世间奇伟诡怪之脑洞尽在余之颅内喀斯特。

失而复得 Reclaimed Chapter 1

失而复得

Reclaimed

Chapter 1

“同学,同学?你帮我看一下它这第八行应该咋填啊?”

Next to Aaron sat a pale, skinny girl in glasses, timidly asking for help as if she could faint any second now. He sighed internally, yet still managed to cast a smile out on the surface. It was the CBP Declaration Form—seriously? The eighth one on this flight. Somewhere deep inside he felt an impulse to lash out at these failing-from-the-start students, to tell them to go back and stay trashed so that they don’t have to humiliate themselves and his beloved motherland. But what he actually uttered was, “Sure, miss, the pleasure is all mine.”

Aaron handed the form back to that girl without another word, turning back to his seat, gently rubbing his right temple. The flight and all those forms already wore him out. “I shan’t help another one. Not anymore. If I did, then I would quit a Qi.” Aaron swore to himself.

“Yo, boy, you willing to fill this out for me?”

It came from a woman from another aisle. Dark hair, brown pupils and eyebrows, funny nose tip, roundish face and roundish eyes, speaking in northern British accent—curious. “Why can’t a lady from Black Pool get over with the declaration by herself?”

“Fairly observant. But it’s in Chinese. They’ve given me the wrong form.”

“You can always ask for another one, miss.” Aaron resisted.

She tipped her head slightly tilted, looking around, “God knows where those stewardesses have gone. I couldn’t find them. Please. My name’s Clara, by the way.”

Looking for a definition of “desperately miserable?” Check out Aaron’s face now. Frowning, he took over the form reluctantly. “Seriously,” Aaron lamented silently, “come another one and I will hijack this Boeing 747.”

As filling out, he heard a beverage cart approaching. “Would you like something to drink? Coffee, tea, or Coca-Cola?”

“橙汁!” that timid Chinese girl who was asking for Aaron’s help impatiently called out to the stewardess. He blushed. He had never felt so humiliated. Veins around his temples were pumping ever so fiercely as if putting up a drama.

Then the stewardess turned to him. “After you.” Aaron nodded to Clara.

“Orange juice please.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

There was something weird. Though overwhelmed by fatigue, Aaron still captured a sly disturbance in the air— the tattoo on the stewardess’ neck, in a winding, complex, neoclassical pattern, felt like, alive, like serpents, like… sarffs. “Am I hallucinating already?”

“I am sorry? What do you like, sir?”

Aaron shook his head slightly, “Sorry, never realized that I was saying it out loud. Hmm… tell me, what are those broken glasses doing in her orange juice?”

“Sorry, sir. I must have misheard what you said. Broken glasses? There isn’t any.”

“Drink it then.”

“Sorry?”

“Drink it then if you insist that there are no broken glasses in the juice.”

The movement of the stewardess froze still in a sudden. Aaron elevated his brows, glaring at her, and then blootered against the cart, driving it to clash on the poor stewardess. Poor she might be, yet stewardess she was not. Her tattoo blasted out into a raven, which directly charged itself towards the Clara’s stomach.

But what happened next? The plane has stopped—the clouds outside the window were motionless. Passengers sat still in their seat, hands holding the cups as if they tended to take a sip. The stewardess and the raven, both frozen in the thin air, with an astounded look in their pupils. Everyone else’s been petrified, however, Aaron still sensed his heart thumping ever so violently in his chest. What happened?

“Time has ceased, Mr. Qi, that is, if you are searching for an explanation.” Clara stood up and walked about while her sight was always clinging to his visage. “You are truly gifted, young man. Come with me.”

“To where?”

“Look around—where do you anticipate? I would say, the realm of wonders.”

“Are you an alien?”

“Pure human, mister. But the stewardess, she is half human, half Myers.”

“It seems that you’ve already got everything under control. Why do you need me then?”

“Temporarily, yes. But that’s not enough. You saved my life and I just wanted to say thank you.”

“Don’t mention it, Clara. But I need to go to school. My sister awaits me in the U.S.”

“Your sister? You mean Christine Qi—she can take care of herself. It is you that I want to recruit.”

“Should I refuse…” Aaron raised his voice, tempting to threaten Clara.

“Then I’ll have to adopt some extreme method.” A nasty grin rose up Clara’s lips—which is normally the very last thing victims perceive, according to the orientation brochure, "Time Lord Academy, branch on Planet Earth, Survival 101.”

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