By Josephine Jenner
Thanks to my friends for helping me write this book.
Special thanks to Lucile Erickson, for revising this thing 100 times within the first few days. I may not have been able to publish this without your perfecting.
As long as I can remember I’ve felt different than the other kids. Not like weird or different-looking, but still different. I'm older than everyone here. I know that. I tell everyone I'm in the eighth grade. I'm in the sixth. Here I am again, loading up my backpack in my locker when the always-expected, daily bullying starts. They push my face into my locker.
“Hey stupid,” Kyle said, flanked by one of his buddies
“What grief are you here to give me now?” I said sarcastically, to hide my fear. It usually works, but not today, I guess.
“Give me your lunch money”
“I don't buy lunch. Nor do I have any money. I thought you knew that by now.” I slammed the locker, put on my backpack, and attempted to walk away, but his friend tripped me. They both started laughing. I got up and started to walk faster, so did they. Before I knew it, I was running. Kyle was strong but extremely slow. I can easily outrun them. Nonetheless, they still tailed me, my fear started to build. On instinct, I ran for the nearest classroom, (the English room) and hid. School was over, so it was dark. I hid in a closet, it was cramped, but I was skinny. I crammed in and closed the door just as they ran in.
“Come out, come out wherever you are…” he loudly whispered.
“Dude, let's go before the teacher comes back.” his friend said.
“Don't tell me what to do...” he warned. I started to sweat, (For some unfathomable reason, my body creates a crap ton of water.) He cautiously looked under the desks, behind clutter, and behind the teacher’s desk. Then, I accidentally knocked a marker off of the shelf. It fell to the floor. He turned around and started towards the closet. I had no defense. I just watched through the crack in the door. He got closer, closer until he opened the door, I threw up my arms in defense.
“Aha!” Suddenly, a huge stream of water came from my hands, knocking him across the room. I just stood there, shocked and they just sat there, stunned. Then, they jumped up and bolted for the door, screaming. I just sat down and studied my hands. I was this close from passing out. Then, my English teacher, Mrs. Hawthorn came into the room, to find the floor soaking wet, and me, sitting in the dark, staring at my hands.
“W-what? Miss Olmsted? I hope you can explain yourself! What has happened here?”
“I-I-uhh,” I tried to get words out, it didn't work.
“We are going to the principal's office, now.” she grabbed my arm and pulled me all the way to the office. The principal, Mr. Broadfoot, looked up at us.
“Ah, Mrs. Hawthorn, What is the problem? He said, kindly.
“I found Ms. Olmsted in my room, after hours!” He looked at me.
“Blakely, you know that's not allowed. And since you are here, I suppose I have to call your parents…” He picked up the receiver. I rolled my eyes. My parents don't care about me. I mean it, they never have.
“Hello, Mrs. Olmsted? This is Mr. Broadfoot. I-” we heard screaming on the other end. He held the receiver about a foot from his face. Most of it was incomprehensible, but we could make out,
“(screaming)...DON'T CARE...ON MY PERSONAL TIME...NEVER…-” He hung up. Smart move.
“Blakely, is everything ok at home?”
“Hah, you think? They don't care about me. Never have, never will.”
“...Oh…” he paused. “But that doesn't answer my question. Why were you in school after hours?” Mrs. Hawthorn asked.
“Why was Kyle Birch bullying me after hours?” There was a pause. “He chased me into that classroom and then…” My words died on my tongue.
“Then why was the floor wet?” she asked
“I can't tell you that.”
“Blakely...” The principal warned.
“I can't tell you that because I don't know! Josh opened that closet door and...well...I can't explain it, you wouldn't believe me.”
“Just tell us.”
“I don't know how, but I made water. From my hands.” They just stared at me.
“...Right...Blakely, you're a good kid, and you don't have a single mark on your record. We’ll let you off with a warning. We’ll call Kyle's parents too. Go home now, get some rest.”
“Fine then.” I grabbed my backpack and pulled on my blue-and-green headphones as I headed out the door. The whole walk home I just stared at my hands. When I entered the house, my parents yelled,
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” I ignored them, as normal. They continued yelling, but I couldn't understand them. They do this whenever I get in trouble, so I'm used to it by now. I walked to my room and slammed the door. I did some homework, then I decided to face their fury again. Only to find they were gone. Probably went to another hotel, they do that sometimes for business reasons, say I “interfere”. So, I did what I always do. I grabbed my headphones, phone, toothbrush, and headed over to Ms. Tennent’s house. Ms. Tennent is my science teacher, but I also consider her my mother. She knows about my powers and wants to figure them out, so she can help me. She lets me stay over when stuff gets rough with my family. And it's not just me, either. She’s like an adoptive mother to other kids in the neighborhood with similar situations to mine. (minus the powers, obviously.) Her house is about a mile from mine, but it's worth the walk. I put on my headphones and tuned out for the rest of the walk.
I knocked on Ms. Tennent's faded blue door.
“One moment!” She called, muffled. There were a few quiet crashes from the kitchen, then she opened the door. Her messy brown hair falling from her bun, over her glasses. “Oh, hello Blakely!”
“Hi, Ms. T.”
“Come in, come in!” I entered her cluttered living room, blankets and pillows lined the floor, the coffee table piled high with the latest National Geographic magazines. There were a few other kids there, Ashley and Nate. I didn't know them that well, but for 8-year-olds they seemed alright. They were playing with a box of legos and drinking apple juice.
“Wassup,” I said, dropping onto the couch.
“Would you like anything to drink, honey?”
“Water’s fine, thank you.” a few moments she came back out with a glass of water. But when she handed it to me I just stared. I have to tell her.
“Can I talk to you? Alone?” I nodded towards Nate and Ashley, who frowned.
“Of course.” she set the glass down and guided me to her room. She closed the door behind her. “What do you want to talk about?”
“I used my powers.”
“I-I don't know. I was scared!” She ran her fingers through her hair.
“Did anyone see you?”
“Just that jerk Kyle.”
“Hm. He lies constantly, so you're probably safe.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Do you think you could do it again?”
“I could try.” She sat down in a chair. I faced the wall. Please work, please work… Nothing. She slowly stood up and I nearly slumped from disappointment.
“I’m sorry, Blakely.” I walked back out.
A few hours later I was in the house alone, Ms. T was at the store with the little kids, and I decided to surprise them with dinner. I checked all the cupboards, but all we had were some instant potato flakes. Guess it will have to do.
I was making mashed potatoes when I heard a knock at the door. I shut off the stove and stumbled over pillows to reach the door. I opened it to find myself face to face with a ginger-haired boy about my age. He was wearing a red baseball tee and a black cap with a little fire symbol sewn on. I took off my headphones and they created a quiet beat in the background. He fumbled over his words;
“A-are you Blakely Olmsted?”
“Uhm, yea, why? Who are you?”
“Oh, that's good, I'm Asher Myers, pleased to meet you.” He held out his hand. I hesitated then shook.
“Why are you here? If you are selling popcorn or whatever, we don't want any.” I started to close the door but he stopped me.
“Just hear me out, It took us a while to find you.”
“Fine. What have I got to do with this?” I said, somewhat confused.
“Because. Look” He held his palm between us and stared in deep concentration at it.
“...Is something supposed to happen?” Suddenly, his hand erupted into flames
“GAH!” I yelled leaping back a clear foot. Asher started laughing hysterically.
“How in the name of…”
“Give me your palms”
“Please” I hesitated then let him look at my palms.
“What is it?”
“Well concentrate on them for God's sake. We haven't got all night.” I started to concentrate on the center of my palm, then, after a few seconds, small spouts of water fountained from my fingertips. After the fire, I had expected something, yet I still flinched.
“Whoa! I knew it wasn't a dream!” I said, doing a little happy dance. “But really, why are you here?”
“I’m the leader of a group called the Elementals. We having been watching your city for a while. Basically, we knew you were here because it was raining so much.”
“So...you're saying you want me?
“Yes. Glad to have you on the team.”
“You seriously think I’d come all the way here just to show you this? Girl, this is only the beginning. Are you with us or not?” he held out his hand. I took it.
“Are we the good guys?”
“Good guys all the way.” I turned back to the house. They can survive without me for a while.