Sovereign: The First Chapter
By Mark Brockett
Copyright 2010 Mark Brockett
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Table of Contents
Many years have passed since the incident. My family and I managed to escape the harsh conditions we were forced to live under. We left the city and didn’t look back. But, perhaps we should have. It’s my fault that this happened, I should have been more careful.
Under such a strict rule, everyone was monitored heavily. There were dozens of guards ready to attack if one citizen stepped out of line. Luckily for us, there was a small rebellion in the works. Citizens were tired of getting pushed around day after day. When the time was right, they attacked the guards and tried to claim the city as their own. I would’ve helped, but I had bigger plans.
My body and mind told me to stay and fight, but my heart and stomach told me otherwise. You don’t know heartbreak until you see your wife struggling to feed your child. Until you contemplate eating that food before you bring it home. No money, no food, no life to live. Amongst the chaos, I went home and told my family that we would no longer live like this and it was time to leave.
We grabbed an abandoned vehicle at one of the guard posts and left. My whole life, I’ve lived in that city. Poor, hungry and yet, still hopeful. Hopeful that one day, things would change. Days went by, we were relying on only the food that was left in the vehicle. I didn’t know how long this journey would be, and I was hesitant.
At times, I looked at my wife and wanted to go back home. She didn’t ask to be dragged along on this ride, and she didn’t deserve it. I wanted the best for her, and I hoped that this was it. Then, I looked at my baby boy, not even a year old. I couldn’t let him grow up the same way that I did. Struggling to survive, having to fend for himself. It gave me just enough passion to keep going, just enough hope to still believe that we would make it.
That’s when they found us. Days after the escape and they never gave up. The guards were hot on our trail. But, even if they caught us, we wouldn’t return to the city. They’d kill us where we stood and leave our bodies there for others to find. I looked at my family again, they were unaware of our danger until the guards sped up and shot at us.
I put everything I had into protecting my family. They would not die on this day. I maneuvered the vehicle as if my soul was connected to it. I’m not sure if a single bullet landed. I wasn’t the best driver, but I outran them. I got a bit cocky as I told my wife that the guards were more like Stormtroopers. She snickered, then coddled our baby. Then her eyes became wider, jaw began to drop. I turned around, and I smiled. At last our search ended. We found another place that we could call home.
As we entered, our vehicle began shaking, we were getting shot at again. I was foolish to think that the military was unskilled and had given up on us. No one ever escaped, and I’m sure they weren’t going to let us become the first. The only thing I could do was hope that I could once again shake them off. But this time, they wouldn’t return to harm us. I went as fast as I could go, then I slammed on the brakes. The guards didn’t expect it and flew right past us. From there, I had to finish them. They were the only thing left to threaten my family. Now that they were in front of us, I could use the guns that the vehicle had.
The guns were equipped to the front of the vehicles, and due to their position, they were forced to receive my barrage. My eyes were set on destroying them. They tried to shake me off, but they couldn’t. I didn’t care about how much military experience they had, or who they pledged allegiance to. I bombarded them with bullet after bullet until they couldn’t take it any longer. Their engine failed and they plummeted from the sky and plunged into the ocean. They chased us from our home planet, but we managed to escape.
That was ten years ago on this exact day. Now, my family and I hide among the humans, living in peace. No more hunger, no more struggle. We can live as a family now, and if more guards were sent to look after us, we would deal with them. This planet, Earth I believe they call it, is our new home. No one is going to take my new home away from me or my family.
I sit alone in this dark closet, hoping that my silence is enough to save my life. I’ve been stuck in here for the past few hours. I shift around in my closet, but I’m afraid to make a sound. I don’t want them to hear me. I don’t want them to kill me like they killed everyone else.
Earlier today they attacked us. There had to be hundreds of them. Crawling from the forest, they wrecked everything in their path. I heard the screams of terror coming from the homes nearby. I looked at my parents, hoping they would have an answer. My father raced through the house searching for weapons, while my mother held me.
“Faith, you should go upstairs and hide in your room. Your mother and I will be back for you when it’s safe.” That was the last thing that my father said to me. I went to my room and hid in the closet. Moments later, a window shattered.
There was a lot of commotion downstairs. Shuffling and yelling for a while, and then there was silence. I left my room, tip-toeing down the stairs. I heard chewing. Growing louder and more obnoxious with every step I took. I leaned my head forward and saw one of those grey monsters. Bones protruding from its back, it was hunched over sitting on top of my mother. Digging its claws into her and then shoving whatever it found into its mouth. My hand clutched my mouth, as not to make any noise. Tears began cascading down the side of my face.
My front door was wide open. Could I make it? If I did make it, would I survive out there? Just as I tried to run, that tear fell from my cheek and onto the hardwood floor below me. Almost immediately, that thing turned its head. I pulled my head back behind the wall just in time. I stopped moving, paralyzed in fear that I would end up like my parents. I backed up the stairs and watched the short and skinny shadow.
While atop the stairs, I hit my foot against the wall. The monster screeched and bolted up the stairs after me. I ran into my room and slammed the door. I locked it and scurried back to my closet. My heart raced as I heard scratching on the door. I slumped down in my closet and cried.
When I pulled my head up out of my arms my room was coated in the moonlight. Hours must’ve passed from just sitting here. I mustered up the strength to go, but as I opened the closet I heard the blood-curdling screams of my neighbors. I didn’t want to go out there, but I knew I couldn’t stay here. Sweat dripped from my forehead and onto the beige carpet below. I walked up to my window and saw that the street was empty.
I opened it and tried to escape but they were waiting for me. One hidden in the trees let out a howl. I closed the window quick and ran back to my haven. I thought maybe if I stayed quiet forever, that I’d be okay. At that moment, two more of those things crashed in through my window. Glass scattering as the monsters flopped onto the floor. My room smelled of ash, it was hard to breathe.
It was at that moment that I saw my first glimpse of one of their faces. They had beady little green eyes that were filled with hate. There was a dent with small holes where the nose should be. A very thin mouth with no teeth. Their skin resembled plastic and had a cheap glow because of the outside light. One of them stood up. The claws nearly reached the floor. The other one crawled around, shifting its body to move. They had the form of a human but had very disturbing movement. Jittering and sliding their bodies searching for me.
The standing one broke through my bedroom door and started to hobble through the house. The one that crawled found my closet. Sniffing all around, its claw reached for the door before it was sliced off by something. It whined and got stabbed by a shadow behind it. I watched it slam into the floor as something got on top of it to stab it again and again. I opened the door and there he was. My father had rescued me.
“Dad, how are you alive?” I whispered. He didn’t respond, his head hung on his shoulders. “Dad,” I said again. He raised his head and revealed himself. His skin was a greyish color and his hair was patchy. He reached for me, but I backed away. Was he one of those things now?
That’s when the other one came back. It wandered back upstairs and saw us. It ran towards us with foam dripping from its disfigured face. My father lunged to shield me from the attack. But, it was costly. He had been scratched and was now very injured. He was tossed to the floor across the room. I couldn’t watch my father get killed again. I looked away hoping to avoid that sight and noticed the severed claw of the dead creature.
I grabbed it and lunged towards the monster with everything I had left. It turned around and knocked me away. The tongue wrapped around my leg and dragged me closer to it. My leg
burned as the tongue was coated with what felt like acid. My father must have noticed this and cut the creature’s tongue off.
The monster squealed and pushed my father away. He bumped into me and I fell through the window onto our lawn below. My father looked out from the window. I saw the look in his eyes. It didn’t see hate, I saw love and hope. Then he was pulled back in by the monster. I turned my head and saw police lights before blacking out.
I woke up inside of a police station filled with survivors. My head was pounding and my leg was bandaged. I looked around and saw soldiers running through the halls. I tried to sit up, but I collapsed back into my bed. There was something jabbing me in the side, so I reached into my jacket and pulled it out. I still had the severed claw.
I’m alive right now thanks to my father. He had given up his life twice to save mine. I just hope he didn’t die in vain. I thought today would be just another ordinary day. But, everything changed. I have hope that one day, I will avenge my parents. And kill all those things that came from the forest. That they’ll feel the same pain that my parents felt. I hope that we will cross paths again. And when we do, I will be stronger.
I sit at my desk contemplating what’s left of my life. Taking a glimpse out of my penthouse window, I wonder. What’s a life worth living if you can’t live it with your loved ones? Someone knocks on my office door. “Victoria, cancel all of my appointments today. I’m not in the mood for it now.” Out walks Rex Brighten, the owner of every pharmaceutical company in the world. He struts in arrogantly, wearing his signature white suit.
“Christopher Hall, I don’t pay my presidents to sit and lounge all day. But given the circumstances, I’ll make an exception.” He extends his hand out.
I stand and make my way around my desk, “My apologies, Mr. Brighten, I’ve been a bit troubled lately.” I reach to give him a handshake.
He pulls away and gives me a stern look. “No, Mr. Hall I must apologize, where are my manners? You’ve lost your family in a horrific car accident and I waltz in judging your work
performance. Please accept my condolences.” He grabs my hand and then pulls out a baby wipe to cleanse his.
I swallow my pride and mutter, “I appreciate your gratitude, sir. However, I must ask about your reason for coming. I can’t imagine you came here just to tell me that.”
“Well, Chris I’ve been having a few problems lately and I was hoping you would be of use to me.”
My chair squeaks as I take a seat, “Sure, go ahead.”
“My home was broken into a few days ago and some of my personal belongings were taken. Would you know anything about that?”
“No sir, but you have made a lot of enemies in your career. You put thousands of companies out of business when you took over a few years ago. Any of those people would have a reason for it.”
Brighten walks toward one of my windows, “I suppose, but there’s one problem. Only a few people in this company know where I live.”
I jump from my seat, “Mr. Brighten, you can’t be implying that I had something to do with this burglary!”
“No, not at all Mr. Hall,” he snickers. “You wouldn’t have a reason to do that. I’ve made you the president of the Eastern regions of the United States. You wouldn’t betray me, would you?”
“Of course not. I’ve dedicated my life to this company, I’ve given everything to make RexCorp successful.”
“I know, Mr. Hall. You spend a lot of your free time trying to help the company. Especially with all the various emails you send, trying to partner up with other businesses.”
He walks towards me with a sinister look in his eye. “Mr. Hall, two weeks ago you sent an email to an unknown source. A day later, my house gets broken into and all of my research is missing.”
“I can understand your reason for being cautious Mr. Brighten.”
“No, let me finish. I didn’t believe someone as smart as you would underestimate my ability. I check the security tapes and I see you snooping through my personal files. And inside those files were my plans for the next era of this company.”
I get up from my seat, “The next era? Is that what you call it? You want to poison millions of innocent people just so you can make more money!”
He chuckles, “Mr. Hall, you must understand it’s not just the money. It’s the power that I need. I make the decisions that others fear to make. I do this to ensure a better future for this world.”
“You’re psychotic, Brighten. And sooner or later, someone is going to find out what you’re trying to do.” I make my way to the door.
Rex starts clapping, “Bravo Mr. Hall, go on ahead. Be the hero, save the world.” I open the door and before I exit, Rex says, “If you leave you’ll never know about Amiyah and Angel.”
I turn around, “What?”
“Oh, did I forget to mention that? Your daughters, Angel and Amiyah have been staying with Uncle Rex for a while.”
“But, my family died in that car crash last week. I saw the bodies!”
“You saw bodies, Mr. Hall. Just not those of your daughters’.” Brighten smirks.
“They’re alive? Are you saying that my girls survived the crash?”
“Yes, they did. And when you’re wealthy and powerful, you can tell anyone what to do. The medics, the cops, the reporters, they all work for RexCorp eventually.”
“You planned all of this.”
“I had to make sure. I didn’t want my secrets spilling out from your mouth.”
I walk over to him and push him against the wall, “Rex, where are you keeping my girls?”
“I told you, they’re in my home. But, you’d better keep your hands off me Hall. I don’t want you to do something that you’ll regret.” I release him and he adjusts his tie and wipes the dust from his suit.
“Rex, what do you want?”
Rex pulls out a suppressed pistol from his jacket. “I don’t like loose ends, Mr. Hall.” He places his gun on the table next to him. “I’m going to leave, and my security is going to come back here in a few minutes. When they enter this room, the RexCorp president of the Eastern regions will be dead. They’ll retrieve the weapon and you can spend eternity with your dead wife.”
“Rex, you’re sick!”
“And if you aren’t, Angel and Amiyah, will suffer. And I’ll tell them that their dear old daddy didn’t care about them enough to save them.” Brighten exits the office. I take a seat and contemplate my options.
A few moments pass as I struggle for a way to save my girls. I won’t let him take them from me again. If I must die, so that my daughters can live, I’ll gladly accept my fate. A guard walks into the room. I put the gun to my head.
“Hurry up, I don’t have all day,” the guard barks at me.
“Can you at least tell my daughters something for me?”
“I’ll ask Mr. Brighten when you’re done. What is it?”
I point the gun back at the guard and shoot him. “Daddy’s coming.”
Thank you for reading my very first book. It’s been a long journey and it means a lot that you took the time out to read my work. If you liked it, please feel free to leave a review at your favorite retailer.
Mark Brockett, is a television screenwriter. His writing ranges from intense action to suspenseful horror. He’s also earning a BFA in Creative Writing. If you’re interested in, here’s the link to his linked in profile, . Favorite me at Shakespir:
SOVEREIGN: THE FIRST CHAPTER includes three separate flash fiction stories. "New Beginnings," "The Keepers," and "Family First" are fictional stories that look to captivate you and draw you in. "New Beginnings," describes one man's journey as he must guide his family through tough times and a daring escape from his home city. Can they outrun the army, or will they die for freedom? "The Keepers," is about Faith Valentine and her fight for survival. She's stuck in her closet as ravenous beasts emerge from the forest and terrorize her neighborhood. Hope has kept her alive for now, but time is running out. "Family First," takes a deeper look into the life of Christopher Hall, the president of a pharmaceutical company. He grieves for the loss of his wife and children as he's met with hostility from his boss. As the two clash, it becomes apparent that Chris will do anything for his family.