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.

“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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DuckLoverThis 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...
May 31 at 9:12 am
Oh my goodness, I am in love with this story! The ideas so original, the story itself so grabbing...I was intrigued! This is great!
olivia428This 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. 30, 2016 at 5:34 pm
Wow, great job!
pineappler03This 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. 27, 2016 at 12:24 pm
Amazing work! Wow!
LiveLaughSmile said...
Apr. 27, 2016 at 7:46 am
This story was awesome! I love the idea of mixing a spy of an organization with magic powers.
tardistraveler241 said...
Apr. 26, 2016 at 8:53 am
I love the combination between magic and spies, two genres that aren't really brought together very often. The magic element kind of felt rushed and just thrown in, if you were to expand on the magical part of this universe in the future that would be amazing.
GillianBorromeo This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 20, 2015 at 3:56 am
continuation please!!
MADDO said...
Nov. 6, 2015 at 6:40 am
very nice... i liked it
AliviaNicole said...
Oct. 15, 2015 at 6:48 am
Wait can you keep writing off of this?
Camomile_Addison said...
Jun. 14, 2015 at 12:30 am
No! I want to read more! I personally agree with JohnPaulGeorgeandRingo, the fact that you involved witchery and magic, kind of threw me off. I had to re-read it a few times only realize I had been reading it right, and that it indeed said 'magic'. It felt like you had kind of just threw it in there. You did a fantastic job, however. You explained in a way that hooked the reader, making them beg for more, not to mention the first paragraph with the actual hook! It brought an on-edge wariness, ... (more »)
Teresa G. said...
Mar. 18, 2015 at 10:00 am
katiekoller replied...
Mar. 18, 2015 at 10:00 am
sadly she left us with a cliffhanger
katiekoller said...
Mar. 18, 2015 at 9:59 am
love the cliffhanger!!!!! :)
LifeLeader This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 12, 2015 at 8:25 am
I love it! Are you going to continue the story?
Made_Of_Greed said...
Feb. 3, 2015 at 7:47 am
Cliffhanger! This is awesome.
Kimm_G said...
Dec. 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm
this is a seriously cool piece and idea. 
Anyuhhhh said...
Nov. 13, 2014 at 11:13 am
I first want to say this is a really interesting piece of work and I can not wait to read the next part if you continue this story. I suggest a little more dialogue but I love your topic and that there was mystery to it. I wouldn't have put that magic in the end, maybe the last sentences could be a little different. Other than that, I think this piece has good potential and could be taken to another level! I really enjoyed this piece, it kept me involved to the end.
LueReion said...
Sept. 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm
Wow this is really intriguing so far! Also it's a unique story good job :)
Jacboyd7 said...
Jul. 10, 2014 at 11:37 pm
Very Good!! It is a great story and I can't wait to ready the next scenes. You are an excellent writer. 
A.K.-Me said...
Apr. 26, 2014 at 8:00 am
Wow, you really have talent !
JohnPaulGeorgeandRingo said...
Apr. 23, 2014 at 8:23 pm
I agree, i liked the teenage Opulence memeber and there was no sign of magic untill the last few sentences. I feel it would be better you left it just the way it was headed in the beginning. However It was really good, The beginning had lots of potential for a longer piece and the word choice ws good
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