Waking up in a pool of sweat with my arm itching and aching as it did when I was first marked is nothing new. However, it still leaves me breathing heavily with sweat pouring down my face, the entire room around me dark because the sun has not risen yet.
I was four when I got my first tattoo... not that I remember it much at all, because I was four, but in the back of my mind, I can still feel that stinging needle connecting with my chubby baby arms, the same way I wake up feeling the itch and pain when I wake up.
Even now, I can feel that pain, and it has been eighteen years since then. I feel like the pain was worse than any other pain, because I was young and innocent, not marred by a world that hates me for some genetic malfunction that one of every three million people has.
I am what's called a Mistake; now, before you laugh, believe me when I say that I am not making a joke. My parents never hated me, they never saw me as a Mistake, but using the word "inhuman" is too Marvel-like, and "metahuman" is stealing from The Flash. And of course, the world in 2025 is not too creative, so all of the ones who were born with the malfunction are literally called "Mistakes."
Sure, there is a proper name for the malfunction, but it's lengthy and doesn't have the same spark as calling us Mistakes.
We aren't even unique in any way; all of us got the same telekinetic abilities, but most of us do not live past age seven, so it is pretty difficult to know if anyone gets a special add on ability as they age.
Contrary to what the movies and TV shows say, we do not have difficulty controlling our abilities, unless we are in severe pain or are being released from a holding cell and have the cuffs that restrict our abilities removed.
I have never had difficulties with mine; the only reason that they figured out I was one of the Mistakes has everything to do with the test every child at the age of three has to take part in, including brain scans, blood tests, and a plasma drawing.
Then, if you are one of the lucky ones and don't have the malfunction, you get to go home and live a normal life. If you end up like me and have the malfunction... well, you are put through the same tests once a month for a full year in order to confirm that the test was not off or damaged, and then you get tattooed on your left wrist with a number, preceded by the letter "M."
Mine is M-13, meaning I was the thirteenth child born in 2003 to have been identified as one of the malfunctioned ones. I believe there were seventy four kids born in 2003 who were identified, but I haven't met any of them, since that is a worldwide number, not a state or nationwide number.
I am twenty two now, and I have tried to adapt to be a normal person, but the stupid, broad symbol on my arm has kind of revealed itself to my hometown and everyone knew who I was without knowing my name.
I'm not allowed to leave the country, there are stores I cannot go into because people like me aren't welcome... everyone says that we're a progressive world, but that progression is swiped under the rug when it comes to someone who can move shit with their mind.
Not that I blame the world for their fear, but how am I more dangerous than a psychopath with a gun? Hell, no one is scared until they see the mark on my arm!
I moved away from home four years ago, since my dad is a wealthy lawyer and decided to go ahead and pay for an apartment for me so I could get a fresh start away from home in Portland, Oregon, since the city is pretty big and it's known to be accepting of people like me.
However, it does not say in the brochure that "accepting" translates to "fetishizing anyone with the malfunction" because somehow everything can be fetishized in Portland.
I'm glad my parents helped me get out of our dumb little town out in Montana where everyone was scared of me, but it didn't really change me much. I only take online college courses and I rarely go out, unless it's for groceries and only then do I go to ones where it is really busy and there's self checkout lines so I do not have to interact with anyone who could figure out what I am.
My online classes are boring, and I do not know how a degree will help me when I have been trying to find a job for four years since I got here, but I have been denied since I am required by law to put whether or not I was born with the genetic malfunction.
Most places immediately have responded with the "I'm sorry, this position has already been filled" or they just ghost me.
Sucks to be a Mistake, but it is something that I cannot change. Research and such has been done for years in attempts to figure out how to stop the malfunction from occurring, but there's a lack of volunteers, since the only ones who can be studied are the ones with the malfunction and none of us are too determined to be studied by the same people who tested and made us the outcasts of society.
I still receive emails and phone calls about it, but they go ignored. It is not worth my time to be involved with people who are trying to run tests on me and remove the malfunction, because knowing American scientists, they'd probably kill all of the people with the malfunction before they found a "cure."
And even then, we would probably be caught at an awkward in between, where we would not be fully human, but we would not have all of our abilities. So, it would not be worth it at all.
I wipe some of the sweat off my brow, but I am not the best at recovering after one of my panic attacks and I sweat for nearly twenty minutes before I can relax. Thankfully, as I said before, I had incredible control over my... I can't call them powers, because they're really more of an inconvenience, so I supposed I refer to them more as my malfunction.
Whatever they are, I have control and the only thing that happened when I woke up was a slight flickering of my lamp, before I fully got up and the room plunged back into darkness.
It is six in the morning and I still have a lot more time to sleep, but I do not have any desire to go back to bed and relive my nightmares.
Since my classes are all online, I do not have anywhere to be, and since I do not have a job or any desire to leave my apartment, I am trapped here.
I turn on the television and watch a bit of Good Morning America, and while I understand it is a morning show, who the hell wakes up to watch television at six in the morning on purpose?!
The reporter talks about the weather for the next week, and I watch it with interest even though it will not really affect me at all. Since, you know, I rarely leave. The only concern I have is for the apparent rainstorm on Wednesday, because my apartment has lost power during storms in the past.
She throws out a couple of stupid jokes about the upcoming storm as I take out my phone and set an online order for coffee, requesting that the DoorDash food deliverer will leave my coffee and food outside the door.
I would hate for anyone to start the morning seeing a Mistake, unless they're looking for a boost of adrenaline and want to tell all of their friends that they had a near death experience.
While I wait for my food, the news suddenly changes to a yellow and black screen with a loud ringing sound, similar to an Amber Alert, blaring through the speakers.
I try to turn down the volume, but the ringing is still echoing in my ears.
"Breaking news!" the television exclaims in a low voice. "The following statement will be descriptive and could be inappropriate or traumatizing for children. A local teenager has been found dead. He was hung to a brick wall, his body held to the wall by several knives. Police believe that an individual with the genetic malfunction known as Mistacesemia is responsible for the murder, as no person of normal strength could force a weapon through a brick wall the same way. No evidence of the murderer was found at the scene of the crime, but police are still on the lookout for the killer. We will be investigating all of those with the malfunction who live in the area, but until the murderer is found, we recommend staying in at night and traveling in groups. This has been a message from the Oregon Supernatural Investigation Unit."
My jaw drops.
There's not many Mistakes in Portland that I know of, so I will definitely be taken in and investigated. These idiots are going to think it is me!
A knock at my door makes me jump, and I open it to find two men in black suits outside my door.
Damn, they move fast.
"The set for Men In Black is in the building down the street," I say, making one of the men smirk and the other just raise an eyebrow. "Can I help you two? It is only six in the morning and I am very busy."
The non-smirking guy opens a folder. "Silas Murray?" he asks, and I nod slowly. "You need to come with us."
"Is this about the crazy murderer on the news?" I ask, leaning on my doorframe. "Because it wasn't me, so you guys should move on to the next room."
The previously smirking guy frowns. "We have to take you in. They want to interview everyone with the Mistacesemia malfunction," he says, taking out a pair of thick handcuffs, and I can tell they are the kind made specifically for people with the malfunction to keep them from using their powers.
I have never been cuffed before and it is making my heart race. I don't want them taken off and then lose control. "Wait," I say as he leans forward to cuff my hands. "If I go willingly can we avoid the handcuffs?"
Non-smirking guy starts to shake his head, but thankfully his partner nods and puts them away.
"Fine," he says, reaching toward me to probably grab my shoulder, but I brush past him.
"Don't touch me, either," I tell him, even though I don't really mind, but I just want to show that I will not be pushed around by these idiots.
A guy in a red DoorDash shirt walks down the hall.
"Is that for Silas Murray?" I call, and he nods. "It's mine."
I take my iced coffee and take a long drink out of it. "If I knew I was going to be taken away by two guys from the group dedicated to ruining my life this morning, I would have gotten an extra shot," I mumble as they stand at my sides, guiding me toward the elevator.