chapter one
     My first recollection was that of an infant child. I lay in the wicker basket next to my parents bed. It was hot and sultry as I lay swaddled within the confines of the blankets. I heard my mother stirring silently as she slept, the sun was just breaking in the new day.
     As my mother slipped from between the sheets she smoothed the sweaty hair upon my face, looked at me, then wiped the sleep from my eyes. Time to collect the eggs, she said, you are a big girl now I'll teach you how. A big girl?
     Today I was two years old, it was the anniversary of my birth and I was now a "big girl".
She lifted me from my bed and set my feet on the floor. I padded across the room, excited to greet my new life. Each day forward, even though I was small, I was to see myself as a big girl. No time for childish games, I had to get to work and help tend to the chores that lay awaiting on the small working family farm.
It was the middle of the summer. My father worked at the local factory on the night shift sometimes 4 pm 'til midnight, sometimes midnight 'til 8 am. There were those days that he was gone from 4 pm until 8 am, I fear those were the hardest on my mother, after all she was caring for 5 children at the time and during the school year well she was a teacher, so we the children were often left to fend for ourselves.
     I woke startled with the noise of the city around me, I was disoriented you might say by the reality that I was no longer a little girl growing up on the family farm. It was a time when the world was ...well different from now. Things that went on with in the confines of family were not public knowledge.  Now don't get me wrong what was real then is real now, but it is different.
     I am not quite sure just what caused me to jolt awake like that. I felt unsettled. Disoriented. Yet, I had the presence of time surrounding me. It was 5 am. The sun was just coming up on the horizon just as in my dream. I was a big girl now, no truer words had transcended between the worlds of slumber and real time.
     I ventured to the kitchen to start my morning coffee, a ritual I began at the ripe old age of 13. I do love a good cup of jo, the aroma that surrounds me and travels up through my senses bringing my world to life. That smell is only bested by the spring and summer rain causing the river to rise over the stone of its bed...wet granite. Now that is a smell I enjoy. Not to worry I allow my self to drift out of the presence into the memory hidden deep within my brain.
     There is something about this day that is pulling at my thoughts. A sort of gnawing at my core. What ever it is shall be revealed soon enough. Since the passing of my former life, I have no family to share my thoughts with. You
see, I am in a witness protection program. Hiding from a past that if it were to find me could destroy my very existence.
     To leave my former world behind was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make. The stakes were high. Tough to make continue to live and be with my family and we all die or turn states evidence, go into witness protection and leave my family so that they would live. However, lately I've been feeling that my family was being watched and might be in danger.
     The government inserted a microchip inside me for the purpose of safe tracking, so they would know my where about and be able to warn me of anyone imposing harm who may try to get close to me. The technology allows me to travel around more freely than if I did not have the implant.
     The price I paid for my testimony was higher than I'd ever dreamed. Isolation. Never being able to hold my son or his wife again. Not to mention never being able to see, touch or hear my grandchildren. The government paid me handsomely, I set up trust funds for my son and his family, for I live a simple life and don't really need it. With my husband having been killed by the very men the government is hiding me from my world became empty.
     What disturbs me most is the how I was hidden away. The government went through the expense to medically alter my persona. Physically I am now but a memory of my former self. My identity so altered that the only connection to the world I used to live in... is the microchip. I do not even know where with in my body it has been placed, so if I were to suddenly feel over whelmed, panicky and want to cut it out of myself; well lets say the last person who attempted it died trying. However, without either extensive brain surgery or shock treatments to alter or subdue there is a part of my past that will always remain a part of me that will never change. I had written in as part of my government contract the ability to keep that part of me intact. Unfortunately, that decision may very well be the reason my family is in danger.
     There is a school of thought that there is always a link between those with like minds, one that is never broken either in life or in death. My son and I have that link. I often wonder if he has the link with any of his children. I truly hope so for the link is a gift that is passed through families for generations, yet each decides their own link destiny. I know for I decided my as a young girl.
     It is said that the world is full of curses and blessings, legends that are passed down through the generations. I have often wondered if I was living a curse or a blessing. I'd rather believe the latter. There are times that what occurs is so powerful that I have the untold energy of the universe for days at a time. Then there are those times that all I can do is sleep.
     From time to time the government requests my presence. They have found a use for me within the walls of their organization. Its these times that I am most content that I am adrift from my family. The role I play often can be quite dangerous, not to mention the reclusive nature I am prone to undertake.
    

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Crime
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