Tori's Gift, Part 1
Chapter One

Tori woke up in a sweat. Tori Detson was a fifteen-year-old girl in Seattle, Washington. Her father was a photographer for a local newspaper and her mother a physicist. She had just had a nightmare.

This nightmare scared her but she figured that it turned out pretty good for being a nightmare. One of her friends nearly was robbed by a thug. Her friend and her friend's mother, who was the driver, walked to the car, and the robber ran. He didn't get anything.

Tori walked from her bedroom and splashed cold water onto her face. She got good grades, was a photographer for her school's newspaper, went to church, and had good friends. She loved to play with her kittens, Hershey and Reese. She knew she was lucky. But the dream left her shaken.

The next morning, Tori walked to school, trying to shake off the memory of that dream. She met up with her friend from the dream, Sarah.

"Hey, Sarah. What's up?" Tori asked.

"Oh, nothing. I stayed up pretty late last night trying to study for Mrs. Brown's test today. I'm going to the mall after school. My mom is letting me drive, finally. Do you want to come? What's a matter? Did you sleep good last night?" Sarah asked.

"Yeah, but I had a nightmare. Your car was getting robbed, but you, by a miracle, walked by and the thug ran away. Lucky you," Tori sighed.

"Well, I'm glad you didn't dream my car got stolen. I hear that dreams can be a, oh what's the word, precognition," Sarah said.

"English, please?"

"Like, you know, seeing something before it happens? You know, like déjà vu?" Sarah explained.

"Remember, you're coming to dinner tonight, right?" Tori asked.

"Oh, yeah. I won't spend too much time at the mall. Six o' clock, right?" Sarah asked.

"Right," Tori confirmed.

They walked in silence. Tori was glad to have a study hall during her first period. She thought about sleeping but then realized she might dream again. So instead she brushed her hair. Then she stopped. Something was different about the room. She thought she could hear voices, but not of any in her class.

"Loiccuár lí jeniho?" a voice asked in an incomprehensible language.

"Neya, joyo. Donaya di heré. Ló Abass'na sabayo paqe donaya di heré," a second older voice said in the same language.

"Lí sunár tu zudéai, neya?" the first voice wondered.

"Jíse, joyo, lí sunár," the second voice answered.

She sat up. She must have dozed off. But she took out her mirror and noticed that her hair was neatly brushed and clean, so she concluded that she must have fallen asleep sometime after she put on her make up.

She continued looking in the mirror. She wasn't an overly pretty girl, not one that would attract immediate attention from the guys. If the boy didn't get to know her, he wouldn't notice her. She was slightly tall, with fair skin, brown hair, and beautiful green eyes. She wore simple inexpensive clothes, because she had so many brothers and sisters. Though her mother made much money as a scientist, they had to spend their money wisely. Sometimes her clothes didn't match, though it wasn't her fault. She was color-blind.

She enjoyed watching sunsets and sunrises. Life for her was in black and white. She couldn't imagine any thing more beautiful than it was. Her parents felt sad that she never had seen a sunset the way that they had, but Tori insisted that it was still beautiful. She could still see shades of white and black; otherwise she wouldn't be able to tell anything apart. She never took an interest in make-up or fashion. It seemed pointless to her, especially without being able to see color.

Tori always liked photography. When she first saw a newspaper, she asked her father to tell her about the colors in the picture. Then he explained to her that they didn't have color. They were black and white. Tori then fell in love with the camera. Not the new digital or electronic ones, but the ones that you had to focus manually. She developed each picture herself. Some of her photos earned her some rewards, but most she kept in her room, on the walls.

Tori wondered about the dream. Her ears couldn't understand what they heard, but somehow her heart understood. She wondered how. She couldn't understand all of it, but she heard something about a protector and Jesus. She heard "Abass'na", which she somehow understood meant Jesus Christ. She had gone to church all her life, and prayed and read the Bible every day, but she felt like she was of no use to anyone. She searched for a purpose, but couldn't find one.

She remembered why she understood "Abass'na"! A few years ago, an elderly woman said that she once knew a kid in the sixties who had disappeared for a night after a rainstorm in Eastern Oregon and came back ranting and raving about "Abass'na". His parents took him to the hospital where the woman treated him. When asked, the kid said that Abass'na was Jesus.

How could I understand that Gibberish? Have I gone insane? she thought.

You aren't insane, a stronger voice inside said.