The first boy I ever kissed died three days later.
I saw how it would happen. I smelt it on his breath. The blood that would spill when they cut his throat.
It wasn’t the perfect first kiss experience I’d dreamed of. The saccharine Disney promise little girls are bombarded with. Not my first kiss. There’s nothing sweet about being able to hear someone’s death on your lips. I’m not sure I can even describe it. Perhaps if I tell you it was like a whispering ghostly wind you have to suck into your mouth? Would that make sense?
That’s all it took and then I saw, heard, and felt the moment when he would take his last gasps before his body succumbed to its ultimate demise.
Wherever that may be.
This was before we knew how much control they had. Or, I should say, how little control society had. When life was still quite normal. Back when my days were filled with text messages, selfies, schoolbooks, shopping dates and cosy movie nights curled on a sofa with my family.
This was before the Scrapers terrorised our world. The population controllers who kill every tenth person they see.
Harry, the boy I kissed, was one of their unfortunate ten. A young life cut so short. And for what? Why? Just because he was in the wrong place, at the wrong time? The wrong number.
He was quite cute for sixteen. My friends teased me he was geeky, too serious, too into me. But I liked him. He had a head full of dreams and ambitions. And one of those ambitions had been me.
But did I warn Harry of this doomed fate? Did I pull away from his lips and beg him to hide from them? Scream at him that under no circumstances must he leave his house that coming Monday, the day I had already seen it would happen?
No, I did not.
Why? I will never know. This is something I will always regret.
Perhaps I could plead youth, innocence, or even fear? A reluctance to expose myself as the freak I knew, even back then, I am.
Don’t worry. Karma got me back. She made sure I would be found and captured as I am now. Taken from my home and my family to be used as the perfect shield to protect three young men from the horrors of this new world.
This is me now.
Twenty, trapped and taunted.
Every. Single. Day.
I know I don’t deserve to complain. It’s my penance for Harry. For my parents. For my sister. For all those I did not save.
My death kiss. My gift. My blessing. My curse.
My name is Ava. Although you may also hear me called Silver.
A witch. A freak. A gifted. Or, perhaps, something in between?
I will let you decide.
This is my story. It’s not always pretty. In many parts, it is as dark as night.
But wait, there is light too.
And his name is…well, I’ll let you decide which one he is.
First, though, I must take you back a bit. To my first captor. To General Sterling: the one who first gave me the name, Silver, after the precious metal that is not only unharmed when tried by fire, but becomes refined and pure.
Like me, apparently?
At least, that’s how he justified what he did to me…