TABLE OF CONTENTS
For my dearest sister, Maia, thanks for all your love and support!
The day my life changed fell on a Monday. Which is pretty ironic considering that I, along with most of the world, hate Mondays.
However, despite my amazing hatred for Mondays, the day was looking to be pretty good. I had just received an A in biology and Physics and the day looked to be very promising.
It was as if God was smiling down at me. The sun was shining, the sky was as blue as the ocean, the birds were singing. The manicured fields of school’s campus spread out in endless directions. The peace seemed infinite. Absolute peace and happiness.
And that’s when I saw Darryl Klein walking down the hall with a gigantic French book in his hands.
Now let’s get things straight: Darryl Klein was the smartest boy in the school. He was a transfer from a tiny town in Kansas. I heard that he and his Mum were really poor, like dirt poor, so I try to do my best to not talk about the latest gadgets Dad got for me when I was around him. Also Darryl Klein is one of the least popular guys you’ll ever meet, with a social status of near zero. As far as I can tell I’m his only friend.
Anyway when I saw that book, my day turned upside down. I suddenly remembered my French teacher Madame Belle’s nagging voice reminding us that the end of unit test was coming up. But looking back who could blame me? I mean it was a Friday! With the weekend so near, it was probably expected that we’d forget about it! Another thing to add to my ‘Mean Teachers Must Die’ list: Make us forget upcoming tests and then give us an F.
Today was a Monday, the most horrendous, most terrifying day of the week. A day when teachers suddenly think having surprise-and non-surprise-tests is a good idea.
It was horrible!
However I pushed all the injustice out of my head and rushed to my locker.
French was last period. That gave me less than ten minutes to study my French verbs. I’m not exactly the smartest guy and languages proved to be a constant reminder of that. My school was a fancy prep school so we had to study four different languages: French, Spanish, German and Latin. I had a C average in three of those subjects but French I was the worst in class with an F-minus average. Up to the time I started learning French no one in Grade Eight thought it was possible to get worse than a D-minus, but I proved them wrong. For some reason my brain could simply not understand the point of make tough choking sounds to please an impatient old hag.
So there I was sitting on my own at a bench studying those horrible French verbs, when Jake Patterson shows up with his crew. Jake Patterson, along with being my best friend was also the coolest guy in school.
This news might make you think that I’m cool to, but I’m actually kind of a loner. It’s not that I’m antisocial or anything, but Dad is a really powerful person and I hated thinking people were only nice to me to please him.
That reminds me, Dad is the President of America.
“Hey, Harrison,” Jake said, “Why are you reading that?” Regarding my book as if it were a week old piece of moldy cheese that had been soaked in milk and left to dry in a hot car for two months.
“In case you’ve forgotten we have a French test in five…four…three…two…one.” I said as the bell went off. I looked over at Jake his tanned skin had turned deathly pale as a herd of students rushed past him in a hurry to get to their next class.
“Well?” I said impatiently as I waited for Jake to move.
“Please tell me this is a dream.” He said.
“This is a dream, now get a move on. You know Madame Belle hates it when we come in late. She’ll throw a huge fit.” I urged.
Finally Jake took a few steps forward. He combed his long blond hair back and stared ahead, his dark green eyes daring anyone to think the mighty Jake was scared of getting a bad mark on a French quiz. Sometimes I think Jake should be an actor like his Mum. He tends to over-exaggerate at every little thing. To make it worse when he does that whole confident thing he makes me feel so small. There he is the most athletic guy in our grade with his long blond hair, green eyes and muscular physique he tends to take all the attention.
Especially compared to me. I have brown hair and brown eyes with a caramel colored complexion. Nowhere near the awesomeness of Jake.
“You’re late!” The horrid voice of Madame Belle snapped me out of my trance. “Take a seat and here is your prize for being late” She handed Jake and me a little pink slip. I had gotten enough of those to know whatever was written inside meant an hour in after-school detention.
Sighing, I sat down at my place. On the table was a thick stack of paper, no doubt the horrid French quiz.
“You may begin!” Madame Belle announced.
The sound of pages being turned filled the air. I stared at the paper. I began writing random French verbs on the pages, uttering a prayer that by some miracle of God the words would someone make sense to me, like they did for a character in one of my favorite books. No such luck. Sighing, I continued with my technique of writing whatever French word came to me. I hate Mondays.
Because of my amazing, yet unreliable technique I finished my test before anyone else and escaped from the horrid classroom that always smelled like egg salad. I waited by my locker for the bell to ringing signaling the end of the day. While I waited I wondered how amazing my life would be if I were someone else. Someone infamous and ever safe from the endless hordes of paparazzi. At that moment the loud bell and the flood of children entering the hall and rejoicing that the day was over interrupted my thoughts. Jake was not among the cheering crowd he nodded solemnly at me. Before erupting into a string of insults mostly announcing how he’d like to throw Madame Belle into an active volcano. On Mars.
Completely forgetting about the pink slip in my pocket, I walked with Jake silently listening as he continued to give a very detailed description of where she should stick her quiz.
“So I take it the quiz went badly?” I asked, hardly able to keep a straight face. Jake looked at me as if I had just announced I was an alien from the planet Neptune.
“Uh… yeah it went pretty badly” he said calming down. By that time we were sitting on the bus waiting to go home. A pretty blond with blue eyes sat in the seat next to us.
“Hey, Carly.” I said.
“Hey, Harrison, hey, Jake!” She responded. Carly Martinsen was one of our best friends and was the head cheerleader on the squad. She was also Jake’s crush though he would never admit it to anyone else but me; Jake has had a crush on Carly ever since fourth grade. Jake opened his mouth to respond, but was cut off short by the arrival of Darryl.
“Hey, guys.” he said, “The quiz was really easy wasn’t it?” At this point Jake looked like he wanted to strangle him. But before he could get the chance to murder Darryl, I tacitly decided it was a good time to change the subject.
“So you guys want to walk through the woods today?”
It was common for us to walk through the small patch of woods on Mondays to try to forget the horrid events on Mondays. That is Carly, Jake and I. Mondays were Darryl’s happiest day. However he decided to go with us, as we were his only friends.
“Sure, let’s do it.” Carly said, flipping her blond hair. An adventurous gleam sparked in her ice blue eyes. One thing I’ve learnt while hanging out with Carly is to never be fooled by her good looks; she is one of the most adventurous people you’ll ever meet in your life. But you might get that from the gleam in her sea blue eyes.
The others all echoed her words.
When the bus pulled out at the mountainside the four us got off along with two chubby blond boys. The taller of the two turned and started of to the left. We heard his heavy panting within ten seconds. We and the other boy started towards the left behind a massive boulder. The boy stayed a few meters behind us, out of earshot. After a while the boy took a left and we were alone on the dusty trail. By this point Jake had started a very animated talk about last week’s football game. Carly and Darryl nodded intensely, but I just rolled my eyes and tuned out of the conversation. I thought I heard a rustle in the leaves but when I turned around nothing was there.
For a moment, I panicked thinking it was a bear, but I shrugged that thought of, reminding myself of the long lecture Darryl had given of why there would be no wild beast in the woods.
After a while we came to a forked path and took a left. I frowned that’s strange I was pretty sure we always took a right.
But Darryl was here and he had a photographic memory. Oh well. I guess might’ve confused my left from my right.
However, after thirty minutes of walking there was still no sign of civilization. By this point Jake had finally finished his story and the others realized how lost they were.
“I’m so thirsty!” Jake complained. I hadn’t noticed but so was I. I looked around and spotted a small building covered with trees.
“Hey,” I said. Everyone turned to me. “Let’s go see if that place has some drinks.”
Looking at where I was pointing, we stumbled towards the building. I opened the door. It creaked open. We stepped inside. In it was the most amazing sight we could hope for; endless rows of vending machines. Each of us rushed to the one that caught our attention. Mine had flames all over it and the soda was labeled ‘Magma’. Carly’s was blue and yellow and was labeled ‘Electric Eel’. Jake’s was made out of blue glass and had ‘Bullet’ displayed on the can.
Personally I found Darryl’s the most boring it had no color at all, just stainless steel with ‘Dr. Tritor’ imprinted on its side.
Each of us took about three cans and had gulped them down in about two minutes, and then we decided to retrace our steps. I had a sudden strength within me that made me feel like I was capable of anything. By the look of confidence on the others faces I bet they felt it to. When we got back to the fork we took the appropriate turn right and headed home.
Luckily for me I got home minutes before Mum and Dad, and since the maid wasn’t here, no one but my sister, Tessa, and my butler, was home and we had a special bond so I knew she wouldn’t snitch. Especially when I told her why I was late: Jake!
When dinner was over I went to my sister’s room to thank her and she accepted graciously.
Then I told her she was pretty cool for a ten-year-old. I left the room before she could hurt me, but she still sent a pillow my way. I was about to defend myself from its soft features when a ball of fire came out of my hand and met the pillow.
It exploded with the pillow causing a hurricane of feathers to swirl around me. I looked to see if my sister saw that but she was in her room.
I collected the remains of the pillow and threw them in the bin.
That night I dreamt I was in a pillow fight with my friends but I kept on burning the pillows and my friends kicked me out onto the cold street, throwing pillows at me.
Not exactly a horrible nightmare but I wouldn’t want that happening to me in real life either.
I awoke the next morning with a cold bucket of ice being dumped on my head. I got up immediately. I spotted my sister’s smirking face looking at me.
Before I could pulverize her she said, “Get up birdbrain, school starts in ten minutes.” I hopped out of bed, shoved my twelve-year-old sister, Jane, out of my room and got ready for the day, at an unnatural pace. I didn’t have any time to ponder this, because just as I finished getting ready the bus arrived on the curb. I picked up my bag and rushed out of the house. I got a snack at the cafeteria and waited for the bell to ring.
I guess I must’ve fallen asleep at some point, because I was awoken ten minutes later by the bell. By the time I remembered where I was the second bell was ringing. I started running. Within seconds I had collapsed in my chair in homeroom.
The second bell was still ringing.
The rest of the day passed in a blur of mixed events. I got a C in math and a B in English, but I didn’t even notice the lectures my teachers were giving me. How could I? I decided I couldn’t keep this in me anymore. I would eventually explode from keeping something that big inside me. I had to tell someone. And there was only one person I trusted to keep a secret: Harrison.
At lunch I dragged Harrison into a private corner of the school. I told him what had happened. For a while he was silent. I wondered if it was a good idea to tell him. If he would think I was crazy.
After what seemed like an eternity he finally responded. “My power is cooler than yours,” he said. What? Then it hit me I had just ran at an unnatural speed, how else could that be described? I had a superpower. Then I realized something else. Harrison said his power was cooler than mine. That must mean…
“You have a superpower too?”
Harrison rolled his eyes as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Well obviously, that’s what I just said”
“So just out of curiosity what is your superpower?”
He didn’t respond for a moment. Then he said: “Fire. And I think I might be able to fly. At least that’s what happened in the movies.”
I thought about yesterday. How weird to have a building in such a remote place. Then I remembered the soda. Harrison’s had fire on it. That same day he showed the ability to create fire. I wondered if the others had powers too. They probably did.
“Hey, Harrison, what if…” I started.
“The others have powers too? Yep, I was just thinking that.”
“I’ll ask Darryl, you ask Carly.”
“Sure.” He paused. “I’m sure you’d prefer me to look like a weirdo in front of your beloved Carly.”
A teacher appeared before I could give him a pounding.
After Phys. Ed. I asked Darryl if anything weird had happened to him. He bit his lip and said no. I shrugged and began walking away. “ Okay just checking. You know me and Harrison felt slightly… powerful” I left the comment hang.
After a moment he responded. “Wait. Okay something weird happened. Everyday I take an online IQ test. And yesterday I had an IQ of-of … four-hundred and twenty-eight!”
“Wow!” I said. I didn’t know much about IQs but I was pretty sure that if Darryl was shocked I should be as well.
“And I made a phone.”
“And the phone worked. And I made it out of plastic, a bit of glass and two paper clips!”
“Can I see?” I asked. He nodded before continuing.
“Then I put it on top of the roof to hide it, then I went into the backyard to see if it showed and it did, but I didn’t want to climb all the way up to the roof and then I got this feeling I should stretch my hand so I did and my hand stretched all the way up to the roof and moved the phone!”
“I have a theory that it had something to do with…” I started
“The soda? Yeah I think so to.” He interrupted. “Oh right! I almost forgot here’s the phone.” Pulling out a lump of plastic from his pocket I noticed it looked strikingly family to the new state-of-the-art phone. If he hadn’t told me it was plastic I never would’ve guessed.
“Well…Harrison is checking with Carly now, so I guess we’ll find out when school’s out.” I told him. He nodded absentmindedly.
The next class was History. I was barely paying attention as Mr. Nesbitt droned on and on about the “oh-so-fascinating” history of the United States. I heard something about the British and Christopher Cucumber or something like that. Like I said I was barely paying attention.
After what seemed to be decades, the bell rang and hundreds of students left the classrooms without being dismissed. I waited impatiently by the bus. Now that I had super speed the whole world seemed to move at a turtle’s pace. That was both good and bad. Good on holidays and weekends bad on tests and school days.
“Jake!” I heard someone shout. I turned around and saw Carly running towards me.
“Hey.” I said.
“Hey.” She said in return. “ Harrison told me everything. I have electricity and water powers.” She had told Harrison how she had been able to breathe under water and cause a blackout when parents told her off. “So that’s why the power was out.” I thought.” Shame I was watching a football game last night.”
I then told her about my power and Darryl’s power. She said our powers were pretty cool too.
On the bus we decided to meet at Harrison’s tree house to discuss the series of events that had taken place.
I arrived at the tree house first, even though I set off at 2:55, I still got there at 2.56. I decided to admire Harrison’s tree house. The tree house was made completely of blue glass: Harrison’s favorite color. Inside the tree house was adorned with red velvet sofas, two flat screen TV’s and a long oak table with six chairs. On the roof was a Jacuzzi.
A long lake ran across one side of the tree house and from that Carly emerged looking as grand as ever. She smiled and waved. Then Darryl emerged on a motorcycle. My jaw dropped open. I knew Darryl could invent stuff but wow! And then almost as if determined to make a grand entrance Harrison floated down from the sky, straining to keep himself from grinning.
“Wow” I heard Carly whisper softly.
“Let the meeting begin!” Harrison announced when we were all seated around the table with snacks. Harrison held a little hammer that I think was called a gavel, as if he were the judge and we the jury.
“Well Darryl and I have come to an agreement.” I started, pausing for dramatic effect. “It was the soda!”
At the time I didn’t realize how ridiculous that sounded. Even Darryl struggled to keep a straight face.
“No it was the chips!” Carly said, going into a helpless fit of giggles.
Finally, I grabbed the gavel and banged it on the table three times. That got their attention.
“I liked that gavel.” Harrison said.
All of a sudden, a small bolt of lightning came from Carly to Harrison. Somehow Harrison had disappeared. We looked around but all we saw was a reddish puddle.
Then Harrison appeared from the puddle, “Cool” he grinned.
“Oh my gosh!” Carly’s hands covered her mouth. “I’m so sorry, Harrison! I don’t know how that happened! I was probably really excited, maybe spar-”
Harrison interrupted her apology ramble. “It’s fine. Besides, I discovered that I have this awesome liquefying power!”
He smiled excitably. Then he whispered something to Carly a mischievous look crossed her face. Almost immediately a small blast of water came my way.
As if on cue, a sky blue bubble appeared in front of me, deflecting the water and drenching Carly instead.
We all stared open mouthed at Jake.
“Well,” he announced, “I guess I have another power: Bubble stuff.”
“Force field” Darryl corrected almost immediately. “It’s a force field.”
I stared at Jake and he grinned cheekily at me.
“Well,” I began, “Let’s hope that’s the last of many surprises.” We all nodded heartily, but Jake looked kind of disappointed.
“Hey,” he began. “Let’s have like superhero names. Ooh and costumes.” That wasn’t a bad idea and looking at the others faces I could tell they felt the same.
“So,” Darryl asked. “What are our names?” We thought about names for several minutes.
Finally, Harrison said, “Hey, remember those soda cans?” We all nodded. “Do you remember the names written on them? Like mine said ‘Magma’ and yours said something else. What about that for our names?” We all agreed.
After all, the names made sense. A bullet was super fast and barely anything can penetrate it, so Jake became Bullet. According to Darryl ‘tritor’ meant rubber in Latin. And since Darryl could stretch and was super smart, he became Dr Tritor. Harrison’s fire, flight and melting sort of powers gave him the name Magma. Personally I think my name is the coolest. Electric Eel.
Eels are water creatures and I can control and manipulate water. The electric parts makes you know I can do the same with electricity as I can with water; an overall awesome name.
The costume part was tricky, because everyone wanted to make different costumes. In the end we decided to create an identical costume for everyone. I was elected, along with Darryl to design the costumes. Darryl was chosen because he can make awesome things and can add additional touches. Like fireproof material for Harrison, waterproof material for me, and long-lasting material for Jake. I was chosen because I can make it look nice.
After one excruciating hour of work, Darryl and I entered the living room where Harrison and Jake were seated watching last night’s match.
“Hey, guys,” I said. They turned. “The costumes are ready.”
We spent the next few minutes looking at our costumes and admiring our handiwork. Then Harrison whispered something unintelligibly in Darryl’s ear. Darryl nodded and the two of them walked out of the room.
A few minutes later they returned holding four amulets. “They have speaking devices implanted in them,” Harrison informed us, holding out the amulets for us to examine. “That way we can always track the other.”
On each amulet was a different symbol. One had fire, the other had a picture of an electric eel, the other had a hammer and the last one had three lines of different sizes in a circle. Harrison handed out the amulets to us. It was no surprise that I got the electric eel. Obviously Harrison got the fire and Darryl got the hammer. But I was a little surprised by Jake’s amulet.
“The circle was supposed to represent the force field and the lines were supposed to represent speed, like in the cartoons.” Harrison explained.
“Oh.” said Jake. “ I knew that”
“Of course you did.” We all muttered under our breaths.
That night I reached out and pulled a thin pink book from under my mattress. That book held all my dearest secrets in it and I guarded it with my life.
I opened it to a fresh page and wrote:
Today has been an interesting turn of events. And it all started with Jake. There we were taking the usual route through the woods home. Jake was in the middle describing a fascinating scene of last weeks match. I listened eagerly even though; being the head cheerleader I was there and already knew what had happened. Nevertheless I listened, because Jake took after his two parents and tended to over-exaggerate a lot. In his version he was on national TV and the world was screaming for the quarterback. I kind of tuned out after that thinking about something else. I guess somewhere along that lonely road we must have taken the wrong turn because half an hour later the trail ended abruptly and there was still no sign of civilization. A look of realization crossed over our faces. We were lost. I thought everything was hopeless, but then Harrison yelled out, pointing at something. We all followed his gaze. There was an abandoned building lying in the middle of the wilderness. We all ran towards the building. Harrison opened the door and we slowly crept inside. My mouth opened with shock. Inside was a glorious sight. Row after row of vending machines. I raced to one covered with blue and yellow. I took three drinks and drank them on the spot. When I put the drink down I noticed a name written on its side: Electric Eel. “That’s strange,” I thought. “ Who would write such a weird name?” Little did I know that that can of soda was about to turn my world around-
“Carly.” Papa called. “Go to bed it’s late!”
I sighed. Stupid curfew.
“Alright.” I responded. I shut my diary just as papa was coming upstairs.
“Night darling.” he said leaning forward to kiss my forehead. Papa had shocking red hair and fierce blue eyes that reminded me of the ocean.
“Night.” I told him. I shut my eyes and fell asleep almost immediately.
I was surfing. I had never surfed in my life but somehow I was the best in the world. I was riding a wave in the Atlantic Ocean in a surfing competition. Then I spotted a fin sticking out of the water. Everyone else panicked, but I stayed calm. I made a giant fist out of water, grabbed the shark and threw him all way out into the depths of the ocean. I jumped of my board and started paddling towards shore. Everyone was chanting my name and boy did it feel good.
“CARLY! CARLY! CARLY!”
I awoke with papa screaming my name. “Carly! Wake up! It’s time for school!” I hopped out of bed and started getting ready for the day. All the time a big fat smile was stuck on my face. Those sharks better beware. A new superhero was in town. And she was called Electric Eel.
I knew the others were using the powers for fun, but I had a job to do. Dad died when I was five, so Mum was the only family I had (not that she was a good relative, and my mother no less!). We were never rich even when Dad was around. But know we were almost bankrupt. Luckily I gained a scholarship in D.C. so we packed up sold our house and flew here. We didn’t get a lot for our house, but it got us enough money for a two-bedroom apartment and a small car. I was never what you could call popular, but I was smart. It didn’t win me any friends, but it did make school easier.
I had a love for books. Any book. Encyclopedias, fantasy, myth, legend, adventure. I loved them all. But for a reason I never understood most people hated books and thought reading was labor.
I hated that.
Being born in the twenty-first century I didn’t experience labor like my grandmother and mean mother did. Being an African-American was a terrible thing to be back then. There were all kinds of horrid laws, which stated a black couldn’t do things a white can.
Sure those rules were banished, but some humans just never change. I still get dirty looks wherever I go for daring to be an African.
My hair and complexion was not far off from the color of a roasted coffee bean. But my eyes were the color of gold. Okay maybe they’re not gold, but hey a guy got to dream.
Anyway, everyone in my family has those eyes, but the gift seemed to be limited to only my family. That really boosted my self-confidence. But not enough to make me immune to the teasing of bullies.
I’ve had my share of bullies over the year, but know bullies are the least things on my mind now that I have my powers.
My elastic powers really help with studying so that’s a bonus. For example if I’m sitting on my bed and I want to get a book on the other side of the room I can simply stretch my arm and pick it up instead of having to get all the way up from my bed and walking all the way to my desk, just so I can read my favorite book: Moby Dick.
Also my ability to invent things so quickly and with such ease would make science projects so much easier. Now I wouldn’t have to spend weeks studying magnets just to figure out how to levitate a can of coke for more than thirty seconds.
My powers came right in time for the annual science fair. This time I used my powers to invent a super magnet that could allow a dozen cans of coke to hover for more than an hour. No research needed. I wondered if the others had thought of that. Using the powers to win the competition. I mean Carly could use her powers to cause a blackout and say it was all because of her “machine”. Jake could also make a force field and say his machine had made it. Harrison could make a fire and make shapes out of it, but never letting it harm anyone.
I realized all the others could use their powers to win and it wouldn’t be fair. But life isn’t fair. I decided it would be fine for me to use something I had been given. On top of that I didn’t have a rich daddy like the rest of them ready to import any machine they wanted from halfway across the globe!
I didn’t even have a daddy.
I woke up the next morning eager for the Science Fair to start. I walked to school with my project in hand. I set it down in the science lab and went to Math. I waited impatiently for the day to end. The way my school does it is during the day some teachers examine all the projects and try them out. In the end the best one or the clearest one wins. Usually I win but this time I was especially anxious to find out if my winning streak had continued.
When the day finally ended I rushed out of class to the science lab. Sure enough my project had a big blue ribbon attached to the side, but my name. Which I had boldly printed onto the side off my project, had been replaced by an even larger name. Margaret Garvey.
Margaret Garvey was my sworn enemy ever since she had dumped her thick protein shake on my head. I couldn’t get the smell of broccoli out of my hair for weeks!
And now she had tortured me again. Stealing my five minutes of easy work! She stood next to my project, smiling with all of her shining white teeth. Her face was dotted with a mixture of pimples and freckles. Her greasy, brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. Her bushy unibrow lay low above her bright green eyes.
In short she was ugly.
And yet she had stolen my project behind my back. Something had to be done. I opened my mouth,
“Margaret stole my project!” A hurricane of mutters greeted me.
I was certain everyone would agree with me, after all Margaret had a lower IQ than me. But instead people started calling me jealous. At the time I couldn’t help but think of how ridiculous that sounded. Me, with an IQ of 154, now 428, jealous of Margaret, with an IQ of 137. But looking back I realized that it made sense. I had won the Science Fair four times in a row. Of course I would say that I was supposed to win.
But I still couldn’t believe that they believed. After all Margaret hadn’t won a single Science Fair in her life. Or at least up until now.
So I guess that didn’t really end my winning streak, it only ended what everyone else thought of my winning streak.
And in case you’re wondering Margaret did enter a project under my name. It was a paper airplane.
At that point I decided to make the best of what I had.
“Hey, Ms. Brumars,” I said, “Here’s my real project.” Everyone turned. I started spouting facts about the Wrong Brothers and every invention of an airplane I ever read about. Then for good measure I threw the plane. Everyone watched as it sailed across the room. They clapped politely. Then I pulled out the plastic plane model I had been working on while I was talking.
“Here is the model of the Wrong brothers’ plane.” I said loudly. I threw the plane it did loads of loops and spins before returning to me like a boomerang.
Ms Brumars got up, applauding, and announced. “We have a tie!” She pulled out a second ribbon and placed it on my plastic model.
I flashed a winning smile at Margaret. She looked like she wanted to strangle me, which she probably did.
But I felt good. Even with my project stolen from me I still won and maintained my profile as the first student to ever win the Science Fair five times in a row.
After my glorious victory, the others came over. Carly was the first to say,
“Well done. The look on Margaret’s face was priceless.” I remembered how Margaret had sabotaged the girls’ locker room to get back at Coach Irene for not letting her on the team. Honestly it was no surprise.
However, rigging up the shaving cream so that it would spray anyone unlucky enough to open the locker was quite ingenious. I felt a surge of emotions run through my head, but I quickly discarded them. I had found myself not completely revolted at the weird emotions I felt for her. I shivered.
Harrison must’ve noticed because he asked what’s wrong with a handful of fire. I wondered how he could ever think I was cold on the last day of April. Hasn’t he ever heard of the phrase: ‘in like a lion, out like a lamb’? I thought. Aloud I said “Nothing.” There was no reason for me to humiliate myself in front of them. They were my only friends.
Harrison shrugged. “Oh.” He extinguished his flame. I let out an inward sigh of relief. On the outside I tried to remain calm. “So… what are we going to do now?”
“Have a battle…. with our super powers!” Jake grinned like an evil clown.
“That sounds fun!” Carly remarked.
“Oh…yeah. Fun.” I said, trying to keep myself from gulping.
We headed off to the tree house. Which we decided should be called our HQ. When we arrived we silently split of into teams. Harrison and I against Carly and Jake.
“Okay,” Harrison announced. “3…2…1.Go!” Harrison and Carly each sent a wave of fire and water, which met in the middle and disappeared into a cloud of smoke. Harrison then disappeared from sight. He had melted and was using the smoke as a cover.
A couple of minutes later Carly and Jake were both on the floor with Harrison standing on Jake’s chest. A flaming sword was inches away from Jake’s chest.
Harrison grinned up at me. “Well that was easy!” I tried not to look disappointed at the fact that I hadn’t participated in the short fight.
“So… what do we do now?” I asked. They shrugged.
“Go home?” Carly suggested.
“Play again?” Jake said, his voice dripping with anger.
“Sure.” Harrison said attempting his best innocent face. He looked at me. “What d’ya say?”
Five minutes later the game had started. This time I made my body expand to cover Jake and Curly. Harrison fell about laughing, while Carly and Jake thrashed around. I released them smiling. Ah victory is sweet .
“I’m going home!” Jake said and he raced off. The rest of us attempted not to laugh. Then Carly laughed, and the next thing I know we’re all giggling and rolling on the ground.
When we had finally calmed down it was around six.
“Well I’m going.” Carly said.
“Me too.” Harrison said. “What ‘bout you?”
“Sure,” I told him. “I wouldn’t want to be the only one left!”
We exchanged goodbyes and headed our various ways.
When I got home I went straight to my room and read a chapter of my Moby Dick.
Herman Melville is one amazing author.
I started thinking about animals after that. I wondered if I could stretch my body and shape it to make a whale. I tried that. It didn’t work. I tried again. Still no success. Fourteen tries later I finally got the hang of it. After that making animals was easy. I made lions, tigers, elephants and even a huge mouse.
Then I moved on to something I once saw in a superhero movie. I made a parachute with my body. Then, a raft and then, for good measure, a car. After a while I got bored and decided to type out all of our weaknesses onto a piece of paper.
Darryl’s weakness: Cannot be exposed to extremely hot or cold conditions. Results in either melting or freezing.
Jake’s weakness: Force field does not last long. Therefore defense is not very good.
Carly’s weakness: Fire and rubber. Fire turns her water to steam and rubber absorbs her electrical charge.
Harrison’s weakness: Water. Water extinguishes flame and spreads liquid form.
I looked over my work. Not bad. The hardest one was Jake. But I noticed his force field lasts only for a couple of minutes, which makes it not very stable.
I glanced at my own handiwork once more before falling asleep on my bed.
I tried all weekend creating lava unsuccessfully. Finally on Friday I made a feeble ball of lava, about the size of a golf ball. After several more attempts I eventually made a lava ball the size of a hockey stick.
I went to bed smiling at my miniature triumph. I pulled the covers up to my chin and fell asleep.
I thought the world had ended when my alarm went off, all high-pitched and crazy. I moaned while getting out of bed. I hate having to wake up so early in the morning. Plus it was Saturday.
I slapped myself for forgetting to switch my alarm off yesterday.
I crawled into bed trying to get back to sleep.
However try as I might I simply couldn’t re-enter the world of dreams.
Still moaning and groaning I stomped towards the elevator. That’s one advantage of being the son of the most important person in the world. You don’t have to take the stairs. I reached the ground floor and continued to march my way miserably to the kitchen.
“Yo, Grumpy-poof!” I turned around to see my sister walking towards me. “What happened to my pillow?”
“What pillow?” I asked innocently.
“The one I..” her voice trailing off.
The one you what?” Keeping up my phony innocence I opened the fridge and took out a pack of microwavable pancakes.
“Never mind. Just make me some breakfast!”
“And what did your last slave die of?” I asked.
“I killed him for not making me breakfast!” She smiled what she thought was an evil smile, but it looked like a puppy’s first attempt at growling: just wrong!
“Fine.” I muttered incomprehensibly. I tore open the pack of pancakes and put five individual ones on each side, then placed them in the microwave.
While we were waiting for the pancakes, my sister started singing ‘Do you wanna build a snowman’ really loud and really terrible. I groaned and close my eyes with my hands over my ears. Ding!
Relieved that my sister’s racket was finally over I cautiously opened the microwave and waved away some of the steam that billowed out of the microwave. I lifted the plates out of the microwave without my hands getting even a little hot. I placed one in front of Tessa. I placed the other one on the table and added some strawberries and chocolate sauce to my pancakes. I wolfed mine down in record time, while my sister was still only quarter-way through to finishing her first pancakes. I laughed at her and immediately started choking. I poured some juice in a glass and downed it quickly enough. Then I continued laughing at Tessa all the way to the front door.
I had taken only three steps until I remembered that it was Saturday and I was still in my pajamas. With my face burning I walked back towards my house. Luckily my mansion is right behind the White House, so nobody saw my burning face in Captain America pajamas.
I went back upstairs to wash out the flames from the fire burning on my cheeks. Once the fire was out I walked back downstairs to the kitchen. I heard Mum and Dad talking quietly to each other. I decided to give them some privacy and walked into the living room where my sister sat on the sofa her pancakes on her lap and a TV remote next to her. She was watching some stupid fashion show. I rolled my eyes as I silently crept towards her. I slowly slid my hand over the remote and removed it from the sofa into my hand.
“Put it back Harrison!” Tessa yelled, scaring the living daylights out of me. Tessa laughed cruelly. “You should’ve seen the look on your face!” She continued laughing her horrible hyena-like laugh.
Mum soon came rushing in to see what the yelling was all about.
She attempted to calm Tessa down but couldn’t stop the smile that slowly spread across her face as she heard how her eldest child had made a fool out of himself. Soon, Dad came in to see what all the fuss was about and broke off in deep laughter.
Whereas my sister is pretty much identical to me, except for her hair, eyes and height, you would never guess that my parents were my parents just by looking at them.
Dad is a pretty muscular, tanned guy from Texas and has light brown hair and hazel eyes.
Mum however is the same complexion as Darryl, but has black hair just over shoulder-length height, with eyes so dark you can barely tell whether her eyes were black or brown.
Mum likes swimming and running so she’s pretty fit. She’s also addicted to this sport called squash. I’ve played it a couple of times and loved every minute of it. Mum is from two small cities in Ghana, so you can bet it was a big surprise for them to discover that she’s the wife of a president!
When my simply ‘hilarious’ family calmed down, Mum announced that she was making breakfast. This was great news because Mum was even better at cooking than our private chef from France. We all stomped to the kitchen, even Tessa came along, though she was still finishing her pancakes, where Mum started frying bacon, scrambling eggs and toasting bread. In other words she did her magic. By the time breakfast was ready I was practically drooling. I was starving even after five pancakes and a handful of strawberries. I gobbled down six pieces of toast, three helpings of scrambled egg, eight pieces of crispy, fried bacon and several cups of hot chocolate.
All in all, my breakfast that day was pretty good.
I leaped up the stairs, taking them three at a time, and crawled up the attic ladder to get to my room. I silently wondered why my family had been moving so slowly after only two helpings. I also started wondering whether my powers meant I could burn calories.
I wasn’t dumb enough to give it a go. However I did think that after that breakfast I would need some serious exercise.
So I hopped in the shower, put on some clothes and called Jake, Carly and Darryl. I had skillfully avoided calling them ‘the gang’ out of fear of being called Freddie from my second favorite cartoon ‘Scooby-doo’.
They picked up on the sixth ring. “What’s up?” Carly asked.
“Nothing much, but do you guys want to go to the tree house to train again?” I asked.
“YES!” I heard Jake scream.
“Sure, I’ll come.” was Darryl’s feebler reply.
“I guess.” replied Carly.
“Okay meet you there.” I said.
“Already there!” said Jake, as he disconnected the call.
“I’m on my way.” said Carly, as she too ended the call.
“Well see you there Darryl.”
“Okay.” He hung up.
I pulled on my trainers and headed downstairs to tell Mum I was leaving.
“See you later, mum!” I yelled as I walked out of the house.
“See you, have fun.” Mum replied, “ and be back by lunchtime. I have a surprise for you!”
I headed out and set off towards the woods. While I was walking I saw a trail of t water, which was a sure sign that Carly had been there. I also saw a couple of screws and bolts, which informed me of Darryl’s presence.
As I neared the tree house, I decided it would be hilarious to sneak up on them and scare them. Plus it would mean I wouldn’t be the only one embarrassed. I melted when I caught a glimpse of Jake talking to Carly. I decided to sneak up Jake’s back and turn part of my face to solid form. That way Carly would hopefully think that Jake had sprouted another head. Chuckling softly I crawled up Jake’s back and completed my mission.
Carly totally freaked when she realized that Jake had two heads and jumped backwards into the lake. Unfortunately for her she didn’t have time to activate her power, so when she finally dragged herself out of the lake she was dripping from head to toe. Everyone but Jake laughed, even Carly laughed a bit before using her powers to get rid of all the water on her. She was completely dry in a matter of seconds. However Jake looked as if he wanted to kill me.
“Harrison, please come.” He said in a flat tone.
I followed him slowly as he led me out of earshot of the other two. “Hey what’s up?”
“What was that all about?” He asked
“Oh, it was just a joke.”
“A joke? A joke? You literally just ruined my life!”
As he spoke I suddenly realized that his normal Red Sox jersey and shorts with a pair of muddy sneakers were replaced with chinos and a fitted polo shirt and Vans.
“Oh.” I said finally understanding. “Jake, I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were like you know going to ask her out.”
Jake practically had steam coming out of his ears. “Sorry? Sorry?”
“Wow!” I said. “Relax. Calm down a bit just ask her now!”
“I can’t just ask her now! My brain is as alive as a rock right now! I’ve no idea what to say thanks to you! How am I supposed to RELAX!”
“Hey, guys! What you talking ‘bout?” Carly asked. We realized Jake had been shouting.
“Nothing, I’m just teaching Jake how to…uh…Relax!” I responded hurriedly.
“Oh…uh…Carry on then.” She gave Jake and I a weird look before turning back to Darryl.
“Thanks a lot. Now she thinks I’m a weirdo!” Jake spat. He walked back towards Carly. After a few moments, so did I.
“Well let’s start the match” I said half-heartedly. I paired off with Darryl again, as the game started.
This time they were way better prepared and Jake immediately started running circles around us at 150 mph. A cloud of dust circled us and I immediately flew away. But Jake seemed to have thought of that to and I flew head-first into a force-field. The last thing I remembered was someone screaming my name as I slipped out of consciousness.
I won’t deny it gave me a bit of pleasure to of hurt Harrison like that. I probably should’ve been worried, but he was only unconscious for about five seconds, before he melted into the earth. Plus he was a huge jerk!
The next thing I knew Harrison had lifted me into the sky. I hated the thought of being alone with my new nemesis, but luckily Carly had been watching the whole thing and assaulted Harrison with a vicious army of water balls.
Harrison evaporated all the water, but not before dropping me on the ground on my rear end.
Luckily we were only a few feet up, but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt.
As I howled silently, I lost control of my force field and Darryl extended an arm and latched his hand onto a tree branch and swung away.
I sped after him but he was perched on top of a tall tree and I didn’t fancy heights that much, so I simply used my force field to push me up of the ground to the top of the tree.
I was still scared of heights but at least I was safer than I would’ve been surrounded by my light blue force field.
As I approached him I started wondering whether I could shoot mini force fields at him that would push him backwards and possibly seek refuge on the solid ground.
I had only shot a few mini force fields at him that pushed him back a lot, before I felt something wrap around my waist. I wasn’t sure whether I could shoot force fields while in the safety of my own, but I decided not to try in case I made some noise to give away my position.
Harrison grabbed hold of me and started flying. Up there I had a panic attack and my mind went blank. I started screaming like a little girl. Harrison found that absolutely hilarious and doubled over laughing. I used that as an opportunity to get away and untangled myself from Harrison’s loosening grip. I fell towards the earth in my force field which I had artistically shaped to look like a rocket.
As soon as I had planted my foot on the ground I was gone.
I knew I could go even faster than that. I didn’t know how I knew. I just did.
I raced to my house and didn’t slow down until I had reached my doorstep. I casually walked in, said hi to Mum and walked quickly down the steps to my basement room.
Like I said, I don’t like heights.
I collapsed as soon as I made sure my door was locked. I hated my life! And I hated Harrison even more!
I awoke roughly two hours later, with a loud pounding noise coming from upstairs. “What?” I said groggily, as I attempted to remove the sleep from my eyes.
“Jake! Dinner’s ready!” The sound of my sister’s voice immediately woke me up. And it made me annoyed at her.
Groaning I stepped out of my bed, “Coming!” I yelled. Suddenly the events that had happened in the past few hours came rushing back to me. The last thing I remembered was lying on my bed, screaming in fury.
I wanted to be angry, but I was just too tired.
I slowly made my way to the dining room. At the head of the long, highly polished glass table, my appalling nurse sat.
She, or as I call her, the beast, was wrongly named Madame Blaise, instead of Madame Brute, which meant beast.
I choked back a choke of disgust, as I saw her huge mole, looking bigger than ever, on the bridge of her nose.
“ Good evening, Beast- err… Madame Blaise.” I said dramatically, biting back the urge to bow. “What’s for dinner?”
I bit back the vomit that I felt rising up my throat, as Madame Blaise ladled some of the horrible vomit-looking concoction into a bowl, before placing it in front of me with a two slices of bread.
My sister immediately scooped up some of the vile soup with her bread and placed it inside her mouth.
“Yum!” She said dramatically.
I choked and examined the thick, goopy liquid. I then went into hyper-speed mode and raced outside to dump the entire contents into the Dumpster. By the time I got back into my seat it seemed like everyone was frozen in time. I waited for my body to settle into normal time again.
I then spread butter on my bread and made a big show of swiping it along the bottom of my bowl, before masking the smirk that appeared on my face into a look of absolute surprise. “Oh!” I said loudly, “It’s all gone! What a shame! Now may I be excused?”
Hours later I came out of my room at the sound of footsteps. I opened the door and walked into the sitting room. My parents were sitting on the couch with a big bag of chips and a bowl of salsa.
I was starving so I walked into the room and announced my presence.
“Hey Mom, hey Dad! Wassup?”
“Hey son!” Dad boomed.
“Hey Jake.” was the feebler response that was emitted from my mother.
“So,” I said, eyeing the bag of chips. “You gonna finish those chips?
Mom said, “They’re all yours!”
Those were the words I was waiting for. I pounced on the chips and salsa. “So.” I said between munches, “How was your day? Great salsa by the way!”
“It was fine.” Mom said, her eyes on the large screen T.V. that was showing a program about top models.
Now you see, my parents aren’t really your normal Bob and Kate kind of people. Mom was a former model and actress who owns the largest fashion whatever in the world. With her long blond hair and blue-grey eyes, she sure made heads turn. Dad on the other hand was a world-known soccer player with light brown hair and green eyes. They met at this celebrity party thingy-majig. I don’t know all the details or maybe I do, but the main idea was mushy mushy, kissy kissy kind of stuff. And I’m not that big on all that lovey-dovey nonsense. Anyway one thing led to another and here we are.
At that point Jane barged into the room. Can you believe it? Jake and Jane? Double J’s. I don’t know what my parents were thinking when they decided my sister and I should have the same sounding name. We were identical in every way. Same blond hair, same nose, even the same ears! Everything about us was identical except that, while my eyes were a dark emerald, hers were sky blue. That, and her being just a tiny bit taller than me.
“Mom!” She complained. “You promised I could go swimming!”
You see, while I’m great at basketball and football, my sister excels at swimming and soccer.
Both our rooms are equally decorated in a myriad of first and second-place trophies, certificates, medals and ribbons. The only difference is that in addition to all her sports trophies she also had plaques and awards of academic achievement. That makes my bratty, little sister a little perfect angel. Ugh!
“Okay honey let me just rest for five minutes.” was mom’s tired response.
“Fine!” called Jane loudly as she stormed up the stairs, a scowl fixed on her face.
Meanwhile, I sneaked out of the room, with the salsa and chips in hand, and headed to my bedroom. I silently thanked God for helping me convince my parents that a soundproof door would help with studying. This meant that I wouldn’t hear them yelling and they couldn’t blame me.
Now you may be wondering how come I heard footsteps and my sister’s voice. Well wonder no more! It appeared that I had gained a super hearing and vision! Either that or my room isn’t as soundproof as I thought!
But one thing I knew for sure was that everything was louder and brighter.
I could hear my sister on the phone complaining to her best friend Rachel, a gossipy slob. I hated her.
I could even make out the individual strands of hair on my comb.
I lay on my bed pondering these new powers. Unconsciously I ran my hand through my mop of hair. I wished I could talk to someone about these newfound powers. But since even the thought of Harrison brought bile to my throat I didn’t exactly have a lot of options.
I narrowed the list down to those who had and knew about powers. That left Darryl and Carly. I decided against Darryl as the kid kind of freaked me out with his big brain. And that was before he got super smart. That left Carly. At first I was like no! Not her! You just tried to ask her out you idiot! Then I realized that she never knew that I’d been about to ask her out. I tenderly grabbed my phone and called Carly. After a long time she picked up. “Hey Jake!’ She said. I let go of the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding.
“H-hey Carly.” I silently cursed myself for my voice sounding so high-pitched and shaky.
“Is everything okay?” She asked. I could clearly hear the concern in her voice.
“Yeah! Why wouldn’t it be?” I responded.
“Okay?” She said uncertain.
“I just wanted to let you know that I discovered a new set of powers.”
“Really?” She couldn’t keep the tone of jealousy out of her voice.
“Yah! I have some lamo power of super vision and hearing.”
“Oh. Well, uh…bye?”
“Bye.” I replied.
To sum it all up I didn’t feel any better. In fact if anything I felt a lot worse!
I couldn’t help the envy that was currently bubbling up my stomach. It wasn’t fair! Jake had four powers, Harrison had three and I’m pretty sure Darryl has three to. That’s if invention and super smartness are two different things. I only had my double combo of water and electricity. Now I know you may be thinking that’s a wonderful combo, because water is a brilliant conductor of electricity. But still it wasn’t fair!
Mumbling my displeasure, I made my way towards the dining room. Laid out on the mahogany table, was a large platter of pork chops with a bowl of roast potatoes and cabbage and gravy.
I wasn’t American in the slightest. With a strong Norway background, my family moved to America in the late twentieth century. From Maine, to San Francisco, to Washington. My family has seen enough famous monuments to last a lifetime. I’ve been to Norway a couple of times, but that was to see my grandparents, usually in Easter. Every other national holiday was spent in America with papa. I never met my mother, she died when I was but a few months old. I’ve heard I look like her and from the pictures I’ve seen I can’t deny it. We had the same light blond hair, startlingly ice blue eyes and high ivory cheekbones. The only difference, was the lack of smile wrinkles surrounding her eyes. For someone who seemed so nice she certainly didn’t smile a lot. Or, at all.
Not that I have wrinkles!
OMG that would be disgusting!
I sat down at the table and waited for Papa and my cousin to fill the seats around me. When we had uttered a prayer, we started digging into the delicious grub cooked by our own Norwegian chef. I had piled mountains of roast potato and pork chops onto my plate and it was slowly disappearing. I tried to make conversation between mouthfuls but was quickly silenced by dad.
“Svelg Carly!” I effortlessly translated it to swallow and did just that.
“So as I was saying, or trying to say at least, how was your day, pappa?” I asked.
“It was good, Carls. Perfekt!” He responded. “ And yours?”
“It was pretty great, dad!”
“I wish you be speaking Norwegian more, Carly!” His irritation bringing forth his strong childhood Norwegian accent.
I sighed and said, “Fine! I mean bot!”
My cousin, Hilde, or as they say in America, Hilda, spoke for the first time during dinner. “Endelig!” Once again I translated it to mean finally.
I was offended, “Hva mener du til slutt? What do you mean finally?”
Papa had a huge grin on his face. His blue eyes twinkling. “At hun til slutt! She means finally!”
“Papa! Jeg tok anstøt!” I said. “Dad! I’m offended!”
He let loose a deep guffaw, his smile wrinkles visible, unlike my deceased mother, his shockingly red hair shaking, giving it the appearance of fire. Yeah, I know fire and water. Haha. His red hair was really surprising, giving the fact that most Norwegians are either blondes or brunettes. His own parents have white blond and dirty blond hair!
“Papa! Slutte å le!” He didn’t stop laughing.
“Nei!” It doesn’t take a genius to work out that that meant ‘no’!
At that point the entire table, Hilde included, fell helpless to laughter. “Stopp! Stopp!” We begged each other. The food on the table remained oblivious to us for a while.
Then the tasty fumes from the food entered our nostrils and we suddenly remembered the banquet on the table.
We gobbled down the food in two minutes flat.
Papa called, “Eirik! Dessert, kan du!” Kan du meant please. I’m sure the other one isn’t too hard to figure out!
Eirik, our chef, or as he goes by in the U.S., Eric, came rushing in with bowls of krumkake. Krumkake was a thin layer of rolled cake, filled with whipped cream. Personally, it was the best food ever!
“Herr Martinsen! Dessert ees sirved!” Eirik started english lessons very, very, late! He furrowed his bushy brows as he struggled to form the words of english. He nervously ran his hand through his mop of light brown hair.
“Takk, Eirik!” We all yelled, giggling.
“Takk, takk, takk!” We went into crazy fits of laughter.
Eirik, startled by our many thanks, replied with his own series of ‘ your welcome’s’.
“Errr……Din velkommen,din velkommen, din velkommen!”
At this point there was no cure for our mad fits of laughter. Eirik was even in the land of giggles by now.
“Din velkommen, din velkommen!” He let loose another series of chuckles.
Looking at his watch, he straightened up and politely dismissed himself, “Plis, escuss me, meester Martinsen!”
Papa waved him away, wiping tears from his face. “Takk, Eirik!”
After he left we laughed a bit, until we noticed the tempting plates of krumkake and gobbled it down. Eirik, knowing my allergies for strawberries, had instead placed several handfuls of juicy cloudberries, imported from Norway. By imported I mean snuck into our luggage as we left Norway. Hey, berries are amazing in Norway! The cold climate means the berries mature slower and has a more intense flavour. Plus in Norway cloudberries are considered a delicacy. That’s part of the reason the guards at Oslo Airport burst out laughing when they say the bags stuffed with cloudberries and strawberries.
“Haha! Du badebukser!” Personally I was offended to be called a smuggler! But papa and Hilde just laughed.
After the heavy meal my eyelids grew heavy and I had to fight the urge to sleep at the table.
“Papa! Vennligst ta med meg til mitt soverom.”
“And why should I carry you to your bedroom?” he asked, with a cheeky grin on his face.
“Fordi jeg er lei!” I responded.
“Oh, you’re tired! Well then I have simply got to carry you upside down!”
Papa strode over to me and picked me up. Now most people say I’m really tall at five foot whatever. But papa was a giant at six foot, five inches. He lifted me in the air by my ankles and promptly swung me upside down, with my face inches from the floor. Hilde, Papa and I couldn’t contain our giggles as papa marched to Hilde’s and my bedroom. Hilde followed us her own brown eyes bright and alert. She brushed a strand of light brown hair out of her face. For a fifteen year old, she’s easily pleased.
“Go, onkel Andreas!” She shouted.
Papa flopped me on my bed and carefully tucked me in. “Natt, natt! Carly.”
“Natt, papa.” I said yawning.
“Elsker du.” He said.
“Love you too.”
“Hilde, are you crashing as well?”
“No, onkel Andreas. I’m gonna go watch T.V.”
And without further ado she raced out of the room. A few seconds later and the voice of Tyra Banks filled the room.
I don’t even remember him leaving the room. My urge to sleep was too great. I was overwhelmed by the journey into dreamland.
Usually I hope for the same dream that I had on the first day I got my powers. But since I was so tired the only thing the unconscious part of my brain could think of was krumkake. So I fell asleep to dreams of krumkake. I dreamt that I was a princess and my castle was made of cake and whipped cream. And everyday I would get a can of whipped cream and spray its’ entire contents on to a roll of cake. To make a long story short my days were good!
And then all of a sudden my castle turned into a tree house. The exact tree house owned by Harrison. And nailed on the wooden door was a sign. And on that sign in big, fat red letters was: No one with less than three powers will be allowed entrance! I sobbed and sobbed next to the sign and after a while the faces of Jake, Harrison and Darryl filled the window. Except in my dream the faces were turned into one of complete and utter hatred. The Jake I knew was the kindest guy on earth. Er..and the others too! Anyway when they saw me helpless I expected them to open the door and tear the sign to shreds. And then give me a welcoming hug into the metal fortress.
But of course that didn’t happen. Instead Jake, my kind and loving Jake, pressed a big red button on top of a silver remote. And in time with the button-pressing, the floor opened up under me and I fell into a pitch black infinite hole.
In the midst of all this, Jake’s words rang out like a fire alarm. “Farewell Carly.”
Just as a bottom appeared I was jerked awake by an unknown force.
“Anne! Anne, wake up!” Hilde shook me awake. Anne was my middle name. A Norwegian name to counter my first one.
I looked around.
The room was pitch black, the only light coming from a small torch in Hilde’s hands.
“Hilde Anita Martinsen! Just what do you think you’re doing?” I glanced at the digital clock beside me. “It’s eleven o’clock in the night!”
“You were crying!”
I felt my eyes. Sure enough they were wet.
“What were you dreaming about, fetter Carly.”
I stole her Norwegian ‘cousin’ in my next sentence, “Nothing! Now go to bed fetter Hilde!”
I turned over and made an attempt at heavy breathing. I wasn’t sure if Hilde bought it, but she climbed up the ladder of the bunk bed and didn’t utter another sound except for a few soft snores.
When I was certain she was asleep I let out a sigh. And then started sobbing.
“Ah!” I thought. I laid down my book, Moby Dick, for the seventy-second time. I love that feeling of satisfaction you get whenever you finish a book. It makes you feel so accomplished!
I had had ten minutes of lunch left, and had decided to spend it with my favorite book.
Now I walked to class with that sense of accomplishment filling my head with happiness.
I was the king of the world.
And then someone stuck out their foot and tripped me.
Everyone started laughing. And all that sense of accomplishment that had floated around my head suddenly left and went to the bully who tripped me.
I decided to let it go. After all I could pummel him with my new found powers. Plus all the exercises we did made me feel great.
For the first time I looked over to my… foot-sticker out? Tripper? I don’t know. Anyways I examined him. Long, shaggy blond hair that fell to his broad shoulders, muscular arms, and a tanned skin tone. Then I looked at his eyes. They were green. And the only green I know that looks like that, belongs to a superhero. A very fast superhero.
The day flashed by in a blur.
A blur that made me think of Jake. A blur that made me feel angry and hurt on the inside.
In what seemed like no time at all, I was sitting on the bus. Harrison sat on one side of me and Carly took a seat to my right. When Jake saw the three of us, he made a big show of turning around and heading to the front of the bus. He took a seat next to Kevin and Karen. The twins. And I mean the twins! Kevin is the center on the football team and Karen is junior to only Carly on the cheerleading squad.
Jake went into an engaging conversation that was so loud everyone on the bus heard it. But no one, not even the bus driver would tell the coolest guy in school to shut up. In fact almost everyone looked, enviously, at the Twins. Karen flipped her auburn hair, while Kevin ran his fingers through his own matching hair, though his was considerably shorter. They listened quietly as Jake continued his loud conversation, stopping only to check if each other hadn’t died of boredom.
I probably would of died immediately.
And then, for the first time Kevin spoke. “Hey Jake! Good job with tripping up Kleinazoid earlier today. Way to go man!”
“Hey that freak was seriously freaking me out!”
The Twins laughter rang out through the bus. It was short, but to me it sounded like it lasted a million years. Jake purposely looked over to us. When he ran his eyes over Harrison and I, his face twisted in disgust. His ex-best friend returned the ugly face. I did the same.
But when Jake looked over at Carly his disgusted look fell into one of sadness, and perhaps hope. His green eyes softened and his gaze lingered on her for a while.
Carly noticed and returned his look with a rude hand gesture.
I stifled a laugh.
Jake’s face molded into one of complete and utter sadness. He turned and listened to the Twins voices. His face held a lost look on it.
He started nodding unconsciously, he looked like he was in another world.
I knew that look. It was one of defeat. I often see it in my competitors’ faces. Except in P.E. But never was there a face that held so much defeat.
I found myself feeling sorry for him. But then I waved the kindness away with the memories of laughter.
I suddenly noticed Carly passing a note to Harrison. I looked over at the note in his hands.
It read: ‘Tree house at 5’. We nodded. On the paper I wrote: ‘What’s with the note?’ Carly’s eyes skimmed over it. After a while, she wrote: ‘Jake has super hearing’.
My face fell when my eyes saw the words she had written. “WHAT!”
Every face in the bus turned to look at me. The Twins blue eyes sparkled when they saw me.
To make a long story short I spent the rest of the ride home being bombarded with spitballs. To make a short story shorter, it didn’t feel good!
At four forty-five I headed and took the walk to the tree house.
It takes me fourteen minutes and 38 seconds to walk from my house to the tree house.
As I walked I wondered what we were going to do. We couldn’t do fights, so I don’t see what else there was to do.
As I neared the tree house, I took out my amulet and placed my hand on the hammer. I felt the engravings for a while. Then I turned it around and examined the back of it, where the microphone and tracing chips were placed.
Exhaling loudly, I pushed the “Find” button on the amulet. A 3D map appeared. It showed Harrison in the sky doing flips, it showed Carly underwater, looking around at all the different species of fish and newt. There weren’t that many. It showed Jake at the…the…Tree house!
My heart thumping quickly, for some weird reason, I quickly pressed the ‘Call’ button of the amulet. Once again a 3D map appeared, I picked the amulet numbers that appeared in the sky and in the water. It answered immediately.
“What’s the problem, Darryl?” I heard Harrison ask.
“Jake’s waiting for us at the tree house!”
“What!” They responded simultaneously.
“Mission abort to…” At the last minute I remembered about Jake’s super hearing and I whispered the last word, “the washington monument.”
“Roger that!” And with that the call disconnected.
“Well…um…Bye!” Carly said before hanging up as well.
I turned around and once again opened the 3D map. I saw Carly and Harrison heading in the same direction. In fact Harrison was almost on top of Carly.
I shrugged and headed in the direction that they were heading. After all I didn’t know which way to go. My motorcycle had a GPS but I left it at the tree house.
I followed the direction they were going and found it led deeper and deeper into the heart of the forest.
For the first time I looked at where Jake was. I saw a large tall spire labeled: The Washington Monument. I wondered just how strong his super hearing was. I silently cursed myself for not bothering to think of that. That explains why Harrison and Carly were so close. And they weren’t walking along side each other, because they’d be tempted to talk.
I started running.
Something jumped on me from behind. A hand found it’s way onto my mouth. I regretted walking. I had started walking for no reason other than the reason that it just felt right. I could see the city in the distance. Then I remembered the person on top of me. I struggled to get the person of me. I made a fire sword and wielded it at the person. It was Darryl.
“Darryl? What do you think you’re doing?” I asked struggling to keep the annoyance out of my voice.
“Sorry, Harrison!” he apologized. He looked around.
He picked up a small stone and threw it right in front of me. Carly sprang forward brandishing an icy sword of her own.
“Jeesh guys! Easy with the swords!” Darryl yelled, with his hands in the air.
“Ha…sorry ‘bout that.” Carly looked at the ground in shame.
“It’s ok.” He touched the ‘Find’ button on his amulet and a map appeared. Silently, he pointed to the 3D picture of Jake standing at the Washington Monument. My jaw dropped open. Darryl put a finger on his lips. The universal sign for ‘Shut Up!’. Carly and I both nodded. He drew a house and wrote ‘white’ on top of it. He pointed to me.
We entered my house and went straight to my room. But something was wrong. My chair was swivelled in the opposite direction. But I could see the few strands of blond hair poking on top.
“Jake.” I said, my voice colder than Carly’s icy sword.
“Hi Harrison.” he responded.
“How did you get here?
“I found the tracking chip. I put it on top of the Washington Monument.” He looked at Darryl as he spoke.
Darryl checked his amulet. Sure enough it said that Jake was at the Washington Monument. Darryl swore silently.
“What do you want?” I asked.
“I want to apologize to Darryl. It was an accident tripping him. But I missed the feeling of being on top.”
“What do you mean?” Carly asked. Her icy eyes softening a little.
“I feel so out of place in this group. I mean you and Harrison control fire and water. Darryl’s smarter than anyone in the history of the universe! But me I’m just the defense guy. What use am I?” He said sadly.
“Um…Your force field can withstand anything! You’re faster than light!!! You’re pretty useful” Carly smiled her eyes losing all of their anger, “Also you have crazy hearing and seeing powers! I want that!”
Jake smiled. His cheeks turning slightly pink. “Oh, and sorry Harrison for being a jerk.”
I punched him in the shoulder. “It’s OK! You’re not completely useless!” He laughed. A sound I hadn’t heard for a while. Darryl laughed as well. Soon, we were all helpless with laughter. A knock ended that.
“Harrison? You in there?” It was was my sister.
“Yes, Tessa, I’m here.” I said. “And so is Jake.”
At the mention of Jake’s name, my sister popped in excited. She jumped up and down. Her cinnamon-colored hair bouncing up and down. Her hazel eyes, wide. Jake rubbed his now pink neck and smiled, embarrassed. “Hey Tessa.” He said. Tessa squealed in response. Her caramel skin turning slightly pink. She stared adoringly at him.
“Well Tessa, we were just about to go swimming!” I said, “You could join us if you want!”
“I’ll be right down!” She squealed excitedly as she exited my room.
Jake turned to me annoyed. “Carly go see if my sis has a spare suit.” I interrupted before Jake could yell at me. I gave each of them a swimsuit. “The bathrooms are there and there. I’ll be in here.”
They left. I smiled.
Carly flipped into the pool. I went in via the zip line. Tessa dived in from the diving board. Darryl did a cannonball.
Jake went into the pool slowly. In the shallow end.
“Come on in Jake! The water’s great!” We teased.
His face turned redder than a tomato. He went into the deeper water slowly. Jake’s biggest secret was that he never learned how to swim. This was how I decided to repay him for being mean to us.
Carly gave him a mischievous grin. “I know why don’t we play catch. I’ll be it!”
Carly gave us to a count of twenty, and then we spread out to the furthest edges. For a while, Carly pretended to chase us. Then with an extra push of her powers she swam towards Jake. Jake panicked and started splashing around in the shallow area. Not thinking for a second to use his powers. Carly stopped right in front of him and said,
“Tag you’re it!”
He counted to twenty and opened his eyes. Tessa had stopped right in front of Jake. And I had no doubt that Jake knew about it. Jake made a fake swing for her and she dodged giggling.
While she was underwater Jake used his super speed to doggy paddle to the end of the pool. He tagged me and gave me an innocent smile.
We were drying off when Mum came into my room.
“Hi boys! Hope you had fun!” She smiled at Jake as she placed the tray of snacks on my living room table.
I stifled a laugh.
When she left I let it burst. Darryl joined me. We laughed for five minutes straight. When we wiped the tears from our eyes and picked ourselves up from the floor.
We were still smiling as Carly walked in with Tessa. “What’s up guys?” They chorused.
“Nothing much.” We replied in the same three-part harmony.
“Cool.” Carly said, “Hey! Can we have some of those chips and salsa in your living room Harrison?”
I had forgotten all about the snacks Mum brought in. “Sure.”
“Thanks” she replied. We all went to my living room to eat. To put it short it was terrible. After our first bite we all swallowed and then excused ourselves to the bathroom.
We vomited for a minute. Then we decided what to do with the salsa. Jake suggested to feed it to the dogs. Carly quickly reprimanded him for even thinking about it. Nursing his hurt wrist he deftly apologized. Tessa suggested burying it six feet underground. I said make it two feet. In the end we went along with Tessa’s idea. We took shovels and Tess carried the salsa down. A couple of times we had to hide from mum.
We finally arrived in the middle of the forest. A good distance away from the tree house. Carly, Jake, Darryl and I each took our shovels and began digging, while Tess looked around. “Cool! I want a tree house here! It could be purple!” We sighed and resumed our digging as Tess went on daydreaming about her perfect tree house. We both knew that she would get her tree house when she turned eleven.
When our hole was three feet big we called Tessa. She unceremoniously dumped the salsa in the hole. When we had finished piling dirt on top of it and were just leaving I noticed that I had left my shovel. I told the others to go on without me.
When I got to the clearing I noticed a blond boy sitting on top of the tallest tree. I was about to call out to him, when I noticed he was wearing a cloak. But the cloak was as dark as a shadow during the brightest hour. That, and the tentacles waving around as if they were alive. I gasped silently. I picked up my shovel and ran as fast as I could. I could feel his eyes boring into my back.
I didn’t say a word to the others when I got back. I was too scared. The boy was weird, he seemed to radiate fear and that was not natural. Not natural at all.
“Hey, Harrison are you alright?” Jake asked.
“Yeah! Why wouldn’t I be?” I said nervously.
“I dunno. You just seem kind of jumpy!” He replied.
“No! I’m not jumpy! Or nervous or scared or anything!” I said, “Ha, ha…”
“Okay! If you say so.” Jake said.
I tuned out of the conversation after that. Nodding, occasionally. But mostly just watching out for that boy. That boy, with the freaky black robes. That boy, who seemed to bring up all my childhood nightmares. I wouldn’t sleep well tonight!
I woke up from my fifth nightmare that night drenched in sweat. I checked the time. Three more hours, until 7:00. This time I was too scared to fall back asleep. I crawled out of bed and tried to do something that wouldn’t remind of my nightmares. Anything that wouldn’t remind me of the tortures that blond boy gave me. Anything but being slowly torn apart. Anything but being skinned alive. Anything but being dumped in a tank full of flesh-eating piranhas. Anything but being thrown into a pit of nails and snakes. Anything but watching my friends die slowly. Anything but knowing that I would be next.
I was so glad that everything had smoothed out with the others. I fetched my tracking chip and put it back in its place. Everything was back to normal. Except for Carly. I had forgiven Harrison, but I still held strong feelings for Carly. But she would never know. My nerve was lost.
I stifled a sigh as I listened to Mr. Wharton tell us about scientific notation. I tuned out and imagined next week’s basketball game. “He shoots….he SCORES!” I said to myself. Then I felt a thousand eyes burning into my back. Turning slowly I gave a little pathetic chuckle. “Heh-heh…heh.”.
“Well, Mr. Patterson,” Mr. Wharton said in that horrid, wheezy voice of his. “Perhaps you would like to share what you were day dreaming about in the middle of my class!”
I smiled and said, “It was awesome! Mr Wharton was this worm who could regenerate! And we kept stepping on him!” That brought a lot of laughter! No doubt it would be all over the school by next period.
“You know what else is funny?” He asked sarcastically. I shook my head. “DETENTION! And thanks to Mr Patterson, everyone can write down all the rules of Scientific Notation!”
The class groaned. I smiled. Anything to get out of math!
I took the little pink slip with joy. I literally skipped to the principal’s office. He wasn’t there so I took a seat in the waiting room. From my position, I could see the secretary’s computer. I read the words: Gradebook. And conveniently it was open on my name. I read it:
Report Card for STUDENT: PATTERSON, Jake Christopher
Teacher: Mr Wharton Grade: C+ Percent: 78 Position: 15th
Teacher: Ms Thompson Grade: D- Percent: 63 Position: 20th
Teacher: Mr Lin Grade: D Percent: 65 Position: 12th
Teacher: Ms Smith Grade: C+ Percent: 76 Position: 9th
Teacher: Mr Tibbs Grade: D- Percent: 52 Position: 16th
Teacher: Mr Shay Grade: C- Percent: 71 Position: 19th
Teacher: Mr. Zimmer Grade: D Percent: 66 Position: 24th
MODERN LANGUAGES SECTION FOR QUARTER 3:
Teacher: Madame Belle Grade: D- Percent: 56 Position: 27th
Teacher: Mr Russell Grade: A+ Position: 2nd
Teacher: Mrs. Breedlove Grade: A+ Position: 1st
OVERALL ACADEMIC SCORE: 55%
OTHER SUBJECTS: 100%
GPA: 0.12 GRADE: D-
Your child’s academic results are under the necessary score to pass on into ninth grade. If your child fails to get 70% or higher by the end of the academic year he will be required to go to summer school. If he fails to meet the appropriate standards in summer school, he will be held back.
Middle School Principal: Superintendent:
Shari Kaminski Douglas Turner
Filii hodie, et imperantes cras!
Children today, Leaders tomorrow!
I looked at my grades in shock. Summer school! Whenever someone puts a season in front of school, it’s bad! But summer. I imagined my summer marred by stacks of homework. I shuddered. Never! I had to quit joking around and get serious. At my school, you get a kind of mock report card, a month before the real deal.
“Jake?” My visions of stacks of A’s piled around me, ended abruptly. The principal was here.
“Hi, Mrs. Kaminski!” I said, putting on my best suck-up impression of Darryl. “ I have this for you!” I handed her the pink slip of paper. Her coffee brown eyes skimmed over it. Tucking her thick dark hair behind her ears, she sighed.
“Mr. Wharton said you disrupted his class with sports comments and talked about murdering him?” I stifled a laugh at her confusion. “This isn’t funny!” But I could see her smiling.
“Jake one more detention and you could repeat! This and your grades! I suggest you buckle down and get serious. See me at the end of the day. And bring something to study with!”
“Yes, Mrs. Kaminski!” I said seriously.
I left her office.
Cell biology research investigates the structure and function of individual proteins and the assembly of cellular membranes and organelles, and the molecular mechanisms of interactions between cells and between organisms and their environment.
I struggled to stay awake as I read the chapter. Even in super speed it took me twenty minutes to read that first chapter.
I had eight to go.
My math wasn’t excellent, but even I could figure out that eight times twenty equaled one-eighty. Or was it one-sixty? Okay, maybe you do need a genius to figure that out. Anyway, I only had ten minutes left of detention. I decided to work on math. I spent the remainder of that ten minutes doing my thirteen timetables. Mrs Kaminski walked into the room.
“JAKE!” She yelled, sounding like a prison warden. “Your time is up! You may leave!”
“Bye Mrs. Kaminski!” She seemed shocked by my politeness. But quickly recovered.
“Goodbye, Mr. Patterson.” She said formally. I left without slamming the door. Her eyes were practically out of her head. I smiled.
As I was leaving the school, I saw a strange short boy with a head of tangled blonde curls leaving the basement with an eerie look on his face. He looked familiar somehow. But I shrugged of the thought. No one could radiate evil like him. No one could have the same green-black eyes that looked like they would envelop you in torture. He gave me a creepy smile that seemed to say: ‘You’ll be next!’ I shrugged it off thinking it was figment of my imagination. I looked up at where the boy had stood. I was completely alone. He seemed to have vanished into thin air. I turned my hearing on, but could hear nothing other than the sound of Mrs. Wharton’s voice and the janitor cleaning up. I unconsciously created a force field around myself. The light blue shield seemed to get rid of all haunting thoughts.
I smiled as I walked home.
I forgot all about the creepy boy and his shadows. But I didn’t forget my parent’s yelling, when I arrived home an hour late.
I texted Harrison as soon as I got to the confines of my room.
Me: Hey Harrison
Harrison: Hey Jake, whaddup
Me: A lot! grades bad. might need 2 go 2 summer school!
Me: ik! i’m gonna ask darryl to tutor me!
Me: STOP IT! Ur not helping!
Harrison: Sorry. what should i do?????
Me: I dunno? tutor me in math?
Harrison: sure. i got an a in that! but mayb ask kaminski 2 switch math teachers
Harrison: c ya l8r
I switched off my phone and got out my biology book again. This time I managed to read all nine chapters.
Mom found me and hour later sleeping with the book on my head.
“Wake up Carly! Carly, Carly, Carly! Wake u-.” Groaning, I switched off my alarm clock. It was a gift from papa’s company O-CoolTech. He was their number three inventor.
I made my way to the dining room. Eirik had made another traditional Norwegian cuisine, that consisted of open sandwiches and homemade cloudberry smoothies. I wolfed down the food and got ready for the day. Today was report card day! The week went by so slowly, but finally it was here!
I was so happy! I had worked really hard this year! Last year I had gotten an acceptable B. But the University of Washington Cheerleaders excepted only a GPA of 3.5. And unlike most schools it started in eighth grade. I was so pumped out!
I literally flipped through the day. At the end of the day I told Coach Irene that I had sprained my ankle, and put on a fake limp, favoring my left leg.
Once I was out of sight, I sprinted home. I yanked the door open and raced to Papa’s office. He was sitting reading a letter.. A big smile sat on his face. “Here. Read it!” He said. I took it from his hands. It read:
Report Card for STUDENT: MARTINSEN, Carly Anne
Teacher: Mr Wharton Grade: A- Percent: 90 Position: 5th
Teacher: Ms Murph Grade: A- Percent: 90 Position: 4th
Teacher: Mr Lin Grade: A Percent: 95 Position: 2nd
Teacher: Ms Roberts Grade: A+ Percent: 101 Position: 1st
Teacher: Mr Tibbs Grade: A- Percent:92 Position: 4th
Teacher: Mr Yamin Grade: A Percent: 95 Position: 1st
Teacher: Mr. Carter Grade: A+ Percent: 102 Position: 1st
MODERN LANGUAGES SECTION FOR QUARTER 3:
Teacher: Mrs Abbing Grade:A+ Percent: 100 Position: 1st
Teacher: Ms. Chang Grade: A+ Position: 2nd
Teacher: Mrs. Breedlove Grade: B+ Position: 9th
OVERALL ACADEMIC SCORE: 96%
OTHER SUBJECTS: 90%
GPA: 3.74 GRADE: A
Congratulations! Your child has been promoted to honors class! This is active at the start of the new academic year!
Middle School Principal: Superintendent:
Shari Kaminski Douglas Turner
Filii hodie, et imperantes cras!
Children today, Leaders tomorrow!
“Bravo! Carly you earned a treat! You can invite four of your friends to a pizza party. Here’s a hundred dollars! Keep the change!” He smiled his wide-tooth smile as I squealed and hugged him and kissed him.
Then, I raced to the room I shared with Hilde. I found her on her bed. She jumped up when I came in.
“You’ll never guess what happened! I was promoted to an Honor’s Class!” We yelled in sync.
We screamed. Holding hands, we jumped around. I then performed a series of flips, while Hilde did a series of cartwheels around the room, ending in a splits. When we were finishing our routine, papa walked in.
“Hi Papa! Heh heh!” I said pathetically.
“Hi onkel Andreas!” Hilde said.
“Hi girls. Anyways, Have you guys invited your friends yet?”
“Just doing it.” We replied.
We both grabbed our phones and texted our friends. I invited my best friend Alex- she hates the name Alexandra- Jake, Darryl and Harrison.
Two hours later, though it seemed like longer, happened at The Pizza Place. As kids everyone always had parties at The Pizza Place. It was so much fun!
Darryl arrived first, then Alex, followed by Harrison and Jake. As soon as they walked in, I waved over a waiter. The guy had shiny black hair and dark deep eyes. He also had a stud earring. Alex practically fell over him. I rolled my eyes.
“Hi! Can we have five glasses of Sprite and two large pepperoni pizzas?” I asked, putting on my best fake smile.
“Anything for two beautiful ladies!” He said in a fake Italian accent.
Alex blushed and flipped her dark hair. She gazed adoringly at him, batting her large green eyes. Her tan skin turned pink, as she smiled and giggled at him.
“OMG! He’s so cute!” Alex squealed, as he left the table. We all rolled our eyes and sighed. Alex was like this a lot. It was a wonder that she hated drama.
Ten minutes later, we were digging into the greasy, unhealthy, oily, delicious pizza. We devoured it in less than eight minutes. Darryl would probably say something smarty-pants. Like, we consumed it in seven minutes and forty-eight seconds. Then, he would go on to say that the probability of us eating brownies and ice cream was one hundred percent.
Alex and I had strawberry, Jake had rocky road and Harrison and Darryl had chocolate.
Darryl wiped his mouth and cleared his throat before asking, “So, Carly, what’s the special event?”
“We got our grades back and I got a three point seven four!” I replied, excitedly.
“Neat! I got a four point o.” Darryl said, with no show-offy tone in his voice.
I couldn’t help but feel envious at his natural smartness. I brushed my hair out of my face and stared at the floor for a while, before I composed myself.
“So, you guys, how did you do?” I asked the rest.
“Okay, I got a three point three” Harrison said.
“I got a three point two!” Alex said, enviously.
We looked at Jake expectantly. “Oh. Uh…I got a two point nine! heh…heh…” He trailed off slowly.
I immediately sensed he was lying, and judging by the looks on Harrison’s and Darryl’s faces, I guessed they knew to. I quickly changed the subject to sports. Alex launched into a full description of her gymnastics performance. I tried to pay attention, but my thoughts kept wandering to Jake. In the end I gave up and just nodded occasionally.
I pushed him against the wall and stared at him accusingly. “Why did you lie?”
“What are you talking about?” Jake asked, so innocently I almost believed him. Almost.
“You know what I’m talking about!” I said furiously.
“Okay, fine!” He surrendered.
“So, what did you get?”
“A 0.12” He said meekly.
“Could you say that a bit louder please? I don’t think Chile heard you that well!”
“Oh. Sorry.” I apologized, lamely. “But are you serious?”
“No Carly, I’m a giant clam!” He said, frustrated.
“Be serious!” I yelled.
“Yes, I got a 0.12! Are you happy now?”
“OMG! I’m so, so sorry Jake!”
“It’s okay! I’ll be fine. Harrison’s tutoring me in math!”
“If you’re sure.” I said, uncertainly.
“I am!” He replied, a huge fake smile plastered on his face.
I glanced at him uncertainly. “Okay. If you say so.”
“Let’s go back to the others!”
We walked back to the others just as Darryl was explaining the habitats of brown bears.
“You see, scientists do suspect that some grizzly bears still roam around in Washington. However, there is no proof of brown bears inhabiting Washington. So, unless you were visiting the zoo, you wouldn’t see a brown bear in it’s natural habitat. Or in any other habitat.” Darryl said, finishing his lecture on brown bears.
Alex looked at me, like ‘please save me! I’ll do anything for you.’ I smiled cruelly at her
From what I gathered, I guessed Harrison had tried to impress Alex with talk about seeing a brown bear in the woods. Then, Darryl scoffed at him, proceeding into a ten minute long lecture about the habitats of brown bears. I stifled a laugh, as I remembered the look on Alex’s face.
“What are you smiling at, Carly?” Alex asked me.
“Hmmm?” I asked, before realizing that I must of succeeded in not laughing but failed in not smiling. “Oh, nothing.”
“If you say so.” She said. We were sitting on my bed talking. “By the way, you know that cute guy we met at the pizza place?”
“You mean the one you blatantly flirted with?” I asked, sarcastically.
“Yeah! That’s the one! So, anyways, he asked me out! Like, on a date!”
“Alexandra Grace Stevens! He’s like, nineteen! You’re like, fourteen! Five years difference!” I shouted.
“So? We like each other! Besides, my Dad is like nine years younger than my mum.” She said, angrily.
“Older or younger?” I asked.
“Older! You know what I mean! You’re just trying to change the subject, ‘cause you’re jealous!”
“I’m not jealous! Why would I be jealous?”
“Because I have a boyfriend and you don’t!” She said, sticking out her tongue, like a six-year-old. How immature.
“Uh…buh…Argh!” I said, angry that I couldn’t think of anything to say.
“You’ve just been chasing Jake around since fourth grade! And by the way dummy that’s the year you came to this school!” She said.
“Well, don’t come crying to me when it doesn’t work out!” I retorted.
“Don’t expect me to. And by the way, this little best friend thing is over!” Alex said, her eyes shining with either anger or tears, I couldn’t decide. Maybe both.
“Fine. And don’t bother trying to make up! This isn’t some little fight! I have my life! Don’t try to be some queen, lording everyone about!” Yep, definitely anger.
“I don’t lord everyone about!” I said, furiously.
We fought for a while.
Alex pulled my hair and I yanked on her ear. We rolled over and clawed at each other.
Soon, blood was drawn. But we didn’t stop.
We were still fighting half an hour later when a knock came at the door.
Alex immediately jumped up and brushed herself down. She took of her hair ribbon and put her bloody nails behind her back. I did the same, but also grabbed a brush and began doing, my hair.
“Come in!” I called.
Papa’s red hair poked through the door. “You girls okay?” He asked.
“We’re fine dad!” I answered.
“All good, Mr Martinsen!” Alex said, putting on a fake smile.
“Okay. Alex your Dad is here to pick you up.”
“Okay, thanks.” She said, leaving the room.
“Bye.” I said, fighting to make my voice as neutral as possible.
“Bye.” She responded.
“Carly, aren’t you going to show your guest to the door?” He asked.
I walked with Alex to her car. Her dad, Mr. Stevens, worked for O-CoolTech too. There was some bad blood between him and papa, because they were both tied for the third position.
I looked at papa. His face was drawn into a snarl. I looked at Mr. Stevens. He looked relaxed, but in his eyes I saw a deep hatred. I rolled my eyes, at their silly duel. They were even! Why are they fighting? To prove who’s the better man? This was like cats versus dogs. In the end the dog wins. But who’s the dog?
I pondered over this, while Alex got into her car and her Dad drove away. I was still standing on the curb, when a door slamming knocked me back into the real world. I turned around and saw the bright flash of red from the small window on the door.
I wondered how come he hadn’t told me to come in. Then I realized that he probably thought I was waving goodbye to Alex, as I’d done for four years.
Well not anymore! I walked into the house with my head held high. I went to my room, opened a page in my diary, and wrote:
I raced up the stairs to my apartment on the second floor. I silently turned the lock in my door and slipped inside. I went to my room through the tiny kitchen, tacitly avoiding my mother.
She dealt with bank robbery. And if you’re wondering how come we don’t live in some mansion, it’s because she’s scared the police will come and get her.
I actually think the whole thing is really dumb. I mean come on! What’s the point of robbing banks if you don’t use the money? For the hundredth time I wondered if she was secretly a hoarder. But I shook of the thought, imagining her expensive hairdo and clothing. Not to mention her extensively largely bedroom, which included the living room.
The buzzing of the intercom interrupted my thoughts. I pressed the button.
“Darryl, please come down. We have something to show you.”
I took the tiny, stuffed elevator down to the ground floor. Two women stood outside.
“Are you Darryl?” The tall red head asked. When I nodded, she continued. “I’m Detective Caroline Opps and I was looking into a bank robbery. It appears that your mother has been stealing amounts of up to a million dollars at every bank she goes to. So far she’s robbed thirteen banks across the state.”
I pretended to look shocked. Then the shorter lady, with purple spikes for hair spoke, “I’m Ms. Kidd. I’m a social worker and deal with cases like yours.” She gave me a reassuring smile that did not do its job at all. “You can confide in me.” Then, as if I was a dumb-witted first grader she added, “Confide means trust in. You can tell me anything.”
I nodded again, still not speaking. “Darryl, we’re here to take you to the Family for Troubled Kids social group. Is that okay?” Opps told me.
I spoke for the first time. “Can I go get my book?”
“…What do you mean you’re new?” The dumb pink-haired lady asked.
I noticed that social workers must love hair dye. “I’m sure I’ve seen you around somewhere!”
“No, you haven’t!” I said, willing myself not to explode with the frustration welling up inside because of this pink-haired receptionist. “I don’t even have ‘one of those face’! Hello! Amber eyes! Dark skin! Short hair! Open your eyes lady!” I yelled, causing everyone in the room to look at us.
“Ah! You’re right! I haven’t seen you before!” She said grinning. “Well then what’s your name? Full one please.”
“Darryl, with a y, Russell Klein.” I said slowly, for her benefit.
“Okay. Thanks. Here’s a form to fill out.”
I glanced over the questions. There were basic ones like, your age and your birthday, and there were some that were completely off topic. Like, ‘do you prefer tacos to tortillas?’ And whether or not you like Captain America.
Sighing, I reluctantly scribbled and circled answers onto the paper.
I entered my new room.
One peek destroyed all my visions of a neat room, filled with books.
It made pigsties look neat. There was dirty underwear everywhere. On the bunks, on the eighties radio, even on the air conditioner.
Also, the room was packed. And loud! It was like entering a dance party. Half the lights were off and the latest pop music was pumping out of the stereo. This mixed in with the stench of sweaty teenage boys dancing and dirties underwear, resulted in me wishing I could live in the trash.
“Why would you want to live in the trash?” Asked a teenager, about a year older than me. He had signs of a beard. I guessed he was south Asian.
Realizing that I had spoken aloud, I fretted to correct myself. “I said…um…This is a lot better than trash place I used to live in!”
The boys accepted my answer and carried on. Except for the Asian kid. I saw intelligence beneath his dark brown eyes.
Waving a strand of black hair out of his face, he came over.
“Hi!” He said, “I’m Sanjit!”
“Darryl.” I said, shaking his hand.
“What grade are you in Darryl?”
“Really? Me too!”
I was taken aback by his answer. I was sure he was fifteen. “Really! How old are you?”
“Twelve.” He said, in a that-is-the-most-obvious-thing-in-the-world type of voice.
I was smart, but even I wasn’t twelve in eighth grade. Sure I was in eleventh grade math and English. And in all the other academics. Except for French. In my school we don’t skip grades without one hundred percent in every subject.
“You look older.”
“I know!” Sanjit said sadly.
“Why are you sad?” I asked, astonished that this was bad. I knew how angry Harrison got because he was shorter than everyone else.
“I have no friends in my school. Everyone in my grade is older than me and they think I’m weird.” He said, crestfallen.
“Well you do now!” I said, in a fake tone of cheerfulness. I find it hard to make friends, let alone be one. But Sanjit looked so happy I left my thoughts. After all at three forty-five p.m. on June nineteenth I would be officially two years older than him.
“When’s your birthday?” I asked
“June eighteenth, at one twenty-two a.m.” He said, proudly.
“Really!” I asked. Perhaps he was a psychic.
He nodded. “Why?”
“Because that means that I’ll never be more than two years older than me.”
His face lit up. I wondered why he welcomed the fact so greatly. “On Friday’s we have wrestling. No one’s in my age group, so I’m not apart of it.” He said, “I get latrine duty.”
“Well not anymore!”
I desperately wanted to go back. I’m not a fighter! And I especially didn’t want to fight my new best friend. But he looked so excited that I reluctantly climbed into my tight fitting wrestler uniform.
I looked like a tomato. I had on a goofy red helmet, those blue teeth protector things and I was wearing a skintight bright red uniform. It was humiliating.
I watched the fights, wishing I had Harrison’s melting ability. Or even better, invisibility!
I stepped on to the makeshift ring. Sanjit had a goofy look on his face. I sighed. Let’s get this over with. I thought. Thomas blew the whistle. His grey eyes looking on in excitement. Sanjit and I circled each other. Then, without any warning he charged.
I moved to the side. Sanjit ran straight off the mat. I was pleased that I might win without hurting him.
Thomas blew the whistle once more. This time as soon as the whistle was blown he ran straight at me. I panicked and uselessly held my hands out in front of me.
I was down on the ground before I knew it.
I was ashamed.
In the final round, after the whistle was blown, I circled Sanjit quickly. I randomly went in opposite directions, hoping to confuse him. Instead, my head felt dizzy and just before I stumbled, Sanjit ran over and pinned me to the ground. I distantly heard the sound of Thomas saying, “One…. Two…Three! You’re out!” But my head was too far away to pay attention. I remember Sanjit getting off me. After that there was blank nothingness.
I woke up on a stinky bed that smelled of urine. I pinched the bridge of my nose in an attempt to rid myself of the spell of nausea and dizziness. The nurse noticed that I was awake and came over.
Her nametag read: KATE
My first thought of her was that she was the first person without dyed hair since I got here. My second thought was wow! Her black, shiny hair was done in a bob form, and her silver eyes were like two full moons. When she spoke it was like listening to a hundred mice squeak at the same time.
“Good to see you’re awake!” She squeaked. “Those wrestling matches must end!!” She rubbed her temples, as if she had a headache. “Every day! Concussions, broken legs, bruised butts! Do I need to go on?”
I shook my head. My mind was trying to process what she said. Concussions? Broken legs? This couldn’t be the Family for Troubled Kids.
“OH this isn’t the FTK by the way,” She said, as if reading my mind, “We’re at Hope Hospital.”
“Wait the hospital?” I asked, astonished.
She laughed in a sort of hyena way, “Of course silly! Tabitha couldn’t handle an unconscious boy!”
“Wait!” I said, “I was unconscious?”
“Well of course!” She squeaked. “What do you think happened?”
To be honest, I had no idea. I couldn’t remember a thing. “I don’t know.” I said.
“I would expect so.”
“I’m hungry!” I said, suddenly recognizing my hurting stomach, for pangs of hunger.
“Well I would think so!” She admonished. “What being knocked out for two days!”
“What!” I had sudden fumes of anger towards Sanjit.
But my anger was quickly replaced by my desperation for food, as she placed a giant plate of food in front of me. It was loaded with roast potatoes, two giant chicken drumsticks, a handful of vegetables and a lake of gravy slathered on top.
Usually I would of turned my nose at the vegetables, but this time I was so hungry I didn’t care.
I piled food into my mouth. I was soon done and asking for a second helping.
In the end, I had eaten three helpings of food and six cups of chocolate milk.
Sighing contently, I laid back into a sleeping position.
But a boy interrupted my visions of sleep.
He poked his head inside the door and I caught a flash of black hair and a glimpse of dark brown eyes.
It was Sanjit.
“They caught my Mum yesterday.” Darryl informed me, with a neutral tone in his voice.
“Aren’t you sad?” I asked disbelievingly. I know I would feel terrible if Mum went to jail.
“Not really,” he said, “We weren’t exactly best buddies!” His voice was dripping with too much excess sarcasm.
“Oh.” I said.
He sighed and adjusted his position on the hospital bed.
I don’t usually mind hospitals, but this place was eerily quiet. It made me wonder about the quality of the service here.
But Darryl didn’t seem to mind so it must be okay. But then again his mother was evil and he’d lived in tiny houses for years.
“So, how’s school?” Darryl asked, interrupting my conscious-self wars.
“Only you would think of that!” I informed him.
He shrugged, and looked at me pointedly.
I sighed. “Same old, same old.” I said.
Darryl looked pleased with that answer. I shook my head, reminding myself that this was the guy who punished himself for getting anything less than his favorite number, one hundred and three. In school all his marks had to be at least one hundred and three percent.
Darryl opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, when Nurse Kate walked in. She smiled at me, making my stomach happy with queasiness, and gave Darryl a tray of food.
“Do you want some?” She squeaked at me.
I looked at Darryl happily enjoying his tuna sandwich and shook my head.
“No thanks,” I told her, “I don’t like tomatoes.”
She shrugged and left the room.
I looked at Darryl, in what I thought was an expectant look.
“What?” he asked.
I had thought wrong.
“You were about to say something when Nurse Kate came.” I reminded him. He looked confused for a while, but then a look of remembrance washed over his face.
“Oh right…Umm…” He struggled to remember, “Oh got it!” He announced, proudly, “Um…How goes training?”
I smiled. I wondered if I could show him without looking like a show-off, but being a show-off.
“I could probably show you if you’d want?”
He nodded excitedly.
I had hit the jackpot!
I formed an image in my mind.
A little drop of fire appeared above Darryl’s eyes. Then, the ball grew long tentacles and a hat. I added a cane for fun. Then, I made the octopus dance around the room. Tipping his hat, every few minutes.
A look of excitement appeared on Darryl’s face.
It quickly vanished when a door opened. Darryl’s friend’s, Sanjit, came inside the room.
“Why does this place smell like burning wood?” He asked. Sanjit was not one for courtesies.
“It’s Henry’s new cologne.” Darryl said quickly.
Henry was my new name. I decided I didn’t want people lording over me, as if I would put them in jail. My decision to remain anonymous took roughly two seconds. Although it was closer to negative one.
“What’s it called?” asked Sanjit.
“Oh…um…” I struggled to make a name. Then it hit me. “Magma.”
“Hmmm….” Sanjit said, buying my rubbish answer. “You might want to check the refund policy.”
“Why?” I asked, before I realized the intention of his words. It was a Sanjit type of joke. “Uh… I meant…Heh-heh! Hardy-haha. Um…yeah.” I was pathetic at fake laughter. For not-the-first-time I wished that I had Jake’s amazing dramatic skills. That would’ve saved me on many occasions. Way too many occasions!
“Was that another attempt at false dramatic guffawing?” Sanjit asked.
I was lost. “What’s guffawing?”
He made a disapproving noise. “It’s a form of laughter.”
There was an uneasy silence for a while after that. I looked at my shoes, obviously avoiding Sanjit’s intelligent eyes. Darryl broke the silence.
“ Sanjit!” He said enthusiastically. “Why don’t you show Harrison- uh Henry your theory of the solution to blindness?”
He fell for it completely.
I whispered thanks to Darryl as Sanjit launched into a full description of the job of an eye and how it could be replaced.
I quickly regretted my thanks.
I was lost. But Darryl seemed to be following along nicely. I wondered if that would be his next invention. Robot eyes. I imagined dramatic music playing in te background.
“So what is your particular opinion on the topic of my speech?” He asked, in his fancy language. Darryl told me he only did it when I was around. I failed to feel gratitude towards him for purposely using very formal English.
“Uh…” I said, struggling to find the right words. “I think you could accomplish it better with camera eyes.”
“Huh!” He said shocked, “I didn’t think of that!”
“Yeah…well…you know me!” I said. “Full of surprises! Heh…”
Darryl watched the whole scene unfold with great amusement. That was my fancy speech! Take that Sanjit!
I flew home.
I had been practicing my flying secretly.
When everyone was snoring, I would creep outside through my window. Then I would fly to Mt. Baker.
Mt. Baker used to erupt frequently, but it’s been dormant for a while so I wasn’t that worried.
I flew there and began practicing my lava techniques. At first I doubted I could make lava, because lots of sources said lava was molten rock.
But after my first attempt, all those many weeks ago, I had gone from a feeble little lava golf ball, to a massive pillar.
I also discovered that if you left the lava to cool on a particularly cool night it would become rock. Solid rock.
That was why Carly was waiting for me on Mt Baker tonight just before midnight.
Yesterday I had told her my theory. I thought that if we could make a solid enough wall, we could probably make a great defense.
Not that there has been any danger at all. And I had discovered that I didn’t need heat to make fire.
That was awesome!
I arrived at Mt. Baker as the sky was changing from blue to pitch black.
I found Carly playing with some snow.
“I didn’t know you could do that.” I said.
She whipped around immediately. Lashing at me with an icy whip. I narrowly dodged it and had just regained my senses, when a wave of water came at me.
I made a shield of fire around me just in time. The water sizzled and evaporated. But she wasn’t done.
She closed her eyes and raised her hands. A fog swept around us.
Within a few moments I couldn’t see anything. Lightning crackled in the background.
I was entertained at first but now I was getting bored. I melted.
As I melted I realized something. My name was Magma, but I never realized that my liquid form might actually be lava. That would explain my weird lava abilities.
I flew upwards in lava form pondering this latest discovery.
But yet another wave of water shocked out of my senses. Thankfully it wasn’t a literate thought. I shuddered.
Then remembering I was in liquid form, I suddenly realized that I was swirling around. I was separating.
I quickly made myself human again. Then I pressed my fire amulet.
Immediately my costume formed around me. I made myself heat up.
All around me the water started boiling and hissing. I didn’t stop until it disappeared into the air. Literally.
I flew straight upwards and out of sight. Then I circled back and came up behind Carly.
I tapped her shoulder and made a fire sword. She jumped and then smiled.
“Fine!” She sighed, “You win!”
My mouth dropped open. “That was a game!” I yelled.
She nodded. “Hello? Have you forgotten the whole secrecy thing?” She asked. “I’m not as dumb as I look!” She rubbed her arms as if cold.
I made a fire and looked questionably at her. She smiled and shook her head.
“I make ice Harrison! I don’t get cold that often.”
I put my flame out. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
I stared at her.
“Alright! It was the twins!”
“Kevin and Karen?” I asked stupidly.
“No Harrison! Bob and Kate!” She said sarcastically.
I jumped back, as if bitten. Carly used to be the nicest person on earth. I wasn’t used to her sarcasm.
“I’m sorry Harrison! It was just that I hate being treated like some kind of rainless Blondie!” She apologized. “I just wish they knew I wasn’t some Barbie doll! My head isn’t empty!”
She looked off into the distance. Her eyes shone as if wet. They probably were.
“Carly! You’re the smartest girl I know!” I told her, truthfully. “You are the last person I would say was a plastic doll. First would obviously be Karen and Kevin!” I said. Then I found a joke I could say. “Kevin would be Barbie and Karen, Ken! It’s a perfect match!”
Carly choked out a laugh. She wiped her nose and dried her eyes using her waterpower. “Now let’s do what we were here for! She said in a gravelly voice. I smiled at her and told her the plan.
I was chilling out in my bedroom making force fields hold my textbooks open.
I was still very serious about this whole studying thing. So far I had managed to push my grades up to a 75.
If I managed to increase my grade by three percent, I wouldn’t have to go to summer school! No textbooks stopping me from freedom and fun times.
I couldn’t concentrate anymore, because the visions of enjoying some rocky road were just too overwhelming.
My imagination took place and soon I was floating in a pool of rocky road. I sighed and closed my eyes. My sister put a sad stop to my beautiful vision.
“Jake!” She said, poking her head inside my room. “Mom said it’s time for dinner!”
“OK!” I yelled back. “Just coming!”
I put the textbook down and got off my bed.
I was just going up the stairs, when my phone beeped. I raced down and read it.
Chat: Harrison WHITE, Carly MARTINSEN, Darryl KLEIN
Harrison: Hey Jake! What up? Meet in the tree house after dinner? C ya there! :)
Carly: Don’t be l8!
My phone beeped consistently as they continued to remind me. Finally, Carly checked if I was still there.
Carly: Jake? U there?
Me: I’m here.
Carly: Kay. C ya l8er!
“JAKE!” My father boomed. “HERE NOW!!”
“Coming!” I replied.
I raced up the stairs and was entering the dining room, before they could blink.
“What’s for dinner?” I asked.
“Leftovers.” Dad said.
“Which ones?” I asked sarcastically.
“The macaroni and cheese.” He replied, missing my sarcasm.
“Your father worked extremely hard on that you know!” My mother scolded me.
Dad was the chef d’état in this house. But my French wasn’t exactly exquisite. So it could either mean head of state or chef of status. I wasn’t sure. I found the French language to be designed for geniuses like Darryl.
“My most humble apologies father.” I said in my best posh, sorry accent. “I had no idea of the offense I would cause you by doing what I so unkindly did. How will you ever forgive me?”
“It’s alright son. I forgive you!” He said.
But of course Mom ruined it.
“Don’t listen to him Hank! He’s only acting!” Mom reprimanded him.
“Oh. You were?” Dad asked disbelievingly.
“Why I would never do such a horrible thing Dad!” I acted shocked.
“Yes you would!” piped up Jane.
Jane’s talent lay in soccer and annoying me. She was unfortunately amazing at both.
“Shut up Jane!” I hissed between my teeth. “Stop. Tattling…snitch!”
Sadly, Mom caught the last word and demanded an apology out of me.
Jane stuck out her tongue as I was apologizing. Mom also forced her to apologize. I smiled at her and she attacked me as viciously as a cougar.
“Jane! Bed NOW!” Mom yelled.
“B-b-but Jake. He-” She trailed off, looking at mom’s furious expression and her extended arm pointed upwards.
She gave me one last dirty look and stormed off. My super hearing caught her muttering some very specific words about me.
I smiled. What a little baby!
“And you can go too!” Mom yelled at me. “And wipe that little smile of your face!”
I leaped up and walked out of the room.
There was obviously something going on at work.
If mom’s company failed, then we would have to live off the sixty million dollars in their bank account. I shuddered. Only sixty million? How would we survive?
If Harrison’s Dad lost his job they’d still do well. What with mansions all over the world? They could survive with thirty million dollars. But could my family?
My phone rang just then. I touched ‘Answer’.
“Yeah?” I asked.
“Jake? Where are you?” Carly asked.
“Oh man! I forgot! I’m so sorry! On my way now.”
I smiled. “You know me! I’m pretty quick!”
I cut the call and went upstairs.
Thankfully Mom wasn’t there, so I didn’t have to face her evil wrath.
“Bye, dad! Out for a walk! Visiting Carly!”
“Bye, son!” answered Dad. “Have fun! Be back in twenty minutes before your mother notices!”
I zoomed towards the tree house at about three hundred miles per hour. I arrived in less than thirty seconds.
“Finally!” Carly said.
“So what’s the big deal?” I asked.
“We have something to show you!”
“Well what is it?” I asked impatiently.
Carly looked at Harrison and they both smiled mischievously.
“If you insist.” Said Harrison. “Take a seat.”
I sat on an icy cold chair next to Darryl.
“Any idea what this is about?” I asked.
“Nope.” He replied.
We settled back to watch the show. Carly had made a stage of ice. And now she and Harrison were making a decent sized fog.
“Gentlemen!” Announced Harrison. “I present to you Michelangelo!”
The fog settled and died into nothingness. Carly made a sphere of water and was waiting patiently. Harrison raised his hands and made lava in the shape of a fire. Carly then showered it with water.
When the smoke had died, a rocky fire lay in the middle of the stage.
Darryl and I applauded, as Harrison and Carly held hands and bowed.
I couldn’t stop the pangs of jealousy that went off inside as they hugged each other.
I forced a smile and clapped, as Darryl yelled Again! Again!
Harrison and Carly smiled and nodded.
Harrison made a self-portrait of himself out of lava. Sighing, Carly doused it with water. She made a waving motion with her hands to make the smoke disappear.
A perfect image of Harrison lay in its place.
Harrison proceeded to make statues of all of us. Finally he made a tree. On the tree were the words: The Super 4
I smiled. That was to be our superhero team name. The Super 4. I liked that. Our team. Our superhero team.
There was only one thing left to do. I started by using my force field to move the tree right in front of the tree house. Then, came the statues. The fire I left alone. I hoped Harrison wouldn’t notice, but sadly he did.
“Hey! What about my fire?” He asked, annoyed.
“It doesn’t show team support.” I informed him.
He shut his eyes. Soon a hammer of lava appeared. Carly sprayed that.
Next was a lightning bolt. Curly happily sprayed that.
Finally a sphere surrounded by three lines appeared.
When that to was sprinkled, I obligingly moved it under the tree. Or more accurately I put Harrison’s directly under the tree. Carly’s on the left branch, and Darryl’s on the right branch. I carefully positioned my sphere at the top of the tree.
Harrison then made a fifteen-foot tall wall of lava surrounding the entire tree house.
Frowning, Carly made a rainstorm directly overhead.
“This way,” explained Harrison, “Only we can get in. I could fly over, you could bounce on your force fields, you can use your stretchiness and Carly can use an icy bridge!”
“Well then, we better stop coming here with Tess, huh?” Said Carly.
“Oh no! How unfortunate!” Harrison said maliciously.
We all laughed.
I looked at the time on my phone. 8:17pm.
I cursed under my breath. I was going to be grounded for sure!
“Guys, I have to go!” I told them. “My mom’s going to kill me! Bye!”
I zoomed away before they could respond. Or blink.
I snuck in as silently as possible. But then I stopped when I heard the snores coming from the couch. I relaxed immediately.
But then I remembered that neither of my parents snored.
I looked around. There were pictures of cats everywhere. In fact there were cats themselves everywhere!
I suddenly realized that in my confusion I must’ve gone to the cat man’s house. He lived right next to us and was a complete psycho! He polished his guns every fortnight!
I was creeping out of his house, when I accidentally stepped on a fat ginger cat’s tail.
I held my breath.
The cat drew back and hissed at me. Scratching my arm. She then wailed. Loudly.
Crazy Cat Man shot up out of his seat and pulled out his gun. He aimed at me and told me to put my hands in the air.
I had no intention of doing that, and instead ran out of the house, his yelling, but a background noise, as I was now safely in my bedroom.
My bedroom with Jane sitting on my bed.
The bedroom in which her mouth was wide open.
She looked at me in absolute terror.
“Let me explain.” I told her.
And I opened my mouth and relayed everything.
Everything since the sodas.
I would meet Harrison as usual on Mt. Baker.
Despite us having mastered the rock technique, we still met here. We both found it relaxing and peaceful.
But not today.
As I waited for him to show up, I noticed some small explosions of gases. I accidentally walked right into one and inhaled the toxic fumes. It was volcanic gas.
Quickly, I condensed the water vapor that was being released and sprayed it on the top of the volcano.
But it wasn’t enough.
I quickly did the harder task of drawing water out of thin air. I made a lot of water and quenched the lava. But right as it seemed like the match was going in my favor, volcanic gases erupted right in my face.
I lost control of the water and found myself losing consciousness. I fought with myself to stay awake. But it was a losing battle. The lava bubbled and spat.
Just as I thought it was over, a person, dressed in black came swooping down. After that there was only darkness.
I awoke with the sun shining in my face.
I got up, wondering why I was feeling so achy and tired. Then it all came back to me. The lava battle, the inhalation of the toxic fumes, the flash of blue. And most of all I remembered the cold, uninviting darkness that followed. I shivered as if cold.
“Carly? Are you alright?” asked the caring voice of Hilde.
“I’m fine just tired.”
“Go back to bed then.”
“I can’t! My mind’s awake, so I’m awake!”
“Oh. Okay then, if you say so.”
“Okay. I’m going out for breakfast so…um…bye?”
I got out my phone and texted Harrison as soon as she had left. My mind was bubbling with ideas. And it wouldn’t settle down.
Me: Can I go over 2 ur house?
Me: We need to talk!
Harrison: OK! B there in 10 mins.
Me: K! C ya there!
I went into the kitchen searching for food. I found some bacon and eggs and fried them up. I put some bread in the toaster and was waiting for it to pop out, when papa appeared out of nowhere.
He observed my meal. “Bacon. Sunny side-up eggs. And slightly buttered toast.”
“But one thing is missing.” He said.
I knew what he meant, but decided to play around a bit. “You know I was just thinking that, Papa!”
“You were?” He smiled, his eyes twinkling.
“Yeah! Where’s the hot chocolate?” I asked, using my best acting skills. “I’ve searched high and brøle!”
“Well you haven’t looked low enough you cheeky little gjøre klovnestreker!”
“Papa! I’m not a monkey!” I complained.
Papa laughed. He opened the bottom cupboard and pulled out some white-hot chocolate. My favorite.
But instead of handing it over, he waved over my head in a mocking manner.
“What’s the magic word?”
“Please!!! Papa! Give it!”
Papa smiled and handed it over. I scooped two teaspoons of the cocoa powder and stirred it into a milky mixture.
I hated cocoa with water. It either made it tasteless or too watery.
It was ironic that I could control water, but didn’t like water in my most favorite drink.
“Yum… Smakfull! Delicious!”
I settled back eating and drinking my breakfast, while watching ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’ I sighed with content, enjoying the thick richness of the milky chocolate. Harrison could wait a few extra minutes, if it meant savoring this delicious, one-of-a-kind flavor. The whole world could wait for all I care!
I walked into Harrison’s driveway and nodded to the guards. I had come here for almost five years, so the guards knew me pretty well.
I rung the doorbell and patiently waited for someone to answer.
Harrison’s Mum answered.
“Hi Mrs. White!”
“Well, come on in! It’s pretty chilly today.”
I hadn’t felt the cold, but I realized that even before I had my powers, Mrs. White always seemed to feel the cold.
I found this amusing.
“Is Harrison here?”
“He’s upstairs getting dressed.” She told me. “You could wait here if you like.”
“Have you eaten yet?”
“Do you want a drink?” She asked hopeful that I would announce my quest to quench this thirst that had haunted me for generations to past.
“What would you like?” She asked. “We have tea, coffee, juice, hot chocolate, mil-”
I interrupted her. “Hot chocolate! Uhh…I meant hot chocolate would be great thanks!” Mrs. White made the best hot chocolate ever! And she put water in her hot chocolate! And it was still perfect!
Mrs. White left to go and make the hot chocolate.
Just as Harrison came downstairs.
“So why the special occasion?” He asked. getting straight to the point.
“I wanted to thank you for yesterday.” I told him, shyly.
“What for?” He asked stupidly.
I looked around. “For saving my life! What else?”
“Umm…Carls, I didn’t save your life.”
“What!” I said, struggling to keep my voice down.
But just as he was about to respond, Mrs. White came in.
“Harrison sit on the couch or not at all!” She reprimanded him. I loved the way that she didn’t pretend to be a perfect little family in front of everyone.
Harrison sighed, getting off the arm of the couch and sitting on the couch.
“There! That wasn’t so hard now, was it?”
“Good! Now I’ll leave you to alone.”
“Thanks for the hot chocolate Mrs. White!” I called, as she left the room.
“Anytime Carly!” She flashed me a perfect white smile, which looked stunning against her dark skin.
I sipped the hot chocolate and for one moment I was in heaven. “Smakfull!” I said.
“What was that?” Asked Harrison.
“Oh. It was just delicious in Norwegian.” I told him, half-heartedly.
“I thought my mum’s hot chocolate was delicious worldwide not just in Norway!” He said, attempting a joke.
“Har. Har. You’re hilarious.” I told him sarcastically.
“Thank you very much!” He said, bowing. “Now anyways Carls, I didn’t save you last night. I was exhausted and fell asleep before everyone else. I’m really sorry!”
“It’s OK.” I told him.
I finished my hot chocolate in silence.
I walked home, pondering over my mysterious savior, who, apparently, could fly!
It was a mystery straight from Nancy Drew!
I was in my room reading a book, when Sanjit walked in.
“Hey Darryl!” He said. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing.” I said.
“It doesn’t look like nothing to me!” He responded, annoyingly.
“Well,” I told him, “If you’re as smart as they say, you would probably know that I’m reading!”
“Which book?” He asked.
I raised the cover to show him.
He frowned at the words. “Well, there’s an ‘I’ and umm…I think that’s an ‘s’. And…um…a ‘j’. And a-”
“You can’t read!” I exclaimed, shocked.
He shook his head.
“But…you’re so smart!”
‘I know, but I never learnt to read!” He spoke with his eyes shining. “You see, I just memorize stuff. Besides, I’m dyslexic!” He looked like he was on the verge of tears.
“So how are you in eighth grade?” I asked, still dealing with the shock.
“I’m a special needs kid.” He said sadly. “I don’t go to a fancy school like yours, I just…go to public school. The teachers don’t bother trying to teach me how to read, they just ask me questions and make me perform my essay aloud.”
“Hey! If you want I can teach you how to read!”
“Really?” He asked, surprised. “You would do that for me?”
“Of course!” I replied. “We’re best friends!”
“Thanks Darryl! I owe you big time!”
“So when do we begin?”
I spent the next few days trying to teach Sanjit to read. We studied from five am to seven am, and at night we studied from seven to ten pm.
Despite being a genius, Sanjit found it really hard to learn.
“That’s an ‘m’…no an ‘n’!” He said, struggling over the word ‘wanted’. He said something in Hindi.
He always forgot that I didn’t know Hindi. I caught the words ‘oh man!’ But after that I was lost.
“What did you say?”
He looks up, as if he forgot I was there.
“Huh? Oh, I said, ‘Oh man! This is so hard!’ ” He said, talking in a bored tone- he was very focused on the ‘troubling’ word in front of him.
“You’ll get there!” I said, as reassuring as possible.
“No I won’t!” He screams, standing up. “I can read Hindi and speak it, I’m fluent at Spanish! But I can’t read simple English? I’ll never be able to read! Or get into Yale!”
He kicks the bedpost, in an attempt to feel better. Judging by the contorted look on his face, I guessed that it didn’t help in the least.
“You’ll get there eventually!” I said. “You’re too old! The older you are the harder it is to read a new language. Or even understand it!”
“You’re right.” He said, as if it just occurred to him. “I’m sorry for losing my temper Darryl. Please forgive me!”
“It’s fine.” I smiled. “Now let’s continue!”
I arrived at the tree house as the sun was setting, turning everything to a brilliant gold. I usually loved these rare moments.
But I couldn’t focus.
So much had happened in the past two weeks, that it gave me a headache.
Mum had been arrested, I went to a social home, my best friend gave knocked me out, and now I’m teaching my best friend to read.
I doubt that happens to normal nearly-fourteen-years-old people.
I stretched my body to about sixteen feet, and climbed over the wall.
Once inside, I returned to my normal height of five foot, three inches. Before I got my powers, I was five foot, but since then I had mysteriously grown three inches. Most people tagged it off as a growth spurt, but I knew that that was a little far from the truth.
Smiling, I made my way to the latest edition. The tree of powers. At least that’s what I’m calling it. It seems cool.
I sat down under the tree, closed my eyes and prayed.
I prayed for wisdom.
I was feeling so conflicted!
Ms. Kidd said I could visit Mum in prison, but I didn’t have the courage to face her. She was always a tyrant, but now she was in jail.
She would be Godzilla’s bad side.
Also, I left the hospital last week, on the day of Harrison and Carly’s little exhibition, but I still got painful headaches every now and then.
I wasn’t sure whether to go to the nurse or not. I saw the nurse picking her nose and…eating it!
I was certain that the levels of hygiene in doing so, were very, very low.
Also, I prayed that Sanjit would be able to grip the english language reading skills, and be able to go to Yale like he’s always wanted.
I prayed and prayed. I had no idea how long I was under that tree. But I knew it was long.
The sky was a deep blue by the time I got back to FTK.
The moon looked like a giant blot of white paint, on a sheet of navy paper. The sun shone brightly from behind the moon. It lit up the floor better than any streetlamp.
It was then that I realized how powerful the people who control the elements were.
With fire you could both warm someone and blind them.
With water you could both make life and end it.
With air you could make an abundance of oxygen. Or take it away.
With earth you could create a truckload of precious stones. As well as an army of destruct bots.
I wished I had fire or water like Harrison or Carly.
They were so powerful!
And infinitely more popular and easier to talk to.
And it wasn’t all because of her enormous kindness. For most people it was because she was so beautiful!
But what was wrong with me?
I had golden eyes! Shiny white teeth! I’m pretty sure I was handsome! So why was I so unapproachable?
Could it be my brain size?
Could they be jealous?
People were so weird! I preferred machines who did exactly what you wanted them to.
If you built a human friend, they would do anything and everything they were programmed to.
Why couldn’t I program humans?
That would make life so much easier.
But the sad truth was life was unfair!
I sighed as I opened the door.
I muttered a hello to pink-haired reception lady, Francesca.
She smiled at me and waved.
I waved back.
I climbed the stairs to my dorm room. An excited Sanjit was waiting for me as soon as I opened the door.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I got it!” He said. “The word was wanted!”
“Well done!” I congratulated him. “I told you you’d get it!”
He was like the brother I never had.
“Thank you very much!” I said, bowing. “Now anyways Carls, I didn’t save you last night. I was exhausted and fell asleep before everyone else. I’m really sorry!”
“It’s okay.” She told me.
I sat down in the living room for longer than necessary.
My brain was having the workout that it hadn’t had for longer than I could remember.
Wasn’t I the only flier in town?
Heck, wasn’t I the only flier in North America?
So who was this mysterious person?
Maybe I was sleepwalking. I thought. But I quickly dismissed the thought, as even if I had been sleepwalking I wouldn’t of been able to carry Carly to her room.
Or save her at all.
I walked to Jake’s house in silence, my brain spinning with possible thoughts.
Could Jake have bounced along on his force fields?
But then Carly would notice, after all his force fields are a light blue.
I walked up to Jake’s door without even looking up.
I was staring at the ground. Something I usually did when concentrating hard.
Jane opened the door.
“Hi Harrison.” She said, dryly. She no longer cared for my visits, as she had when I first became Jake’s best friend.
“JAKE!!” She yelled over her shoulder. With her excitement, gone too had her show of politeness. “HARRISON IS HERE FOR YOU!!!”
“COMING!!” He yelled back.
One of the reasons I liked Jake was his inability to treat me like royalty.
Suddenly Jake’s head popped into the doorway.
“Wow!” Jane said, taken aback from his sudden appearance. “Where’d you come from?”
“You know me.” He said smugly. “Quicker than lightning!”
“Dude!” I said, laughing. “The phrase is ‘quick as lightning!’ not quicker than!”
Jane and I- finding the whole scene hilarious- laughed our heads off.
“Pff.” He says, fuming. “I knew that! I was just testing your knowledge!”
“Right…” She says under her breath.
“Remember ‘Bullet’?” He asks, making a quick glance at me.
I realized the connection a few seconds later.
“Harrison?” He said. “You might want to come down to my room.”
“Sure…” I said uncertainly as he led me to his soundproof lair.
He sat me down on his bed, while pacing around anxiously around the room. No doubt thinking of how to explain.
“Jake.” I told him, getting straight to the point. “Would you kindly explain how Jane managed to find out about your powers?” I asked, with a great deal of difficulty. My anger was making it hard to keep my voice at a level tone.
It was also making me speak fancy talk.
“Well,” He began. “It happened like this..”
And then the whole truth was revealed.
How the crazy guy practically shoved a gun in his face: told.
How Jane came down to his room to look for a hairbrush: spoken.
How Jane had saw him use his powers and was told everything: That too, unfortunately, was said.
I felt like bashing his head into his neck.
An uncomfortable image of a headless Jake filled my mind.
“Look Harrison I’m really sorry!” He apologized. “But Jane saw me! And if I hadn’t explained everything people would probably come and experiment on me!” He sounded really worried and scared. “Then they would use lie detectors to find out about you guys!”
I thought carefully about what he said.
Darryl was usually the thinker, but unfortunately it was just the two of us.
“Does Jane know about Darryl, Carly and I?” I asked him.
“I might’ve mentioned it,” He said uncertainly. “But then again what difference would it of made?” he asked. “She would’ve figured it out eventually!”
I knew he was right.
“Well…if you’re sure we can trust her….then I guess it’s alright.” I admitted.
He nodded furtively.
“I trust her with my life!” He said over exaggerating again.
That was a good sign that he was over the whole anxiety thing.
“Well…I hope you placed your life in the right hands!” I told him. “Because otherwise we’ll all end up as lab rats in some dank laboratory in Antarctica or like some other really secluded place.”
Jake looked confused.
“Quiz time!” He said. “Define the definition of ‘secluded’!”
“It means…” I said, thinking of a fake definition that would fit into my sentence. “…It means laboratory!”
“Correct!” He exclaimed. “And your winner is….” Like a TV. host he did a drum roll. “…HARRISON WHITE!!”
I choked back a laugh as Jake looked at me with a smug look of satisfaction.
He was so dumb.
But then I remembered what I was there for.
“Jake,” I asked, as least suspiciously as possible. “What time did you go to bed last night?”
“Oh man!” He informed me. “I was so tired last night! I went to bed at like…eight o’clock!”
Carly would’ve been on Mt. Baker at midnight, so there was no way Jake could’ve rescued her.
“Oh…Okay,” I told him.
“Why’d you ask?” He asked me.
“No reason.” I replied.
I left his house ten minutes later, still no closer to figuring out this mystery.
Carly obviously hadn’t saved herself, nor had Jake or I.
The last person would be Darryl, but somehow I didn’t imagine him getting up at midnight to swing to the top of a mountain.
So the mystery continued.
I went over and over my theories in my head until I got to my room.
I sat down on my bed.
My phone rang and I picked it up.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Hey Harrison! It’s Carly!” She sounded nervous, as if someone was watching her. “I remembered something else from last night.”
“What was it?” I asked, wondering where the conversation was going.
“Just before I lost consciousness, I felt a presence. Something that seemed to suck the light and warmth out of everything.”
“WHAT!” I said loudly, shocked to my core.
“It couldn’t be you,” She informed me. “You radiate light and heat. But this person was devoid of it.”
I couldn’t respond. My dry throat made it hard to talk.
I had an idea who this mysterious person might be.
“Do you have any clue as to who this person might be?” Carly asked.
“Nope! Not a clue!”
“Alright I’ll keep looking!”
“Oh and it wasn’t Jake either!” I remembered. “He went to bed at the same time as me.”
“That’s weird.” Carly said.
“Um. If you say so!” I told her.
“Bye.” She cut the call.
“Bye.” I spoke into the echoes of our conversation.
Talk about weird!
There was only one person in the town who was so completely devoid of light and warmth.
But what would he gain by saving Carly?
Perhaps he likes her?
What was his ulterior move in rescuing Carly?
I wish I knew what he wanted.
Why the Shadow wanted to save Carly’s life.
Why would Harrison want to know about my sleeping habits?
I wonder if he had considered the uselessness and weirdness of his questions.
I could expect that from Darryl, because Darryl tells me multiple times that the amount of sleep you get is crucial to how awake and focused your brain is and all that useless information.
But useless information from Harrison? What happened to all the basketball scores and fights over whether Michael Jordan was better than LeBron James?
What happened to that?
I walked upstairs to Jane’s room.
But just as I was placing my hand on the doorknob, I heard some giggling coming from inside.
“I’m so happy I made it to the swimming finals!” It wasn’t the voice of Rachel. It wasn’t squeaky enough. So who was it?
“I know right!” Came Jane’s voice, “It’s going to be so awesome Miranda!”
I bit back a gasp of shock.
Miranda Boxer was a snobby fourteen-year-old, who had repeated. I hated her so much because of what she did to Jane and me.
Before she repeated she had bullied me consistently.
After she repeated she took to 22ing Jane, claiming that this was her revenge at me for making her repeat.
She had serious anger issues.
But, all of a sudden, she was currently sitting on my sister’s bed talking about swimming finals.
Not even a mention at her boxing trophies or recent matches! No talk of fighting at all.
I was amazed!
“Hold on Miranda!” I heard Jane say. “Let me get us some drinks!”
I processed her words a few seconds too late. She opened the door as soon as I turned around.
“What are you doing Jake?”
“Um…” I said, my mind blank. “I was coming up to check if you were in here.”
“Well,” She said. “I’m here. You can run along now. Shoo!”
“Wait.” I said as she closed the door. “Who’s in there with you?”
“Miranda Boxer.” She admitted, sighing. “Why?”
“No reason.” I said. “Oh and Jane.” I added. “Don’t forget to get your guest a drink. You don’t want to be rude!”
“Urgh!” She growled, her face bunched up into a fierce scowl.
I giggled, unable to contain my laughter, her face was hilarious! And because I caused her face to be so bunched up, it was even better!
“I’ll kill you!” She said loudly, forgetting all about Boxer girl.
“Jane?” Boxer girl’s voice came from inside the room. “What’s happening?”
Before Jane could reply, Miranda came marching out the room.
“Oh.” She said, shocked. “Hi Jake! How’s it going?”
“Boxer girl.” I nodded at her, hoping to retain my cool, unbothered look.
“Hahaha!” She fake laughed. “Ha! You are so funny Jake!” She said smiling at me, and flipping her auburn hair at me. “‘Boxer girl’! I would’ve never thought of anything as hilarious as that!”
“Yeah…” I spoke with a great deal of uncertainty in my voice. A nice Miranda seemed impossible. “I’m hilarious!”
“Oh yes you are, Patterson!” She spoke with a lack of sarcasm.
I was now amazed more than ever!
“Well…” I said, once again shocked speechless. “I’ll be in my room.”
“Whatever.” Muttered my sister.
“See you later, cutie!” Miranda said, spooking me out.
“Uhh..Bye?” I said, confused and conflicted.
All of a sudden Miranda was looking a lot prettier than back in her bullying days.
She was simply dressed in a white blouse with blue jeans and sandals. Her hair was let loose and hung limply around her shoulders it was slightly curled at the bottom, light brown and golden highlights streaked her hair. Her hazel eyes shone with bright intelligence. She was almost as pretty as Carly.
I felt her eyes burning into my back. A rise of heat rushed to my face. I shook my head, feeling strange.
The kind of strange I felt whenever Carly was near.
I shuddered. Imagine having feelings for a bully!
Now I realized why Darryl had shuddered on the day of the science fair.
It was weird that both our enemies suddenly became appealing to us.
I shook my head on my way down from Jane’s room. I stopped by the kitchen for a snack.
I opened the fridge to look for a chocolate bar, but there was only some stale cookies. I took it anyway.
I was starving, despite having eaten a huge breakfast only an hour ago.
Along with the cookie I also took a glass of milk.
I settled down into a comfortable position on my sofa, and opened my language arts textbook.
Idioms are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.
In a few short minutes I knew everything there was to know about idioms. I knew what they were used for, I knew how they were used and I had a list of idioms as examples. I was well prepared for the quiz on Monday.
After I had Language Arts in the bag, I quickly moved onto Science.
Two hours later I had studied LA, Science and Math.
I took a break and went upstairs to the living room.
Jane and Miranda were sitting on a sofa still talking about swimming.
Then all of a sudden, Miranda’s eyes glazed over and the smile faded from her face. It was replaced by a scowl.
“What am I doing here with you losers?” She asked rudely, her faced fixed with a sneer of disgust.
“Uh…” Was all Jane could say.
“I’m out of here!” Miranda said, and waltzed out of the room.
Jane and I basked in the silence of her sudden leave.
“Well that was weird.” I said.
“Ya think?” She responded, still looking a little startled by Miranda’s sudden leave.
“I wonder what happened.”
“I don’t know!” She exclaimed. “One moment we were talking about swimming, and then some kinda, I dunno, something came over her and she was back to bullying.” Jane chewed on her lip, as she does when confused.
“Well,” I told her. “You should probably keep your distance for a while, but keep on the lookout for any sudden changes in her personality.”
I turned around and was walking away when Jane called my name.
“Umm…” She said twisting her body in embarrassment. “You don’t think this had anything to do with,” She looked around and whispered. “powers?”
“I don’t have a clue!” I announced. “But maybe.”
Complete and utter darkness. No light. No hope. No life.
Nothing but the empty desolate place, that the Dark One called home.
I shuddered. I didn’t even know who he was yet he still sent shivers of fear up my spine.
I had never met someone so devoid of light and warmth. He was the complete opposite of Harrison. He was colder than ice and darker than a shadow.
Obviously I didn’t see him. But I felt him. I felt his evil. I felt his soul.
So the reasons he would have to save me, well, I had no clue. I was waiting for Harrison’s call. Maybe he had discovered something. I hope so.
I hated doing this kind of work on my own. So I was kinda relying on Harrison’s detective skills. So not that much. But in fifth grade he found out who stole my lunch.
Though I don’t give him a whole load of credit for that, as he just went to the grade bully and saw her eating my cookie.
So it wasn’t exactly a Sherlock Holmes kind of mission.
But other than Darryl, he was the best I got. I didn’t want Darryl or Jake to be involved, because that would lead to more mess.
And with the final report card coming up Jake has enough work to catch up on. And the whole thing with Darryl and his mum, well that can’t be easy.
I felt another unexpected pang of sadness for Darryl. And with my sadness also came my hunger.
I went downstairs to look for a snack.
Hilde was sitting in the living room watching another modeling show.
But what interested me the most was her bowl of marshmallows and broken pieces of chocolate. A weird, yet delicious meal. And more importantly, just what I was looking for.
“Hey Hilde!” I said, while eyeing the bowl of chocolate and marshmallows. “What do you have there?”
“No, Anne!” She said, without looking up. “This is mine! Go get your own!”
“Urgh!” I groaned. I leaped on the sofa and snatched the bowl away from her. “Haha!”
Hilde snatched the other side of the bowl and tugged at it. Hard.
Soon the bowl was snatched away from me. I sat on the floor, in extreme sadness.
“Now go get your own snack!”
“Fine!” I said, realizing my defeat. It was such a shame, as it looked so good.
Sighing, I made my way into the kitchen. On the table lay an empty bag of marshmallows. Next to it laid seven empty chocolate wrappers. And next to that lay a note.
Next time go get your own snack! And you should be thanking me! I made you healthy! Go eat a banana or something! Hahahahaha!
-Lots of love,
Urgh!!! “HILDE!!!!” I screamed. Sometimes I wanted to choke that girl!
“What’s up, Carly?” She said, a voice implying zero guilt or deception.
“I’m gonna KILL you!” I said, racing to the living room.
“You do that!”
“Gladly!” I heard the sound of giggling and the slamming of a door.
Just great! She probably ran outside in fits of laughter. Well I got a surprise up my sleeve!
I snuck out through the back door, and raced to Hilde’s best friend, Mary Ann.
I rang the doorbell, while simultaneously hopping from one foot to the other.
Mary Ann opened the door. Her fuzzy black hair was all pinned up in a bun that complemented her hazelnut brown skin, which was darker than Harrison’s, but lighter than Darryl’s.
She studied me with ice blue eyes. “Hey Carly.”
“Hey Mary Ann!” I said. “Is Hilde here?”
“Um..no.” She said, still looking at me funny. “Why’d you ask?”
“Isn’t she at your house?”
“No, I can’t find her!”
“Hang on, let me call her,” She whipped out her blackberry, pressed a couple buttons, and placed the phone on her ear. “Hello?…Hey Hilde!…Where are you?…At your house?…Okay…Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either!…He did not!…Seriously?…No way!…OH MY GOSH!…Oh no he-”
I had been bouncing up and down, but when Mary Ann mentioned that Hilde was at the house I froze. Literally. Oh no she didn’t!
I didn’t stay to hear the end of the conversation.
Instead I raced to the house. I rang the doorbell and waited impatiently for someone to answer.
Eirik opened the door. “Ah!” he said. “Salve Carly!”
I muttered a hello back.
I raced to the living room.
Hilde looked at me and said, “Bye Mary Ann! Gotta go.” She cut the call. “Hi Carly! Did you enjoy your daily exercise?”
“As a matter of fact, I did not!”
Hilde smiled devilishly at me. “What a shame!” She exclaimed in mock horror.
“Hilde.” I growled warningly at her. “I’ll give you to the count of three. Ette..To…Tre.”
I opened my eyes. Hilde had vanished, in her place lay a note.
I opened it. It was a smiley face. Urgh!!! Sometimes! That girl can be absolutely impossible to manage! A smiley face, how could she?
“HILDE!!!” I screamed, sounding very much like a guy from a movie about chipmunks. I didn’t care. “I”M GONNA KILL YOU!”
“…Well Darryl, your recent tests and quizzes lead us to believe two things,” said Mrs. Kaminski, “The first is that you cheated, I know! Quite astonishing and you’re all ready in Honor’s Class, so there is no need for you to cheat. Or someone to cheat from!”
I nodded trying to look as if I cared.
“The next thing is that you have been hiding your true genius! You might skip ninth grade!”
Now she got my full attention. “I’m sorry Mrs. Kaminski, but did you just say that I might have to skip ninth grade!”
“I did.” Mrs. Kaminski beamed at me, as if it were the greatest thing in the world. A few months before it would be. But now I have friends and powers! My life couldn’t get any better! mum’s in jail! I no longer live in fear of going to a children’s home. FTK was the best place on Earth! I had friends! Well a friend. But Sanjit was the best friend I ever had! Sure there was Carly, Harrison and Jake. But they accepted me as a person not a friend, and besides they had their own drama without having to worry about me.
“But…Mrs. Kaminski, what about my friends?” I asked.
Mrs. Kaminski looked surprised. “Uhh…well you can still see them after school and during lunch, can’t you Darryl?”
“I…I guess so,” I told her, still not completely sure. “Can I see my grades?”
“Why of course!” Mrs. Kaminski guided me to the secretary’s desk. She clicked a few buttons, typed a few keys and then showed me my grades. My eyes skimmed down the screen. She was right. My grades were perfect. And since we’re now doing gymnastics in P.E….Well, I didn’t have much trouble in that.
“Um…Thanks for showing me, Mrs. Kaminski.” I said.
“You’re very welcome, Darryl.” She replied with a huge smile.
I exited the room as fast as I could without running. I don’t know why but tears flooded my eyes. My vision became blurry, but I didn’t stop until I got to a tree in the woods. I raised an arm and missed. I blinked furiously, trying to clear the tears from my eyes. The second time my arm hooked around the tree twice and stayed. I shortened my arm and reeled myself in.
Once I reached the top I let my emotions come forth. I didn’t cry loudly, instead I silently wept, tears streaming down my face and my shoulders shaking a bit. I cried for a good six minutes and nineteen seconds.
When I was certain my little -well, kinda big- episode was over I slowly walked back to my old apartment, shaking my head the whole way, as if to clear it of tears.
Yellow police tape went around the whole building. The residents currently staying at a four star hotel. Police swarmed the building like bees. They were side-by-side with Private Investigators. In fact I think I saw an FBI guy, but with the number of security officials I couldn’t be sure.
I sneaked around the building trying to look for a way in. It wasn’t easy. But I finally noticed the giant noble fir. It’s branches were an inch away from my old room. And from the looks of it they hadn’t bothered to search my room. I silently thanked God for the building directors decision to not cut down the great tree.
I placed a foot on a branch, crouched down and used the branch to propel me up a couple of feet. I repeated this technique over and over until I got to the top.
Luckily my window was still about an inch open. I took a couple of junk metal, screws and wires, and started making a robot spring. When I finished a few seconds later, I stretched a hand to place it under the window. It was a tight fit but it worked. After that I let the robot do the work.
It slowly uncoiled itself and it’s arms and pushed up. Slowly the window creaked open. It creaked loudly.
“Did you hear that?” I heard a deep voice say.
“Hear what, Jay?” asked a woman.
“I could’ve sworn I heard something coming from the kids room!”
“Well get off your lazy behind and go check it out!” shouted the furious woman.
“Okay, Okay. Relax Anna!” Jay said.
“GO!” yelled Anna.
“Sheesh!” I heard him mutter. But I couldn’t laugh. Instead I stretched and grabbed the robot, reeling him to safety. I scrambled skywards in the dense canopy leaves.
“It was just a squirrel!” I heard Jay shout to his partner.
“Well, get over here!” Anna replied. “ I think I found some money!”
Jay scrambled over, excited to see the money. I quickly hooked a hand to my old iron bed and pulled myself in.
The iron leg of the bed hit a floor nail and ripped a board out. I hesitated, waiting to see if someone had heard. It was all good. I sneaked silently into the room and inspected the board. I noticed a bit of green sticking out. I pulled it. It was a dollar bill. A hundred dollar bill!
I turned it over in my hand and stared at it in disbelief. I stuck my hand in the hole. I touched a bunch of papery stuff. I pulled my hand out. A bunch of dollars came out.
There were more hundred dollars, some twenties and a couple of tens. I put the hundreds back in their place and tucked the twenties and tens in my pocket. I placed the board over the stash of money and crept out the window.
I crawled down the tree waiting for a break in security. When it came I sprinted all the way to the FTK. I raced up to my room. No one was there.
I took the cash out of my pocket and stuffed it under my mattress. I breathed a sigh of relief and went downstairs.
Today was T-night. That meant you had a choice of tortillas or tacos. I always chose beef tacos.
I was sprinkling some cheese on top of my taco when Sanjit came over.
“Urgh!” Sanjit said, turning his nose up at my beef taco.
“What?” I asked.
“Your choice of food…It stinks!” He replied, backing away like Jake does when he sees a French textbook.
I laughed and we headed over to our table. Two other guys, Matt and Jerry, were already tucking in to their tortillas.
“Hey Darryl,” said Matt without looking up from his meal. His long red hair covered his face as he ate.
“Hey Matt.” I replied, “Hey Jerry.”
Jerry brushed back his short black hair and nodded at me. “S’up.”
I could tell they didn’t want to be disturbed, so instead I focused on my meal. I took a large bite. Cheese and beef fell on my plate. Jerry raised his eyebrows, his brown eyes were like, where’s your manners, kid? Embarrassed by my mess, I tucked a handkerchief in my shirt before continuing. Matt’s green eyes looked amused.
I hurriedly finished my meal and rushed upstairs. I opened my Lord of the Rings.
Bill Ferny’s price was twelve silver pennies; and that was indeed at least three times the pony’s value in those pans. It proved to be a bony, underfed, and dispirited animal; but it did not look like dying just yet. Mr. Butterbur paid for it himself, and offered Merry another eighteen pence as some compensation for the lost animals. He was an honest man, and well-off as things were reckoned in Bree; but thirty silver pennies was a sore blow to him, and being cheated by Bill Ferny made it harder to bea-
“Light’s out!” A voice called. I reluctantly folded the top of my page and closed my book. Guys started entering the dorm.
“Goodnight Sanjit!” I called.
“Night.” He replied.
“Night James.” I said.
“Night.” James called.
“Good night Tom, Good night David, Good night Huntley, Good ni-”
“Darryl?” Sanjit said.
I wriggled into a comfortable position and closed my eyes. My last thoughts were of the money that lay safely beneath me.
I awoke the next morning to the theme song of Spongebob. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I crawled out of bed.
“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS! Yello-”
I spotted a tuft of dark brown curls sticking out of the sofa. I walked over. A small kid, about six-years-old, sat in the big chair. He had olive skin and green eyes. A bowl of coco pops sat in his lap. A big white smile was planted on his face. He was obviously the youngest guy here.
I decided to introduce myself. “Hey.”
He looked startled. “Good Morning!” He answered, “I hope I didn’t wake you.”
“Not at all!” I lied. “What’s your name?”
He smiled and told me.
“Why hello, Carlos! I’m Darryl.”
“How old are you?”
“Six!” He responded with a huge grin of accomplishment.
“WOW! Aren’t you a big boy!” I said in a babyish voice.
Carlos’ eyes twinkled and his smile took up most of his face. I grinned at him.
“He’ll be gone by tomorrow.” I turned towards the spiteful voice. It was Sanjit.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“All the cute young ones get picked, the rest of us stay here until we’re legally adults.” Sanjit walked over to the couch. “A face like his…He’ll be adopted upon the morrow.”
I secretly agreed. Carlos’ bright, intelligent green eyes and perfect olive skin…He’d be an easy pick.
“What does he mean, Darryl?” Carlos’ voice shocked me out of my thoughts. I adopted my kind, child-speak voice.
“He means that you’ll be picked to go to a nice family and have lots of candy!” Sanjit rolled his eyes. I frowned at him.
“Will you come too?” Carlos asked.
“Maybe,” I lied.
Carlos seemed happy with my answer and returned to his Spongebob. Sanjit walked back up the stairs. I called after him.
“Sanjit, wait up!” He stopped but didn’t turn. “Why are you so bitter?”
“You know why!” He responded. “Kid just got here and in a day he’ll be whisked away.”
“True,” I said, “But why do you have to be so mean about it?”
“Because,” He said, turning around. “Kids like him, they live a happy life full of adoring parents and they get anything they want. Kids like me stay in places like this until we’re finally kicked out on the street. It’s not fair.”
“Wait. I don’t mean to be nosy but…well…how did you land in here?”
Sanjit froze and for awhile I didn’t think he’d respond. Then he said, “My Mom was a scientist. She wanted to help a lot of people. But one of her experiments went wrong and she died in a fire. Dad and I escaped, but she didn’t. My dad’s been bitter ever since.
“He got depressed, started drinking, then he beat me. With a belt. Over and over. Until once he went to far. I phoned the police, but by the time they got there he was gone. They found him a few weeks later in the woods. All torn up and bloody. Bears. I’ve been here ever since.”
“When? How long ago was that?”
“Wow.” I gasped. A six year old kid dealing with that kind of stuff. I involuntarily shuddered. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s fine.” Sanjit actually looked amused.
“What?” I asked.
“I was lying.”
“None of that stuff really happened! I was found on the doorstep in a box with Sanjit written on it. None of those things really happened!”
“Grrrr!” Sanjit laughed and skipped away. I swung at him and missed. I was going to try again when I noticed my rumbling stomach. So with one more frustrated growl, I walked down to the kitchen to make myself a bacon sandwich.
“A-CHOOO!” I sneezed. I wiped my nose with a tissue. I was currently surrounded in tissues. My bin was full as was my nose. I had had to stay home from school, so I was watching Total Wipeout! on my laptop. I was now on Season 4 Episode 3. I was watching some celebrities trying to avoid getting hit on the sucker punch. I saw a guy Dad knew getting punched right in between the legs! I had got to mention that next time I saw him! My laughter soon turned into a ginormous cough. I blew my nose on the tissue and added it to my tissue wall.
A knock came on my door. “Harrison?”
She opened the door. “I have some chicken soup for you.”
She placed a steaming bowl of spicy chicken soup next to me.
I picked up a spoon and blew on the soup. I swallowed the burning soup. The spices reinvigorated me. “Hooot!” I complained, Waving my hand in front of my mouth. My powers made me impervious to actual flames, but heated liquids were beyond them.
“Blow on it.” Mum advised.
“I did!” I protested.
Mum stood up. “Well, call me when you’ve finished!”
“Okay!” I replied, my eyes fixed on the screen. Mum shook her head and exited my room.
I laughed as I watched dad’s friend attempt to succeed in the bouncing balls challenge. Then I went into another coughing fit. I spooned some of the soup into my mouth.
Once again the spices reawoke my senses as it passed down my throat. I continuously spooned the soup in my mouth. The soup was soon gone.
I absentmindedly pushed the bowl of soup away and scooted closer to my laptop. Round 2! Dad’s friend didn’t make it.
I was watching a person attempt to cross over the next challenge, when my phone vibrated. It was a text from Jake:
Jake: Hey. Hows it going?
Me: Bad. my cold is really annoying!
Jake: srry. well u didnt miss much. schools is a boring as ever!
Jake: What u doing l8r?
Me: Um. nothing
Jake: cool. if ur feeling bettr meet me at HQ.
Jake: cool. c ya ther.
I gave my nose a final blow and checked the time: 12:12. I had to be ready to meet Jake in three hours. Starting with a shower.
I dragged myself out of bed and over to the bathroom. When I was done I engulfed myself in flames to evaporate the water and kill any leftover germs. I stepped into some shorts and a T-Shirt. I brushed my teeth and combed my hair. I was ready.
The time was: 12:58. I settled back into bed and continued watching Total Wipeout! Two girls and a guy made it to the finals.
It was half past one when the episode finished. I yawned and stretched. The girl with the auburn hair won the round, followed by the blond guy and third was the brunette. I was rooting for the brunette.
I got out of bed to help myself to some cereal. It might be the middle of the day, but you can’t deny the awesome flavour of cereal. Especially Cinnamon Toast Crunch , which was practically bursting with sugar. Even milk couldn’t clear it of it’s delicious ‘cinnamon’ -I’m seventy percent sure that it’s just plain sugar!
I had completed three bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and I was well into my fourth, when Mum came down.
“Harrison,” She lectured, “How many times have I told you, don’t stuff your face with that sugar!”
“A few.” I said, between mouthfuls. “It’s just too delicious mum! Try it!”
She shook her head and walked over to the bowl. At first i thought she was actually gonna try it. But no, she confiscated my bowl of sugar.
“I’ll give that to the dogs!” She announced.
I groaned, “But mum! Duke hates cinnamon!” I informed her. “Remember? Last time he threw up!”
“Then I’ll feed it to Yoncé!”
“Urgh!” You see Duke was this huge golden retriever I got when I was five. I named him. But then last year Tessa got this small Swedish Vallhund. True it was cute, but Yoncé? I mean come on! The dog was male! “All right! What time is it?”
She checked her phone. “Two twenty.”
“Can I go to my tree house in an hour?” I asked, innocently.
Mum walked off with the bowl of sugar. I sighed unhappily. Then I got a plastic cup, poured some of the cereal in it, got a spoon and ran all the way to my room. I avoided the elevator: it would make me a sitting duck.
I started another episode of Total Wipeout!.
I checked the time. 3:28. I was a little early. School wouldn’t end for another two minutes. I sneezed.
I flew over the wall and inspected my previous handiwork. Everything looked fine. I made a couple fireballs for fun and walked around the perimeter of the wall. There wasn’t anything wrong, so I went into HQ and grabbed a soda. It was 3:30. Jake would be here in about ten seconds.
I was wrong. He got here in six seconds.
“Hi J-” I was interrupted by his slamming into the opposite wall.
Stifling a laugh, I flew over. “Jake? Are you all right?”
Jake looked up at me with blank eyes. “Dark. So dark! Evil! Evil!! Dar-” He looked me over, “Who are you?”
“Oh no.” I whispered. Jake continued his madman ravings.
Dark. Evil. The Shadow. This was bad. No, this was absolutely terrible!
Dark. It was so dark! I- I couldn’t see. Nothing! It was dark. So, so dark! And, his evil ways. It cloaked me and snatched at me and wouldn’t let me go. It was evil. So, so evil! Evil and dark! Yes, very dark! And it was cold. It was the opposite of- of-. I forgot who it was. But it was the opposite of that person. Yes, yes, the Dark Cold Evil One, so different from the Light Warm Nice One. So, so different.
Then this boy, this light brown boy with dark hair and eyes came up to me and said: “Jake? Are you alright?” He made no sense. Who was Jake? Was it me? He was looking at me when he said it…So…maybe I was Jake?
My thoughts jumbled but three kept coming back: Dark, Cold, Evil. Those three despicable words. Yet they made the Evil Ones life story. He was cold and dark and evil. No life lay beneath his dark eyes, no mercy, no kindness.
It was horrible.
The boy kept on asking me questions. “Do you know who I am?” He asked.
I shook my head. He had a worried look on his face. I wondered if I did something wrong. “Who are you?” I asked again.
“Harrison,” The boy responded, “I’m your best friend.”
I shook my head. I didn’t know this boy. He was about to say something when a girl with sun hair and sea eyes came. Next to her stood a boy with gold eyes and black hair. Then the boy- Harrison sneezed. The girl spoke.
“What’s up?” She asked. She too acted as if she knew me.
“Jake…he…he…” Harrison said.
“Well?” Sun Girl asked, “What is it?”
“He…He has amnesia!” The last three words came out in a rush. Amnesia? Wasn’t that forgetting stuff? But…I still remember everything… right?
The gold boy and Sun Girl both gasped. Sun Girl’s hands flew to her mouth. She shook her head in disbelief. “Jake?”
I looked around. Maybe their was someone else called Jake. No one else was there. I pointed to myself as if to say, me? She nodded and shook her head at the same time. There were tears in her eyes. A part of me wanted to comfort her but the other part said that I didn’t know her. She could be another Dark One. Except… She didn’t look very dark. And she didn’t have wavy, black tentacles like the other one. My brain fought while Harrison, Sun Girl and gold boy fought.
“What should we do?” asked Sun Girl, with tears in her eyes.
“Maybe we should go to the hospital?” suggested Harrison, thoughtfully.
“Idiot!” shouted gold boy, furiously. “How’d you explain this?” He gestured at me. I laughed. His frustration was amusing.
I guess that was the wrong thing to do, as the others looked weirdly at me. I covered my face and giggled. I expected the others to laugh too, but instead they continued their weird looks. I guessed they were trying to be humorous. So I laughed. They shook their heads.
“Well,” Harrison said, still looking at me funny. He sneezed. “What do you suggest then, oh smart guy?”
Gold boy thought but came up with nothing. “I guess we’ll take him to hospital,” Harrison smiled widely, “But with what excuse?”
“Easy, fighting.” piped in Sun Girl.
“Yeah, but fighting who?” asked Darryl. They looked confused so I said,
Harrison and Sun Girl exchanged looks. I guess they knew who the Dark One was and they didn’t like it one bit. Gold boy looked confused. “What’s going on?” He asked.
“We’ll tell you about it later.” Sun Girl said, “Jake’s our primary concern now.”
Pleased by their praise, I smiled widely and ugly, I burst out laughing at their disgusted faces. These people were very funny! Gold boy shook his head. “Let’s just say he ran into a wall. I mean that is what happened.”
They looked at me then nodded their heads in agreement. “Sure.” said Sun Girl.
“It’s the best we got.” agreed Harrison.
“But how do we get him there?” asked Sun Girl.
“Well,” admitted gold boy, “I’ve been working on an invisible hoverboard… and it’s pretty much ready… so… “
“YES!” yelled Harrison, pumping his fist in the air excitedly. “Yes, yes, yes!!!”
Gold boy smiled. “Way to go Darryl!” said Sun Girl. I guess gold boy had a name; Darryl.
“Thanks Carly.” Darryl replied. And now Sun Girl was Carly. The name held some affection in my brain, but I couldn’t understand why. Actually I could: her beautiful blond, shining hair and those intelligent, big, curious blue eyes, I could understand the affection her name held.
Darryl went to get his machine and left Harrison and Carly to ‘guard’ me. Instead of looking at them, I listened to a field mouse running towards it’s burrow. I looked at the sky. A beautiful eagle, with talons ready to kill, flew overhead. I looked away and pretended not to hear the squeal that was slowly dying on the mouse’s mouth.
Some things you just don’t want to see. Or hear.
When the eagle left, I opened my eyes to see Darryl swooping in on a floating hunk of metal. Harrison and Carly gasped. Then Harrison sneezed. I smiled and laughed and jumped in. I clapped my hands excitedly. The other three exchanged worried looks again.
We climbed aboard.
Darryl shook his head and said, “Everyone strapped in?” We nodded. “Then let’s go!”
His driving was shaky at first but soon he got a hang of it. In no time at all we landed in the desolate parking lot of Island Harbor Medical Center. There was an air of familiarity around.
Harrison took my phone from my pocket and called someone. “Hello?” he said. “Mrs Patterson? pause Yes, this is Harrison. pause They’re fine, but- pause I will, we’re at the hospital with Jake.” Harrison held the phone away from his ear and I very loudly heard a woman shouting, “WHAT!!” “He has amnesia.” Harrison continued. “pause Okay, I will pause Bye… By-” I heard the beeping that signified hanging up. I laughed and Harrison looked at me disgusted.
Harrison sneezed, then turned to the others. “She said she’ll be here in ten minutes.”
Carly nodded and bit her lip. I was then marched, by Darryl, to the Waiting Room. A lady with cropped auburn air sat in a chair. She didn’t look like she would be able to get out of that chair. “Hi Jake!” she said.
“Hi Agatha.” Harrison answered for me “Jake, he… he…”
“Yes?” encouraged Agatha.
“He has amnesia.”
Agatha gasped as well. She typed something into her laptop, then keyed in some numbers on the phone. After one ring it was answered.
“Doctor Chatterjee?” she asked. “We have a code…” She checked her list. “A code turquoise 78.”
The doctor said some words into the phone (I didn’t bother listening in) and the nurse nodded and mumbled “mhmm” occasionally.
Finally the call was over. Agatha said, “Well Jake, just sit tight until your Mom comes, okay?” I nodded.
I took a seat in a small plastic chair and tapped my feet on the floor impatiently. Carl bit her nails, Harrison kept rubbing his hands together, like an evil scientist. Minus the evil smile, plus the bad cold. Darryl just… sat there, like meh.
I started smiling at the differences in their facial expressions. Carly was worried and wasn’t trying to cover up. Harrison was failing miserably at covering up his expression, he tried his brave face. Darryl didn’t look like he cared. He had a blank expression. The best poker face ever.
The others adopted that he’s a weirdo face. I wonder why. I sat there listening to the sound of their heartbeats. It sounded like a series of over-excited drummers. Ba-Bum Ba-Bum Ba-Bum Ba-B-. My listening was interrupted by the sound of a car pulling up in the parking lot. I instantly turned off my super hearing. I rubbed my hurt ears.
We stood up for no reason. A beautiful woman with a regal face and long blond hair. At first I thought she was Carly’s mom. They looked alike.
“Oh, Jakey!” she rushed towards and inspected my face. She hugged me.
Agatha cleared her throat. The lady jumped back and brushed her navy suit. “Sorry Agatha, please tell us the problem.”
“Well,” She began. “As I’m sure you know Jake is experiencing a form of amnesia. He remembers basic things like talking and definitions of words and stuff, but the more complex stuff, actually remembering people, that is damaged.”
“How did this happen?” the lady asked.
“He… ran into a wall.” said Darryl.
“But not to worry!” announced Agatha. “He’ll be fine after a bit of rest and some basic treatment.”
“Phew!” said the lady, relieved. “I was getting worried.”
“Not at all, Mrs. Patterson!”
“So when do we start?”
Agatha was interrupted by the arrival of Doctor Chatterjee. Doctor Chatterjee was a fit Indian doctor who looked like he went to the gym regularly. He had bright blue eyes and a charming smile. “Why hello Jake!” he said, in a friendly voice. “How good to see you again!”
I waved uncertainly.
“Now, shall we begin?”
“Okay…” I said.
“So Jake please follow me.”
The others made a move towards him, but he held out a hand. “No visitors please. The patient needs to be alone.”
“Oh.” they said, unhappily.
Dr. Chatterjee led me to a big, bright room at the end of the hallway. Room 98. He opened the door and stepped aside to let me in.
I hesitantly walked into the bright room. It was empty except for a hospital bed, some machines and a child’s table and chair.
I sat down on the chair.
“Now Jake,” Dr. Chatterjee began. “Hospital tradition requires me to take your temperature. He took a thermometer out of a cup of boiling water and told me to raise my arm. I obeyed and he placed it in my armpit. “Now hold it there and don’t move.”
Once again I obeyed and the doctor busied himself by typing down my medical information on computer.
After a few minutes the thermometer beeped. I let loose an uncontrolled yelp of surprise, and the thermometer crashed to the ground. The doctor also yelped and rushed to pick up the thermometer.
“Ah!” said Dr. Chatterjee. “Just as I suspected! Ninety-eight point seven degrees Farenheight!! A tiny bit over normal, but in this heat, who can blame ya? I mean summer’s right around the corner! Lucky, huh?”
His ramblings gave me a headache and I asked if I could lie down. He seemed delighted by my answer and led me to the bed. He lifted the blanket, but I pushed it away and shook my head. It’s like what he said. It’s boiling!
I slept without the blanket for a good two hours. When I awoke my mind was clearer than before. I couldn’t remember all the people in the Waiting Room, but one name kept coming to me with a lot more familiarity this time.
I looked over Jake as he slept. He had waken once, so Doctor Chatterjee invited us to see him. But by the time we got there he was asleep. He snored, but I didn’t care. I only cared about the word he kept on muttering in his sleep.
I literally swooned and cried when I heard it. I mean, come on, it’s not every day a hot boy gets amnesia, forgets who you are and then starts muttering your name because your the first person he remembers, is it?
And he didn’t mutter ‘mom’ once! Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, but hey! It’s my thoughts not hers! Plus I’ve been a bit emotional with the whole Kevin and Karen thing. Urgh! The K-Twins! Ugh! I felt like I was choking on a hairball.
“Carly?” asked Jake’s mum, genuine care touched her voice, “Are you alright?”
“Oh. I’m fine Mrs Patterson, thanks for worrying.” I responded.
“No prob, girlfriend!”
I laughed. I know where Jake gets his humor from. As well as his hotness! Jake’s parents were really good-looking! And his sister Jane was adorable! Her lovely blond hair and sky blue eyes. Awww! People even mistook us for twins, because of Jane’s over-average height. I was so happy! I’ve always wanted a little sister. I mean, sure I’ve got Hilde but it’s not the same. I mean we don’t look that alike. But Jane and I were like twins!
I mean I’m not even that pretty. I know I’m not ugly or anything, but I certainly wasn’t like my beautiful mother. No where close to Mama. But Jane, she was gorgeous.
Sometimes I wonder how they mistake us for being related.
“Carly.” I heard Jake mutter. The sound of his voice shook me out of my thoughts. I shook my head to clear my thoughts and focused on the way his forehead turned into that cute nose and then continued down to his-.
“Carly?” asked his mum. “You’re crying. I mean… you’re tearing up. Are you sure you’re okay?”
I wiped a tear from my eye and nodded. “I’m fine.”
I laughed again. Jake’s Mum was awesome!
I noticed another snore next to me. This one was more of a heavy breathing then a snore though. I looked next to me. It was Harrison.
I checked the time. It was nearly seven o’clock. Darryl had to go to the FTK as it closed early on school days.
Harrison’s cold had completely disappeared after getting some pills from the doctor. He called his Mum to tell her what happened. He was instantly granted permission to stay.
After all, there was only a week left in school. All tests were over and the report cards were being set home on the Thursday before we vacated for summer.
I nudged Harrison awake.
“ Wha?” He said, confused. “Where am I- oh.”
I giggled silently into my hand. “Wakey, wakey sleepy. It’s morning.”
Harrison shot straight up. “What?” he shouted.
Jake also awoke. “Harrison! Shut up! I’m trying to slee-”
He was interrupted by his mother crushing him in a bear hug. “Oh my baby boy! You’re alright!” She checked him over. Tears of joy ran down her face.
Jake smiled uncertainly then looked around. “Why am I at Island Harbor?” He asked.
“You don’t remember?” He shook his head. “You had amnesia!”
“Wha-” He started, then a look of understanding washed over him. “Right! Now I remember!”
“Well,” his mother said. “Time to leave.”
They got off the bed. “Not so fast, Mrs Patterson,” said Dr. Chatterjee. “Jake needs to stay overnight to ensure he’s alright! You’re invited to stay too.” The doctor smiled reassuringly at her.
“Oh.” she said, surprised. “Well Harrison and Carly, thanks for staying, you can go now.”
I shrugged and said goodbye.
“Bye Mrs Patterson!” said Harrison. “See you later, Jake!”
Jake nodded. “See you!”
“Bye Jake.” I said.
“Bye Carly.” His eyes lingered on me a bit longer than normal. I blushed and he looked away. Now I was certain more than ever that he had a crush on me.
I had a huge smile planted on my face the entire way home.
I rang the doorbell once and leaned on a nearby wall. Ahhh. Jake. I imagined his beautiful face. His deep, inviting emerald eyes. His longish, messy mop of beautiful blond hair. His muscular physique. His chiseled face. Ahh. Beauty.
Papa opened the door, snapping me out of my vivid daydream. My hand was waving in the air, visualizing stroking his soft hair.
I put my hand down, embarrassed, and waltzed into the house.
I felt like I was floating on Cloud Nine. I practically flew up the stairs. I twirled in my bedroom, I flipped, I danced to some love songs. No feeling on Earth could match my extreme happiness. I wanted this moment to last forever, so I wrote it down in my diary.
So Jake had amnesia and all, but what I’m really happy about, is that he stared at me! OMG! I love him sooo much! He’s amazing! And you’ll never guess what happened before that! So he couldn’t remember me and all, but then when he was sleeping he kept muttering my name! My name! He didn’t say
Harison Harrison or mum! Nope! He said Carly! That’s me! I’m Carly! OMG! I’m literally screaming right now! I can’t believe it! This is the best thing that’s happened to me my entire life!!!
Even better than my report card. It’s literally the best day of my life! And he stared at me! Did I mention that? It’s awesome! He actually looked right at me! It was as if… as if… he was in LOVEEEEEE!!!!!! OMG!!!!!
But… could it be true? Could I be right? OMG! I’m freaking out right now! I’ve got to call Alex!
Wait never mind. I forgot for a moment that me and Alex were officially EBFF’s. Ex-Best friends forever. :( I can’t believe I’m saying this but… I actually miss her. In fact I do know why I’m saying this! We were like BFF’s! I have GOT to CALL HER!
Wish me luck! Here goes nothing.
p.s. I’ll tell you what happened later, k?
After some pacing, I finally gathered enough courage to call Alex. I cleared my throat. I pressed Alex’s name on my phone and waited for her to answer.
At first I expected her to either ignore it completely or hang up. Instead she picked up the phone.
“Alex?” I asked uncertainly.
Then I had to hold the phone away from my ear, as Alex started screaming. I smiled: this was going better than planned.
“I’ve got so much to tell you!” I gushed, excitedly. “So…”
I know, I know, it probably would of been nicer to stay at the hospital longer. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I lied about the FTK closing early. But for good cause!
Sanjit still had his Reading class. And I was the teacher.
We wanted to keep it private; no point in him getting bullied. So everyday at seven we snuck up to the roof and had a half-hour study session.
We had passed the simplest lessons, and were now on the more complex words and the silent letters. He also had to work on his pronunciation of some words.
So in my defense, my lying was for a good cause! Besides, Sanjit wants to be a doctor when he grows up. And he wants to own an orphanage. He wants to make sure that those who went through the same fate as him don’t suffer as badly. By suffering he means not being allowed two helpings of dessert.
In many ways he is stupid.
Carlos was also a big factor to me leaving early.
I had grown to like Carlos even more. Somehow he was still here. But it wasn’t ‘adopting season’ until summer, so thankfully for me, he was with us for an extra month. Yippee?
Man, I’m gonna miss that guy when he leaves. He’s like really smart. And his drawings are like wow! I can’t believe he’s only six! His drawings are a whole lot better than mine. And he uses this kind of watercolor effect, that makes you think it’s a blank paper, but when you look closer you see that there’s someone hiding in it. He’s amazing!
He said he was highly influenced by Vietnamese artists. Those guys are amazing at art! Especially paintings, there city paintings and trees are amazing. They also use the watercolor effect.
“Hi Darryl!” Carlos walked over to me, a big, fat smile was planted on his face.
“Hey little guy!” I responded, ruffling his hair a bit.
Carlos backed away from me. A serious look was on his face. “I’m not little! I’m almost seven!”
“I know! You’re a big boy!”
That made him smile a bit. “Do you really think so?” he asked.
“Thanks! Most people don’t. You’re nice, Darryl!”
I smiled, “Hey, no soy bueno! Sólo digo la verdad!” I told him I wasn’t nice, I was just telling the truth. Carlos smiled, he liked it when I spoke Spanish. Not many people here are fluent at the language.
“Gracias!” he told me.
“De nada!” I replied.
Carlos’ green eyes twinkled with joy. I felt a brotherly emotion to him. I prayed that whoever adopted him, as someone was sure to do, would adopt me as well. The chances were very rare, but as I’ve said before, a boy can dream. Especially a deprived one. I would hate to see Carlos go. It would kill me!
“Darryl! Come see my pintura!” I smiled as he led me to see his latest painting. As expected it was amazing.
“Carlos,” I began. “You’re one increíble artist. My personal Picasso!”
Carlos beamed brightly at my compliment. He opened his mouth to say something else, when Sanjit came marching down. A scowl was planted on his face. The scowl made my brain turn.
The session! I had forgotten about! It was all I could do to not swear. “I’m so sorry, Sanjit! Can we do it now?”
“Forget it!” He said. “I have better things to do. Keep hanging out with Carlos” He said this in such a spiteful way that Carlos’ eyes started tearing up. Soon he was bawling.
My brotherly instinct forced me to comfort him, despite how much I wanted to slap his stupid face! How dare he hurt my pequeño compañero? Was he really that jealous that I was spending my time with Carlos, instead of him?
I stepped closer to him, so Carlos couldn’t hear me, “Our little friendship is over! Goodbye,”
I took ahold of Carlos’ hand and led him away. I didn’t look at him. I didn’t want the tears to show. I started blinking really fast to try to rid my eyes of the tears. It was working, but it made my vision blurry.
That was how I ended up in the hospital again.
“… and at school, my teacher said that my painting was really nice!” Carlos told me excitedly. “I’m gonna paint her!”
“I bet it’s gonna be the most amazing thing ever!’ I said.
“Thanks Darryl!” he beamed his famous beam.
I had only been here for a day. School was over in three days, so I wasn’t missing anything.
Besides, around this time the dances happened. Hopefully I’d be here long enough to miss the last dance of semester, but short enough to go to the awards ceremony.
Based on my encounter with Mrs. Kaminski, I was certain I was top of Honor Roll. In fact even without being told about skipping a grade, I’d still make it to Honor Roll. I mean, I do every year! As well as get gold in all academic affairs. Not meaning to show off, but I’m pretty smart! Even more so with my little soda boost! I smiled devilishly.
“Why are you smiling?” asked Carlos. “Did you like my joke?”
“I loved it!” I assured him. “I’ve never heard anything funnier in my entire life! Please tell it again!”
“Okay,” Carlos said, smiling. “Why did the one-handed man cross the road? To get to the second-hand shop!”
I burst out laughing. More out of my brotherly love for Carlos, than because of his funny joke.
“Did you really think it was that funny?”
“Sí!” I assured him.
“Thanks!” he said.
“Tell me another!” I ask him. “A knock-knock joke?”
“Um… Okay!” he scratched his head. “Knock-knock?”
“Cow goes who?”
“Coes don’t who, the MOO!” We burst out laughing, all giddy and excited.
Nurse Kate walks in. “Sorry guys, but please be quiet. People are trying to sleep.”
We whisper sorry, trying to control our laughter. When she leaves we burst out in silent laughter.
Hey, who can blame us? We’re kids! Add the nearness of summer to the mix, and we’ve got perfectly acceptable summer behavior.
I love summer!
Okay, school sucks. Agreed? I just wanted to get that clear. I know most people are giddy with excitement, because of how close summer is, but all I can think about, is how we still have school. And while other people might love not do anything all day, I have issues with boredom.
During lessons, I can pay attention, because the teacher’s voice just invades any thoughts about sleep. So, instead of blissful sleep, I had to suffer through Mr. Murph yakking away about the, oh-so exciting, different ways to use a comma.
Even Carly and Darryl find her boring. And they’re like, up there! But I’m an average kid, so while I don’t hate tests, you won’t find me in the More Tests! line. Nope, not over here.
And in my opinion, how will knowing about photosynthesis or the life of a dead president, help me in my life? It’s crazy! Pure and simple insanity! Pure, and simple.
Anyway, back to my point; school sucks! You might say I’m over-exaggerating, but do you honestly like school? Do you just love waking up early, catching the bus and then having to race to your class with a five-pound bag? Do you? Do you really? No, I didn’t think so!
Urgh! All this talk about school is making me fell sick. Literally. My stomach was queasy!
I raced down the stairs, yelling a ‘See you later’ to mum. I ran to the tree house. I flew over the wall.
But instead of getting back on ground, I just stayed there, floating around.
You never get over the thrill of lying. Ever. I might’ve acted like it was nothing, but I’ve always wanted to fly. I loved the idea of just floating around, in the endless sky, no worries about anything, not a care in the world. Just empty sky.
I finally touched down on the roof of the tree house about ten minutes later. I melted and slid down the sides. I reformed when I got to the ground. Brushing dirt of me, I walked around the circumference of the area.
Just like flying, you can never get used to powers. I admired my work, yet I still had trouble believing whether or not I’m dreaming. Maybe it’s all fake and I’m snoring in Madame Belle’s classroom. Who knows? Who knows?
I walked around before finally retreating back in the tree house. It started raining right after I had gotten myself a bowl of ice cream. I looked at my unsuitable meal and shrugged. Who cares?
I created a hovering fire in the seating area, and turned on the TV. I skipped past news and music, finally landed on a channel with Total Wipeout!
I settled back and started scooping ice cream in to my mouth. A lightning bolt arced outside. I ignored it and focused on the TV.
I had missed the first round, and was now halfway into the second round. The Sweeper!
I laughed as a guy tried to jump over the sweeper. He failed miserably, and was whacked into the water. He emerged moments later, swimming to the ladder for try number two.
I laughed as more famous people got whacked into the water. This was hilarious!
Another bolt of lightning came arcing down. This one, closer to the tree house than the others. But just then the tenth person made it across The Sweeper. I groaned. The person I was rooting for didn’t make it.
My phone rang. I picked it up with my eyes still glued to the screen.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Harrison?” asked mum’s voice.
“Come home, okay?” she told me. “This storm is terrible!”
“Okay, I’m on my way,” I told her.
“And you better not be in that tree house!” she warned.
“Uh… okay?” I said, avoiding giving her a straight answer.
“Harrison,” she said, in a low warning voice.
“Okay, okay,” I said. “I’m in the tree house!”
“How could you?” she asked. “It’s raining!”
“It wasn’t raining when I got here,” I pointed out.
“There were storm clouds everywhere!” she replied.
“That doesn’t mean it’s gonna rain!”
“Urgh!!!” she growled furiously, “Just hurry home.”
“Okay,” I replied, “Bye, love you.”
“Love you too.” she responded. “Now hurry!”
Sighing, I placed my bowl in the dishwasher, and flew out of the tree house. I wielded a shield of fire over my head. It worked wonders. All the water evaporated on touch.
I increased the heat of the flames. It had a blue tinge to it. I was so surprised by the colour, that I dropped the shield. I was soaking wet in a few seconds, but I didn’t care. This was a breakthrough!
I remade my fire shield, and made a fire sword. I increased the heat of the flames. So far, they were all red, orange and yellow, but a couple of them had a blue tinge. I ran home, suddenly remembering mum’s growl.
The guards opened the gate. I raced up the steps to the front door, and knocked hurriedly. Hopping from one foot to the other. My butler opened the door.
“Good day, Mr Har-” he began.
“S’up Tommy!” I interrupted. “Where’s my mother?”
“I believe your mother is currently in the dining hall. Would you like me to accompany you there?”
“No thanks, Tommy,” I replied. “I’ll get there fine on my own.”
“Very good sir.”
I fast-walked towards the dining room. Mum was seated eating a scone.
“Hey mum.” I said.
She nodded at me, her mouth to full of scone to talk. I smiled and took a seat at the long table.
“What’s for dinner?” I asked.
“Mmhmm.” she mumbled, incomprehensibly. She swallowed. “We’re going out to Le Restaurant de la Brique Rouge!” It took my french translator a while to figure that out.
“The Red… Brick Restaurant?” I asked, uncertainly. Mum nodded yes. I smiled. “Is there any special occasion?”
“Some political meeting. Dad stuff.” Mum said. I nodded my understanding.
“So,” I said, “When do we leave?”
“In a couple of minutes.” said mum. “So go get ready.”
I took the elevator up to my room. Once there, I peeled off my wet jacket and socks. I hurriedly changed into a suitable attire of dark jeans, a white shirt and black Nikes.
I finally decided to leave my aviator sun glasses. This was business, not a teen magazine, I told myself, as I took the elevator to the ground floor. Mum was all dressed up, wearing a red, short-sleeved dress, that came up to her knees. Her hair was all curly and loopy. She was wearing black high heels, which made her a few inches taller. It also made me a few inches shorter.
“Let’s go.” Mumsaid.
“Okay.” I guessed this was an important person. Mum was just short of sweating. The chauffeur opened the door to the limo and we took a seat.
Mum looked all around, nervously and kept tapping her fingers against her knee.
Must be some guy, if he can make the president’s wife nervous, I thought. Who would be able to do that? The queen of England? I didn’t know. A mass murderer? Maybe. But he has got to be intimidating.
I couldn’t of been more wrong.
I got to miss two days of school because of my amnesia. Luckily, I would be back in time to get my Best Sports Player award. I have seven so far.
Also I missed Carly. I mean, yeah I see her all the time, but it’s weird. Seeing someone at school is different than seeing them in hospital. I knew the difference well. Too well.
My amnesia turned out not to be as serious as expected. In a day I remembered everything. Everything.
That included the creepy guy in black. Blond curls were planted on his evil head and the scary look in his eyes. I can’t believe I ever forgot that.
I was in the middle of shuddering, when Agatha and Carly came in with my dinner.
“Hey, Carly,” I said, as Agatha left the room. “What’s up?”
“Hey Jake.” she responded glumly.
“Is anything wrong?” I asked.
“What?’ she said, “Why’d you think that?”
“Oh, no reason,” I said. “You just seemed down.”
“No, nothing’s wrong.” she replied. “Besides, it’s a happy moment. You’re finally getting discharged from hospital!”
“And report cards are out. That’s why I’m late. Your Mum gave me this.” She pulled out a white envelope labeled with his name and grade. Gulping, I took it.
I opened the envelope and looked at my grades.
Report Card for STUDENT: PATTERSON, Jake Christopher
Teacher: Mr Wharton Grade: B+ Percent: 88 Position: 7th
Teacher: Ms Thompson Grade: B- Percent: 83 Position: 9th
Teacher: Mr Lin Grade: B Percent: 85 Position: 8th
Teacher: Ms Smith Grade: B+ Percent: 86 Position: 8th
Teacher: Mr Tibbs Grade: C Percent: 74 Position: 13th
Teacher: Mr Shay Grade: C Percent: 76 Position: 12th
Teacher: Mr. Zimmer Grade: D+ Percent: 69 Position: 20th
MODERN LANGUAGES SECTION FOR QUARTER 4:
Teacher: Mr Van Houten Grade: C- Percent: 71 Position: 18th
Teacher: Mr Russell Grade: A+ Position: 2nd
Teacher: Mrs. Breedlove Grade: A+ Position: 1st
OVERALL ACADEMIC SCORE: 74%
OTHER SUBJECTS: 100%
GPA: 2.7 GRADE: C
Congratulations, Jake! You have been accepted into ninth grade! Enjoy!The Northview Academy eighth grade teacher community, would like to take a moment to praise Jake for his dramatic increase in academics. Keep on trying!
Middle School Principal: Superintendent:
Shari Kaminski Douglas Turner
Filii hodie, et imperantes cras!
Children today, Leaders tomorrow!
I’ll admit it. I squealed like a happy pig.
“Whaddya get?” asked Carly. She looked happier ever since my squeal. I guess she was worrying about me all along. I felt a burst of emotion for her. Yet again.
“A two point seven!” I replied with equal excitement in my voice.
Carly screamed. She started clapping her hands superfast. Little sparks of electricity burst out her hands.
“Oh my gosh! I’m so happy for you!”
“Thanks, Carls,” I replied.
“No prob, Jake!” She smiled at me and squeezed me in a killer hug. I touched her lemon scented hair. It was silky and soft.
She pulled away, a huge smile still planted on her face. Her cheeks were rosy and her eyes shone with excitement, her eyes were beautiful.
“What time do you get discharged?” she asked.
I snapped out of my love daze. “Uh… Oh, at six.”
She glanced at her watch, yes, she has a watch! She was so smart! “Well it’s five thirty now, so…think they discharge half an hour early?”
“Even if they don’t, who can stop two members of The Super Four?” I asked.
She smiled dangerously. “You have never been more right!”
She pressed the intercom on my hospital table. It was used if patients wanted anything, or felt sick. “Agatha? Can Jake and I go get ice cream?”
“You know he gets discharged at six!” I heard her say.
“Yeah, but… we wanted to celebrate his report card.” she said. Her next words were whispered. “Alone.” I blushed.
“Tsk! This generation dates too early, if you ask me! They shoul-” She was cut of by Carly shouting a quick thank you and removing her finger from the intercom.
She looked at me. Her rosy cheeks had turned tomato red. I’m certain I was no less red-cheeked. “Um… Let’s go.” I said, after an awkward silence.
“Sure.” Carly sounded relieved. “Let’s go.”
I scooped the last of my ice cream in my mouth. Carly was still halfway. I looked greedily at her bowl.
“No Jake.” she said, without looking up from her bowl.
“Fine,” I said, reluctantly. I walked up to the cashier and ordered another rocky road. I drummed my fingers against the counter, while I waited. The waiter was a boy about my age. I was surprised. I thought you had to be, like, sixteen or eighteen to get a job. But what did I know? I accepted the rocky road. He looked me in the eyes as he handed it over. I stepped back. I dropped my bowl.
Only my fast reflexes saved it from crashing into pieces. His eyes. His eyes! The Shadowman! His amber eyes were webbed with black lines. Touches of green laced his eyeballs. All of a sudden, his eyes turned solid black, a bright green glow shone from them.
I gulped and stepped back. He smiled at me and I turned around and raced to my table with Carly.
“Jake?” she asked, “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” I said, “It’s just that the cashier guy had freaky eyes.”
“Oh,” Carly turned around. “He has normal eyes to me,”
“What?” I exclaimed. I turned around. Gone was amber boy. Now a guy of average height and built stood in his place. I checked his eyes. A plain brown. Nothing more. I shook my head in a desperate attempt to clear it. I looked again. Nope, still a normal man. Despite his crazy pink mohawk, he was like anyone else in the world.
I turned my head around and stared at Carly in disbelief. How is that possible?
“What color were his eyes, Jake?” she asked, sympathetic.
“They… they were like Darryl’s eyes… except… they had these black lines in them. An-And the edges were… they were bright green! And then, all of a sudden, they flashed black and these bright green beams emitted from them. It was scary!”
Carly carefully placed her hand over mine. She smiled at me. “I believe you,”
“Thanks,” I smiled right back at her. She tossed her hair from her face.
“Let’s finish this ice cream,” she said.
“Okay.” I smiled at her. I pushed the bowl in the middle and we started eating it. We used two different spoons, but it was the most romantic thing I’d ever done.
We kept smiling like complete goofballs, until the ice cream was finished. I walked her home.
“Thanks Carly,” I said again, “For everything,”
“No problemo, Jake!” she replied, squeezing my hand. Yes! We were holding hands!
“You’re amazing!” I told her, “And you look beautiful,”
It was true. The setting sun made her hair look like golden fire and her eyes flashed from blue to green.
“I know,” she said. “And you don’t look to bad too.”
I smiled at her.
“Well,” she began. “This is my house, so see you tomorrow at the awards ceremony. Bye!” She leaned over and gave me a quick peck on the cheek.
I smiled at her in disbelief and wonder. She turned a rosy pink and left. I felt my own cheeks heating up, but I didn’t care. I could only focus on the bubble of emotion swelling up inside. “Yes!” I yelled, pumping my fist in the air and kicking out at an unknown assassin. I ran to my house, ready to tell Dad and Harrison the good news.
I raced in. “Guys! Guess what?” I said excitably, “Carly kissed me!”
But my news echoed back to me. The entire house was empty.
I was alone.
They were gone.
Madame Blaise. Gone.
Annoying brat. Gone
I couldn’t stop the tears.
I don’t have a clue what I was thinking when I kissed Jake. Not a clue.
A rush of emotion just flooded over me when he called me beautiful. I guess that’s why I kissed him. And I know he enjoyed it; he smiled afterwards.
I didn’t want to see him, so I opened the gate and rang the doorbell. I rang it a lot. I didn’t want Jake to think I didn’t like him, so I kind of slowed down on the ringing.
But he didn’t notice. A big smile on his face and his eyes looked everywhere. Soon he raced off. It actually looked more like teleporting. One minute he was there and the next poof! gone.
Papa opened the door. I stepped in, took of my shoes and raced to my bedroom to tell Hilde the good news. I entered our room. Hilde was flicking through a Glamour magazine, when I entered.
“You’ll never guess, what just-” I started.
“You kissed Jake.” she interrupted. “I saw it from the window. Ooh la-la.”
She sounded bored. I frowned, not the reaction I was hoping for. “Hva er i veien?” “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Ingenting.” she replied, “Nothing,”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Positive,” She said, certain and now in a better mood.
“How was your report card?” I said, changing the topic.
“Same old, same old.” she replied. “My GPA is still three point seven six.”
“Well,” I began, “Mine is now… three point seven seven!”
“So close!” Hilde said, smiling. “Gratulerer! Congratulations!”
“Thanks!” I smiled back at her. “Papa will have to take us out again!”
“I don’t think so,” said Hilde. She looked like she was struggling to hold back tears. “Didn’t you hear the news?”
“No,” I said, frightened. What had happened? “What happened?”
“Onkel Andreas…” she stuttered. Tears flooded her eyes. “He… he lost his po-position at O-CoolTech!”
I gasped. How was this possible? Mr Stevens must of gotten the third position. But with what invention? “How did he lose his position?”
“He was fired.” That was it. The tears came flooding out of both of our eyes. Hilde’s especially. I raced downstairs to find my Papa. He wasn’t there.
I looked but couldn’t find him. I started panicking. I almost collapsed. Then big strong arms enveloped me. I turned and looked at Papa’s watery blue eyes. He had been crying, but now we had each other.
Everything was going to be alright. Papa was here.
We separated after a few minutes. I wiped my tears from my face, “Papa, what happened? Why did they fire you?”
“Oh, Carls.” he said, “It was all my fault. I had lost the third place position to Stevens, and I just, I just got so angry, Carls. I ran at him and just started punching him. I don’t know what came over me, Carls. I really don’t. It was like something entered me and took control of my body. It was terrible!”
“It’s okay, Papa,” I told him, giving him a hug, “It’s okay.” But it wasn’t. Papa might think it was ridiculous, the presence that washed over him, but I knew better. My papa wouldn’t hurt a fly, literally!
But someone could take over Papa like that. The Dark One. But why? What would he achieve by ruining my fut-? Oh. Now I know. That evil guy. Saving my life, then ruining it! How could he be so evil?
I let go of Papa. “Okay, Papa,” I said, “I’m going to my room,”
“Okay, darling! You go. Ha det gøy. Have fun,”
“You too, Papa!” I said, as I climbed the stairs. I stepped inside my room, I smiled a watery smile at Hilde. “Hey, anything in Glamour?” I asked Hilde.
“Nah, some singer broke up with an actress, and is now dating a beautiful model. So nothing new.”
“I wish I was a celebrity! Jake is so lucky!” I said, wistfully.
“Actually, you wouldn’t,” Hilde said, surprising me. “According to this his mother’s business is doing badly! It says it lost like a million dollars! That’s a lot of cash!”
I gasped. “Oh no. That’s terrible! Poor Jake!”
“Oh, don’t worry!” Hilde reprimanded. Frowning at my lover girl tone. “I’m sure your boyfriend is fine!”
“He’s not my boyfriend!” I said, stubbornly.
“Whatever,” Hilde said, shaking her head. She turned the page. “Here it says they’re working extra hard to get sales up. Apparently the Dad is gonna campaign, to try to save the business.”
“I’ve gotta go!” I told Hilde, “Jake might need me!”
“Whatever.” Hilde said, bored. “Have fun with lover boy.”
I didn’t bother correcting her; it would prove to be fruitless. Instead, I yelled a ‘bye!’ and raced down the stairs. “Papa!” I yelled, “I’m going out to see Jake, okay?”
“Okay, but be back in time for dinner!” He yelled back. I checked my watch, 6:21. Dinner was at six-thirty. That gave me nine minutes. I wielded a water surf board, and manipulated it to take me straight to Jake’s house. No one looked up. No one saw me.
I nodded a ‘hello’ to Jake’s security guard and waited impatiently for him to open the gate. I sprinted up the driveway to the front door. I knocked impatiently.
“Mom? Dad? Is that you?” Jake sounded excited, even ecstatic at the possibility. He opened the door. “Oh. It’s just you.”
“You know, I can just sprint back where I came from.” I folded my arms and gave him a dirty look for his rudeness.
“No, no, Carly!” he said immediately. “I was just expecting somebody else. That’s all”
“Whatever,” I said, still angry. “Well, you won’t be seeing anyone. Haven’t you heard?”
“Heard what?” he sounded confused.
“Your mom’s company lost a million bucks, so they’re trying to get it back. They’re campaigning.”
“Oh,” he sounded sad. “That makes sense. Well, do you want to come in?”
I checked my watch. 6:28. “No,” I told him, “I have to go to dinner,”
“Oh, okay then. Bye.” he gave a pathetic little wave.
“Bye.” I turned around and started sprinting. Once his giant house was out of view, I wielded a water board again, and zipped away.
No one looked up. No one saw me.
I punched again and again. I pounded the pillow with my furious blows.
Tomorrow was Friday. Or as it was more commonly known as here, Wrestling Day. Or Wrestday, for short.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fighter. But now here was the perfect opportunity for me to pound Sanjit’s smug smile into the floor! I’ll make him pay for what he did to Carlos and I. Mark my words.
I landed another blow on the pillow, before Carlos walked in. “Hi Darryl! Whatcha doing?”
“Eating chocolate.” I said, replying to one of Carlos’ favourite jokes.
“Where d’you get it?” he asked, a big smile on his face.
“My doggy dropped it.” He laughed so much that I had to laugh too, despite the stupidity of the lame joke. Carlos’ laugh was contagious.
“Darryl, look at my painting of my teacher! It’s all done!”
“Wow.” I said, as he held up a picture of his teacher. He had used the colour blue to create her face. Many different shades and tints of blue, gave way to the delicate features of her face. The long sloping nose. The big eyes. The curly hair. Carlos was brilliant! “So you’re going to give it to her tomorrow at school?” I asked.
“Uh-huh!” he said, nodding his head happily. “And then I’m going to watch your awards ceremony!”
“That would be great!” I tell him. “Are you going to cheer me on?”
“Yes!” he said. Furiously nodding his head and jumping around. “I will, I will, I will!”
“That’s good.” I say, ruffling his hair a bit. He shook his head, to get the tangled mop of curls back in place. He smiled a big, fat, goofy smile. “And then, you’ll get adopted and go to the beach for summer! Every single day!”
This made him go serious. “Only if you promise you’ll come too.”
I nodded. “I wouldn’t dream of missing it!” I lied.
“Yay!” he yelled, and started dancing around the room. He jumped on bunks and I laughed as I got off my own bunk to join him.
“Hey!” yelled a voice. ‘Stop making that racket!” We turned to see Michael Scott yell at us. Michael was six-feet tall, with muscles the size of oranges. He had black hair and brown eyes. He wore a tank top and jeans. All in all, he was one scary dude!
Carlos started whimpering and gave Michael the puppy eyes. He made his lip tremble. Carlos wasn’t only good at painting, he was good at all arts. Singing, acting and drawing included.
Michael’s eyes turned soft. “Oh, alright, continue, but be quiet!”
Carlos and I smiled at each other, and restarted our bouncing on the bunk game. Though a notch quieter. Michael smiled and shook his head, as he closed the door.
A few minutes later, Carlos got bored, so we decided to go watch TV. People were already watching it, but luckily Carlos’ trick also worked on them.
That’s why we were watching Spongebob until dinner was ready. We thankfully made our way to the table. Carlos sings well, but even he can’t make the Spongebob theme song sound good. It was impossible!
Today was Thursday, so we had a buffet to eat. I looked over the options carefully and finally decided on a chicken drumstick, some fried rice and some spicy sauce. Carlos copied everything I did. He even chose Sprite, though he hates it. I felt sorry for him, and swapped it for a Fanta. He smiled at me gratefully.
We sat down at our own private table. Sanjit, Matt and Jerry were sitting at their own table. Sanjit threw m some dirty looks. I returned the favour.
“You know, Darryl,” said Carlos. “mi abuela says that if you make a nasty face and the wind changes, you’ll be stuck like that forever!”
“Okay.” I said, distracted. “But, Carlos, there is no wind in here.”
“Oh.” he said, surprised. “I knew that.”
I smiled at him and tucked into my food. It was great. The spicy sauce was the best! Carlos followed my lead. Except the spice was too much for him. He began panting and desperately waved his hand in front of his mouth. “Drink, Carlos,” I told him. “Drink.”
He grabbed his glass and took a shaky drink. After a while his grip becomes solid. “Aah. That’s better!” He wiped his mouth, then took the chicken and dipped it in the spicy sauce. I rolled my eyes in humour as he began his panting-drinking-sighing-restart all over again. He did this for the rest of dinner. I laughed and eye-rolled the entire time.
After dinner, Carlos begs me for a story. I laugh and he drags me to his room.
I open the book The Ugly Duckling, clear my throat and begin.
“It was glorious summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oats, and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked lovely…”
It went like that for a while. Soon, as we reached the climax, Carlos’ eyes began to feel sleepy. I folded the top of the page, even though you’re not supposed to do that, and closed the book.
“Is it over?” Carlos asked.
“Yes, that’s enough for tonight,” I tell him. He doesn’t argue. “You have a big day tomorrow! Get some sleep, night!” I patted his head and stroked the curls away from his face. He gave me a sleepy smile.
“Noche, Darryl,” He yawns, stretched, then pulls the blanket over him. He curls up like a ball, and closes his eyes.
I smile at him, and leave his room. He had a room to himself. So lucky.
I sigh and climb into bed. I open my Lord of the Rings and continued from where I had stopped. I was almost done with the book.
The Men of Bree were brown-haired, broad, and rather short, cheerful and independent: they belonged to nobody but themselves; but they were more friendly and familiar with Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, and other inhabitants of the world about them than was (or is) usual with Big People. According to their own tales they were the original inhabitants and were the descendants of the first Men that ever wandered into the West of the middle-world.
“GO TO BED! YOU GOOD FOR NOTHINGS!!!” yelled the meaner, Mr Browne. “NOW!!”
I folded my page and closed the book. I pulled the blanket over me. After a while I kicked it off of me. This heat was getting to me worse than anyone else. I struggled to find a comfortable position. I failed.
In the end, I just took my pillow and walked to Carlos’ room. He had loads of empty bunks.
I lay on an empty one and fell asleep.
I groaned. The dinner party had been lame! I don’t know what Mum was so scared about! I mean the guy was short, with curly blond hair and a pot belly! So, not so intimidating or important. He had amber eyes, that looked at me as if regarding trash. I had to bite down the retort that came to my mouth.
But that was two days ago, now it was the day of the Awards Ceremony! I was happy for an unexpected, yet expected reason: I wasn’t winning any prizes, except for math, yet it was the last day of school!
I reluctantly placed a buttoned blue shirt and jeans on. I wore my Nikes. I made a worthless attempt to comb my hair; it only made my hair poofy.
I went downstairs and helped myself to some ready-made pancakes. I squirted on honey and chocolate sauce.
My sister came racing down. She wore a gold dress that came up to her knees. On her feet she wore a pair of black sandals. Her hair was tied up in a ponytail, with curls hanging off her face.
Tessa was especially excited today. Not only did she love summer, but she was winning a prize in math and french. I was slightly jealous.
She ate a light breakfast of fruit and milk. She claimed she didn’t want to puke on stage. It was true. Tessa puked when she was happy. That girl is weird!
Mum came down in a bathrobe. She took hold of our faces and squeezed our cheeks. She leaned in to kiss us. “Eurgh! mum!” I complained, pushing her face away.
“My little babies are all grown up,” she said. Tears sparkled in her eyes. “I’m so happy!”
“Thanks, mummy!” Tessa said, reaching in to peck mum’s cheek.
I finished my pancakes, wiped my mouth and went upstairs. I pressed the button impatiently. The elevator was stuck on my floor. I watched, while tapping my feet, as the letters went from ‘A’ to ‘2’ to ‘1’ to ‘G’. I instantly went in the elevator.
Just as the doors were closing, Tessa came zooming out of nowhere. She pressed the button (she knew I wouldn’t open the door voluntarily), and stepped inside.
I watched the buttons change from ‘G’ to ‘1’ to ‘2’. The elevator dinged, and the doors opened. Tessa got out.
I tapped my knee, bored, as I waited to go up the extra floor.
The ding signified the end of my long wait. I quickly grabbed my bag from my room-but it was too late. The elevator was already going down to the ground floor. I wasn’t in the mood to wait again, so I decided to take the stairs.
I sprinted down, two feet at a time, but decided to keep my hand on the banister. I felt that at the speed I was going I would fall over myself, and end up rolling down the staircase. I made it to the bottom floor in five minutes. Not bad.
I waited for the bus, on the curb, a few minutes away from my house. I hated getting to school in the family car. I prefered the liveliness of the school bus. Of course, at first everyone was deathly silent when I entered the bus for the first time. But a few weeks later, the noise had gone back to normal.
The bus pulled up a few minutes late. I got in quickly-the driver looked like he was in a bad mood, and I didn’t want to ruin the day.
After stopping four more times, the bus finally made it’s way towards campus. I felt like I had the day my life changed. That horrible Monday that changed my life. I remembered my happiness that day. I felt it today too. I don’t know why.
It was as if someone briefly inhabited my body and forced it to be happy. Nothing could change my mood. Not the storm clouds gathering in the sky, not the sound of birds flapping their wings in a desperate attempt to escape the rain, not even the nervous chatter of the students. Nope, nothing could ruin my mood.
We all take our appropriate seats. Award-winning students at the front, the rest at the back. No matter where we were seated it was all in alphabetical order.
I gave Jake a thumbs-up from my seat behind him. He smiles weirdly. Carly sits a few seats away from him, and every now and then, his eyes flash over to her. I smirk.
Darryl is seated at the very edge of the second row. The ‘g’ last names should have sat there, but because of his many awards, he had to sit at the edge to make it easier to collect his prizes.
Soon, the seats were all filled in, with the parents standing at the back, most held cameras or phones.
After a few minutes, Mrs Kaminski came on stage. She tapped the microphone a bit, “Testing…One…Two… Welcome! Parents, teachers, students, family and friends! Welcome to this year’s Award Ceremony!” She paused to allow the applause to die down a bit. “As I’m sure you all know, today is a day we have chosen to award the students whom have out beaten the rest. These students, I hope, have taken their study time and doubled it. Or you’re like Darryl and came first with half of it!” The audience laughed. “I don’t want to bore you to death before the awards, so here’s to our eighth grade winners!” The audience applauded.
Ms Roberts, the eighth grade representative teacher, walked onto stage. She took out some cards, and grabbed the microphone. “First place prize in Grade Eight, first math prize, first English prize, first history prize, first geography prize, first…”
She went on like that for a while.
Darryl had walked up on stage, and was waiting for her to finish.
A little kid with bright green eyes and curly hair kept on cheering and yelling and clapping, every time Darryl got a new prize.
I tuned out.
Then Ms Roberts mentioned something extra, “…And, because of his superior performance, Darryl had also been awarded to skip ninth grade! He will go straight to tenth grade!”
Everyone started talking at once. Jake turned to me, and I shrugged. This was news to me.
“Everyone! Everyone, please settle down.”
Even with that it took a while for us to shut up.
Ms Roberts looked relieved. “Thank you.” She looked confused, as if she’d forgotten what she was saying. “Oh yes, give him a round of applause please!” Darryl bowed slightly to accept his many gold medals. He had a lot. The applause was subdued, except for Carly, Jake and I. And the green-eyed kid. Who was he?
But by then, Ms Robert was on to her next person. Carly got the silver medal. Second in the grade. Second in English. Second in almost everything. Except math! She came third in that.
Once again I tuned out. I clapped as Jake got his first in P.E. and Overall Best Athlete award. He didn’t get medals-he got trophies. I was next.
“And second in Math, Harrison White.” The audience clapped politely as I made my way up. Ms Roberts put on a faux smile as she placed the silver medal over my head. She rattled off some more names and awards, finishing with honor roll. “-and Max Greeney! Thank you all for coming to this year’s Award Ceremony! Have a great summer, and I hope to see you all in the fall!” Everyone applauded, as people rushed off to their parents, dragging their friends with them. Smiles were smiled. Pictures were taking. Medals were counted. I saw Darryl with the little boy and some lady with extravagant coloured hair. I waved at him. But he didn’t see; his attention was on the little boy. Jake, however, saw my wave, he walked over, dragging Carly with him. We smiled for some pictures, then the adults left us alone to talk amongst ourselves.
“Thank goodness that’s all over,” Jake said. His trophies were taken by his parents. “That news about Darryl. That was pretty surprising, huh?”
“Sorry about that.” We turned to find Darryl standing behind us. He rubbed his arm awkwardly. “It was supposed to be a secret.”
“It was. A big one,” Carly said. “But it’s alright.”
“Thanks,” he said, relieved.
“No prob,” she responded. We walked towards the school. We decided to pass by our lockers. For old times sake.
“Man, I might actually miss Middle School!” Jake said. We turned to him, surprised. “What?”
“Nothing,” I said, smirking.
“Hmm!” he said, stalking off.
But before he could get too far, Darryl asked, “Hey! Jake, what’s that on your locker?”
“Huh?” he responded. He walked towards his locker. A piece of paper was stuck on it. It read,
If you wish to see your loved ones again, meet me in the basement.
We turned to each other. “This isn’t good,” said Carly.
“Wait, you know about the Shadow too?” I asked.
“Yep.” Jake and Carly chorused. They looked at each other in surprise. I was shocked.
“Nope,” added Darryl, “Who is he?”
“Okay then, what does he look like?” I asked, ignoring Darryl. Jake rattled off about his dark eyes, and cloak, etc.
“Hold up, people!” said Darryl, “I still don’t know who we’re talking about!”
“Well,” Jake began, “This evil dude who always wears black and has weird eyes is trying to-”
“We’re wasting time!” Carly interrupted. “We need to see what he wants,”
“Agreed,” Jake said.
“Okay,” I said.
We looked at Darryl, “I’m ready,” he said, firmly.
“Let’s do this!” Carly said.
We marched around for a while. Lost. We finally stumbled across a door labeled: Basement. Hazard! Generator! We looked at each other. We nodded and opened the door.
It was dark inside. I held up a hand of fire and peered inside. There was nothing there. I shrugged at the others, and marched in. Carly made a tiny electrical ball, and carefully wielded ice around it. I tossed a fireball at Jake, and, after some stumbling, he secured it in a force field.
We walked in.
Something whizzed passed us. We all turned in fright. I bit back a gulp. The thing sped past us again. Then we heard someone laughing. It wasn’t an evil guy kind of laugh, but it was enough to spook us out. We moved forward. Someone sat on the floor. His back was to us. He wore a blue button-down shirt, and brown skinny jeans.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Hello, Harrison,” he said. “Hey Carly, hi Jake, good afternoon Darryl,”
“Who are you?” Carly said, bravely.
“I am the Shadow. The Dark One. Or, as Jake called me once, The Shadowman.” he turned. His blond, curly hair had strands of black in it, his amber eyes had black and green laced through it. He was light turned dark. “Or, you could call me by my human name,” He said human, as if it were a piece of moldy cheese. He said it like Jake said ‘book’. “My name is Bobby Huntlington. I’m shocked Harrison. You don’t recognize me? I am shocked. Truly shocked! After all, you met up with my father just the other night.”
“Wait,” I said, surprised. “Fatty was your father?”
“Tsk. Yes, Fatty was my father. You don’t see the family resemblance?”
“ No, not real- Well, kinda, yeah. You have the same hair. And eyes. Minus the black and green, obvious-”
“Forget about Fatty and I. Instead focus on them!”
The Shadow, or Bobby, pointed at a large sack. Confused, I asked, “What is it?”
Bobby laughed, “You don’t recognize you own family?” We gasped and ran to the sacks. I pulled the sack away. In it lay Carly’s cousin and dad, Harrison’s family, some little kid and a weird-haired lady, I think Darryl knew, and my family.
I turned to Bobby with furious eyes. There were tears in them. “How could you? How could you be so evil?”
“Don’t you know what happened to my family? To me?” We stared at him with blank eyes. “My father ran for president, but failed. He failed so badly! He only got a couple of votes, and those votes were from my uncle and my aunt. So he became a criminal. But a good one! To this day, no one knows who was the assassin behind all those murders. Ha! No one even knew they were murders! He was so talented!” Bobby spoke as if telling a fairy tale. “And I’m even more talented! I followed you that day you got your powers! I snuck behind you the entire time!”
“I knew it!” yelled Harrison, “I knew I heard something!”
“Shut up! No one interrupts the Shadow!”
“Sorry Bobby,” Harrison apologized.
“Insolent fool! Anyways, where was I?”
“You were following us,” Darryl said, helpfully.
“Ah, yes! I was confused about why you took the wrong turn, but I followed you, thinking you had a secret hideout. I was going to destroy it! But you led me to something greater! I waited until you all had had your sodas. Then I snuck in. I was drawn to a lab table. On it lay a black can. In green letters was the word: Shadow. I drank every last drop. Then had two more. I saw your money lying on the counter… and I stole it!”
“Okay,” I said. “Nice story. Now we’re just gonna take our family and leave. Thanks for the entertainment.” I knew it wasn’t going to work- I’d watched enough movies to know that- but I was gonna take my chances.
“Why did you save me that day on the mountain?” Carly asked. What was she talking about?
“I had my reasons. And, no Jake. You’re not going anywhere.” He stood up.
With a wave of his hands his attire changed. His clothes transformed into that long black cloak I was accustomed to. His eyes became a solid black, a green glow emanating from them. His golden hair darkened, until that too was a solid black. His feet and arms became multiple dark tentacles.
He smiled like an evil villain.
Correction, he was an evil villain.
We stood our ground. Harrison wielding two fire daggers, Carly had one, long icy sword. Darryl had a little robot, and I had my force field nunchaku.
Bobby laughed again, “Fools! The only people who can stop me are light wielders! And your puny fire can’t stop ME!”
He raised his tentacles, and millions of dark rods shot towards us. I made a force field around us. But it wouldn’t last forever.
Carly had turned her back. Light beams shot around her. She turned and yelled, “JAKE! OPEN THE FORCE FIELD!” I obliged, relieved. She shot a little crackling ball of electricity towards Bobby. It hit one of his tentacles. The tentacle hit dissolved immediately. Carly quickly sent more rapids of electricity. But she was tiring quickly. She didn’t use electricity much, only her water.
Meanwhile, Darryl was tampering with his robot. It shot a light beam towards Bobby. Another tentacle dissolved.
“Tsk. Carly, Jake, you should’ve remembered my ability to take over people’s body.”
He raised his tentacle, and a dark beam shot towards me. I raised my force field, but it was too late. The beam struck me.
Darkness swarmed over me, and I heard laughter echoing in my ears. I desperately placed my hands over my ears, in an attempt to get rid of the noise. But it was useless. My body belonged to Bobby.
“Unfortunately,” he said, using my voice. “I can’t do this long. But for now… I’ll enjoy it!” He sent force fields their way. Luckily they all dodged it. Bobby wasn’t used to my powers. I fought him for control, but it was useless. He was in control. Complete control. Harrison sent fiery whips at Bobby’s shadow body. He didn’t want to hurt me.
I had just given up hope, when I felt Bobby’s control wavering. I used the last of my power to eject him from my mind, once and for all.
I quickly launched a barrage of force fields at him. I sped around him at super speed. I was creating a vortex. The speed at which I was running should’ve been enough to make Bobby freeze. Maybe then I could tie him up and defeat him. Bobby faltered for a few seconds. Then he smiled. He smiled scary.
“I’m a shadow,” he informed me, “I am darkness. Travelling at the speed of light, well, there’s still darkness around.” He hit me in the stomach with his tentacle. Hard. I flew across the room. My ribs cracked when they hit the wall. I landed on my arm. I heard another loud crack. I grimaced in pain. My vision became blurry. Tears were flooding my eyes. My vision became hazy and red.
I closed my eyes. All I had left were my ears.
I listened in desperation. I switched my power on. I could here the increased heartbeats in the room. I heard Bobby panting desperately.
“He’s tiring! He’s slowing down!” I yelled, in an attempt to help.
It worked. I heard an onslaught of power hit him.
Carly’s crackling energy having the most effect on him.
“Go Carly!” I yelled.
She must have turned to smile at me. Out of habit. Whatever the reason, she was the next body to be slammed into a wall. She landed a few feet next to me.
By her weird breathing, I guessed she also cracked her ribs. Her desperate breathing slowed. At first I panicked. i thought she was dead. But her breathing had just slowed. She was sleeping. Unconscious.
That was the two of us out of the fight. Only Darryl and Harrison left. I uttered a prayer to God that they’d win. Otherwise it was over.
I guess they knew that too. I heard Harrison yell in frustration. He launched a volley of fireballs at Bobby. I could tell by the sound of his swinging arms. I heard Darryl clanking around with his robot. I heard a button being pressed. Then I heard a grunt of pain. I smiled.
We might actually win! Then I heard Darryl being taken over. A desperate try. I heard a whizzing sound, I guessed they were Darryl’s super-stretched arms, reach out. Harrison moaned slightly. His slight disadvantage gave Bobby the opportunity to whack him.
But Harrison didn’t hit the wall. Either that or my ears are faulty. Instead he kicked off the wall, and landed on his feet. A few seconds later, and Darryl resumed control of his body. Another advantage of having a super-brain, I presume.
“Harrison?” I heard him say.
“Let’s get this guy!”
“That’s the smartest thing you’ve ever said!”
The last thing I remember is a loud cracking and intense pain. Then there was only black. But, in that state of unconsciousness, dreams came. I’m not sure how they got there, in my head, but they were scary!
Most of it was torture. Being pricked to death with large syringes (I have a phobia of syringes.). Being eaten alive by piranhas (Part of my brain knew piranhas didn’t eat meat, but the other part didn’t care. Plus, I’m scared of piranhas!).
And worse, watching Jake die in my arms. I loved him.
I know, I know, love is a strong word and all, but how else do you describe what I feel for him?
I also knew that the Shadow breathed in fear. And the part of my brain being targeted was my amygdala. But that knowledge didn’t make my dreams any less scarier.
I awoke to a loud inhalation. I opened my eyes. They were sticky with tears. Jake lay a few feet away. I could tell by the blond hair. But that’s all I could see in this darkness.
“Jake.” I say, weakly.
He turns. “Carly!” He creates a force field under me and lifts me off my feet. Literally. He brings the force field towards himself. He kisses my forehead and hugs me hard. I hear a slight groan of pain from my rib, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was what was right in front of me.
We turn weakly, leaning against the wall, and watch the fight play out. We were too weak to do otherwise.
It looked like our side was winning. I cheered weakly. It came out like a whisper.
Darryl was pushing forward on the offense, while Harrison was protecting him with walls of fire. More and more tentacles dissolved into nothingness.
I cheered-whispered again.
The Dark One was slowly being pushed backwards. He looked frightened. He let loose another burst of dark energy. Harrison’s wall of fire protected Darryl from serious harm, but a smidge of it struck him in the chest. Luckily, he was fine, but the slight pause gave The Dark One an advantage. He pressed forward with another barrage of darkness.
Darryl got hit with more and more pellets of darkness. Harrison wielded a suit of fire around the back of him. He left the front side clear so he could breath and wouldn’t suffocate. But The Dark One was smart and strategic.
He ran at a wall.
But instead of falling, he disappeared. We all looked around. But he wasn’t there.
Suddenly, something dark appeared behind Darryl.
“WATCH OUT!” yelled Jake. Darryl turned in time to see The Dark One standing behind him. Luckily, Harrison raised a wall of fire in front of Darryl. Is blocked the blow, but the smoke inhalation was too much for Darryl. He collapsed.
“JAKE!” shouted Harrison. Jake nodded and raised his arms. Like he did for me, Jake carried Darryl towards our little ‘Hurt Friends’ pile.
I propped him up against the wall. Unfortunately, my knowledge of smoke inhalation was poor. I was lost.
So, I left him there. All I knew was that he needed clean air. But there wasn’t any around.
By now Harrison had switched to offense. And The Dark One to defense. As balls of fire were thrown at The Dark One, he raised a shield of darkness. Sometimes the balls of fire were consumed by the darkness, but other times the fire dissolved the wall. Then, one of the fireballs became huge and blue. The large fireball hit the wall, and the wall was destroyed, pellets of it flying in every direction.
Jake raised a force field around everyone but The Dark One. He was destroyed by his own darkness. We cheered for Harrison. He smiled weakly, then collapsed. I limped over.
But Jake stopped me, “He’s fine. Still breathing, just tired.” he assured me.
Sure enough, Harrison was fine. But The Dark One wasn’t. I wrapped him up in an icy rope. Then, Jake secured him in a force field. The force field would have to be reestablished, but for now it was fine.
I heard coughing behind me and turned around. Darryl was slowly getting up. His first step was a bit wobbly, but after that it got better.
“Did we win?” he asked, weakly.
“Yeah,” I tell him, “Yeah, we did,”
“I’m a superhero,” I heard Harrison mutter. At first I thought he was awake, but he turned out to be sleep-talking. We laughed. It hurt my ribs when I laughed, but I suffered through it.
“Let’s get them up in the sun.” Jake suggests. “Hopefully, since he’s in power mode, his powers will be destroyed by the eternal light of the sun!”
It sounded like poetry.
“Good point,” Darryl said, thoughtfully. Jake looked overwhelmed with pride.
He proudly creates force fields to carry Harrison and The Dark One. I make little iceboats for the families lying unconscious, and a small cane for me.
We lift them up in to the bright sun. It takes a while, because of our cracked ribs and arms. People are gone. Enjoying the start of summer. The door was locked, but Darryl’s robot destroyed it.
We walked outside and lay everyone out in the sun. Then The Dark One started changing.
First his eyes opened, and shone brightly, a beacon of light, then they turned golden again, then his hair went back to it’s normal color, then his clothes changed. Finally his tentacles disappeared, to be replaced by skinny arms and legs. He was changed. He was Bobby again.
Jake walked over to him and looked him in the eye. “No trace of green or black.” he announces, happily.
We high-five each other. Then we waited.
At some point, I don’t know when, Bobby disappeared. We never knew what happened to him, nor will we ever know.
Harrison awoke first. “Hey guys.” he said, before falling back to sleep. A while later he awoke again. And this time he stayed awake. We talked for a bit. But it was no use. We couldn’t rid ourselves of the worry we had for our loved ones. They were still snoring.
Darryl was tinkering with his robot again. I was going to reprimand him, this was not the time for robots, I was going to say. then I reconsidered. Who knows when you’re working with the smartest genius in history?
Soon, they start to wake. The little kid first, and then Tessa, and then Jane, and so on. The oldest person, Jake’s dad, awoke last.
When they were all awake, Darryl pointed his little robot at them. A bright beam of blue light hit them, and they fell back to the ground.
“What did you do?” asked Harrison, furiously.
“I erased their memory of the past few hours. Up to the point we left. I targeted the hippocampus, thalamus-” Darryl went on for a while, listing all the parts of the brain that dealt with memory. When he finished we all nodded, pretending we understood everything he said.
We didn’t have the foggiest clue what he was rambling about.
“-and then Spongebob said to Patrick…” Carlos rambled. I had been in a happy mood ever since our success in defeating Bobby aka the Shadow. Everything was great. The families awoke a while later, after some talking we convinced them that bad boy Bobby had injected them with sleeping meds. Mrs. White was the first to buy it.
After that, we all went out to a fancy place, courtesy of Mr. White, Harrison’s president dad, and ate dinner. The next few days were peace and bliss.
The bad news: it was adopting season. Parents came flooding in. I hid Carlos at the beach, staying there until adopting hour was over. Then I snuck him back. But I knew any day now he was going to be adopted. I just didn’t think it would be today.
The lady was around forty years of age and was striking and tall. She had black hair, streaked with grey, and spoke with a heavy accent. I guessed she was South African or Eritrean. Either way she was the perfect parent for Carlos. The last five minutes, she had encouraged Carlos to talk about himself. And that’s why we were currently talking about Spongebob.
“Why, Carlos! You are a perfect child! I must adopt you immediately!” she said.
Carlos smiled his big smile, then asked, “Will Darryl come too?”
“Who?” she asked, confused.
“Me.” I tell her. “I’m Darryl. Carlos’ best friend.”
“Nice to meet you, Darryl.” she said.
“I have the same feelings towards you.” I assure her. “May I talk to you alone?”
“Who of course you may,” she said, leading me out in the hallway.
“Um. Ma’am?’ I begin, uncertainly. “Can you please break the new to Carlos that I won’t be going with him? Can you do it kindly, please?”
“No,” she says. I’m shocked. Gone was the nice woman, here was her nasty side.
“I beg your pardon,” I say, still unsure about whether or not I heard correctly.
“I said no,” she confirms, “I’m sorry Darryl, I can’t do that. I can’t because you’re coming with us!”
“What?” I exclaim, I’m happy and surprised and excited all at the same time.
“Yes!” she replies, happily, “I was coming in for two anyway. Besides, you said it yourself, you guys are best friends!”
“Thank you so much! Ms… um…” I realize I don’t know her name.
“Ms. Abrihet Osman. But you will call me Mama!” I’m overjoyed! Ecstatic!
I rush into the room to tell Carlos the good news. He yells out of joy and starts dancing, I join in, then Ms Abri-Mama. And then Ms Kidd finally starts pumping out some moves.
It was the best day of my life!
They are all required to see us off. It’s the rule.
Everyone lines up, as we walk with our heavy suitcases. It was all good. Until we reached where Sanjit was standing.
He came over and I flinched, involuntarily. He grimaces, then hugs me. I hug him back. “I’ll miss you, Darryl.” He assures me.
“I’ll miss you too, Sanjit.” I reply. “Come visit me.”
“Of course.” He smiles at me and waves good-bye. I wave back. Then I turn and walk off with Carlos.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look back.
The penthouse is large. There is a swimming pool and sauna. The whole deal. It was four floors. Jake, Carly, Sanjit and Harrison have all visited me. We told Sanjit who Harrison really was, and he laughed a lot. I don’t know why.
Jake and Carly had both been to hospital, nothing was broken, but they both wore casts. Plus, I was certain something was going on between the two. Something ‘ooh-lala’!
Anyway, we’re all going on different holidays. Harrison to Vietnam and Brazil (so lucky!), Carly to Norway to visit her grandparents, Jake to China, Sanjit and the FTK stayed at a beach resort. Mama sponsored them big time! Speaking of Mama, she took the three of us to Eritrea, to visit her parents. They were overjoyed at seeing us. In fact, they even took us for a trip to Madagascar!
I loved Madagascar. It was the best place ever! And there were lemurs! Who were my second favorite animal, after dogs of course.
Carlos ate ice cream every single day! And he lost his front tooth. The tooth fairy visited him at night. (Spoiler Alert! It was just Grandmammy and Grandpappy!)
I had never been more happy in my life! I had everything! Money: check! Friends: check! Powers: check!
Everything worked out in the end. For everyone. Well, except Bobby. But hey, that’s what you get when you fight the Super 4! Except for Sanjit. I forgave him in the end, and didn’t fight him, even though he would have probably pummeled me anyway.
For the accomplishment of this book, I am forced to thank four of my friends: Aditya Chatterjee, for kind of editing and keeping my book a secret, Russell F., for his notebook. Russell was a part of this project, until he unexpectedly quit. And thanks to Darryl Kattah and David Amankwah for being by my side the whole time.
I’d also like to take some words to thank my family: My mum, Akofa, of whom I based Mrs. White on, my stepdad, Kyle, of whom Mr. White was born, and lastly my sister, Maia. Of whom I based: Carly Martinson, Jane Patterson and Tessa White.
And to the people who’s reading this. I need your money to work! Thanks for making it possible!
-Harrison Wallace :)
About the author…
12-year-old Harrison Wallace, half Ghanaian, half British, came up with the idea for the Super 4 during an intensely long trip. It all began with a notebook, some pencils and a lot of time. He is currently working on the next book, Gone and many others. He loves getting emails, so contact him at: [email protected]
In the first book of the epic the Super 4 series, four teenagers, Harrison, Jake, Carly and Darryl, embark on an adventure of lifetime, when during a mountain walk, they find themselves lost and thirsty. That's when they stumble across a lab. It was a miracle. Vending machines lined up the wall. They drink as many sodas as they can. The left feeling powerful. Though they still faced life's natural problems; bullying, grades and fights, they felt confident and powerful. Then, havoc started wreaking in their lives. All hell broke loose. Family problems, personal problems, friend problems. They discover the person behind all this, one they nicknamed, the Shadow, and knew that problem had to be solved. With no knowledge of who the Shadow really was, the teenagers fight for their lives. But can they defeat darkness?