The Ark (Chapter 9)

Chapter 9

Piscine woke up slowly. She did not open her eyes but she could hear the sounds of her family’s voices, above.
‘Morning has broken, like the first morning. Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird. Praise for the singing, praise for the morning…’
One of her brothers was singing. It was probably Huit. He has the best soothing voice for her. The one playing the guitar is probably Deux. He always likes to strum these kinds of songs. She finally opens her eyes and she takes in the morning light coming in from the large window of her room.
The first thought she had was the twins. She wished she could see their faces.
Her attention wandered back to reality. She wondered if her sister, Mer, was already awake. She listened carefully and she knows the exercise room is either empty or she’s still asleep or she’s done. Besides, Mer wakes up early every day, just to prep. Prepping takes her hours. She doesn’t mind it and Mer sometimes offers to help her but she doesn’t force anything on her. She is quite laid back and Piscine appreciates her.
Mer is an exercise freak. She loved working out with the equipment that they’ve salvaged way before they were all born. Mer could deadlift one hundred and twenty kilos of weight with no problem. That’s how she starts off and then she adds more plates every half hour, depending on her schedule. She does this every day since she was ten. If you see Mer in person, you would not think she has the strength of twenty large men. You will actually know that she likes a boy when she tackles him. It was her way to show affection, her family figured. She is lean, like the rest of the family. She’s got two toned hair, green with blonde streaks with green cat-like eyes. Actually, all but Piscine has two toned hair colour. Piscine’s got her father’s hair and her mother’s sharp features. Mer and the rest of her brothers are a good combination of her parents’ looks and personality.
But Piscine was quite different but this doesn’t mean she was loved any less. It was a strong unity of a unit.
Piscine pondered whether to stay in bed or get up now. She didn’t want to move. Maybe dreaming a little about swimming with the siblings will be nice.
So she closed her eyes again.
In her dreams, she swam towards a bright area, and she knew where she would find her water babies there. Suddenly, she stopped swimming. Not because she did but she was stuck on the spot. She kicked and she moved her arms but she stayed in one spot. She felt a sudden change in the waters. She looked around her suspiciously, her awareness on high alert. Then she saw it.
A body of a child, falling deeper into the deep waters.
She unconsciously kicked her legs to swim towards the child but she still stayed in the same spot. She started to panic and felt as if something is holding her in place. She looked back at the falling body and it was disappearing from her sight. She noticed another body of a child falling into the deep waters and she knew it was the second boy.
Her water babies are drowning.
She kicked and kicked and she stayed in one place.
No, she told herself, this is not what happened. It can’t be happening. She needs to save them.
She woke up with a start. She was covered in sweat and covered with blankets.
She shook off the worry and got off her bed. She shouldn’t have thought about the twins.
Piscine went straight to the exercise room and opened the door.
Mer was already in the room, she looked back at her when Piscine opened the door, went inside and closed the door behind her. Mer was tying her long braided hair up. She’s thirty years old but looks younger than her years.
‘Good morning,’ Piscine said to Mer, her troubled mind can be sensed from her voice.
Mer turns around to look at Piscine and a look of concern crossed her face. ‘What’s wrong, doll?’
‘Nightmare,’ Piscine says as she goes straight to the toilet sink to wash her face. She goes back out and looked for something she can use to shake off the nerves. She took the skipping rope because it seems like the only thing she can use right now. She started skipping and she kept thinking, ‘just a nightmare, just a nightmare’ in her head.
‘Do you want to talk about it?’ Mer asked as she sat on one of the benches right opposite her.
At first, Piscine was wary whether to do so or not but maybe it would make her feel better. ‘I dreamt that I couldn’t save two people drowning…actually, children younger than me,’ she told her, hoping not to show any kind of emotion.
‘That’s rough, doll,’ Mer said sympathetic, a look of concern on her face, ‘it’s just a nightmare,’ Mer assures her, shaking her head and smiling her toothy smile at Piscine.
‘Yeah, it’s okay,’ Piscine says as she continued to skip rope without stopping. Mer went over to the weights. She took one in each hand and started to work out again.
After a few minutes, Piscine can feel stress on her legs and she feels better. ‘See you later, Mer,’ she says as she goes towards the door.
‘Did you manage to save them, doll?’ Mer asked her suddenly. Piscine felt her stomach churn. ‘You don’t have to explain anything. As long as they are okay, then it’s fine. It’s a life, after all. It’s more important,’ she continued.
‘Yes. Yes I did, Mer.’ Piscine confessed without holding back. She turned to look back at her older sister.
‘Good,’ she said, nodding at Piscine. Mer lifted the weight over her with no problem. ‘Glad to hear it,’ she said, smiling her toothy smile. She put the weights down on the floor and breathed out. ‘Go shower, you’re filthy.’

‘Yes!’ Piscine says, smiling at her older sister. She closed the door behind her and went straight to the showers. Piscine felt better and she knew that the brothers will be okay.

(Written for 2013 NaNoWriMo.)

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