Children of Time
Krystal woke up screaming. It wasn’t the first time.
For a while now she had been plagued by atrocious nightmares, but it wasn’t all that bad until the Atlanteans had revealed themselves. Because of this, Krystal kind of wished they hadn’t. Her life was normal, or at least, it had been normal, but then the Atlanteans happened. Sure, she had found it cool to learn that there were people with superpowers, and that she and her brother were two of those people, but after a fewn ightmares and a bit of thinking, Krystal believed she might actually miss her normal life. A life without all these nightmares, one where she could just be herself and not have to worry about Kris or herself in such a way she had come to in the last week.
It had only been a week.
It seemed more like an eternity. It probably would have been fine if it wasn’t for the nightmares, and thanks to her “ability,” they seemed to last forever. They were lucid, and she was aware of everything in them. Every. Single. Moment. Every tragedy, sorrow, terror – it all felt real. That’s what terrified her the most. Sometimes she wasn’t even aware that she was dreaming, hadn’t realized that she had fallen asleep, and then it all just went too far. It had forced her to stay up, just so that she wouldn’t have to drift off to sleep and into a nightmare. Of course, there was no way she could stay up forever, and so she eventually had to return to that realm. That realm of nightmares.
Not too much worse than reality.
Krystal shook her head. A week ago she wouldn’t have thought that. A week ago she wouldn’t have thought anything like that, no matter what. She would have been upbeat and optimistic, genuinely happy and not giving out false reassurances. That’s what they were now, whenever someone asked her if she was alright. The smile she gave them, the cheery “I’m fine!” and telling them not to worry? It was all a lie.
It didn’t seem too much better for her brother, Kris, although he didn’t suffer from nightmares. Krystal wasn’t completely sure what he suffered from, as he chose not to talk about it, but Krystal knew he wasn’t alright. He wasn’t himself. Sure, he was normally a strange little recluse that didn’t see the light of day too often, other than heading to and from school, but lately he was just even more withdrawn than usual. He had tried to shrug it off, reassure the others that he was okay – they were on vacation, after all – just like she had, but to no avail. At least, it didn’t convince her.
Krystal sat up as she swung her legs to the floor. She gave a sigh as she stood up, glad to be awake but not really wanting to be just yet. She grabbed a change of clothes, took a quick shower and then all of the other routine morning things, until her brother complained that she was taking toolong in the bathroom. What, it had only been a little over an hour? New record. Krystal chuckled as she exited the bathroom and walked back to her room. She grabbed her pack, slipped on her pokéball headphones and began to listen to some Angels and Airwaves. She chuckled a little as she thought of her mom when she first showed her AvA, complaining about how she couldn’t understand a single thing they were saying. Perhaps it took some getting used to.
Krystal turned to exit her room, and at the last moment she grabbed her Jake the Dog hat. She put it on and played around with the strings on it, to the beat of the music, of course. She yelled to Kris as she passed bythe bathroom, notifying him of her departure, and then left the house with her friend, Destiny.
“So, what to do today?” Krystal asked cheerily as they walked out into the bright sunlight.
Destiny shrugged. “Whatever, I guess. Although,” she paused, eyeing Krystal for a moment. “Maybe you should do something about your little . . . predicament. I mean, it’s not like you can just shrug it off, what with all the nightmares and everything. Maybe you should go somewhere, learn about it, and maybe see if you can do something about them? There’s a center right here in D.C. . . .”
Krystal sighed and shook her head. She knew what Destiny meant; go to one of those damn Atlantean Centers. It had crossed her mind a few times, and she definitely did want to learn about her ability, and help Kris with his, too, but she wasn’t so sure. It just seemed so odd, and it was all happening so fast. It was almost frightening – no, actually it was frightening –how fast people had reacted and began to counter the Atlanteans. I mean, could they really be all that bad? They had lived in society for centuries, and nothing too extreme had happened . . . unless people like Hitler had been Atlanteans. That would suck.
“I’m not so sure about it. I mean . . . ,” Krystal trailed off, not sure what to say.
Destiny stopped and turned to Krystal, causing her to stop as well. She had one of her intense stares on, although it was always different for Krystal than other people, seeing as they were friends and all. It was more. . . well, less bloodthirsty and more “do this for your own good or I’ll drag you there myself.” Krystal knew Destiny would do it, too.
“Do I have to?” Krystal moaned.
“Yes,” Destiny stated, “I’ve already told Dimitri to get Kris when he’s ready, and he agrees with me. Dimitri, I mean.”
Krystal sighed once more. Destiny stood there, her long black hair shining from the sunlight. Krystal looked her over again, imagining a threat to give to Destiny. She smiled. Destiny was very pretty, but she was capable of giving the best death stares and dishing out the most painful beatings you could imagine. She was anything but girly.
“Fine, but if this doesn’t work out I shall get Kasey’s help to make the most girlish, pinkest, frilliest dress you can imagine and then we’re going to force you into it.” Destiny gave a look of disgust, and Krystal burst out laughing.
“Well,” Destiny said, nodding in the direction behind Krystal. “Here they come. Time to go.”
Krystal turned to see Kris and Dimitri, Destiny’s boyfriend, walking up to them. “Great,” Krystal sighed one final time, “best to get it over with.”