(This is posted as it was sent, with spelling and grammar preserved. Notes from me are footnoted and explained at the bottom!)
Finally! I thought that would never end. I ran into my hotel room and slammed the door behind me. I lifted myself off the floor and my shoes, pants, and shirt flew off me. I didn't have time to waste. The whole day was already pretty much wasted. I glanced down at my open suitcase and pulled out my jeans and a tee shirt. Where were my sneakers? I recognized the shape of my shoes in the room's closet. I brought them to me and put them on before my jeans were even buttoned. I got my wallet and keys out of my dress pants and put them in my jeans. It all took about 20 seconds. I was ready to go out. I dropped back to the floor and left my room again.
I knocked on my parents' door knowing they were still getting undressed. They were fumbling through their suitcases on the other side of the door.
"Mom! Dad! I'm going out, I'll see you two later!" I yelled through the door.
A couple seconds later the door cracked a little. "Don't be too late, and Avry?"
"Yeah?" I asked, knowing what she'd say. She said it almost every time I went out.
"You know the rules. And be careful!"
"Yes Mom, I know, I'll be careful."
I left the hotel, resisting the urge to just go out the window. Not that I would've ever done that, but it was tempting. I hopped in my parents' car and headed out of town. The sun was already annoyingly close to the horizon. I only had about an hour of daylight. Maybe an hour and a half if I was lucky. Stupid fucking family reunion! The one chance I had to go to a town where people wouldn't know who I was, and I was forced to sit through mindless mingling of people who probably wouldn't even give each other the time of day otherwise.
The beaches outside of town were fairly inhospitable, not much more than just rocky cliffs. Hopefully not a lot of people would be around. The first place I stopped had a couple houses near the beach. I turned back and drove a little farther. Time was ticking away. It was seven thirty. The sky was starting to darken.
Finally, after driving down some winding back roads, I pulled the car over in what seemed like a secluded area and walked up to the beach. Fuck! It was a secluded area, but it seemed a bunch of teenagers had the same idea. There was a party not too far down the coast from where I was. The teens were about a hundred yards away. I could feel a few of them who were just within my range. A couple of them suddenly seemed to accidentally drop their drinks. Bastards. I only had one option. I started walking along the coast away from the party. There were a lot of rocky crags that went right up to the water. If I could get to the other side, I could have a little time before it got dark.
I'd been waiting for this for weeks, but things were definitely not going according to my plan. First, I wasn't expecting to spend so much time at the family reunion. This was the first one I'd been to. My parents had skipped them all since I was born. This time they finally trusted me enough to expose me to the family. Not only was it too long, it was also a lot more unpleasant than I had thought it would be. Not many of them had ever visited us, so I only knew a couple of people there. Most were strangers. That meant I had to put up with several of the older relatives asking me why I'd ruin my hair. As if I'd never heard that before. They wouldn't believe it was my natural hair color until I pointed out that the rest of the hair on my body was also blue. That didn't make them think I was less of a freak though. If they only knew the half of it! The only kids there my age were snobby rich kids who I wouldn't really hang with under normal circumstances, and they also made it a point to comment on my hair. Not that it was unexpected or anything, but it got old.
I also hadn't thought it would be so hard to find a safe place to fly without being seen. It was such a small city! So my plan was in shambles, and there I was trying to convince myself that maybe I'd be OK with fifteen minutes of flying time in the daylight. Oh how low I had sunk. I finally reached the rocks and started my walk around them. My excitement was growing with each step. I had to literally keep myself from lifting off the ground. It had always been pretty much pitch black whenever I flew outside, at least I'd have a view of something!
I ran the rest of the way around the rocks! Just when I got to the end, I felt it. A house.
"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!!" I yelled.
A couple steps later, it came into view. Definitely a house. A fucked up looking house, but a house. It was two stories tall. The bottom floor was wood, and the top floor was brick. A staircase led up to the second floor where the front door was. The top floor seemed to be just a long row of windows. It wasn't like any of the houses in my neighborhood. In the light of the setting sun, it just didn't look complete.
All my hopes dropped. There went all my chances of some daytime flight. I walked over to the waterline and sat and watched the ocean as the sun set behind me. It was pointless to keep walking, by the time I found a place, it'd be too late. I decided to just wait and fly when it got dark. I was so close! That stupid fucking house! I could feel the people milling around inside. Taunting me with their existence. Why couldn't they just be somewhere else? Everything seemed to be working against me. Somebody really didn't want me to fly tonight!
As I sat mumbling to myself, I noticed somebody was leaving the house. It quickly became apparent that they were walking towards me. I kept my back to them. Great, they were probably about to shoo me off their land. I would like to see them try. I really wasn't in the mood to take any shit.
When the person coming towards me was a few feet away, I heard a very high pitched voice say, "What the fuck are you doing here? Go away!"
Well that wasn't what I had expected. I twisted around to see a girl standing there. I was still sitting, so I couldn't tell how tall she was, but she was very thin. About as thin as me. She had long blonde hair in several tiny braids. I blinked a couple times to make sure I was seeing her right, her ears were extended and pointed at the end. I wondered if they were fake. Maybe she was in a costume or something. Her eyes were also strange. Way too big for her head, and somewhat tilted. With eyes like that, maybe her ears were real.1
In response to her very rude order, I said, "No, I'll leave in a few minutes, you go away!" I turned back around and continued watching the ocean. She wasn't leaving. I almost wanted to just send her away.
"I said now! Get the hell out of here!!" she said, this time I noticed she had a New York accent.2 It'd figure if she was just there vacationing from the city. The house was probably empty most of the year until she and whoever else was in there decided to visit. And as for the people in the house, many of them had moved into large groups. Probably huddling around a window. Was it entertainment for them to see somebody kicked off their land? If so, didn't they have somebody better than this girl? Oh well, I figured I might as well give them a good show.
I stood up. I only came up to her shoulders. She was probably close to six feet tall. She was taking note of how short I was. Most people did that. She probably thought she could intimidate me. From the looks of her, that couldn't happen that often. I stepped up to her and looked up at her face. I said, "I told you I'd be gone in a few minutes. I'm not hurting your precious beach. Now leave me alone."
She was silent for a moment. She obviously hadn't expected me to talk back to her. I wondered if she'd try to start a fight with me. That would be pretty funny. If this bitch only knew what she was getting into. I could see her anger growing. Good. I was glad to see I was ruining her day like she had ruined mine. A large gust of wind blew around us.3
She stepped closer, closing the already narrow gap between us. Having to look almost straight down, the bitch said, "Now you listen, I told you to leave, I meant now! So walk your little ass out of here! If you don't," she paused for a second, smirking, "well, I can promise you'll be sorry."
"Excuse me?" That was just too much. It was bad enough that this girl was even alive, but then she had to go and threaten me? At that point, I was no longer sure if I would be able to restrain myself if she tried to start something. I wouldn't hurt the girl, but I'd probably end up giving myself away. At that moment though, I didn't care too much. I looked right back up at her and said, "Is that supposed to scare me? Am I really supposed to be intimidated by some freakishly tall elf who--"
Before I could finish that sentence, I began to do something I'd done countless times in my life. I lifted off the ground and flew straight up into the air. The only difference was that that time, I didn't do it! I eventually came to a stop fairly high up. I could see the top of the roof of the house off in the distance. I floated in mid air in shock. My brain just wouldn't work. How could that have happened? It'd never acted on its own before! This just wasn't possible!.
I sensed the girl rising up to meet me, only more leisurely. I wasn't doing that either. When she was at my eye level, I could see she wasn't surprised at all. In fact, she was smiling, enjoying the recent turn of events. In a taunting voice, she said, "See? I warned you. Now this is what you get."
My brain finally started back up. It was her! This bitch was holding me up here! First she has her house there, then she threatens me, and then she uses my ability! I just couldn't let this be. This wasn't how it was supposed to happen!
She circled around me as proof that she held all the power. "Now, I'm going to give you one more chance. I'll let you down slowly, and you can say you're sorry for being a dick, or--"
"Or what?" I cut her off. "You'll drop me? Is that it? Well, go ahead and drop me! There's no way in hell I'm apologizing to you! Besides, I don't think you have the balls to do it!" I knew that would shake the bitch up! She definitely hadn't been expecting that! I wasn't going to let this girl have the last laugh. I'd show her! A plan to salvage my pride formulated in my brain.
She stared at me as though I was stupid. "Uh... Look, are you sure you understand what kind of shit you just got yourself into?" she asked. I could imagine what she was thinking. Anybody else she did this to would probably have had a stream of piss and/or shit dripping to the ground. And there I was challenging her. The best was yet to come though.
"I understand it perfectly, you are trying to scare me. But it won't work. It's not like you're really going to drop me." I watched her, waiting. It was going to happen soon. I had to time it just right.
She finally came to a decision, and shrugged. This was it! I felt gravity start to take over and caught myself just quick enough to look like I hadn't moved. I floated there for a few seconds, as if still waiting for her to drop me. Then I scoffed at her. "See? Told you you didn't have the balls to do it." I looked around and noticed it was night already. Declaring my victory, I continued twisting the dagger, "Now see? It's already dark. We could have saved some energy if you'd have just let me be. But no! You had to be a bitch! Now, put me down, and I'll leave." I lowered myself to the ground. She didn't move. I figured she was feeling the way I had been feeling just a minute before. Let's see how she likes it! When I landed I yelled up to her, "Now that wasn't so hard was it!" A part of me had wanted to fly back up there to say that, but I knew I didn't have much time to get away. Not if I wanted the last word that is.
I began walking back the way I'd come. The people in the house were still watching. I could see why they had wanted to watch her get rid of me. To them this ending probably looked pretty anti-climactic though. I wondered what story she'd tell them. She'd probably lie to save face. Stupid lying bitch. When the house was out of view, I ran. I wanted to get away before she came to her senses. She was still in the air when I lost touch with her. I flew the rest of the way to my car. I hoped her sense was the same length as mine, that way she wouldn't feel me flying. The kids were still partying at the beach, only now there were some lights. I stayed low so they wouldn't see me.
When I got to the car there was still no sign of the girl. Perfect. I turned the car around and headed back to the hotel. I couldn't get the evil satisfied grin off my face. I'd won! There was nothing that girl could do anymore but wonder. Wonder what had happened! She'd had the upper hand! She had been in control, then it all just fell apart! Perfect! And I was gone without a trace! It'd nag at her the rest of her life! Or better yet! She'd realize exactly what happened! That I was just like her and I slipped through her fingers! Maybe a once in a lifetime chance to find somebody like her.
A once in a lifetime chance... A once in a lifetime chance. The grin left my face. A once in a lifetime chance. It was about that time the gravity of what just happened hit me. FUCK! I pulled the car over onto the grassy shoulder of the road. When the car was safely pulled over. I proceeded to bang my head against the steering wheel. What was wrong with me? Every bit of anger and triumph from earlier was gone. All that was left was the realization of how amazingly stupid I was!
"Oh shit... Avry... What did you just do?" I said to myself, pausing my head hitting. I stared out into the night. "This was my one chance... A chance in a lifetime! Fuck!" I couldn't even put it into words... My whole life! I wondered. Hoped. Hoped that some day... And I finally found... Fuck! What could I do? Could I go back? No. She was probably still pissed. Maybe she's not, I thought. No, best to go tomorrow. Give her a chance to cool off. Shit. "Avry, you are a fucking moron," I said, starting the car.
I'd go in the morning, I had to talk to her. My drive to the hotel was a blur. I was surprised when I actually got back. My mind was too preoccupied. It'd figure I'd die in a car crash before I got a chance to see that girl. But I didn't. I walked up to the third floor, and down the hall towards my room. I stopped at my parents' room and knocked on the door. One of them came to the door and opened it. It was my dad.
"I'm back," I said.
"So I see." He looked at me thoughtfully and added, "Is something wrong?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah, I'm fine." It must've been pretty obvious. I tried my hardest to appear less depressed.
Not convinced at all, he peered more intently at me, his face getting more serious. He looked both ways down the hall and says, "You didn't...? Did somebody...?" Once again he quickly looked down the hall.
I rolled my eyes. "No Dad, nobody saw anything." He looked sharply at me as if I'd given too much away. "Everything's fine. Just been a long day, with the reunion and all."
This time my dad rolled his eyes. He grinned at me and said, "No son, we love your mother's family."
I smiled. "I'll be in my room if you need me."
I turned to walk away. My father's face turned slightly more serious. He stopped me and pulled me close to him. "Your mother and I just wanted to ask that tonight you don't..." He paused and looked down the hall again, then whispered lightly, "fly."
I laughed. "Dad? Can I just come in? You look kind of dumb doing that after every word."
My dad coughed and looked at me, annoyed. "Anyway, they keep all the lights on outside, who knows who'd see? Just, better safe, you know?"
"I could just drive to some dark place and go from there," I said.
He sighed. "I know, but we just think..."
"Don't worry Dad, I don't feel like..." I turned and quickly looked both ways, then I pulled him very close to me and whispered "flying tonight." I shook my head mockingly at him and snickered to myself.
My dad glared for a second but then said, "Don't feel like it? Something must be really wrong." He smiled at me. "Well, I'll see you in the morning."
"'Kay, night," I said, the gloom returning to my face when my back was turned.
I got to my room and saw that it wasn't even nine o'clock. I wondered if I should go to bed. Get the morning there quicker. Not that I thought I'd be able to sleep. It was going to be a long night. I floated into the air above my bed and looked around for the remote. It was on top of the tv. It came to me. I started flipping through the channels. Nothing on. Wonderful. I settled for some random movie on HBO and only half watched it as my mind got filled with more and more thoughts of the girl.
Maybe I should have gone right back. Why hadn't I? What if she wasn't there when I went back the next day? Maybe she was an alien. Maybe I was an alien. Would I grow ears like hers? Too many possibilities! Trying to guess just seemed to make things worse. That didn’t stop me though. I continued coming up with possibilities. Somehow, around midnight when I had convinced myself that aliens and the government were working together to trap me so they could do all kinds of horrible experiments on me, I fell asleep.
After I woke up the next morning, I couldn’t remember what I’d dreamt about. Only a few images of long blonde hair. Obviously they were about her. I checked the clock by my bed, it was shortly after 7. One of my parents was awake in the next room. Probably my mom getting ready for the post reunion breakfast. Shit! I’d forgotten about that! I was supposed to be there too! I’d have to get out of it. I still had a little time to kill before I could go anywhere.
I was still nervous, but I could think a little more clearly than I could the night before. I went out to the car to get my laptop. I’d forgotten to bring it in after I got back from the reunion. The hotel we were staying at offered internet connections with each room. That was better than just zoning out in front of the TV. I didn’t have much email. Only interesting thing was a letter from Jake back home asking if I met any good looking girls at the reunion. I really hoped he was kidding. I replied informing him what a sick bastard he was, and then I went to the website for the old chinese martial arts movie Tiger’s claw vs. Dragon’s Fang. With the big tournament only a couple months away, the talk on the message board was picking up. I half heartedly read through my the unread messages, my mind continuing to linger on seeing that girl. By the time I finished, both my parents were awake. Perfect. I went to their room to get out of the stupid breakfast.
“We have to be there in a half hour, why aren’t you ready?” my mom asked.
“Do I really have to go? I mean, it’s not like it’s important. Not many people are going to be there. Just the ‘close’ family, and you aren’t even close to them either. You don’t even like most of them!”
My father chuckled from where he was sitting on the foot of the bed. Mom glanced at him sharply and said, “I like Janice, and she’s going to be there.”
Aunt Janice wasn’t so bad. One of the few who actually visited. It’d been a while though, I could understand why Mom would want to see her sister. There had to be a way out of this. I had to get back to that house.
Before I could come up with anything, my mom said, “Actually, I was planning to spend the day with Janice after the breakfast. Your father and I could just ride with her. I doubt you’d enjoy spending the whole day shopping with us, anyway. I’ll call you on your cell to tell you when to meet us at the hotel. But you have to be careful. And you have to take us to the restaurant.”
My dad looked at me hopefully, “Hey Avry, want some company? Give your mom and her sister some time alone?”
“No honey, you have to come, you should have asked first.”
Dad gave an over exaggerated sigh, and resumed getting dressed.
“Now go get packed, we’ll be leaving in 10 minutes.”
This was great! I ran to my room and quickly put everything in my suitcases while I changed my clothes. I was amazed at how much slack my parents were cutting for me lately. I could usually squeeze the occasional freedom, but it was like they were treating me like a normal kid! I figured they were finally starting to trust me not to expose to the whole world that I could move things without touching them. It was about time! Ten minutes later, the three of us were checked out of the hotel and on our way to the restaurant.
“So Avry, what are your plans for your day of freedom?” my dad asked looking back at me from the passenger seat.
“Not a whole lot, you know, check out the sights.”
“Yeah, sure, I bet you met a girl,” my dad began. I could feel myself starting to blush. I was about to respond when he continued. “Is that it? Some cute girl from the reunion?”
“GERALD!” My mom almost ran the car off the road.
“What? Not everybody there was related by blood!” he said, pretending to be offended.
“God Dad, you’re worse than Jake!”
“Gee, sorry.” He was chuckling to himself.
We pulled into the parking lot. Some of the people were waiting outside by the door. Aunt Janice was one of them. She waved happily at us as we got out of the car.
“Bye Avry, we’ll call you later. Keep your phone on, and be careful,” my mom told me, hugging me.
My father gave me a twenty dollar bill for food. “See you tonight, have fun, and don’t do anything I couldn’t do.”
I rolled my eyes at him. It was one of his favorite ways of telling me not to do anything obvious. They went on to greet the rest of the family while I got back in the car. I waved goodbye to Aunt Janice and drove off. I was on my way to see the girl again.
I grabbed some breakfast from Burger King and ate it as I drove out of town. Being alone with my thoughts again, my imagination got the better of me. How was the girl going to react? She was probably going to still be pissed! Maybe not. Maybe she’d never met anybody like herself either. Or maybe everybody in that house could do it. What if she didn’t want to know anybody like herself? Maybe I wouldn’t even find the place again. Maybe the whole thing had been my imagination. What if I was going insane?
So many maybes and what ifs. I tried to get my mind back on the road. This was much easier said than done. I was getting more and more nervous, my hands were gripping the steering wheel so tight, I was worried I’d rip it off. I was pretty sure I was near where I had stopped before. There weren’t many side roads in the area, it was a fairly abandoned. That might be why those people chose to live out there. I pulled off onto what I hoped was the same road I had used. I didn’t think it mattered too much, if it took me towards the beach, it’d be fine. The road wasn’t very well kept, but it did take me east. After a while, it began heading more north, and was soon running parallel to the coast. I pulled the car over and walked the rest of the way towards the beach.
When I finally reached the coastline, it didn’t seem I was anywhere near where I’d been the night before. I had to pick a direction. I decided to go south. I made a note of the area, I didn’t want to lose my parents’ car, and began to run. I was running much faster than my father let me while at track meets. Probably faster than Olympic runners, and on sand. I resisted the urge to fly, there was a house around here after all. Running speed is hard to judge, so I wasn’t too worried about that.
I finally came to the remnants of the party I had seen. I had gone in the right direction. The kids had cleaned it up mostly, but there were a few cups and bottles left in the sand. I could clearly see the rocks that blocked the view of the house. So close! I continued running, this time at a more realistic pace. My heart was beating like crazy. A part of me was screaming in my head to just forget about this, it was a mistake. The voice of my father was there too, telling me it was all a trap. I couldn’t expose myself. Not more than I already had. Those voices weren’t loud enough. The only one that mattered was the one declaring I wasn’t alone. None of the what ifs could compare to that. It got louder the closer I got to the house.
I passed the rocks and then I felt it again. A second later, I could see it. I stopped and looked at it. There it was! The same incomplete dorm house. I could again feel all the people inside. They were still there. But was she? I guess I would find out soon! I walked towards it. My whole body was shaking. This time it was more out of excitement than nervousness. But I was nervous. Very. Such a big moment. Right up there with the first day I had moved something with my mind. I was too young that day to have realized how big an event it was. At that moment though, its bigness was all I could think about. Could I really not be the only one?
I paused at the stairs. I wondered if she was one of the people I could feel in the house. She probably already knew I was out there. I carefully walked up the steps. When I reached the door, I took a moment to compose myself. Here it goes. I knocked on it.
I could feel somebody walking towards the door. The butterflies in my stomach started fluttering even harder as the door opened. Behind it was not the girl I had met. This one was shorter. Her hair was orange instead of blonde, and her ears weren’t pointed.
“Hello?” she asked.
I really hadn’t expected to meet anybody but the pointy eared girl. I guess I should have figured somebody else would answer the door! I somehow managed to ask,
“Yeah, hi. Uhh, can I talk to the girl with the pointy ears?” I felt like such a tool. What a moronic question.
She regarded me a second and responded, “Which one?”
OK, maybe it wasn’t so stupid after all! “You mean there’s more than one? Oh. Uhh.” She was starting to get impatient with me, and looked at me like I was a moron. “Well can they... can they all--” I stopped and did an amazing and unintentional impersonation of my father looking both ways to make sure nobody’s listening. “Fly?” I finished.
“IVY!!!” she yelled immediately after I finished the word “fly.” Did that mean she was the only one there who could do it? She had a name now too. Ivy. Her name was Ivy. “Somebody’s at the front door for you!”
From inside I heard the familiar high pitched voice call out, getting louder with each word, “What? Nobody ever comes to the front--” She paused when she came to the top of the stairs. She recognized me immediately. “Door,” she finished. It was her. This time I thought the butterflies would fly out of my stomach, taking my breakfast with it. She didn’t seem very happy to see me. “What do you want?”
I tried my hardest to make my voice more secure than I had for the orange-haired woman. “Hi, I’m Avry, we met last night... Can we talk for a minute?” I glance at the orange-haired woman, “Out on the beach?”
The orange-haired woman scoffed at me and rolled her eyes. She shook her head as she walked back up the stairs. When she reached the top of the stairs, Ivy moved out of the way by floating to her right. She made sure to look directly at me as her feet left the floor. The orange-haired girl didn’t seem bothered, or even to notice. OK, I really wasn’t sure if this was going well or not. Not even bothering to land again, after the orange-haired girl was gone, she drifted towards me, not touching a step. Even after being able to do it most of my life, it was amazing how strange it was to see somebody floating in mid air. Especially when I had nothing to do with it! When she came through the doorway, the front door closed behind her. I turned to start walking down the stairs, but she just jumped over the side of the staircase and floated down, landing softly on the sand below. She looked up at me impatiently, her arms crossed and her foot tapping. I half expected her to start pointing at her wrist as if she had a watch there. A small amount of annoyance joined my excitement. In the name of diplomacy and not wanting to be a dick, I just walked down the steps and joined her.
“Well?” she asked.
I had no idea how I was going to begin this. I couldn’t imagine it going well if she kept such a bitchy attitude. I had to calm her down, at least make her not hate me as much! “Well, first, I uh... want to apologize about the way I acted last night. I was having a really bad day, I should have left right away. And I really shouldn’t have made that elf crack. So, I’m sorry.”
I wasn’t sure, but I thought her face might have softened a little. I really hoped so. I needed to make sure, even though I had seen her flying with my own eyes, I had to hear it. I took a deep breath and said, “OK, this might be a stupid question, but I have to ask it... Can you...” I pauseed again, it was amazing how hard it was to ask, everything was riding on this tiny sentence. But I had to ask. I finally managed to spit it out. “Can you move things without touching them? With your mind?”
She stared at me for a moment as if I had, in fact, asked the stupidest question. Then finally, she nodded. “Yeah.”
It was like I was struck by lightning. The whole world changed. So much of what I believed about myself and my abilities were suddenly proven wrong. I wasn’t the only one. I didn’t think I was normal, but I’m wasn’t alone. Somebody else could do it too. Somebody who could understand. No more wondering! For a second I thought I had fainted, but I realized I’d been talking. Saying out loud almost everything I’d been thinking. I didn’t know exactly what I had said, I just hoped I didn’t make too big a fool of myself.
“Wait a second!” she said, putting an end to my rambling. “Slow down! So you can do it too? You held yourself up last night after I dropped you.” She must have been as confused about my trick as I had hoped. I felt bad.
“Yeah, as I said before, I was in a really bad mood. I had wanted to fly a little before sunset, but with the house there, somebody might see. And I worked so hard to get away from civilization!” It felt strange being so open about it, even after telling her. “But well, it was stupid of me, meeting somebody like myself is much better than even my first daytime flight.”
“First daytime flight?” A strange mixture of surprise and confusion crossed her face. “You can fly and you’ve never flown during the day?”
“Of course not! Not when people might see! I couldn’t do that!”
“My parents! They’d kill me! Hell, they’d kill me if they found out I had planned to fly yesterday during the day.”
“Your parents?” she asked bemused. “How could they stop you?” She then launched herself up into the air. She beckoned me to follow her. “Nobody will see you!” She then continued to rise until she was way above the treetops.
This was a secluded area, I didn’t think it would hurt to follow her. I had planned to do it the day before, anyway. Also, I realized, I didn’t want her to one up me. Almost like it was a competition. After a quick glance up at the house, I lift off the ground. I was met with a rush of excitement. I was actually flying during the daytime! There was the usual mixture of guilt I got whenever I did something that “bent” my parents’ rules. And as always, that guilt just added to the excitement. The most important part of it though was that the view was fucking amazing! At night, the twinkling city and the stars were pretty, but it just didn’t compare! To be able to see the world below getting smaller. To see the clouds over head! Off towards the west, the land rolled off into the horizon. An almost endless sea of green. I could see the rooftops and road of the city I had been visiting for the family reunion. The coastline stretched off to the north and south keeping the land and see separated. It was all so beautiful!
When I finally reached Ivy, I really hoped I wasn’t crying. “How fucking cool is this?” I yelled to her. I was surprised to see that she was actually smiling. I smiled back and then dove down and did a large loop in the air. From high above my new position she began an even steeper dive. She blew right past me, getting faster and faster. I flew lower for a better look. I was worried she was going to crash into the ocean when she pulled up just a few feet above the waves. I cheered after her and flew down to meet her. She was obviously enjoying herself too. It was good to see it didn’t get old.
We flew around for a while together, it was hard to tell how long, but it really didn’t matter. I floated up next to her and said, “It must be great living around here! You can fly out in the daytime any time you want without being seen!”
“Who cares if people see you?” She asked, an expression crossed her face that I could only describe as pure evil. Her large eyes and pointy ears made it both strangely comical and terrifying.
She darted up and flew quickly away from me. A deep sense of dread formed in the pit of my stomach. She paused and turned, motioning me to follow. That didn’t help the dread. When she saw me following, she continued on. It didn’t take me long to realize where she was taking me. I stopped and called out to here, “what are you doing?”
She turned back to me, flying closer. “What? Just come on!” Her evil grin wasn’t gone.
“No! No! No! That’s the way to town! Are you fucking nuts?”
She just shrugged at me, and turned back, flying towards the city. “Stay there then!” I heard her yell.
I watched her getting smaller for a few seconds. This is really stupid. I said over and over in my mind, but then I began to follow her. The rooftops were quickly getting larger. I flew higher hoping that people would think I was just a bird. A bird wearing jeans and with blue hair. This is really stupid. We stopped high above the city. I had to admit it was a great view. It wasn’t that small of a city, but from where I was, I could see it all. I could barely make out people walking around. The roads were filled with cars. I just knew somebody could see me.
“This isn’t so bad is it?” Ivy said beside me. “Nobody ever looks up. Even if they did, nobody would believe them!” She then flew away from me, doing tricks in the air, trying to get me to join her. She was just playing with me. She knew she could make me do just about anything. She knew I couldn’t let her win. Maybe she was right, though. She had no problem flying above the city, she’s had to have done it before. She hasn’t been abducted by the government.
I was just about to join her when my front pocket started to vibrate. I lurched in surprise. It took me a second to realize what it was. It was my cell phone. Somebody was calling me. I get my phone from my pocket and check who’s calling.
“Oh fuck!” I yell. It was my mom. She saw me! She saw me and called me to see what the fuck I was doing! Oh well... I had to answer it. “Hello?”
“Hi Avry, it’s your mother.” The wind was really strong so high up, it was hard to make her out. Ivy had noticed me on the phone and flew closer.
“What? I can barely understand you!”
“I said ‘hi,’ the reception’s really bad here!”
“Oh, well I just wanted to tell you that you don’t have to pick us up!
“You’re aunt’s going to take us home, don’t be too late coming back. Be careful!”
“I can’t hear you! Call me back later!” She hung up the phone. Just leaving me here in town with the car. After so long trying to protect me, they were finally starting to trust me...
I looked around. And there I was, high above the city in the middle of the day. This wasn’t my occasional bending. I couldn’t rationalize it with how careful I was being. Anybody could see me. This was breaking the rules. I finally had their trust, and that was how I repaid them. I didn’t live in a house in the middle of nowhere. I put my phone back in my pocket. Ivy was looking at me curiously. She didn’t seem as playful as before.
“Can we go back?” I asked, already flying back the way we’d come.
“I was getting bored anyway,” she said, following me. After a few minutes of quiet, she asked, “You let your parents control you that much?” She was smiling, but she seemed a little disturbed.
I sighed. “Yeah, but it’s not like that. If they hadn’t made me keep it secret when I started moving things, I’d probably be a science experiment or something. And I doubt they’d have a normal life. It’s for the best.”
“Yeah... I guess... Hey, when did you start having tee kay?”4
“Huh? Oh, It was a little before I turned six.”
“So, it just started one day? Just like that?”
“Pretty much, why? When did you get it?”
“I don’t remember ever not having it. I only recently learned I had it while I was a baby.”
“A baby with that ability? Had to be tough on your parents! So why did you only learn recently?” We were flying side by side, heading back towards the house. Though I was still guilty, I was glad we were talking. There was so much I wanted to ask.
“I just met my parents.”
I looked at her, shocked. “You just met them? Did they give you up when they found out you were different or something?
She grinned at me. “Nope. They knew I was different when I was born.”
At first I thought she just meant her ears, but then she held a hand up some. It took me a couple seconds to make sense of what I was seeing. On her hand, she had a thumb, an index finger, a middle finger, and a ring finger. But after that nothing. Her pinky wasn’t cut off, the whole hand just stopped there. “Hey! You only have four fingers!” I said, realizing only after I said it how stupid I was.
She shook her head and gave me one of her “you’re a moron” looks, then said, “yeah.”
I looked down. “Sorry. You must really get sick of people for saying stuff. You’d think after all the things people say about my hair, that I’d know better.”
“It’s hardly the same, if you didn’t want it noticed, you wouldn’t have dyed it blue.”
That was the kind of thing I heard from adults when I seem bothered by their remarks. I figured I would let that slide after my rudeness. “Nope,” I said, “this is my natural hair color. My parents knew I was different when I was born too.” I gave her a wide grin. “They just didn’t find out till I was six just how different I was.”
She peered closer at my hair for a moment. “Hmm.”
“If they didn’t give you up, what happened?”
“I guess I got tired of listening to them, because one day when I was two, I just flew out the window and didn’t come back.”
“Holy fuck! Nobody noticed a flying child anywhere?” I flew up a head a little and turned around facing her.
“I’m sure some did, but who would believe them?”
I continued flying backwards in front of her. She had a point, and she obviously wasn’t captured or taken away. Amazing a child could do that It was insane. How was she not discovered? Or captured? I pushed those questions out of my mind. She had to have lived in some out of the way rural place. “So how did you find your parents again?”
“They found me. My mother had been searching the tabloids for something about me. When she found something, she contacted me”
A tabloid? She said it so casually, too. I knew nobody really believed them, but still, even that was so dangerous! Though I was scared to know the answer, I did manage to ask: “What did you do to be in a tabloid?”
“Some guy put up a million dollars to find somebody with real proof of psychic powers. I won.”
I stopped so suddenly that Ivy barely had enough time to keep from slamming into me. If she said anything, I didn’t notice. Was she a moron? What the fuck is wrong with her! “What? Are you serious? Weren’t you worried it was some kind of trick? What if they decided to dissect you? Or turn you into some guinea pig?” I paused in the middle of my rant as I realized something. “A million dollars? Really? You got a million dollars?”
Another moron look. “Yeah.”
Still it was so careless! Using her abilities to get money, even a million dollars! My father would kill me if I did anything like that. The wind was taken out of my sail of self righteousness as a little voice in the back of my head reminded me that I had done something like that. I was very careful, I told myself. Still, it wasn’t like I had any right to judge.
I turned back around and we resumed flying towards the house. We were going much slower than we had on the way, but the town was pretty far behind us. “I wonder how many people tried for that money before you. Probably a lot, but obviously they couldn’t do it if you were the first” I laugh out loud. “Just yesterday I was convinced I was the only one, now I finally meet you, and everything’s different. There could be many people out there like us. Even if it is just us two, it’s better than thinking I’m the only one.” After saying that, I realized how pathetically sappy it was. This was a big day, I was allowed to be a little sappy.
Luckily she seemed to ignore the sappiness. “It’s not just us two.”
I stopped again in mid air. I had to have imagined it.
“You know, if you keep stopping, we’re never going to get back.”
“Not just us two?”
“No, I’ve met two others with tee kay.”
“Two others?” I whispered. That was twice in less than twenty-four hours that the number of people with telekinesis, or tee kay as ivy had put it, had doubled. This was just getting better and better! “You just seemed so surprised last night with what I could do, I just figured.” We start moving again. “Do they live at your house too? Are they home? Why didn’t they come flying with us?”
She laughed. “No, they don’t live there, and they can’t fly.”
Well that was confusing. “But you said…”
“They aren’t strong enough to lift themselves.”
“Oh.” Not strong enough? It hadn’t occurred to me that people would have different strengths. I always figured anybody else’s would be just like me. “How strong are they?”
“One is only strong enough to create wind, and the other--”
“Wind? How can they move wind?”
She gave me a kind of sideways glance and said, “like this.” Suddenly a large gust of wind blew past me.
“Wholy fuck, did you do that? How? I’ve tried! It’s just air! You can’t move air!”
Her face seemed to drop. She looked really disappointed. “I just did.” Another gust of wind blew past from a different direction.
That just didn’t make sense. How was she doing that? “So you can even feel the air?” Her sense had to be much more sensitive than mine! Sensitive enough to feel the air! Amazing. She did have it all the way back when she was a baby. Maybe I’ll be able to feel wind when I’m older.
She looked a little confused by my question, but finally said, “You don’t try to grab the air, you just push it.”
“Push the air?” What was she talking about? I guess if I had a big fan I could push the air, but she didn’t have any big fans. “With what?”
She seemed to be getting frustrated, I was glad I wasn’t the only one. We were both confusing each other. She calmed herself down and said, “OK we need to just start over, we obviously do things differently.”
Differently? So not only are strengths not all the same, but everything can be different. I guess that makes sense, I thought. I had read a few books on telekinesis when I was younger, but I always assumed the authors were just wrong. Making up stuff they wished they could do, while I was the only one who knew the real way. That was obviously wrong. Maybe there are lots of different ways. So many things I believed before today are just being tossed out the window.
“OK, we just have to tell each other how we do what we do,” she said to me.
I was reminded of the time I tried to explain it to my parents. I didn’t want to tell them everything, but even the abridged version had been hard to put into words. I did manage it, though. I had thought it would be different with Ivy. She would already know. But she doesn’t seem to. Does she even have a sense?
1 Wow, someone else's description of Ivy. Weird to see her interpreted by someone else. Though I'd say "several" is the wrong word for how many braids she would have had, she usually has about eighteen of them. [BACK]
2 Ahh yes, Ivy's accent--he got it right, it comes out most when she's pissed off. [BACK]
3 I think he intended this, but I find it neat that this wind blows around them and Avry doesn't know that it was something Ivy caused. [BACK]
4 In my book I write "teekay" as one word as an abbreviation for telekinesis. I guess Jeaux likes to separate it into two words. [BACK]
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