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strike: a faerie tale

Author's note: This a sequel; check out the first. This second book took me one month during a summer vacation...  Show full author's note »
Author's note: This a sequel; check out the first. This second book took me one month during a summer vacation to complete. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this one.  « Hide author's note
Chapters:   1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 9 Next »


I SILENCED THE BUZZ OF MY PHONE AND CHECKED MY CALENDAR. Today was Monday, which meant I had tennis tryouts. I had been practicing all summer, including all day yesterday.
Everyone was still asleep, so I went to take a quick shower with the extra time I had. The burn on my hand was fading away all summer; today I could barely make out the outline. I made a mental note of asking Arial about it when I had the chance. I was on my way to my mirror when someone popped up in front of me, making me
I hate writing the first chapter---always. And I never like how the first chapter turns out---never.
yelp and jump back.
Jake smirked. "Good morning sunshine." Jake Robins was my best friend turned boyfriend. When I had gotten my powers through the acquiring of Crystalus--a meteor that went from a marble to boulder in the time span of a few hours--Jake had done it with me.
Now, he could do the following: turn invisible, teleport to wherever he wanted, had super strength, can heal himself, and can read minds. I, on the other hand: was able to create a transparent shield, had super strength, fly, had extraordinary hearing and, read minds. The one glitch was that Jake and I couldn't read each others mind anymore. We could never figure out why.
"You have to stop doing that," I said, pushing him onto my bed. He didn't let himself hit the bed since he would have broken it. He looked like your average fifteen-year-old junior, but looks can be deceiving.
"Oh come on. Aren't you ready yet?"
"No, I still have to do my hair," I said sarcastically. There was absolutely nothing
to do with my hair. It was long and light brown. Not to mention perfectly straight--or flat. Nothing I did to it would change it. How ordinary considering how extraordinary I was.
"Anyway, aren't you excited?"
I sat down at my mirror and began to put a little bit of eyeliner. "About what?" It was our third week of junior year. Almost nothing had changed at all--besides the obvious. The only difference was that Jake and I grew two inches taller--we measured. Jake was still three inches taller than me, not to mention ten days older. But I was still the shortest and youngest of the group. Then Jake was the third shortest; Josh--my brother in all senses except blood--was the oldest and tallest. And the most annoying.
"The tryouts. I'll be there to cheer you on. Just make sure you don't break the racket," he laughed.
I rolled my eyes. "Ha ha. Just be ready for your tryouts," I shot back. Jake had his football tryouts the day after mine. We had decided to join sports teams this year, a little couple thing we were trying.
"Ha, you're so hilarious. How long do you take exactly?" My clock said it was almost time for breakfast, and I could hear my mom head to the kitchen; maybe the alarm on my phone was set wrong.
"Just give me five minutes then knock on the door," I said quickly and kissed him. Jake being in my room unauthorized was illegal, so being caught here wouldn't be good.
"See ya in a bit," he said before popping away. When he would disappear, you could hear a faint pop; I thought it was cute.
I raided my closet to find anything; pink blouse, blue jeans… some sneakers. I double checked my duffle bag containing all my tennis stuff: racket, some spare tennis balls, fitness shorts and shoes, female products, and my permission slip.
When I gathered all my things, I made my way down to the kitchen. My mom and Josh were already there, eating delicious-smelling bacon. Mommy--a.k.a. Sandra Santali--raised her eyebrows when she noticed the full backpack and large duffel bag in my hands.
"Amy, isn't that heavy for you?" she asked. Before my… transformation, I wasn't very strong. I mean, I weighed only a hundred and five pounds--I had gained three pounds in 'muscle' in the last four weeks--so it was noticeable how small I am.
"No. I mean, I worked out this summer," I said simply. She shrugged as I set my stuff by the door and took a seat at the kitchen table.
“So, are you ready for your tryouts?" Josh smirked. I took some bacon from the plate in the middle. There was so much since my dad, Frank Santali, wasn't here. Ever since his promotion back in May, he leaves early in the morning and got home around midday.
"Of course." I took a big bite of bacon when there was a knock on the front door. "I'll get it," I said as I almost flew across the living room; couldn't let Mom see that.
I opened the door to find Jake, along with Liz Martins. Her brown eyes and almond face (she'd gotten tan over the summer) looked exhausted, like she didn't sleep well, which was unusual for her. But her brown hair looked beautiful; her full figure made her look like a real junior… maybe even a senior. She was the third tallest and oldest of our four-people group. Liz completed our group of friends as our concerned
worrier. Of course she was also my best girlfriend and we were in total sync.
She yawned. "Hey Amy, ready to go?"
"Sure. Josh, Jake and Liz are here," I said as I grabbed my stuff. They were big and were a hassle.
"Here, give me the duffel," Jake said as he took the bag. We said our goodbyes and headed to school. Lincoln High School was close enough to walk to but not far enough to have bus transportation near our housing district. Jake and Liz lived relatively close so we were always within walking distance of each other.
"Has your burn faded off?" Jake asked me quietly. We walked behind Josh and Liz, who were talking animatedly about some class, the nerds. I held out my hand and showed it to him. He showed me his left hand, which had nothing on it.
"Yours is gone? Since when?"
"On Saturday it was completely gone. What does it mean?"
I scoffed and rolled my eyes at him. "Like I know. We'll head to Alloid's place and ask him about it after my tryouts. I'm sure it's nothing serious." Positively… unsure.
Alloid was an alien shape-shifter who crash landed in front of our tree house he now occupies. He was approximately our age in his celestial years. It was a little disturbing, meeting an alien and such. We befriended him once we realized he meant us no harm. Alloid also had introduced to us the Crystalus that had to be acquired, which led to me and Jake's specialties.
As we reached the school, passing by the jock-brained football players, we headed to our usual spot. 'Our' tree was in the center of the quad area so we had a view of the whole school. Whenever there was a fight going down, we always had front row seats.
When we arrived, we found someone was already occupying it. A girl, sophomore by the looks of it--though she seemed bigger, she was taller than Liz and I--was reading a school map. Her shoulder length brown hair swung left to right as she looked at certain buildings. Her skin was russet colored, perhaps a little lighter than that. She must've been Native American… or of Asian descent.
"I'm sorry," she said in a quiet soprano voice. "Is this your spot?" She wrinkled her nose and her eyes watered, as if she'd eaten something sour. She took a step back, seeming to get a little defensive.
Jake started. "Actually--"
"Yeah, but… do you need help finding something?" I cut across. Her concerned expression softened a little. Her dark eyes showed her appreciation for the friendly gesture. She wrinkled her nose again when I stepped closer.
"I was just trying to memorize the map. This school's pretty big." She added a smile.
I returned it as brightly as I could. "I'm Amy Santali. This is Jake Robins, my brother Josh, and Liz Martins," I said, pointing everyone out. "Are you by any chance a sophomore?"
"Junior, actually. I'm Roxanne. I just moved here from Portland," she replied. She started to sound more confident. I hadn't realized how soft her voice was before; now she sounded a bit deeper, slightly older.
"Well, we're juniors too," Josh said, slightly overenthusiastic. "Maybe we can
show you around?" The way he looked at her… I was almost stunned by the sudden interest in his eyes. What shocked me a little more was the way her smile lingered on Josh in return.
"I would greatly appreciate it. I don't know anyone in town."
"You do now," Liz said cheerfully. She stepped forward, putting herself just between Josh and Roxanne. "Where's your next class?" The bell rang before she got to answer.
"Don't worry," I assured Roxanne. "We'll help you find your way."
"Oh, you don't have to go through any trouble. I wouldn't want you to be late for class," she said humbly. It was impossible to believe how polite she was.
"I'll show her around," Josh piped up. "You guys go on ahead. We'll meet at lunch." He then led her away towards one of the science buildings. They walked very close to each other. Jake, Liz and I just stared after them.
"No way," said Liz. Jake and I smiled at each other.
"That's so cute!" I squealed.
Jake chuckled. "Our little Joshie's growing up." I had barely noticed Liz was still watching them walk away. She had an odd expression I couldn't read, but I didn't want to intrude her mind.
"Liz, are you okay?" Jake asked.
Liz seemed to snap back home. "Yeah. I'm fine," she said.
I couldn't resist.
--the hell?! She's just the new girl "I'll see you later." She walked in the opposite direction and then realized her class was the other way and turned around. Jake and I just watched Liz walk away, though, she looked more like she was stomping.
"Are you serious?" Jake said aloud. He must've heard her too.
I could only just nod my head. "I would have never thought of that ever happening. Let's just get to class." Jake and I had all our classes together… again. We had said that we would make sure we had at least two classes together this year. Someone was obviously listening.
For first period, we had Chemistry. Lab Bio had been easy peasy--this was just impossible. With our strength, I had broken a beaker by holding it too hard while Jake had broken a test tube with two fingers. I never had butterfingers but I seemed to have found them in the lab. Thankfully, today we just took notes.
"Did you know Liz ever liked Josh?" Jake whispered. The teacher, Mr. Carlson, was lecturing about a new topic, but I had no interest.
"Not until today, I didn't. Maybe it's just recent."
"What does Josh think?"
"I'm trying not to make it a habit to eavesdrop into people's minds," I whispered back. "Didn't you hear anything?"
He smirked at me. "Nope. I didn't have to. They showed what they were thinking."
I sighed in agreement. Thirty minutes had passed and all we had on our papers was our name. I made a note to get actual notes out of the textbook (or Liz); time was passing way too fast.
Since we had behaved so well (an oddity with basketball players in the class), Mr. Carlson let us have twenty minutes free-time as long as we weren't too loud; he was
suddenly engrossed by his computer screen. People moved to sit with their friends. Jake and I stayed put and relaxed.
"So…," Jake said, breaking our own little silence. The class was loud but not loud enough to have the teacher revoke his gift.
"You're not nervous?" I had not thought of that. The tryouts were only a couple of hours away; some last year players were doing it again--and they were experienced (and good). Butterflies were hatching in my stomach just thinking about it.
"I wasn't until you mentioned it."
I sighed. I know I had practiced hard enough over the summer, every day and all day. I played against the house or my wall. I learned all the rules. I even had my own signature swing. "So," I said, "you're not nervous?" He turned a little pink; I smirked because I always thought it was cute.
"Not at all," he said.
I scoffed at his false bravado. "Of course you're not. You're a rock."
It was so easy to be with Jake. He seemed so… perfect for me. I sometimes could never believe I was with him, his girlfriend; {sigh} I loved thinking it. Jake seemed to feel the same way, as we had discussed during some nights. We had wanted each other for a long time, it seemed like we never thought that we would ever come to be. Yet here we were.
The bell rang, making me jump; Jake smirked. As softly as I could, I punched him in the shoulder.
We laughed. The measures we took to remain unnoticed. Had I punched him with just a little more force, it would have sounded like a small explosion--seriously.
We slowly made our way through the crowd. And I mean slowly. We had to make sure we didn't bump someone hard enough to break their shoulders (Josh and Liz had sore arms for a month). But when the warning bell rang and less people were around, we were able to speed to our classes. Our second period was Trigonometry. {gag}
The teacher's name was Mrs. Trevors. She usually gave us a worksheet and made us get our notes from the book--she didn't feel like lecturing at all. It was so beyond boredom that it made watching grass grow exciting.
Jake and I quietly did our work; it was the only class we struggled with. For every question, I had to consult the book and I still didn't understand the concept. Jake wasn't much help either. He seemed to get negative numbers when they should be positive and vice versa. I just got answers that didn't make as much sense as the problem itself.
After that grueling hour, we had coed P.E. next. This class seemed to be my favorite this year. For once, Jake and I were the top of the class with the fastest running time, most sit-ups and push-ups and great physical shape. Mondays we had to run a mile--the equivalent of four laps around the track.
"Ah, the mile," Jake mused during warm-ups. "It never gets old."
"Just make sure to keep the same pace," I warned. We would go faster than everyone else but not too fast it looked like we were on steroids. The teacher, Mr. Chavez, was very impressed with us. He always encouraged us to join his track team.
"Thanks, but I prefer tennis/football" was always our reply.
This week the girls ran first. I kept my lead with the girls panting behind me. I occasionally stopped, making it look I was tired. Then I sped up when I was almost finished. I was always entertained when it was the guys' turn. The other boys ran their lungs out just to keep a foot behind Jake. He would smile at me when he passed by. As I watched him, a girl came to sit next to me.
"I hear you're going out with Jake Robins," she said. She was taller than me with blonde hair and gray eyes. I noticed she was a sophomore, but she also looked like a model.
"Yeah." I never took my eyes off Jake. From across the field it looked like he was taunting the guys behind him. Mean.
"Were you guys friends before you hooked up?"
"Best friends." I glanced at her; she was watching Jake also.
I just had to peek: Wow, he's so hot
“How is it going?"
"What's with the sudden interest?" I asked a little too harshly.
Her eyes widened a little. "Just curious," she muttered as she got up and walked away to her group of friends. I turned back to Jake… but couldn't help overhear what they were saying.
"So?" a brunette asked with a hint of disgust in her voice. My eyes flickered in their direction immediately.
"I didn't know she was so catty," replied the girl who'd talked to me. The brunette scowled in my direction, I barely had looked away so she wouldn't notice my glare.
"I don't think they'll last that long. I mean, she really isn't that pretty," said another blonde girl in the circle. "He'll probably dump her soon."
"What, so you could have sloppy seconds?" replied one of the other brunettes. They all started laughing while the girl that hated me scowled at them playfully. It took all the restraint I had not to go over there and punch her face through to the back of her skull. Apparently, the brunette had a crush on Jake since the beginning of this year; she'd noticed the growth--and hotness--spurt. I was surprised I barely noticed this now. Maybe I hadn‟t been paying attention. Or maybe because Jake was pretty much the show-off in class, it was hard for the other girls to not notice.
I barely realized I had clenched my fists. I flexed them, then my knuckles cracked. Damn. The sound made it soo tempting. I took a deep breath as Jake came back, the first one done.
"Hey--what's wrong?" He sat down on the grass next to me. He was perfect, not one bead of sweat on his perfect face. I whined softly. I didn't really consider myself in his league. He really didn't see it that way, I had assumed; I never voiced these concerns aloud.
"Nothing important."
His head suddenly went up. I looked up too, just to see he was looking at the group of girls. I sighed again. I didn't have to hear to know what they were thinking.
"You heard them, didn't you?" His face became serious as he looked at my sad expression.
Then he laughed at me. "I don't know why your getting upset. They're just a bunch of dumb sophomores and freshmen. You don't have to listen to every word they say."
I rolled my eyes and threw some grass at him. "Yeah… but they're still hard to ignore." He put his arm around me; the girls scoffed extra loudly.
When the last boy had come in, we headed to the locker rooms. I went with the girls to the left door, being jostled from behind. I turned to see the brunette stalk away. After I had changed, I went to my locker to see the brunette and the blonde standing beside it. I took a deep breath and put on the most innocent face I could muster.
"Hi," I said pleasantly. They kindly stepped aside so I could get through, though I knew kindness was far from their minds.
"So… you and Jake Robins, huh?" asked the brunette. So much for subtlety. I put away my gym clothes and shoes, my back to them.
"Yep." I locked my locker and began organizing my backpack.
"How long have you known each other?" she asked with false curiosity.
"Since kindergarten."
Her mental tone was confused and shocked. They hadn't known that we were so close, so they now knew it was going to be difficult to break us up. I wanted to laugh in their faces. I turned and grabbed my backpack. They were blocking my path again. As stupid as it sounded, they wanted to fight me (unbelievable). Again, I tried not to laugh; and it took all I had not to push them through the lockers.
"Excuse me, please," I said as politely as I could. They evilly insulted me in their minds and I was getting more upset at their lack of word choice.
The blond stepped aside but the brunette kept her ground. "Are you in a hurry?" she asked. I could hear the hint of double meaning.
"Well, I want to go to lunch," I replied innocently.
Her face became a little serious. "Is he waiting for you?" she asked not bothering to hide her snide.
I rolled my eyes. "Of course. I mean, he is my boyfriend." I would have broken her shoulder had she not quickly stepped out of the way, a worried expression spread on her face instantly.
Chapters:   1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 9 Next »

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This book has 3 comments. Post your own now!

star2brite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 3:37 pm
Interesting idea. I started reading it then realized that it's a sequel so I should probably read the first! I like the voice. I think this has potential--the title definitely caught my eye. Keep writing :)
WhiteWidow replied...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

Thank you.  The prequel---the first, rather---is 'choice'.  There's a third installment, but I'd like to see how the first two do

Also, if you've got the chance, take a look at 'complex'.  Part One and Two of this book are online already.

WhiteWidow said...
Sept. 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm
Someone read this please....

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