Twinepathy (Part 42): Big. Time. Trouble.

Hullo, everyone! Had a good week? I forgot about posting on Friday, but never fear! I remembered today! Check out part one if you’re new.

Jen has us go over the story twice – first from my perspective, then from Blaze’s. Blaze informs me that the man couldn’t see us because we were invisible to everyone but each other. He apparently forgot to mention that tiny detail. I feel like an idiot, and now I realize how many smarter, less risky things I could have done after catching up to the guy. But what’s done is done, I guess.

After we both describe what happened, Jen presses us with questions, asking about everything from the color of the guy’s eyes (neither of us noticed) to the exact spot we left him. I have to say, I don’t think we’re very helpful.

Ezra’s still not awake. Before we started, we moved her onto the couch, which I’ve unofficially dubbed the Couch of Pain… but it seems more like she’s just a sleep instead of being unconscious. I feel a spark of anger toward the jerk who did this to her. Then a thought punches me in the stomach, making me gasp for air. “Do… do you think this is related to all the amnesia stuff? Could she have amnesia?”

Jen looks over at Ezra with a frown. “I don’t think so. This seems completely unrelated, and it doesn’t have much in common with any of the memory thefts. There’s a small chance, though.”

Memory thefts. That makes it sound so trivial. But I’m glad that Ezra most likely won’t have amnesia. She might make Brooklyn grumpy sometimes, but she’s not all that bad. Not to mentions what Denver would do if Ezra got amnesia… “That’s good.”

“For Ezra, yes,” Jen says. “But if we had some clue that this was related to the amnesia situation, it would help us a lot. Now we have two mysteries.” She narrows her eyes slightly and leans towards us. “Although this one shouldn’t have involved you two.”

I lower my eyes. I really, really just want to pin this all on Blaze, but I have to admit that it’s not all his fault. He didn’t make me go after the guy. That was my choice. “But it’s good that we got involved, right?” I ask. “We saved Ezra.”

Jen rests her elbows on the desk. “Yes, you did, but there was a lot that could have gone wrong. For instance, if Blaze hadn’t turned the two of you invisible, or if someone had started shooting. I really like you, Jazz, but you need to work on controlling your impulsiveness. A little self-control would go a long way.”

I gape at her. “Self-control? Ezra could have died!”

You could have died, too,” Jen growls. “Blaze could have died. There are reasons that we have things set up like we do. The better, safer choice would have been to come back here right away, and Blaze could have grabbed one of our agents with physical powers to take him down.” She pauses. “We might have also been able to bring the guy in.”

Ouch. I hadn’t thought of that. So much for Anvil messing up missions – here I am, destroying one of my own. “I’m sorry,” I say quietly.

Jen nods. “What’s done cannot be undone. Blaze… you should know better than to take another agent into the middle of an assignment. You know that there will be consequences… but for now, I’ll let you two go see the others.” She holds up a hand. “But you are not allowed to speak of what happened to any of them without prior permission from me.”

My heart sinks. I can never keep secrets from Brooklyn. Well, I can, but it always hurts, especially when she knows that I’m not telling her something, unlike the whole Keller and Genesis incident. And she will definitely know I’m keeping a secret from her now. “Can I have permission to tell Pop?” I ask. I think I’m getting the hang of these code names now. Maybe.

“Why?” Jen asks, studying me.

I shrug. “Because she’s going to pester me and bug me and be grumpy until I tell her anyways, so I figured I might as well get your permission to tell her so I don’t have to go through all of that.”

I may be mistaken, but it looks like Jen’s struggling to hold back a smile. “All right. You have my permission to tell Pop and only Pop.” I get the warning and nod in thanks. “One more thing. I’m moving the two of you to active status, since you have an agent, Maddie, at your home.”

I tilt my head. “Maddie’s an agent now?”

Jen nods. “And since you’re both active, you’ll need to come to an orientation meeting here.”

I try to see if she’s joking, but her face looks natural. “You’re… serious?”

She nods. “The next one is tomorrow evening. Are you open then?”

I shrug helplessly. “I guess?”

“Good.” Jen hands me a thin, spiral bound stack of papers. “This is your list of rules to look over before the meeting, both you and Pop. Be prepared.”

Well, then. I look at Jen and sigh. “This is absolutely…” I shake my head. “What happened to Lava Java?”

Jen frowns. “What?”

“We tried to go there this afternoon,” I begin. “Maddie and I did. It was closed and empty, and it was as if it was never there.”

“That’s because it wasn’t,” Blaze says with a grin.

Jen gives him a look. “That’s a long story that can wait. We’ll get to that later. In the meantime, I have some important things to get to…” She motions towards her computer, and she doesn’t even have to say another word. Blaze and I both nod and leave her office.

“Well, this has been a long day,” I grumble as we step out of the office. Thank goodness I don’t get tackled by Brooklyn – in fact, she and the others are nowhere to be seen.

“Ready to head home?” Blaze asks.

I pause, my eyes widening. “Home! Oh no, Denver’s going to be freaking out…” We are in big. Time. Trouble.

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?”

Twinepathy (Part 34): Brooklyn Finds Out

Hullo, everyone! Look at me, I’m so awesome! I remembered to post today! 😄 I have to admit, Brooklyn is one of my favorite characters to write, because she’s really unlike me and adorable. So enjoy, my friends! Part one is here, if you’re new…

Denver, now pacified, picks up my book again and begins reading it. Apparently it sounded good enough that he couldn’t wait. I place a hand on Maddie’s shoulder as Brooklyn joins us. It’s time to tell my sister what’s been going on.

“Do you want to take your books upstairs now?” I ask Maddie. She begins gathering them up.

Upstairs, I tell Brooklyn. She gives me a sideways look. “I can clean off one of my shelves,” she volunteers, and the three of us troop upstairs.

As soon as we’re alone in the bedroom, Brooklyn turns on me. “What’s going on? Why are you two acting so weird?”

I knew she would notice. “It’s a long story.” I tell her. “And I’m sorry for not telling you about this sooner.” I look to Maddie. “It’s your story, if you want to tell it.”

Maddie shakes her head. “You can tell. You’ll do it better than I’ll be able to.”

Brooklyn looks back and forth between the two of us, eyes wide. “What’s going on?”

I tilt my head, searching for the best way to start. “We found Maddie’s older sister.”

Too blunt, but also not blunt enough. Too blunt for her to take the news calmly, but not blunt enough to shock her into complete silence. Her eyes get as big as pancakes, and her confusion almost makes me laugh. But then her mouth opens and I know we’re in trouble. “What?!” she screeches.

I clap a hand over her mouth before she can make any more noise. I glance nervously at the door. Did anyone hear? They had to! Brooklyn relaxes in my grip, and I know it’s safe to release her. She immediately grabs my arm. “What happened? When? Why didn’t you tell me?”

I sigh. “I’m sorry. You were so stressed out, and you had your headaches and everything, and I just didn’t want to bother you.”

“Just didn’t want to—” Brooklyn shakes a finger at me. “I am your sister! Your twin!” You should not keep secrets from me, no matter what!”

I put on a penitent expression. “I know, I’m sorry. To be fair, we didn’t find out until today.”

Brooklyn frowns and sits on the edge of her bed. “Tell me everything.”

I open my mouth to speak, but there’s a knock at the door. “Is everything okay?” Denver asks, his voice muffled by the closed door.

I pull the door open, facing him. “We’re fine. I just scared Brooklyn on accident.” It’s almost scary how easy it’s gotten to lie now. But it’s for everyone’s good, right?

Denver nods. “Good. Just wanted to check.” He heads off down the hall, his nose back in my book. I grin. It must be a pretty good book.

Brooklyn gives me her signature glare as I sit down on my bed, facing her. Maddie sits down on the floor, making us form a sort-of triangle. “Tell me,” Brooklyn insists.

So I tell her the whole story, from tracking down Genesis to meeting Keller, and everything Keller told us, too. Brooklyn listens wide-eyed. Somehow, I mention what Denver said about Ezra. “Do you think she’s okay?” Brooklyn asks.

“I don’t know,” I admit. “I think we should contact Jen and ask.”

Both of us look at the mini volleyball.

Twinepathy (Part 32): A Bit Of Explanation

Hullo, everyone! Can you believe I forgot to post yesterday? Well… I did. 🙂 Here is the part that should have been posted yesterday! If you’re new, check out part one.

“About two weeks ago, I started noticing a lot more people suffering from amnesia than usual,” Keller begins. “As a telepath, that made me curious. I managed to sneak in and investigate a couple of patients – I have a couple friends at one of the hospitals. Anyway, after reading their records and getting into their heads, I was able to figure out a bit of what had happened, and some of the pattern that was occurring. I figured out that instead of their memories being erased or something else, their memories had been stolen.”

“Stolen?” Jen looks genuinely surprised. I haven’t seen her more than mildly surprised at anything. Go figure.

Keller nods. “Someone has been stealing people’s memories.”

“A serial memory stealer,” Blaze mumbles, grinning to himself.

“Do you know why?” Jen asks.

“No.” Keller looks at Maddie – or Lila, I guess. “I haven’t figured out who, either. I thought it was someone associated with IDIA, which is why I asked Lila to trail someone that I knew was a super, and was pretty sure was with IDIA.” She looks at the floor. “Obviously it didn’t turn out well. I couldn’t find her, and I couldn’t reach her mind.”

“Why would you send your little sister out into a dangerous situation like that?” I ask, maybe a little too harshly.

Keller looks at me, and I see the pain in her eyes. “If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have made her go. But it was simple, and I knew she could handle herself, and I didn’t think that anything would happen. I couldn’t follow him myself, since I’m too conspicuous.” She points at her red hair.

That makes more sense than I wish to admit, so I don’t say anything. “What about the incident in Brooklyn’s head?” Jen asks.

Keller looks over at Jen, contemplating her. “You’re a telepath, aren’t you? But something else, too, because I can’t get in your head.”

Jen tilts her head, still looking at Keller, intrigued. I feel like there’s an invisible battle of tension going on between them. Who’s smarter, more experienced, better? “I’ve known plenty of telepaths who can shield their minds,” Jen comments.

Keller’s eyes narrow. “Not like this, without any effort.”

“No one’s ever been able to get into my head,” Jen says, lifting an eyebrow slightly. “Not even my old trainer. And if she couldn’t do it, then no one can.”

Keller thinks on that for a second. “But I gather that you are some form of a telepath,” she says slowly. “So maybe you’ll understand what I say. Everyone seems to have a special mental ‘signature’ type thing, like a fingerprint or whatever. For me, I can feel it, not see it or anything. When I was in each of the amnesia victims’ heads, I could sense a common air, the person’s mental fingerprint—”

“Mindprint,” Jen supplies.

Keller gives her a surprised look. “Sure, that sounds good. Anyway, after I was able to find the common mindprint in all of their heads, I kind of…” She pauses, searching for words. “I was able to track it back to the source, in a way. It’s shielded, but the person has to reach past their shields to get into heads to steal memories. I stayed on guard, searching for the mindprint. It gave me something to do other than worry about Lila.” Keller looks down at her hands. “Anyway, I traced the mindprint to – Brooklyn, right? – to Brooklyn’s head, and was able to keep him from stealing her memories.”

Jen nods. “Thank you for that. We definitely have some more questions to go over, though.”

Blaze clears his throat. “I have an idea for her new code name.” He motions towards Maddie.

Jen rolls her eyes. “And?”

He grins. “She can be Maddie.”

Twinepathy (Part 31): Lila or Maddie?

Hullo, everyone! I hope Monday’s post hasn’t left you hanging too much. 😉 Let’s learn a few more things today, shall we? Enjoy! New? Check out part one.

I gape at Keller, mouth wide open. Maddie looks panicked and freaked out and tries to pull away from Keller. Her whole body is rigid. Keller pulls away, frowning. “Lila?” she asks.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” Jen comments from the doorway. I jump in surprise, my eyes meeting hers. She raises an eyebrow, and I look down at the ground sheepishly.

Keller grabs Maddie’s shoulders. “Lila, what’s wrong? What’s going on?” She sounds panicked.

“She has amnesia,” Jen says quietly. “You know her?”

Keller stares at Maddie. “She’s… my sister.” She whirls on Jen, eyes flashing. “What did you do to her?!”

Jen stands calmly, watching Keller. “I didn’t do anything to her. Why don’t we go inside and see if we can piece together everything that’s going on?”

Keller looks back at Maddie, a look of mixed horror and anger crossing her face. Then her shoulders slump and she nods.

We head inside and Maddie grabs my hand again, looking up at me with fear and worry in her eyes. I avoid looking at Keller as we head into the living room. I’m surprised to see Blaze relaxing on the couch, again with his mask on, but I’m not as surprised as he is. I’ve never seen so much shock on his face, not even when Brooklyn passed out. Then again, I’ve only known him for a week.

“What…!” he sputters.

The corner of Jen’s mouth twitches. “What perfect timing, hm?” She sits down next to Blaze, somehow looking just as at home as he does but still appearing poised. Keller slumps down into the armchair across from Jen, her eyes occasionally straying towards Maddie.

Jen turns towards me. “Let’s start with the easiest string to untangle. What are you doing here?”

I take a deep breath and dive into the whole story of how we tracked down Keller, doing my best to keep it short. Jen nods periodically, but when I finish, her expression doesn’t change. I squirm in my seat.

“Well,” she begins slowly. “You certainly have a knack for investigating. And being too curious.”

My face turns pink. “Maybe just a little bit,” I admit.

“And Brooklyn doesn’t know anything?” Jen asks.

I shake my head. “Not that I know of. She might be a little suspicious, though.”

“I would be,” Blaze says. He pauses. “Maybe not, if I was Brooklyn.”

I turn a fiery glare on him. “Are you insulting my sister?” I say in an icy voice.

Blaze grins, but Jen steps in. “Enough. Let’s move on. I used the same technique to find Keller, except I gained more information from Genesis. Keller is one of the people who was fighting in Brooklyn’s brain. That’s as far as I’ve gotten.” She turns to Keller. “I’ll let you explain the rest to us.”

And Keller begins.

Twinepathy (Part 28): Monopoly And Bingo

Hullo, everyone! For once, I actually remembered to post an extra part on Friday like I wanted to! How awesome is that? Enjoy, my friends! Check out part one if you’re new.

After I recover from my laughing fit, I head upstairs to check on Brooklyn. The door’s still closed, but I’m pretty sure I hear her moving around inside, so I knock softly. “Brooklyn?”

I hear a muffled “come in,” so I open the door cautiously. Brooklyn’s shuffling through her drawer, trying to pick out her clothes. Her eyes are surrounded by dark shadows.

“Sleep good?” I ask, concerned.

She shrugs. “Good enough, but my head still hurts. I hope we’re not doing anything strenuous today.”

I smile. “Monopoly?”

“Mmm…” Brooklyn pauses, considering. “I don’t think that’ll be too strenuous, but I do think Denver will have a better chance of beating me than usual.”

“Actually, he already left with Ezra,” I say. Brooklyn’s expression darkens, and I hurriedly move on. “But we started a game, and Maddie seems to be a master already. I’m not sure you’ll be able to beat her.”

Brooklyn gives me a doubtful look, but I think she picks up on the challenge. She grabs her clothes and heads towards the door. “We’ll have to play, then.”

I grin to myself as she leaves and sit down at the computer. I pull up the same search I used to find Genesis and type in the name Keller. Generally, that’s not a common name at all – I’ve never met anyone with that name – but since I don’t have a last name, there are still a lot of options. I scroll through the list. Hundreds of people. How will I ever find the right Keller? I need more to go on. How can this guy be connected, anyway? It doesn’t help that this person could live anywhere. Genesis could know someone named Keller who lives in England, or India, or Russia, or some tiny country no one’s ever heard of.

Besides, how do I know that Genesis is telling the truth? Maybe she is the person, and the Keller idea is just a stupid red herring. I rest my chin on my hand, glaring at the computer. I feel like I’m missing something. Maybe… could Genesis be on some social media?

The instant the idea hits me, I flip over to a social media site and search for Genesis, only hoping that she’s on there under her real name and not some crazy username. No luck. But I do notice that you can search by location, so I do that. White Bluff is pretty small, so maybe…

Yes, it’s small, but pretty much everyone in town has a social media account, apparently. A lot of them can be ruled out, but it’s still not good enough. What am I supposed to do? I grab my hair and growl to myself.

Maddie wanders into the room. “Whatcha doing?” She peers over at the computer.

I shrug. Nothing really incriminating on the screen. “I’m trying to find someone, but all I have is their first name and the name of one of their friends. I’m not sure where they live, either.”

“Who is it?” she asks.

I tap a finger on the desk. “Someone named Keller.”

Something sparks in Maddie’s eyes for a second, something I haven’t seen on her face before. But it disappears, and she frowns at the computer. “I don’t know. You could ask Data or Volt to find it for you.”

She catches on quick. I shrug again. “I don’t want to bother them. It’s not that big of a deal. I just need to find him.”

Maddie pauses, and it looks like she’s struggling to think of something. “It… might not be a him,” she finally says, giving up. “Keller doesn’t have to be a guy name.”

I hadn’t considered that before. But that strikes another idea in my head. “What if he’s her husband? Or a relative?” I mumble, quickly returning to the search I used to find Genesis and add “Fabel” to the name Keller. A minute later, I growl and bang my fist on the table, immediately wincing. No results again.

But then I see it. A small link at the bottom of the search, where things are listed that are close, but not exactly right. It’s an old-ish newspaper article. I click on it. In the main picture, two women stand holding a trophy, smiling happily for the camera. One is clearly Genesis – same raven black hair and face. The other has bright red hair and a face that looks almost familiar, but I can’t place it. I look at the caption on the photograph.

Genesis Fabel and Keller Stone…

Bingo.

Twinepathy (Part 27): You Have No IDIA

Hullo, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend, and a wonderful Valentine’s day! I hope you’re enjoying all of the post-Valentine’s sales… Enjoy the part, and check out part one if you’re new.

The drive home is gloomy and quiet. Denver must be thinking about our failure, while I’m just trying to figure this puzzle out. I’m smart, you know. I might not be able to match up with Jen’s brains, but I’m not an idiot. Right now, though, I feel like one. Why can’t I figure this out?

Mom and Dad are up when we get home, and Maddie’s helping them make breakfast. Denver gives them our story: we wanted to go for an early morning hike, which we actually do sometimes. They accept it without questions. Brooklyn’s still asleep, and I don’t blame her. We’ve had a rough week, her most of all. She deserves the rest. But that also means that I can’t go on the computer and check out this Keller person. Everyone else is too touchy about their computers to let me use them, especially since that one time I accidentally deleted Dad’s important twenty-one page paper. And that was five years ago. Yeah, my family holds grudges.

I help my mom with a few little things around the house and then turn my attention to Maddie. I think it’s high time she learned how to play Monopoly. I mean, she’s been here for about a week already, and we haven’t played with her yet! It’s basically a family tradition. So I convince Denver and Dad to join us, and we sit down in the living room, ready to play.

We play for about an hour, with me helping Maddie. She’s far, far ahead of all of us when the doorbell rings. Denver shoots up and races to the door like he’s on fire. What is he…

Ohhh. When he opens the door, I hear Ezra’s familiar voice. No wonder he was so eager to get to the door. He didn’t mention that they had any plans today.

Denver brings Ezra into the living room. “Let me just go get my stuff,” he says, moving towards the stairs.

Ezra nods and sits down, giving us a shy smile. She doesn’t know Dad very well, I know that much, and she always seems to have a little trouble talking to adults. Dad says hello and chats politely with her before excusing himself and leaving. I lean forward, moving my game piece to Go. “Hi, Ezra. Had any good IDIAs lately?”

Ezra gives me a confused look, but then it dawns on her, and she gives me a nervous look. She looks around and then leans in. “Does… does your family know?”

I know what she wanted to ask. Does Denver know? I shake my head. “No.”

Denver walks back in. “Okay, I think I’m ready. Albany, I think I heard Brooklyn moving around. You can probably go check on her.”

Finally. It’s almost lunch time. I don’t think she’s ever slept in this late. I nod. “Okay, I will. Have fun, you two. Make sure your phone’s charged.” I wink at Ezra.

Ezra and Denver both give me odd looks, but Ezra’s has so much more meaning. The front door shuts behind them, and I burst out laughing. Maddie gives me that funny look little kids give grown-ups when they do something that makes absolutely no sense. “You’re weird.”

I laugh harder. “You have no IDIA.”

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 18): Through A Crowd

Hullo, everyone! Did you know it was Monday? I didn’t know it was Monday. Thank goodness for my sister posting her Music Monday post! Otherwise, I would have left you guys hanging miserably after that last part until I realized I missed it… But never fear, the part is here! If you’re new, check out part one here.

BROOKLYN!!!

My scream echoes down the hallway as my sister’s scream fades. I take off down the hallway, panic overtaking my thoughts. It’s hard to know which directions her scream came from. But I know I went in the right direction when I see a huge crowd of people.

“MOVE!” I scream again. Heads lift and the crowd parts, because I’m running and not stopping, and no one wants to get hurt. A senior guy, I think he’s a football player, grabs me and forces me to a stop, but I struggle. “Let go!” I use a martial arts move – one I’ve never used on a real person before – on him, and he drops me instantly. Nothing’s keeping me from my sister. I slide to a stop next to Brooklyn’s unconscious form, sprawled on the cold hard ground of the high school hallway.

“Brooklyn, Brookie, it’s me,” I murmur, stroking her hair. Her frozen expression is terrified and furious at the same time. What happened? I grab for her hand, but there’s something in it. Teachers are trying to disperse the crowd and get through. I peel her clenched fingers away from the object. It’s the mini volleyball. It looks like she already pressed the button, but I frantically press it several times before slipping it in my pocket.

A teacher finally makes it through. “Move back!” he orders the other students in a deep voice, working crowd control. I’m dazed, but I’m pretty sure he’s the gym teacher’s assistant. “Does anyone know what happened?”

There’s a clamor of voices, all trying to explain at the same time. I spot someone sauntering casually out of a nearby hallway, but he freezes as he takes in the scene. Then Blaze is shoving his way through the crowd and kneeling next to me.

“What happened?” he says, his face worried as he looks down at Brooklyn.

“I. Don’t. Know.” I say through clenched teeth. Not angry – well, kind of angry – but mostly trying not to cry and to hold in my fear. The school nurse, a pretty, young lady, kneels next to Brooklyn. She feels her pulse, then calls for a wet paper towel.

Blaze grabs my arm. “We need to get her to Data,” he says, quiet and firm.

The nurse looks over at me. “You’re family, correct?” She then gets a look on her face that says she just asked a dumb question. “Can you call her parents? We’ll only call 911 if she doesn’t regain consciousness soon.”

I glance over at Blaze, then reach towards my phone. His eyes get big, but for some reason I think he’s faking it, as he reaches for my arm. “Wait! Stop!” My hand touches my phone, and a burst of white, blinding light fills the entire hallway, with everyone’s screams echoing, then fading to darkness.

What an ending… at least it’s nowhere near as bad as the last one, right? Right? 😉 What think you?

Next Part –>

Twinepathy (Part 17): Brooklyn!

Hullo, everyone! Merry Christmas! A day early, I know, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time to post tomorrow… and let’s be honest, I couldn’t wait. I have nothing else to say except… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Except I’m not! 😉 Oh, and if you’re new, check out the first part here.

My first two classes aren’t good, but not as bad as I had thought. Brooklyn’s in one of those classes, so she was able to use her emotion manipulation to make the teacher go easier on both of us. I think that’s the first time she’s ever used it to our advantage in school. She always insists that using our gifts is like cheating. That’s why I’m not a straight-A student. If I could use my powers, I could easily read the answers straight out of a genius kid’s head, or even out of the teacher’s.

But Brooklyn’s not in my second class. That leaves me to fend for myself with one of my not-favorite teachers. Oh joy. I make it through – barely – with extra homework and a lower grade. I open my locker, feeling like this is going to be a looooong day.

To my surprise, my books and homework are right there.

I stare. How… I look around for Brooklyn, but while her locker’s right next to mine, she hasn’t come over yet. She’s probably talking to one of her friends, and since she doesn’t think her homework’s here, she might not even come over. Then I notice a note stuck to the side of my locker.

Squirt realized you might need this stuff, so Data sent me to retrieve it and put it in your locker. Yeah, she gave me the combination. Ha. Enjoy. –Blaze

I slump against my locker in relief. One less thing to worry about. If Blaze were here, I would hug him. Or Data. But who’s Squirt? What does that person do, squirt water out of their eyes like an iguana? I’m not sure I even want to know.

I get out my homework for my next class and slam my locker door shut, scanning the hallway for Brooklyn. I should find her and tell her that her homework and books are here. Surely she wouldn’t mind me breaking into a conversation with her and the popular kids. Or would she rather I broke her rule about “absolutely no telepathy at school”? I’ll see if I can find her first.

I bump through the crowd, looking around for Brooklyn. A couple people give me frigid glares as I make my way past them. I haven’t been very popular since I made it on the cheerleading squad on accident. People don’t appreciate my sarcasm or disregard for their favorite topics: boys, makeup, the newest cute TV star…

I could probably find people like me if I wanted, but… I don’t really want to. I prefer to be a loner.

I run into someone. “Where are you going in such a hurry?” Kelsey asks. She’s in my history class, and she’s on the cheerleading squad. She’s usually pretty nice to me, especially since Brooklyn and I helped her ace the last history exam.

“I’m trying to find Brooklyn. Have you seen here?” She sometimes hangs out in my sister’s crowd, when she feels like it.

Kelsey shakes her head. “Nope, I haven’t seen her today. Sorry.”

“That’s fine,” I reply. The bell rings, and I look around frantically. I’m nowhere near my next class, so I take off in the right direction as fast as I can. It’s hard for me to think and dodge people at the same time, but I manage to form a telepathic message for Brooklyn in my head.

Then something pops.

I’m not sure exactly what I do – if I stop in the middle of the hallway or if I keep running blindly. But something in my brain just… disappears. Gone. Something’s missing. I grope around frantically, and—

It’s my connection with Brooklyn. I whirl in a circle, looking frantically for her. “Brooklyn!” I yell, ignored by most, glared at by others.

A scream, familiar, echoes down the hall, and everyone stops.

Brooklyn.

Next Part –>