(This is posted as it was sent, with spelling and grammar preserved. Notes from me are footnoted and explained at the bottom!)
A warm breeze attempted to flip the pages back the other way, but Ivy easily controlled them once again. She was sitting on the grassy hill Zeke and her had shared the picnic.2 In many ways it was an incident she wanted to forget, but it was one impossible to forget anyway. She tried not to think about it and focused back on her search. Near the end of the book she finally found it.
“St. Louis -- The Gateway to the West,” read the large bold header next to the page with a big picture of a downtown view of St. Louis. Indeed, there stood a large metal arch. Ivy could tell by judging the scale by comparing it to the rest of the buildings and the plane flying overhead that the Arch was magnificent in its size. Ivy had to agree with Zeke that if she ever had been that high up it was not often. This was a city that Ivy decided she wanted to visit, and that Zeke would be a perfect travelling partner.
Just then Zeke came jogging up to the top of the hill. Ivy turned around and her gaze met his slender body, his warm smile, and knowing eyes.
“There you are!” Zeke exclaimed, “I’m glad the book is still in once piece!”
Ivy recalled the wrestling match she had with him twenty minutes earlier that ended with her tying him up in a phone cord and her taking off with his book of cities.3
“I wouldn’t dream of harming it!” Ivy retorted, holding the book close to her chest as if she wouldn’t let anything in the world hurt it.
“Did you find St. Louis?” Zeke asked with a twinkle in his eye and anticipation in his voice.
Ivy looked back down at the book and stared at the Arch again.
“As a matter of fact I did,” Ivy said.
“Doesn’t it look high?” Zeke asked rather smugly.
“Are you implying that I can’t fly any higher than that?!” Ivy said with a twinge of anger in her voice, “Are you saying I don’t have the sack?!”
“Well, obviously you don’t since you’re not a guy!” Zeke retorted!
“You know what I mean!” Ivy yelled, her pigtails starting to wave outward, as if energy was building up around her.
“Look, Ivy, I was just showing you just because I wanted to show you, nothing more,” Zeke said calmly.
“Don’t be silly Zeke, I know you’re always challenging me!”
“Aw come on, that’s not true!” frowned Zeke. Just then Ivy lunged out at Zeke and tackled him to the soft grass, still slightly moist from the morning dew. It was a sunny Saturday morning, the start of the perfect day to do nothing but play. Zeke and Ivy rolled down the hill, getting grass and mud stains all over their clothes. But they just covered up the old grass and mud stains put there by previous, similar excursions. Zeke ended up pinning Ivy down and tickling her. Ivy laughed, but then got tired of being tickled and lifted Zeke up with her powers and gently tossed him aside.
“You never play fair!” yelled Zeke. Ivy’s only response was sticking her tongue out at him. Just then a steady breeze passed by and they heard the sound of pages of a book being wildly flipped.
“My book!” exclaimed Zeke, running back up the hill as fast as he could. Ivy was there first, though, and had the book nice and secure in her overalls as Zeke panted up to her.
“I used my powers to save your precious book,” Ivy said in a tone implying she needed an apology. She didn’t receive one, however.
“We should go to St. Louis sometime, just the two of us,” Zeke said.
“Oh gee, should we put the damn bus tickets on our credit cards?!” Ivy yelled, knowing that anybody in their right mind would never give her credit.
“No no no,” Zeke said, waving Ivy’s comment aside. Then, the twinkle returned to his eye.
“Fly us there.”4
Ivy just stood there a moment and stared at Zeke. She was surprised that he actually suggested, and since he had it didn’t sound like a bad idea.
“That is a long way to fly,” Ivy replied with a hint of caution in her voice.
“I know, but I’m willing to do it! It will be fun! And the adults won’t care as long as we’re back by suppertime!” 5
“Well, OK then,” Ivy said, floating over to Zeke, “Flight 000 now boarding for St. Louis!” She took Zeke’s warm hand, and without further delay they rose up towards the heavens. If they were going to be back for suppertime, she not only had to fly far, but fast. She had always tested how high she could fly, but never how fast, so that trip would be interesting in more ways than one.6
“Put it in high gear!” yelled Zeke.
“OK, ask and ye shall receive!” Ivy yelled. Much to Zeke’s, and even Ivy’s surprise, they took off like a rock from a sling shot.
“Holy shit!” yelled Zeke as the G force almost forced his voice back into his throat and almost ripped off his shirt.
“You said you wanted to go fast!” exclaimed Ivy, her voice hard to decipher through the high winds caused by their velocity. The clouds raced by them, as well as a pack of geese. Zeke was reminded of the Pepsi commercial.
“Uhhh...Ivy!” yelled Zeke.
“Yeah, what?!” exclaimed Ivy.
“Do you even know which direction St. Louis is in?!”
“Um, no. I was figuring you would tell me!”
“I was hoping you figured it out from reading the book! I’m not sure!”
“Aw, shit! You dumbass!” yelled Ivy, “I didn’t get that far!”
Ivy slowed down enough so she could get the book from her overalls and flip to the St. Louis section. Since she had to let go of Zeke she held him up with her powers, much to Zeke’s discomfort.
“Uuhh...Ivy...gulp...hurry up,” quivered Zeke as he hung in midair, five hundred feet off the ground. His heart pounded so hard inside his chest it threatened to burst out.
“Miss...mis...missis...” Ivy tried to read.
“Mississippi!” yelled Zeke, “It’s by the Mississippi River! But that doesn’t help since we don’t know where that is!”
“Maybe you should read it!” Ivy said, “Since you’re faster!” She then handed the book to Zeke. As he read the section he laughed nervously. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he would be reading a book while hovering hundreds of feet off the ground.
“We have to go west!” deduced Zeke.
“OK which way is that?” Ivy asked with her hands on her hips.7
“Uuuhh...got a compass?”
Ivy just grumbled in frustration and smacked Zeke in the arm. He yelled as he began to fall. In her anger she lost her concentration momentarily. After a few seconds she brought him back up, but not before he lost his breakfast.8
“Ooops, sorry,” Ivy said to Zeke as his face changed from white to green and back to white again.
Angus walked through the alleyways, wondering who he was going to absorb next. He fancied somebody with the talent to play the electric guitar. He always wanted to learn to play one of those. Things were going great for him. He had the TV commercial gig, he was becoming popular, and the women adored him. He had sex, and absorbed, a different woman almost every day. It was like a dream it was so wonderful. Angus just smiled and took a deep breath filled with the smoggy, city air as he walked down the alley, the heels of his boots clicking on the pavement. As he emerged from the alley onto the main sidewalk, he saw Lucy, the psychic woman. She turned around and saw him. A look of pure terror filled her face and in one second she made a break for it. She turned a corner and was running down an adjacent alley. Angus was quick to pursue her. He hoped that this chase didn’t end up like the one where he was after her on rollerblades.
“Going up steps won’t help you this time Lucy,” Angus said as he ran after Lucy.
Lucy ran as fast as she could trying to get away from Angus. She knew that whatever he had in store for her it wouldn’t be good. She was the only person in the world who knew of Angus’ evil and had a chance to stop him. Lucy figured she had to do something besides run because he would eventually catch her. The hat gave him extra energy Lucy lacked. She hoped that she would encounter somebody to help her.
“I sure am glad you found that map!” Zeke yelled to Ivy as they flew over the buildings.
“Well I am the shit, you just remember that,” Ivy said smugly. They both laughed. They had a wonderful time seeing the arch. Ivy had to agree with Zeke that the view from the Arch was nothing to scoff at. She had been high up before, but rarely that high. But she learned that the Arch was not the only great thing about the city. It lots of old streets and bulidings. One could even take a carraige ride with horses! Ivy wanted to kick Zeke for not having this idea before.
“Hey, Ivy, look!” yelled Zeke pointing downwards, “That man is chasing that woman down there!”
Ivy looked down to where he pointed and sure enough a man wearing boots, a hat, and trench coat was chasing a young blonde woman.
“Should we help her?” asked Zeke.
“Why don’t you go ask her what’s wrong while I take care of him!” Ivy said, confident that she could bang him up against the brick walls until he was silly. She set down Zeke next to the woman and he took off running next to her while Ivy landed in front of the man. He skidded to a stop and stared at her.
Angus looked upon the strange-looking young girl. Not only did she not exactly look human, she came from above, as if she had been flying. She put her hands on her hips and gave Angus a stern look.
“And just what do you think you are doing chasing that poor woman?” the little bitch demanded.9
Angus tried to keep from laughing his ass off. A little girl was standing there trying to order him around! Of all the nerve!
“None of your business!” yelled Angus, “Now run along and play!” He sidestepped to go around her but she just moved in front of him again. Angus growled. At first he was angry, but then curious. That girl was not walking, she was floating around.
“Who and what the hell are you?!” Angus demanded.
“Your worst nightmare,” sneered Ivy in her best “Rambo” impression.10 Angus began to laugh out loud, but as soon as he did he found himself being flung against the brick wall of the building to his left. He groaned loudly as he impacted and slid to the pavement below. In a few seconds the hat healed him of any injury that he sustained that was probably just minor anyway. He stood back up straight again on his boots and he stared intently at the girl.
“I don’t know what you are, but stay out of my way!” he yelled. He ran towards the girl who just stood there with her arms crossed smirking at him. Right as he approached her she flew up into the air. She laughed as he almost stumbled to the ground. He then spun around as Ivy floated back towards the Earth.
“Let’s play a little game,” Ivy said as she floated over to the man, “It’s called ‘Tag’. You may have heard of it.”
He just grinned evily as Ivy cautiously approached him. Ivy planned on tagging him and running away. She loved the idea of taunting this strange-looking fellow.
“Tag! You’re it!” Ivy yelled as she swatted Angus on the arm. With lighting fast speed the man grabbed Ivy’s right hand as she began to zip away. Instead, she just jerked back. She had no idea that his reflexes were so quick!
“No, I’m afraid you’re it, little girl,” the man said in a tone of voice that put fear into Ivy’s heart. Then he flung Ivy against the same wall she had flung him against. She tumbled in the air and hit the wall as if she were nothing more than a rag doll.11 She gasped as all the air was forced out of her lungs when she hit the wall and then she crumpled down to the ground. She realized she had grossly underestimated the man as she fought to put air back in her lungs again and stand up. Stars blurred her field of vision, making it difficult to see the man. She could tell that he was walking towards her. She tried to fly, but for some reason she couldn’t. Ivy assumed that maybe she had hit her head too hard and that her powers had temporarily short-circuited.
Angus whistled a little tune as he cooly walked over to the gasping little girl. He had stuck gold. Evidently, this little girl had telekenesis. She could move things with her mind. Angus thought that this talent would be wonderful! If he could do that, he could easily move the hat around, increasing how efficient he absorbed people.
Angus removed his hat and set it on top of the girl’s pointy little head.12
“Now we’re going to play another game,” remared Angus, “It’s called ‘Hide-n’-Go-Seek’. You hide in the hat, and I don’t seek you!”
Ivy attempted to stand up fully erect, but she fall back against the wall again. A wave of vertigo overcame her and the world around her began to spin. She became nauseous and disoriented. The hat was doing something to her! Ive knew she had to get it off. She didn’t know what the hell it was doing but she had to get it off quick!
“Noo!” Ivy gasped, putting every ounce of energy she had into moving the hat off her head. Finally, with all her powers focused on the hat, she made it pop off her head. It made a loud sound like a cork popping out of a wine bottle. She then collapsed to the ground, completely drained. She only had the energy to breathe: move her chest in and out. She even had trouble thinking. Ivy felt like she had lost something, like a chunk her her being was sucked out of her. She didn’t feel whole. Part of her felt empty, and it was a deep, cold emptiness. She saw the man walk over to the hat and put it on. After he did he began to convulse, like he had touched an electric socket or something.
“I guess part of you is better than none of you,” the man said after he stopped convulsing. Ivy then felt herself being lifted off the ground. At first Ivy was relieved, thinking her powers had returned, but it took only miliseconds to realize that she was not the one moving her.
“This is so cool!” Angus exclaimed as he bobbed the helpless little girl up and down in midair, “Telekenesis! Wow! Now this is the stuff of dreams baby!”
Angus twirled his right index finger around, making the girl dance around in the same movement. First he made her do the waltz. Then the cha-cha. He laughed as she danced midair with a nonexistant partner.
“Angus!” yelled a female voice behind him. Angus dropped the girl to the ground as he looked behind him. It was Lucy.
“Leave the girl alone!” she yelled, standing next to a young boy who looked like he was in his late teens.
“Take this, bitch!” yelled Angus as he thrusted his hand in Lucy direction. Instantly she jerked back and flew until she rolled over an old parked car. The boy looked at her, and then back at Angus. His eyes bulged and his face turned snow white. Angus just smiled at him.
“Run along little boy,” Angus said, “before the same fate befalls you.”
“Leave Zeke alone!” squeaked the girl’s voice behind Angus. He swiveled around to see the girl standing once again. Before he could react, she pointed at him and made him fly up in the air.13 First he hit the wall to his left, then to his right.
Ivy flung the evil man as hard as she could. She felt sorry for the woman but she gave Ivy enough time to regain her strength. She didn’t know why, but it was the thought of Zeke being hurt that really got her to stand up and fight again. She was almost ready to give up, realizing the scope of the man’s power. But Ivy knew that she couldn’t allow anything to hurt Zeke. She cared for him too much.
“Thirsty for more?” Ivy yelled, her attitude back. She flung the man over her head and against a wall again and through a rusty old basketball goal. And that is where he ended up hanging, stuck in the small metal ring where a net once hung.
“You little cunt,” the man groaned.
“I don’t know how you got my powers, but I’m willing to bet you don’t know how to use them as well as I do!” Ivy yelled at him.
“Wanna bet?” the man replied. Suddenly the goal started to shake violently. The old wood began to crack. Ivy floated up, not liking the way the goal was moving. She began to take off, but not fast enough because just at that second the goal exploded, sending a million wood splinters in Ivy’s direction. She shrieked as they all peirced her flesh. She continued to fly up but she was in severe pain. She effortlessly removed the splinters with her powers, but they left her bleeding and her powers didn’t include healing flesh wounds. One had poked into her left eyelid enough to damage the eye itself. It got all red and teary to the point where she couldn’t see out of it.
“Oh my god!” yelled Zeke. Ivy figured that the sight of all of her blood made her injuries seem worse than they were.
“How do you like them apples?!” thundered the evil man. He easily shattered the metal ring into a million pieces, freeing himself. He flipped in midair so he landed flat on his feet. Ivy wiped off some of her blood, really dirtying up her overalls, and flew as fast as she could towards the man. Her right fist contaced with his nose as hard as she could punch it. She accentuated her own physical strength with her powers and it was enough to knock him back a few feet.14 Amazingly his nose healed right away. He just looked at Ivy and smiled. Before she could make another move she found herself flying backwards. She stopped when she hit the wall, again knocking the wind out of her. She groaned before she collapsed to the ground. Fearing what he would do next Ivy stood up as quickly as she could and braced herself. She looked at his smiling face and lifted him off the ground, planning to fling him into some nearby trashcans. But as she took a deep breathe like she always did before moving something so large, she found that she couldn’t breathe.15 Suddenly her throat was closing in on itself, like somebody had grabbed her by the throat and was choking her. She let the man drop to the ground as she fell to her knees, clutching her throat. She fought and fought to take in air but could not get any. She gagged and tried to counteract his telekenesis and open her throat back up but she couldn’t. She needed to breathe for her powers to be fully functional. Her brain needed oxygen. She tried again and again, but each time nothing happened. Her powers were rendered useless. She began to crawl, wanting so much to be able to breathe that sweet air that she had always taken for granted. For the first time in her life she was really afraid. She was afraid for her life. Ivy didn’t want to die! The world around her began to disappear as a fog began to envelop her. This was it. She was really dying. She never got to say goodbye to any of her friends. She didn’t get to say it to Zeke. She never got to find out where she really came from, or who her real family was. As she choked and gagged she looked up towards the sky, wondering if she would go to Heaven.
“NOO! STOP!” yelled Zeke, getting up the nerve to run into the alley. Angus turned around just in time to see Zeke’s body flying towards him. Zeke tackled Angus to the ground. In a fit of rage Zeke began pounding on Angus. He knocked his hat off and proceeded to bloody his nose and black both of his eyes.
“You son of a bitch!!! You killed her!!!!” cried Zeke as he sunk his fist into Angus’ midsection a few times. Tears streamed down his face and onto Angus’ coat.
When Angus realized his hat was off he knew that he was probably in trouble. He had to ignore the girl for a second, who was probably dead by then, and focus on this psychotic boy.
Angus, after taking one last punch to the side of his head and in considerable pain, flung Zeke off him, knocking him into the basketball goal pole, the only part left of the old thing. As Angus reached for his hat he noticed very heavy breathing behind him, like somebody had just come up from being underwater a few minutes. Angus turned around and there, much to his surprise, the girl stood there. The boy must have interrupted him just in time. Angus started to wonder just when that match would be over.
Ivy, after her throat opened up again, filled her lungs to the maximum which as much air as she could stuff in it. Her next six or seven breathes were just like the first. It looked like she actually wasn’t going to die -- yet. After the fear of dying, then the relief of living was over, Ivy was royally pissed off.
“I will teach you to fuck with me,” Ivy said, hanging extreme anger and carefullness on each word. Before the man could regain posession of his hat Ivy threw everything she had at the man. She did it with so much passion that she screamed as she did so. WHAM! Angus hit a wall. WHAM! Angus hit another wall. CLANG! He hit the metal trash bin. BAM! He hit another wall. THUD! He hit the ground below.
“Have you learned yet?!” exclaimed Ivy. The man groaned and tried to say something, but it only came out as inchoherent sounds.
“Guess not!” yelled Ivy before she proceeded to knock him into the walls, the trash cans, and the ground again. Then she did it again. And again. Finally, when she was satisfied that she had rendered the man immobile, she floated over to the hat. She picked it up and examined it.
“This must give you your powers,” Ivy said, “because before you healed quickly. And this is what you used to gain my powers. If I hadn’t popped it off it would have completely sucked me in wouldn’t it have?”
There was no response from the man, but Ivy didn’t need one.
“Well I need to take all of my powers back,” Ivy said. She decided to use the telekenesis she had to suck back out of the hat the part of her it had stolen. After concentrating a few seconds a mist began to roll out of the hat. Sparks of static electricity spewed forth from the hat, too, as the mist began to go into Ivy’s chest. Soon Ivy felt whole again and when she was satisfied all of her was out of the hat, she dropped it to the ground. 16
Ivy felt great! She was whole again and most of her wounds even healed. She was nearly good as new. Ivy looked upon the man and felt like finishing him off. But she couldn’t bring herself to do it. She had never killed anybody before. But she had to do something. That man was evil and dangerous. Ivy walked over to see if Zeke was OK. She helped him up and asked how he was doing.
“I’m just a bit dizzy and I have a headache,” he assured her.
“Guess you need some Tylenol,” Ivy said, trying to insert a bit of humor. Zeke was not humored.
“What are we going to do with him?” Zeke asked, nodding to the immobile body lying on the ground.
“I was just wondering the same thing,” Ivy said. Just then an old man appeared from the shadows. His eyes glowed red and he was holding a medallion.
“Begone from this city and go back to whence you came!!!” he exclaimed. In a flash of bright light, the city disappeared.
Zeke and Ivy found themselves again on the grassy hill. All of their wounds were gone and their clothes were clean, as if they had never been to St. Louis or encountered the man with the hat.
“Next time you want to travel,” Ivy said, “Let me pick the city!”
2 Actually that picnic happened under a covered picnic shelter, not on a hill, but who cares? [BACK]
3 Honestly if Ivy wanted that book she wouldn't have had to wrestle for it, and would have been unlikely to run away while she looked at it; probably she would have just prevented him from taking it away from her and looked at it at her leisure. However, she definitely wouldn't have tied him up with a phone cord, as there are no telephones where she lives. Hmmmm. [BACK]
4 Waah. Zeke hates flying. And in the story they could have used their lake passageway. Guess I never sent an excerpt with that in it to Jeremy either. [BACK]
5 Zeke's in his late twenties and wouldn't care about "the adults." No one's really accountable to each other at Ivy's house, they'd be unlikely to do much more than shrug if Ivy and Zeke didn't show up for supper. [BACK]
6 Ivy can fly about as fast as cars on the highway, about seventy miles an hour. Breathing is another story. [BACK]
7 I'm doubting she'd ask Zeke this. Ivy has a much better sense of direction than he does. [BACK]
8 Gah. That's funny, but Ivy would never drop someone like that. [BACK]
9 According to Jeremy, Angus is a rather short fellow. He would be unlikely to call Ivy a "little bitch" because, well, she's almost six feet tall. [BACK]
10 Ivy's rather ignorant of pop culture. She wouldn't know Rambo, even for threatening lines. [BACK]
11 Ow. Actually no one could pull Ivy out of the air if she didn't let them. (Also this "tag" thing doesn't sound like something she'd do, but hey, it's an interpretation.) [BACK]
12 Ivy's ears might be pointy but her head isn't. Hmm. [BACK]
13 I'm not sure what the deal is with pointing. I've never known Ivy to point while she uses her energy, though of course Angus might do it as a focusing device since he'd never used it before. [BACK]
14 Punching does not sound like a good option right now. Ivy has punched people before but it was always completely for show, and there's no show being put on now if it's a fight for survival. [BACK]
15 Angus is described as being something heavy to lift here. We're talking about a girl who lifts cars without breaking a sweat. People aren't heavy. [BACK]
16 I know the hat isn't something that exists in the real Ivy universe, but I don't think that Ivy's powers would manifest as an electric mist, or that she would be able to manipulate something that has no physical substance. La! [BACK]
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