Authors: M.S. Willis
BECAUSE OF ELLISON
By M.S. Willis
This is a work of fiction and any
resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is
and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used
Ellison: Copyright © 2014 by M.S. Willis
reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced, scanned,
distributed in any printed or electronic form or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author except for the use of
brief quotations in a book review.
OTHER BOOKS BY M.S. WILLIS
Book One –
Book Two –
Book Three –
Book One –
Hope Restrained (Estate #2)
Captured (Control #4)
Changed (Control #5)
Honor Bound (Estate #3)
Grace Restored (Estate #4)
This book is dedicated to all those who will fight, who are
fighting, or who have fought.
is dedicated also to those who battle beside the ones they love.
- 2064 -
The light clinking
of wine glasses and hushed coughs and murmurs filled the room as Hunter
McCormick stoically walked a path to the front podium. Every step that he took
resonated through his old bones while the droop to his shoulders reminded him
of how exhausted he’d become over the many years of his life.
Reaching the steps
leading up to the stage, Hunter mentally prepared to give his speech as he
lifted one foot in front of the other and ascended the stairs to give his
speech. It was here that he was determined to reveal the inspiration behind his
accomplishments. He intended to lie to his audience, to feed them useless
medical information, and a grand vision for his achievement because he knew
that no person in the room would believe that a simple girl from an
impoverished town had unknowingly brought about the greatest medical
achievement of the century.
sundrenched days spent hiking and fishing rebounded in his thoughts and battered
at his wearied soul as he gradually scaled the stairs. A smile so bright it
could illuminate the darkest of nights was seared into his memory and he smiled
back. His old lips cracked at the motion, but there was no way to prevent
smiling in return when it came to her.
Reaching the podium,
Hunter placed the tattered pages of his speech on the smooth wooden surface.
The audience became motionless and silent, almost impassive in their tension as
they waited to hear what he had to say. Scanning the typewritten letters, words
and sentences of standard and acceptable medical dribble, he shook his head
quickly before crumpling the pages and tossing them over his shoulder. Focusing
once again on the audience, Hunter cleared his throat and remained quiet while
he readied himself to tell the entire room about the person who’d inspired
everything that he’d done.
“I had a prepared
speech.” His voice fractured; age taking its toll on his once sturdy vocal
chords. “In that speech were the ramblings of a physician who’d found a cure
for one of the cruelest diseases known to man. They were carefully arranged
words about science, about the pursuit for the cure, about the ravages of an
illness and how it affects the vitality, well-being and life of a patient and
that patient’s family.” Pausing, Hunter gathered his strength, steeled himself
to keep from breaking down when discussing her. “But … those words weren’t what
mattered. None of those things were the reason I labored and fought as hard as
I did all these years.”
The audience sat in
reticence as Hunter laughed to himself, remembering back to a blonde haired
girl who glowered at something he had to say; one who always watched him with
blue eyes as boundless as the sky. Turning his attention back to the audience,
he commenced his speech.
“Her name was
Ellison James … and she was the biggest bitch I’d ever met in my life.” He
paused, waited for the collective gasps to quiet throughout the room before
reaction away with his hand, he said, “Don’t be shocked by my candor, if El was
standing in this room with us right now, she would agree.” He laughed again,
not able to keep a straight face while thinking of the woman he’d loved. “She
had an answer for everything, and most of the time, I didn’t like it. But she
was an unbelievable person. She cared about humanity, she was dedicated to
nature, and she believed strongly that people should use their talents to not
only benefit themselves, but to benefit others around them.”
straightened, his brows furrowed, but he was determined to tell the story. His
voice cracked again as he confessed, “If you want to know the reason why
millions of people will now be saved, I’ll be honest with you and I’ll tell you
that there is only one simple answer … ”
“It was because of
Fifty Years Earlier
My eyes peeled open to discover horrendous tentacles of
sunlight somehow intruding around the edges of the blackout curtains in my
bedroom. A headache pounded at the back of my skull and I questioned whether
someone had hit me with a baseball bat when I’d been too fucked up to notice.
The slumbering body of my girlfriend, Tiffany, weighted down my right arm and
her body heat was causing the skin between us to become sticky with sweat.
Looking away from the obtrusive light, my eyes located the slowly spinning
blades of the ceiling fan with clumps of dust clinging to the blades as they
spun. The room was stifling and my mouth was hot and arid as a desert. Sitting
up, I pulled my arm out from under Tiffany, callously dumping her to the floor.
“What the fuck, Hunter
” With her
piercing, high-pitched voice screeching in outrage, she pushed herself up into
an unsteady standing position, rubbing at her elbow to lessen the sting from
its impact with the ground.
Cautiously, I turned my head to look at her, in no way
attempting to hide my disgust with the irritating sound of her grating voice.
The scowl on her normally perfect face deepened at my obvious contempt. Her
mahogany brown hair was matted from sleep and the makeup she still had on from
the night before was smeared across her features. When I failed to respond, she
turned towards the bathroom, giving me the finger before entering the room and
slamming the door closed behind her.
It was the summer after I graduated high school and I lived
in a guesthouse on my parents’ sizeable estate. I had a fast, ridiculously
expensive car, a hot girlfriend, and a full-ride scholarship to an elite
college that I had absolutely no interest in attending.
And to be straightforward with you, I couldn’t have cared
less about any of it.
Ennui with life had instilled itself in me by the time I was
13 years old. School was too simple because I was a genius. When the school
decided to test my IQ at the ripe old age of 10, the administrators and
teachers danced themselves around in confidence that I would be a testament to
their ability to … well … administer and teach. But it wasn’t their
accomplishment; it was simply nature. I’d always been superior in my
intelligence; most of the time it served as a detriment to my wellbeing. It’s
what led me to the lifestyle choices I made as I grew older. Those choices
started with alcohol. By the age of 14, I’d found a comfortable numbness inside
the blanket with a twelve-pack or bottle, but, eventually, I grew bored with
that as well. By the time I was 16, I’d progressed to drugs and girls in a
quest to test the boundaries of a mundane existence.
For the majority of my life, I had absolute freedom. Except
for the once a month lecture on responsibility I’d been forced to endure, my
parents were typically too busy to pay attention to what I was doing with my
time. They looked to my grades as an indication of my progress and a scale upon
which to base their success in parenting. When I’d finally figured out their
non-attention, I was delighted to find that as long as I aced my classes and
endured the lectures that accompanied my major screw ups, I could get away with
just about anything else. Technically, I moved out of my parents’ house and
into their guesthouse by the time I was 15; they didn’t notice until two years
Forcing myself out of bed, I snatched my jeans from the
floor, pulling them on my body one uncoordinated leg at a time. My balance was
off and it took several attempts to perform a function as simple as dressing.
The room would spin every so often and the pounding headache that was pulsing
in my head only grew more intense as blood coursed its path through my body.
After finally donning my pants, I had to immediately sit down again.
Grasping my head in my hands, I attempted to control the
headache that ceaselessly battered at my skull. The only noise in the room was
the light whistle of wind from the revolving blades of the fan and the
clattering of objects from Tiffany blowing off steam in the other room. My
phone chirped while I waited patiently for her to emerge from the room so I
could ask her to leave. Was I an asshole for kicking her out immediately? Yes.
But I couldn’t help that the sound of her voice was like torture when I was
hungover. Refusing to open my eyes, I reached to the side table and my hand
fumbled over several objects before finally finding the phone. Still cradling
my head in one hand, I brought the phone down and flicked the side button to
reveal a text from my mother.
Get your ass over
here this instant, Hunter!”
“Fuck.” A single syllable utterance, and my water starved
throat screamed with burning pain. Forcing myself from the bed once more, I staggered
to the bathroom door and leaned on it heavily while banging my hand against the
white painted wood. Tiffany opened the door so quickly I almost fell into her
from the loss of balance. She stared up at me with brown eyes filled with
disdain, her tanned arms crossing themselves over her fake breasts and she bent
one leg forward, waiting for what I had to say.
“You need to go, my mom wants to see me.” Although, I was
annoyed at having to cross the grounds of the property in vivid sunlight to
answer my mother’s call, I was pleased to have an excuse to get rid of my
“Whatever, asshole. I know you wanted me out anyway.”
Straightening her spine, Tiffany pushed past me, knocking me back into the
frame of the door. I ignored her. Rolling my eyes, I stumbled towards the sink,
flicked on the water and stuck my head under the faucet. I felt all ate up
— like something had scratched away at my insides all-night long —
reduced to a thirsty dog. I managed to turn on the facet. My tongue lapped at
the water hungrily, desperate to reintroduce moisture into my dehydrated body.
After taking my fill, I turned off the water and looked up into the mirror
above the sink. My normally clear blue eyes appeared hazy and my light brown
hair was sticking up in a typically messy style. While perusing my haggard
state, I realized that my bladder was demanding relief. I must have pissed for
15 minutes before finally shaking myself dry and meandering back into my
A weak smile pulled at the corners of my mouth when I
discovered that Tiffany had left. I knew I would hear from her within the hour
and that she would lay into me as only she knew how, but I couldn’t help but
feel gratified by the momentary break. I didn’t love her - didn’t even know
what love was - but I played a part in the relationship anyway for the easy
ride and status of dating the hottest girl in school. She was your typical
popular girl. Her beauty was a thing to be admired, but her intelligence was
laughable and being around her was only beneficial when I was too fucked up to
notice. I tried talking to her once about this fleeting idea I had that there
was more to life; this feeling I had that something was lacking, that we, as a
society, were missing out on something much bigger than us. She laughed in
response, flicked her hair back and told me to get over it before reminding me
that we were wealthy and had it all. I never tried talking to her about much
else after that.