The Arks: Over Heaven (by Ben)

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The Arks: Over Heaven (by Ben)

Chapter 55.5: In Vain

Part 1/7


Franklin jumped up in his seat, his head jolting awake as he carried his head off his book. A dim light buzzed over his head, the lightbulb fit to die any time soon. A moth was buzzing around near the light.

The day was February 4, 2026, his older brother’s seventeenth birthday.

At the time, Franklin was only in the sixth grade.

“What was that noise?” Franklin asked himself. He spun his office chair around and got up from his seat, taking a stretch as he did. He heard soft, inconsistent footsteps. Franklin raised his eyebrow. He couldn’t recognize them. His mother’s footsteps were silent, as she always wore socks. His uncle’s were loud and energetic. His grandparents were soft yet loud, and his older brother? His were like boots that clacked across the floor.

Fearing the worst, Franklin pointed at his head with his index finger. A spark of blue shot out and hit him. Franklin then opened the drawer up… And took out a pair of sharp scissors that were conveniently stored inside.

Franklin turned around to see a teenager wearing a white button up shirt ,thin black jacket and baggy blue jeans idly standing at the dining room. He was holding something within his hand, and Franklin tensed, a bead of sweat dripping down his face.

“I’ve been through worse, so why do I feel a little scared?” Franklin thought as he clenched the scissors tighter. He almost considered calling out for his Mom or Uncle… But what were the ‘odds’ that they’d be able to get to him in time?

Franklin felt himself growing hot, and the effects of his power suddenly kicked in. The chandelier above the mysterious stranger buzzed on, and there he was: his big brother.

He had bloodshot, wide dehydrated eyes, and dilated pupils. He was clenching his right fist, and his eyes were twitching. He looked really angry, but at the same time… really sad. Franklin could recognize dried out streaks of tears running down his eyes, and he was shaking. Franklin’s eyes darted to see what he was carrying, but by the time he looked he already put the item away.

“Hey Frankie,” his big brother dully said.


Big Brother looked up at the chandelier that had just turned on randomly.

“This place really is falling apart,” Big Brother said with tired eyes. He muttered something else under his breath, but Franklin couldn’t hear him. Big Brother took his jacket off and threw it over his shoulder, and then eyed the dining table solemnly. There were a few boxes that contained some taco leftovers. There were only a few left, but Mom and Uncle had decided to get a few carne asada tacos since that was Big Brother’s favorite.

Surprisingly, Big Brother pushed that box to the side and opted for an al pastor taco. Big Brother took a bite of the taco, but it seemed to put him in an even worse mood.

“Where’s Mom and Uncle, Franklin?” Big Brother asked as he chewed on the taco slowly.

“Oh, uh, I dunno. I think they were, uh, having an important talk? I don’t know what though.”

Big Brother sighed.

“Alright. Thanks.”

Big Brother walked away, leaving Franklin even more worried. Why was Big Brother acting this way? He hadn’t acted this gloomy since…

“Even THAT was years ago,” Franklin thought, as he put the scissors away, “But, his ‘vacations’ got him over it.”

A half hour later, and the familiar footsteps of his Mom approached him. He turned around and saw Mom and Big Brother standing behind him. His Mom looked more stressed than ever. Recently, she had disappeared for long periods of time, along with Uncle and Grandpa and Grandma. Furniture would end up disappearing too. The other day, the ten-year old living room couch had vanished without a trace. When Franklin asked about it, Mom inquired that they were selling it off to get a new one.

But today, Mom seemed very satisfied.

Big Brother had a red backpack slung over his shoulder, and Franklin nearly winced at the sight. He hadn’t seen that in a while. Big Brother himself didn’t recall how he got it, but…

Franklin knew.

And so did all of their cousins.

“You two are going to your Dad’s place, so pack up Frankie,” Mom told him.

“Dad’s? But it’s only a Thursday, and we’re spending the weekend with you this week! And it’s a school night!”

“We’re uh, going on a vacation next week, actually,” Big Brother reluctantly said. Sweat dripped from his face, “So uh, yeah. We’re going to Dad’s this weekend.”

“Oh… Okay.”

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