This story is by Sara Heil and was part of our 2017 Winter Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
I woke up to a burning sensation on my hand. I turned on the light and looked at my palm. There, in the middle of my hand, was a black hole of pain and misery.
I sighed and got out of bed. There was no use going back to sleep; it was going to happen again at some point during the night.
Throughout my entire life, I have gotten burned on my body for no reason. Our priest told me that something dark was touching my soul, and I had to find it in a week, or else I would die. All I knew about the dark thing was that I would know what it was if I saw it. That was four days ago, I had three days left.
I looked at myself in the mirror and flinched. There was a burn mark from my cheek to my neck. Another on my leg. They were everywhere I looked and it made me want to cry. They don’t hurt anymore, but the burns remind me of the pain I had to go through.
The burning sensation came back, and it was the most painful one I have ever had. It was so painful that I fell to the floor, tears falling down my face. Soon, I couldn’t take it anymore and I passed out.
“We have to figure out how to fix this. She only has three days left!” I heard being whispered.
“You know that means we have to talk to him. That disgrace of a soulmate.”
“Silas Sochi doesn’t deserve her.”
Right when I heard that name, everything became clear. I knew that he was the reason why I kept getting burned. I knew all the bad things he had ever done to people. I knew that the universe was punishing him by hurting me. I knew that he was the only person in the world that could help me.
“You know he lives too far away to get a hold of.”
I started to get up, even though I was still sore from the burn the size of my ribs.
“We need to find him and tell him what’s happening to me.” I said slowly, trying to sound as brave as I could.
“Zoe, you can barely walk, let alone find one of the most dangerous men on the planet!” my mom stated. She may be right, but that wouldn’t stop me.
“Mom! I will die if I don’t play out in the forest with my best friend Jason.
Jason had been my best friend for as long as I could remember. His mom was a cop and also my role model.
“No! And that’s final!” My mom said as she shut the door of my room behind her. I opened my window and got out of the house. I ran to the house next door and opened the door without knocking. I went straight for the stairs, knowing exactly where Jason’s room was.
When I got to his room, I slammed the door open. The first place I checked for him was his bed. He always sleeps until noon.
I ran to the bed and started shaking him awake. If it was any other day, I would go under the sheets with him and cuddle.
“Zoe, stop. I’ll eat breakfast when I’m ready.” He stated groggily.
“It isn’t about that. I know how to save myself, and I need you to help me.” He started to groan and get up.
“What’s the plan?” He asked with a smile.
“We have to find Silas Sochi and tell him who I am.” I said, cringing after I finished my sentence. Jason didn’t know that Silas was my soulmate and that he was the reason for all the burns on my body.
“Why would it matter if he knew who you were?” He asked, his head turned to the side in confusion.
“I might, sorta be his soulmate.” I muttered, trying my hardest to not be audible. All Jason did was sigh, and get out of bed.
“Alright, let’s go eat some breakfast and then get going. How many days do you have until, you know?”
“Three days until I die from this.” Jason flinched when I said the word die. We always thought that we’d be together for the rest of our lives, so when my expiration date was found out, Jason didn’t take it too well.
We walked out of his room to find his mom cooking breakfast. Jason thought the best place to find some information was his mom. We walked to the counter and waited for her to look at us.
“Hey guys what’s up?” she asked, confused about our recent strange behavior.
“Mom do you know anything about Silas Sochi?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“School project” we both said at the same time.
“He’s a dangerous man with a bad past. He’s on almost every most wanted list. Most people who try to find him end up dead.” Jason and I both gulped as she said her last sentence. This might have not been a good idea, but it had to be done.
“Zoe, you ready to go?” Jason asked, holding his hand out for me to grab.
“ Let’s get this over with,”
. . .
It took two cab rides and one bus to get here, but we made it to the city. During the bus trip, we heard stories about how Silas runs Astenard, and that he didn’t care who got in his way. Jason and I hoped that it would be different, since I was his soulmate.
We asked everyone we passed if they had seen him. Most people looked at us with fear in their eyes and ran away. Some told us to stop looking. The entire day, overall, was a bust. We got a hotel room for the next few days, hopefully not my last ones.
We got into the hotel room and passed out on the bed. It was a long day, and my legs didn’t work that well since each leg had a burn on it. We only had two more days left.
The second day was just as bad as the first one. No one talked to us, unless it was absolutely necessary. How were we going to find him if there was no one who would help us? I should just accept my fate, and get over it.
That night, I was woken up with a sharp pain on my back. As I woke up, I saw that people were kidnapping us. I sat up fast and tried to wake up Jason, but before I could, a large pair of hands grabbed me. I tried to scream out for Jason, but the mystery man drugged me before I could. Soon I was falling into a deep sleep.
When I woke up, I saw Silas standing in front of me. It was the first time I saw him in person, and I was surprised that he looked that good.
I walked up to him. At first, I was happy to see him, see my soulmate. Then I got angry. He was the reason I was in this mess. Why I was burned all over my body. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a week, and I’m glad it’s finally here.
“Hi, my name is Zoe Grant.” His eyes widened when he heard my name. I knew he went through what I did when I first heard his name. Maybe there was some hope after a-
“Why should I care?” He asked with a scoff. No matter how tired I was, or how much I was leaning on Jason, I ran towards Silas.
“Listen here. I am not going to just sit here while you pretend you don’t know what is happening to me or how you’re a part of it. I’ve had to live with this my entire life because of you. So you better try to help me find a way to fix this, you horrible human being!” By the end, I was yelling at him, grabbing onto his shirt, tears in my eyes.
“Sorry, but I can’t help you,” he said smugly. Without even thinking, I slapped him in the face.
Jason quickly came to my side and started pulling me away from Silas before I did anything else. As I was hugging into Jason’s shoulder, I heard him gasp.
I looked over at Silas and saw that his body was getting the burn scars that I used to have. I felt my own body feel stronger.
“What’s going on?” I asked Jason, trying not to listen to the screams of Silas.
“He’s getting what he deserves.” Jason grabbed my shoulder and we walked out of the warehouse.
I looked up at Jason, and thought for a while.
“Hey Jason,” I whispered, I could barely hear it over the screams that were still being echoed
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
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