Special sort of art thing by me (for once, decided to use my skills instead of google images). You’ll know the one.
Warning: Dark screenshots at some points
*Only one chapter left to this Arc after this!
Every morning I practice it. Or I try to.
But I mean, knowing you have some kind of uncommon – maybe never before seen – superpower…who wouldn’t want to find out more about what it is and what it does??
Feels like it has a will of its own though, as if I have to tame it before I can use it properly…if that makes any sense.
The first few times weren’t successful. I couldn’t seem to reproduce whatever it was that had been necessary the few times this weird phase power thing had worked.
But I’m grounded till school starts (which is like what? next week?) and beyond, so I have a lot of free time to waste at home, and this is one of the things I’ve been doing nonstop.
It does get kind of boring after awhile, just sitting there searching for something that you’re not really sure is there half the time. But it definitely helped when I tried the other day and actually felt something. When I opened my eyes, I swear for a second my room had that weird dark dreamy colorless aura.
I think I’m getting the hang of it. It’s a bit like trying to grab something in a glass of water while looking through the side. Things look tilted and a little distorted because of refraction, you just need a few seconds to adjust to the new reality.
And then it’s just like flipping a switch.
Ah yes! Success!
I’ve managed to do this a few times already, the real problem is staying in this state for a long time. I usually can’t manage more than a few seconds, maybe a minute or so.
I looked at my clock, watching for the seconds hand. Yup, it’s still turning. Guess that time at pa’s birthday party was the only time time actually stopped.
This part is always a little weird to me. I can see myself sitting on my bed, but I’m not moving (thank god I’m breathing though). I’m starting to think this is some kind of astral projection.
I’m a little worried about what this means. I mean, if time doesn’t stop and my body doesn’t move…then anything could happen to it while I’m not watching. So I shouldn’t astral project or whatever for too long.
Better safe than sorry.
I drifted out of my room to see how far I could get this time.
Alistair was in the hallway, suspiciously whispering into his phone and glancing down the stairs.
Neat thing about this power – no one can see or hear me. Spying can be a thing.
So I moved closer to listen to what my uncle had to say.
“-told you I got mugged. Can’t I get a discount or something? Look it’s not my fault! I got fired I don’t have that kind of cash right now. It’s been days come onnn how long have you known me? Hello?” Whoever it was hung up on him because he glared at the phone, before stuffing it in his pocket.
Alistair took deep shaky breaths. He leaned his head back against the wall muttering fuck, before he slapped himself on both cheeks and headed for the bathroom.
Well I knew my uncle did stuff, but I didn’t figure he was an addict…I wonder if pa knows.
Speaking of pa…
I found him in the kitchen, talking on the phone – also in a hushed tone
“Answer…Xav why aren’t you answering?”
What’s wrong with dad? I walked closer, to make sure not to miss a word.
Exasperated, pa started to dial the number again when he suddenly got a text.
James: Hes with me. Hes okay.
It was from my grandpa. What was dad doing over at grandpa’s? I’m confused.
But if he’s with grandpa, there’s really nothing to worry about.
Pa sighed in relief.
Heading out of the kitchen I almost missed it.
If it hadn’t been standing right beside one of our outdoor lamps, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it. Made me wonder how many times I have missed it.
How long had that cat been there? And why the hell is it following me?
Maybe it was the light contrast, or the weird aura my astral projecting gave the world, but the cat was really creepy.
That and the fact that when I moved its eyes actually followed me. It can see me.
I went outside, casually stepping through the front door without opening it (if I concentrate I can walk through solid objects like a ghost!)
The cat walked over to face me.
“Here little kitty, are you trying to get yourself adopted? You must be starving.”
The cat lifted its paws in the air and meowed. Okay, I’ll admit it’s cute.
It batted at the air, and then in a fraction of a second the cat completely distorted and morphed into something else.
The shock of it sent me reeling back on my ass.
It had become a monstrous looking shadow, pulsing green and dark red. Black tendrils spun around it and crackled, reaching all the way behind me. Glowing tentacles extended towards me with a clear intent to kill radiating off them. Its pulsing green orbs kept me in place – something was preventing me from moving.
This all took just a second.
The next I was back on my bed, my heart beating wildly, and all the air out of my lungs.
What the HELL was that!?
30 seconds later…
Once I’d gotten over the shock, I sped downstairs to see if it was still there.
The cat was back to normal…more than normal. It didn’t seem as interested in me. It casually licked its paw and looked around.
Maybe…maybe it’s an astral projection thing? Maybe there are consequences to using it or something? There’s still so much I don’t know.
I stared at the cat a bit more, waiting for anything suspicious to happen, but nothing did. So I decided to go watch tv to get my mind off this. My hands were still shaking a bit from the shock.
I plopped on the sofa, glancing once at the cat (but it seemed pretty inoffensive now…it should be gone by morning right? Maybe I should call an animal shelter or something), before switching on the tv.
Of course, it was the news on first. Pa only ever watches the news.
There was a video of some teen with his hands outstretched towards a bus that was…rolling off the road?
“-wind! The witnesses at the scene confirm it. A 14 year old terrorized a whole school bus by controlling wind and pushing the bus off the road. The authorities attempted to arrest him, but he became violent and one of the officers shot him down.”
“Not the first time this happened has it? Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that they caught a kid who could control fire? And nearly burned down a store?” A picture of a tan blond teen appeared on screen. The picture was blurry, but you could barely discern what looked like a red mark on his shoulder.
“Only difference is this wind one is dead.”
Staring at the picture of the boy, things I’d heard and seen started to piece itself in my mind. Those three guys I’d overheard talking in Dealer’s avenue…they’d mentioned seeing a boy with a red mark on his shoulder. That guy had apparently been kidnapped and then released.
Could it be the same one?
If so, wouldn’t that mean he knew where Dexter had probably been kidnapped??
He’s at the police station right now.
I checked the time (it was 7pm, pretty late, but I was filled with leftover energy from whatever happened with that cat), then I glanced into the study where dad was working on his next book. I grabbed the phone off the wall and called Lucas.
He showered me with thanks for an excuse to leave the house. He was getting claustrophobic under the baby stuff. And then I told him my idea and he practically shouted his complaints in my ear. Had to tell him why before he eventually agreed only to make sure I didn’t get killed or anything.
The twins were a lot less difficult to convince. Veronica jumped on the idea, saying she’d always wanted to do that before she turned 18.
I got my wand from my room, and then crept to the front door, opening it as silently as I could and closing it just as soundlessly. Rushing past the cat who was now very interested in what I was doing, I hopped onto my bike and rode off towards the police station.
I arrived before the others.
I’d never been to the police station before – which in retro respect would’ve been pretty useful right now.
I took my time locking my bike and I watched for any activity or happening. It was getting late though, so it’s not that surprising that the place seems half-asleep.
I wasn’t sure how we were going to do this, but if there was any time to do it – now would probably be it.
It would definitely be a lot easier if we knew exactly where the flame kid was. My fingers grazed my wand. Being able to cast that location spell would be pretty neat now. Maybe I should’ve practiced more.
“So what’s the plan?” A voice said along with two cold hands on my shoulder. I jumped right out of my skin. The twins snickered at me.
“You better have a plan or we’re all going right back home.” Lucas said crossing his arms.
“I do I do.” I whispered. Well sort of, kind of – a skeleton of a plan…
“If it’s of any help, I know the layout pretty well.” Veronica bragged.
“You’ve been in there before?”
“I shoplift from time to time.” She said with an overly nonchalant shrug. Joel rolled his eyes.
“Where are the jail cells?” I asked.
Lucas nearly facepalmed. “Are we actually going to do this here?”
“It’s at the end of the building. There’s a locked door to get there though, along with having to get past the front desk. But I can see your wand poking out of your pocket, you’ve got a plan right?” Veronica smirked.
“Sure. Let’s go.” I said, gesturing at them to follow me.
“What? That’s all? Are you serious? This is going to go horribly. No planning whatsoever. You do realize this is a police station right?” Lucas hissed.
“If you keep talking it will go badly.” Joel hpmhed.
“You can be the distraction.” I told Lucas and he just groaned.
We gingerly stepped inside the rather empty station. There was only some guy at the vending machine who gave us an odd look.
We were four coming to the police station. That ought to look a little weird.
The secretary glanced up at us.
But I was busy noticing the entrances that led to the interesting part of the station.
If we do get caught…it’s not like we’re going to steal anything or try to break out…they can’t really do anything to us can they?
Veronica subtly punched her twin’s arm. Joel dragged Lucas with him to the front desk.
“Hey mam.” Joel said. “My friend here thinks he’s being stalked.”
Lucas tried his best not to whine. The woman looked at Lucas, and Joel had to kick him in the shin.
“Yeah.” Luke muttered.
“Is there a form he can fill out or…”
As Joel talked, Veronica led me away, near the vending machine. The other guy went to sit on one of the couches.
“We shouldn’t even try going through the card access doors. There’s probably at least one police man in there and he’ll definitely notice.” She casually whispered as the secretary started to open the file cabinets to find a various number of forms Joel kept demanding for.
“Did you guys plan in advance?” I asked, as I threw some random dust bunny in the trash.
“Figured you wouldn’t have one. We’re going to jump over that and you’re going to follow my lead okay?” She said and I nodded. Veronica gave her twin a look.
Joel casually kicked Lucas’ leg.
Lucas fell down with an alarming exclamation of pain. The secretary suddenly stood up.
“Dude! Oh my god! Is that blood!?” Joel dramatically exclaimed and the woman quickly made her way around the counter.
That was our cue. We jumped over the half wall.
We glued ourselves to the walls and Veronica quickly motioned for me not to make any noise (not that I would).
She gestured to her left and held up three fingers.
There were only three police officers there, all conveniently not looking at us. Who knew how long that was going to last.
Unless I’m blind, one of those is the detective I met in Dealer’s avenue.
We stayed as low as we could, and I followed Veronica as she hid from desk to desk. One detective was focused on whatever he was writing, and the other two were in intense discussion over something as the coffee machine coughed up their beverages.
When we reached the door that led to the jail cells, I was thanking whatever luck had led us all the way here.
Veronica attempted to open the door silently, but it wouldn’t budge.
I took her place and set about on the lock. Picking locks is something I’m excessively good at – thanks to everything I tried to open the door to my basement.
I opened the door and poked my head inside, pleased to see the area was unguarded.
With another look around, Veronica followed suit.
Well we’d gotten all the way here.
Just needed to find the kid with the red mark on his shoulder, and get the answers I needed.
Finding him was easy, there was barely anyone here.
He looked really confused to see us and we both quickly gestured at him to be silent.
The media had made him seem like a really bad guy – what with nearly burning down a store – but he looked more terrified than terrifying.
“I just have questions about…”
He slowly pushed himself up, giving us a really good view of his tattoo. The skin around it was slightly red, you could tell it was still new.
What was it? Did they brand the kids they kidnapped?
“About this?” He asked, gesturing at the red mark as if he were ashamed of it.
“How did you get it?”
“Some really nasty people.” He muttered.
“You got kidnapped didn’t you?” I asked. We didn’t have time for vague answers.
“Yes.” He said, the pain and disdain clear on his face. “You have a 50% chance of survival they told me. And then they put this on my skin.”
“I don’t know! But now I’m – I’m cursed!” He choked out.
“Cursed?” I asked, holding onto the bars as if they’d let me hear better. Was it just an expression or did he actually mean curse?
“You’d think it was a curse too!” He shouted, shooting up from his seat.
Flames suddenly erupted from where he stood, like a tiny explosion. The heat hit us both in the face instantly and I could just barely see the boy’s sad yet unbelievably calm face in the middle of the flames.
An alarm suddenly went off along with sprinklers in his cell. The fire went down rather quickly and Veronica and I heard footsteps running in our direction.
We were – thankfully not burnt – toast.
The door burst open within seconds of the fire. Veronica gave up instantly, leaning on the wall.
How much more grounded can I get??
If only I could stop time right now! Just stop time so I can think! Stop it!
Time decided to listen…or I managed to switch to astral projection mode. And time actually stopped this time! I did it!
Wait…if I looked at the police officer for a few seconds I could see him run in extremely slow motion. Okay, I didn’t stop it, but this is good enough.
Now how do we get out of this? Don’t I know any spells that can be cast in under three seconds? God why am I so useless at magic!?
Is that breathing? There was someone else in a jail cell, someone I hadn’t noticed until now.
I glanced inside the cell beside the flame kid’s and was somehow unsurprised to see Zac in a cell. There was something weird about him though…he seemed doubled?
One of his selves looked up at me with a roll of eyes. I had troubled discerning one from the other.
“What’s wrong with you?” I found myself asking, giving up on trying to figure which was which, if there was a which to figure out.
“Me!?” Zac suddenly shot up angrily, as if he’d actually heard me. His other self stayed on the ground, but slowly began to follow the movement. “What’s wrong with y-”
His other self joins his angry self more rapidly, and altogether time seems to advance normally again.
I whip out my wand and quickly cast one of the simplest spells I know. A huge cloud of dust with a mixture of sparkles erupts from my wand and fills the space between us and the guards. Veronica catches on pretty quick and speeds past the officers through the cover of smoke.
I follow suit as my spell already begins to fade and drift to the ground.
I slam into something.
“Nice try, but not nice enough.”
Aaahhhhhh, I’m screwed.
How many times have you missed that cat? 😛