Colin never wanted to hurt anyone. He was just a regular almost sixteen year old struggling a bit with school, spending most of his time sleeping, and waiting to build up the courage to ask out his crush. A normal life for a teenager, right? But he could kiss that life goodbye when on his birthday, he and the rest of his science class went on a field trip to the nuclear power plant. It was on that day when he went from a person on almost no one's mind, to a person on almost everyone's mind. And because of that one day, he starts doing some pretty bad things, meets up with some pretty dangerous people, and even puts the people he loves in danger. How will it end? When will it end?
"Why does it have to be so fucking cold all the time?" I mutter through shivers, my voice rattling and shaking from the icy wind. I know that I live in Canada, and that I should be used to it by now, but it still gets to me. I've lived here for my entire life, tomorrow would be exactly sixteen years, but I've never once gotten used to this almost constant cold. Every year it's as if I hadn't felt it before.
And it's not like I'm not dressed properly either. I have like, twenty layers on and a hat and mitts, plus the backpack on my back. Ah, I might as well be in my underwear at this point. It'll make no difference, as far as I can tell.
Here in Canada, there's more than seven months of snow and in the summer, we'd be lucky to get up to fifteen degrees. Canada—a stereotypical country full of nice people and maple syrup and, oh yeah, it's a giant fucking freezer.
It doesn't help that my school is twenty minutes away either. Every day, twice a day, I have to walk through this frozen hell. Sometimes I'd slip and fall on the ice, which never seems to go away. Or I would have to make it through a massive blizzard. Whenever really terrible weather comes, I always feel like an old man, only because I yell at the weather man. Light snow fall, my ass.
There is one thing that I can cling to that always warms me. This is going to sound cheesy as hell, but it's a girl I like. Whenever I think about her, I get all warm and fuzzy inside, though there's no doubt that she doesn't like me back. Logan Blaire. Even her name brings a smile to my face. She's not like other girls. She doesn't wear make up or goes to Starbucks. She has beautiful light blue dyed hair and she's obsessed with science. She's smart, and pretty... but she'd never go for a guy like me.
Me and Logan aren't complete strangers. We used to be best friends in the fifth grade, but we got into different classes and drifted apart. Ever since then, we've been nothing but acquaintances, the kind of people you say hi to or make eye contact to once in a while. About a year ago was when I started liking her.
As I walk through the doors to my classroom, my boots squeak against the flooring, wet from the melted snow. It'll no doubt make a puddle at my desk when it fully thaws. Science class is first period. We're not doing much today, since we have a field trip tomorrow and today we're just preparing for it. We're going to see the nuclear power plant. How they managed to get thirty-some kids into a nuclear power plant is beyond me, but I'm excited for it nonetheless.
My best friend, Brad is in this class with me, and it's a good thing too, 'cause aside from him, I have no other friends in this class. I'd be stranded. Without him sitting next to me, I'd actually have to pay attention in class. Sure, doing so would help me pass, but it's a lot of effort for an almost sixteen year old. And it's not like I don't have any other priorities or things on my mind.
Once Brad steps in through the door, all eyes are on him. Well, girl eyes anyway. "Hi, Brad," one of them coos as he passes by her desk on his way to his. "Hey," he replies, nonchalantly, and she squeals with glee. I never understood girls. They obsess over things like boy band members, fictional characters, or any guy they are unable to get. But then again, I do that too, but about Logan.
"Yo, sup," he says as he sits down at the desk next to me.
"Nothin' much," I reply, the default response for when I have nothing say.
"Dude, check out this snapchat I got from Lindsay."
Lindsay is his girlfriend. They've been dating since the seventh grade. Now, Brad's cool, but I never understood those people who would date when they haven't even hit puberty yet. It just seems so fake whenever children date. And by children, I mean, you're voice is still high, you're scrawny as fuck, and you haven't got a chest hair to call your own. At that point, you might as well be wearing a diaper. I think they do it to look more grown up. Like, 'Hey, look at me! I'm dating a girl now. I'm a real man, and I totally look grown up, but really by doing this, I look even more childish.' I was never one of those people.
Brad tilts the screen of his phone in my direction so I can see the picture and I turn away instantly, closing my eyes and cringing in disgust. It was a photo of her naked. They call them 'nudes' these days. "Aw man that's disgusting. Why the hell would you show me that?" He just laughs.
"I just wanted to see your reaction."
"Man, you're really sick sometimes, you know that?"
"Hey, if that was Logan and not Lindsay, I'm pretty sure you'd think differently."
"Of course I would, you dumb ass!" But just as those words leave my mouth, the room falls silent and my sentence is suddenly the only one that's audible.
"Mr. Powers." My teacher's voice booms across the classroom, directed at me. "We do not use that kind of terminology in the classroom."
"Sorry, sir." I apologize, embarrassment slowly turning into anger. Once his attention is off me, I knee Brad under the table.
"Thanks a lot," I scold in a hushed tone.
"No problem," he whispers back, but I can hear the grin in his voice.
After class is over, I talk to him about the field trip. "What do you think we're going to do there?"
"A power plant, hmm. Not much to do really, just look at nuclear shit."
"What if we're going to see some kind of Area 51, top secret stuff?"
"Then I am so ditching the group to fly a UFO."
"I'm coming." We both laugh, but mine is cut short when I see someone pass us in the halls. "Hey, Logan."
"Hi, Colin," she replies with a smile as she continues walking.
"Dude, you really need to ask her out or something. You have her number, right?"
"Yeah, but I explained this before, dude. I'd get rejected."
"Maybe you will, but I dare you to call her tonight."
Brad and I have this thing since we were little. Once we called a dare, for anything, we couldn't chicken out. We've always been responsible with these dares, but it doesn't mean it always turned out well for either of us. If he's sincerely calling a dare on this, then I'll have to follow the rules and do it.
"Legit?" I ask. The bell for the next class will be ringing soon.
"Hell yeah, it's legit. I'll even check your call history tomorrow to see if you actually did it."
"Damn it." I can't believe I have to do this. It's not like I'm not afraid to talk to Logan, because I'm not. It's just that one subject that I can't really bring myself to bring up. Romance.
The three note bell for class rings and we part our separate ways. As I walk to my next class, I get a sudden feeling of nervousness wash over me. I'll have to ask Logan Blaire out on a date.
The next morning, while I wait to board the bus, Brad rushes up to greet me in a head lock. "So? Did you do it? You better have done it." His sudden impact makes me stumble and I loose my place in the single file line, the kid that was behind me filling in the spot almost instantly.
"Yeah, I did it."
"And...? What did she say?"
"She said she'll think about it."
"Aw man, I'm sorry."
"What are you talking about?"
"Trust me, 'thinking about it' is just their way of saying no without hurting your feelings."
I don't say anything until we arrive at the power plant.
The teachers guide my group to an area where we are given plastic yellow slacks, ponchos and emergency masks. The more this trip progresses, the more I start thinking that this might not have been the safest option for a bunch of teens. I mean, a bunch of nuclear and radioactive material that could explode at any moment, and you decide to have a field trip here? It gets me thinking that the teachers may not be as smart as they think they are.
We are for a reason though. My teacher said, "It would be a nice opportunity to get an in depth view of how they make electricity with nuclear material." We have to do a report on this too—the pros and cons of nuclear energy, how it pollutes, how it benefits the community—all that boring shit.
We walk around and see a bunch of stuff. We see the control panel, where they control the cooling and heating of the radioactive material, so that it doesn't overheat but still produces lots of energy. We learn about where the uranium comes from and how it gets to where it is right now, in giant rooms full of coolants making energy for the country. I don't see what coolants it needs. Just toss it all outside and it'll cool right down.
We pass a door as the group walks down a wide hallway that has a sign on it saying, "Keep out." Brad grabs my arm and pulls me away from the group. "Dude, let's go in." I give him a small cringe and say, "I don't know man. We should just stick to the group."
"Hey!" he complains. "Whatever happened to finding the UFO? This could be the one exciting thing we would ever see on this entire trip!" I think about this for a moment. I was practically dying of boredom, and just going inside the room wouldn't be that big of a deal. We would just take a peek, see what's inside. But the apprehensive voice in the back of my head speaks before I can. "I still don't know if we should be—" My sentence gets cut off as he yanks on my arm and lunges for the door that a staff member just went through, grabbing the door before it closes back. "Come on. It'll be fine," he says, and I'm pulled in after him.
As soon as we're inside, we duck behind some boxes to our right until we can hear a door close on the far end of the massive room, signaling that the only person that was here had just left. When we come out from hiding, we both gasp simultaneously, amazed and astounded at what is in the room. There are huge concrete vats, at least ten feet in height, filling the warehouse-like room. By the looks of it, this room isn't used for anything but storage.
"Holy shit," Brad whispers from beside me, and runs at the nearest vat. "This is the UFO we've been looking for!" Of course it's not a UFO, but it's definitely the most interesting thing we've seen since we got here.
There are metal grate steps that are against the wall to my right. Up those grate stairs are ledges with railings that peer over some of the vats near the wall. Brad dashes for the stairs and climbs them, eager to get a look at what could be inside the concrete containers. "Dude! Get down from there!" I whisper-yell at him, but he ignores me and leans over the railing and drops his jaw at what he sees in the vats. I groan and climb up the stairs after him, to try and coax him down, but when I see what's in one of the vats, the words that I was about to say freeze in their tracks.
I am met with a blinding, fluorescent green glow. The green goopy stuff bubbles inside the vat, as if it was boiling, but there is no heat coming from it. I have no idea what it is, and by the looks of it, neither does Brad. To my right is an opening in the railing, probably so that the scientists that work here had some way of accessing the stuff. I stand in front of the opening, peering down at the green substance bellow. Just as I open my mouth to tell Brad that we need to leave, a loud voice comes from the ground bellow. A staff member yells up at us with a sudden, startling voice, making me jump and my feet stumble.
The last thing I see before I black out is the fluorescent green glow filling my world.
END OF CHAPTER 1
[Authors note: Thank you so much for reading this chapter one of Blink! If you enjoyed it, be sure to follow to get automatic updates for new chapters. I publish every Saturday, in case you're wondering. News updates are on my profile, in case you want to know what's up. If you have some suggestions for me, please don't hesitate to let me know in the reviews. I love you so so much ;) Have an awesome life, and peace.]