Twinepathy (Part 37): Dismissed

Hullo, everyone! I’m going to be honest here and tell you that this part was one of my favorites to write. Just because… well, it was fun. Still working on that special announcement for you guys – hopefully I’ll get that finished soon! 🙂 Check out part one if you’re new.

Everyone in the room goes still, except for Jen, The Finch, and Keller. Jen responsible? Causing amnesia somehow? That seems absolutely ridiculous, but… it’s possible, isn’t it?

“What?!” Blaze nearly shrieks. “That’s nuts!”

I hear a low growl from Anvil‘s direction and turn to see his eyes flashing and his fists clenched. I shrink back in my chair and quickly look over at The Finch. He’s leaning forward, contemplating Jen with an interested look.

Jen sighs. “If I could, I would let you go in my head and see that I had nothing to do with it. But I can’t.”

“You mean you won’t,” Keller says, lifting and eyebrow.

“No, I mean that I can’t,” Jen says firmly. “I told you no one’s ever been able to get in my head. I’ve tried to let people in, and it never works.” She motions to the door. “Com can’t even get in – he has to do a special signal thing.” She gives a lopsided smile that looks a little sad. “I’m not really a telepath, anyways.”

“And how do I know that’s the truth?” Keller retorts.

Jen’s computer starts rattling on her desk, and I see Brooklyn grab her earrings out of the corner of my eye. Everything metal on me – zippers, the little metal circle thingies on my shoes, my empty locket necklace – starts vibrating. Jen leaps to her feet. “Cade, you’re dismissed,” she says firmly.

Cade?

Anvil‘s voice is thick with anger. “Data does. Not. Lie,” he growls, stepping towards Keller. She looks at him, eyes wide, and I think this must be the first time she’s truly been afraid of someone.

“Cade.” Jen’s voice sounds as dangerous as the look in her eye. “You. Are. Dismissed.”

Anvil‘s anger seeps out a little, and the metal in the room stops vibrating. He exhales slowly, then spins on his heel and disappears through the door. Jen relaxes and sits back down in her chair. “Back to it, then. Keller, I can’t prove—”

Keller holds up a hand. “Stop. You’re just going to completely ignore what just happened? He…”

“He did nothing,” Jen says calmly. “You made him angry, but nothing happened, and he didn’t threaten you.”

Keller stares at Jen, then rubs her forehead. “Right. Sure. Go on, then.”

“I can’t prove that I’m not involved,” Jen says quietly. “But we need you if we’re going to find out who is behind it, and as much as I’m sure you hate to admit it, you can’t do it on your own.” Jen leans forward and looks Keller in the eye. “You need us, Keller. Will you join?”

Keller looks from Jen to Maddie, then back to Jen. She sighs. “No, I won’t.” Jen straightens, and Keller continues. “Oh, I’ll help you find this jerk. But I’m not going to join this group. I don’t do well with rules or other people or their secrets.” She gives Jen a pointed look. “I’ll help, but I’m keeping my independence. Got it?”

How can she bargain like that with Jen? Jen’s frowning, but she has a look of quiet respect, too. “We have a deal.” She offers a hand to Keller, and they shake on it.

I clear my throat, and Jen turns to look at me. “I just have one question. Where’s Volt?”

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Twinepathy (Part 36): Finch And Anvil

Hullo, everyone! For those of you who were interested in Finch… you’ll get a better look at him in this part! And… we get to meet one of my FAVORITEST characters. *rubs hands gleefully* I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on them… oh, and look out for a special post some time this week with big news… Speaking of news, if you’re new, check out Part One.

The Finch looks at us and gives us a polite nod. He looks disinterested, but I can see the truth in his eyes – pain. I feel a pang for him. Maddie lost just eight, nine, ten years… how old is she?… due to the amnesia, but he lost so much more, probably over twenty years. I’m sure it’s changed him, hurt him. And he might never get that back. Maddie might not get her years back, either, and then what of her relationship with Keller? They were clearly close before, and yet I’ve seen Keller’s pain, too. And what of The Finch’s siblings, parents, family… girlfriend? “Nice to meet you,” he says, his voice flat.

Jen motions to some chairs that I know weren’t here the last time. They must have been brought in just for this occasion. We all sit down, and I notice Keller watching Maddie, her expression pained. “Now all we need is Anvil,” Jen says.

Blaze noticeably perks up at that. “Really? I get to meet the mysterious, elusive, efficient Anvil?”

Jen gives him a withering glare. “Don’t start, Blaze.”

Blaze leans forward, interest sparking in his eyes. “But I haven’t even seen this guy, Data! I haven’t! He’s been here for how long?”

“Three years,” Jen says tiredly.

“Exactly!” Blaze waves a hand in the air. “And I haven’t seen him once. Neither have any of the other agents I’ve talked to.”

“Blaze.” Jen’s voice is tight with warning.

“I just don’t get why this guy’s so special and secret,” Blaze continues, ignoring Jen. “I mean, it’s not like his powers are that different from other manipulators…”

“Hello, Anvil. Have a seat,” Jen says politely, tossing Blaze something between a glare and a smirk.

We all turn. Behind us stands a tall guy, probably close to Jen’s age, his posture forced casual and his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket. I get the feeling he’s uncomfortable, but his face is a mask, not giving anything away. His eyes, though, have a spark of… danger. It makes me glad that Keller and Jen are here, in spite of Keller’s hostility and Jen’s secrets.

“I’ll stand,” he says, his voice quiet but strong.

This is probably the first time I’ve ever seen Blaze embarrassed, but he definitely is. Jen nods at Anvil. “All right.”

“That’s definitely him,” Keller speaks up, eyeing Anvil suspiciously.

“I assumed so,” Jen says with a small smile. “Ca… Anvil, why don’t you go ahead and report on that mini-assignment I gave you last week, so everyone here can know what happened?”

Anvil gives us all a suspicious once-over. “Trav dropped me off, and I headed over to the house. I noticed I was being followed. It was her,” he adds as an afterthought, nodding at Maddie. “She didn’t seem like much of a threat, so I stopped her and asked her to deliver the ‘package’. I watched her go up to the house and then slipped off to a safe observation point and saw her,” he motions toward me, “take it inside, so I figured the girl had dropped it there…”

“You?!” Blaze exclaims incredulously. “You’re the one who messed this up?”

Anvil‘s eye’s flash, but a warning look from Jen is enough to subdue both of them, at least temporarily. “No one messed anything up. In fact, this has turned out better than I could’ve hoped, except for Maddie.” Jen gives Maddie a sympathetic look and receives a shy look in return. She turns to Keller. “Does this satisfy you?”

Keller crosses her arms. “It explains how L… Maddie ended up where she is, but it still doesn’t convince me that you’re not responsible for her amnesia.”

Twinepathy (Part 24): Meeting Ms. Fabel

Hullo, everyone! How are all of you doing this fine Monday morning? Happy for a new part? I am… 😉 New? Check out part one.

The week passes in impatient agony for me. Mom’s at home the rest of the week, so we don’t have to take Maddie to IDIA. School feels even longer and more boring than usual for me, but it’s even worse for Brooklyn, since she’s still got a raging headache. Every time I see her wince or rube her aching head, it’s all I can do not to punch something… or someone. I leave a stormy look on my face so people will leave me alone.

On Saturday morning, I wake up around six, knowing that Denver will take ages to get up and get ready to go, but impatient nonetheless. I quietly go to the bathroom and shower. First dibs is always nice. It only takes me a couple of minutes to get ready, but when I get out, everyone’s still in bed. It is Saturday, after all.

So I have a choice. Do I wait patiently, or do I wake Denver up?

I’ve never been patient, that’s for sure.

“Albany, go away!” Denver mumbles, flipping over and burying his face in his pillow.

I stand over him with my hands on my hips. “Do I need to get some ice water?” I threaten in a fake sweet voice.

He sits up slowly, a grumpy look on his face. “I’m older than you and Brooklyn, but you’re always bossing me around,” he grumbles. He does a zombie walk to the bathroom. I take pity on him and go down to the kitchen to pull together an easy, unruinable breakfast – also known as cereal.

Denver comes downstairs fifteen minutes later, hair wet and tousled from his shower. He goes over to the coffee machine to make his coffee, which I didn’t dare to attempt. He sits down at the table, looks at me, and then pours himself a bowl of granola. “We could’ve waited until this afternoon, so I could sleep in. It’s not like we’re on a deadline,” he grumbles.

Oh, if only you knew. “I just can’t wait,” I insist. “If this works out… if it’s really her family, then she’ll be so happy.”

Denver nods reluctantly in agreement. “Well, I hope you’re right. I’d hate to waste a trip up there for nothing.”

If he knew what was really going on, we wouldn’t be going at all. But I simply nod and hurry to get the dishes cleaned up and put away as he pours his coffee into a mug for the drive. Before I know it, we’re on the road in Denver’s old fixer-upper car and headed towards White Bluff. I put one of Denver’s favorite CDs into the CD player to get him into a good mood. I’d prefer silence and random jokes about the passing billboards and scenery, but I know how he likes music. I just hope he doesn’t start singing.

A little over forty-five minutes later, we pull up in front of the address. The house looks good, well-cared for, with some really nice flowerbeds out front. I’d guess they’re the work of someone who loves flowers but wants to keep it easy to care for. Denver nods. “Looks like a nice place.” He turns off the car and reaches for the door handle.

I pause. “You’re coming?”

He gives me a look like I said that I made filet mignon and chicken cordon bleu without burning it. “Of course I am. They’re strangers, after all.”

That I hadn’t planned on. I manage a grin. “That’s true.” Internally, I’m screaming, What am I going to do???

We get out and head to the front door. My brain zooms through options. Is it possible I could get Denver to leave me alone with Genesis Fabel? That doesn’t seem likely. And what are we going to do if IDIA has already got to her – which, in all likelihood, they have – and she’s not even here? All the worrying is going to make me sick. Denver rings the doorbell, and we wait.

Denver’s about to ring the doorbell again when the door swings open. A lady with long, raven-black hair stands in the doorway, an adorable chubby toddler on her hip. She looks us over with a glint of suspicion in her eye. “Hello,” she says, her voice a bit chilly. “What can I do for you?”

I step forward before Denver can say anything. “Are you Genesis Fabel?” I ask.

Her eyes narrow slightly. “Why do you ask?”

Why is she so jumpy, if she’s not the right person? Jen must have come and talked to her. “I’m Albany, and this is my older brother, Denver,” I explain. I do my best to look friendly and cheerful. Think like Brooklyn. “We wanted to talk to you about a friend of ours.”

She reaches for the door handle. “I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now. I’ve got a lot going on.” She begins to shut the door.

What to do? She can’t do this! I panic, and I shove my foot between the door and the door frame. “No,” I tell her firmly, narrowing my eyes. “We need to talk to you, now. And you can’t get rid of us.”

Twinepathy (Part 11): A Great Big Sister

Hullo, everyone! How has your week been? I hope it’s been wonderful! Another part of Twinepathy today, and last week I joined in on the Beautiful Books Link-Up and I posted a character interview with Blaze. So much fun! If you didn’t get a chance to read those, check them out! And if you’re new, click here for the first post. Enjoy, my friends!

The Finch? What kind of name is that?

“Two weeks ago, one of our agents – as we tend to call ourselves – passed out on the job,” Jen explains. “He’s one of our best spies, nicknamed The Finch because he can morph into any type of bird, plus communicating with them.” He? A guy called The Finch. Ha! “Luckily, he was in human form at the time, and he had a team with him. When they brought him back to me, he woke up, but didn’t remember anything. I read him, but it was like he’d been wiped clean of all traces of memory.”

I glance at Maddie. This sounds an awful lot like what happened to her. “Has he recovered?” I ask.

Jen shakes her head. “No.”

My heart drops for Maddie at that. Will she end up being without early memories for the rest of her life? “Do you know why this happened?” Brooklyn asks, pulling Maddie towards her. Maddie does look like she needs a hug, with her eyes wide and scared.

“We’re working to figure out what happened,” Blaze says.

“There have been several cases of sudden, unexplainable amnesia in the news lately,” Jen says grimly. “Citizens. It can’t be a coincidence… But enough about that, we’ll figure it out soon.” She turns her focus back to us. “We can take Maddie back to headquarters, and we’ll find someone for her to stay with until we figure everything out. I can probably make room in my apartment if I need to.”

I don’t even need a look from Brooklyn to know what she’s thinking and what she wants me to do. After all, we’re sisters. We know each other as well as ourselves, even without a telepathic connection. “Can she stay with us?” I ask.

Jen gives me a surprised look. “Well, she could. Bu how are you going to explain it to your parents?” She knows how our parents act, what they’re like, their little quirks… which is pretty creepy, if you think about it. She knows so much about our lives…

I shrug. “Brooklyn keeps bringing home stray animals. We can probably pass this off as something like that.”

Jen rests her chin on her fist, deep in thought. Finally she nods. “Okay. That would be the best option. Let us know if there are any problems, and we can take her to headquarters. I’ll send Blaze to check on you regularly.”

Brooklyn nods, and Maddie relaxes a little. “Thank you,” Brooklyn says.

Jen shakes her head. “No, thank you.” She stands up. “Blaze, let’s head back now. Can’t be gone too long, or the world would blow up.” She rolls her eyes, but I can’t tell if she’s actually joking or not. I hope she is.

The five of us toss our empty cups and head outside. “We’ll see you two soon,” Jen says. “If we don’t hear from you again today, then we’ll assume that everything worked out.” She and Blaze turn to head down a nearby alley.

“Wait, are your headquarters here, in town?” Brooklyn asks, confused.

Jen smiles, her eyes twinkling. “Not even close. You’ll visit eventually. But Blaze can’t do his thing in the middle of the street.”

Brooklyn nods, and after one last wave from Jen, they disappear down the alley. I turn to Brooklyn and Madison. I manage to hold back my smile at the picture they make, standing there holding hands. Brooklyn would make a great big sister.

“You told Denver we were going shopping, so we might as well stop and grab some clothes for Maddie. Does that sound good?” I ask.

Brooklyn’s face lights up. If there’s one thing she absolutely loves, it’s shopping for other people. That’s why she picks out my wardrobe when we go shopping. “Awesome!” she exclaims, herding us towards a store.

Poor, poor Maddie.

Oh, great. Shopping. I wonder where these mysterious IDIA headquarters are… And will Albany and Maddie survive the shopping trip? XD Comment below with your thoughts!

Just a note: We’re leaving on a trip this weekend and this week is going to be crazy, so I won’t be on here very much. Apologies if I can’t get to your comment in a prompt and timely manner! ❤ Keep being awesome, guys!

Next Part –>

Twinepathy (Part 2): Don’t Call An Ambulance

Hullo, everyone! I’m back with the next part of Twinepathy! Yay! I got an amazing response from all of you last time, and I can’t wait for you to read what’s next. If you’re new, or you want to catch up, click on the banner below to go to the first post. Share with your friends and add it to your Goodreads currently-reading shelf!

I’m frozen for a second before my brain kicks back in. I call for Brooklyn and Denver and scoop the girl up as best I can, bringing her into the house. Brooklyn appears just ahead of Denver and closes the door behind me. “What happened?” she asks, slipping into her calm, rational mindset.

I breathe deeply. Calming. Supposedly. “She passed out on the doorstep.”

“Who is she?” Denver asks, taking her from me – he’s stronger, duh – and setting her gently on the couch.

I shrug. “I don’t know. She didn’t have time to say anything before she just…” I motion with my hand, probably not making much sense.

Denver runs his fingers through his hair. “Oh, I wish Mom and Dad were here,” he moans. “We should call 911.”

Brooklyn and I exchange a glance. We must be getting the same feeling – something’s up, and having the girl sent to the hospital isn’t going to help. “Um… I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” Brooklyn says cautiously.

“What do you mean?” Denver asks incredulously.

I can tell Brooklyn’s putting emotions in his head by her squinty concentration face. So I stall. “Well, I mean, it seems like she’s just exhausted or something, and she obviously came here for a reason, and we wouldn’t be able to find that out if we took her to the hospital. And besides, you know some first aid…” I hardly ever babble like this.

Denver looks back and forth between us slowly. “Okay. Whatever you guys think, that’s what we’ll do. I’ll go get her a blanket.” He heads out of the room and down the hall.

I look sideways at Brooklyn. “What did you put in his head?” I ask skeptically. I don’t think Denver’s ever been that peaceful and accommodating.

She shrugs. “Trust.”

I can’t help but laugh. “Is that even an emotion?”

“More like a combination of emotions,” she says, grinning, then turns to the little girl. Her face looks even paler now that she’s unconscious. “Albany, can you go get a glass of water? She’ll probably need that when she wakes up.” Denver appears with the blanket and hands it to Brooklyn. “Thanks. Can you get my bath salts?” Denver gives her a completely blank look.

“I’ll get them,” I grumble. “Denver, you can get a glass of water.”

“Right.” He heads off into the kitchen and I fetch Brooklyn’s smelliest bath salts. How can she stand these? I hand them to her, and she opens them, holding them under the little girl’s nose. Poor girl. Denver arrives with the water just as her eyes flutter open.

“Hey,” Brooklyn says gently, in her I’m-not-going-to-hurt-you-sweet-adorable-thing voice. “How are you feeling?”

The girl blinks slowly and turns her head to the side to stare at me and Brooklyn. She doesn’t say anything, but her eyes fix on the glass of water in Denver’s hand. Brooklyn helps her sit up, then takes the glass from Denver and helps her take a drink. She drinks like she hasn’t had water for days, and somehow she only spills a few drops.

“How are you feeling?” Brooklyn asks again, smoothing the girl’s hair out of her face.

“Where am I?” the girl whispers hoarsely, her face scared as she continues to look around.

“You’re in our house,” I say.

Brooklyn sends me a glare that clearly says ‘Let me handle this.’ I don’t even need a telepathic connection to know that. “I’m Brooklyn,” she says to the girl. “You passed out on our doorstep.”

The girl blinks. “I did? I don’t remember…” She frowns, scrunching up her forehead in a way that books would describe as adorable. It makes me think of a cute little pug, I have to admit. Her gaze locks on Brooklyn.

“What’s your name?” My twin asks, voice still gentle.

The girl’s forehead wrinkles even more. “I-I don’t remember.”

What? Amnesia? Noooo! What do you think will happen next? Are you enjoying this? Comment below!

Next Part –>

The Treatment – Part One

I wrote this story for English class. In one afternoon. 😀 Let me know what you think!

“Please, Mommy!” Jessica Hopkins begged, her blue eyes hopeful. Her babyish face was framed by her bouncy golden curls. Any six-year-old with puppy-dog eyes would almost make your heart melt, and Jessica was one of the most adorable six-year-olds you could find. “I wanna go visit Natalie! I haven’t seen her since she went to the hospital.”

Mrs. Hopkins smiled. “Okay, we’ll go. Get your shoes on and meet me at the car, okay?”

“Yay!” Jessica cried, jumping up from her chair and spinning around. She smiled up at her mom. “Thanks, Mommy!” She hopped down the hall to her room.

Mrs. Hopkins smiled to herself and grabbed the keys off the hook by the door. She grabbed a pad of paper and wrote a note telling Mr. Hopkins where they were going, just in case he got back from the grocery store while they were gone.

Jessica bounced back to the door into the garage. “Mommy! Let’s go!” she called.

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” Mrs. Hopkins laughed. The two hurried out to the car, with Jessica practically dragging her mom. Mrs. Hopkins slipped into the front seat and glanced back at Jessica in the car seat in the back. “Do you need me to buckle you up?” she asked.

Jessica smiled brightly. “No, I got it,” she told her mom as she buckled the seat belt herself.

“Good.” Mrs. Hopkins started the car and they pulled out of the garage and started on the way.

As they neared the hospital, Mrs. Hopkins glanced in her rearview mirror at Jessica more and more often. They pulled into a parking spot at the hospital, and Mrs. Hopkins turned to face her daughter.

“Before we get out, I want to talk to you,” Mrs. Hopkins told Jessica. “You remember why Natalie is in the hospital, right?”

Jessica looked at her mom soberly. “She has cancer,” she replied.

Mrs. Hopkins nodded. “That’s right. Cancer’s a really bad disease, and a lot of the people that get it die. I want you to remember that Natalie may not look normal, and she may look really sick, I don’t know. Be careful not to say anything to hurt her feelings, okay?”

“Okay,” Jessica agreed. She looked worried. “Natalie won’t die, will she, Mommy?”

Mrs. Hopkins sighed. “I hope not, Jessica.”

The two went into the hospital, and Jessica huddled close to her mother, who talked to the nurse at the front desk before leading Jessica down a hallway. Jessica gazed around, wide-eyed and scared. People were going the opposite direction as her, wearing hospital gowns and walking slowly. They all had people walking beside them, holding machines with long, thin tubes attached to the people walking. They all looked sad. Nurses hurried past them, their crisp white uniforms and clipboards making them look intimidating to Jessica. Her mother led her to an elevator, and they went up several floors and got out. Jessica ran to a nearby window and peered out. The ground was far away, and the cars looked like the miniature toy cars her little brother played with.

“Come on, Jessica, Natalie’s this way,” Mrs. Hopkins called in an encouraging voice. Jessica hurried to catch up with her.

They quickly found Natalie’s room, with the help of a kind nurse, and Mrs. Hopkins knocked on the door. Mrs. Jacobson, Natalie’s mom, opened the door. She smiled at Jessica and Mrs. Hopkins. “Come on in,” she greeted them. “Natalie’s awake.”

Jessica followed her mom into the hospital room. Everything was clean and impersonal, except for the cards and flowers on a table by the window. Jessica proudly noticed the card that she had made was displayed in the center of the table. Natalie was sitting up in the hospital bed, her brown eyes sparkling. “Jessica!” she squealed.

“Hi, Natalie!” Jessica greeted her friend excitedly. “You look awesome!” she said with relief as she realized her friend looked just like she always did, except for the tube hooked to her wrist that linked her to a big machine that was beeping slowly. “How are you feeling?”

“Pretty good, considering,” Natalie replied. “I’ve missed you. All I’ve seen the last couple weeks are strange nurses, and my parents,” she told Jessica, nodding to her mom, who was already deep in conversation with Jessica’s mom.

“So, are you going to be able to come back to school?” Jessica asked eagerly. “I’ve missed you so much!”

Natalie sighed. “I don’t know. See, my parents aren’t going to be able to afford the treatments.”

“They’re not?” Jessica asked, horrified.

“No,” Natalie told her. “The surgery was so expensive, that we don’t have much left over. You know we’ve never had that much money.”

Jessica nodded. “I know. But maybe we could have a fundraiser or something,” she suggested.

Natalie’s eyes lit up, and she brushed her brown hair out of her eyes. “That’s a great idea!”

Jessica got more excited. “We could do a rummage sale, like they did at church last year! They made a lot of money! Maybe the church would help us with this. We could ask people to donate their old clothes and stuff like that!”

“Mom, come listen to this idea that Jessica had!” Natalie called. The two parents came over and listened as Jessica repeated her rummage sale idea, with enthusiastic support from Natalie.

“That’s a wonderful idea!” Mrs. Hopkins exclaimed. “I’ll help you organize it.”

Mrs. Jacobson smiled at Jessica with tears in her eyes. “Thank you so much. It’s so sweet of you to help Natalie. I can talk the church about having the rummage sale there.”

“You could see if some of the girls from school want to help make posters,” Natalie told Jessica.

“Good idea!” Jessica exclaimed. “I know Melissa likes art. She’d probably love to help.”

Mrs. Hopkins and Mrs. Jacobson began writing down the ideas for the rummage sale, and Jessica and Natalie continued to chatter about school and the rummage sale. Eventually, visiting hours ended, and Jessica and her mother went home.

Writings About Writing – The Who

Not Doctor Who. Just thought I’d make that clear.

The Who I’m talking about is your readers: the people who read your stories. Who is your target audience? What kind of people like your characters? Who do you think most needs the message in your story, and is your story directed towards them?

From my (limited) experience, I’ve learned that a lot of writers write what they themselves like to read. There are exceptions, but most people don’t write something they wouldn’t read themselves. As a teen writer, most of my work is YA. And as a girl, yes, most (but not all) of my main characters are girls. I’m sort-of adventurous, so I occassionally write something that doesn’t have a female main character, which is always interesting, for me, at least.

It’s important to know what your audience likes, and what turns them off. If you find that your book doesn’t fit your audience, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should toss it out. Maybe you just need to find a different audience that does like your book. Look at other books that are like your book, and see who reads them. That could be your Who.

What about you? Do you write what you read? Who is your audience? Have you ever had trouble finding your audience?