A New Way to Heal (Origins, Part 1)

Submitted into Contest #51 in response to: Write about someone who has a superpower.... view prompt

89 comments

Fantasy Science Fiction

Time travel, they called it. It took a while to get used to.

I couldn’t change anything from the past. Dr. Miller said that was good- no pesky Butterfly Effect ruining the world- but it seemed like a cruel joke to me. Dr. Miller assured me that anything could happen if even something small changed in the past. Trust her, it was better this way.

The first time I went back I was alone in the lab. Dr. Miller and her team of scientists were watching from behind the cameras peppered throughout the room, recording me from every possible angle. 

“Okay, May,” her eager voice said over the high-tech earpiece she’d given me. Her excitement buzzed in the air. “Show us.”

I closed my eyes. Go back, all the way back to first grade, seven years ago. March third. Travel through space. Zero in on the closet in my room, eight o’clock AM. A tingle swept through my body. 

But I didn’t move. 

I kept my eyes shut. “Dr. Miller, it’s not working.” 

“May,” she breathed, her voice husky with awe. “Open your eyes.”

I did. 

I saw nothing. It was dark and quiet. Then I heard it-

Running water. A high-pitched voice. “Ryan, hurry up! I need to brush my teeth!” 

I staggered back in shock, bumping up against the wall and something soft. I felt it. A ski jacket, one I remembered. 

“Mom! Ryan’s taking too long!” 

Tears sprang to my eyes at the sound of the next voice. “Ryan, let May use the bathroom. You’ve been in there too long.” 

Dr. Miller whispered in my ear. “May, you’ve done it. All the work we’ve done, everything it took- you’ve finally done it. Where are you?”

A minute passed. “May? Where are you?”

She realized after another bout of silence. “Oh, May.” She sounded sad. “You can’t change anything. You know that.” 

I pushed open the closet door. Dr. Miller must have heard the creak, because now panic had crept into her words. “May? What are you doing?” 

The sound of the pipes shut off. “Hurry up!” first-grade me yelled, banging on the door. 

“Geez, chill out, May! I’m coming!” The words were muffled through the door, but unmistakably Ryan’s. He opened the bathroom door. Heat and humid mist wafted into the hallway. 

“Great, you probably used all the hot water.” The door slammed. I knew Ryan was walking to his room now, his back to my room’s door. If I could just see him… 

I crept out of the closet, despite Dr. Miller’s worried voice urging me to stay where I was. It was strange seeing my old room, like a ghost of me had left tracks all over a space I’d thought was familiar. It was, just not exactly how I had remembered. The small details, like the paint that peeled in the corners, or the way the carpet felt, had somehow escaped my memory.

My bed was small and pink. The windows had decals stuck on them, trinkets from a birthday party goody bag. There was my old alarm clock with the cartoon characters. My hand ghosted over my comforter, almost afraid to touch it. 

I lightly tapped open the door. I was just in time to see Ryan right before he closed his door. Waves of emotions slammed through me. My brother, Ryan. My last view of him flashed before my eyes, fear on his face, fierce love in his eyes as he unbuckled his seatbelt and threw himself in front of me. I remembered his body crashing into mine, breaking my finger and saving my life. My finger still hung oddly, a wonky digit compared to my others. It never fully healed. It was a constant reminder of his sacrifice. I remembered later, feeling dazed as they pulled him off me. He was completely still. Blood dripped from the windshield glass that punctured his back. 

“May! Listen to me. You need to leave. Now.” I’d almost forgotten Dr. Miller. “I know it hurts, honey. But you have to come back.”

I thought about the lab. How they nurtured my abilities, how the scientists had become my friends. Dr. Miller- my foster mom- loved me. I knew that. But she could never heal me. 

My dead mother called from downstairs, “May! Skip the shower, we’re running late! Let’s go!” 

I quickly retreated under the bed. Little May stomped into her room, wrapped in a towel and completely dry. She threw open the closet doors. I watched as she grabbed a dress and pulled it over her head, then ran downstairs, grumbling about Ryan’s stupid shower. 

The girl was foolish. It seemed like a cliché lesson, but it was the truth: she didn’t realize how good she had it. How much she was loved. She didn’t even know how much she loved. 

But she’d realize soon. Too soon.

Dr. Miller pleaded with me to return until I finally turned off the earpiece. In the silence I was able to focus on a time and place where I was needed. I closed my eyes. Go forward three months, four days, in apartment 3G, Maryland Heights Apartments. Zero in on the hallway. Nine o’clock AM.

… 

A little girl sits on the bed. She has Kleenex next to her, shredding tissue after tissue, making a pile of snowy scraps on the comforter. She is supposed to be at school. Instead, she’s alone in the new apartment. 

Someone knocks on her door, making her jump. She leaps up, already apologizing. “Dr. Miller, I’m sorry. I just really didn’t want to go to school today-” but it’s not her. It’s a girl she recognizes. She can’t quite place her, though. 

The girl gives her a small grin. “Hi, May.”

“Hi. Did Dr. Miller send you?”

The girl shakes her head. “No one sent me. I came to see you.” 

“I didn’t hear you open the door.” 

“I didn’t need the door.”

May sits down again and ponders that a moment.

“Do you know Dr. Miller?”

“Yeah. She and I go way back.” The girl pauses. “Or something like that.” She smiles at May again. “I’m here because I need to help you. I’m not from here. This is something I have to do to heal.”

“What do you mean, heal?”

“I had people who wanted to help me. But they couldn’t. They didn’t understand me, and I understand you. I want to help you heal.” She sits down next to May.

May looks down. “I don’t need help.”

“Yes, May, you do. Trust me.” 

This cuts through to May, though she doesn’t know why. She looks up at the girl. 

“How did you get in? Dr. Miller says I have special powers, but I don’t know what she means. Do you have special powers?”

The girl nods. “Yep. Are you excited to find yours?”

“I don’t know.”

“I know it’s strange. But I won’t let you be alone.”

May leans into the girl. “Really?” 

She feels the girl’s arm around her. “Really.”

“Why are you doing this for me?”

“Because this- someone who knows what I need- that’s all I wanted. That’s all I ever wanted.” 

“Thank you.”

The girl hesitates. When she speaks, it sounds like she’s swallowing tears. “Don’t thank me. Thank yourself.”



July 22, 2020 19:30

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89 comments

B. W.
22:54 Oct 15, 2020

It's gonna be out soon today, right?

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Kate Ulrich
00:19 Oct 16, 2020

It's out!! Sorry it took so long but I hope you like it. :)

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B. W.
00:21 Oct 16, 2020

:)

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B. W.
13:44 Sep 21, 2020

I just sorta added the zombie thing in the part 3 of the crossover because i wanted to make it but i'm sure all the other prompts after 'face your fears' will be much better and we could continue our crossover and some other things, dont ya think?

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Kate Ulrich
15:54 Sep 21, 2020

Yes, I think so. How are your other stories going?

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B. W.
15:55 Sep 21, 2020

Not good. I have writers block for my actual novel and when i keep trying to think of something new for another story with this weeks prompts i either can't think of anything at all or i think of very few things but i can't get far. i dunno what to do katey

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Kate Ulrich
16:47 Sep 21, 2020

Maybe you should take a break? Sometimes when I'm bored and can't think of something to write about, I just take a walk or something and then try again. After I've done some kind of light exercise I feel better. IDK if it'll help but it works for me usually.

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B. W.
16:49 Sep 21, 2020

I guess but in general this weeks prompts are so bad i'm not even sure that'll help. though i need some help on something else, ya know how i said i might turn my demi-god series into an actual novel?

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Kate Ulrich
17:19 Sep 21, 2020

Yes... are you going to?!

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B. W.
21:50 Aug 26, 2020

Heya kate, i havent made any of the stories yet but i'm here for another reason. i know you haven't made a ton of stories but i was thinking you could maybe still help. With the new prompt and stories going to come out soon i need some help with trying to get better and get better with my stories. I'm still not good at them and i thought that maybe you could help me get better with them kinda like advice maybe on what to do?

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Kate Ulrich
02:50 Aug 27, 2020

I have to tell you first that after reading 'Goddess Child' I checked out 'we're... what?!', 'hidden away...' and 'we know, do you know?' You are not 'not good at them.' You are GREAT and one of my favorite Reedsy authors. :) But if you want advice I'll do my best. One thing that always helps me is rereading my story as if I've never seen it before and expanding on what doesn't make sense or changing parts that are unnecessary. And also what I've mentioned before, when capitalization is missing it sometimes confuses me. I hope this helps and...

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B. W.
03:17 Aug 27, 2020

awww you actually liked all of those? i felt like i've always been terrible with all my stories but i guess i was wrong. Thank's for the advice still and i know i have to work on the capitalization and a few other things, though i just keep forgetting to do it tbh. GREAT at them? i'm one of your favorites?? oh my gosh- okay honestly i got so excited and happy about this that i think i almost cried about it. (not sad, happy :) i think this is the first time anyones fully said that. like i said just excited and happy ^^) i'll continue to wr...

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Kate Ulrich
04:41 Aug 27, 2020

I'm glad you made them too. And I'm glad I made you happy cry, because some of your comments have made me do the same. :) :)

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B. W.
04:57 Aug 27, 2020

Aw thank's i'm kinda surprised some of the stuff i've said has made you happy cry a bit but i'm guess i'm glad as well ^^

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B. W.
22:13 Aug 24, 2020

I really like this ^^ you did a good job with this. im going to give you a 10/10 for it. i saw that you had read "goddess child" and if you can i was wondering if you could leave a comment? i'd love to see what you'd have to say and maybe there would be some advice

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Kate Ulrich
23:43 Aug 24, 2020

Thank you for your comment! It made me smile. I will make sure to comment on 'Goddess Child.' :)

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B. W.
00:13 Aug 25, 2020

alright ^^

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Kate Enoch
20:22 Aug 10, 2020

I liked your story. Quick question not related to the story... Is your name Kate or is 'Kate' a nickname short for something? My name is just Kate and people ask me if it's short for 'Kathrine' all the time.

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Kate Ulrich
01:00 Aug 11, 2020

I'm glad you liked it :) Kate is my given name too, people always ask that!

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R.T. Donlon
21:29 Jul 29, 2020

I loved the second to last line- “it sounds like she’s swallowing tears”. Good scene description!

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Kate Ulrich
11:28 Jul 30, 2020

Thank you! :)

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B. W.
22:50 Sep 13, 2020

Gonna start a new thread because i feel like that one was getting long again but here's some of the stuff: One of Zio's children is powerful probably and in danger so thats why they are sent to the camp, the villain might be Hades or something else like a lot of cyclops's or something i'm not entirely sure. Indigo and Iris might actually have another child who might be another character in the spin off at some point, the whole camp is in danger and not just one or two demi-gods there, blake and your other characters will be guiding the chara...

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B. W.
00:40 Sep 14, 2020

so what do you think? ^^

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Kate Ulrich
13:22 Sep 14, 2020

That all sounds great. Have you started writing the spinoff yet or are you still brainstorming?

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B. W.
13:28 Sep 14, 2020

Thanks ^^ and no i plan to write the spin off after the original ends which will probably be after our crossover, i still need to brainstorm. Though have you maybe thought of anything for Legend of Evie? that's one of the things i really need to work on.

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Kate Ulrich
14:29 Sep 14, 2020

I haven't, I'm sorry. I've been working on the crossover mainly. Also, quick question: can I have Lia's weapons be daggers? She just seems like that kind of character: quick, small, deadly.

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B. W.
14:31 Sep 14, 2020

Yeah sure i don't see why not ^^ and thats still fine :) though with the spin off i think i actually have a few ideas for Meg and the others if ya wanna know? its a few ideas so i'm not entirely which i would go with. i already told you one idea but i have a few more now

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B. W.
14:23 Sep 06, 2020

Heya kate i think i might need some more story ideas for something

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B. W.
20:54 Sep 06, 2020

If thats alright though, i know i keep asking you a lot

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Kate Ulrich
01:43 Sep 07, 2020

No it's fine! :) What kind of story?

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B. W.
01:59 Sep 07, 2020

Well its for part 3 of my shifty/princess story and i really wanna try to do something else while its still fantasy but i dont know what so i need ideas for a part 3 and ideas for a new type of story, i hope thats not to much. and sorry if the other one isnt that much for ideas i don't have any ideas for it yet or what could happen in it all i know is that it should be fantasy

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B. W.
14:23 Sep 07, 2020

I don't have writers block again but just nothing is coming to me for those for some reason

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Kate Ulrich
17:08 Sep 07, 2020

Maybe for 'something else' you could describe a battle or something in the war the kingdoms are fighting. You could come up with a whole military strategy unique to Shifty and Aura's kingdom, and describe how Shifty fights using her powers? I'll let you know if I think of something better.

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B. W.
17:13 Sep 07, 2020

No with me saying something about "Something else" i mean something new like something i haven't done yet and is also still a fantasy like most of my stories ive done i guess. What you just said is something that would be a part 3 for the shifty series or some other part along the line of it but its still really good, i'm really sorry about not really saying what the "something else" would be because i literally can't think of what it would be besides Fantasy

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B. W.
18:12 Sep 07, 2020

Sorry with this

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