Lift

by

Yameena Shameem

(When she was four years old, while walking her to her nursery, she stopped suddenly, looked at me and said in disgust, “You are so big and you know nothing!” I told her that she was right! I had shown my ignorance when she had asked me to tell her the name of the poisonous butterfly! She is a bit older now, and has now come up with a story which reflects her keen inventiveness and originality. Sharing it with you as a mild antidote for the Coronavirus. Baqir Shameem)

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(The Pacific Ocean Coast

Picture by Jafar Shameem)

 Jordyn Elizabeth Andruzzi-Walker looked back at her letter to Ms. Villalobos (the keeper of the orphanage). 

“Perfect,” she thought. She took her small bag “filled” with some necessities; a toothbrush, a comb, and a small tattered dress. 

“That’s it!! I’m outta here!” she loudly whispered. 

“Shut up, Jordyn.” a kid mumbled. 

“Oops, sorry” Jordyn replied. 

She felt excited and nervous. Her stomach had knotted. She picked up her ragged bedsheets and hastily tied them together. Jordyn threw her tied up bedsheets out of the window and  looked down. There were no street lamps around the area, so it looked like if she stumbled, she would fall into a bottomless pit. She gulped and started her descent downwards. 

“Don’t look down, don’t look down,” She kept muttering to herself. She stopped to rest for a moment. 

“Note to self, if caught, when Ms. Villalobos finally lets you decide your bed, do NOT choose the 5th floor.” she thought. 

She looked up. A knot was loosening. She froze. It unraveled so slowly, making the suspense drive her crazy. She wanted to scream, but she couldn’t risk getting caught. The ones captured escaping, were locked in the closet for months. She started falling. 

“This is the end, this is the end, this is the end.” she thought. 

She closed her eyes, hoping it would be over quickly. She opened her eyes for a split second and saw a light.

“What the— , am I dead?” she muttered. 

She looked down. She was inches away from the ground and apparently floating. She tried to get down and run but she couldn’t manage to do so. She twisted and  turned around mid-air and saw a woman. She was elegant, tall and had light hazel-brown hair and dark eyes like her. 

“Hi Jordyn” the woman said with a sparkle in her eyes. “I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure to meet before. I’m your step-aunt Tanya and I would like you to come with me.  

“Umm.. I’m sorry but I am apparently stuck in mid-air and I cannot manage to get down so I don’t think I can come with you at the moment. Also, if you are my aunt then why did Ms. Villalobos say that I had no more living relatives?” Jordyn asked, thinking that this lady was very shady.

“Well your Ms. Villabobos was telling you a big lie.” Tanya said. 

She thought it was rude and it felt weird because she looked very young. Plus, she didn’t really know her. 

“If you really are my aunt, show me some proof.” Jordyn said firmly, trying to radiate some level of confidence despite the ball of fear she felt deep in her stomach.

The lady reached into her purse and took out a picture of a handsome man with a heavy beard, holding a baby. The lady was standing next to them in the picture. She looked about Jordyn’s age in the picture. 

Jordyn weighed her options, and decided to go with the lady. Suddenly she found her feet  firmly on the ground.  As they started walking toward Tanya’s car, she heard her   explain.

“I have to take you to Sky City to meet your aunt. Those are my orders.” Tanya said.

“Where is Sky City? I’ve never heard of it before. Is it anywhere near here?” Jordyn asked, very confused.

Before entering the orphanage, she had a foster family and they had sent her to school. She was aware of most of the places in the town and had never heard of Sky City. They sat down in Tanya’s car and then Tanya started talking again.

“Wow, no one has really told you anything, huh! Well then, I’ll tell you, and I’ll answer your questions. We do have a really long ride ahead. ” Tanya sighed.

She looked sideways and smiled at Jordyn.

“There are people in this world called levitators and gravitators. The levitators have the power of decreasing gravity and the gravitators have the power of increasing gravity. In other words, Levitators can fly in the sky without any difficulty like normal humans do, they can also resist air pressure. Gravitators, on the other hand, can easily travel through the Earth. They can burrow deep within the ground without any problems of heat and pressure.  In the beginning of time, there were two people that discovered these powers: Alexandria  Andruzzi the Levitator and Ozibras Walker the Gravitator, the most powerful of their kind in history. They individually received one of these powers. Walker wanted to use his powers of increasing gravity to take over the world, and Andruzzi wanted to use her powers to forever protect the Earth and its people. They got in a huge fight and then decided they would form their own armies to go to war with each other. One was called the Levitators and the other the Gravitators. 

They married  like normal people and claimed and occupied their territories, ‘Sky City’ by the Levitators which is up above the clouds and ‘Gravitator Grounds’ by the Gravitators, cose to the earth’s core.  You should understand that as persons normally if they have more than one child, all of them get powers of either levitation or gravity (depending on what you are), and one of them carries a special gene that makes them more powerful than their siblings. This happened with only the Levitator families somehow. The gravitators were ordered to kill all of these Levitator people that carried this gene, so that there aren’t many left. 

A person named Andruzzi had this special gene and became leader of the Levitators and a person  named Walker became ruler of the Gravitators. Your mother, Mary Elizabeth Andruzzi, was the rightful leader of us levitators and your father is the leader of the Gravitators. They had a forbidden marriage and ran away and had you. Your grandparents found out about this and exposed them. They were forced apart. But what your grandparents didn’t know is that they had you. Your mom and dad agreed that they would send you to a human orphanage, because they thought you never got any gene. When it was your mom and dad’s time to rule, your grandpa sent an army to kill your mom and your father was devastated.

Your aunt Michelle was forced to rule even though she didn’t carry the gene. The reason we only use the ones with the special gene to rule our land is because they make sure that Sky city remains in the sky and also remains hidden from humans. You see, after all of us Levitators moved on the cloud we call it our home. When the clouds get heavy, they get very easily noticed. The extra power that the special ones have is supposed to be used to keep them hidden. Your Aunt Michelle cannot hold and keep Sky City hidden. She is slowly becoming weaker by the minute. So then, we all thought that there was no hope for us Levitators, until we found out about you. Even though you might not carry that gene, we think that there is an 80% chance that you do. You are our last hope, Jordyn.” Aunt Tanya looked at her and said dramatically.        

“Ok, so you’re saying that there are people that are called levitators and gravitators and they hate each other and my parents were also these people and they had a forbidden marriage and my parents were king and queen of their own kind and then my mom died because she married my dad and now my aunt Michelle is ruling?” Jordyn summarized. 

“Yeah, that technically was everything.” Tanya said seriously.

“Ok, so if you are my dad’s sister, and my dad’s a ‘Gravitator’ person, how are you a ‘Levi-whatever’?” Jordyn asked jokingly. She still thought that this was all fake.

“I’m your dad’s step-sister.” Tanya said.

Jordyn tried to hold in her laugh. She still didn’t believe her, but she thought it would at least be better than the orphanage which had that dreaded Ms. Villalobos. 

“Ok, you might want to hold onto something because we’re about to take off!” Tanya said, excited.

“What?! What do you mean, take off?” Jordyn exclaimed.

 “This car can fly, now hold on to something!” Tanya said loudly. 

Jordyn looked out through the window and noticed the ground was so much below them. Now she believed Tanya. This was crazy! They kept rising into the air. In a book she had read that as the main character went up in a plane her ears kept popping. But surprisingly, she found that her ears weren’t popping. She wanted to believe that she was just not high enough for them to start popping so she relaxed a bit. She looked at Tanya and noticed that she was sweating and panting.

“Are you ok?” Jordyn asked. 

“Hehe, it’s kinda hard to levitate an entire car, if that’s what you’re asking.” Tanya replied.

Jordyn was amazed. Tanya was much stronger than she thought. She looked outside the window and saw a huge floating island. It had huge buildings and the clouds above the island She saw a huge billboard which had “Sky City” written on it.
“Woah!! Sky City does exist!!” Jordyn said, surprised. 

She pinched herself quickly to make sure she was awake.  People were floating everywhere. Even the buildings were floating! Jordyn saw a huge castle that looked like it was made out of silver. It looked like a fairytale but with more techy stuff. 

“I have to take you to Sky Castle to meet Queen Michelle, and then we’ll have to take your DNA test to see if you have that gene, and after that we’ll head over to my house.” Tanya said, seeming annoyed as soon as she had said “Queen Michelle.” 

They flew close to the castle. It looked even prettier up close. They flew on the “road” which was a very, very long grey cloud; instead of driving on it, the cars floated on it! 

“Ugh this darn traffic. It’ll take forever!” Tanya groaned. 

“Can’t you just fly over all the cars?” Jordyn asked.

“Nope, I can’t do it without an express card or if the royal family invited me.” Tanya sighed.

“But the royal family did invite you, right? Because of me?” Jordyn asked, very confused. 

“Oh yeah! Whoops, I forgot.” She pulled out an invitation from the royal family and put it on the dashboard. They floated up right out of their spot and sped towards the castle. There was a man who stopped them.

“Why were you invited to ze castle?” The man said in a thick french accent.

“I was invited to deliver the niece of the queen to be tested for the special gene.” Tanya said.

The man nodded and signaled the other guards to let them in. They drove slowly onto the castle grounds. They parked on the curb and headed inside. A royal guard escorted them to the door. The hallway was very long and had bright red carpeting. There was a huge chandelier, but it wasn’t hooked to the ceiling. It was floating! It seemed as if it would fall at any moment.

They walked to the throne room. Jordyn saw a woman with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She was wearing a very long dress and had a crown on her head. Next to her were three kids. One boy and two girls. They looked nothing like the woman. They all had dark skin but still looked different from each other. The older girl had dark brown hair and very light brown eyes which looked almost orange. She was about Jordyn’s age. The boy looked like the boy version of the girl except he had dark brown eyes and looked much more royal. The youngest girl had light brown and pale silver-blue eyes. She looked about seven or eight years old. She looked very pale compared to her brother and sister. 

“Oh my!” The woman said, “Tanya found you! I can’t believe it! I’m your aunt Michelle! This is Natalia, this is Danyal, her twin brother, and this is Sarina.” She said excitedly. 

Jordyn saw that she looked very exasperated and tired, with dark shadows underneath her eyes. 

“Oh, um, well it’s very nice to meet you. I’m pretty sure you know my name but it’s Jordyn, anyway.” Jordyn said with much less enthusiasm than her aunt Michelle. 

She was totally confused. This entire situation jumbled up her thoughts in her mind. She had so many questions.

“If I’m mistaken, dear, it seems as if you are confused.” aunt Michelle said, breaking the silence.
“O-oh, I’m sorry, this just is all so ironic. And very random. And confusing. And- “ Jordyn was cut off. 

“Ah, I see. I will answer all your questions and concerns after someone leaves us.” Queen Michelle glared at Tanya. Tanya glared right back at her.

“I think you are mistaken, your majesty,”  Tanya said mockingly, “But Jordyn is coming to stay with me.” Aunt Michelle gave her a dirty look. 

Jordyn looked around the room and observed that  all the guards and her cousins were shocked, as if Tanya had said something to Aunt Michelle that was extremely rude. Well, she did say something extremely rude. 

“WHO ARE YOU TO INSULT HER HIGHNESS!!” A guard yelled at Tanya, who smiled. Aunt Michelle did not seem to appreciate it.

“That’s quite alright, Henry. But, Tanya, under whose orders? Surely you are not telling Waltazar about this? Did he tell you this?” Aunt Michelle asked, disgusted. 

Jordyn hated bickering, but this seemed too extreme to interfere in. She looked at Tanya, who appeared extremely shocked, the color draining from her face. 

“I will NOT put up with you false accusations! Waltazar, why I haven’t seen him in YEARS! And to prove it, YOU CAN TAKE HER IF YOU INSIST!” Tanya shouted and ran out of the castle. 

Aunt Michelle looked surprisingly pleased. Jordyn was very shocked. Who was Waltazar? 

“Ok then.. I-I am going to go to my powder room.” Aunt Michelle said, and left the room,  elegantly. 

“So… Um, do they usually fight like that?” Jordyn asked her cousins.

“All the time.” Natalia said, looking disappointed.

“But why?” Jordyn asked. 

She didn’t know why, but she felt pretty annoyed, judging by the look on their faces.

“Something happened, years ago, I think at the time when your mom was uh,” Danyal looked at Jordyn sympathetically, he didn’t want to mention anything that would make her sad. 

“It’s ok, you can say it. I never really knew her anyway.” Jordyn said calmly.

 She really was not hurt by the mention of her mom’s death. 

“Oh, ok. Well something happened around that time which made them turn rotten on each other.” He said.

“It’s hard to believe they were ever friends.” Sarina piped in.

 Jordyn nodded. They all waited in silence for the queen to return,which was awkward.

“I’m sorry about that. She seemed to have touched a nerve there.” Aunt Michelle said when she finally returned. 

Jordyn was relieved. She didn’t know how long she could’ve stayed in that awkward silence. Aunt Michelle looked around suspiciously, as if she thought someone was watching them.
“Come with me.” she whispered to Jordyn, so that the others couldn’t hear.

Jordyn followed her aunt down a very long hallway, with many rooms. The rooms had odd labels like “Zoo room” and “Portal Room”. She thought of asking Aunt Michelle, but judging by the look on her face she decided not to.

“Aha! Here we are. This is the doctor clinic.” She said. 

Jordyn was fascinated that there was a clinic in the castle. 

“I thought it would have been best for the others not to come because I have something very important to show you afterwards.” the queen said. Jordyn nodded. 

A short man came hobbling out of the office. He was wearing normal doctor attire, but he had an odd spear-like thing that had a glowing liquid in the tube that was holding a  blade. 

“Your majesty, please come in.” the doctor said. 

They went inside the clinic and noticed even weirder tools all around the room. There was a net which also had a glowing substance on it, a funny looking hat, a rope that was moving around the room on its own, and more. 

“This is Dr. Tru. He will be doing the testing to see if you have the powers.” She said sincerely. Dr. Tru gestured to her to sit down on a hospital bed. She sat down and the doctor pulled out the spear-like thing. She gulped. Dr. Tru seemed to notice. 

“This is a testing spear. The liquid in it is called detector syrup. We inject the syrup into you and it will shine different colors depending on what you are. This is a chart of what you may be.” He said. 

There were odd symbols on the page that made no sense to her. She handed the chart back to him.
“Will it hurt?” Jordyn asked. 

She did not like things getting injected in her. Especially stuff that glows.

“Only if you think about it. This syrup also detects emotions. It is especially sensitive to fear, so it will act out and your arm will feel like it’s burning. So we want it to work normally, I will put on a movie for you to watch and relax,” he said, very calmly. 

She gulped, suddenly a screen came in front of her and she watched a movie about a Levitator who lived on land. She got so hooked into the show that she didnt even notice the shock on Aunt Michelle and Dr. Tru’s faces. She turned away from the screen to see her arm glowing a bright platinum. It felt as if someone had cracked an egg on her arm. She was shocked as well. 

“What does it mean?” She asked nervously. 

She didn’t think it would be good judging by the look on the adults’ faces.

“O-oh dear, um well, this means- well it is kind of difficult to explain… um doctor, would you mind telling her?” Aunt Michelle said anxiously. 

Jordyn felt herself slouch a little. This was definitely bad. 

“This means,” Dr. Tru said, trying not to scare her, “that you have both powers of a Levitator and a Gravitator. But on top of that, you also have the special gene.” 

Jordyn’s jaw dropped. There is no way! I’m just a normal, powerless human. A normal human! She thought. 

“This makes sense, because you can touch the Earth and you can stand on clouds.” Aunt Michelle said. 

“Wait, Levitators can’t touch the ground?” Jordyn asked. 

This didn’t make much sense, for she had seen Tanya touch the ground. 

“No, we cannot. We only can touch the ground if a Gravitator gives us some of their powers through a blood transfer.” Dr. Tru said.

“Why are you asking Jordyn?” Aunt Michelle asked skeptically. 

Jordyn considered telling Aunt Michelle, but then Tanya would get in trouble. But, this was important to tell because Levitators cannot touch the ground, but she did. 

“Well I…. um, well when Tanya came to get me to the orphanage, I saw her walking on the ground.” Jordyn said anxiously. 

She wondered what would happen to Tanya. The queen surprisingly looked pleased while Dr. Tru looked outraged.

“Aha! This proves everything! Tanya is in touch with the Gravitators! Oh and I bet she knows where Waltazar is too! Come with me, Jordyn. Let me tell you what Tanya Walker did” Aunt Michelle said, smirking. 

This information seemed to make Michele very pleased. Jordyn had a bad feeling about what Aunt Michelle was going to show her, and what she was going to do with the information that Tanya had given her. But she also wondered who in the world was Waltazar.

“Just down this hallway, dear.” She said, smiling. 

They went down another hallway with many rooms. Jordyn expected that she would be going to the room at the end, but unexpectedly she took her to the room near the end of the hallway on their left. She gestured to her to go in the room and Jordyn did so. She entered and saw that this room was not a room, it was a garden, but in a room. It was very confusing. There were hummingbirds and butterflies and flowers floating and growing from the ground. But she shifted her gaze to the left and saw there was a boy, who had blonde hair but the same brown eyes that she had. He looked about her age. 

“Jordyn, I would like for you to meet Jim, your twin brother.”

BROTHER!? I HAVE A BROTHER!? Jordyn thought. She was shocked. There was no way that she had a brother! She would’ve known!  This whole Levitator-Gravitator business was driving her crazy. 

“I HAVE A BROTHER!?” Jordyn asked, very shocked. 

“I was surprised too, when I found out you existed.” Jim said. 

He sort of smiled at her and she smiled back. 

“Ok, please, sit down Jordyn. Now that I have introduced you to your brother, I can understand that you have a million questions. So first, you two are direct descendents of Alexandria Andruzzi, the greatest Levitator in history. I am also a descendent of her. Jordyn, you have the special gene, which automatically makes you the rightful ruler of the Levitators. Jim, we already tested you, to find that you have no powers, which makes sense because the powers that your sister has are a small part of your mother and fathers powers. They probably didn’t have enough power to pass it down to you. Also- ” Her aunt said quickly.

“I have a question: Who in the world is Waltazar?” Jordyn interrupted. 

Aunt Michelle’s expression looked as if Jordyn had called her a bad word. 

“Yeah, why is my middle name Waltazar? I got bullied in the orphanage for that, so he better be an important person.” Jim demanded. 

“Oh dear..” Aunt Michelle muttered. “.. Waltazar’s full name is Waltazar Wandrucci Walker, which makes him… your father.” Aunt Michelle said so quickly. It was obvious she really wanted to avoid this conversation. 

“OUR DAD?!” Jordyn and Jim exclaimed. 

“Then why did you, Queen refer to him as if he was a bad person?” Jordyn exclaimed.

“Yes he is a bad person, we really don’t speak of him… but um, I think you should know who your father is. Your father is a fake, nasty, horrid person. He tricked your mom and led her on to get her killed. This is what most of the people here in Sky City believe. But it is not fully proven. Your dad is the ki-” Aunt Michelle was cut off.

“Your majesty, we have a lead on Tanya,” A guard barged in. 

She looked over at Jordyn and Jim and said, “ummm, we should discuss this somewhere else… only if you wish , of course your majesty,” the guard said nervously, trying not to insult the queen. It was clear that she was an inexperienced guard. 

“Yes, Bella, we best not discuss this here, I will come with you, Jordyn & Jim? please find your way to the throne room.” Aunt Michelle said. They nodded. 

To be concluded ………

(Yameena Shameem is the elder daughter of Jafar and Tehmina Shameem. Yameena is in the 7th grade at Woodinville Middle School, Seattle, USA)

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(Horse Shoe Bend, Arizona USA

Picture by Jafar Shameem)

For more pictures by Jafar Shameem, please log on to  https://www.jafar.com/

 

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