Well, I'm trying a new story. Hopefully I'll keep writing it. I've got a vague idea of what I want to happen, and what this story is about. As it goes on, it'll be clear just what "talents" means. Annnnddd....I'd love to hear your thoughts. Comments?? It helps immensely when ya'll comment, because knowing people are reading is SO encouraging. Thanks!!
One: Running, Healing, and Aggressive Cops.
Through the woods, towards the gate. I have decided not to look back. If I do, I might change my mind. It won’t be long before they realize I’m trying to escape. They always do about five minutes after I’ve left.
I kick my legs and then I’m in the air, waving my hand around to hold myself up. Levitation. I wish I didn’t have it.
I hold my palm outwards and push down, sending myself inching upwards, closer to the shining moon. The night setting is both scary and thrilling. I’m a self-admitted adrenaline junkie, so this power coursing through my veins--it doesn’t throw me.
Then I hear the leaves crackling below and Lynda calls,
“Kate, Kate…they’re going to come.”
I shake my head, trying to tune her out. She continues to repeat herself though, getting louder and more frantic each time, until I turn around to answer her.
Huh. I’m farther up than I expected, but I can see the top of my sister’s head, golden like honey in the moonlight.
“I can’t do this anymore, Lyn. Please, I need to go.”
“No,” she begs, looking up at me with those large, turquoise eyes. They’re so much younger than mine, though she is two years my senior. “Think of what it’ll do to mom; to dad. They’ll spend the rest of their lives absolutely tormented.”
“They hate me,” I spit, but I falter, and sink closer to the ground. Lynda sees this and lurches forward, making a mad grab for my ankle, but I pull back at the last second. She lets out a sound that’s equal parts frustration and sorrow, and I feel a sweep of something like remorse surge through me.
“They hate me,” I repeat, struggling to clear my head.
“No,” she whispers softly. “They don’t.”
And with that I’m on the ground, my arm twists backwards, and there’s a sickening crack. Someone is laying on top of me, heavy and suffocating.
“I’ve got her,” the familiar voice of Gregory announces. “But I think I broke her arm. Kitty, can you hear me?”
My good hand searches the lump on top of me, feeling for something. At last, when my fingers brush the firm line of his jaw, I slap him--hard.
“You broke my arm, you idiot!”
“Oops.” A rustle of leaves and the weight is gone. I’m looking up into Lynda’s worried face. She frowns.
“She didn’t have to hit me.”
I turn my head slightly to see Gregory standing a few yards away, one hand pressed gingerly to his cheek. I can already see the skin underneath beginning to swell, and that gives me some small sense of satisfaction.
“What am I supposed to do now?” I demand, giving them both a withering glare.
The sweet and kind Lynda from before abruptly vanishes. Her eyebrows knit together, drawing her face down into a grimace, and she sighs with annoyance.
“Maybe,” she says, getting to her feet and grasping my shoulder. “Maybe if you hadn’t tried to run away again none of this would’ve happened.”
I groan as she helps me into a sitting position. My arms aches and throbs. Stupid, stupid Gregory and his brute strength. Even though the seventeen-year-old boy looks tall and lean, he’s anything but.
“Sorry, Kitty,” he says sheepishly, running a nervous hand through his curly black hair. “I didn’t mean…I guess…I’m sorry.” His light, flighty grey eyes are layered with embarrassment.
As Lynda helps me over to him, I pat his shoulder. “I know, Gregory. And I’m sorry, too. I shouldn’t have smacked you.”
He laughs. “I guess I kinda deserved it.”
“Are strong enough to carry her?” Lynda snaps, always down-to-business. Gregory raises an eyebrow at her.
“Strong enough,” he scoffs, bending over. He scoops me up into his arms in one fluid motion. I cling to his shirt, whimpering as my arm throbs.
“Sorry,” he apologizes again.
I sigh, letting myself relax against his chest. We begin walking, and it jostles me a little, but I ignore it. “I deserve this, Gregory. I really do.”
“Hurry up,” Lynda hisses, already some ten yards ahead of us.
“I apologize in advance,” Gregory murmurs before taking off in a slow sprint. I’m jerked around more than before, and my arm protests. It’s all I can do to keep from crying.
We continue through the woods, slowing down a bit as the compound comes into view. There they are, several houses and a hospital and a school and about three churches. We can’t see the grocery store, post office, and library from where we’re standing. Lynda surveys this in silence, calculating a plan in her nimble mind.
“Greg, we’re going to have to cut through the pool in order to get to Margo’s place. Stay quiet.”
“Do you think you can walk?”
I look up at my friend with annoyance. “It’s my arm that’s broken, not my legs.”
With that, he sets me down, and I cradle my painful limb to my chest. Lynda counts to three and then we are running, keeping in the shadows. The pool is on the very edge of town, bordered by a wrought iron gate. Without a pause, Lynda leaps onto the fence and beings climbing. She reaches the top, about seven feet, and takes a deep breath before dropping onto the concrete.
I wince as she rolls, standing up with scraped hands and knees. Gregory is next, and as he’s much taller, his drop isn’t as high. I, however, am a different story. My levitating arm is, of course, the one that’s broken. Figures. So I begin climbing, almost losing my footing twice, but manage to hold on.
I reach the top and look down, drawing in a shuddery breath. “Lyn, it’s really high. I don’t think I could do this.”
“Turn and climb down,” she instructs. I follow her command without word, slowly edging myself down the gate, jumping off when I’m about three feet from the ground. My arm goes limp when I land, and the pain is excruciating.
We continue running, oblivious to the eerie silence of the streets.
“What time is it?” I ask after a minute.
Gregory pulls out his iPhone. “Nine-thirty.”
I wrinkle my nose. Usually, people are still out this time of night.
It doesn’t take long before we reach the other end of the pool, a quicker and more conspicuous shortcut than if we had tried to go around it. Lynda plays with the lock on the gate for a second, using one of the bobby pins from her hair. There is a click as the lock gives, and it swings open.
“We’re good from here, Gregory,” Lynda says, smiling at him. I happen to know she likes him, and I hope they can get together.
“Are you sure?” He asks with concern, looking at me.
“Positive. But why don’t we meet up tomorrow?”
He nods, not really seeming to understand that she means it in a romantic way. “Okay. Good luck, Kitty.”
I nod stiffly, noticing my sister’s thunderous expression. She’s upset. Again.
We watch as Gregory takes off running down the street, keeping his head low. In a few seconds he disappears around the corner, and I turn back to Lynda.
“Where’s Margo’s house?”
Lynda shrugs, pulling out her phone. “Just a second. I need to text her.”
A few moments later, there is a beep, and Lynda cheers.
“Here, look,” she says, holding the phone out to me. I study the screen.
Sure, u guys can come by. I’ll be glad 2 help. Just kno that you need 2 come in the back, so mom&dad don’t wake up. C u soon. -M
“Let’s go,” Lynda is saying as I finish reading. She grabs my hand and tugs me forward, as my other arm swings painfully at my side.
Margo’s house is unmentionable, plain and boring, like over half the houses in the compound. It’s two stories, with a small porch and a tan exterior. Lynda motions for me to follow her, tiptoeing through the grass, toward the back door.
Margo is waiting for us, holding a flashlight. She ushers us in with a finger to her lips, reminding us to be silent. I follow Lynda around the corner from the kitchen, into a nondescript living room, and down a carpeted flight of stairs into a finished basement.
“Let’s have a look at the damage,” Margo says as soon as we reach the bottom step. We walk forward in pure darkness, until her fingers find a switch and suddenly warm light is flooding the room.
“Have a seat,” she says, motioning to an overstuffed couch. I do as I am told, sinking down into the comfortable cushions.
“It’s pretty bad,” Lynda explains, as Margo takes a seat beside me. She reaches out and gently grabs my injured arm, guiding it forward to lay motionless on my lap.
“I’ll try my best,” Margo mutters after a moment. “But it really should be straightened so the bones can heal properly.”
“Then straighten it,” Lynda says simply.
“No!” I exclaim, making a frantic gesture with my hand. Margo watches me quietly, looking back to Lynda, and then me.
“It’ll…it’ll hurt,” I whisper meekly when there is no response.
“Do you want mom and dad to know you snuck out again?” Lynda hisses, giving me her most ferocious glare.
“Actually,” Margo interrupts. “They kind of do.”
“What do you mean?” I ask with a gasp.
She shrugs. “The whole city is on lockdown. No one is allowed to leave their homes, not until they find you.”
“Oh, God,” I groan, placing my head in my hands. “This is bad. Really, really bad.”
Lynda looks as if she’s about to cry. “Thanks so much, Kitty.”
I shrug helplessly. “I…I didn’t know.”
“They probably think you got away, or you’re dead. Ugh! Then I’ll get in trouble, and we’ll be the laughingstock of school.” A few tears spill over, dribbling down her chin and onto Margo’s pristine carpet.
“It’s not my fault they make such a big deal out of it.”
Lynda leans forward, absolutely seething. “You’ve run away three times and you think they wouldn’t make a big deal? You’ll never be allowed out of their sight again.”
I grimace, picturing myself attached to mom and dad at the hip. “I don’t know what to say. I can apologize, if you want.”
“It’s too late for that! You’ve ruined everything.”
“Come on, now, don’t be dramatic,” Margo intercedes, pushing Lynda gently away from me. “Let’s just get your arm healed.”
I sigh, turning back to her. “Okay, you can straighten it.”
Lynda gives me a sadistic smirk, as if she hopes it’ll hurt.
Margo bites her lip. “It’s going to hurt. Like, really bad.”
I sigh, struggling to brace myself. “It’s nothing I can’t handle.” I point to my arm. “Do your worst.”
Then Margo reaches out, and I’m crying. It really does hurt terribly as she pulls it out, messing with the bones. Lynda even looks a bit sorry.
By the time she’s done, I’m red-faced and dizzy. She keeps a hold on my arm, though, tightening her grip. But, instead of the pain worsening, it starts to feel better. I concentrate on her face as her violet eyes flash. The hurt gets fainter and fainter, then there is a tightening sensation that’s not painful but uncomfortable.
“Those are the bones knitting themselves back together,” she explains, taking notice of my perplexed expression. As soon as she finishes saying it, the tightness is gone, replaced by a numb feeling. All the while, Margo’s grip on my arm gets tighter and tighter until the circulation beings to cut off.
“Done,” she announces at long last, dropping my arm. The blood begins to flow again, and I shake it gratefully. There is no pain, no rattling bones. It’s been healed.
“Thank you,” I exclaim, leaning forward to hug her.
Margo laughs, squeezing me back for a second before pulling away.
We thank her again and make our way back up the stairs, taking care to be quiet. Slowly, we hurry out the back door, and I grab Lynda’s hand.
“That was…amazing. What Margo was able to do.”
She nods, as we begin to run. Our home is only a few blocks away. It won’t be long now before we reach it.
“And Lynda? I really am sorry. About tonight.”
“You should be.”
I leave it at that.
Before long we can see our house, and we’re going up to the front door. It’s thrown open before we can even knock. Mom is standing there, red-faced and hiccupping. Her sobs come out in short spurts as she throws her arms around me.
“Oh, Kathryn. You’re safe.”
Dad appears behind mom, followed by two uniformed officers. I recognize them as Chief Williams and his assistant, Officer Greene. They give me withering glares before motioning for us all to come inside.
My home feels otherworldly as we shuffle in, sit down in various places and face the policeman. Mom pulls me to her side, squeezing my hand, all the while continuing to cry. I lean against her, taking shuddery breaths.
“Do you realize what you have done?” Officer Greene asks me after a short silence.
I shake my head, feigning innocence. “I just went for a walk. You overreacted.”
Officer Greene rolls his milky gold eyes. “Sure thing. We know you by now, Kathryn. You were not walking. You were trying to escape.” He turns to Lynda, fixing her with his best smile. The skin of his jaws sags down, making a sort of blanket around his neck, and his plump hands are folded over his equally large stomach. Overall, he’s not a very intimidating man. But those eyes--the gold eyes filled with so much hate--they bore into Lynda and force her to tell the truth.
“She was trying to run away,” she mumbles in a robotic monotone.
Dad glares at Officer Greene. “I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t use your…talents…on my daughter.”
Chief Williams silences him with a steely glare. “We need to know the truth, Robert. I’m sure you can understand. These things…they have dire consequences.”
Mom gasps, throwing a hand over her mouth. “What do you mean?”
He looks at her with exasperation. “I mean three strikes--you’re out. Banishment. We warned her if she ever did it again…” He trails off, looking at me, and I can see the apology so plainly written on his face. Unlike Officer Greene, Chief Williams likes me. His daughter, Reida, is one of my best friends. I’ve known him since I was four. I find myself blinking back tears as the reality of the situation comes crashing down.
“-don’t report her,” mom is begging when I turn my attention back to the conversation. She stands, stepping in front of me, as if to protect me. “Please. We’ll pay you. We’ll…we’ll try anything.” She looks to dad for help.
“Rebecca is right,” he says earnestly, catching on. “We’ll do anything, if you just don’t let the mayor know about this.”
Officer Greene is shaking his head before dad’s done speaking. “No-can-do. When we swore in, we promised to be truthful. That goes against our honor as not only a police officer, but a man.”
“We could lose our jobs,” Chief Williams chimes in, realizing how insensitive Officer Greene sounded. He looks at us with apology. “I’m sorry. We have to tell them it was Kathryn who tried to run away again.” He pauses before repeating, “I’m sorry.”
“Oh, God!” Mom cries, falling to her knees. She buries her face in her hands, wailing and wailing. I watch with horror as Dad helps her to her feet, and swiftly pulls her from the room. Lynda was wrong. I should have left.
They’re much better off without me.