I had the idea at a sleepover with my friends.
I copied down some ingredients for the potion, memorizing them.
We were in “Science” class at M.A. High. Not that making potions and such is really normal science to the humans of the world, but in our world it is.
I couldn’t wait to actually make this one, because it was quite a famous one, a most popular potion, though it was quite complicated. This one made you invisible.
Denim was kind of bored while she wrote. She had argued with the teacher, asking her why she needed to make an invisibility potion, since she could already go invisible with more ease.
Mrs Likronc told her to shut her mouth and do her work like everyone else. She sees Denim’s point but she’s jealous, and I would know.
We had another class, P.E. where we played a game of tag, but super-fast. Zanza would have won, being swifter than anyone, but she was still in a trance of grief, and sidled near the edges of the field.
I became distracted watching her, and was tackled to the ground by Jimone. Trust me, it really hurt.
‘Ow!’ I yelled as I slammed to the ground, hitting my head. ‘Do you mind?’
‘Sorry, Kurlz, but you gotta be focused if you wanna win,’ he replied.
‘You don’t have to knock me over! Geez!’
Jimone shrugged. ‘You’re it.’
I took one last glance at my sorrowful friend, then bolted after Marn and Valish.
I walked to our group that sat in the small area that was cut-off from everyone else and had a few silver seats that we all could occupy.
Abcde and Regal were sitting next to Zanza, solemn looks on their faces.
I sat across from them, not speaking because no words came to mind.
Denim strode from a different pathway in her tight indigo jeans and pink tank top, her straight blonde hair in a ponytail swishing behind her, as though she was a dressed up stallion.
Valish was skipping behind her wearing some ebony shorts and an ivory skivvy, a black plait at the nape of her neck, tied with snow silk. She was a black and white film in a colourful world.
They seated themselves, each on either side of me, giving meaningful glances that were made to be inconspicuous. Not that it would matter, for Zanza was blinded by her watery view. They both were silent.
It felt like an age before I averted my heavy gaze to the boy with wavy grey hair and captivating fiery eyes.
I gave him a look, which he understood immediately, and he gave the slightest movement in his shoulders. Undetectable conversation.
Regal could summon the dead. Not bring a corpse back to life, or create a zombie or anything like that, but invoke ghosts. I wanted to know if he would do that for this situation. He couldn’t be sure what the right thing to do was. Or, he just didn’t want to see the plain truth. Leave it be, or let Zanza see her beloved one last time, just to have fresh blood weep from the hole in her heart.
I knew he wouldn’t bring the subject up, but he also wouldn’t refuse Zanza’s demand to bring Bomont back for a while. So, he would wait for her to ask, and he would obey. It was as though he was a slave to her will.
Not many people knew, but Regal loved Zanza, or at least had strong feelings for her that resembled love. I kept that secret because Regal was my friend, and I would never hurt him like that on purpose.
He stared at me a second longer and I saw the aching he felt that the one he loved was weeping for someone else.
Then he turned away his burning eyes to look at Zanza with tenderness and sympathy.
Regal held a shred of hope that she might pick him, but I knew she would never care for her friend more than what he already was, and kindling dreams would only break him.
‘I’m gonna get a sausage roll, anyone wanna come?’ I said, wanting to get out of there.
‘Yeah, I want some moth balls,’ Denim replied.
I stood up with her, gesturing Valish to follow.
She accompanied us, willing and grateful, and we walked slowly to the canteen.
‘Regal can’t do it,’ Valish announced. ‘It will only make it worse for her.’
I nodded. ‘But he will if she asks, of course.’
‘What?’ Denim asked confused.
I shook my head. ‘Don’t worry about it. Secret mind-reading business.’
‘Just tell me!’
‘When you can make me duplicate, I’ll let you mind-read.’
‘I can’t do that.’
We arrived at the long line, and I sighed, wishing I could pause time and ease through my frozen schoolmates and suddenly appear to be at the front. Oh well. I made my way to the end of the line and waited for students to buy their tasty lunches. Finally, the file dwindled to a few teens, and I ordered my sausage roll and Denim’s chips.
‘Here you go,’ I handed her the goods and we started walking, not in the direction of our niche, not wanting to see Zanza in her horrible state and feeling overwhelmed with the smothering hush.
‘It’s so annoying when you do that,’ Denim complained, raising the conversation beforehand.
‘Yeah, it’s also annoying when you use x-ray vision to look through Jimone’s clothes.’
Denim was about to protest, but I stopped her.
‘And you know I know.’
She flushed, looking away, feeling embarrassed and flustered, so I could make vomiting gestures to Valish who laughed, nodding.
We found a seat and devoured our midday meal there. After my sausage roll I sculled a bottle of cool chocolate milk that sloshed in my stomach, then had a small packet of choc-bugs which I went fifty-fifty with Valish.
‘I loooove choc-bugs,’ I purled. ‘They are soooo good!’
‘Oh my gosh, I think these ones have a layer of caramel in them,’ Valish noticed, excited as she bit one in half.
‘Can I have some?’ Denim asked over an empty packet of moth balls.
‘Sure thing,’ I replied, passing the red packet to the half-alien.
We sat crunching away at the heavenly cocoa insects... mmm, yum...
Then my thoughts irritatingly strayed to Zanza. Why had she had to go out that exact night and explore the human world to meet Bomont? Why couldn’t she just stay put in her dormitory and stay out of love?
I blocked it out of my mind and to distract myself, I started talking again, jabbering away.
‘I wish it would rain. It’s so hot. Way too hot. Need some grey clouds and some downpour. A great deluge. And hail. Buckets of it. In fact, we need a whole freaking storm. You think you can do that Val?’
Valish stared at me, trying to pry my mind with spectre fingers, but I was skilled in the act of shutting mental doors, and could lock all my thoughts from her. As she could sometimes do to me. She stopped trying then replied.
‘Yeah, I guess.’
She stood and faced the sky, her face glowing with power and awe, her arms lifted up towards the heavens... and then the sky burst into rain.
She looked down, smiling at us. She didn’t have to make that big scene with the arms up high and the face full of wonder, but it was so damn funny when she did, so we forced her every time she performed a weather adjustment that didn’t have to be inconspicuous.
She sat back down with drenched hair, and the tresses that had ruffled out of her tie clung to her pale cheeks.
I inhaled the moist pristine of the rain and sighed contentedly.
For the next month Zanza was kept in the coma of grief. Blank stares with sightless eyes that welled up occasionally. She had had the movement of a chameleon dawdle rather than her usual cheetah dash. But the glaze dulled into the next month. And though she wasn’t herself completely, she still tried to enjoy her Bomont-less life.
Regal, Zanza and Abcde came round the corner one afternoon and I grabbed Regal’s arm and pulled him out of earshot. Zanza barely noticed and Abcde only gave a slight twinge of her eyebrows.
‘She hasn’t asked yet, has she?’ I asked.
He shook his head.
‘Well, if she ever does, don’t do it. You know you shouldn’t.’
He looked into my eyes.
He nodded, but I could see it was just a lie we both knew. Pointless. Afterwards, he turned to depart, but I stopped him again, hanging to his sleeve.
‘Regal,’ I said earnestly, pleading. ‘She’s fragile. If you do it, this whole thing will be repeated. Don’t do it.’
He seemed to actually consider this time, and that’s all I could hope for, but would it be enough? I dropped his arm and fell into step with him and we hurried to catch up with the others.
An idea sparked in my head as I sat, one that might help Zanza out of her doldrums.
I sent the message to Valish, who was next to me, via brain waves, wondering if we should carry it out or not.
Valish acted as though nothing had happened, being quite smooth about the brain bulletin, but sent me a message back, agreeing with the idea.
Then she looked up at me and smiled.
‘Friday?’ she mouthed silently.
I nodded once.
It was time to make party plans.
I was perched in a seat next to Valish and Denim, wearing a black top, a silver belt and navy jeans, smiling and sipping some of my home-made punch from my martini glass. It was orange juice, pink lemonade, ginger ale and frozen berries.
‘Where is Zanza?’ Denim asked, fiddling with her amethyst earrings, purple dress and denim jacket.
‘Over there,’ I pointed. ‘Looking quite happy I might say, and her mind proves it. Aren’t I great at making plans? Me and my awesome ideas.’
Valish rolled her eyes. ‘I can’t believe so many people came.’
‘Yeah,’ Denim said, vaguely, eyeing Jimone with lust in her bright blue eyes. Foul.
‘Please go and dance with him before I dropped-kick you, then vomit,’ I said to her.
Denim blushed, stood and walked over to Jimone in her high heels. He smiled at her and they started dancing.
She grinned at us, wiggling her eyebrows, ecstatic.
I exchanged a look with Valish, and we started laughing.
‘Come on, we should dance too,’ I said, setting my glass down and jumping to my feet, making my curls bounce.
Valish was reluctant, but got up anyway and we went on to the “dance floor” which was actually just our dorm.
We sidled next to Zanza, Abcde and Regal.
Zanza beamed at me.
‘This is such a good idea,’ her voice was raised over the speakers now pounding “Silence is Distance” from one of the Yves Klein Blue soundtrack I had.
I had put on two CD’s of their music, and when this one was done, the other would come on. There was also Radiohead, The Mess Hall, The Strokes, some other bands and some random songs I loved.
‘Yeah, I know,’ I leaned down and hugged her.
She danced next to Regal who appeared pleasantly surprised, inching closer.
I gave him a look that said “not long ago, her boyfriend died, so back up a bit, give her some time”.
Instead of backing up, he got closer still, giving me a lop-sided grin. I couldn’t help smiling back, but put some sarcasm into it.
Then someone tapped me on the shoulder and I whirled around.
It was Quex.
‘Hey, come to join the party?’
‘Yeah, nice one too,’ he said, then nodded at Zanza who was laughing. ‘She seems happy.’
‘That’s my aim.’
I shrugged. ‘Sure, whatever.’
Valish stood next to me, gesturing to Zanza and Regal dancing with her pupils.
I rolled my eyes, shaking my head. ‘He won’t listen to me, stubborn little idiot.’
Quex looked confused.
‘Don’t worry about it,’ I waved him off.
‘Where’s Marn?’ Valish asked Quex.
‘I don’t know, I thought he was already here.’
‘Oh, never mind, found him,’ she hurried away to sit next to Marn who wasn’t really the dancing type either.
I was pretty confused by all the love in the air. Zanza loved Bomont who was dead, Regal loved Zanza, Denim liked Jimone, and I had recently found out that Valish had a thing for Marn, who liked her back, which I could tell by the way he smiled at her every time she came into view. It seemed only Quex, Abcde and I were not part of the love-fest. It settled me that they weren’t so annoying with all that.
Where was Abcde, anyway?
I spotted her, then motioning her to come over.
‘Hellooo,’ she greeted cheerily. ‘How are we all tonight?’
‘Just swell,’ I replied. ‘What about you?’
‘Great. The cheese platter is just delicious.’
‘Oh my gosh, I know. Sooo good. The Brie is fantastic with those crackers. It’s like, holy crap, yum!’
Quex laughed, then made me pirouette, my curly red hair almost whipping him in the face.
He rolled me into his arms. We were about the same height, but I had the upper hand.
‘What is with you and food?’
‘What is with you and food?’
I spun out of his arms, then stood beside Abcde and we did some crappy dance moves, because we are skilled at the art.
Quex stared at us, smiling, then joined in because he was pretty well trained by Abcde and myself at moving like a spastic.
For a long while I hung out with Quex and Abcde, eating, dancing, drinking and just going on about random stuff, laughing our heads off, unconcerned with our love-smitten friends. Who needs a boyfriend to have a freaking awesome time?
‘I’m feeling pretty light-headed,’ Abcde chuckled. ‘A bit crazy, do you know what I mean?’
‘Yeah, I think I’m getting the same impact as you are,’ I replied twirling next to her.
‘Maybe it’s from dancing too much,’ Quex suggested.
I laughed giddily. ‘Probably.’
‘I think I might fall over soon.’
‘I’ll catch you, no worries.’
‘Good on ya, you’re the best.’
‘He is not. I’m the best. Well, actually I’m not, but he definitely isn’t.’
‘Hey, shut up, I am so awesome!’
‘I agree with that statement,’ I elaborated, patting him on the head. ‘But you aren’t the best. Just really awesome.’
Quex grinned. ‘Why, thank you.’
‘Does anyone else feel dizzy?’ Abcde asked, twinkling vaguely, her eyelids inching closer together.
‘I think we all established that we are quite dizzy from all the dancing, yeah?’
‘Oh right. I forgot.’
I grabbed her arms and spun around again.
‘This is fun!’ she giggled.
‘That is it,’ I agreed.
Abcde started to sing softly along with the music, and I laughed.
‘Wow, you’re fantastic!’
After a bit, I needed to go to the toilet, so I made my way through the throngs of people towards the bathroom.
That’s when I saw Zanza and Regal.
Zanza lifted her head and gazed at the boy, then she reached up and kissed him right on the lips.
If I still had my martini glass I would have dropped it and sprayed punch everywhere. I guess it was lucky I didn’t. I got that glass as a present.
Regal hugged her closer, kissing her more fiercely, obviously over the moon like some kind of nursery rhyme cow.
When they had finished locking lips, he finally noticed me with my wide eyes.
He just smiled like he did before, and started making-out with Zanza again.
I sent Regal a brain message which said “I am freaking going to kill you.”