Chapter one: Light at Night
It was an unusually dark night. One of those dark nights where there is no moon in the sky and not one star to guide a lost soul home. It was also an extremely quiet night, and not the good kind of quiet but the utterly terrible quiet. The type of quiet where even the steps of an ant sound like the stomps of a giant, making it almost impossible for one to fall asleep. However, Seth had somehow managed to do just that, and was swimming in his dreams (which in this case I mean quite literally as he was dreaming of swimming in the ocean). In reality, he was far from the ocean, or any body of water for that matter, but snug tightly in his bed. His room was covered with textbooks, notebooks and other various items any high school senior would have tossed about their room, which at the moment was a nasty mess. Outside the quiet of his room, as well as the quiet of his entire house, was a not so quiet nature preparing for what was to come.
If someone had been awake at that hour, and had for some unknown reason decided to sit out on their porch, they would have witnessed a fascinating and unexpected show. Squirrels were scrambling to gather extra nuts, doe’s were delicately cleaning their young in anticipation, and birds were building in numbers at the tops of the trees waiting for their very own show. All at once the commotion came to a dead halt, and the utterly terrible quiet set in again, but not for long. As Seth was fast asleep in his bed, and as all of the animals were frozen staring at the same area of empty space, the ground began to shake. It began as an unnoticeable shake, but soon it became very noticeable, especially when Seth fell, rather roughly, out of his bed and onto the floor.
“What the h—,” Seth’s curse was cut short as he had fallen on his Ipod, a possession of his he had been missing for several days, and for a moment he celebrated the find. However, the shaking of the Earth soon grabbed his attention back from his favorite musical device.
“What is going on,” Seth asked to no one in particular. He attempted to stand, but again was knocked down by the constant shaking. Pictures and certificates that were hanging on Seth’s wall began to fall off. He could hear various items crashing to the ground, much like he had done himself just a moment ago. This time his attempt to stand was much more thought out. He grabbed the top of his bed and used the sheets to pull himself up. He then fell forward on his bed, which was a much more comfortable fall, but instead of standing back up he swung his legs up over the side of the bed. He then reached up for the cord that would raise the blinds, and when he found it he yanked it as hard as he could, causing the blinds to fall down on top of him. If someone had been watching, and the earthquake had not been taking place, they would have found this entire sequence of events quite comical, of course Seth was the only witness and he was not laughing. After shouting a few of his favorite four letter words and throwing the blinds onto the floor he peaked out of his window.
At first Seth noticed nothing out of the ordinary, but once he had firmly balanced himself against the window, ensuring that the steadily shaking earth was not about to throw him on the floor again, he noticed that his front yard was anything but ordinary. What he saw caused his mouth to drop, his eyes to widen, and another fall off of the bed. He quickly though without thinking had again secured himself against the window. This time however he squinted his eyes, just to make sure that what he was seeing was actually there. It was. In his front yard was a large arrangement of local animals, all sitting together peacefully, and were acting as if nothing was happening, as if the earth wasn’t trembling. Then all at once there was a streak of light that formed in the middle of the sky. It seemed electric almost, but instead of disappearing instantly it just hovered in the sky. Seth was drawn into the light. It fascinated him for some strange reason. He had the sudden urge to open the window, push out the screen and go towards the light.
Although Seth didn’t notice, due to his new obsession with a streak of recently developed light, the earth suddenly stopped shaking. Moments later the streak of light exploded, filling the entire sky, and all of Seth’s room, with a bright white light. Seth went to shield his eyes, but before his hands even reached his face the light was gone. Out of the corner of his eye Seth thought he saw the animals scurrying back into the forest, but he wasn’t sure. Mainly all he could see were little purple dots. For what seemed like ages, he stayed kneeling on his bed staring out of the window, as if he was waiting for more to happen. As he knelt he thought about what had just taken place. “What just happened? What was that light he had just seen? Had he just seen all kinds of animals in his driveway? Am I dreaming?” As he was thinking, an annoying tapping feeling had begun in his right shoulder. When he finally came back to reality he found the annoying tapping to be his mother.
“Are you OK,” she asked? She was wearing a blue nightgown, her hair looked possessed, and her face showed great concern for her son, which only grew when he didn’t respond.
“Seth! What happened? Your blinds are on the floor, you’re breathing heavy, and you’re drenched in sweat.”
Seth turned toward his mother ever so slightly, only showing her one side of his face. His eyes were wide and his mouth spelled a perfect O. “The earthquake woke me and th—.”
“What earthquake?” His mother quickly interrupted.
This time Seth turned and completely faced his mother. “The earthquake. It just happened. It was knocking stuff down all over my roo—,” he quickly stopped speaking as he noticed that everything was in its appropriate place. He had been positive that in all of the commotion he had heard various things falling to the floor. However, all that he did see lying on the floor were the same piles of books and clothes that had been there when he had gone to bed, the same piles that had been there all month.
“Seth, I think you were dreaming honey.” Seth looked back towards his mother. The concern had left her face, which was now covered with a nervous smile.
“Yea. I guess I was. It just seemed…yea it had to have been a dream.”
After a few moments filled with an awkward silence, the two said good night. Seth laid back down in bed, still confused about the events that had just taken place. He was almost certain that what had happened had definitely not been a dream. It had been real, or had it just been an extremely realistic dream. For the next hour he pondered this until once again he was swimming in his dreams.
His mother however felt as if she were living a nightmare. She knew that this day would one day come, but she never thought this soon. She always figured it would happen when Seth was older, more mature, more responsible, not when he was just a senior in high school. What about college? Could it really be time? If it was, Mrs. Seymour had a lot to do, in a very little amount of time. She wasn’t sure if Seth was going to be ready, but she knew ready or not, he was the one. Mrs. Seymour did not go back to sleep that night, but instead sat at the kitchen table, drinking coffee, and preparing herself for what was to come next.