He stepped back as she stepped out, straightened the bow her mommy had made her, then looked at his hand and noticed the pretty red band.
“What’s that?” she said inquisitively.
“It’s a key,” he said dryly, “now let’s go up to that car and leave.
The other man stayed away and had his hand in his coat as they walked towards the car.
“Can I see your key?” she said quietly looking up with innocent eyes, her perfect curled hair blowing slightly in the wind.
He looked at the other man and slid the red RF armband off his wrist and handed it to her.
“This is where mommy and daddy are, right?” she said quietly holding her bear and making sure she held him tightly.
“Here kid, give it back,” the man said.
She turned and began walking back in the direction where the van had driven away with her parents, sliding the band on her arm.
“Hey kid, stop!” she heard but as she walked down the rural highway away from them the clouds burst forth dozens of lightning bolts within feet of each other near the two men. The men looked up in abject horror as they saw the clouds descend and as she continued walking, bear in hand, the wind took the men and they disappeared in the swirling maelstrom. She continued walking as their car and her parent’s car slowly lifted and were soon gone as well. Only the twisting storm remained and as she walked forward, with her bear and the key, to find her parents. She looked absently forward, strangely calm. She knew she would see her mommy and daddy again soon, and god would not help anyone who got in her path.