“terra….” A voice broke through her thoughts. The voice seemed distant amidst the scream of agony in her mind.
“hey, terra, wake up….” The voice was familiar, and growing louder, but still distant.
“TERRA! Jeez, what’s with you today?” her friend Alicia asked when she saw her friend gaze off into space again.
Terra looked over at her teenage friend who was standing next to her. Alicia, who was several inches shorter than her, had short, dark hair and dark eyes. She was quite attractive to almost all of the guys in the town, though she already had a boyfriend, who happened to be Terra’s best friend.
Terra looked around her. The scene was serene, with the grass a bright, vibrant green and birds chirping happily in the air. The cherry trees had just started blooming, and some of the blossoms had already withered, laying a carpet of pink amongst the green and scenting the air around them sweetly. However, the screams of agony she could still hear prevented her from enjoying the scene around them.
“Tell me the truth, Terra. You’ve been spacing out a lot lately.”
“You know what I am already, and you yourself can hear it, too. I know you can. Don’t you think, then, that your question is a silly one?”
“True…I can hear it, but not as well as you. What’s wrong?”
“She’s crying even louder.”
“You know who I mean. You hear the screams, too.”
“That noise, that unbearable noise you hear that no one else does…”
“What about it?”
Those two words, which would seem random and confusing, were all she needed to hear. Alicia had known all along that Terra had some special connection to the earth, as she did, but she didn’t know just how close she was. It was true—Alicia could hear an ominous, deep sound she could not explain, and only she seemed to hear it, aside from two others they knew. She never knew what it was. Terra had just explained it to her.
“You know what I mean, Alicia. Do not act stupid, I know you are not.”
“I told you already. You, Lashaun, and Rebecca. You three are the only ones around here that are in touch with earth, so I trusted you with that information.”
“We thought it was just a joke…”
“It’s not. The earth is crying. We can hear it.”
“Okay, so I get that part. But why?”
“You should know already. You’ve seen what humanity has done.”
“Everything is connected to the earth….”
“…and when you hurt the earth, you hurt everything connected to it. Yes, I know. You’ve told me.”
“Including yourselves.” She said, finishing the phrase.
“So, why are you spacing out? We can’t do anything about it.”
“Yes, we can!”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“Well, yeah, but how do we get everyone else to stop?”
“They will have to or they will face the consequences.”
“You will see soon enough.”
“When the time comes, you will know.”
“You won’t miss it.”
“Okay then. Let’s go.”
As they walked ahead, Alicia could not help but notice the troubled look on Terra’s face. A small breeze pushed an unruly lock of beautiful brown hair into her face, covering her troubled green eyes for a moment. The barely visible circles under her eyes were a bit more evident now, but still took a careful eye to see.
“C’mon, cheer up Terra! You can’t be gloomy all the time.”
Terra raised a questioning eyebrow at this, as if to ask her friend if she were being serious.
“Right, never mind. Look, we are all really worried about you. You can tell us what is wrong, you know.”
“I know I can. Why worry about me? You don’t know where I come from or who I really am.”
“You are our friend, that’s why. We don’t need to know to be concerned. I know you can hear the screaming better than I, but don’t let it get you down.”
“You don’t understand…yet. Soon enough you will, though.”
“Alright then. Come on, we are going to be late. Lashaun is waiting for us.”
A few minutes later, they had arrived at the library in the middle of the small town. They had come from the rear, so they could meet their friend at the picnic table that was chained to the cherry tree next to it. Sitting on the bench was a dark young man with blue jeans and a black t-shirt on.
“Hey babe!” Alicia smiled and shouted to him as they approached.
He smiled and waved to them in return.
“Hey, what’s up?” he said as he hugged Alicia, “Terra, why the long face?”
“She’s down because of the sounds again.”
“Yeah.” Terra said in response, “It’s getting louder.”
“Hey, we learned to deal with it. You should, too.”
“You don’t understand. That’s fine. You will soon enough.”
“Does it have anything to do with your appointment today?” Lashaun asked.
“Your intuition never ceases to amaze me.”
“Why don’t you tell us what is going on?” Alicia asked.
“I don’t want you getting involved.”
“Why not?” Lashaun inquired.
“I don’t want you getting hurt.”
“Hey now, if you’re gonna go and do something dangerous, we don’t want you to go.” Alicia said.
“I don’t have a choice. I will fill you in later. Look, there’s Rebecca.” She said as she nodded toward the girl with curly brown hair and kind, brown eyes that was approaching them.
“Hi everyone!” she said, looking and sounding cheery as always.
“Hi Rebecca. Mind sticking with them for a while? I have an appointment.” Terra asked her.
“Sure, no problem. Have fun with that.”
“Just remember,” Lashaun said as she turned to leave, “You said you would fill us in. Better come back to keep your word.”