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!

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 40): Drain Pipes And Punching People

Hullo, everyone! I hope you’ve had a great week and a nice Good Friday so far. I completely forgot to play up that cliffhanger last week, didn’t I? I’m sorry. Sort of. 😉 If you’re new, check out the first part.

Blaze sees the man holding Ezra’s limp form at the same second that the people around her notice. Most of them back away from him and some of the women squeak or scream and run away. Several people pull out their cell phones and tap the screens frantically, probably trying to call 911, or whatever it is in England. But apparently they don’t get any response, because they all drop their phones and flee. If their phones aren’t working, something must be really, really wrong. Ezra controls electricity, so does it have something to do with that? Or does this guy have something to do with it?

I reach out frantically, and relief washes over me as I feel Brooklyn’s mind. Need help, tell Data we’re in trouble. Brooklyn immediately begins asking questions, and I consider shutting her out, but instead I just tell her, Stop distracting me and get help. Her questions stop, thankfully, and I turn to see the man taking Ezra into the alley. I hurry to the edge of the building we’re on.

“Albany, wait,” Blaze hisses, grabbing for my arm and missing. “We need to get Data and get out of the way. This is something for—”

“We can’t let them out of our sight!” I exclaim. “We’ve got to help! And I’ve already told Brooklyn to get Jen.” I watch as the man pulls Ezra toward the back of the alley.

“No,” Blaze insists. “We have to follow protocol.”

“I’d guess we’re already not following protocol, just by being here,” I point out. I spot a drainage pipe on the edge of the building and rush over to it.

“Albany, please!” Blaze begs, hurrying after me. “Don’t be an idiot!”

He’s one to insult my actions. Bringing me here was idiotic, so I might as well continue that course of action. I choose to ignore Blaze and swing over the edge, clinging to the drainpipe and sliding down to the ground.

Sliding down drainpipe things is absolutely stupid. Don’t do it. If the drainage pipe is covered in oil and you have protection on your hands, go ahead. But otherwise, no.

When I hit the ground, my hands are raw and bloody. Blaze appears next to me, taking the cheater’s way out by teleporting, and I send him a glare before taking off in the direction the jerk took Ezra. Blaze yells something at me, but I ignore him and keep running.

I’m not a runner, and I’m certainly not fast, but the guy is moving pretty slow, probably because he’s overconfident – and he’s carrying Ezra. I catch up to him quickly. He glances behind him, probably hearing my footsteps, but his eyes pass over me. I’m surprised he doesn’t see me, but I don’t have time to stop and think about it. I lunge forward and swing my fist at his shadowy face.

Denver’s taught me some martial arts stuff, basics he’s learned while taking a class for some kind of college credit, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never hit a real person before. And I never expected it to hurt so much.

I yelp and stumble back, cradling my definitely bruised, maybe broken fist. Sure, it makes the man stumble a little bit, but I think it hurts me more than it hurts him. He looks around wildly in confusion, acting like he doesn’t even see me.

Blaze appears next to me, but even though the guy is looking right at him, he doesn’t react at all. Is he blind? Blaze shoves the man hard and pulls Ezra away from him. He grips my arm firmly, and the next second, we’re gone.

Twinepathy (Part 16): Normal

Hullo, everyone! Is it Monday? I guess it is. I nearly forgot about a post today! Whoops… but, luckily, I remembered… and I also remembered to post Jen’s interview! Click here to check it out, and if you’re new to Twinepathy, check out Part 1! Enjoy, my friends!

Antarctica.

What. In. The. World.

“What?” Brooklyn squeaks. She’s about as shocked as I am, but when she’s shocked, she can speak. Or… squeak.

Blaze grins. “Antarctica. You know, that giant continent at the bottom of the earth that’s ruled by penguins and seals?”

Sarcasm helps me recover from shock, I know from experience. I glare at him and gaze up at the ceiling. “How?” I ask Jen.

She nods. “We have a guy here with powers that fit the climate.”

“Frosty,” Blaze says, holding in a laugh.

“He keeps the place from melting or shifting or anything like that. He also made it so we could keep it heated and not freeze.” Jen gives us a wry smile.

“Why here, though?” Brooklyn asks, blinking.

“The privacy.” Jen motions around. “It’s – mostly – a secret organization. This makes it even more secret. We have enough teleporters that it’s easy for us to get in and out. And the only things we have to deal with are the research stations and the penguins.”

Makes perfect sense. Not really.

Jen takes Maddie’s hand. “Well, let’s get started on our projects. Blaze, you can take them to school. Remember, land in an isolated spot.” She gives him a pointed look.

Blaze nods. “Yes, ma’am.” He looks passive and obedient. But of course that doesn’t last long. He turns to us with a grin. “Well, let’s go, girls.” He grabs our hands, and the next instant we’re in the middle of a shady, deserted alley.

Brooklyn shivers from the creepy atmosphere, and even I feel uncomfortable here, but Blaze leads us through several alleys and out onto the street, right next to our school. “Have a good day,” he says, smiling. “Contact me when you’re ready to pick up Maddie, and I’ll come get you.”

“What will you be doing?” Brooklyn asks curiously.

He tilts his head with a hint of a smile. “I’ve got school, too, you know.” He ducks down the street, and I have a feeling that if we headed that direction, we wouldn’t see him. I look at the school, then at Brooklyn. I open my mouth to say something, but then her eyes widen.

“Our homework!” she yelps.

I moan. “Great. Do you have the contact thingy?”

Brooklyn shakes her head. “It’s at home.”

Perfect. Brooklyn’s an amazing student and pretty much every teacher’s favorite, but while I’m good, I’m not that good. They might let her get away with no homework, but they won’t be letting me, I’ll bet. With this and everything else that’s happened, how are we supposed to act normal?

Well, that might be trouble. How are they going to get out of this? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out… And yes, we’re building up to something BIG. Next part… 😉

Next Part –>

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 (BONUS Part 6): You Look Shocked

Hullo, everyone! “WHAAAAAAT?” you might be asking. “IT’S NOT MONDAY!” And then you devour the post anyway. Think of this as a celebration post. 50 people have added Twinepathy on Goodreads, AND I hit 10,ooo words! That certainly deserves celebrating, doesn’t it? So a bonus post for you, my friends. Enjoy, and don’t forget to share! (New? Start here.)

Brooklyn and I probably look even more identical as we gape at the intruder. I’m really wishing Denver was down here right now. Madison peeks around from behind me, staring at him with wide eyes. He gazes around the room, then turns his gaze on us, a grin teasing us. “You look shocked,” he says, faking surprise.

Brooklyn recovers first. “How did you get in here?” she nearly screeches. “Get out!”

Vague concern pops onto his face. “You really should calm down,” he says mildly.

I grab Brooklyn’s arm before she can do something rash, like throw Mom’s antique Italian vase at the guy. “Who are you? Why are you here?” I demand. I’m pretty sure Madison just burrowed into the couch cushions to hide.

He gasps dramatically. “Oh, how rude of me! Where are my manners today? I’m Blaze.” He gives me a charming smile. I give him a skeptical look.

“Right,” I say slowly. “And your reason for breaking into our house?”

Blaze – if that’s really his name – motions to the ball thing. “You called me. And to be fair, I didn’t break in.” He doesn’t elaborate.

Brooklyn lets out a huff. “We didn’t call you. Or we didn’t mean to.”

Blaze smirks. “Well, you did, and I’m here now.”

“Well, you should probably leave,” I say, raising my eyebrows. “If our brother comes down and sees you here… well, you’ll be wishing you’d left.”

He grins. “Oh, I think I can hold my own. I don’t know him, of course, but since he’s not down here, I’m guessing he’s not enhanced, like you two.” He tilts his head, waiting for us to react.

Enhanced? What is he… Is he talking about our connection? My eyes narrow. “What are you talking about?” I growl.

He finally looks utterly bewildered. “Um, you have a contact ball, so of course you have powers. Maybe you pushed the button on accident and didn’t mean to call us, but you should know what it’s for…” He frowns. “Who gave you this?”

I exchange glances with Brooklyn. “No one,” she says. “Albany found it on our doorstep.” Good call not mentioning Maddie. That’s a mystery of its own, and hopefully not related to this weirdo.

Blaze growls. “Of all the…” He sighs and runs his hand through his fudge-brown hair. I hate fudge. “Guess I need to tell Jen we’ve got a complication,” he grumbles to himself. He focuses back on us. “I’ll be back soon, and hopefully we’ll get this all cleared up. Something got mixed up somehow…” He shrugs. “Eh, we’ll figure it out.”

I frown. “Can you please explain this?”

He flashes us a grin. “That would ruin the suspense.”

He disappears.

Blaze!!! Oh, you little nugget… *grins at all of you* He has a bit of a flair for the dramatic, doesn’t he? But what does he have to do with the button on the mini volleyball? And where’s he going? Comment below and let me know what you think!

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