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I hate hospitals. I guess it’s a trait I inherited from my dad. Once when my mother was under Colonel Selliwood’s control, she tried to kill my dad by stabbing him in the chest. He refused to go to the hospital even though he had a collapsed lung and was bleeding like crazy. That would explain why even though I was laying by the edge of a river with a bullet hole in my shoulder I knew I would not be going to the hospital. I hate hospitals.
It was just a bullet. I’d been shot before. I knew I could get over it without too much trouble. If I went to the hospital, they’d just start asking a whole bunch of impossible questions like what’s your name? Where do you live? And, oh yeah, who would shoot a thirteen year old girl and leave her for dead by a river?
The scariest part was that I didn’t know how to answer that last question. Normally, I would immediately say Colonel Selliwood. I know he wants me dead. Was he the one that shot me? I could have sworn he was in jail. Didn’t I put him there? Maybe it was Xi. She definitely wanted me dead and had tried several times. But if she had succeeded in shooting me, I doubt she would have left me alive. She would’ve finished the job. Maybe I got away somehow. I tried to think, but nothing was coming to me. Had I lost my memory?
“My name is Priscilla Sumner and I’m thirteen years old.” I said to the trees as I lay on my back. I started listing all the facts I could think of trying to convince myself I didn’t have amnesia. “My mother is Quindolyn Sumner, a genetically enhanced super human created in the Selliwood Institute. My father is Gregory Sumner, a regular human but a master marksman. My older brother Josh also has super powers and my younger twin brothers Charlie and Chester are super annoying.”
Okay, so I didn’t have amnesia, but why couldn’t I remember how I ended up lying next to a river with a bullet in my shoulder?
As I sat up in the grass, it felt like all the blood rushed out of my head. I thought I was gonna pass out. I had to close my eyes for a second in order to get control of myself. Just a quick glance at my clothes told me I had already lost a lot of blood. If I wasn’t careful, I could go into shock.
With my eyes still closed, I listened to the trickle of the river in front of me. That helped calm me down. I opened my eyes and applied some pressure to the bullet wound while looking around. My mind was pretty groggy so I wasn’t positive where I was, but I was pretty sure I recognized this river and these woods. I was in River’s Bend. I was home.
How I got here? Not so sure. But knowing I was only a few blocks away from my house gave me a burst of energy. Looking at the sky I knew the sun was about to set in an hour or so. It would be safer for me to wait until dark before I headed home. I didn’t want anyone to see me clutching my shoulder and bleeding down the street.
Bleeding or not, I needed to start using my training. I could practically hear my mother’s voice in my head telling me to survey my surroundings and secure the perimeter. What if the bad guys were still close by?
I focused my super hearing for a moment. I was definitely alone. The closest sound I heard was the click of the crosswalk sign at the corner of Main St. and Coming St.
As I stood up, blood from my shoulder dripped to the ground. That’s when I noticed something strange. There was no other blood. Anywhere. My clothes weren’t wet so I didn’t crawl out of the river so there should have been a trail of blood from my shoulder. But there wasn’t. It was like I had fallen straight out of the sky or something.
After making sure I was safe, I sat against a tree and used my uninjured right arm to gather a few sticks into a pile. I lit a flame with my forefinger and started a small fire to keep myself warm as the moon rose and the temperature fell.
I tried to stay positive. Things weren’t so bad. So what if I was shot and left for dead. So what if I couldn’t quite remember how I got there. At least I was alive. I had an uneasy feeling that someone I was close to wasn’t so lucky.
Two hours later, I struggled to my feet. It was now dark enough that I should be able to make it to my house without drawing too much attention to myself. I could follow the river all the way down to Teirney Street behind McMillian’s Pharmacy, then cut past Main Street through the town square gazebo and straight to my street.
The town looked different. Maybe it was because it was night. Or maybe it was because my vision was starting to blur because of all the blood loss but I could have sworn McMillan’s was now a Walmart and Willie’s Sweet Shop was now a Starbucks. That was quick. How long was I lying by that river?
I tried not to think about it too much. There was probably a good explanation. Maybe it was just temporary. They were probably shooting a movie or something. Yeah, I bet Kyle was in a movie and they were shooting a scene there. Yeah, that was it.
As I saw my house at the end of the street, all other thoughts melted away. All I wanted was my bed and my mommy.
I tried to open our door. It was locked. That was funny. Hardly anyone locked their doors in River’s Bend. My dad was the most paranoid person in the world and even he rarely locked the door. Oh well, I thought as I knocked on the door.
“I’ll get it,” an unfamiliar female voice said from inside. Seconds later the door flew open and I stared at a dark skinned girl about my age wearing my favorite wonder woman shirt and a pair of jeans. Something about the shape of her face and her piercing blue eyes seemed very familiar. I thought for a second. Nope, I had never seen her before. So I didn’t quite know what she was doing in my house or why she was wearing my clothes.
“That’s my shirt!” I said pointing at her.
“You’re crazy. This was my aunt’s shirt,” she said with a little too much attitude. I mean, she had some nerve breaking into my house and putting on my clothes.
“And what are you doing in my house?”
“Your house? Please. This is my house. I was born here.” She tossed her long curly black hair over her shoulder and crossed her arms.
“Priscilla, who’s at the door?” A voice from inside called.
“That’s what I’d like to know,” the girl and I said in unison. We stared at each other for a moment. It was obvious we were both confused. It was also obvious that we were both too stubborn to back down.
Finally, I said, “I’m Priscilla Sumner and this is my house.”
The girl laughed a little and rolled her eyes. “Now I know you’re crazy. I’m Priscilla Sumner.”