Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)
TITLE: The Least of Those Among Us
By Janeil Harricharan
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Particularly if F-22’s were painted red.
Nora Jackson was used to the attention. Her opponents knew her as the “Scarlet Angel”. She loved to be the star of the show, waltzing into a combat zone and turning everyone’s heads. It always went like this, till today. Today, something different happened.
Someone else was fighting. And they fought better. He didn’t taunt enemies like she did. He didn’t gloat, sound cocky, or was full of hot air. He was silent, and just fought, fought, and left when it was all over, not even one word. Such a mysterious person had her attention, and she was going to find out.
Long scarlet locks rolled down her back as she dismounted from her machine, the hot Caribbean sun hitting her face. A soft breeze blew as the turquoise sea glistened from light, waves crashing on the shore.
Soft murmurs could be heard among the ground crew as Nora eyed them over, walking to what appeared to be the command building. Walking inside, she looked around for what appeared to be a commanding officer and grabbed the arm of an old man in a captain’s jacket talking to an Indian woman.
Nora didn’t give a chance for the man to speak when he saw her. “I want to meet the person that mutilated all those Russian MiG’s before I got there.” She demanded. How could someone surpass her in performance and not have a reputation for themselves to be tracked down? They must surely hate attention.
“Are you sure you want to do that?” The Indian woman asked.
Nora gave a pressing look, intent on meeting her rival. Pulling Nora’s hand off of himself, the man led her down to a medical wing and into a hospital room. Inside, a young man was lying on a bed, his hand bandaged up and a few bruises on his forehead.
She didn’t wait for an invitation and walked straight towards him. “I hate being ignored, you know.”
The boy looked at her. It was clear he was troubled, and had a lot on his mind. It was also apparent he was in pain. “Do I know you?” He asked, narrowing his eyes.
Nora scoffed. This was the ace that outscored her? This…boy?
“Yes, in fact you do know me. We met several hours ago; though you didn’t say a word. You happened to blow up everyone that I was paid to attack!” Nora threw up her hands in
exasperation. “You should know me!” She came close to him, clearly upset.
“They were enemies of the Resistance. They needed to be terminated. I was carrying out my mission. End of story.” The boy looked straight ahead, ignoring her.
“I’m talking to you!” Nora yelled. “Look at me!”
He looked at her, annoyed and angered. “Why did you come to see me?”
That seemed to shut her up. Nora bit her lip.
“You came to vent out frustration on me because things didn’t go your way? Let me tell you something. Nothing goes right in this world. Nobody cares about it. The few people that things go right throw a fit when one thing goes wrong for them.” He turned onto his side to face her.
“There’s nothing in this world that means anything to me anymore. I don’t have any family. I don’t have friends. Nobody in my past remembers me or cares. I fight because it’s the only way off this hunk of rock. This stupid place called Earth is not a friendly place for me, no matter how many billions of people live here. I stopped going to church a long time ago, and it’s been years since someone’s called my cell phone.”
“If you have something sensible and meaningful to say, say it. Otherwise, you’re annoying me and I don’t want to talk to you. You’re not my friend or a comrade, so I don’t have anything to say back to you.” He turned back straight and looked ahead once more.
Nora scoffed. “Self-conceited moron…” She got up and stalked out of the room.
“When’s the last time you cried?” He called out after her.
Nora skidded to a stop.
“It’s been over a month for me. People say something’s wrong with you when you don’t cry anymore.” He hung his head.
Her insides seemed to get all mixed up as she left. This didn’t end as expected.
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