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Opulence This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I’ve been watching him for days now. When he leaves his house to go to school, I’m the one carefully tailing him, switching cars every day to make myself look less suspicious. If he ever sneaks out of his second-story room, I’ll be the one silently watching from a nearby tree. In class when he turns, feeling eyes on the back of his head, I’m the one who sent the hair on the back of his neck up on end. I am the girl whose shadow is always slightly overlapping his.

Being assigned to watch him almost makes me
feel like I’m not a stalker. Though I’m only 17, I’m a full-fledged member of the organization known as O.P.U.L.E.N.C.E. I’ve been with them since the ­tender age of five. It’s my home. Being an orphan, my office is also my permanent residence, the couch a fold-out bed. There are many others like me: no family. A lot of us are loners and haven’t chosen this route for ourselves.

I’m a tracker. I have been for years and some might say that I am the best at not being the best. In other words, I’m great at being invisible. Or at not being noticed. It’s not as hard as the others in the organization think. Being young and female is good, since most we track are young. Seeing me around younger people – my age, actually – doesn’t raise alarm bells. It helps that I’m cute. With a small frame, light hazel eyes, and short blond hair that curls under my chin, I don’t appear threatening. Of course, my ­organization-funded training doesn’t back that theory.

Soon I won’t be tracking down others with the power. They are finally going to give me an apprentice. After years of mastering everything I’ve been taught, they see my potential. That’s not to say I know everything. Even with my extended life I won’t be able to learn all the things I want to. If only this annoying boy would show the signs. It’s been almost a week. If he doesn’t show soon, they’ll reassign me. That much longer until I get my apprentice.

So here I am, sipping a latté and waiting for the Target to leave for school. I have been put in all of his classes in case something happens there, though I graduated high school years ago. Private tutors sped things up. With no family or personal ties, I had lots of time to devote to my studies. Martial arts black belts. Twelve languages, not including English. Everything a girl needs for a serious career in the agency. Such positions of power are not handed out easily. You must prove yourself many times over.

The Target and I have never spoken, but I know a lot about him. His file told me some, but after watching him for only a few days, I feel confident in saying that I know things no one else does. Not just the obvious, either. He resents his father and is protective of his mother, which makes me suspect the father is less than faithful. He smiles often but doesn’t make a lot of eye contact. He usually only speaks when spoken to. Although he has many friends, he isn’t close with any of them. The Target is observant, a watcher. This leads me to believe we would get along if he shows any promise.

I look down at my watch, then back at his house a few blocks away. The Target is late, which means I’ll be late too. Today my ride is a shiny black sports car, not out of place in this suburb full of midlife-crisis men. I turn on the engine impatiently. I’m fiddling with the radio when I hear something. I don’t feel any immediate danger, and I know to trust those feelings. But I ­also know that something is off.

Just as I am about to get out of the car and pretend to look in the trunk, the passenger door opens. I look up in surprise as the Target slides into the seat next to me. I grin, quite pleased by this turn of events. This is definitely a good sign. Perhaps intuition is strong in him. That would be good for my apprentice to have, complementary. I could handle having to deal with that.

“Hello, Lenna. Why have you been following me for a week now?” the Target asks lightly, conversationally, his first words ever said in my direction.

Ah, one of my many aliases. The organization set it up so that whenever I’m on a case, I get a new name, past, and present. It’s very powerful. The organization can basically do anything it needs; it has people everywhere imaginable. I’m just one of many, though there aren’t that many at the top, as I am. They don’t trust many to be trackers. Or to be apprentices. All of the full members have the power, though we control others to get things done.

My smile deepens as I say in my authoritative, professional voice, “My real name is Jade. I am a witch of the moon and a tracker for the organization known as O.P.U.L.E.N.C.E. You are also a witch. We would like to formally welcome you into the organization as my apprentice. Here is my card for verification.”

Jade Wordsworth
Tracker for O.P.U.L.E.N.C.E
Official Political Understanding Lending ­Everyone ­Navigation for Co-Existing Ethereals
Office hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon-Sat
Phone: 555-5555
Proud league of witches of the sun and moon.
Worldwide.

“What do you mean ‘moon and sun’? Or ‘tracker’?” he asks, still looking at my card like it’s going to ­disappear.

“Types of magic. Moon is all about spells, the sun is more potion-based, though each type of witchcraft involves the other somehow. As a tracker, I find people like you and I bring them to O.P.U.L.E.N.C.E. Every witch must register, train, and become a member by law. In fact, the organization is like a government targeted toward witches,” I explain with a smile, loving the fact that this time I get to teach the newbie.

“Magic? Seriously?” he asks, eyes wide, meeting mine. They are large, yellow, and catlike.

I click a button on my left, automatically locking the doors. I put the car into drive, pulling out onto the road. As an afterthought I add as a courtesy, “I think you had better come with me.” .

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 850 comments. Post your own!

Kailuasurfer said...
today at 2:28 am:
This is a great story! I feel like you could stretch the ending out, it ended a bit quickly. But other than that, it's a great story!
 
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PlutoNevermoreThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 15 at 12:59 am:
This is an interesting story, perhaps some more advanced word choice next time?
 
IcithraThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 8 at 8:39 pm :
This already has a ton of comments, but I have to say I really enjoyed your writing. My only critique is that the dialogue seemed a little forced, not they way people would actually speak, but everything else was pristine.
 
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Pseudonym329This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 13 at 3:34 pm:
This was REALLY good. I would love it if you could check out my account and read my stories. I hope you can take a minute of your schedule to read. If not, then I apologize for you reading this.
 
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ChandaMan said...
Dec. 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm:
I don't mean anything bad by this but the witch thing seemed a little over board. You had a real good story going then it sounded like you tried to wrap it up quickly.
 
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TabathaP said...
Dec. 10, 2013 at 7:41 am:
I really liked this, it was written well and was interesting. But its extremely similar to Amanda Hocking's book 'Switched.' About Tyrelle (trolls) living in a normal world until their tracker decides its time to tell them what they really are. 
 
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SubmitChannelAvatar said...
Oct. 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm:
First and foremost, I enjoyed your story. I liked the plot involving witches and having their own world set aside from our own. Aside from that i liked the pacing of the story, the organization, and character development. However, more setting could be provided in order to give the reader a better idea of the environment of this world.
 
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John P said...
Oct. 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm:
Nice job, the plot was great. Everything was going well untill the magic part. It was a little uncalled for.
 
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BlottedInkThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 27, 2013 at 10:59 am:
I like it a lot and i think it could go far as a novel. Maybe try to turn it into a book?? Yay! Nice job.
 
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Cutey-Beauty said...
Aug. 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm:
To anyone who doesn't know; this article has been rated #1 for about 2 years, I remember seeing it here since I joined teenink in 2011. I'm wondering why. Its excellently written, but aren't there more pieces out there that should also receive some recognition? Just a thought-please don't hate.
 
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BlueHedgehog said...
Aug. 14, 2013 at 1:10 am:
You should definitely continues this story!!!!!! Make it into a novel or something!!!!!!
 
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THERESABlake31 said...
Jul. 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm:
I opine that to get the loan from creditors you should present a good motivation. But, one time I have received a term loan, just because I wanted to buy a car.
 
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LorrieCrane19 said...
Jul. 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm:
All people deserve very good life time and personal loans or commercial loan would make it better. Because freedom relies on money.
 
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SavannaCumbeeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm:
WOW. I loved the plot. Even though there are many witch/fantasy stories out there, this one instantly drew me in with how the words flowed and the plot was different. Instead of focusing on the witch, you made the story focus on how witches become what they are. I think you are able to do so much with this story and make it even better. I believe that if you add some background to the main character (the girl), that you would draw in more people. Though the mystery is good, I think it may be a l... (more »)
 
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MetalheadMarleighThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 13, 2013 at 10:55 am:
This is absolutely stunning work. I am amazed with the storyline and how it flows. Woop woop! I love itttttttt.
 
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kamkitThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm:
I really enjoyed the development in this story and how the plot flows. There are a few twists and turns, but the confusion helps the story rather than hinders it. I was surprised when what I thought was a secret-agent spy society thing ended up being magically-oriented, but it was well introduced and I liked it. :) I like you character development for Jade, although in this short piece I only see one part of her- self-confident, resourceful and “authoritative” as you put it. If you... (more »)
 
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CassieGirl said...
May 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm:
Beautifully written - a wonderful start to a longer story, please!
 
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Luckytheinvisiblefloatingwalrus said...
Apr. 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm:
i thought this was a very well written story! great job! wonderful details and not too long!
 
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hollyax1999This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm:
love it! :)
 
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bookswagger said...
Mar. 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm:
Really nice. It was like one of those Ally Carter books. I loved it.
 
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