Run, Olivia

RUN, OLIVIA

“Run, Olivia, run”.

It was only a whisper, but she would recognize that voice even in her sleep, and normally would have been off as a dart before even realizing what she was running from.

There was always a sense of urgency when he called because… well, everything with Noah was desperate, and needed to be done immediately. Sometimes he even made you believe lives depended on it and someone could be on their way out of this world if you didn’t mop the water you spilled on the kitchen floor when he told you to. It was useless to try to get him to see there was the greater danger of getting the whole house burned down if the dry pot on the stove wasn’t checked first.

It’s not that hard to see how he soon began to be regarded as the boy that cried wolf ─

His enthusiasm simply did not match the circumstances he got all that excited and exuberant about, usually.

But every time, she would get up and run, after admonishing herself and coming to terms with the futility of the hurry-scurry.

At least have a basic understanding of what the situation is first, she told herself the last she spilled hot coffee on herself again during her quiet time.
Yes, even that he wouldn’t let her have in peace.

Sometimes she wondered how they were related.

One time she really considered the possibility that one of the nurses at the hospital might have been careless and unknowingly switched babies, ergo supplying her with a brother she was convinced was the reason for everything that was wrong with her life.

She explained her theory to her family. Her mother said she was doing too much and needed to rest.

Her own daughter said they looked alike, and then proceeded to produce a side by side collage of photos from babyhood to adulthood.

Thanks a lot, child! You’re supposed to be my daughter!

Yes, there was that small hole in the theory, because she really did look like her brother, but she never said the theory was flawless.

This time though, there was a certain darkness about his voice ─ so much so that she froze, unable to move, like her feet were stuck to the ground like lego.
Seeing his sister unmoving, evidently disconcerted ─ either that, or the wolf thing was finally catching up with him, and she just plain didn’t believe him ─ there was no time to ascertain which, he came out from behind the kitchen door where he’d been hiding, and dragged her out of the house to safety.

They hid behind cars and junk in the garage ─ yes, junk that had always pushed his sister’s buttons all the wrong way because he wouldn’t throw anything out ─ that same junk was finally providing covering and possibly, shield that was saving their lives now. He knew better than letting her see that point now though because she was hysteric and stringing words in sentences that made absolutely no sense.
And the hysteria heightened when she saw hooded people coming out of the house.

Deciding it was pointless to talk to her, he tried to open the garage door that led to the house. She followed him.

“Stay here”, he said, handing her a spanner, “I need to get the keys and some things from the house”.

He pointed to the spanner, “Don’t be afraid to use it if you have to”.
She dropped the spanner like it had just stung her, “I just want to get my baby”.

“What?”

“Abby is her room”.

When he just stared, and said nothing, she began to cry, “She’s sick and had to skip school today”, she said, “What is going on, Noah? Who are these people?”

Now he was frantic.

“We need to get her out that house”, he told his sister, “Pray”.


(Excerpted)

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