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

May 1, 2008
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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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Amazingawesomeness said...
Jul. 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm
This should definately become a book! So well written, I was drawn in so quickly! Well done! :)
Solyn said...
May 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm
Excellent story. I would understand if you didn't make a sequel though, for then you would get to watch us beg for one until the end of time *evil grin*. truly exceptional though,  I enjoyed it immensely.
pagan.daughter.911 said...
May 11, 2012 at 11:28 am
this is great, ive read alot of fiction books about witches but i think this storyline and plot is by far th best. it caught my attention immediatly and makes me want to read more...please continue this tale!
mirrorstone said...
May 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm
Can you just turn this into a novel or something?! I want to know what happens next! Who is this mysterious character that is going to cause me to lose sleep over trying to place a background behind her! MORE!!
SilverSun said...
Apr. 29, 2012 at 12:43 am
Oooooo!!super good! More? More? More? ;)
Boota said...
Apr. 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

LOVED IT, can you write the rest if there is a rest, MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT....




booknerd101 said...
Apr. 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm
I didn't love it but you're a good writer.
marinophan said...
Apr. 23, 2012 at 8:22 am
This story left me unmoved. I felt that it was very plain and flat and at no point did it draw me in. Continue your writing, and I hope that your talent will bring a piece that touches upon my interests. By the way, you might want to check on those spammers and report something to TeenInk. Those comments are extremely annoying.
marinophan replied...
Apr. 23, 2012 at 8:23 am
Oh, and report the abuse to TeenInk on the spammers. If evough reports go through, the comments will be removed.
loveroffashionandwriting said...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm
omg i love this soooooo much! i wish it didnt stop at such a cliff hanger though
Lindsey31 said...
Apr. 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm
I love this! Just curious but how many people have viewed this, rated this and/or commented on this?
Poetic_Ninja said...
Mar. 29, 2012 at 7:48 am

I love it girl! Keepup the good work, you're such an amazing writer too <3


SElahi said...
Mar. 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm
Draws you in! Very compelling writing style. Keep up the good work!
VolleyballPlayer12 said...
Mar. 28, 2012 at 10:06 am
Good story!(;(;
iTide said...
Mar. 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm
I absolutely loved it!  You are an extremely talented writer.  If you want, I would love it if you checked out my writing.  Visit my page, or look for an Article called "Immortal Tide."  It should be posted already.
FyndFyre replied...
Sept. 14, 2012 at 8:17 am
I agree with iTide. This story  is excellent!  Oh, and please consider looking at the work I share with epiclyawesome.  Search "Demoness."
Lindsey31 said...
Mar. 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm
This is an AWESOME story!! If you want to read a different action-adventure short story, definitely read "Lost Girl Found." Just go to my page OR see recently published work.
jandmybirds said...
Mar. 20, 2012 at 10:11 am
I like turtles
. said...
Mar. 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm
I thought t was amazing!!!! I like all the details also
NewsJunkie said...
Mar. 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm
You do a wonderful job of blending the thriller/mystery and fantasy genres! Your writing is detailed and concise with enough details to really satisfy anyone who reads your piece. Awesome job! Please write a sequel:)
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