A Blazing Seal of Approval: An IDIA Short Story

Why, hello, everyone!!! It seems I’ve been neglecting this blog a teensy bit. The school semester has been crazy, but I’m trying to put together a few more posts for you guys before next semester. I’m also still working on the editing for Lightporter, and I’m hoping to have an update (with a release date!!!) for you guys soon! We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, I was looking over some of my older stories and I saw a short story I wrote as fluff a little while back that takes place right after Twinepathy, and I thought that would be a fun way to celebrate the new year with you guys! So I hope you enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

“It just makes absolutely no sense.”

I look over at Denver as I pour milk on my cereal, trying to decide if I should shake my head or laugh. The two of us are the only ones home. It’s Saturday, so the rest of our family is out shopping. We opted to sleep in, instead. “Denver, Brooklyn and I can speak to each other with our minds, and you don’t seem too weirded out by that. Why should teleportation make sense?”

Denver sighs, stirring his oatmeal. “I don’t know. It’s just weird. None of this makes any sense scientifically.”

I shrug. “It’s kinda weird, but I’m starting to get used to it.” I lean forward. “And I also told Blaze he could join us for breakfast, so be nice.” It’s been about three weeks since we officially joined IDIA, and while our family has met some of the IDIA members, Jen thought it might be a good idea for them to hang out some more. I think she just wants to keep an eye on our family, but that’s fine with me. As long as we don’t have to lie to them anymore, I’m happy.

Denver’s frown deepens. “Every time I’ve met him he seems sarcastic and rude. Why do you like hanging out with him so much?”

“You’ve spent five minutes with him!” I protest. “Give him a chance.”

He sets down his spoon. “His illusion stuff and teleportation don’t help. He could be spying on you when you least expect it.”

There’s a laugh nearby, one that I instantly recognize. “Like right now?” Blaze teases. He appears, grinning. “Hey, Jazz. ‘Sup, Colorado?”

Denver and I both look at him with blank expressions, and Blaze’s grin widens. “Your name’s Denver. That’s in Colorado…”

I groan. “Blaze, you are not helping his opinion of you.”

Denver takes a deep breath and turns back to his oatmeal, electing to ignore Blaze, I guess. Blaze sits down at the table. “Do you guys want donuts?” he asks. “Because I can go and grab some.”

“You mean steal some?” Denver asks, looking up at Blaze.

Blaze’s face reddens, and he glares at my brother. “I would never do that!”

“Sure, Blaze, I’d love some donuts!” I interrupt cheerfully, trying to break up the tension. “Maybe you could grab some more milk, too, if that’s okay? We’re almost out.”

“Definitely,” Blaze agrees tiredly. He disappears instantly, and I wave a hand through the spot to make sure he teleported and didn’t just turn invisible.

I immediately turn to Denver. “I thought I asked you to give him a chance! He’s trying super hard to impress you.”

“Does this really mean that much to you?” Denver asks with a sigh.

I nod. “Yes, it does. Could you just try to find some common ground, or at least not insult him by insinuating he’s a thief?”

“Fine.” Denver leans back in his seat. “I’ll ask him about his powers. Maybe he’ll like talking about himself.”

“Denver!” I protest.

He smiles. “I’m teasing. But just so you know, I do not give you permission to date him yet.”

“WHAT?!” I practically screech, but before I can protest further, Blaze reappears with donuts and milk in hand. I clamp my mouth shut and slump back in my chair, glaring at Denver. With Blaze here, I know I can’t protest about Denver’s statement because I’d never hear the end of it from Blaze. After all, we’re just friends, and Blaze said he doesn’t date… whatever that means.

Denver reaches over and picks up a donut out of the box. “So, Blaze, how exactly does your teleportation work?”

Blaze looks over at him, as if trying to decide if Denver’s trying to get valuable information on how to destroy him. “Well, it’s all based off of light,” he explains vaguely. “It’s kind of complicated, and I’m not sure I completely understand it, either.”

Denver straightens, actually looking interested now. “It’s based off of light? Really?”

“Yeah…” Blaze glances at me and back to Denver. “Why?”

“I did an in-depth study of light for a science project in high school.” Denver leans forward. “So if your powers are based off of light, I might be able to understand them.”

Blaze tilts his head to the side. “Maybe you can help me figure out exactly how my teleportation works, too. If you’re interested, that is…”

Denver smiles. “Definitely! You know, we might be able to use the physics lab at the college to run some tests, as long as you can make sure no one sees you teleporting or anything.”

Blaze brightens. “Sure! And I could bring in some other teleporters, too, if you want to compare the difference between our teleporting. Most teleporters’ powers work similarly, except for mine.”

“Don’t even ask Trav,” I add in. “She’s always so grumpy.” At least they’re getting along well. I should have known my nerdy brother would find something interesting to do with Blaze. I stand up, putting my empty cereal bowl in the sink. “I’m going to leave you two here to do your science stuff while I go… read or do something interesting.” I grin at the two of them as I leave.

A couple of hours later, I’m deep in a novel, laying on the couch in the living room, and Denver comes in, flopping down in an armchair. I ignore him, flipping a page in my book, but he clears his throat. I sigh and put my book down. “What?”

“You now officially have permission to date Blaze,” he says with a grin.

“Denver!” I protest. I consider throwing my book at him, but I opt for a pillow instead. “Come on! We’re just friends.”

He shrugs. “That’s what I always said about Ezra before we started dating.” I groan, but he grins at me, although his grin is a little sappy since he’s thinking about his girlfriend. “Anyway, Blaze and I are going to get some teleporters together next month to work on some tests and stuff to figure out exactly how his teleporting works. Do you wanna be my lab assistant?”

I give him a fake grumpy frown. “Not if you’re going to keep teasing me about Blaze.”

Denver leans forward. “But if you’re just friends, why should it bother you?”

I want to wipe that teasing grin off of his face. “Because…” I groan. “This is a losing battle, isn’t it? Fine, I’ll help you.”

He stands up. “Good. I’ll let you get back to your book.” He ruffles my hair when he walks past. “And you were right, by the way.”

I lift an eyebrow. “As usual. About what?”

“Once I gave Blaze a chance, it turned out he wasn’t so bad.” Denver smiles at me. “I may be your big brother, but you can still teach me a thing or two, I guess.”

I grin. “Well, that’s what I’m here for.”

I hope you enjoyed that fun little story! What did you think? Would you like to see this published as an ebook on Amazon? Comment below! I’d also love if you’d leave a review on Goodreads if you can!

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Ditched – Part Two

The second part of Ditched. Click for Part One. Let me know what you think!

The sounds of bouncing basketballs and shoes squeaking on the court caused Crystal to lift her head. She stared dully at the players as they warmed up. She didn’t really have any interest in the game now, but she couldn’t help hoping that Valerie would come back to sit with her. She glanced around the bleachers and saw Valerie sitting a couple of rows down from her and two rows to the left. She was all by herself, but she had her headphones in and was absorbed with the movie on her phone. As the start of the game neared and the stands started to fill up, Crystal glanced more and more frequently at Valerie.

Everyone stood for the national anthem, and Crystal forced herself to stop looking at Valerie and to turn to the flag. Even so, she couldn’t help wondering if Valerie was looking at her.

More people filed in after the anthem. Crystal soon realized that Valerie probably wasn’t coming back. Many of Valerie’s other friends had found her, and they were chattering away. Crystal stared down at the basketball court, not seeing the game, just thinking.

“Is this seat taken?” a male voice asked from right next to her. She looked up at him vaguely and shook her head. She turned back to the court, still unseeing, although she felt him sit down in the seat that was formerly Valerie’s. She was unconscious of the boy sitting there, watching her as the people around them leapt to their feet, cheering wildly.

“You’re not really paying attention to the game, are you?” the boy asked, breaking into her thoughts. She looked away from the court, and, for the first time, noticed his red hair and sparkling green eyes.

“No,” she admitted, laughing a little nervously. “I guess not.”

He smiled gently. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

Crystal started her story hesitatingly, but she soon found herself pouring out the entire story. After she finished, she studied him. A look of compassion and indignation filled his eyes.

“That stinks,” he told her. “But it doesn’t sound like she was a very good friend. I mean, she didn’t listen to you, and she was pretty quick to ditch you.”

Crystal sighed, brushing her bangs out of her eyes. “Yeah, I know, but I don’t really have any friends. She was one of the few people who actually hung out with me,” she admitted.

“You deserve better,” the boy said, looking at her seriously.

Crystal gawked at him, lost for words. “Wh-what?” she finally stammered.

He gave her an awkward smile. “I don’t know you very well, but I still think you deserve better friends than Valerie. You’re God’s special child.”

She gave him an odd look. “You’re a Christian?”

He laughed. “Yes, I am. Don’t look at me like that.”

Crystal frowned. “You really believe all that Bible stuff?”

“Yes,” he told her seriously. “I believe every word of it.”

She looked at him curiously. “You’re really passionate about it, aren’t you?” she asked.

He nodded. “It’s my dream to become a youth pastor, if God wills.”

Crystal looked down at her hands shyly. “Do you think that you could tell me more about all this?”

The smile that nearly split his face made her heart leap. “Of course.”

“Thanks, uh,” Crystal hesitated.

“Zachary,” he finished, still smiling warmly at her. “You can call me Zach.”

Crystal smiled. “Nice to meet you, Zach.”

“You, too, Crystal.”

Weeks passed. Crystal hung out with Zach a lot, and even started going to his church with him, not just on Sundays, but on Wednesday nights, too. They didn’t go to the same school, but they often met up at games and hung out on the weekends. Crystal often saw Valerie in the halls at school, but her old friend completely ignored her.

Crystal slammed her locker shut at school one Wednesday and glanced over at Valerie’s locker. Zach had suggested that she invite Valerie to church with them that night, but she was nervous. She took a deep breath and headed over to her old friend’s locker.

Valerie was rummaging in her locker and didn’t see Crystal approach. Crystal waited awkwardly next to Valerie’s locker. Finally, she cleared her throat.

Valerie pulled her head out of her locker and looked at Crystal. When she saw who it was, she turned to go back to her task. Crystal grabbed her friend’s arm before she could start ignoring her again. “Please, Val,” she begged.

Valerie turned to her, her eyes flashing. “Forget it. We can’t be friends anymore.”

“Hear me out,” Crystal began, speaking fast so that Valerie would hear everything she had to say. “I want to say that I’m sorry. I should’ve listened to you. I hope you’ll forgive me.”

Valerie rolled her eyes. “Is that all?” she demanded, attempting to extract her arm from Crystal’s grip.

“No,” Crystal told her. She hesitated. “I was wondering if you want to come with me to church tonight.”

Valerie snorted. “No.”

“Why not?” Crystal asked.

“Why not?” Valerie repeated, sneering. “Because church is stupid, all that Jesus stuff is stupid, and you’re stupid.” She yanked her arm out of Crystal’s grasp and stomped away.

Crystal choked back tears as she turned back to her locker and gathered her books in her arms. As she went to class, she silently prayed, asking God to change Valerie’s heart. And she made a decision. She wouldn’t stop asking.