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Alex's Choice

Chapter One: Alex

His eyes, that is what pulled me to him his steel-grey eyes. He was angry I could see it from across the transport. His eyes didn't move from me even after I looked away, I could feel the heat of his gaze. Most people would run if they spotted him he was tall and built like a truck his strong face was softened with a beard the same color as his dark brown hair. He would have strangled me if it was possible but the electric cuffs around his wrists and ankles kept him at bay. He was here because of me, a choice I had made had put us both in cuffs in this transport headed toward our very possible executions.

Earlier that day.

"Alex if you go they will kill you and won't hesitate," Sarah said as she grabbed my wrist. We had been friends since my new life started at the age of eleven. "If I don't they will kill Gran, Sarah I can stop them. If I have to give up my life I will." I had found out about the plan of the resistance. Something I had never known I could do was listen to others like me. I could hear their plans I listened in my head the plans about the attack on the Council assembly.

Ever since the world discovered that wicches were real the Council had taken to power. They believed that wicches weren't supposed to be and that was it, no explanations on any real reason for their actions. Any wicche or wicche like activities had to be reported. The council then forcefully removed the person who was reported and if after a screening process they would be killed if they failed. If they were cleared they would be set free, that rarely happened. The Council had turned families against each other parents giving up their children, children giving up their parents. Neighbours turned against their friends and families were left broken. Sometimes not all of the people were taken on-site screenings cleaned them and they were left behind. They are called outcasts.

I am one of them, when I was eleven my family was taken from me. We were in our back yard playing around enjoying the cool breeze in the hot afternoon sun. The doorbell rang and my father went to see who it was. In a few seconds, there were Council agents all around us my brother pulled me to his side to protect me, our parents were separated and asked questions, I remember shaking my heart beating so fast I thought it would jump out of my chest. An agent walked up to my brother and I and pointed at me. "Get her out of here." An agent grabbed my arm but my brother pulled me back pushing the agent away. "No, she stays with me." He held keeping me behind him. The agent did not hesitate he pulled his gun and shot in the chest.

I remember hearing my mother screaming and another shot and then another. My mind shut down as I tried to understand. The sun had disappeared behind grey clouds and silence moved around me. I was still holding my brother's hand when they pulled me away carrying my limp body to an awaiting car I didn't look back and I didn't look ahead there was nothing to see. Everything was just gone, all I ever cared about or loved was gone in a few hours.

A few days had passed and I was sitting in a holding cell looking at the wall. When the door opened I didn’t look up even when a man walked in and spoke to me, I just kept looking at the wall nothing mattered any more. "Alex, I'm sorry about your family. My name is Robert." When I didn't respond he continued. " There is nothing that can fix what happened I have found you a place to go somewhere you can be safe live a happy life." I ignored him still. Robert found out about what happened to my family and gave me a new home with his mother. I had been screened of course. Gran had never treated me like an outcast she had taken me in and loved me. Robert was different, it seemed he hated me but yet he had saved me. I never knew why and I didn't care. He had taken my family from me. He had also given me a chance to live.

"I can't let this happen Sarah I can't lose anyone else. You just need to make sure they don't find out that you knew about me okay." Her grip tightened on my arm. “There has to be another way, Alex. Your grandmother can't lose you, I can't lose you even if you think we can we can't we love you.” I pulled my arm free of her grip. “It's not that easy Sarah. If I let this happen I am just as bad as Robert and the Council. I need to save them even if they wouldn't even think about saving me. Maybe it will show everyone maybe wicches aren't so bad after all.” I picked up my car keys from the wood table and looked her in the eye. “Remember you didn't know I was a wicche, I fooled you and I fooled Gran.” With one last quick hug, I turned and walked to my car. The assembly was starting soon and I needed to be there before the attack.

When I arrived at the outdoor venue it was already heavily crowded, people looked happy wearing shirts that supported the Council. Men, women, and children had no idea what was about to happen. I knew I could hear the voices in my head. They were getting ready to strike, I could see my Gran and Robert on stage waving at the crowd. "Now, go now." A voice sounded in my head and I saw something fly through the air toward the stage I was close but still, too far away people started running away I rushed through the crowd pushing my way through screaming and confused people. A second object hit the stage and smoke started billowing out of it. I saw Gran fall from her chair my breath left my body as anger painted my vision red.

I jumped onto the stage but was stopped by guards. Before I could push passed them smoke from the grenades enveloped the entire stage choking people. I used my power to blow the smoke upward and away from the crowd as I looked back into the scores of terrified people I saw the resistance they were just a few feet from the stage, five people, two with weapons, and three were wicches. That was the first time I saw him, he looked so in control so calm you would think he wasn't waging war. My distraction left me when I heard my Gran's voice calling to me. I cast a spell of protection around the stage keeping the resistance away.

"Gran are you all right?" I asked as I helped her up from the floor. "Alex you have to get out of here they saw you." I squeezed her hand. “I know that doesn't matter. I need to get you to a safe place.” I looked around the leaders of the Council were cowering to the one side of the stage some coughing from the smoke their guards nowhere to be seen. Robert was rubbing the sting of smoke from his eyes. “Robert get Gran out of here now.” He looked a bit shocked to see me but helped Gran up from the floor. “ Alex don't do this,” Gran said as he started moving her toward safety. “I love you, Gran.”

I turned back to the resistance my spell was fading. As the veil of safety fell to the ground the other wicches cast spells toward Robert and Gran I stopped them. I still don't know how but another veil covered Robert and Gran and I stood in front the spells crashed into mine but fizzled out on the ground. Another round of spells came toward us I lifted my palm picturing a wall of wind pushing the balls of light high into the sky. I looked behind me and my Gran was gone she was safe. I let the spell go and fell to my knees. I had never done a spell so strong that it took my strength from me.

I looked up and saw three of the resistance on the ground Council agents about to shoot, I couldn't let them be killed they were fighting for the right reasons. I heard a guard yell at me from behind I cast one last spell destroying the agent's weapons. As they fired a blast of blue powder exploded from their muzzles hanging around them in the air. I smiled at the look on their faces just as blacked enveloped my vision.

I woke up feeling confused. My mind missing the memory of why I felt like a truck had driven over my head. I opened my eyes but shut them quickly the lights were so bright. I lifted my hand to my face but it felt heavy and as I moved on the other one followed. I opened my eyes slowly again. Looking around my memories started to return. Gran! I needed to make sure she was okay. I sat up quickly almost falling back down when my head started spinning. I closed my eyes for a few seconds evening out my breath.

I slowly looked around me. I was back where I started thirteen years ago. A small cell with bland concrete walls and an impenetrable steel door looking down I found one difference from when I was a child. Electric cuffs bound my arms and ankles, there was no doubt that the Council knew I was a wicche, the cuffs had been designed to cause the wearer pain when attempting magic. Just to test I tried a small spell of light, the little light flashed like a firefly and as it flashed sharp pains shot up my arms and legs. I let out a yelp and sagged down onto the cot.

I didn't know how long I had been in the cell but I had to get out of here and find out if Gran was safe. I knocked on the door hoping someone would hear. I listened and there was no sound from the other side of the door. I banged on the door again but after a while, I found it useless. So I sat back on the cot and waited. Someone had to come by sooner or later well I hoped so. After what felt like hours I finally heard footsteps moving toward me. I stood ready if the Council was ready to execute me I wouldn't be cowering.

The heavy steel door opened and on the other side stood Robert and four guards weapons drawn. “Is Gran safe?” I asked but he just scowled. “You are a wicche do you deny this?” He said in a voice with no emotion. “I don't. Will you tell me if Gran is all right?” He just ignored me. He turned and walked away, the guards moved aside and gestured me to follow. “Don't even think about trying anything wicche.” The one said pushing her forward as she followed Robert. I followed Robert through a long hallway that was as bland as the cell.

At the end of the hall, there was a large loading dock with two prisoner transports parked. There was a line of people in cuffs like mine being led onto one transport. They looked scared and broken I guess the way I looked like when I was there as a child. Behind them, I recognized the resistance team well the three of them that were there. I stumbled when a guard pushed me forward. “Move it.” He yelled. I wanted to tell him to relax but the serious look on his face warned me not to try. They led me to the second transport and pushed me inside into a small cell made of glass. When I was inside they locked the glass door in place and left.

As I sat back down on a bench the resistance was led inside. It was the first time I noticed the other two fighters. They were wicches the one looked like a stereotypical wicche long curly black hair with a few braids hung around her bust, her eyes flashed when she looked at me, her clothes fit her personality it seemed. Black layered over black even her make-up and jewellery were black. The next one was the complete opposite. He had short blond hair that looked a bit shaggy, he smiled at her when he passed as if he knew something I didn't. He wore a t-shirt and ripped jeans. He was taller than me but not taller than the man that had caught my attention back at the assembly.

He appeared as if I had conjured him. He wasn't a wicche but he could have fooled anyone with the death stare he gave me. He didn't remove his stare off me even as the guards strapped into place. For some reason, I was the only one being held in a cell. As the doors closed there was a commotion outside. After a short silence, the doors opened again and I almost cried. Gran stood flanked by guards. She rushed over to my cell. “Gran, are you all right? Are you hurt?” I asked as I stood placing my hands against the glass. “I'm sorry Alex, I tried to convince them. They won't listen.” She said hurt laced her voice.

“ No Gran, it was my choice. I knew what was going to be the outcome. I made this choice don't feel sad. You gave me a life that I thought I had......” I couldn't finish as a guard grabbed my Gran's shoulder. “Times up, let's go.” He said in a gruff voice. She almost fell back when he pulled at her to get her to move faster. The lights started to flicker and the transport started to shake. “ Let go of her.” My voice was low a warning he didn't pick up on. “Now!” I yelled and he still didn't move his hand. Another guard aimed his weapon at me but all I could see was my Gran.

I could feel the pain from the cuffs but it numbed to the anger I felt. My body started to shake as my mind fought the physical pain. I was getting weak but with one last-ditch effort, a blast of air pushed the guard back from my Gran. Another guard pulled her from the transport. My mind could not hold back the pain and I collapsed onto the floor. All I could feel was the pain shooting up my arms and legs burning through every nerve. I fought to stay conscious trying to hold onto the picture of my Gran being all right and safe.

I had not felt the transport start to move and I didn't know how long we had been on the road. I did know that the man's eyes were on me. The steel grey eyes that never left me. I had made my choice I couldn't care less if he was pissed he had tried to kill my grandmother. There was something else pulling me back to his gaze. The more I looked the more his eyes revealed he was mad but he didn't hate me like I first had thought.


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