Author: Elizabeth Hoyle
“Come on, Calla! The meteor is almost here! We need to get to the shelter!”
I thought my door would last at least five more minutes of Paul’s battering. He grabs my arm, attempts to wrench me away from my telescope. I push him away.
I keep my eyes, covered with the strongest sunglass goggles I could find, trained through my telescope. On the meteor that should have struck by now. But it hasn’t and it won’t, so long as I keep looking.
I discovered my power when I was little. It was wintertime. The snowflakes had been dying quick deaths as they struck my window. I started watching, fascinated. It took me a long while to realize why my window grew covered in perfect, unique, unmelting snowflakes was not the force of the storm. It was me.
I tried to figure it out. I did small experiments to discover that my gaze could keep things alive, provided I didn’t blink too often. No one guessed, even when my mother was dying and she miraculously lived long enough so Paul could come back from a field trip he’d been on and say goodbye. They thought the redness in my eyes was from tears.
My brother is now throwing things at me.
“This is important,” I hiss under my breath. “Leave me alone.”
“The Disaster Agency said that no one is supposed to be above ground when it got this close.” His voice is high with panic.
“Radio the nearest station. Tell them to deploy the deflector fleet.”
“It’s too late for that and you know it! Calla, we’ve got to go!”
“It’s not too late, trust me! The deflector fleet will work!”
I force myself to blink quickly. The meteor’s afterimage burns my eyes. I’ll most likely go blind after this. It’s so odd to think that in keeping the world alive, I’m keeping the meteor alive, too. If it hits, it dies, too.
“What the hell are you doing, anyway? The Disaster Agency said you shouldn’t look at it.”
“Trust me. Go call them!”
The Disaster Agency was formed when more meteors started entering Earth’s atmosphere. All they’ve achieved is scaring everyone with their lack of organization and resources.
“No one is answering!” I jump as Paul’s radio shatters against the wall. He used to throw things when he was afraid when he was little, too. “Either you tell me what you’re doing or I’m going to leave you here to melt!”
My jaw suddenly hurts and I can’t seem to make my muscles relax. I’ve been so afraid of becoming an elixir of life that I can’t tell my brother about my power, even now, when all of this still might not mean anything. My telescope goes dark as Paul reaches up to cover the lens with his palm.
“What are you doing? Get away from there!”
“You need to come with me,” he yells, ripping my goggles off. I dive to the floor, grab them, and try to sit back down, but Paul shoves me away.
“You don’t understand; you have to trust me!”
Everything rumbles beneath us, as if a killing blow struck the planet’s heart. It’s too late, for everything. Paul grabs me and we fall to the floor, scrambling under my bed for protection. I fight against him, but he pins me down, holds me still. It seems he’d rather fall down and take me with him than try to prevent or escape the fallout.