Creed slept for eight weeks straight after giving himself the injection, the toll on his body from the vaccine brutal. He was lethargic, often times unresponsive, and his body’s inability to keep a consistent temperature was disheartening to both Brynn and Dallin.
“Dallin,” Brynn said, walking into the bedroom where Creed was sleeping.
Dallin, sitting in a chair next to Creed’s bed, looked up. He nodded at Brynn before refocusing on Creed. He stood and leaned over Creed, slowly, methodically touching Creed’s face and neck to check his external temperature. Dallin took Creed’s pulse and logged the reading on a notepad dedicated to Creed’s vital statistics. “He seems to be stabilizing a bit.”
Brynn sat down on the bed next to the one occupied by Creed and sighed, “It’s been a long road.”
“It has, but I assure you, it will be worth it,” Dallin offered in a calm, almost eerie tone. Dallin cleared his throat, the noise prompting Brynn to look at him. Her head started to spin as she and Dallin shared an intense stare. As if she had been drinking, Brynn was consumed with dizziness. Panic encased her and her face showed her displeasure.
“Stop it!” she snapped, her hands covering her eyes, but her cries went unheard. Her mind took her out of the bedroom and to place she had never been before. She felt as if she was moving toward a bright light. Brynn tried to divert her thoughts, but her efforts were futile. Her mind was out of her control.
It was as if she was watching a motion picture of herself, but slower, quieter, and less colorful than real life. Brynn looked at her feet as she walked through granules of moist, blonde sand. Her white sundress gently swayed with the breeze, and the smell of saltwater engulfed her. She could feel herself sigh. Ocean waves crashed against the beach next to her and Brynn shivered from a cool breeze coming off the water.
Someone called her name and she turned around. Creed, dressed in a white shirt and tan rolled up slacks, slowly approached her and embraced her. She could smell him and hear him profess his love for her. He walked with her to the large white gazebo placed randomly amongst a horizon of sand. Standing inside the gazebo was a faceless man dressed in a white suit and holding a white book. Brynn could feel herself turn to Creed and smile. In slow motion, he said, “I do,” before Brynn’s mind violently snapped back to the present. She took many deep breaths before slowly opening her eyes.
“You controlled my mind. It was like I was having an out of body experience,” she said as she glared at Dallin, not knowing if she had enjoyed the hallucinative experience or not.
“My trait—it’s different now. I can control how you feel, what you see in your mind. I can control what endorphins I put out and what endorphins you put out. I can alleviate physical pain. … That’s the best thing I can do. I can only imagine what Creed is going to be able to do,” Dallin whispered as he stood and walked to the door. Just before he passed through the doorway, he said, “I can kiss Aspen, Brynn. I can kiss her without knocking her out or making her high. I can hold her while she sleeps. It’s worth it. It will be worth it for you and Creed, too. … I promise.”