The Cure : Part Six

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

Zaire stood on the outside of the fence of Quinn’s compound staring through a crack.  From where he stood he could see three medium sized guards standing in front of the front door.  He knew he’d have to sneak around them; there’s no way he could just bust in and survive.  These guys were trained for one purpose: shoot to kill.  Normally, someone wouldn’t look at him and think ‘I need to shoot that person’, but since he failed to bring in Josef, everyone was looking for him, not believing that he was killed in the process.  Faking his death was completely out of the picture.

But he had a plan.  One he was truly hoping wouldn’t fail him now.

First, before putting his plan to action, he had to find the nerve to step foot onto the premises.  Where he stood now, outside of the fence, he felt fine, safe – but as soon as he steps inside – all hell will break loose.

Josef was eager to help as much as he could, which wasn’t much, but it was something.  After Zaire walked out of the house, the butler came running after him screaming for him to stop.  Josef had decided to send him off with a pistol, two knives, and a first aid kit.  Once he found places to put everything, to hide, he made his way, on foot, back to Quinn’s compound.

To wait for the perfect opportunity.

He thought about nightfall, but not only does that make it hard for Quinn, and her people to see, it will be hard for Zaire to see.  He tossed that out of the window.  His best plan of attack is just to do it.  Of course, he wasn’t planning to use the gun or knives; he wanted to do this as clean as he possibly could and shooting, or stabbing someone isn’t doing that.

The more he stood there, the more he wanted to run.  He knew if he was going to do this – he needed to do it now.  He looked up and down the large, long fence and decided that his best bet was to begin from the back.  Her compounds sit on 87 acres, most of which were all trees.  He knew that the trees would work in favor of him and against them.  During his time of being sick he has lost a lot of weight and can hide behind a tree trunk.

Finding a way into the compound is where he foresees the issue.


Zaire didn’t want to leave anything for chance.  He knew he was only getting one shot at this, and if he failed, he pretty much would fail at life.  As he ran along the fence trying to find either an opening or a way to jump, his mind ran rampant.  He knew there were many ways this could so south, but he wasn’t going to give up.

He needed to fight.

At the top of a small hill the fence turned, taking a corner.  At the end of the corner was four tree stumps.  It seems as if someone cut them down to build the fence straight, but then changed their mind and went around it instead.  He stopped, measuring in his mind whether he could use them to jump the fence – safely.

He carefully stepped up onto the first trunk.  Grabbing the top of the fence for balance, he lifted his leg and stepped up, almost a leg and a half of his, and brought his bought up.  Before stepping up on the last trunk he paused, peeking over the fence he scanned the property.  Looking left he saw the beginning of the trees, if he had gone any further he would have entered through the land that was covered in trees.  He glossed over the idea of jumping down and going through them – but would he be able to find another spot with trunks like this?  Did it want to risk it?

He scanned the yard in front of him and saw nothing but what looked like burned grass.  Looking to the right he saw the building with blacked out windows – he paused, squinting toward the building.

“Are those claw marks?  How did I not see them before now?”

His eyes were glued to the building as they darted back and forth – massively large claw marks looked as if it tried to shred the building multiple times.  Some marks looked older than the rest.  He tilted his head to the side and began wondering, is this why there are so many guards?

The thought was grand, but he didn’t want to risk being shot.  He brought his head back, looking straight he saw two guards, approximately 100 feet away, looking in the opposite direction.

Something had their attention.

He knew if he was going to have the opportunity to get in, this was it.  This – was his open door and he was going through it.  With one quick, swift motion he jumped up onto the last tree trunk, and swung his body over the fence, landing on the other side a little too hard leaving a slight fuzzy feeling in his legs and feet.  He stood momentarily, trying to get his bearings.  Something caught his attention to the right – a guard.


He needed to get away and fast.  He turned to his left and took a run, as fast as he could, to the trees.  He found the biggest tree and stopped behind it – catching his breath.  Cautiously he peered around the side of the tree.  The guard was gone, but the two, who now were in a heated discussion – flinging their arms in all directions, were still over there.

His plan wasn’t working out.  He needed a better one.  He turned toward the mass number of trees behind him.

If I walk a little further into these trees, and then around the property itself, I might be able to get around those guards.

In his mind the plan seemed perfect.  But as he crept further, light beginning to fade into the woods, he wondered if this was such a great idea.  A cool chill formed, giving his skin tiny red pimples, and making his hair stand on ends.

The surrounding trees felt like they were going to swallow him whole.  Birds no longer chirping, crickets nowhere to be heard – the only noise left for him was the sound of him cracking fallen branches, crunching dead leaves and his heart beat, which was a lot louder than he could remember.


Zaire never stopped moving, attempting to circle around the back of the compound.  He still hoped that once he got far enough around he would be able to go around the two guards that stood in place, protecting whatever Quinn hid from the world.  But as he continued onward, the forest never ending, he questioned himself on whether he turned too soon, and was now too far into the forest to find his way back out.

He turned around, determining that he should probably find the light.  It cannot be too hard, right?  He has basically been walking in a straight line, except for the one time where he turned to his right.

Walking back, in what he thought was the way he came from – he looked around and noticed things now that he hadn’t seen before.  A wave of panic swept through him and he started zig-zagging through the trees.  He wasn’t sure what compelled to do so, but the more he ran, the faster he began.  His heart beating hard in his chest – maybe too hard?

What is too hard?

The panic didn’t ease up any when he heard the first crack of thunder.  A flash of light caught him off guard and his foot missed a step, tripping over a large root in the ground, he fell to his knees and rolled, head over feet, down a hill and landed hard at the bottom.  He didn’t move, a searing pain in his left thigh.  Closing his eyes, he grabbed at the pain feeling something wet surrounding something large, and wooden.  He cursed, pulling his hand away, he opened his eyes.  His hand was now red, and his stomach heaved.  He flipped himself over on to his side and vomited on the ground next to his head.

He groaned rolling back onto his back.  “This cannot be happening.”

Zaire carefully sat up and opened his bag and pulled out the first aid kid that Josef had given him.  Did he know what he was going to have to do?

He needed something to bite down on knowing this was going to hurt.  He patted around on the ground blindly – but was unable to feel anything except leaves and hard, dead grass.  He cracked his knuckles and placed a hand on the end, of what he thinks was a large piece of tree – counted to four and yanked.

He screamed.

The pain seared through his thigh and up into the rest of his body, throwing his upper torso backwards.  He lay on his back heaving, his breath coming in spurts – his left leg limp, bleeding all over the ground.

Zaire knew if he didn’t move he was going to lay there and bleed to death.  He needed to get up and keep moving.  He needed to find shelter – there had to be something.  He cracked open the first aid kit and grabbed a white bandage, tape, and Neosporin.  He took his shirt off and ripped it in half, his strength surprising to even him, and cleaned off the spot as well as he could.  Squeezing the whole tube of Neosporin on the wound he wrapped all the bandage around his thigh, taping it as securely as he could.  Just for a good measure he took the other part of his shirt and tied it around the bandage.

Shakily and unsteady, he stood up.  He wobbled a bit before he got the feeling back into his feet and began walking.

After a couple minutes he felt rain drops on his face.  He closed his eyes and kept walking, his irritation obvious.  Thunder rumbled above him, and a flash of lightning flashed before his eyes.  His eyes freaked for a second before trying to focus back on the dark surrounding.

The rain began to pick up making it completely impossible for him to see.

He needed to rest, especially since he couldn’t see where he was going anyway.  Stopping, he found a large rock nestled closely next to a large tree.  The rock was still dry – the tree must have enough leaves yet that it is basically a roof.  He slid up, as well as he could, and sat, curling up against the tree and began waiting for the storm to stop.

He knew he hadn’t been sitting there long but it felt like a million years the rain led up a little.  It was a crucial moment, he couldn’t stay there forever, so he jumped down off the rock, his sore leg bending slightly off kilter – he fell.

This fall, however, wasn’t as bad as the last and he stood back up.  Just as he got completely straight, ready to take his first step – a noise, behind him, got his attention and he paused.

His heart thumping hard in his chest.

A deep growl rumbled around him.  He swallowed hard, remembering all those crazy stories his mother used to tell him when he was a kid about things that live in the forest.  He slowly turned, wanting to face whatever it is that was behind him.

Whatever it was stood, on his hind legs, another growl flew from his lips.  The only thing that Zaire could see in the dark was huge, angry eyes blaring into his soul.  His mouth dropped open, and turned as quick as his sore body would let him and sprinted.  His feet flying, hopping over tree trunks, and dead plants.  Rushing through spiky plants and down through bushes.

A long, loud clap of thunder rumbled through the sky, as streaks of lightning lit up his path.  If it doesn’t get worse, he figured he would be able to make it out.

Another flash – blinding him for mere seconds, unbalancing him forcing him to slow down, he struggled, but eventually picking up a stride, getting away from the figure behind him, lightning flashed around him striking the ground.  He dodged a strike just as a bolt of lightning flew just passed his face, pushing him over onto his back.  He rolled underneath a broken tree and flung himself forward, getting back to his feet and without missing a beat he continued to run.  He could feel his heart beat in his toes but pushed forward hoping to escape.  But where exactly was he?  The scenery around him was all brand new so he couldn’t tell.

He was scared, a feeling he hadn’t felt in a long time, but tonight as he made his way through a forest trying not to trip, he felt it.  He didn’t waste time by stopping and looking back to see if he was out running them, or try to find things to hurl at whatever may or may not be behind him.  He didn’t like the chase he was in, but he must keep going; had to let it keep following him to get to where he needed to be.           The scariest part for him was the lack of knowledge.  He had no idea what, who – or even how many were behind him.  All he knew is that he had to move faster before it caught up with him.

His breath hitched, and he came to a complete stop as his body encountered a large oak tree.  Falling backwards he slammed hard onto the ground, a tiny puff of dirt flying up around him.  His head was groggy, but he could see the figure standing above him.  It didn’t move, instead it just stood there staring down.  He felt the thing’s eyes bore deep into his soul.  A small growl rumbled around him as his eyes fluttered shut.


I’m dead.  I messed up and died way too soon.  It wasn’t even the disease that killed me.  I killed me.  Now what?

Zaire sat up on a large cot and looked around.  IT was dark except for a small light peaking in through the bottom and top of the door, the smell of urine overtaking his senses.  He touched his lap making sure it wasn’t him.

Dry.  Well, that’s a good sign, he thought.

He looked around the room trying to see through the dark.  He couldn’t tell someone why, but when he is in a blacked-out room he attempts to use some ability, he doesn’t have, to see around the room.  Is this even a room?  He had no idea if he was underground, or on top of the ground.  For all he knew he was correct and he was dead, and this is hell.

Someone bandaged my wounds?

His attention was stolen from thoughts of himself to something outside of the door.

Are those… footsteps?

He listened hard, trying to make out anything he could.  But his spider senses just weren’t kicking in.

The noises stopped, and it was quiet again.  His heart rate started to settle just in time for the door to swing open, slamming hard into the wall.  His eyes widened at the figure of a woman standing in the doorway illuminated by the lights around her.

“Zaire, did you think it was going to be that easy?”

He sighed – Quinn.  Of course, it’s her.  Of course, she is the one who would trap him in a small, dank room and cut him off from the world.  What would make this any different?

“Did you really think you could just walk back onto my compound and take what’s mine?”  Quinn’s voice grew louder, almost heavy.  It was if she didn’t care who heard her – that everyone on Earth new what she was up to.

He stood up bracing himself for whatever she was about to throw at him.  His body hurt, but a part of him knew it was going to come down to this.  Her and him.

He took a step backwards putting more room in between them.

“You should have known how this would end.  You fail with the mission and then you try to get back onto my property.  Did you really think you’d get the cure from underneath my nose?”

“I had to try.”

She scoffed.  “You had to try.  Bravo Zaire, bravo!  You try and fail.  Do you try and fail at everything in life?  Or am I just seeing the special guy in front of me?”

“I told you to begin with this isn’t how I wanted to do things.  I didn’t want to do this.”  He waved his hands around in the air.  “I just wanted to be left alone in my house to die.  I didn’t want to come here.  I didn’t want to be another one of your puppets.”

Quinn took a step into the room, just as Zaire took another step backwards – his back touching the wall.  “You have nowhere to go, Zaire – you’re trapped.”

“If you’re going to kill me, just get it over with.”

“Oh Zaire, no, no, no.  You don’t understand how all of this works.”  She took a couple more steps toward him before dropping her head, almost in thought, and putting her hands behind her back.  “I had no plans of ever killing you.  I had hoped you’d kill my Uncle, so I wouldn’t have to.  But I guess it’s time I just do it myself.”

“Yes, Quinn.”  A deep authoritative voice behind her startled her.  “Yes, I think it’s about time you finally just come at me yourself.”

Quinn didn’t turn around, “Josef, Uncle, it’s nice to see you.  It’s been too long.”

“I’m sick of the games Quinn, your mother wouldn’t want this for you.”

“She also wouldn’t want my only Uncle, her only brother, to treat her niece like this.”

Josef shook his head and flicked a cigarette onto the floor, stepping on it.  “How am I treating you?  I offered you many positions to work with me.  TO help me.  To live with me.  But you turned them all down saying you shouldn’t have to work.  I should just give you stuff for free.”

She turned to face Josef, a light lit up her face – anger in her eyes.  “I shouldn’t!  I should just be loved by you enough that you would just give me things.  You were supposed to give me the world.  Don’t you remember that when I was younger?”

“I still want to give you the world, but not like this.  Not the way you want it.  You cannot just kill me and pretend that I never existed and attempt to take over my world.”  He stopped, his voice dropped to almost a whisper, sad, “You cannot be me.”

Quinn was quick, probably too quick.  Before Zaire had noticed she was across the room at Josef.  She grabbed a pipe that was beside the door and swung, connecting with his face.  Josef wobbled slightly before gaining his composure.  She took another step toward him and kicked his calf, knocking his feet out from underneath him.

Josef fell landing on his stomach.  He stood and looked down at Quinn.  “I’m not going to do this.  I’m not going to fight you.”

“Then I guess you’re going to die.”  Quinn jumped, swinging her right leg up colliding with Josef’s face.  His head jerked, unbalancing him, until his whole body slammed into a wall.

“Quinn, stop!”  Zaire heard the words escape his mouth, but he had no idea why.  Why does he care what happens between these two if it didn’t involve him?  If Josef killed Quinn, he would be safe and would be able to go home.  If Quinn killed Josef, she would finally get what he wanted all along and maybe, possibly she’d let him go.

So why is he telling her to stop?

Quinn looked back eyeing Zaire, “stay out of this Zaire, no need for you to get hurt because of it.”

Just as Quinn turned back around to face Josef, he was gone.  She looked behind her, her head turning back and forth, and then in front.  Without realizing it, Josef was standing behind her brandishing a gun pushing it into her back.

“I’m sick of this.  Do you hear me, Quinn – I’m tired of your games and you thinking you can get away with all of this.”  Josef spoke quickly, the words tumbling out of his mouth.

“Uncle, you wouldn’t be able to live with yourself if you shot me.”

“Quinn, you don’t know me.  You don’t know what I’m capable of doing.”

Zaire spotted the gun and backed himself up into a corner.  Now he absolutely didn’t want to be a part of this family drama.  When guns get involved, he tends to get out of the way and away from the whole thing.  Sadly, for him, tonight, he cannot do that.

Quinn elbowed Josef in the stomach, turning, she grabbed his hand that held the gun.  They wrestled for a moment before Quinn shook his hand.  He lost grip and dropped the loaded gun onto the floor.  It hit just hard enough it fired.

They both stopped.

I knew I was going to die, Zaire thought to himself.  But I always figured it would be because of the illness, not because of careless, heartless people.  Both Josef and Quinn have no idea what they’re doing to the people around them and probably never will.  As for me, I’m kind of glad it happened like this.  At least I know that I was taken out by accident rather than purpose.  I’m not sorry that I didn’t kill Josef when I went to his house and I’m glad that Quinn wasn’t able to remove his life.  She doesn’t deserve anything – ever.   




Continuing The Cure…

A while back I began sharing a story that I was writing monthly, however, I got sidetracked and never finished it.  But recently, I picked the story back up and wanted to finish sharing it.

Just a reminder, for the ones who began reading it and never finished or the ones who haven’t began writing it.  First Part, Second Part, Third Part, Fourth Part

Here is the Fifth Part:


Zaire stared in disbelief at the front of a large house – almost mansion like, but not quite.  It was painted a light maroon with large windows covered in black blinds.  The sky was a bit darker than it normally was around six in the evening.  A shiver crawled up his spine knowing this wasn’t going to end well for him.  He knew he had two options: one, say no and be killed or two, do this and ultimately be killed.  He took a deep breath and felt a sigh escape his lips.  All he wanted to do was turn around and go home and pretend none of this happened.  Forget he ever met Quinn.

Quinn – a growl escaped his lips.

His life would have been just fine if he had never run into her.  The trip across the ocean to a tiny deserted island covered in Tesla Coils.  He felt stupid thinking back to what the island looked like when he stood on the beach by the water.  He knew everything seemed weird to him and now that he was standing in this spot – at this time – he knew everything was wrong.  This isn’t how his life was supposed to end up.

He only agreed to this trip for the exposure.  Something new that he hadn’t witnessed before.  But this has turned into a complete nightmare.  A nightmare that he cannot wake up from; something, no matter how hard he tried, he will not be able to come back from.

He had been dropped off and left to his own devices.  They drove him to the middle of nowhere, pushed him out of a nearly moving vehicle, and left – like his life doesn’t matter; giving him the option to either kill or be killed.

The worse part?

He was facing death alone – still.  No one wants to die alone – that’s half his issue with the disease.  He has been facing death for years and has had no one around to face it with.  Hand in hand – buddies.  There is so many people in that compound, she could have sent one other person with him.  Maybe, with two people, this could actually happen.

But no, he was facing this alone.

Zaire looked to his left and noticed a large tree and decided he wanted to take a brief sit down and do some writing.  He had some thoughts he wanted to get down before his train of thought was taken away, leaving something behind in his wake.  The leaves blew gently around him as he sat, getting comfortable, in the grass.  He opened his knapsack and pulled out his tiny worn notebook and pulled the pen out of the binds.  He leaned his back against the tree and began writing:

I’m going to die today and it’s not exactly what I had in mind.  Death.  I have given a lot of thought, lately, to how I would succumb to death and this was not what I had imagined.  I never thought that I would be sitting underneath a tree in a complete stranger’s yard trying to decide how I will kill him.  That’s it though; I’m not going to kill him.  I refuse to kill someone when no one will tell me why they deserve to die.  Does he deserve to die because he wants to be a dictator?  Dictator for what – potato land?  There isn’t anything around here to be the dictator of.  We live in the United States of America – we have a president – and there is no way he is going to be able to overrun the White House and take America.  It’s not possible; I’m not very versed in History, but I’m pretty sure someone, somewhere has already tried – and failed.  What makes this man, of all men, think he is going to be any different than the rest?

I don’t want to die. 

I want to live my life.

I want to write my stories.

I want to share them with the world. 

But now, apparently, people have my life mapped out and I will not come out on top.  It’s heartbreaking, really, to know that my life isn’t important enough for other people that they’d just throw me to the lions and hope for the best.  But my life – to me – it’s perfect – it’s mine.  No, it’s not what I thought my life would be at this point.  But I can accomplish so much in the years to come.   

But… here I sit.  Preparing for my death. 

He sighed to himself before closing the notebook.  He glanced around the property.  It was beautiful; so much green surrounded him.  He had a line of weeping willow trees lined from his mailbox to his front door.  Flower boxes lined every window with blooming yellow, orange, and red flowers.  A pond, far off into the distance, had a large dock surrounding it.  His yard was clean, almost too clean, and his house, itself, was almost too perfect.

Life of a fake dictator, he thought.

He knew, these last few days, he has spent enough time acting and feeling like what he would think a complete girl would feel.  He decided to stomp on those feelings and he stuffed his notebook back into his knapsack and decided to storm into the house and take his life by the reigns.

“Man up, Zaire, if anything in your life is important I’m pretty sure this is.”

He began his walk up the side walk that lead to a large, red front door and pushed the doorbell which ran throughout the whole property.  He chuckled to himself once he realized that it also rang outside.  He would have to remember that when he finally gets to go home – if; his head dropped just as the door opened.

Yes, this is exactly how I will storm into this property.

A short stocky man with greying hair stood before him, “May I help you?”

“Uh, yes.”  Zaire coughed slightly afraid, “I’m looking for someone who apparently looks like me?”  He chose his words slowly, mostly because he was scared that this man was going to eat him.

The short guy titled his head to the side and chuckled darkly, “You do resemble Mr. Aguilar a little.  Are you related to him?”

“Negative, but I need to speak with him, it’s urgent.”

The stocky guy lifted an eyebrow, questioning his motive, “Do you have an appointment with him?”

Zaire shook his head, “No, I do not, but if I don’t talk to him soon – something bad is going to happen.”

The stocky guy’s face fell, almost as if he knew why Zaire was standing there, “It’s always life or death.  Please wait here, I will go get Master Aguilar.”

It felt like million or more years before the man reappeared escorting him inside the house and into a large, half decorated living room, “Please sit, Mr. Aguilar will be with you soon.”

Zaire sat but felt a little weird as he looked up above the mantle and finally saw his first glimpse of Josef Aguilar.  There, attached to the rocks that decorated the wall above the fireplace, hung the largest self-portrait he had ever seen; he blinked a couple times trying to get his eyes to focus and realize that the portrait was in fact, not of himself.  He stood up and took a few steps toward it, his eyes large with alarm.

He knows there is a saying that there is another person, somewhere, that looks like you.  But his common sense told him that it’s not true.  That there is no way there could be another person that would have his traits, his looks, or even his thoughts, unless he had a twin.  However, staring up at the picture he can tell that Josef is much older than he is.

“So freaky,” He said out loud to no one in particular.”

“The resemblance is pretty uncanny.  It’s… a little off putting, actually.”

Zaire jumped slightly, his heart racing, “Oh… hi, are you… Josef Aguilar?”

A man stood before Zaire, straight faced with a five o’clock shadow, his features were sad, “Unless there are three of us, I would assume so.  So, let me guess, Quinn sent you here because we look an awful a lot like one another?”

“Quinn.”  He repeated the words without taking his eyes off of Josef.

Zaire was confused.  How does anyone here know about Quinn?  His heart beat hard, trying to beat out of his chest – did he just walk into a position he didn’t want to be in?

“You’re not the first person who has showed up out of the blue attempting to kill me, however, you are the first person to knock on my front door.”  A small chuckle rattled his chest.  “Lots of courage, perhaps?”

Zaire didn’t say anything.  If they didn’t knock, how’d they enter his house?  Was he really this far out of the loop of things?  And why would he think he has courage?

Josef walked calmly, with his hands clasped behind his back head down, into the living area and sat down in a large dark reclining chair.  On the small table resting beside him sat a pack of cigarettes, the man grabbed it before Zaire had noticed slipping one out and between his lips.  His eyes were determined; fixated on the lighter as it clicked to a small bright flame.  Zaire watched, speechless, as he stuck the cigarette into the flame and inhaled deeply.  He has known many people who smoke but no one seemed quite as passionate as Josef did.  Almost as if he were a perfectionist when it came to smoking; as straight as Zaire is, he felt a small amount of attraction to the man sitting before him.  What made it worse?  The fact that the guy who sat in front of him could be his twin brother.

“Mental note, take up smoking if you get out of this alive,” Zaire said, moving his fingers like he was typing on a typewriter.

“Smoking is a horrible habit, you shouldn’t.  Stick to writing – I’m sure one day you’ll get a big hit.”

Zaire’s forehead crinkled in confusion, “How do you know I am a writer?”

Josef smiled, “If I didn’t know things like that, I wouldn’t be who I am.  There are reasons why I am who I am and why I do what I do.”

“Not to sound like an idiot, but why do you do what you do, that makes you who you are?”

“Power, my dear Zaire.  Don’t you wish you had power and authority in life?”

Zaire chuckled, “I just wish I had the power to control my own destiny.  Control when I die and how.  Not like this.”

“She apparently didn’t know you too well, Zaire, when she chose you to do this.”

“Why do you say that?”

Josef stood up and waved his hands in the air, “I’m still standing here in one piece without any wounds.”


“Don’t you see Zaire, you’re the only person who has had the nerve to just walk up to my front door and ring the doorbell.  I could have killed you in that moment but instead I wanted to bring you in.”  He smiled, “Get to know you a little bit better.”

“Before you kill me?”

Josef laughed, “Who said anything about me killing you, not everyone is obsessed with killing.  Just because I’m her Uncle doesn’t mean I’m anything like Quinn, or she’s anything like me.  You see, Zaire, the biggest difference between her and me is that I have accepted what I want in life and I’ll tell people.  She, on the other hand, won’t admit that the reason she wants me gone, is not because she’s afraid of what I may or may not do, but because she wants to be me.”

Zaire scratched his nose with the back of his hand.  “I’m not sure I’m following.  She wants to be a dictator?”

“You cannot honestly be that stupid.  She has poisoned many people in hopes that they’ll do her dirty work and come after me because, why?  You all think she has the cure for the disease that she has infected you with.  No, Zaire, open your eyes.  She doesn’t have the cure, that’s why all those men and women are still sick and dying.”

“Then why am I here?”

“You are doing her dirty work.”

“So, no matter what I do, I’m destined to die?”

Josef shrugged, “Zaire, my dear boy, I wish I had better news.  But she is the one that infected you all, and I’m pretty sure she is the only one who can – uninfected all of you.”

Zaire has heard many people say sometimes one plus one doesn’t equal two, but until now he never really understood the saying.  How can someone murder so many people just to find someone that will murder her Uncle?  If she really wanted to be him, and have everything he has – then why doesn’t she just do it herself?

“You’re trying to figure out why she won’t do it herself, aren’t you?”

Zaire blinked, “I guess I just don’t understand why she needs lackeys if she is the one that is going to reap the rewards.”

“But that’s just it, Zaire, she isn’t going to reap any rewards.  She is going to get nothing.  When I die, my estate, money, and anything else that belongs to me will be given away.  Sold to the highest buyer – she will get nothing.”

Zaire sat down, but more in a falling fashion on a large chair.  He sighed and looked at Josef who was lighting up another cigarette, “So, what now?  What do I do?  Leave here and die?”

Josef inhaled his cigarette before putting it out in his ashtray.  “I wish I could help you more than I have, but sadly Zaire, I cannot.  I will say this, if her compound is still full of people, then she isn’t going to kill you herself.”

Zaire felt deflated and placed his face into his palms.  His mind raced – another mental note for himself, don’t go on adventures with complete strangers.

Josef stood up, “You know, Zaire, you could probably just help yourself.”

“What do you mean?”  His voice cracked.

“All you have to do is find the cure.  I’m pretty sure, since she spends so much time in that compound, the cure is in it – if there is one.  Don’t let me get your hopes up, she may not actually have it.  But if she does, you can probably find it yourself before she ever figured out what you were up to.”

“How?  She has it guarded like no other.  Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a prison but guarded better.  How am I supposed to snoop around if I can’t leave my room?”

Josef smiled, “I guess that’s something you’ll have to figure out.”

Zaire stood up and threw his arms up in the air.  “It isn’t going to matter anyway!  It’s not like she isn’t going to kill me when I return.”

“Then don’t return.  If I’m still alive, that means you failed, and probably means you’re dead.  Zaire – be dead.  Go get your cure and live your life.  Write that book that is inside of you, publish it and please, when it happens, send me a signed copy.”

Zaire didn’t move for a couple minutes as he watched Josef exit the room, almost floating out; way too perfect to be human.  He thought about what he was told and wondered if it was possible. Could he possibly fake his own death and no one realize it?  Could he sneak into that building and snoop around without Quinn ever finding out?  The biggest question he had, of course, does she actually have the cure stored inside of that building and could he figure out how to replicate it and save all of those people?

He shrugged before letting himself out.

What’s the worst thing that can happen?

The Cure: Part Four

I know it’s been a few months, I apologize for that.  I have the attention span of a flea sometimes, that &&& I’m lazy.  Lazy as in I do nothing.  But I’m pretty sure everyone is like that sometimes.  But here, finally, is part four.  For anyone who thinks their behind and wants to catch up, or just haven’t read them yet: Here is Part One, Two, &&& Three.  I’m working on Part Five as I write this && should be done by the 20th.  At least that’s what I hope since that’s when it’s due for the thing at work.  ((I hate the way it copies.))

Anyway, enjoy!

It had been a month since Zaire had been brought to a location without any knowledge.  He felt in a daze ever since Quinn had brought him in after lying to him about her motivations.  He wanted to zip inside of a time machine back to the day he met her in the hospital where she began spitting out lies about how she turned down a wrong road moving into a town which she loved and now everyone in the town, except her, has the same illness he has.  But in reality there is no such town or people, and he’s the only one that was poisoned and that’s because of Quinn.

He had never wanted to go home as much as he did right now as he sat in the middle of a twin concrete bed, a thin stained mattress – without a sheet – with one pillow and a thin white blanket.  The room he was given was small, almost the size of a bathroom in most apartments in New York City, and included a small window above his bed, a desk with an old style typewriter, stack of a solid white copy paper, and a lamp sitting on it, a closet that held his clothes, a two drawer side table that held pencils, notepad, and a bag of erasers.

Was Quinn trying to tell him something?

The restroom was three doors down on the left in a hallway by itself right next to a water fountain.  He wasn’t grateful for much, but he was really happy that the door to his room wasn’t locked and he was able to leave.  It wasn’t much, however, since he wasn’t able to leave the actual building.  He found himself a few times standing on his bed looking out of the window at the grass, trees and people that walked by.  He realized he was on an actual street with families probably in a large house.  The inside didn’t look like it, though, since all of the walls were silver and bolted together almost like everything was metal.  He was pretty sure the outside looked like a house or people would be looking at it weirdly.  But they weren’t; people would just walk past smiling and making jokes.  But for him this was a complete nightmare.

Standing up from the bed he stretched his legs and then back.  The last couple of days his legs have been bothering him – hurting in places he’s never hurt before.  At first he was blaming it on his illness but he has come to realize it’s because of his sitting all day and every day.  His body was giving up on him and there wasn’t much he could do about it.  So instead, he would stand up in his tiny room and walk around, or walk around the hallways that connected other rooms.  He began doing this daily, up and down hallways, trying to get the feel of the building and land trying to decide what he was going to do.  On the walks he’d look at all of the closed doors and wonder if there were other people in them.  Are they sick?  Did she lie to them and tell him how she was a sad maiden living a life of happiness and needs someone to slay her dragon?  Or was it just him?  Was he the only one she has treated like crap over a span of months?

After his daily walk he made his way back to his tiny room and sat down at the desk and stared down at the typewriter.  Since being here he had actually never sat and just looked at everything on this desk.  The typewriter was a brand he hadn’t heard of, Steinaker.  He thought of himself as a typewriter connoisseur.  But looking at this one and staring at the brand name he realized he didn’t know as much as he thought.

He looked around at all of the objects sitting on top of the desk.  A couple of them seemed a little shocking to him.  They went out of their way to make sure that the bed was made of concrete and the chair, sitting at the desk, was made of concrete and then they placed a small, thin, red seat cover on top.  But on the desk was a pair of scissors, a box of paper clips, thumb tacks, a metal letter opener and then a few other odds and ends like a telephone (which he was pretty sure didn’t work),  tape dispenser, a bottle of Purell, speakers that was connected to an empty iPod base, a box of Kleenex, pens and pencils.

Why would they do that if they wasn’t going to keep the bed metal or have a metal chair?  I could do more damage with scissors.  He shook his head trying to clear his mind.

Noticing the piece of paper sticking out of the top of the typewriter he pulled it out and read the line that was written out loud, “Write until your heart explodes.”  A part of him was pretty sure she meant that literal.  Figuring he’d humor her he grabbed a clean sheet of paper and slid it inside of the typewriter and began typing: He was silent as she stood behind her.  He could see the goosebumps form on her arms, she knew he was standing there but she didn’t move a muscle.  Normally, people would move when the person who wanted them dead stood there.  But she didn’t.  She decided to go ahead and trust him, the man, one who used to trust and have faith in every word that she said.  A part of him even believed there might be a future friendship, but no – lies.  It’s all she told and he couldn’t help the impulse. 

At times he found himself feeling like he was in a trance – she was the witch.  He needed to get away and he’d known it all along but that part, the single part that believed everyone had good, trusted her way too much.  Now he finds himself in trouble – a bleak predicament that he didn’t see himself getting out of anytime soon.  Doing her bidding because she was too afraid to do it on her own.  He laughed inwardly, still silent – the crazy part of him didn’t want her to have any satisfaction with any mood he may, or may not be in.

Right now he was angry.  He has been for a while.  But he…
A knock at the door stole his attention.  He sighed – it had been so long since he was able to sit and just write, even if he didn’t feel as if the words would take him anywhere – that it felt nice.  His fingers sliding across the keyboard clicking the letters and watching as they print themselves onto the beautiful white paper.  He stood up and made his way over to the door – he opened it revealing a large Mexican man, his name tag read Jorge, holding a tray of food.  He handed Zaire the tray, nodded, and turned – walking away.  Zaire knew this is the part of day he should be excited – who doesn’t get excited over food?  But for him, this was about as good as receiving a large box of snakes screaming your name.

He chuckled to himself, a box of snakes might be better.

He placed the tray of food on his bed and sat down beside it.  The best looking part was the roll and butter.  He wasn’t sure what the rest was – it kind of resembled what his mother would call goulash – but since it was all he could have for the rest of the evening he decided to just be grateful she fed him anything and ate it without complaints.  The sweat tea, however, was a welcomed gift.  He sometimes found himself wishing he got it more often.  But she – she as in Quinn – would only give him water to drink throughout the day leaving the sweat tea for meals only.



12:00 AM flashed on the clock that hung on the wall above the desk.  Zaire wasn’t asleep, he instead was rolled into a ball in the farthest corner of his bed – he felt like he was sixteen again after watching a scary movie and couldn’t sleep.  He couldn’t shut his mind off, finally understanding how women felt when they just sat up until odd hours of the night just thinking about everything – his main thought was of course – is there a way out of there?

He could pull a scary movie stunt and start screaming while looking through the window, even though it’s closed and locked – knowing no one can hear him.  He could attempt to run – he has found the front door – it should be too hard to open it.  He could attempt to overpower someone or something or…

Zaire took a deep breath and felt defeated. He knew he wouldn’t be able to make a break for it through the front door because it is logically locked and would need a key.  He also realizes that there is no way he could overpower anyone in this place to get a key to one of the doors.  He may not be a rocket scientist, but he’s not completely dense.  He knows he is stuck here to wait for Quinn to decide what she really wants him for.  He figures if it is to actually kill an evil dictator, he will soon die anyway.

But tonight he has decided he’s too tired to fight or care.  His body feels like it has been ran over by a semi-truck and then tied to an anchor and sent to the depths of the ocean.  Tonight – he has given in to his fate of death – and is accepting it is what it is.

Tomorrow, he might feel different.


Breakfast is just as bad as dinner possibly worse since they decide to make gravy which looks a lot like grits.  At first he thought it was grits until he realized it was slathered over biscuits.  Everything is bland unless he finally just lost his taste buds.  He was told once it might happen but he knew he needed to eat to survive, so he did.

Once finished, like he does every day, he picked up his dirty dishes and made his way to the door.  Opening it he came nose to nose with Quinn.  His face fell, he flipped the tray toward her, shut the door and walked away.  No part of him ever wanted to look at her again and knowing that she was there meant she was going to explain herself – he didn’t want to hear anything she had to say.

The door opened, Quinn let herself in, “That was extremely childish.”

Zaire laughed, “Me… Being childish?  You have nerve to come in here and tell me that.”

“You know you’re going to have to forgive me, especially when you start your mission.”

He shook his head, “I don’t want a mission.  I want to go home and die – alone.  But you’re making this really hard for me.”

“I’m not making it hard, I’m just trying to get you to understand that you’re meant for more.”

“Who says?  You?  You did all of this.  It’s not like God dropped down to my door step and explained to me that there was an evil guy who needed to die.  Do I look like someone who goes around killing people willy nilly?”

“Zaire, this is why I picked you.”

His anger was building but he knew there was no point in being this angry.  There was nothing he could do about it – she wasn’t going to let him go.  He wouldn’t be able to get out so he might as well just accept it.  He took a deep breath and stared at her with an emotionless look.

“Then do tell, Quin…”  His voice was dry.  “What exactly do you want me to do?”

Quinn paced the floor, “I need you to dispose of Josef Aguilar.”

He rubbed his face.  “I’m not sure I recognize the name.”

“You wouldn’t, he’s nameless; faceless, right now.  But if we don’t do something quick he’s going to be all over everything and that’s not a good idea.”

“Let me guess, you got your information from a gopher.”

She sighed, “No, and please take this serious, I know this because he’s my Uncle.”

He went to say something but stopped leaving his mouth open a tad.  He wasn’t sure how to take this.  She wants him to kill her Uncle.

“Yes, Zaire, I want you to kill my Uncle.”

“But why?  Why would you want me to kill your family member?”

Quinn took a seat on the bed and patted the spot next to him for him to sit, never taking her eyes off of the floor.  “He has plans that are going to hurt many people and I feel as if I have to stop him.”

“Okay, so why do you need me?”

“When I first met you, Zaire, I thought you were him.  I have never seen someone look so much like him that I almost called you Josef until I heard you talk.  That’s when I realized you wasn’t him and I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

“Where did you first meet me?  You said you’re the reason I’m sick – so where did you find me to get me sick?”

Quinn shrugged, “You went to Taco Bell one night to get a very late dinner.  I was sitting in the parking lot in my car.  When I saw you I got out and followed you because of the resemblance.  But when you ordered your food you sounded nothing like my Uncle.  So I left.  Once at home, even while I slept, all I could do was think about you.  I figured if anyone could bring him down it’d be someone who looks a lot like him.”

“So that night, at home when you were lying in bed, you just decided to make me sick so when you brought it up I’d feel… what?  Like I was obligated to do something heroic since I don’t have much of a life left?”

“Not exactly the thoughts I had.”  Quinn reached in her pocket and pulled out a cell phone – clicked a couple buttons and pulled up a webpage.  She turned the phone toward him and showed him his Facebook page.  “When I couldn’t go to sleep that first night I looked you up.  It wasn’t hard to get your name since it’s such a small town.  I noticed you were a writer in a slump, I figured you could write about this adventure.  That’s why I have so many writing things in here.”

“So you stalked me?”

She shrugged, “If that’s what you want to call it.”

“So how much of what you told me was true?”

Quinn licked her lips and made a face, “I knew you’d eventually ask me that.  Most of what I said is true.  The town doesn’t exist, both of my parents are alive, and I didn’t come from California.  I was actually born in Davenport and my parents live on the Northside.  My Uncle, Josef, actually lived in Davenport once himself, he was a teacher, but once he decided to take over the United States he had to go back to the mainland.  He needed people and many at that.”

“You haven’t told me his plans yet.”

“When he left Davenport he found a group of people that believe like he does.  They have all agreed that one day he’s going to dress up like a plumber and drive to the White House.  Go in pretending to be a plumber and make everyone sick – put them to sleep, if you will.  Once everyone is out him and his men are going to break in, tie everyone up, and drag them to the basement.”

Zaire starts laughing, “I’m sorry for laughing, but that is the dumbest idea I have ever heard.  He’ll never be able to pull anything like that off.  There are way too many people in there and I’m pretty sure not everyone drinks tap water.  I personally don’t have to kill him, he’ll kill himself when he tries – which is when?  Do you know that information?”

“Next Thursday.  Josef is smarter than you think.”

“I don’t want to do this, you do realize this, correct?  I don’t think I have a murderous bone in my body anywhere.  The fact that you’re asking me to kill someone shows you didn’t stalk me very well.”

“Fine!  If you cannot kill him then bring him to me.  That’s it, then you can leave, and be done with everything.  Can you at least do that?”

“I honestly don’t know.”

Quinn stood up from the bed and walked over to the door.  She reached out and wrapped her hand around the door knob before stalling with her eyes on the floor, “We’re going to find out soon, very soon, Zaire, if you have what it takes to go get him and bring him to me.  I know you’re hesitant, but this is the only way I will be able to let you go.”

“Quinn, the other doors in this place.”  He stopped trying to get his thoughts together.

She turned the door knob to leave but pause in the door way and looked back at Zaire, “They didn’t do what I asked.”






The Cure : Part Three

My work gives out a monthly “newsletter” which includes jokes, job related notifications, and recipes.  I wanted to see if maybe she would like to add a monthly story (whether it was on going or many different short stories) and she loved the idea.  So every month I have been writing a few pages and I have been uploading them.  This month is the third installment.  If you just joined and haven’t read the first two you can find Part One & Part Two.  I hope you like it & enjoy reading it.


          The water bounced the boat back and forth, side to side, waking Zaire slightly.  His head was groggy as he looked around and saw nothing but water.  His stomach rumbled as his eyes spun around trying to take in the scenery without puking all over Quinn.
Quinn laughed, “I can see now why you stray away from boats.”
He scratched his nose, “Why is that?”
“Since the moment you got onto this thing you’ve done nothing but either vomit or sleep.  That’s basically sea sickness.”
He snickered, “How would you know?  You don’t get seasick.”
Quinn repositioned herself on the boat, “You don’t know that, do you?”
He glared at Quinn just long enough until he felt his stomach churn and pushed his head over the side of the boat letting out his contents into the water below them.
Quinn smiled out into the ocean as she watched the wave’s splash into others forming a large layer of blue.  A light breeze blew across her skin forming goose pimples as excitement built up inside of her knowing that she’ll soon have everything she needs and wants.
Zaire smiled to himself as he watched her eyes twinkle in the sunlight and wanted to take note of how wonderful everything was.  He unzipped a small messenger bag and pulled out a medium sized notebook, flipped it open and began scribbling in his horrible handwriting.  He may not write much, but when he does he feels like he’s on a million types of drugs and they are rushing through his veins and it becomes the most beautiful thing he’s ever written – even if to everyone else it is udder crud.
He stopped writing for a brief moment and looked up at Quinn who was staring daggers into his forehead.  “So, Quinn, tell me about your town.”
“First,” Quinn readjusted herself in the boat, “what are you writing?”
“Don’t sound so paranoid – You knew I was a writer and that I planned to document this trip.”
“Yes,” She shook her head, “I realize that, however, you never said you’d be writing about me.”
“Quinn, darling, you are a part of this trip.”  He shrugged, “Plus, if it wasn’t for you and all of your nagging I wouldn’t be here in the first place.  I would be at home, dying in my own bed with all of my belongings and a real bathroom.  But no, here I am floating across water to a destination I don’t know what it is or where it is.  So if nothing else, you owe me information about you and your town.”
“Sheesh, dude, you don’t have to be dramatic about it.  However, I do see your writer side sticking out.  I’ll tell you about anything you want to, I just have a request first.”
“What’s that?”  Zaire figured he couldn’t lose much else.
“No matter what you see when we get to the Island, you cannot freak out and leave.  You have to stay and help me – no matter what.”
He let the words sink in trying to figure out what would scare him off and why she was worried about him leaving so easily.  What was he walking into?  “I can only do my best.  So, you – tell me about you – The real Quinn.”
She took in his posture.  He sat straight with his left leg crossed over his right at the knee and had his notebook sitting gently only top of his thigh with his left hand gripping his pencil tightly.  His eyes, emotionless, staring at her – waiting for words to be said.  “I’m not sure what to say.  There honestly isn’t much about me.  I’m Quinn Fabre and I was born in Alaska to a great set of parents.  After their death I decided to take off not sure where I was going to end up.  I somehow managed to make it to Calypso, got a job, and rented a tiny house.”
“What made you end up in Calypso?”  Zaire scribbled the question on the next empty line of his notebook and looked up at Quinn for her to answer.
She chuckled to herself, “Wrong turn.  I was trying to get to San Francisco, I wanted to be a dancer, but somehow I ended up taking a wrong turn down a long road that took me over an ocean and you can’t quite turn around.  So I kept going and ended up there.  The town seemed nice when I finally stopped and asked someone where I was at.
The guy I spoke to said there was one house empty if I wanted to stay.  I looked around for a couple days sleeping in the only bed and breakfast they have and ended up not leaving.”
“What job did you find in such a small town?”
“The town is known for grain – so I basically just took the only job the grain factory had – receptionist.  I liked it a lot and didn’t see why I hadn’t gotten lost years before.  I sat at a desk that was mine answering phone calls, taking orders on computers, and making sure everyone got their paychecks.”
“A grain town, huh – is that how everyone got the sickness?”
She shrugged, “That’s what they are thinking but I wasn’t there so I honestly have no idea.  Plus, I’m not the doctor.”
“You seem to know a lot about this to not have been there or want the cure for yourself.”
“So you’re saying that a person cannot want to help other people?”  Anger began to build and she began to speak quicker, “They took me in when I had nowhere else to go.  I owe a lot to the people of that town.”
“Woah, dang girl, calm down.  I didn’t mean it like that. I just mean that…”  He sighed, “Let’s continue with your story.”
“I never saw myself leaving the grain factory until I received a call from my mother.  She said my dad was sick and wasn’t going to last much longer so she asked if I might come home for a while.  Basically to say good-bye and I love him, so I did and I was gone a while. “
Zaire scribbled words in his notebook attempting to keep all the important information together.  “When you got back to Calypso, everyone was sick?”
“Basically – a few hadn’t gotten sickly, but yes, they were.”  She sighed to herself and drifted off with memories.  “I can still remember the children and the elderly.  The ones around our age could get around fine and still go to work when I got back but the children and the elderly.”
He saw a twinkle underneath her eye and realized she was about to cry, “You don’t have to tell me anymore about that if you don’t want to.”
“No…” She trailed off waving her hand in the air in front of her face, “I just really want to find the cure.”
“Trust me, so do I – but a part of me feels as if you feel responsible for their illness and you cannot live like that.  You need to realize that if you had been there you couldn’t have stopped it from happening but you’d be just as sick as everyone else.  You should feel lucky.”
She glanced at his hand that now rested gently on her shoulder.  She hadn’t noticed when he moved closer, almost ninja-like.  She couldn’t remember the last time, since her dad’s funeral, where someone wanted to comfort her.  Felt the need to make sure she was okay before running off to their busy day.  Of course, however, she knows he cannot really leave – unless he can swim, and the vibe she gets, he can’t – but it seems as if he cares, nonetheless.
“I have tried to look from that perspective, but I can’t.  I honestly feel as if I had been there we wouldn’t have gotten that shipment of grain and I could have stopped it.  They even said the shipment looked funny but yet they accepted it anyway and made so much bread.  There is no telling how many people have it and I feel as if it’s my fault.”  Tears inched down her cheeks, “I shouldn’t have left and went to my parents’ house.  How will I live without myself if I don’t find this cure?”
“Quinn this isn’t your fault – because in that sense me being sick is your fault.”
“How do you figure?”  Quinn whipped the tears away with the back of her hand.
Zaire shrugged, “Because the bread that I consumed that made me sick was from Calypso.”
Her eyes widened, “What?”
“But,” He stopped and lifted his hand in the air to stop her, “I don’t blame you because YOU had nothing to do with it.  You’re an innocent bystander who wasn’t even in Calypso when it happened.”
She decided to stay quiet and just not comment anymore.  She had her feelings for all of this and knew he’d never understand.  Sitting here and word-fighting with him isn’t going to get her anywhere.  She knew exactly what she needed to do and how to do it, whether he was on board with it or not.
He shook his head and maneuvered himself back to his side of the boat and stared at Quinn for a couple minutes before the boat hit something and jerked him forcing him into the bottom of the boat.
Quinn jumped up cheering, a large smile plastered across her ordinary looking face, “Finally! Yes!  We are here!”
He sat up, happy that they are finally off the water, and looked around.  His eyes grew large as he scanned the island and slowly his lips parted and his jaw dropped.  His words came out a lot slower than he thought they would have, “Whaaaaaaat thhhhhuuuuuuuhhhh….”
“You promise,” Quinn pointed her finger in his face, “You promised me that no matter what you saw you wouldn’t abandon me in this journey.”
“But…”  His eyes watered from all of the electricity that was bouncing through the air from one tesla coil to the next.  He counted mentally the number of tesla coil’s that lined this island – he counted approximately thirty-two and all he saw was bright lights of lightning flashing around him.  “How do you expect us to walk through that?”
Quinn laughed to herself, “We’re going to shut it off, duh!”
“How do you expect us to do that?”
“There is always a shut off to anything that works, we just have to find it.  Using common sense, which I don’t have much of but I have some, I can pretty much promise you it’s on the outside.”
His mind began playing scenarios over and over of things that could or might happen.  His one thought surrounded one thing – he knew one thing for sure – the Tesla Coils were set up to keep people out or to keep something in.  He heart pounded in his chest and felt the need to vomit.  He looked around and Quinn had disappeared and in that moment he knew something bad had happened.
“Quinn?”  The words were loud and shaky.  “Quinn!”  His voice was even louder than it was.  His heart began to pound, normally, he thought, someone would have said something with the second yell.  His head swung back and forth trying to make sure he wasn’t missing anything as his mouth dried up.  His nervous tick began something he’s hated all of his life, and dropped his messenger bag onto the ground.  He rubbed his face with his fingertips trying to control the facial tick that made the left side of his mouth lift along with his eye blinking.
He turned on his heels and sprinted back to where he remembered Quinn tying up the boat.  He stood there at the edge of the island and felt his heart fall.  He couldn’t believe what he was seeing – she left him there.  Alone.

          The hours passed slowly almost feeling like days.  The sun was hot on his skin while he sat on his bottom in the tiny sand beach.  He knew that he was more than likely already sunburned – his pasty white skin doesn’t hold up well to the UV Rays.  That’s one thing he knows for sure – he has always been an inside person.
He inched his whole hand into the sand wiggling it side to side as he anger flared within him.  He knew she wasn’t going to come back, but he also knew if he was to ever see her again he planned to rip her head off her shoulders.  Not that he would actually do it but the urge was there.  He has and never will be a violent person.
He shook his head and grunted inwardly.  Sitting here isn’t going to help anyone or anything, but what could he possibly do?  Try and swim back home and hope he doesn’t get eaten by some form of large fish that may be swimming within the waters?  Even if that sounded like half of a decent plan, he had no idea which direction was home or how far it was.  He knew they had traveled by a small boat with a motor and it seemed to be approximately one in the afternoon when they arrived after leaving a quarter to nine in the morning.
He decided to walk around Tesla Island, since it didn’t seem very large to him, to see if maybe someone actually lived out here.  Looking at all of the coils, that were still slicing the sky with lightning bolts, he knew someone had to have put them up.  He stood up and began his walk, walking toward what he thought was North, looking up through trees and bright flashes of light.  He made a mental note of the fact that the coils made flashes of light that actually lit up the sky, even with the sun out.  It was partly mesmerizing to him.
His pace started out strong, moving quickly through the sand, his feet dragging slightly, but as the sun began to set his pace slowed to almost turtle-human speed.  His legs began to shake slightly as his body shivered from a cool breeze that came in from the water.  He stopped and looked around, exasperated, when he realized he had been walking all day and has yet to see anything that resembles any form of life.  He looked through the flashes and realized if someone does live on this island, they are going to be on the inside – in the middle of the lightning bolts that flew up and out.  He sighed but remembered what Quinn had said, there is always a shut off to anything that works, we just have to find it.  Using common sense, which I don’t have much of but I have some, I can pretty much promise you it’s on the outside.
Taking a deep breath he tried to remember, out of what he’s walked so far, did he see anything that looked anything remotely like an off switch or a lever.  All he seemed to remember was a bunch of tree’s that looked like they were about to attack him, and small bushes that were probably hiding tiny animals that wanted to eat human flesh.  He wasn’t really feeling the urge to be eaten by anything that is smaller than his foot.
He figured that since he hadn’t seen anything that looked remotely like an off switch while he walked – he would finish walking the rest of the way. He stood, stretched his leg muscles and began to walk finishing his way around the island.  He sighed when he realized how slow he was moving – he was hoping after his rest that he’d be able to do this quickly.  He looked out in front of him and noticed something that looked like a tall black brick wall.  He approached it with caution, just in case, and gently pushed the tree branch that was covering it to the side and saw a large button.  He stared at the button as if it were an animal about to attack.  Next to the button had an engraving in it that, to him, looked Latin and almost talked himself out of pressing it, but he knew this was the only thing he has found that looks like it would shut off the coils.
He shut his eyes tightly, counted to ten and prayed silently to himself.  Opening them quickly he pushed his hand forward and hit the button and braced for whatever was about to happen.  He heard a noise that sounded like a large rock was being moved and a zip-zap just in time for the coils to stop sparking and it was quiet except for a ticking noise that sounded like a food timer spinning.  That’s when he realized once it stops ticking the coils are going to turn back on.  He quickly looked around him and sprinted to the inside of the coils where he wouldn’t have to really worry about it.
As soon as he passed the coils and was standing on the inside the hum of the electricity began and thanked everything that he was finally on the inside.  But how, he thought to himself, will he get out?  He wouldn’t think about that right now though, because the only thing he wanted to think about was finding someone to help him get home.  That’s all he wanted more than anything was to just go home.

          He walked around for what felt like hours and in circles.  He passed a large oak three that he could swear he had passed multiple times.  Aggravation began sitting in, a feeling he was getting tired of, as he realized this isn’t working.  He could barely see what was around him or where he was going due to the fact that it was basically dark – the sun had set hours ago but he didn’t want to give up, he wanted to go home.  But he began realizing that he should probably find somewhere to rest for the evening and start up again in the morning – but where?
Zaire wasn’t sure if anything was really “safe” enough for him to just settle in and sleep so he figured he would walk back toward the coils, they should give off enough light where he could see around, or maybe he will find something with a top.
Once he was close to the coils he noticed a large opening that looked like a darkened cave.  He glanced around and realized this is where he entered into the coils.  On the other side of this cave is the button he pressed to turn off the coils so he began betting himself, since no one else was around, that the button to turn it off again is inside of this cave.  He decided, however, not to go too far into it looking for a button or lever to turn them off, the only thing on his mind at that moment was to sleep for a little bit.  Exhaustion finally hit him when he decided to settle in for the night, yawns coming every couple of minutes.
He cautiously entered the extremely dark cave and stopped just inside.  Not too far in but far enough in that if the clouds that were floating around above him decided to let go of its moisture, he wouldn’t get wet – that’s what he wanted from this.  He tossed his messenger bag to the ground, and stretched forcing a yawn to the service.  He rubbed his eyes and glanced around wanting to make a last ditch effort to see if someone, or something, was hiding in the dark shadows of this cave.  Not seeing anything, he went to squat, finally to lie down just and felt the ground began to shake.  His body tensed as he tried to keep his balance, but the shaking got worse, and attempting to keep his balance became harder and harder.  At times it felt as if he was trying to stand on a board that was sitting on top of a rubber ball.  He grabbed on to the sides of the cave and the sound of boulders forced his attention, he turned his head quickly to the left and saw the entrance close up.
His heart stopped, crap, he thought, I cannot get out.
The rumbling didn’t stop; his feet vibrating underneath making him do a small dance while he attempts to keep them in one spot.  His fingers grasped at the side of the wall but with one strong tremor his fingers slipped, and he lost his balance, and his body tumbled to the ground slamming the side of his head into a large rock.

          Zaire lifted his hand and touched the side of his head with as little pressure as he could muster.  His head pounded and all he wanted to do is cry – cry for his mother or father to come hold him – cry in a way he hasn’t cried since he was a tiny child after falling off of his bike and skinning his poor knee.  Of course, though, he’d never admit that he wanted to cry even if someone could prove it.
His whole face hurt – a pain he couldn’t remember having before.  His mouth was parted and he slowly opened his eyes not wanting to scare his pupils with a light that was so bright he could feel it to his bones.  As he let the light enter his eyes he realized he was no longer in the cave where he was but instead he sat in a wooden chair with no arm rests in a large white empty room.  The only other thing besides him in it was a large wooden desk, papers covering the top, with a chair turned backwards.  Fear was prominent in his mind, mostly from wanting answers, and then he tried to stand.  He grunted as he felt himself fall backwards and hit his bottom on the chair.  He looked down at his legs…
“Why are my legs tied together?”  He asked into thin air knowing he wouldn’t get a response.
“Because Zaire, I don’t need you trying to escape.”
He knew that voice, or a part of that voice – he couldn’t place it.  “Where am I?  How did I get here?”  His words came out in a hurry.
The chair at the large desk turned around toward him, “I brought you here.”
“But why – I don’t even know where this is.”
“In time my dear, all the answers will be unraveled.”
Zaire blinked a couple times attempting to focus on the figure that was sitting at the desk looking at him.  When the cloudiness cleared he realized why he knew that voice.  “Quinn?  Why did you leave me on the island alone?”
“Because Zaire, I needed you to get here on your own.  I needed to make sure you were the one I needed to find.”
“What?  We were on a journey to find a cure for the illness we have.  What are you talking about with all of this we needed to find?”
Quinn stood up not looking like the girl she was when he first met him.  In town, when they first met, her clothes seemed drabby – dirty discolored khaki slacks with a long sleeve white shirt and a dirty old grandmother sweater draped over her that had to have been four sizes too large. Now, standing in front of the desk she is cleaned up.  Her hair is pulled back into a nicely composed pony tail, a calf length pinstriped skirt, a form fitting button up long sleeve white shirt and a pair of black stilettos.  A part of his man self was briefly attracted to her until he realized that she had him tied to a chair and actually had been stalking him.
He glared at her, “How long had you been stalking me?”
She chuckled to herself, “How long have you been sick?”
“Wait – what?”
“You didn’t get sick off of bread from Calypso and the whole town isn’t sick.  In fact, last time I was there everyone looked pretty healthy if you ask me.”  She took a couple steps around the desk to the front of it and seductively sat on the edge and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“But why,” Zaire shook his head, “You still haven’t explained to me why.”
Her face relaxed and she moistened her lips with her tongue, “You were chosen for this and I had to make sure you could handle what we needed.”
He lifted an eyebrow, “Chosen for what?”
She tilted her head to the left and looked him up and down, “For the mission of your life.”
He chuckled, “My life?  Psh, thanks to you I don’t have much of a life left.”
“That’s exactly why I had to poison you – you wouldn’t say yes if you had a full life ahead of you.”
“So what is so important for me to do that you have to kill me to do?”
She straightened herself and dropped her arms, “You, Zaire, are going to kill the evil dictator.”
He blinked a few times before responding, “What evil dictator?”
Quinn took a couple steps toward him and ran her finger down the side of his face.  “You’re going to kill the evil dictator that shares a very, very strong resemblance to you.”
He jerked his face away from her touch, “What if I say no?”
“Then I kill you now.

The Cure: Part Two

Here is Part Two.   Enjoy!
         Zaire could only remember one other time where he slept so horrible and it would have to be the night he found out about his illness.  He tossed and turned all night with Quinn on his mind.  For the most part of the night he laid in bed staring at his ceiling counting the tiny dots that are speckled above him.  He found himself weighing all of his options and the only thing he knew for sure was that he doesn’t want to die.  But as he thinks about that his mind wanders back to the phone call and wonders who it was and why they called.
He stood on his front porch smelling the morning air just as the sun began to rise over the horizon.  His mind was full which confused him.  He held a large cup of coffee in his hands sipping it slowly as it burned all the way down.  The higher the sun got into the sky the more he wanted to live.  The more he wanted to see more days than just the few he has left – how many, he still doesn’t know.  The more he wanted to be able to say he accomplished something – anything, and live to see his life unfold.
He sighed to himself, “I’m only thirty-one.  I still have so much to do.”
Anytime he thought of his illness or the fact he was destined to die his heart broke a little more each time.  He figured after so many years that he would eventually just accept it and move on; live the rest of his days doing the stuff he wanted to do.  But as he begins thinking about that, that’s when he realizes he hasn’t done anything to be able to do anything.  He knows that makes no sense whatsoever, but to him, it’s everything, especially when his dream, the one thing he wants to accomplish and have live on past him, is a novel.  But he knows to write said novel he has to have done something – seen something, or even just felt something that he hasn’t.
Go with Quinn.  A small voice in the back of his head repeated those words over and over.  He wanted to listen to it and go but he was scared.  But what exactly would he accomplish if he continues being scared?  He knew he finds himself complaining or whining about not doing things then something like this falls into his lap.  He had never had the opportunity to go to Tesla Island, and here it was – perfect for him and he may blow it.  Why?  Because he’s scared.  But what exactly is he scared of?  Actually accomplishing something and feeling great about himself for once?  Or failing.  But how will he know if he’ll fail if he never tries.  His mind was heavy.
Zaire grunted loudly to himself and shook his head.  “I have to get out of here.”
Swiftly he started down the road on foot.
He always found the morning time comforting.  Most people were still asleep, getting ready for work, or just getting off of work.  The hustle and bustle you found during the evening hours didn’t exist and it was almost as if no one else was around.  The walk seemed to do him some good even if he had no idea where he was going or when he’d turn around.  He doesn’t walk as much as he used to because it wears him out and makes him sick.  But today it was something he needed.
The more he walked the drier his mouth became.  He began hearing a loud ringing in his ears and his sight began to blur.  He knew he shouldn’t have walked as far as he had, but he knew he needed to get away.  He needed something that was located at his house.  When his legs became wobbly and he felt the ground connect to his person, he had made up his mind.  He will need to find Quinn and begin the trek to Tesla Island to see if they could find what they needed to cure him and her whole town.  He was tired of being sick and finally decided to take care of the problem.  When he realized he was on the concrete is when he remembered that he had no idea how to get ahold of Quinn.
            His head pounded behind his eyes as he gradually sat up.  He glanced around and realized he was sitting in his bed.  It’s never a good thing when you are somewhere but you have no idea how you got there especially when the last memory you have is of you falling to the ground.  He tried standing up but his body began pounding from aches in places he didn’t know existed.  Knowing he needed to figure out what was going on he pushed through the pain and stood up.
He shakily made his way through his house and into his living room that was cleaned up and a smell wafted through the air.  He closed his eyes and sniffed hard – he felt his stomach growl.  It had been a long time since he could remember smelling bacon being cooked in his house.  As much as the smell of bacon being cooked excited him, it also frightened him because he has no idea who is cooking bacon in his kitchen.
He lives alone.
Calmly, figuring it could get really bad if he isn’t, he made his way into his tiny kitchen.  He stalled at the doorway briefly trying to talk himself out of this and reconsider everything he was about to do.  But it’s his house and no one should be frying bacon in it unless it’s him and he doesn’t really know how to cook bacon so they must go.  He took the corner and entered his kitchen and nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw Quinn poking her head around the doorway of his refrigerator.
“Hey sleepy head,” Quinn smiled before stuffing her head back in the refrigerator and went back to making noises by moving things around.
“What,” He paused for a moment trying to think of what to say.  “What are you doing in my kitchen frying bacon in one of my skillets digging through my refrigerator?”
She chuckled to herself as she shut the door, “Do you ever buy groceries?  Shoot!  I had to go to the freaking store this morning and buy what I am making.  But I forgot cheese and you don’t have any.”
“I don’t normally eat here.”
“Dude, seriously, with your illness you should be cooking at home not eating out.”
Zaire shrugged and sat down at his kitchen table.  “I just never really learned and last time I set my stove on fire.  Not something I really want to repeat in this lifetime.”
Quinn turned toward Zaire holding a spatula toward him and waved it around.  “You need to learn how to cook.”
He tried once, well, a few times.  He figured since he lived alone he really needed to know how to make his own food but every time he tried his stove would catch on fire so he decided against attempting that anymore.  He figured being a bachelor that frozen foods would work, they couldn’t be too bad, but once he tried eating a few of them he realized that they were worse than he thought and just gave up.  It takes him briefly twenty minutes to go to Taco Bell and back and he has many menus’ hanging next to his front door.  Most of them deliver.  Why should he lie to himself into thinking that one day he will be able to cook when he can just order out.
“I’m actually glad you’re here.”
Quinn plated the food and walked it over to Zaire.  She took the seat next to him.  “Eat.  Why so happy for me?”
“I realized that I didn’t know how to get ahold of you.”
She laughed.  “Did you check your mail?”
He took a bite of perfectly crisped bacon.  “I…”  He paused for a moment.  “I don’t think I’ve checked it in days.”
“Maybe you should?”
“Meh, it usually only has bills and I don’t have the money to pay them.”
She smiled, “It also has my information in it.  When I left the other day I put it in there thinking you’d check it, see it, and call me to go on my expedition.”
“Well, lucky for you, I didn’t find the paper and I still thought of you.”
“Wait.  Does that mean you’re going to go with me?”  Quinn’s eyes lit up with happiness.
He shook his head.  “I think I will.  Even if we don’t find the cure and I still end up dying a horrible death.  Something will come of this trip and if I don’t do it I’ll never figure out what it is.”
She stood up and clapped her hands together once holding them out in front of her.  “Great!  That’s fantastic!  Oh!  We have to start preparing!”
“Woah!  Calm down Quinn.  I’m sure we have a couple days to get everything together.”
“No Zaire, we don’t.  We have to go now or we might as well just not go.”
“It cannot be that bad.”
Quinn plopped back down into the chair.  “You don’t understand, Zaire, this is something that has to happen now.  If we wait my whole town will die out and you’ll be gone.  Then where does that leave me?”
Zaire looked at her with little emotion in his eyes.  “At least you’re not dead.”
            Quinn, for the next four days, basically never left Zaire for more than twenty minutes.  Usually just long enough to go to the store and restock his kitchen and bathroom supplies.  They went over the rules and how Tesla Island is and she explained just how long it was going to take them to get there – by boat.
“I hope you don’t get sea sick.”  Quinn chuckled as she packed his last bag.
Quinn had already explained to Zaire that they weren’t able to take a lot, just enough to survive because of how small the boat is.  He figured it was fine since all he really needed was food, water, and shelter.  She busted that bubbled once she told him that there may be times where there isn’t any shelter.  He wasn’t sure what he thought about not having shelter at all times.
“I have never really had an opportunity to find out.”
Which was true and he often wondered why he had never gotten into a boat, even just a simple paddle boat.  Their tiny town was surrounded by water, at times, people thought it was an Island, but it wasn’t considered one.  The town was housed to about 25,000 people and there was one road out of it and most people didn’t know there was a town there.  He figured most people found it by accident when traveling in California by taking the wrong turn.  Once they travel down the 25 mile bridge and end up in Davenport they don’t normally leave.  It’s basically a flat area with large houses, one movie theater, shopping mall, some well-known restaurants and two grocery stores.  It’s very secluded, which is what most people that stay like about it.
“Have you never left Davenport?”
Zaire shrugged, “Never really had the chance to leave or actually needed to.”
Quinn laughed suddenly, “Dude!  You need to go to California or something.”
“Why?  What’s in California that isn’t here?  It’s just a long drive across a boring bridge into a state that is full of crazy people.”
Her face distorted, “How do you know?  You haven’t been there?  Don’t knock something if you’ve never seen it for yourself.”
“You’re lucky I’m joining you to Tesla Island don’t push it by talking about going to California. Okay, how about this…”
Quinn smiles, “I’m listening.”
He picks up his bag and puts it on his shoulder and nods, “If we find the cure and I become healthy again, I’ll go to California but you have to go with me.”
She chuckles to herself, “Okay, fine, I will make that deal.”
He felt a small wave of relief thinking if she was willing to make that deal then maybe, just maybe, this cure is real.  He took a deep breath and let it out slowly thinking that he might just be able to see a bright future rather than the dim one he’s been staring at for years.

The Cure: Part One.

I began boring myself with my writing.  Running out of people to write for.  So while at work I decided to email the woman who runs a monthly hand out paper and asked if I might be able to write a story for it.  After talking about a few things we decided on an on-going story.  I figured I would share it..  I have no idea where I’m actually taking it but this is the beginning and I’ll have Part Two in June.

He dodged the strike as the bolt of lightning flew just passed his face pushing him over onto his back.  He rolled underneath a broken tree and flung himself forward getting back to his feet and without missing a beat he continued to run.  He could feel his heart beat in his toes but pushed forward hoping to escape.  But where he was he couldn’t quite figure out as all of the scenery around him was new.

Zaire was scared, a feeling he hasn’t felt in a long time, but tonight as he made his way through a forest trying not to trip, he felt it.  He didn’t waste any moments by stopping and looking back to see if he was out running them, or try to find things to hurl at whatever may or may not be behind him.  He didn’t like the chase he was in but he has to keep going; had to let it keep following him to get to where he needed to be.
The lack of knowledge is what scared him the most.  He had no idea how many people were behind him or what they were after.

His breath hitched and came to a complete stop the moment his body came in contact with a large Oak tree.  Falling backwards he slammed hard onto the ground a tiny puff of dirt flying up around him.  His head was groggy but he could see the figure standing above him.  It didn’t move, but span the length of three large trees and continued to grow.  Zaire felt the eyes of the large shadow bore into his soul.  A small growl rumbled around him as his eyes fluttered shut.


Zaire stumbled out of his front door dropping all of the paperwork he had been holding.  He huffed as he bent picking up one paper at a time.  Lucky for him the wind wasn’t blowing and was actually able to pick them up without having to run a mile; he was pretty sure he wouldn’t have made it.  The last few days for him have been good days but today didn’t seem he was as lucky.

He took a couple deep breaths sitting in his driver’s seat trying to settle his stomach.  He fiddled through the papers he had dropped attempting to put them back in order from ascending date. He knew he should have bought that brief case he was looking at the other night but talked himself out of it thinking it wasn’t an important purchase.  Surprising, even to himself, he hadn’t started purchasing items that wasn’t necessary.

The sun was bright as he made his way the new doctor’s office, 1124B Room 13 West Sioux Ave – he repeated that to himself many times since he googled the address.  His last doctor decided he needed to see someone who may specialize in his condition and actually help, rather than give a time line of when he may perish all together.  Anything was better than nothing – he felt as if he still had a lot to live for, even if there is nothing in his life.

He did have everything he could have imagined including a job, and a girlfriend.  His job was great, for him, at a book publishing company as an editor.  He may not have made as much money as he wanted to but he had so many opportunities of moving up in the company that he just wanted to wait for his turn.  His girlfriend left three months into the whole process, just as his hair began falling out, stating that she wouldn’t be able to be seen around town with a bald man who could fall over dead at any time.  It took a while for him to recover the break up; especially since she did it over the dinner he planned to propose.  He still has the ring sitting in a drawer – for the longest he hoped she’d come back.

She never did.

He stood on the sidewalk out front of the doctor’s office and hesitated for a brief moment.  The building wasn’t what he was expecting especially since it was more of a duplex and it was connected to a large strip club he used to frequent as a teenager.  A few friends of his recently took him in there and either he was stupid as a teenager or his taste had changed.

He noticed that you were no longer allowed to smoke inside of the bar but instead it reeks of incense and the lights are kept dim, he was sure it was to hide stretch-marks as the “talent pool” wasn’t terribly deep and they didn’t want to ruin the general male fantasy.  One of the bartenders that were leaning against the bar; she had to be near thirty with a Barbie-thin waist and was ridiculously fake-looking.  She stood out compared to the rest of the bartenders as they were ordinary, like they went into a Wal-Mart and picked random customers to mix drinks and smile – a lot.  The building is run-down and sad – a nice older building that was aging badly on the side of town that is still circling the drain and losing many manufacturing jobs in the past forty years.

He was having second thoughts about going to this doctor.

Taking one last long breath of fresh air and adjusting the hat he had put on getting out of the car he made his way up the dark steps and into the building that seemed just as dark as the coloring of the building.  Maybe some of the lights were out, he thought to himself as he began looking for room 13.  The building almost felt like a library to Zaire as he walked, almost in a tip-toe, down the long corridor.  The walls were bare and solid white and smelled of licorice.

He cautiously approached room thirteen, not knowing for sure what was about to happen – will he finally be told how to cure whatever it is he had?  Or will this be another dead end for him?

The door squeezed open as he pushed on it gently and he walked into a large well decorated room with thirteen chairs and three welcome windows.  A woman in her mid-forties smiled a large crooked smiled in his direction and waved him over.  He faked a smile as best as he could and stood in front of the window she slid open.

“How may I help you this fine morning?”  Her long straight red hair bounced as she spoke.

He squinted toward her name tag that dangled from a lanyard around her neck, still clutching all of his paperwork tightly to his chest, which read Ruby.  “I have an appointment to see the doctor.”

“Oh yes, yes, yes.”  Ruby clicked a few buttons on her keyboard and blinked toward the computer screen.  “You must be Zaire.”

“Yes ma’am, he told me to be here around ten and that he would be able to fit me in.  It isn’t going to take long for him to tell me I’ll be dead in a month.”

Ruby shook her head, “Oh darling, don’t think of it like that.  Doctor Zephor has performed miracles before.  Maybe you’ll be his next.”

Zaire made sure not to hold his breath for miracles.  When everything first began it just a headache then moved to body aches and chills.  From there he began having muscle pains and his bones began breaking easily along with scabs forming on his arms without hurting himself.  Then his hair loss began along with the sight in his left eye, which is now glossed over, and is missing about four teeth.  He either wanted the cure for whatever it is he has or death – which ever happened first.

A thick accented voice called from an open doorway, “Zaire McIntosh – the doctor will see you now.”

The office was pretty empty except for a cluttered desk holding a laptop, a television that hung in the corner, and two chairs.  He sat nervously still holding all of his paperwork close to his person waiting for the doctor to come and speak to him about options.  Zaire leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.  His body was so tired all he wanted to do is go home and lie down and sleep for a little while.  For a brief moment he dozed, finally able to shut his brain off momentarily.

A small wheezy voice broke into his slumber slightly waking him.  His eyes opened enough for a light to shine through and he turned toward where the voice came from.  At first he didn’t see anyone and figured he had to have been dreaming but then, as he began to doze again, a girl with long brown hair and large brown eyes sat beside him.

“You don’t look very healthy.”  Her voice squeaked at every other word.

He blinked at her a couple times, “I don’t feel very healthy.  That’s why I’m at a doctor’s clinic.”

“Do you have hemogoblinataris?”  She asked in a matter-of-a-fact way.

Zaire coughed, “I don’t believe I know what that is.”

“It’s what my town has that’s destroying the whole thing.  You resemble what a lot of them look like.”

“Did you come here to get medication for it?”

Laughter freed itself from her.  “Medication… No, there isn’t one; the doctor will even tell you that.  I however know there’s a cure.”

“If there isn’t medication for this then how would there be a cure?”

She sighed, “It’s like an antidote, if you will, and I was told where it’s at.”

Zaire crinkled his forehead, “Then why are you here and not there getting it?”

“I came to talk to the doctor because when I was told about it they said it’s either here with this crazy doctor or in the other location.  So I came here first and spoke to Dr. Zephor to see if he had it.  He said there is no such antidote for this disease and anyone telling me different is giving me hope that doesn’t exist.”

He sighed, “Is this contagious?”

“There isn’t much known about it, but as far as I have seen, no, it’s not.  I haven’t gotten it but ninety-percent of my town has it.  I was one of the lucky ones that were out of town when the grains came in.  Everyone made so much bread that week and everyone who ate it got sick.  Do you know how you got it?”

He looked at this girl who sat in front of him with so much more knowledge about something that was killing him slowly and he knew nothing. He has visited so many doctors and had so many tests but no one could tell him what it was or how he got it.  But as he sat there he thought back to when he first began getting sick.  “When did they get the grain?”

“Oh goodness, three years ago, I think.”

His thoughts drifted off into space, “And you said they made bread out of the grain?”

Her eyes softened slightly, “Did you eat it?”

He sighed, “I think so.  Of course, I’m not one hundred percent, but I’m pretty sure I did.”

Zaire placed all of his paperwork onto the desk belonging to Dr. Zaphor and leaned back in his chair, his heart pounding.  He was told once a while back that it was probably something he ate but of course he kept denying it.  Why would someone poison food that could and would harm people who hadn’t done anything to anyone else?  He couldn’t grasp why anyone would think someone would deserve to die.

The girl let out some air, “My name is Quinn.”

He kept looking off into space, “I’m Zaire.”

Quinn nudged Zaire’s right arm, “You know, I’ve decided to go on a mission to get the cure.  If you’re able, you know, you could come with me.  I could help you and you could help me – especially since you and I both need the same exact thing.”

He thought about it for a couple moments thinking about the fact that this was the first time he had met her.  What would possess someone to ask a complete stranger to accompany them on a mission trip to find something that they honestly don’t know if it even exists?

“How do you know for sure it actually exists?”

Quinn laughed to herself, “I don’t know that it does for sure.  The only thing I do know is that I have to try everything I can to help my town.  I cannot just let them all die and you look like you’re a little too young to die yourself.  So why not?”

“What is old enough to die anymore?  Everyone is dying too soon to everyone in their lives unless like are in their 90’s – then everyone says the same thing, well, they lived a full life.  Did they really?  How do we know if they fulfilled everything they wanted?  Who is to say they lived a full life?  We aren’t them – we don’t know.”

“Woah, Zaire, I’m going to take it you’re not quite ready to die.”  She smiled to herself, “Come with me.”

“So, let’s say I agree and go with you, where exactly are we going?”

Quinn stood up and walked over to the door before stopping, “Tesla Island.”

Zaire stopped for a moment, “Seriously?”

“Yes, I’m completely serious.  They say there is an old cave on it and right next to it, not in it, but next to it there is a spot that if you dig you pull up an old box.  Inside the box is the recipe of how to make it.”

“Wait, we have to make it?”  Zaire didn’t like the idea of doing that.

“Well, yeah, how else would we get enough for you and my whole town?”

Zaire knew better than to agree to this.  He knew better than to put all of his hope into something that more than likely doesn’t exist.  Why would someone just randomly put a recipe for a disease that no one would know if someone would ever get in a box on an island?  How did Quinn find out about this?  If someone messed with grain knowing they’d all die from it who would go against that and help cure it?

“One last question before I say yes or no.  Who told you about where it’s at?”

Quinn opened the doctor’s door and looked at him with an emotionless stare, “It came to me in a dream.”

“Seriously, a dream,” Zaire was speechless.  Who, in their right mind, starts on a mission from something they seen in a dream?  “I think I’m going to sit out on this one.  I just don’t think I can bring myself to do this if it’s just a guess.”

“Fine,” Quinn huffed, “Suit yourself!”

On the drive home Zaire had a lot of information to process.  Doctor Zaphor finally came into his office after Quinn left and told him exactly what the others did.  He said within a year, if even that, he’d be dead and it would probably happen when he’s asleep.  The thought scared him – not because he’d be dead, but because he hasn’t accomplished anything he wanted to.  What does he have to show for himself?  Who is going to remember him?  All of the thought swirled around in his head making it hurt.  He knew this wasn’t healthy but he was nowhere near ready to part the Earth.

“I wanted to write a book,” He said out loud to himself as a tear began to fall.

But he couldn’t write a book – he hadn’t done anything.  He played it safe all of his life and now – now what does he have to show for it?  Nothing – an empty house, no friends or family around, no job and no love of his life.

He pulled into his drive way and put his car in park.  He got out and walked away leaving everything he once thought would save his life behind in the car.  He made his way into his house and straight into his bedroom where pictures had been scattered.  He stopped and looked around realizing this isn’t how he left his house.  Who had been in here?  Curious, he made his way back into the living room and then into the kitchen – both rooms had been destroyed.

What would someone be looking for in his house?  It’s not like him to keep things sitting around that has great meaning or worth a lot of money.  He only has one prized possession and that’s a ring that he put in a box in a vent – no one would find it.

His cell phone ringing startled him.

“Hello?”  He almost didn’t answer since he didn’t know the number.

A monotone voice rang in his ears, “Do not go with Quinn.”

“Excuse me, who is this?”

The voice’s tone didn’t change, “Do not go with Quinn.”

“I don’t…”  Before he was able to get all of the words out his phone went quiet.  He held his phone in his palm staring down at it.  What just happened?  What could Quinn be into that would have someone call him out of the blue and tell me not to go?

A small tap at his front door brought his attention from the caller.  He made his way to the door.  He wasn’t used to getting visitors since he had gotten sick.  It was if everyone had decided that what he had was contagious and they just stopped coming around.  He was more or less okay with that since every time someone was around him they’d only give him the I’m so sorry your sick look and he was tired of it.

He cracked the front door open just wide enough to see out of it.  “Quinn?”

“I really need your help Zaire.  I cannot get this cure without you.”

Zaire thought about the phone call and wondered if this was such a bright idea.  But the side of him that was hoping for a cure was a lot stronger than the side telling him not to.  “Why me?”

Quinn fidgeted on her feet.  “I need someone that has something to lose to do this with me.  I need dedication.”

“I just don’t know if this is something I would be interested in doing.”

She huffed, “So you’d rather just die than go on a small vacation with a person who just wants to help?”

“You don’t want to help me; you don’t even know me…”

Quinn interrupted him, “Who cares whether I know you or not.  If you want to die I will leave and if you don’t be ready by eight in the morning because that’s when I’m catching the boat.”  She turned quickly and left before he had the chance to say another word.  Great, he thought, now I have to think about this all night.