Twinepathy (Part 13): Just A Stray Kid

Hullo, everyone! Before you get confused… no, it’s not Monday. But as I forgot to post on the week of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be nice to give an extra post. And I couldn’t resist, anyways. Enjoy, dear friends! New? Check out Part One.

Brooklyn and I stand side-by-side by the door from the garage, waiting for Mom and Dad to come in. Brooklyn’s nervous thoughts keep leaking into my head – one of the negatives of our telepathic connection. When we get overly emotional, sometimes we’ll accidentally transmit thoughts. I push her thoughts back to her, and she blushes. “Sorry,” she apologizes.

I shrug. “Don’t worry about it.” She’ll probably get my double meaning… “It’ll all turn out fine.”

She sighs. “I hope so.”

The door from the garage opens, and Mom and Dad come in. “Did you kiddoes have fun?” Dad asks, grinning. He gives us side hugs as he drops his keys on the table.

Mom grabs a water bottle from the fridge, then turns and looks at us. Her face morphs into a worried expression. “Is everything all right?”

She’s always the perceptive one. And I’ll let Brooklyn handle this… because I am terrible at diplomatic type things. “Yes, everything’s fine. We just… need to ask you about something,” Brooklyn says.

Dad leans against the counter. “We’re listening.”

Brooklyn glances over her shoulder into the living room, then turns back to our parents. “Well, we have someone we want you to meet.”

Mom’s brow furrows. “What?”

Brooklyn grabs Mom’s hand. “Come on.” She leads her to the living room, with Dad following. I bring up the rear. Maddie’s sitting on the couch, but she looks much more cheerful than when we left. Weird. I thought she’d be worried and nervous. “Mom, Dad, this is Maddie. We were hoping she could stay with us for a while.”

“What?!” Mom and Dad exclaim in unison. I could have predicted that.

Brooklyn goes into the fake story about how we found her, doing a pretty good job. I add in a few necessary points that she misses. Maddie looks like she’s trying to tell me something with her eyes, but I don’t understand it. I glance back and forth between her and our parents. At a good time in the story, I move over next to Maddie and squeeze her hand. But I’m really just using that to read her mind. She’s thinking so hard, trying to make sure I get the message, that her thoughts explode into my head like a sudden scream. I pull out instantly, trying to recover so I can focus on what she was thinking.

“…so we were thinking she could stay with us,” Brooklyn finishes, looking back and forth between Mom and Dad.

Mom’s already shaking her head, but Dad looks like he’s still trying to decide. I see a faint orange-ish glow behind his head, but it disappears almost immediately. Mom opens her mouth to speak, but Dad jumps in first, turning to her. “I think they’re right. I don’t think she’ll be much trouble, and she already seems to like the girls.”

I give Brooklyn a surprised look, and she’s giving me one, too. She’s clearly not manipulating his emotions, and I’m not doing anything. I focus on Maddie’s thoughts as they come into focus in my head.

“What?” Mom says. “No way. We should turn her in to the police. I’m sure if she’s run away or if she’s lost, they’re looking for her.” She pauses. “But… well… I don’t know. Maybe you’re right.”

I grip the arm of the chair as I finally sort our Maddie’s thoughts, and I send a message to Brooklyn.

Blaze is here.

Oh, that interfering Blaze! What is he up to this time? We’ll have to wait and see, I guess. Strange… Comment below with your thoughts!

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Twinepathy Cover Reveal (!!!) And BONUS Part 8: Lemonade (!!!)

Hullo, everyone! ARE YOU EXCITED??? Because I’m MORE than excited!!!!! 😀 You guys have been so awesome and supportive of Twinepathy, and I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover with you! And because you guys are sooooo awesome, I’m not even going to stall before I show you the cover. (And also because I’m too excited to stall. :P)

HERE IT IS!!!!

(c) 2015 C.B. Cook. All Rights Reserved

(c) 2015 C.B. Cook. All Rights Reserved

Doesn’t it look WONDERFUL??? *cough* If I do say so myself, that is. 😉 It took me twelve tries before I got a cover that I was actually happy with, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! Does this make you even MORE excited for the book? I hope so! 😀 And now, part eight…

Part 8: Lemonade

Brooklyn inhales sharply. Maddie looks at me, unsure of whether she should be happy or scared. I place a gentle hand on her shoulder. “That’s neat,” I tell her. “So you have… um…” I wrack my brain for the word I know is there. “Telekinesis,” I finally say.

“Well, here they—” That same annoying voice breaks off mid-sentence. I whirl around to see Blaze standing just a few feet away, this time without his mask. Next to him is a tall girl, probably in her mid-twenties. Her brown hair is cut short, and her eyes are full of… of something, making you think she might know everything about you. But she looks friendly enough as she runs her gaze over us.

“Albany, Brooklyn,” she says with a slight smile. “It’s a pleasure to officially meet you.”

I probably look like a frozen rabbit because I’m so freaked out. How does she know our names? I don’t recognize her. She doesn’t even look vaguely familiar. Her eyes come to rest on the kitchen. “Do you have any coffee or tea? Explaining might take a while.”

“Lemonade,” Brooklyn squeaks.

She’s offering lemonade to a creepy stranger lady who knows our names and just got teleported to our house. “Who are you?” I manage to find my voice, but it sounds much less threatening than I’d hoped.

“I’m Database. You can call me Data,” she says, going into the kitchen.

I exchange glances with Brooklyn. “There’s no way that’s your real name,” I growl.

“You’re right,” she comments, coming back in with a glass of lemonade. “But usually we tend to stick with our codenames at first.”

We? I open my mouth to ask a question, then close it. She focuses on Madison. “Who are you, sweetie?” Her voice is calm and soothing, but Maddie still cowers behind me. Data sighs and reaches towards Maddie.

“Wait, she’s—” I use this as an excuse to grab her arm. I use the physical contact to boost my mental connection to her and then go in to read her mind.

Nothing.

It’s not the same kind of nothing as Maddie’s. It’s not like walking into a mostly empty warehouse. It’s more like walking straight into a brick wall. She’s watching me curiously, then her mouth quirks into a smile. “You’re trying to read my mind, aren’t you? I remember that physical contact helped you…”

I shove her away, making her stumble back a few steps. She’s older than me, taller, and probably stronger, too, but I’ve done a little bit of martial arts and strength training. “I don’t know who you are, but you’d better explain yourself or leave before Denver gets down here. He won’t be happy to see you here.”

Blaze grins impishly. “Oh, I can make sure he won’t see us, if he does come down.”

Data gives him a glare, then turns to us. “Listen,” she starts gently. “We have a lot to discuss. Why don’t we head to the coffee shop down the road, Lava Java? We can talk there, and we won’t have to be worried about being interrupted.”

I exchange glances with Brooklyn. I can tell she doesn’t want to go, and she keeps glancing nervously up the stairs towards Denver’s room. In spite of not wanting them here, my curiosity has definitely been piqued. And when my curiosity’s involved… well, there’s no way anyone can sway me any differently.

“How will we handle Denver and our parents?” I ask.

Data nods, pleased. “You can either go tell him you’re leaving or you can leave a note. We won’t be gone too long, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your parents, depending on when they’re going to come back here.”

Brooklyn makes a sound that tells me she’s not pleased at all, but I ignore her. “We can leave a note.”

Brooklyn makes the sound again. “No, I’ll go tell him,” she growls, giving me a look. She hurries upstairs, and in a minute she comes back down, grumbling under her breath.

“All clear?” I ask.

She nods. “He’s so distracted I don’t think he even heard me. I told him we were going shopping. He was putting on a flannel shirt. Flannel. I can’t even believe…”

I roll my eyes and nod at Data. I grab Maddie’s hand, which she squeezes tightly, and we follow Blaze and Data out the door, Brooklyn trailing, as we leave possible safety behind.

SO THE COVER!!!!!!! What do you think? And the part? Database seems like an interesting character… should the twins trust her and Blaze? Guess we’ll find out!

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Twinepathy (Part 4): The Button

Hullo, everyone! Can you believe that we’re already to Part Four? I’m so excited! Read on, wonderful people!

The next several seconds are mostly incoherent and chaotic. Brooklyn yelps in panic as I race past her into the living room. I kneel next to the girl. “Okay, kiddo, we want to help you, but our parents probably won’t agree. So we need to get you up stairs and hide you, okay?” She hesitates, then nods, and I hurry her up to my room. The bathroom’s a nice size, so I tell her to go in there, and she obeys. Good kid. I remind her to be quiet and then rush downstairs.

I know Brooklyn will have a terrible time acting like nothing’s going on. She’s a horrible liar. So I tell her to just act like we were in the middle of a game of Go Fish – which technically we were, while I go see why Mom and Dad are home so early.

I head out into the garage, where Mom’s getting out of the car. “You’re back early,” I comment. “What’s up?”

She sighs. “Dad left the tickets for the play on the kitchen counter. We need to hurry.”

“I’ll get them,” I volunteer, dashing back inside. I come back out and hand her the tickets. “Forget about it and have a nice night,” I tell her, smiling.

Mom grins back at me. “I will. Oh, by the way, there was a package or something at the front door. You should bring it inside.” She waves as she gets back in the car, and Dad waves too as they pull out of the garage and drive off.

Something on the doorstep? My heart races. Either someone brought a package since the girl came… or she brought something with her that fell when she did. I hurry out to the front porch. Lying there, next to the doormat, is a plastic grocery sack. It’s clearly got something in it, but it’s also filthy. I pick it up gingerly and go inside.

“What did Mom and Dad want?” Brooklyn asks the instant I step inside. She spots the bag. “What’s that?”

“They left the tickets for their play here,” I say absentmindedly. “You can go get… um, the girl.” We really do need a temporary name for her. Brooklyn eyes the grocery bag curiously but heads upstairs and brings the girl down. She looks just as scared as when I left her up there.

“Before I ask you about this bag,” I begin, nodding to the grocery sack, “I want to know if there’s a name you’d like to be called. I’m Albany.” I can’t remember if we introduced ourselves in the original chaos.

She looks at me, still very unsure. “I don’t know.”

I wonder if she even remembers names, or basic information like who the president is. “How about Madison,” I suggest. “It seems to fit you. Do you like it? We can always call you Maddie, if you want.”

She nodded. “That’s fine.”

I grin. “Good. And it even fits with our city name theme. I wonder if you were born in Wisconsin…” Mom chose Denver’s name because that’s where he was born, and Brooklyn and I were born in, you guessed it, New York.

Brooklyn sighs. “You are so cheesy. What’s in the bag?”

I hold it up. “Is this yours, Maddie?”

She gives me a look that says I clearly just asked her the dumbest question ever. It actually looks adorable on her. The look, I mean. “I don’t know.”

Well, duh. Brooklyn hides a snicker. I attempt to recover gracefully. “Well, it was on the front porch. Either you dropped it when you fell, or someone else put it there. I’m guessing you don’t know what’s inside.”

Madison shakes her head, of course. I untie the handles on the grocery bag cautiously and look inside. Brooklyn peers over my shoulder. “Um… is that just a ball?” she asks.

I reach inside and pull it out. It’s a small ball, and it looks exactly like a miniature volleyball, like the one Brooklyn has in her room. But as I turn it over, I notice that the hole where you would normally put a pump thing to blow it up is actually a button. “There’s a button,” I say, handing it to Brooklyn.

She examines it, and Madison leans over to examine it, too. Brooklyn hands it back to me. “I wonder what it does.”

I shrug. “There’s only one way to find out.”

“Albany, no…”

And I, like the impulsive person I am…

I push the button.

Uh-oh… what’s going to happen? Guess we’ll find out next time… 😉 What do you think is going to happen? Let me know what you think! Also, if you’re interested in joining in the cover reveal for Twinepathy, let me know! I’d love to have your help!

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