Kerri’s body was crying out in pain – in fact it had been doing so for quite a while. It was only now that she was coming to the realisation that she was awake, and the pain was more than just a dream. She opened her eyes a crack. It was morning. Where was she? he last thing she remembered was being in Spearwood’s lab. That’s right, the alarm had gone off. She’d been trying to get away. She’d been right behind Liam, and then…something had happened. Yes, she’d cut herself on the glass and fallen backwards.
“It’s okay, you’re in the hospital.” Kerri turned slightly to see a middle-aged woman standing on the other side of the room.
“Yes, security brought you in here last night. You were in pretty bad shape. You lost a lot of blood.”
“My baby, is it okay? I’m preg…”
“It’s okay. Your baby is fine. You’re both very lucky. I’m Doctor Heroux”
Kerri nodded. “I’m…..ah….glad you took care of me.”
“We’ve already determined your identity Miss Meyers.”
“I’m sure security will want to have a chat with you later, but for now you just concentrate on getting better okay?”
“Now, I had to give you a blood transfusion last night. You have a very rare blood type so you’re lucky we had a compatible donor near by.” The doctor paused for a moment. “It turns out, the donor was related to you. I found this out quite by accident you understand. I was running a broad blood comparison over our database. When you compare two blood samples, the system does a whole range of calculations. It came up positive for paternity.”
Kerri shot up into a sitting position and then instantly regretted it. “Are you saying my father is here in Xinju? My biological father?”
Kerri had no words. What could she say to that? “Ah, who is he?”
“Your father has asked me to not disclose his identity for now, but he did give me permission to say what I’ve already told you.”
“I never knew my father.”
“Yes. Evidently, he didn’t know he had a daughter either. I’m sure he’ll want to meet you soon – it’ll be something to look forward to once you’re all better.”
Kerri slumped back down into bed. “Yeah, assuming I don’t get thrown in jail.”
* * *
Joey Goldberg was bored. Most of the other kids in his class were enjoying the chance to get out of the classroom and collect ‘nature samples’ by the river, but this was the last thing he wanted to be doing. Yesterday, Mrs. Berman had assigned them a story-writing project, and he was itching to get back to his writing. He’d come up an exciting idea and once he had an idea for a story he just had to run with it until it was done.
“Remember children, don’t stray too close to the water,” Mrs. Berman called out. Joey kicked a rock and it sailed through the air before landing in the water with a loud plonk noise.
“Hey Joey, like my leaf?”
He turned to see Alice Hogan holding something that looked quite like a star shape.
“Yeah, it’s great,” he said non-committally. Alice appeared to have a little crush on him. Joey didn’t quite know how to take that. He wasn’t interested in girls yet. Some of the other kids in his class were starting to take an interest in such things; well they were welcome to it. All Joey needed was his stories.
“What have you found so far?”
“What about one of those rocks?”
“You’ve gotta take something back.”
Joey bent down to pick up the rock. Just as he was starting to straighten up, he heard the most incredible sound. It was like singing – and yet not quite. There were no words, it was just a melody – pure and strong. The sound was more haunting that anything Joey had heard before. He was captivated.
“It’s so beautiful,” Alice gasped.
“I wonder what it is.” Joey’s imagination was caught now. This was a mystery – and if there was one thing that a writer liked it was a mystery.
He looked at Alice. “Let’s go take a look and see.”
She nervously took hold of his hand. He decided not to object. Investigating something unknown could be scary an she obviously didn’t want to be alone. Actually, the feel of her hand in his wasn’t so bad. Together, they crept through the shrubbery to a place where they could get a good look at the river.
“Look Joey, there are creatures in the water.”
The creatures were green skinned and all sparkly. They had no hair but looked surprisingly pretty. Their mouths were wide open, the strong sweet sound coming out in long melodic notes.
“They’re singing to us.”
Joey could hear the sound of feet coming from behind. The other kids had heard the song and were coming to investigate as well. This was his discovery. He didn’t want to share it and he certainly didn’t want to be beaten. “Come on, we found them first, let’s go see them up close before anybody else gets here.”
“Are you sure?”
“Don’t tell me you’re scared?” He gave Alice’s hand a gentle squeeze.
Together they stepped out into the open. One of the sea creatures reached out here arm and beckoned them forward. They moved closer until they were standing right at the water’s edge.
The music was enchanting. Joey couldn’t take his eyes off the creatures. Were they aliens?
All of a sudden, his face was sprayed with water as he heard a mighty splash. Something had jumped out of the water right in front of them. Before Joey could clear the water from his eyes he felt thick strong arms grab hold of him. He tried to struggle but he was no match for the muscled arms that held him. He could hear alice screaming. Then there was another splash just down river a little, and now more screaming all around them.
Joey was in the water now, he was being pulled in by one of those creatures. The singing had stopped.
“Let me go!” Joey yelled.
Suddenly something hard was pushed over his head. The green alien pulled his mouth open and shoved something inside that felt a bit like the opening of a large sea shell. Then, without warning, he was pulled under.
Joey fought with all his might against his captor, but it was no use. He couldn’t get free. Down down they went. He thought he was going to drown, but suddenly realised that he could breath. Air coming into his mouth.
On and on his captor swam, until it got so dark he could barely see. Eventually Joey’s strength gave out and he stopped struggling. There was no hope. He was being taken somewhere and there was nothing he could do about it.