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The Others, Part 1
I feel my body tense in the middle of my Chemistry class.
What’s wrong? I hear Kenton whisper into my thoughts.
I sense something isn’t right. At all. I deliberately think, and then look at him across the room, and see him tense.
I feel it too, I’ll check in with everyone else. Ok? I’ll check in with you in a second.
I just quickly nod, being sure to stare straight ahead. I reach for my power, and twist it inside, watching it grow, keeping it contained in a glowing orb.
Then, when I feel like its going to burst, I throw it out, blanketing the entire school, all the way to the edge of the school grounds. I brace myself and then the barrage of emotions hits me. I sift through them. I take away the innocent ones, and cut off the connection to their owners. I’m left with quite a few…
It’s time. Kenton interrupts, inserting the thought in my mind.
We have to GO, Desiree! Its one of them, a spy. Their watching us. We can’t fight them with all the innocents around, but they won’t have such reservations.
ALREADY? Geez, I don’t know, Kenton. I mean, what do we really know about them? We don’t know what kind of powers we’re dealing with! We can’t go in and fight blind. We need more information. Can u connect me so I can get a reading? Then I’ll be on the lookout for any emotional changes. And I’ll make them feel like their not getting anywhere. You take the thoughts of us out of their heads. I look over and see him looking hesitant. Kenton, go! Do it! Ok? Trust me! Link me to them, please?
Ok, I don’t like this…you got it? You got the connection?
Yep! Thanks, now go. Mr. Kelleher is suspicious. I get the connection, and focus.
Not going to lie, I’m not sure how it works. I’m still learning. I found if I focus on one person long enough, I have a 24/7 link to them. This aspect of my gift isn’t that handy in offensive fighting. But it is quite helpful in a fight to make an opponent fall asleep, or get violently ill, and then light them on fire. THAT’S IT! Sick, of course! I slip out of my desk with my “passport”, or book of hall passes, a pass filled out.
“Mr. Kelleher? I don’t feel so well. Is it ok if I go to the office?” I make myself look as sick as possible, down to my nose being plugged.
“Of course Desiree. You looked like you were zoning in class, and that’s not like you. Get well soon, Desiree.” He looks at me, then stops me. “Desiree?”
“Are you really sick? Or is there something else? You seem like you’re not focused.”
“Yes, I’m fine, just sick, but thank you.” I turn and walk out the door. I go past the office, and Kenton is following me. I feel his concern. He’s joined by Brayden, and Solila. I slip into the Vice Principles office. He nods and wordlessly goes out to excuse our absence from class. He’s a higher level “being” sent by the watchers to aid us. They don’t want to lose anyone to the Others. I go to the closet, and we all whisper a few words, and slip inside, and end up outside, behind the dumpsters.
“Whew! It smells!” Solila complains.
“Shut up!” I hiss. I turn and cover my mouth to stop from laughing. She somehow located a nose plug and it is on her nose. She looks like a SUCH a geek.
“Girls! Focus! I’ve got a hawk on the lookout.” Brayden looks annoyed, amused, and like he’s going to throw up from the stench. “Let’s get out of here!”
We all sneak out, and I wonder how shady this looks. Four high school students sneaking out from behind the dumpsters before lunch. I feel my back twist, my bones and muscles in my arms stretching and pulling. I stop dead in my tracks.
“Desiree?! What is it? Are you ok?” Solila asks, concerned.
“What’s going on? What the heck?” I don’t understand. I feel like my body is changing its state. It’s so odd.
“Shape-shifting. She’s developed a new dimension to her gift. The rest of you will soon follow.” We turn towards the voice, and it doesn’t look evil. A small, petite girl, short blond hair. “We must go, before the humans see us.” Pain ripples through my back as I hear it crack. “NOW! Even if you don’t trust me, you must protect your identities. Come on!”
They all take off, but I can’t move. I can’t. One step, and I know I’ll become what ever it is I’m shifting into. Brayden runs back, and picks me up. Another tremor shakes me.
“Its ok Desiree, we’re almost there. Hang on, I’m here for you.”
“I’m not dying; at least I don’t think so.” I don’t need Kenton to tell me what he’s thinking. Its plain as day on his face, pain, disbelief, like he’s been lied to. A painful thought hits me he thinks I knew about this before.
Bingo Desiree hits the goal. Don’t worry; I’m convincing him right now. He’ll be ok.
He stops running, and gently sets me on the ground. I’m still clinging to his neck like it’s a life saving device. He isn’t exactly moving away, though either, I feel his hands tighten around my waist. I feel the heat burning through the thin fabric of a school uniform. I feel my heart quicken. I keep thinking please don’t let me go. Protect me from what ever this is. Please. Don’t let go…
“Let go, or when you change you’ll rip his face off.” I let go like someone pressed a button to automatically retract my arms. I realize we’re in a clearing in the woods about ½ of a mile away from school. Its ringed with oak, maple, and some birch trees. What little sunlight does come through falls in shafts to the ground. The ground is grassy, and surprisingly absent of leaves. Instead, a lush, springy grass covers the earth. Brayden’s doing, I suppose.
“Allow you’re body to do what it wants, don’t think, but try to follow what its doing.”
“What she wants, huh? Brayden, you better back quickly away.” Kenton jokes apparently my thoughts didn’t escape him. Brayden smiles and takes a purposeful step back. I start to smile but wind up grimacing. Brayden takes a step forward, concerned. I remember what the girl said. I relax all my muscles, and poof! Suddenly, I’m on all fours.
I look around. I honest to God don’t know what I am.
“Desiree?” Brayden takes a step. I feel a tail swish. Well, that narrows it down. Just about every animal on this d*** earth has a tail. I look down at two, huge, white paws. Again, narrowing it down by oh so much.
I hear my self whimper. Whimper? That one stumps me.
The girl pulls out a mirror. I look, and I’m a huge wolf, with a strange marking on my forehead, with my green eyes in the wolfs face. I take a step backwards in shock.
“It’s ok. Desiree, I’m not going to hurt you.” I see Brayden walk carefully towards me. I don’t know how else to show him I know that it’s ok, so I lay down. And put my head on my paws, just look up, like dogs do when they’ve done something wrong.
He walks closer, hesitant. I roll my eyes at his slowness. “Hey, settle down. Isn’t everyday your girlfriend turns into a giant white wolf. We’re all kind of in shock here. Gee, Desiree.” I start laughing, but it sounds like coughing.
“You didn’t know this would happen? Didn’t “they” tell you? Its much too dangerous to be walking around when you could shift for the first time at any moment.” The petite girl speaks again. I slowly get up, trying to be come accustomed to moving with four legs. I cock my head.
“Yeah, what are you talking about?” Solila speaks up.
“You didn’t know? Honestly? And they make us out to be the bad guys.” She looks disbelieving as she shakes her head. We all look at each other, confused. I want to speak, but I obviously can’t.
“Know what, exactly?” Its Kenton’s turn to question this stranger.
“Well, this girl here (points at Solila) has the element air. You (pointing at Kenton) have the element of water. You, I heard them call you Brayden, obviously have earth. And our wolf here, is fire. You’re the elements, of course. Air and water are a bit more… ingrained? So they make themselves known slowly.” The girl is explaining slowly.
“Kenton, have you tried to read her thoughts?” Solila asks. He shakes his head. “Do it.” He concentrates. I deliberately think Hey wow. Water? Seriously?
“Hey wow, Wolf? Seriously? Yeah, I got her. I have to focus a lot and its difficult, but I got her.” He grins and I resist the urge to swat at the back of his head like I usually do. My paws look like they could cause some serious damage. I don’t want that.
“And the ‘watchers’ never told you? Something so…necessary for you to protect the secret? Leave it to the ‘bad’ guys to break the news.” She says, with obvious dislike. She isn’t messing with us. She feels genuine distain towards the Watchers. They did seem a bit over protective. I focus on my “natural” species, and feel myself shift.
“I think you’re right.” As I go on to explain what I just thought about. They all look thoughtful.
“They do keep a lot of secrets. And this...shifting? If it is going to happen to all of us, some innocents would be in serious trouble. Hmm… and they were in a rush to persuade us over to their side…” Solila trails off.
We look at each other, suddenly doubting everything we were so sure of, the people who “helped” us when we didn’t know what was going on.
How do we know who to trust?