I was planning to submit this several days before NaNoWriMo, with the challenge to our readers to participate. However, I realized on Wednesday, ‘Hey, it’s the second day of November, and I haven’t posted anything!’
Oh, well. Anyway, here is the second installment of Majors and Minors.
Chapter Two: So Begins Phillipsclan
The MiniTox affected many different people many different ways. However, along with shrinking people, it also gave a many powers as well. These empowered people were later called Majors by the leader of the Adirondack Clan, Melchizedek Phillips (see page 342)
The non powered people were renamed ‘Minors.’ The gifts were various, some could fly, others could run extremely fast, and there are reports that some could manipulate time. (For all Major powers ever recorded, see page 285)
So, in case you didn’t notice, my name was in there. It’s true, I did lead the Adirondack Clan for a while, but that wasn’t until much later. So we’ll deal with that fact later.
I left Mrs. Taylor at the house with Judy, while Gwen, Drew and I set out. I didn’t even know what we were going to do, but I knew we had to get supplies. I also knew that we should check on our friends. After I told my companions my ideas, they decided that friends should come first. So off we went, to the Jacobsons. They lived the closest, right down the street.
Drew pulled us into the driveway, then opened the door for me. I leaped out, running up to the door. Then I turned, as the door wasn’t opened. “Drew!” I yelled, and as if summoned, he fell out of the car.
“The door,” I replied, as he pulled himself to his feet. He stretched out a hand, and the door clicked. I ran up the steps and pulled it open, getting my hands into the crack underneath. “Weston? Mrs. Jacobson!” I called as I walked through their mudroom. “Hello?”
A faint whimper brought me to their living room. There I found Weston, bent over the prone form of his mother. I ran over to him, and he looked at me through grief filled eyes. “Melchizedek, she’s gone,” he said, his voice breaking.
“Weston, I need you to come with me. I know you don’t want to, but right now, I need you, okay, man?“ Weston nodded, but he obviously didn’t care. “Wait here one second,” I ordered, then ran out to the car.
“Mrs. Jacobson didn’t make it,” I said, shaking my head. Gwen put a hand to her mouth, and Drew looked grim. We had all known her really well. She invited us over for supper, made these amazing chocolate chip cookies, but at the same time, she wasn’t our mother. There was no way we could feel what Weston was right now.
In a flash, Gwen was gone, into the house. Drew and I stood there. “It’s just wrong, man,” Drew said, shaking his head. “She didn’t need to die. None of this needed to happen.”
I shook my head as well. “That’s just it. We spend so much time thinking about the way things should have been that we don’t focus on what really happened. Mrs. Jacobson is dead, Drew, and there’s nothing we can do about it. All we can do is help Weston get over it.”
“It’s just that, well, it seems like you don’t care.”
I took a deep breath. “As tragic as it is, at least Weston knows how she died. My mother, my father even, could be anywhere, lying dead from this. All I know is that I don’t want that to happen. And the uncertainty is killing me.”
Drew looked at me with sympathy, then started walking towards the house. His dad had died when he was little, and he didn’t have many memories of him. But he had his mom, and she was stilll alive. He could never feel the fear that I did at the moment.
I stood there, by the tire, for a few more minutes, then sagged against the rubber. My words were coming back to haunt me. ‘We spend so much time thinking about the way things should be, that we don’t thinking about they way the are.’ All I could do was wish that I could go back to my normal life, with normal friends, but the wish was futile. Useless.
I walked to the house, faster than Drew had done earlier, but slower than if I had ran. I entered the living room, and saw once again the pain on Weston’s face. This time, I couldn’t stop myself. I turned and ran out. As fast as I could.
My mind couldn’t believe, not for a second, that it could happen to my family. Never to my family. My parents weren’t old, they wouldn’t die from the toxin, would they? I ran down the road, not pausing even when I came to the cross roads. It was there that I saw the first crash.An SUV had driven off the road and crumpled its front end around a tree. I think it was a willow, but I’m not really sure. Trees aren’t my specialty, and plus, it’s been how many years now? (And no, I’m not telling you. I never give my age out)
I ran up and jumped onto the back. I peered through the window, but couldn’t see anyone. I tried to lift the back door, but I could hardly even push on the button. Then I slapped my forehead. I ran to the front, and looked for any holes in the windows.
There it was. I had to be very careful, but I though that maybe, just maybe, I could squeeze through the hole. I inched along the crushed hood, trying not to slip and fall to my doom. Then I grabbed the rear-view mirror on the passenger side door and swung myself around.
The window had been let down just barely enough to allow me to squeeze through. I thanked the Lord for it, then did exactly that: squeezed through. I dropped onto the cushion of the seat, which for me was a pretty long drop. I looked around the interior of the car. Two kids, and one adult. The adult had been thrown forward, and was unconscious. The kids looked shaken, but okay.
I jumped down to where they were. “Hey, hey, it’s okay, look, I’m here to help, okay?”They looked at me with frightened eyes. I looked at the doors. It was one of the ‘pull the handle and push,’ kind, unlike the automatic doors that most people had in those days.
“My name’s Melchizedek, okay? What’s your name?” There was a boy and a girl, both about the same age. The girl spoke first. “I’m Sarah. This is Liam. We were with our brother, Arthur. He’s hurt.” I looked at Arthur. He didn’t look good. He needed someone who knew how to help him, and fast. But with my entering the window gig, I had prevented myself from getting out again.
“Right then. We’re going to get out of here. Right now, in fact.” With those brave and daring words, I walked over the seat belt. I pulled on it, then started climbing. Now, a thing to remember: seat belts are not ropes. They are, in fact, long pieces of cloth that have really sharp edges that dig into your palms when you try to climb them. And, as an added bonus of pain, they’re not exactly the thinnest thing to climb. So you’re kind of wrapping your body around it, and climbing, and scratching your legs and hands and hoping, that somehow you’ll make it to the top.
I did, although it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I held onto the bar that it wrapped around, then swung onto the car door. I missed what I was aiming for (the handle) and instead hit something else (the window). It didn’t work like the movies, where the actor slides down the glass. Instead, I kind of crumpled off, and fell backwards. Instead of waiting to slam into the car floor, I grabbed the door ledge. My fingers felt like they were going to fall off, but I held on. Then, slowly, I pulled myself onto the handle.
“Okay, I’m going to pull, and you’re going to push, okay?” The two kids nodded at me. I pulled the handle, and they pushed. They pushed with all their might. But it was no use. The door wouldn’t budge. But, then again, most doors don’t when they’re locked.
I skittered along to where the lock jutted from the door. I got as good of a grip as I could, the strained upwards. With a ‘click’, the lock, well, unlocked. I moved back to the handle. “Okay, try this again,” I said, and pulled. This time, with the kids pushing as hard as they could, the door swung open. I dropped, my legs absorbing most of the impact.
“Okay, I’m going to get help, but I need you to stay here, okay?” The kids nodded, and I ran off. My legs pushed me to another limit, to a point that I could hardly even see anything, it was moving so fast. I stopped off at the Taylors, as Mrs. Taylor was a former nurse. I explained the situation, then told her to set up an emergency hospital, as we wouldn’t be able to get anyone to the real one. Then I ran back to the Jacobsons.
Drew and I left Gwen comforting Weston, who was still distraught. And who could blame him? We didn’t have anyone to take the body, so they had gotten him to go into the kitchen. “This is stupid,” Drew said again, as we drove to where the crash had happened. I got out and started helping Sarah and Liam in. Drew took a look at Arthur.
“It looks like it’s just a hit to the head, which might lead to a concussion, but he should recover all right.” I nodded in deference to his opinion. His mother was the nurse, not mine. Together, we carried him to the other car, then Drew started off again. We made it back his mother in short order, and left Arthur in her care.
“We’ve got to get more nurses, and doctors,” Drew said, echoing my thoughts.
“Some medical supplies would be nice, too,” I replied, looking at their first aid kit. It was good, but it wouldn’t be able to do everything we needed. “We’re going to need batteries, in case the electricity gets shut off, canned food, as that’ll keep longer, and whatever else we can find.”
We left once again, and drove down to the Dollar General on Route 11. Drew opened the doors for us, and we began our shopping trip. I ran into the back and found the employees cart, then took Drew back to start it. With a grin, we moved around the store, at a snail’s pace.
“I could belly crawl faster than this thing,” I moaned, and Drew laughed. We started loading everything we could into the cart. I found other racks that were on wheels, and started moving them. A man, who I had usually seen behind the desk, asked me what I was doing.
“I’m taking what I need,” I replied, smiling. “Would you like to help?” The man raised an eyebrow, then shrugged. Apparently, he was extremely strong, for as soon as he pushed it, the cart flew across the store and against the other wall. I smiled, and ran over to it. From there, I pushed it out to the car, and unloaded it. Soon, the employees, Rick, Andrea, and Sam according to their name tags, were helping.I did my best to keep up with them, but it was harder than you would have imagined.
I moved mechanically, my mind racing with different ideas. I hated the thought that we were raiding the store, but at the same time, we did need it, and we could distribute it as necessary. Soon, other people who had been in the store when the MiniTox hit started to help us. It took us several hours, and even then, we hadn’t emptied the entire store.
Sam, who had discovered he had control over fire, volunteered to stay and guard the store while we delivered the goods to the Taylors. Thanking him profusely, we drove off.
“We just robbed a store,” Drew said, and I nodded.
“I wish I could say that I didn’t want to do that, but at the same time, I don’t want a gang to get it.”
“We are a gang,” Alex, one of the people in the store, said. “We’re like Melchizidek’s Gang.”
“I prefer the term ‘Clan,’ “ I said, and Drew laughed.
“Fine. In that case, I dub this Phillipsclan. After all, you are our leader.”
And strangely, the name stuck. So that’s the story of how Phillipsclan started.