The Storm And, The Unseeing Eye:
By G.D Winters:
Chapter 1: A Storm Tossed Pebble...THE CHAOTIC BLAST!:
"Well, yeah, of course you do. You just cleaned her sword." Attea had said. Pebble shook her head. They had been in the room they shared with Solvig in the upper school portion of Perkins. Pebble had spent the previous two hours both cleaning and, sharpening, her sword. She wore a pony tail, a grey T-shirt, faded blue jeans and a frown of concentration.
"Mmm? No. It's not my sword." Pebble lifted her sword off her lap, placing her katana back in it's black leather sheath. Clamping it onto her belt. Which, was the same color and materiel, she stood. Pebble's honey blonde hair glinted in a halo shape on the top of her head in the glow of the overhead light as she looked down. Then, up. "No. It just metallic."
Attea had swallowed delicately. She'd recalled something that happened before. When there was a fight between Jason nad, Micheal. Pebble had found the fight via smelling the blood coming from Jason's nose. She'd stopped the fight. Attea was the first to admit, she was very squeamish when it came to this and, she hated even talking about it. "Blood?"
Pebble turned her head toward the window, which was slightly ajar, and sniffed the breeze coming through it. She turned back to look at Attea. Her sapphire gaze meeting Attea's hazel one."Not cloying enough." The fact that Pebble could always do that. It gaze Attea the creeps. Pebble was unable to see light. yet, she made eye contact. just freaky.
"Oh." Attea said, ignoring the chill going down her spine. She'd seen Pebble go that hundreds of time but, to her at least, it was always off putting. Attea bent to snag her shoes.
Pebble responded with her typical one symbol answer to anything which possessed an affirmative answer. "Aye." Pebble was the most vicious human on the planet. Yet, also, placid.
Attea checked her watch. Almost time. Six thirty. She had to get to the student representative meeting now. As much as Pebble's heavy tone bothered her, she couldn't think about it now. Worrying as it was. "Weird. I'm going to lower school, help them with their student's Representative meeting. I'm not trying to be ignore you, Pebbs. But, I gotta go-"
"Student body president's work isn't ever done." Pebble sighed agreeably. "You need my help, I;ll be here. But then, you know that." Pebble hugged Attea with one arm, In her other, she carried that day's worth of dirty laundry. She tossed these in her hamper. Attea, turning, opened the door and stepped out of the room, into the hallway. "Hey, Tay?"
On point of shutting their door behind her, she paused at the larger girl's summons. "Yeah, Pebbs?"
"Careful. I have an uneasy feeling."
"I will!" And, she'd left. Now, she was being buffeted around by the stupid hot wind. Well, not hot but, not cold eaither. Warm? yeah. Eventually, she found lower school and, entered.
Pebble had put away the laundry, wet towel and all, into it's hamper. She checked on Solvig, who was at the desk set to sort of kitty corner between two of the bedroom walls. And, sat on her bed. Her bed was in between Attea's and, Solvigs. She sat there for a few minutes and, pondered the smell, now a taste to the air. She squinted forcefully and tried hard to cajole forth a solution to both the taste and smell. She tried to shut out the background noise. The Fisher dorm at Perkins was still pretty rowdy tonight. She tried, tried, and tried some mor some more to focus. Then...her sapphire eyes flew wide, as wide as they could go and she gasped softly. It hit her, she knew. "A storm" She breathed.
"Da?" Solvig asked. That meant yes, in Russian. Solvig thought Pebble was calling for her.
Pebble's Russian was still a bit shakey but, she spoke softly in Russian. "Niet, niet. Not you. Talking to myself."
"Oh." Solvig said, going back to her homework. Pebble had set up Solvig with a Russian version of the Braille text books she'd need. And, Solvig loved to study.
No. A super cell. The worst one in one hundred four years, eight months, five days and, seventeen hours. A tornado spawner. Pebble knew weather. She didn't know how, she just did. turning back to Solvig, Pebble spoke in Russian again, standing, "Solv, I must go downstairs for a bit. I'll be back. Just gotta use the phone. I shall return. Wait here. Right?"
"Da, da." Solvig muttered distractedly, though with the weight of promise behind the tone.
Pebble knew that tone. Once Pebble asked something of Solvig, she would or, wouldn't, do it. Pebble went downstairs. She didn't bother putting on her boots. Slippers were fine. Pebble went downstairs, exchanging pleasantry with some students and staff, in monosyllabic fashion. They were use to that and, didn't seem to mind. Even if they did, she had other things on her mind. She went into the office, what was called the office. It was really a walk in closet sized room with a few desk chairs, desks, and, a safe in there. For petty cash and medication. Plus a couple filling cabinets. Nancy and, Jennifer were in there, chatting. She knocked on the opened door. She rode over their hellos. "Phone."
"The pay phone?" Nancy asked.
"Aye," Pebble replied briskly.
"Jessica's using it now. She's got two minutes left."
"Bloody hell." Pebble muttered and she went to wait until Jessica Simmons was done with the phone. Pebble ignored Jessica's hello too as she all but threw herself upon the thing. The phone rang four times before somebody picked up. It was Lyle, one of the mental students. He must have been in the office by the phone in his wheelchair. Med time. Yes, that'd be it. "Lyle, I need to speak to-" Lyle cut Peble off with a bunch of loud hooting sounds, which was how he communicated. "Oh fuck, Dave, where are you? Damn!"
Finally, a distant, "Well, yes, Lyle. That's very nice. Thank you. Now let me please have the phone, dear boy. OH! How nice! you took a poo. Dale's going just adore that. Uh- Hello?"
Passing over the fact that she'd just heard a nearly forty year old grown man say, poo, in a sweeter than sacrin, Marry Poppins sort of voice, Pebble all but snarled, "Dave!" Into the phone receiver. but, Dave got distracted by another male voice on the other side of the line. Lyle's staff, no doubt. Eventually, Dave returned to the phone. "Dave, hello-"
"Uh...yes," there was a loud thud, "yes- Ow! Damn desk...hello? Pebble? Oh...BUGGAH, that hurt!" the word , bugger, came out as buggah. Dave was English to his very core.
"Thought I was the blind one." Pebble mumbled. Dave caught that.
"Well...that very well might be but, you're forgetting how many desks we still have cramed inside of this room. And, the fact that I too have issues seeing. Now, what is it, then?"
"Has Attea arrived?"
"She's just walking in the door right now. Why? You need to speak with her?"
Not wanting to cause Attea to panic or, think she was being too overbearing again, Pebble replied, "No, no. Just keep her there. Until after the storm. It'll be bad. Winds, hale, lightening."
"Storm?" Dave sounded utterly flummoxed.
"Aye, aye. A big one. Worst in over a century."
"Pebble, if this is a joke-"
"Dave, you know me." Dave seemed to flinch over the phone in reaction to Pebble's icy, tone when he next replied.
"R-R-Right. I'll tell her. Don't get excited." In the distant background, one of the other students must have turnd the t.v up too loud again, Pebble heard the weather advisory.
"Stay where you are too."
"Well, the others are just now going to the Yankees and, red Sox game. they haven't called it off."
"Just be careful then."
"Oh, I'm not going. Meds."
"I'll tell the others, though. Attea's wanting me to open the conference room. I'll pass on the message."
They hung up. Pebble went back upstairs. Then she changed her mind, told Solvig to please stay upstairs and, went back downstairs. She began to pace, as the rumbles began.
Attea walked in, wind swept into the lower school Anagnus dorm lobby. "Hey, Dave." She called. She blushed when she then realized he was on the phone. "sorry," she whispered.
"I'll tell the others." Dave was saying.
"Hey, Tay!" A passing staff smiled.
"hey-hey!" Attea smiled, her typical greeting. It was Dale, Lyle's aid, whom worked with Lyle. Dale was about five seven, round, balding and wearing a pink shirt with beige pants.
"What brings you to this neck of the woods?" Dale smiled. He stood there with Lyle's wheelchair handles in his hands, looking over one should at Attea.
"The student meeting."
"Oh right! Well, we're off to go listen to our raffie tapes. And, somebody needs a change too." Lyle gave a snorting laugh.
"GEE-GEE-GEE!" he snorted.
"Have fun!" Attea smiled.
"We will!" Dale said.
"I like RAFFIE!" Lyle hooted in his dull witted way. After give a cheery wave, Dale rolled Lyle into the large blue carpeted play area at the end of the hall.
Attea went back to the open door of the office doorway, gesturing toward the conference room door. She mouthed the words, "Keys, please?" Dave nodded, told the person he had to go, and hung up. "Sorry for bothering you, Dave." Dave scoffed. He reached for his key ring and, unlocked the conference room door, which was nearest the playing area.
"You know better than that. Dave said, letting her in. As Attea walked into the conference room, Dave turned to look over his shoulder to yell over at a couple of male students whom were fighting over an action figure. "Oy," he bellowed, "If you two don't sort yourselves, I will beat you both from here t Bath and back again. Sort or, get sorted!"
"Sorry, Dave!" One of them said. Attea poked her head back out of the conference room, after turning the light on, she grinned. Of course. The twins. Trevor and, Terrence Peters.
"Where's Hannah and, Jenna?" Attea frowned. Soon as she asked that question, they both came in, along with Neil and, Otis. Kyle brought up the rear a moment later. he shut the door. These were the six representatives of the lower school program, whom normally sat in on the upper-school meetings too. they wanted their own meetings. Not working for the school as a whole but, for lower school independently too. They'd brought up the fact that sometimes issues went by the wayside by the larger collective. Attea understood that. With everything that could go on all at once, there was little room for anything else. This way, nothing got miss. and, if it did, it hopefully wouldn't be much.
"Hey, Tay!" They all chorused.
"Hey,-hey! Attea beamed. I understand you don't want the umbrella treatment." Attea said, beginning the meeting, during which they all heard the loud group heading to the Red Sox verses Yankee game. They were all talking loudly, and, exclaiming over what they'd purchase at the game, the usual din of happy sports game goers. The meeting continued.
After the meeting ended, and everybody went their separate ways, Attea was on her way out when Dave called to her from the office. "Attea, pebble asked me to not let you return."
Attea stopped in her tracks. "What?"
That's when Attea heard the weather advisory go off. She shrugged, perplexedly, frowning in confusion.
Dave, stepping out of the office, into the hallway motioned for Attea to follow him. they entered the sun room portion of the play area. "Bloody hell." He breathed to himself. "Lord."
BUZZ-WOOP-WOOP-WOOP...BUUUZZZZ! "The Nation Weather Service has issued a severe thunder storm warning." A cool, female voice inform the sun room placidly.
"Pebble was right." Attea breathed.
A news anchor popped onto the t.v screen seven or eight minutes later as a silly music sting accompanied the words, news bullion! "A tornado watch has been issue by the Nation Weather Service, for the Boston area. Now, this is only a warning. You do not, I repeat do NOT, have to panic. It is just a watch. However, if the watch is upgraded to a warning, seek seek underground shelter. This is rare for new England but, it does happen. Given the drought we have experienced and, the cold mixing with warm air, it is possible."
"A tornado? I don't know what those are. We don't have them in England. Well, I can't think of a time where we have had one. Pebble was right. You will need to stay." Attea nodded.
At the Fisher dorm, Pebble had heard both weather related news from the living room. Pebble worried for a few moments over the ones whom would be going to the baseball game. but, she didn't need to worry about them. Fenway was safe enough. She didn't need to worry about Attea, she was safe also, inside of the Anagnos dormitory in lower school. She was safe, here. Solvig was upstairs, she was safe. A tornado watch. No. It'd be a warning soon enough. After all that had happened with the ice storm of ninety eight, and, the flooding, the drought, the fact that it had been so hot with little in the way of rain. hell, it was damn near June and, the last drizzle they'd had was at the end of March. No...tornado? yes, there would be one, somewhere. She could tell. the air felt...pregnant. Fat and heavy with afterbirth, waiting to happen. As she paced, her seven foot form vibrating in time with the ozone in the air, she fretted, she listened, she waited. Outside, the sky began to snarl like a vast feral beast. Soon, it would begin. Pebble paced.
Inside of Anagnos dorm, Attea frowned as she followed Dave out of the play area. "I hope the others will be okay." She said anxiously.
"Oh, they're alright." Dave's smiled, the English in his accent showing through a bit more than was normal. That only happened when he was worried. "You know, I have always never understood the meaning behind the team name...Red Sox. Odd team name. And, I have always thought, naming one of their sports teams, the Yankees, was a way of you Americans thumbing your noses at us. As we call you yanks. Also, what is the bloody feud over? We have rivalries. But, it's usually for local pride." Attea smiled tremulously.
Attea had decided to help Dave with passing the water cups for the round of passing out meds. They were on the second floor, just coming out of the office when...it happened.
"BLOODY HELL!" Dave screamed, dropping the med ray with all the meds on it, having fallen to his knees, clapping his fists to his slightly bleeding ears.
Tears were spilling down Attea's cheeks as she too had hit the floor, laying face down. She lay in a puddle of spilled water, cold on her cheek. "OW!" She moaned.
The second floor of the Anagnos dorm had quivered slightly as a bolt of lightening slammed into the side of the building. Sparks flew. Suddenly, the lights went out. As smoke began to fill the second floor, a staff member's room, on that side of the building, we set alight. The drapes caught first. The staff, whom was making love to her boyfriend, screamed as the carpet caught next then, she discarded clothing, left laying all about. She and he fled the room, sheets their only covering, the smoke followed, the fire alarm went off with a piercing klaxon. The fire doors began to shut all throughout the door, closing off the fire in the offending sector of the building. People began to scream in total panic. Sally knew that this is hwat had to have happened as she ran for her life. Her room burning behind her. Her boyfriend, Jesus pulling her along. "Gotta get the students!"
"I know but, we gotta get outta here first." Jesus shouted over the fire alarm, as Sally had. They ran. But, suddenly, once they got out into the hallway, it was pitch black and, they couldn't breath. The smoke was far too thick. They were quickly overwhelmed by the smoke, calling encouragement to each other in the pitch blackness. They slowed, hacking.
In the Fisher dorm, Pebble continued to pace as the furor of the storm increased to unreal proportions. Hail hammered the sides of the dorm, she could hear the ozone in the air. Hell, the very air was crackling with incalculable power. Nature's fury indeed. The wind and, rain slammed into the building as well with a din akin to white noise. Pure savagery. Out of nothing, Pebbled jumped slightly as the front door to the dorm slammed open and a staff rushed into the dorm. She could tell, they were soaked. And, frightened.
"We need to call for help. Lower school was just struck by lightening. I saw it, coming in for a smoke break." The staff tried to whisper to another staff in the office. pebble heard.
A second staff member was all but flung to the ground as Pebble sprinted out of the Fisher dorm. they only heard hafl of pebble's expletive as she blazed by. "Fuck!" Pebble ran.
Hailstones half the size of her fist, pelted Pebble as she dashed toward lower school in a full sprint. She had to get there. Attea, Dave, and who knew how many were in danger.
Attea picked herself off of the floor. She could see nothing. She hacked and coughed as she asked, "Dave, where- cough, cough, cough! Where are you- cough!" The only thing she heard was the fire alarm's strident call to panicked chaos. Suddenly staff members were everywhere. but, it was so black, they kept bumping into each other, objects, and tripping over Dave, whom was still knelt upon the floor. Several more staff member were bumping their way out of their rooms further down the dorm. "DAVE! cough!"
The violent tumult of the tempest drove Pebble forward, even at her size. Normally the walk would take her ten minutes to get to the lower school dorm. She made if in four. when she got to the Anagnos dormitory, several people, whom she judged were on the second floor when the lightening struck the building, milling about underneath the alcove, which surrounded the perimeter of the lower school courtyard. Pebble skidded to a stop. She walked up to a staff member. "OY!," she screamed over the din of the storm.
The staff, for his part, turned to see a seven foot, silhouette, back lit by the lightening plagued sky. A lightening flash revealed the shouter's blood spattered visage. The person's glacial gaze uncovering during another lightening flash. He jumped back in sheer statement. "OH! He shouted in pure reaction. then, he recognized, her. Gatekeeper. "YES?"
Pebble kicked off her leather slippers. She'd need to be as fleet of foot as possible. She'd be doing a lot of running. "WHAT HAS HAPPENED?" She shouted over the vociferous storm.
The staff shank back at the force behind Pebble's tone. She would have answers. That was clear. "WE HEARD...AN EXPLOSION! LEAST, THAT'S WHAT IT SOUNDED LIKE!" He shouted.
Pebble nodded once. "SITUATION?" She bellowed.
"Uh...I DON"T KNOW! THE ALARMS ARE GOING OFF! WE HEARD ABOUT A MULTI CAR CRASH ON THE NEWS BEFORE THE POWER WENT Ont!OUT!"
Pebble wondered what that had to do with anything. "WHAT'S THAT MATTER!" It was more of a demand than a question.
"THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL TAKE LONGER TO GET HERE! AND BOB'S OFF TONIGHT!"
Pebble nodded again. Bob was the emergency coordinator. If there was an accident, the traffic would be jammed up hard around the accident. It'd take him longer than the fire department to get here. It only took Pebble a few moments to come to her final decision. The staff squeaked as she tok off her shirt, wrapping the wet thing around her nose and, mouth. "DO NOT FOLLOW! WHEN I SEND PEOPLE OUT HERE...DO, NOT, LET, THEM, COME, BACK INSIDE! NO MATTER WHAT!" She turned and ran inside the burning building. She had carefully placed emphases on, do not let them back inside. Speaking slowly and, deliberately. She hoped he'd do as she'd ask. Otherwise, this was going to become an exerciser in futility. She ran through the lobby, sensing her way along, as she always did. Being blind the whole of her life, could only serve her well. She ran.
Attea found the wall as she stood., tripping all over her own feet the entire way. The smoke was beginning to sting her eyes. The alarm was loud in her ears. A staff bumped into her. "OW!" They both exclaimed. The felt around until they turned themselves toward what they thought was the exit to the first floor. It was the big overnight desk instead.
Pebble had decided she'd take out the first floor first, since she was already here. The first floor bed rooms first. She darted to the right at the hall off the lobby.. "CALL OUT! HELLO?"
"Hello!" A voice shouted. It was one of the lower functioning students. She snatched him up, tucked his small body under her arm and, went back outside. After dumping him off with the staff member she'd already spoke to, she went into the frist floor bedrooms. That damn alarm was making it hard to focus. Moving into room one, she shouted, again.
BLUR-BLUR-BlUR! The fire alarm answered at top volume.
CRASH-BANG! Thunder answered.
"CALL OUT, DAMN IT!" Pebble screamed over all the noise. She went over to the bed and found a student having a seizure. The staff working with the student must have either went outside or, went upstairs to try to help. Either way, it was stupid and, irresponsible. Student sometimes woke up like this. The stress triggered a grand maul seizure. She lifted the bulky form onto her shoulders in a fireman's carry and, legged it out of the building. She wasted no time in going back inside. Bedroom yielded no people. Not even in the closet. It was the same with the third, fourth and, fifth bedrooms. She helped a student out of the bathroom and, went to search upstairs. "CALL OUT!" She shouted as she sprinted up the stairs. That's when the full force of the acrid scent of the smoke slammed into her. "FUCK!" She shouted. "CALL OUT! a faint voice answered.
Pebble knew that voice. "TAY! COME ON!" Attea wanted to argue. But, since they had no time to talk about this, Pebble just hoisted Attea over her shoulder and, ran her out outside.
Attea thought she might have taken outside. As time passed, her head cleared a bit more. She thought it had been pebble whom had gotten her. Pebble was so brave.
Pebble was scared out of every wit she possessed. She ran Dave outside. Then started on all the bedrooms on the second floor. Luckily, people knew to answer her cry of, "CALL OUT!" They did and, she managed to get over a dozen staff and students free. She carried two students on her shoulders at once at one point and, she became dizzy right about the time she started on the part of the second floor, set ablaze. She dove through the smoke and, forced the fire door open on that side of the building. Two staff members were laying in the hall. Unloving. She hoisted them both up and, legged them outside. "C.P.R!" She shotued then, went back inside again. Third floor now. "CALL OUT!"
"Pebble?" A staff asked. Pebble did not bother talking. She didn't have the air for it anyway.
As pebble came back outside, for what seemed like the thousandth time that night. Mabye the millionth, she began aiding the C.P.R efforts on the female staff. Finally, sirens approached.
Tales of an avenging angel seeming, seven foot figure with a T-shirt tied round her face, a sodden ponytail and, faded blue jeans charging throughout a building, saving students, circulated over the next fortnight. Sword by her side, scared, cuts opened up all over her body, due to the hailstones, scarred left forearm, where the offending appendage had nearly been split years ago, she dashed hither and thither saving the lives the fire department could not save that night. Aside from the student whom had sadly lost their life thanks to a seizure. Pebble had vomited black sludge all over the ground, severe smoke inhalation. Attea had to tell Pebble all of this, as she remembered little. Pebble refused the medal of heroism from her local fire department and, city official. "I'm not a nice person. I am only built for function." She told them. For her, life continued.