Tape 1- Genesis | Teen Ink

Tape 1- Genesis

September 30, 2018
By hnhusted, Chesapeake, Virginia
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hnhusted, Chesapeake, Virginia
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Author's note:

Don't care.

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Tape 1- Genesis

I used to believe in coincidences. I used to believe that reality was governed by nature and God, nothing else. Cars were controlled by steering wheels. Children controlled by their parents. A piece of fabric was guided on the sewing machine by two attentive and careful hands and two ever watchful eyes staring at the freshly created seams.

It all made sense. Life used to make sense. Why did it rain? Evaporation and condensation. Why did the Sun rise and set? The Earth revolves on an axis. Did the moon emit its own light? No, it reflected the light of the Sun.

The universe, as I once believed, was a machine, and God was the grand creator and mechanic of it all. He willed things to happen, and let others be. Space was infinite, and so is His power.

While being an astronomist and and a devoted Christian, it presented a lot of battles between incoherent and tumultuous ideas and theories. Did God create the universe, or did the universe create itself? Did humans evolve from apes, or did God design us in His own divine image?

Yet in this maelstrom of confusion, I held to my faith. God was at the helm, and we are all just sailors on His boat. He controlled and guided all. End of discussion.

Then came a girl named Cybil Clearwater.

Cybil lived with her mother and father in my apartment complex. They were a relatively  pedestrian and ordinary family. They all shared the same hair color and eye color: hazelnut irises and black coffee hair. Their skin tones were pale, but glowed with health and youthful beauty.

Garrett and Alison Clearwater adored their most beloved daughter and cherished Cybil in her tender age. Garrett would always take Cybil to the flower shop about two blocks from the apartments every Sunday morning, and together, they would wake Alison Clearwater with a vivid cluster of blossoms.

They were a lovely family, really.

As I stated before, they were relatively ordinary. Well, Alison and Garrett were. Cybil, however, was… not.

The morning of February 16 was the first incident.

I sat in the local and quaint cafe, waiting on my coffee to arrive so I could properly start my day. The air was still terribly frigid and the sky still a frozen blue. The frost clung to the windows like ivy to an abandoned house. I pulled my navy blue fleece closer around my body and sank into the plush armchair with a quiet but relished sigh. Life was pretty great. I loved my work, I loved my apartment, my parents and siblings lived nearby, I loved upstate New York, and Spring was approaching.

Like I said, it all made sense.

The Clearwaters came in about ten minutes after I had, all three together. Cybil’s miniature and delicate hand was in her father’s. She bounced excitedly, chirping to her mother about some matter, and her mother smiled and turned to the barista, firing off her order.

“I’m going to go sit.” announced Garrett as he lead the little girl over to the table adjacent to my own.

“Morning, Garrett.”

“Morning, Matthew.”

Garret sat heavily and lifted Cybil up to the cushion, she was a petite child. She grinned at me shyly, her two front teeth were missing. I smiled back and asked how she was doing.

“Good.” She exhibited great eloquence.

Garrett and I began small talk. How’s work? Freezing out, isn’t it? What grade is Cybil in again?

Alison then came over to join her husband, her nimble hands were occupied with various drinks and pastries. She gave me a bright, but tired smile and breathlessly sat on the other side of her daughter.

For about 15 minutes, we carried conversations and talked about nothing until Cybil grabbed a napkin and asked for anything to write with. He gave her a questioning glance, but reached into his tailored suit jacket and grabbed a pen, anyways.


“No problem, princess.”

Cybil’s somewhat choppy hair reflected her train of thought. Strands of rich sepia hair flew this way and that way, cowlicks and fly-aways adorned her head like the corona adorned the Sun. Her hair no rules or boundaries, it was just… itself. Untainted and wild, untouched by society’s strict, but unspoken regulations.

“My teacher at school doesn’t like me.” Cybil spontaneously proclaimed.

“Why do you think so, dear?” I asked, taken aback by such a blunt statement.

“She looks at me funny… and she never lets me go to the bathroom by myself. She’s always following me around.”

As she was describing her reasoning to me, she was writing on her napkin. I thought they were worthless rambles or doodles she was inking on the paper-

But, do be assured, they were not worthless rambles or doodles.

On the napkin, Cybil had written a simple sentence:

“It’s raining outside.”

But it wasn’t. The weather was fair.

The second Cybil wrote the last letter of that sentence, it began to pore. No clouds were in sight, the Sun still shone stubbornly, and the wind was tame. But it was as if a furious hurricane had appeared, punishing our town with all its wrath.

Garrett and I shared bewildered glances. Alison stared at the window, aghast.

“What?” Cybil asked.

“The rain… It wasn’t supposed to… It was sunny out… why is it raining?” Garrett’s mind was trying to grapple at the situation.

Now, Alison was a very sharp woman. She knit her eyebrows for a second, then her eyes unglazed, and her face looked as if realization dawned on her like a Spring morning. She slowly turned to look tentatively at the not so insignificant napkin.

“Oh, no. No, no,no. Garrett, let’s go. Now.” Alison ordered through tight lips.

“Alison, calm down. It’s just a coinciden-”


The couple had a silent argument, and Alison clearly won. Garrett took a sharp intake of breath and began to gather Cybil in his arms.

“No! Wait!” Cybil yelled. Garrett complied.

The little girl sank into the plush of the cushion and grabbed the pen in her fleshy hands.

“Don’t wanna get wet.” She said.

“Cybil, what are y-” Alison began, but was cut off.

The rain ceased. Why?

Cybil had drawn a line through her sentence, and the rain stopped.

I shot up, and whirled around, gaping at the scene before me. What is happening? Is this child… No. Can’t be. Just can’t possibly be.

“Good bye, Alison. Garrett. Hope you have a good day at school and your teacher will be more agreeable with you, Cybil. I’m off, now. To work.”

I decided to repress what had just transpired, but I couldn’t help but reflect on it again and again. When I returned from work, the words came spilling out, creating this tape. I honestly am not sure whether or not that scene was just a hoax, or… well, real. Was it a coincidence? Maybe. This girl apparently has an influence on the world surrounding us. And why was Alison Clearwater so shaken about her daughter and her predicament? Was she always aware of Cybil’s “gift”? And why was Cybil’s teacher not fond of her? Is she aware also?

Hopefully, there will be more information on Cybil Clearwater, but all there is, is fragments of unanswered questions and glimmers of a new perspective of life, peeking through the door of my closed mind.

Who is Cybil Clearwater, really?

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