A strange thing happened when I tried to deal with the “gift” that my time traveling/dimensional hopping daughter left for me. Maybe the future me was some kind of outdoors chick who could field strip a wild hare. But the current me threw the dead animal in the outside bin.
We had to keep going; me, Kenneth and Kai. As my husband and ‘new friend’ slept, I gathered supplies. There were some suitcases, and packs that I filled with dry goods and other small containers that we could use for water on our journey. I also found some clothes. Although the sundress fit a little too loose, the men’s size t-shirt and jeans seemed useable. Our group would look more like tourists and less like three patients who escaped a military hospital.
But back to the dead rabbit. I think it’s following us.
We had to navigate our way south, on foot. Not even knowing if we would be safe. Ken could read in over a dozen languages and even spoke a little German, Russian and French. Of course, that meant Kai, as his clone, could as well. So I left it up to them to read street signs, towns, and other directions.
But every once in awhile, out of the corner of my eye, I would see that distinctly bright white creature. It was the size of a wild hare but with the coloring of a pet bunny, like something that a parent would buy for their child from the local Petco. Even in the daylight, it could see it staring me down with its red eyes and crooked glare.
“What are you looking at?” Kai asked as we traversed through a field of dry grass.
“So you weren’t looking at the giant ghost-rabbit?” Kai replied as he started to walk faster. “I’m going to scout out ahead.”
“What?” I turned to him, just in time to trip on a rock, falling hard on my side. “Ow! F**k!”
Ken rushed to my side. All while Kai kept walking. My husband, even with his weak, sick body and nearly blinded eyes, lifted me in his arms. “Are you ok?”
I tried to answer but I could only cry. I wasn’t in a terrible amount of pain, but the stress combined with pregnancy hormones had driven me to my breaking point.
Kai groaned as he turned around, from twenty feet ahead. “We need to keep moving.”
“Going where?” I asked, my voice breaking with tears. “I’m pregnant, my leg hurts, I need to rest!” Mainly, I was G******n exhausted from walking the entire length of Germany.
Kai trudged on, disappearing into the dense shadowy forest.
“Well, f**k you!” I screamed. “We’ll be just fine without you!”
Ken held me against his chest, rocking my body like a crying child. “You need to calm down, Barbie-girl. Kai’s an a*****e but he had a point, we can’t stay in one place for too long. Getting found by the police isn’t going to help anything.”
I knew he was right, we had no passports, identification or anything. At the very least, I would get separated from my husband. Worst case, the local authorities would run our fingerprints, find out who we are. I would be sent to a mental asylum to die alone, but only after my baby was cut from my body.
I had no idea how much time had passed since we left the hospital in Landstuhl. We would walk until we encountered food or water, only then we slept. My belly felt larger, heavier. How far along was I? Would my baby even survive?
Ken was attempting to stand. By the position of his hands, I could tell he was going to try to carry me like a bride.
Oh, crap. I readied my legs to catch myself since I already knew I was too heavy and he was too sick.
“Ah s**t,” Ken groaned as he fell to his knees, clenching his chest. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s fine. I’m okay to walk,” I said, putting Ken’s arm around my shoulder. We would need to share our weight, our pain. Both of us limping, we made our way to a nearby area of dense trees. We were so close to the Switz-Germany boarder. But did that mean anything? Would we be safe?
We found a place to sit, where the branches were so dark, it felt like the sun already set. I was grateful for the chance to take a break. But without the light, it was also unbearably cold. “This could not get any worse.”
I closed my eyes when suddenly I felt the barrel of a gun pressed against my neck. Silent tears started to flow. I heard the sound of handcuffs, and several men speaking German, French, and English.
Something, something, “—American Military—-” Something, something, “–Raised reward—–Dead or alive—-”
I swallowed hard. These people weren’t police, they were bounty hunters.
“But what about?—” One man, with a thick German accent, motioned to my stomach. “She is pregnant?”
Another man laughed. Something, something, “—–medical experiment—–harvest the little abomination.”
A different man put me in handcuffs, and leg cuffs before putting an opaque black plastic bag over my head. It was just loose enough to allow me to breathe, but if I tried to scream I could easily cut off my air supply.
I reached my hand, trying to feel where Ken was, but I felt nothing. Was he already dead? Were they going to kill me? My chest heaved as I cried hard, panic-stricken tears. I could hear laughter, more words in a foreign tongue. I tried to make out words, trying to convince myself that they weren’t going to kill me. But what I made out was much worse; they wanted to r**e me, the ‘cute, s**y American w***e.’ They would tie Ken to a tree and make him watch.
My body tensed, awaiting the inevitable. They were going to touch me, cut me, hurt me. All I could do was pray that it would end quickly.
But no one came. I heard grunts, cursing, crying, screaming. It all ended with a single gunshot. And then the world went silent.
I felt hands on my back, working their way down my arms. “Please don’t, oh God please don’t. My baby, please, don’t hurt my baby.”
The handcuffs unlocked, followed by the leg cuffs. The first thing I did with my newly freed hands was to tear off the plastic bag. Blinking my eyes, my vision cleared. There was blood, so much blood.
Kai was wielding a massive weapon that appeared to be covered in hamburger meat. He hacked at the bodies, which were no longer struggling. The bloody chunks wiggled with the slightest death twitch as they bleed out. By the time he was finished, I could no longer tell how many bodies there had been.
Crossing my arms over my chest, I felt sticky. My arms and legs were covered in blood. Choking back vomit, I looked around for Ken. Much to my surprise, it appeared that Kai had freed him first. My husband was gathering weapons and other supplies from the chunks of what used to be bodies. Ken had so much blood on him, I could only assume he had fought alone side Kai.
“You came back, Kai,” I said out loud.
Kai dropped his blade. I had not noticed it before, but it looked like nothing more than a large chunk of scrap metal. “You’re all I know, all I have. I want to be with you, even if I’m just a third wheel.”
Ken patted Kai on the back. “I can’t say I’m happy you’re here, but you did save my wife and child, and for that, I am forever grateful.”
“Well, at least, now we have a vehicle,” Kai said, twirling a set of keys in his hand. “And plenty of meat.”
Uh, what? I raised an eyebrow. “Please tell me you’re referring to their supplies.”
“You wouldn’t eat someone who tried to kill you?” Kai asked with a smirk.
“Let’s get out of here.” I turned to walk towards where Ken was loading up a vehicle. Part of me was glad he could see well enough to strip the corpses of our enemies but he was too visually impaired to drive.
Kai leaned in and kissed my cheek. “I’d eat you, Barbie-girl. I think you’d be delicious.” He quit flirting just long enough to gather clothing and identifications. “Here, he tossed me a wallet, shirt, and pants.
I wondered why but then I looked at the ID. One of the bounty hunters had been female. of course she hadn’t been pregnant, but I could make do with covering my exposed stomach with a jacket. Or whatever was not covered in blood. “Did you find an ID for yourself and Ken?”
“Yup, we’re all good,” Kai replied confidently. He shook a water bottle, revealing it’s nearly empty contents.
I watched as Kai took off his blood-stained shirt. He splashed the small amount of water over his face. With the blood wiped from his eyes and cheeks, he looked presentable, even normal. Kai turned his back to me, as he pulled his long hair into a ponytail. My blood ran cold.
On his back was a massive rabbit tattoo that had not been there before. He flexed his shoulder, reaching into the vehicle. “Score!” Kai pulled out a clean leather jacket covered in colorful patches.
Even I had to admit it looked cool. I looked down at the wallet in my hands. Her name was Anna, she had been an American living in Russia.
Ken put his arm around my shoulder, guiding me to the vehicle. “We need to move quickly.”
Instead of taking me around the carnage, we walked a diagonal line straight through the center, allowing me to take in the full extent of what we had done. I closed my eyes, burying my face in Ken’s shoulder. When we reached the dark-green, military-style truck. I took a seat in the back and promptly vomited out the door with such force I nearly fell.
Ken had been sitting in the passenger seat so he was able to rush to my side. “You’re ok.” he held me close, not even wiping my mouth. “Just rest your head and try to get some sleep.”
“Ok.” I tried to look up, to get a glimpse at his face. But Ken sat next to me, pinning my face against his shoulder, so hard I could barely breathe.
“Let’s roll!” Kai shouted.
I heard him slam the driver’s side door as we sped off. After a few seconds, Ken released his grip, allowing me to sit up. I turned back to see a massive ball of flames. Oh, Dear God. I gripped my throat, trying to avoid screaming, crying or anything that would make me even more of a burden to my teammates.
Ken held my hand. “With any luck, the police will think we’re among the bodies.”
I forced myself to nod. “Yeah… um… sounds good.”
We drove into Switzerland without incident. But according to Kai, our goal was still France. “France is a hub for illegal immigrants, all the people trying to get into the UK. No one will notice us.”
His reasoning seemed a little too simplistic but I was in no position to argue. We drove in the direction of Lyon until we found an open pasture, to stop for the night.
“I’m going to grab stuff to start a fire,” Kai said, jumping out of the truck. “You and Ken should sleep against the side of the truck.”
“To avoid being seen, by anyone on the road,” I replied. “Sounds good.”
“There should be some extra clothes in the back if you’re cold.”
“Kai?” I reached for his hand as he left.
Kai only nodded.
Ken and I made a bed using two duffle bags filled with leaves and other spare clothing. The final result was surprisingly comfortable. We cuddled close under the light of the moon. It wasn’t uncomfortably cold.
Wrapped in my husband’s arms. I felt a calm soothing sense of peace. Even if someone was to come put a bullet in our heads at least we would be together.
I closed my eyes to sleep. After a moment of quiet darkness, I felt a strong warmth, followed by the sound of a crackling fire. “Kai?”
A young female chuckled, then sighed. “Why am I not surprised.”
“Becca?” I set up, rubbing sleep from my eyes.
My daughter was sitting on a rock, looking at me over the light of a campfire. She looked like a teenage version of myself but wearing camo gear. “He’s going to force you to eat human flesh.” She blinked her eyes, like a doll, letting them sparkle with innocence as she spoke.
“If you can’t help me, leave me alone!” I screamed.
The fire rippled causing her image to distort. “Oh, I’ll help you alright.”
I awoke to the spark hitting my arm and Ken coughing in my face. I quickly sat up. The fire was real but Becca as gone. Why was there a fire?
I had no time to think about that, as Ken’s eyes were glazed over. He couldn’t breathe.
I turned him on his side, to clear his airway.
“Give him the last of the water,” Kai said. He was tending to a small fire while wrapping what appeared to be meat, in pieces of foil.
“Is it in the truck?”
“Yeah, I’ll just use the fire to boil more.”
“Thanks,” I said quietly. My eyes were stuck on Kai’s project. “So, what are you making?”
“Ok.” I retrieved the canteen along with a bowl. I planned to pour out a small amount of water and attempt to get my husband to sip without choking. I worked quickly.
As soon as Ken took a few sips, he was able to breathe easier. “What’s he cooking?”
Kai had placed the foil packet in the fire and it smelled horrible.
“Supper, I guess.”
“Do you feel like vomiting?”
“I think I’ll be ok. Can we go chill in the truck in the truck?” the truck bed was made of metal so we would have to move our ‘bed’ but it seemed safer than sleeping outdoors.
“You guys are seriously not eating?” Kai asked. He seemed genuinely disappointed. “F**k it, more or me.”
Somehow I managed to get back to sleep. I was no longer cold. I felt so comfortably warm. As I shifted my weight, my eyes forced themselves open.
I noticed my hands were glowing. Rippled of blue energy stroked over my skin like a deep, tender massage with warm oils. I felt so good, I wanted to pull my hands to my chest. But they were stuck in place, around Ken’s neck.
My body was siphoning energy out of Ken. No, it wasn’t me, it was the baby.
“Why?” I asked out loud. But I knew why. Becca wanted me to make a move; murder Kai or watch my husband pass away. But there was a third option; I could give him my milk.
I couldn’t get comfortable on my back, so I laid on my side. I had not worn underwear in a few days, making masturbation easier. There had been many nights when I ‘took matters into my own hands’ if only to be able to sleep. So I knew for a fact that when I climaxed, the liquid that expelled from my breasts held the strange blue, lifegiving energy.
So I got to work.
That was when I felt Ken’s hand on my thigh. “What are you up to, Barbie?”
Touching led to kissing, kissing lead to us making love. We had a little privacy since the back of the truck was covered in a tarp, but I could still see the light of Kai’s fire.
But where was Kai?
“Don’t stop on my account,” Kai was watching from a dark corner.
“This is my game if you want to play you have to come closer.”
Kai came forward, crawling on his knees as he slipped out of his jeans.
Ken pressed his lips to my ear. “I want you to ride him, let the baby siphon his energy.”
It made sense. With my husband’s hands guiding my hips, I moved into r*************l position; sitting on Kai’s lap, facing away.
I heard moaning, grunting, then one final sentence.
“She’ll always be mine.”
I don’t even know which of the men said those words, but within the next few moments, it wouldn’t matter.
I turned around before Kai could finish.
He was so still. Suddenly Kai’s chest rose and he shot up like a zombie. His flail arms tore off the tarp, exposing our bodies to the moonlight. Kai’s torso was covered in shimmery blue energy. But on closer inspection, I saw it was blood.
Ken was next to him, resting his head on the younger man’s shoulder. He was holding Kai’s hand.
“Ken?” my voice quivered. “Baby, what have you done?”
Kai started to cough. He raised his hand, pointing with a finger as if he was writing on a chalkboard. “T-The fact is,” his voice was a quivery monotone, as his finger wrote out the letters of each word, “I was still sick. I need-ed to bind myself to Kai while I was still strong enough to do so.”
I wanted to cry, or scream. I quickly moved to the far corner of the truck bed, which only put about two feet of space between myself and Kai.
Kai slowly moved Ken’s bloody corpse, enough to be able to sit up. “D-Did y-you know about this? Was this your plan all along?” His voice broke with sadness.
“Are you crying?” I felt pissed off. He had no right. I had just lost the most precious person in my life. And Kai, or whatever the f**k his real name was, he was alive because I was too much of a coward to kill him to save my husband.
Kai sat in the opposite corner, still n**e, his legs pulled to his chest. “I-I can feel him.” He pursed his lips, as his eyes caught mine. “I-It’s like he’s a second voice in my head.” Tears sparkled in his blue eyes. “I’m seeing memories that I know for a fact don’t belong to me.”
“You already said you were given his mind.”
“But I never had his childhood memories before. I can see his mother’s face. And…” Kai cupped his hand over his mouth. “His thoughts from the past few weeks, they’re pulsing in my head. Oh God, it hurts!”
I felt pain, physical pain. A horrible burning sensation washed over my skin. The best I could compare it to would be a sudden sunburn or being locked in an oven.
The air crackled with energy, leaving behind a distinct glowing portal. “F*****g loser,” said a familiar voice. Becca stepped through, wearing what appeared to be camo-patterned body armor. Her boots made a loud clank as she took a step towards me. “I guess this is goodbye.”
“What?” The sound that came from my lips was nothing more than a breath.
“I’m nuking this world. Maybe in a different reality, my mother won’t be a stupid damsel in distress.” She hit a button on her wrist, causing a helmet to wrap over her face. She looked like something out of a video game. “It won’t hurt for long. The last few versions of you died pretty easily.”
I had an idea of what she was about to do. She came from a place with the technology to wipe out entire timelines. But I had one hope. Kai?
Kai was slowing standing up. “Can you see her?” From his current position, he was standing behind Becca. And in her armor, she didn’t appear to be able to see or hear him.
I nodded, trying to avoid direct eye contact with him. If he was truly a supersoldier with two minds, perhaps he had a plan.
Of course, I couldn’t be that lucky.
“I’m not stupid, where is he?” Becca asked, her voice digitized through her helmet. “Where is the fuckboy-clone that you chose over my father?”
Kai lunged at her from behind. “Grab her!”
Becca tried to fight him off, struggling under the weight of her armor.
Wait, why didn’t she just shoot him?
I suddenly had a realization; Becca had no weapons. The armor’s sole purpose was purely to be able to travel and activate the contained nuclear annihilation… and escape. We need to follow her through the portal!
I hesitated for only a moment; could I leave behind everything in this world? I had to try. It’s what Ken would have wanted.
If you’re reading this then something went right. But now it was just a matter of where the hell I landed.