Superhero Story — Part 8

Read Part 7 here.

Chapter 19 – Lindsay

I clenched my fists, my fingers grabbing handfuls of cold earth. What happened? Where was I? I was with Nick, I remembered. And then he pushed me. The astronomy building! I pushed myself to my feet. There was a hollow in the ground where I’d fallen. I shook my head, trying to clear the clouds of my mind. Cal was up there and I had to get moving, but my body wasn’t cooperating. I focused on taking one step, then two. Then, when I felt normal enough, I broke into a run.

I sprinted up the steps to the tower. At the top, the door was locked. I banged on it, jarring the entire door. “Nick?”

“Stay out there,” I heard him say. I heard other voices, too.

“Who else is here?” a man’s voice asked.

“No one, no one,” Cal insisted.

“Let me in!” I pounded again on the door.

“STAY OUT!” Both Cal and Nick shouted.

It was like they were protecting me, and that pissed me off. I took a step back and readied myself.

“Like hell I will,” I shouted. I jumped up and slammed my foot against the door, kicking as hard as I could. I landed with one foot in the room, the door underneath me. Dust flew up and then cleared, revealing Cal and Nick, their jaws hanging open, and the gross man, his eyes steely and anxious.

Chapter 20 – Nick

I have to admit, that entrance was pretty cool. Maybe cooler than mine. But then when she got in, we were all like, “What now?” and the crazy dude was probably ready to drop us all out of the tower to get rid of us. I didn’t know what he had planned, but his eyeballs were as big and flat as nickels and they were swirling around his head, adding to his nutso factor.

“Lindsay,” I said. “You’re freaking nuts. Now what? You bust up in here and you don’t have a plan, right?”

“Shut up, Nick,” she said. But I could tell, she was wondering what to do next.

“Everyone stay calm,” Cal said. “I’m trying…” and then got that lost look on his face that he’d been getting lately.

“Oh my gosh,” I said. “You guys suck! I can’t believe I’m stuck having this crazy superhero experience with you losers!”

I turned to the creepy dude. “And you! Do you know you practically killed me earlier today? I mean, if you’re so afraid of ‘the monster’ you’ve become, then why not just leave us alone?”

“No, no,” Cal said. “This won’t go well. Don’t attack him verbally.” Then he scrunched up his face again and did more mental math.

The man took a step toward Lindsay, but she stamped the floor, shaking the tower.

“Think again, crazy. You so much as touch me and I’ll whip you around like a rag doll. These nitwits have gotten on my LAST nerve and I’m just begging one of you to step out of line. I have HAD IT with you boys.” Lindsay emphasized each point with a stamp of her foot.

“You’re a freaking psycho,” I said to her.

“I swear Nick, if we weren’t fighting a bad guy, I’d give you one little nudge to send you flying into the wall,” she said.

The guy lunged at me, quick and solid, and I didn’t have time to back away. I felt the cold, gooey freeze seep into my arms, then my torso, my legs, my neck. I was immobile.

Chapter 21 – Cal

The Jelly Man moved so fast that I didn’t see it coming. In less than a second, he had Nick in a bear hug, and I watched as the frozen hold traveled up and down Nick’s body.

“NO!” I cried and threw my arms around the Jelly Man. I wasn’t thinking, I didn’t do any calculations. I didn’t know what the result might be, but I had to stop him. My plan was to pull him off of Nick, but as soon as I made contact with the Jelly Man, I felt the icy grip clench my skin and bones. I was in a frozen embrace.

And just a second later, Lindsay had jumped toward us too. I wanted to warn her, to tell her to stay away of this frozen mass we were becoming. But I couldn’t move, couldn’t open my mouth, couldn’t turn my head.

I felt her arms grab around us, and I felt her strength weaken under the jelly-like stiffness that came to her.

And then, a darkness came over the room. The four of us were all balled up into one lump in the middle of the tower room, and, like the sun passing behind a cloud, the room grew blue, then grey, then black.

I felt my mind release the equations and calculations and numbers that had been constantly running through since the day with the meteor shower. I felt my eyes let go of the laser-like quality that I’d used to unfreeze Nick in the high school bathroom. I felt my arms go limp and my embrace became loose. I dropped to the floor.

Nick and Lindsay were also on the ground. Lindsay clenched her fist and pounded at the floor. Then she winced. The floor showed no damage. The Jelly Man was slumped against a wall, he touched his arm, and then rubbed at his face. There was no gooey residue.

“What happened?” Nick said. “I feel normal.”

“Me too,” I said. “I think we’re back to normal.”

Lindsay stood. “Let’s get out of here.”

“What about him” I asked, pointing to the Jelly Man.

We looked at him, the crazy guy that froze us and took me to the tower and followed us to our school. He didn’t look so crazy anymore. He looked like a normal man, maybe someone who needed to know that others had been going through the same thing he was. He looked like someone who could have used someone to talk to when crazy things started happening to him. He stared at us, looking scared of what we might do to him.

“Leave him here,” Nick said. “We’re all back to normal now. It doesn’t matter.”

So we left. And things went back to normal at school. For awhile we would eat lunch together or catch up in the hallways or after class. Then that stopped. Like I said, things went back to normal at school. But it was good, because we all knew that we had this bond. This unexplainable power was given to us and then an even more mysterious event took it away. It’s not normal and maybe it’s a bit magical. That’s just how life goes, sometimes.

The End.


Flying Figures article on yahoo

Here’s an excerpt from the article: The movie tells the story of three high school students who discover they have superpowers, including the ability to fly.

Hmmm…. “three high school students who discover they have superpowers“?

Well, maybe the movie will tell me how this story ends. (I’m working on it … kind of).

Superhero Story – Part 7

Read Part 6 here.

Chapter 16 – Lindsay

I busied myself by bending the wrought iron patio furniture in my backyard and then fixing it back into the correct shape. My mother would freak if she knew what I was doing. Heck, I was freaking.

When I checked my watch and saw that I’d been waiting for the boys for over a half hour, I got really impatient. And when a superhero has abnormal strength and is tapping her foot impatiently, that’s bad news for the patio below her. So I moved a potted plant over the cracks I made in the cement, so my parents wouldn’t see.

Then Nick sauntered up.

“Okay, where’s Cal?” I said, letting myself breathe out a bit of relief.

Nick shrugged.

I folded my arms and stared at him. “Did you see him after school?”

“What am I, a babysitter?”

“Nick!” I yelled. I lunged at him and saw his eyes widen in fear. “We’re all in this together, you jerk!”

Nick stepped back, probably afraid that I’d suffocate him if I placed a hand on his shoulder.  “Fine, crap! If I’d known this was going to be such a pain I never would have hung out with you up in the tower.”

“Well, none of us knew what this would be,” I said, letting my voice become quieter. Nick was a jerk, but I didn’t need to remind him of that with every sentence. He had to be freaking out as much as I was.

“Where do you want to go?” Nick finally asked.

I thought about it, making sure I moved to the grass before I tapped my foot again. “I guess… we should probably check the astronomy building.”

I’d hoped Nick would tell me that I was being paranoid, but he just nodded.

“You’re right. That’s probably where they are.”

I didn’t need to ask who he meant by “they”. We didn’t need Cal’s foresight to know that he was in big trouble.

Chapter 17 – Nick

The entire way to the tower, I had to basically hold Lindsay’s hand and speak in soothing tones, like a damn sugarplum fairy. It was getting on my nerves.

But when we finally got to the tower, I have to admit, even I got a little shaky. We didn’t really know what we were up against, right? What if Cal was up in that tower with the creepy dude— I mean, what did we know about the dude’s powers, really? I knew firsthand that he could mess me up. And Cal was the only person who was able to fix it. But what if the guy had some other powers that we didn’t know about, and what if Cal was already a goner?

We stood at the entryway, staring up at the top of the astronomy tower. The sun was getting lower in the sky, and I knew my mom would start getting worried. And that made me mad, because I’m a kid, dammit.

Lindsay was biting her nails, practically shoving her hand down her throat with anxiety.

“You better stay here,” I said.

“No, Nick!” she shouted at me. “We’re in this together.”

I sighed. The girl was pissing me off.

“You need to stay here,” I began again.

She cut me off again. “We’re a team. We may be freaks, but we’re freaks together!”


“No, Nick,” she interrupted. “You’re not going anywhere without me. I refuse to wait down here while stuff goes down up there.”

She looked up to point to the top of the tower. It was my chance to get rid of her.

I pushed her down on the ground as hard as I could, since I didn’t know if her super strength would mess me up. She went background, falling first on her butt, then thudding her head against the cold earth.

I couldn’t risk waiting around to see how much damage I’d done. I took off running up the steps of the tower.

I glanced back once to where Lindsay was motionless on the ground, her eyes closed.

Chapter 18 – Cal

My mind was working overtime. The man—I called him the Jelly Man in my head— had taken me to the tower, where it all began. When we got in the room, he’d locked the door and had been nervously pacing back and forth for what felt like hours.

I kept my mouth running. I told him about school and bullies and the chess club and girls. I talked about everything except for my powers. I spoke while I made my mind do mathematics and see what my options were. They were scarce, and none seemed like a plan I wanted to carry out.

He was sweating, or it was just his jelly-like glaze covering his skin. He continued crossing the room. He barely looked at me.

I was running out of topics when the Jelly Man spoke for the first time.


I shut my mouth.

“I know you were here. I know you up here when you weren’t supposed to be, because I was up here, too. But we weren’t the only ones were we? Who else was here?”

I tried to look like I didn’t know what he was talking about.

He walked over to me with his arm outstretched. “Tell me, kid.”

I cowered away from his reach and his eyes gleamed.

“You know, don’t you? You know about the monster I’ve become.”

I shook my head. “I don’t know anything. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m a high schooler who came here on a field trip and I got lost, and now you’re really scaring me.”

The man came toward me again, his fingers practically dripping with the gross gel.

“Leave him alone!”

Nick’s voice came from the other side of the door. The man glared at the wall, and paused for a second. But when nothing else happened, he inched toward me again.

“I said,” Nick’s voice came at us. “Leave him alone.” Nick stepped through the wall, through the locked door and into the room.

The man stared at us.

TO BE CONTINUED (one more part, I promise — ish)

Merry Christmas – FREE eBook!

If you’ve read this blog for some time, you’ve seen that I love to write, and that I post serial stories on this blog. I formatted the reunion story into an ebook and have published it on smashwords. And … it’s FREE!

If you’d like a free copy or know someone who may, you can download it here:

This book will always, always, always be free. And, if you’d like a FREE copy of any of my other ebooks from smashwords, all you have to do is ask (I love giving things for free!).

Happy holidays!

eLibrary – Open Ebooks Directory – includes most of the ebooks sold on the internet. Free for addition of one’s own ebooks.

Superhero Story Part 6

Read Part 5 here.

Chapter 13 – Lindsay

We had about 10 minutes before homeroom to get all of the newspapers, so as soon as Cal stopped talking, I was off and running.

“Lindsay, wait,” Nick said, jogging after me. I slowed and let him walk beside me.

“We’re supposed to be splitting up to get this done faster,” I said. “You know, so we don’t die at the hands of an evil villain.”

Nick shrugged. “Whatever.”

“Nick!” I said, nudging his shoulder. He rammed into a wall and glared at me while he nursed his arm.

“Sorry,” I said. “Sometimes I forget that I’m a freak now.”

Nick rolled his eyes. “You just need to … harness the power.”

I giggled and let Nick pull me out of the crowded hallway and into a quieter stairwell. He pointed at the metal stair railing. “Do your best.”


“Bend it,” Nick said. “Or break it, or pull it up, or whatever you can do.”

I ran my hand along the railing. This was major. I mean, bumping people out of my way was one thing, but bending metal? This was serious.

I squeezed my hand tightly around the railing but nothing happened. I yanked at it with my right arm. Nothing. I looked at Nick.

He sighed. “You’re not even trying.”

I put both hands on the railing, and felt the cool steel under my fingers. I pushed my palms down and wrapped my fingers tightly. Then I pulled up with all my might.

There was no sound, but the railing, it wrenched under my fists. It let itself mold to my tug, like some malleable plastic. I let go and stared at the bulge.


Nick smiled at me.

Chapter 14 – Nick

It was maddening! First of all, the girl gets the super strength?! And then she’s too afraid or prissy or whatever to use it?!

But I was curious: exactly how strong was she? I found out, though. Strong enough to bend steel. Good to know.

So after that fun experiment, we decided to see if there were any materials that my special eyesight couldn’t penetrate. I already knew I could see through wood and bathroom doors, so we tried to see if I could see Lindsay when she was on the school’s second story while I was on the first (I could), and if I could still see her if she was on the third story while I stayed on the first (I could).

I was about to try to convince her to go out passed the football field to see how far my eyesight would reach when the bell rang.

“Oh no,” Lindsay said.

“Relax,” I said. “It’s just homeroom.”

“No, the newspapers, Nick,” she whined. Her face got all weird like when a dog thinks it’s about be slapped around.

She ran down the hallway and pulled newspapers out of kids’ arms, shoving them all over the place. It was kind of funny. I followed her and would pick up any pages she dropped.

Then she disappeared into her classroom.

I wandered around the hallway a little bit, keeping an eye out for any stray papers. But I wasn’t going to like, kill myself trying to get them. I’d thought about it all night, and this was the conclusion I’d come to: the guy, the freezer-sweat creepy guy, he probably only knows about Cal, right?

Let’s piece it together. Creepy guy somehow gets his gross power that night. He thinks back to the tower. He knows there were other people there. Maybe he heard us, or maybe he’s just wondering, or maybe he only found Cal’s jacket, so that’s how he knows. But he sure as hell never saw us, because he didn’t recognize me that day in the office.

At best, he thinks Cal is the only other person with powers. At worst, he heard voices and thinks it was Cal and a girl. Either way, he knows nothing about me.

So what do I care?

Chapter 15 – Cal

By lunchtime, my locker was filled with newspapers I’d confiscated.

“Hey,” some girl said, standing behind me, while I shoved some more papers into my locker. “Can I have a copy?”

“NO.” I said. I slammed the locker door shut and she frowned at me, but left.

At lunch, I was happy to see Lindsay’s arms full of pages. She dropped them on the table, and Nick even had a bunch.

“Do you think we got them all?” I asked.

Nick shrugged and Lindsay looked optimistic.

“Everyone was asking me about them,” Lindsay said. “They said they couldn’t find a paper anywhere. That’s good, right?”

I nodded. “That’s good.”

But even as I looked around the room, I still got a glimpse of a student holding a newspaper. I took a huge bite of my sandwich and stood up.

“I have a couple more to get,” I said.

Lindsay looked around and nodded, standing with me. Nick took a moment, but also stood. By the end of the period, we’d confiscated all of them in the room.

I didn’t even see another paper in any of my afternoon classes. In fact, I didn’t see any more papers at all. Until I walked out of school at the end of the day.

And there he was: the man Nick had seen in the office that day. He was standing at the end of the sidewalk, holding a newspaper in his hands and staring at each kid that walked past.

I didn’t see him until it was too late, until I couldn’t turn around without drawing attention to myself.

And so, as I stood motionless on the sidewalk while all the other kids pushed and shoved to get around me, I watched him see me. I watched his eyes flick back and forth from my face to my huge, dumb picture on the front page of the newspaper.

Then he was walking toward me.

How had I not seen this coming?

To be continued….

Superhero Story Part Five

Read Part Four here

Chapter 10 – Lindsay

Nick told us everything. He told us about the strange man and the gross sweat and how it felt like jell-o at first but then it just took over and grew. He talked for a long time and there was no buzzing. It was probably the longest Nick Tanner had ever gone without lying. Cal just stood there and nodded a million times and kept saying “uh-huh” like he understood.

But I was staring at Cal. I mean, what the heck? Were we not even going to talk about what just happened? Cal used a frickin’ heat ray to unfreeze Nick! And they were just going along like it was another day at school.

I cleared my throat when Nick had finished describing the creepy guy. “Um, guys?” I said. “Could we, like, discuss this stuff? This is crazy, right?”

They both just stared at me. Cal shrugged. “Yeah, it’s crazy.”

Nick nodded. “But it’s happening. So we need to get over it and figure out our next move.”

Cal’s eyes gleamed while he worked out plans in his head. Cal asked questions about the guy and Nick answered.

What was the guy doing in the office? He wanted to know which students were on the field trip.

Did it sound like he knew someone might have powers? Nick didn’t know.

What did the secretary tell him? That she wouldn’t reveal the names of the kids.

That made Cal nod, like he was satisfied. Nick got a look on his face, like he was uncomfortable.

“Oh yeah, there’s one more thing,” he said. “It didn’t seem to matter at the time, but it might be a problem…”

“What is it?” I demanded.

“The guy said that someone had left something and he was trying to return it,” Nick said.

Cal looked like he was going to be sick. My mind raced as I thought about if I might have dropped something while we were in the observatory. Was something missing? A book with my name in it? A pencil with bite marks and my DNA? Was there any way the guy could identify me?

Nick rushed on, the words tripping all over themselves as they raced out of his mouth. “He was probably making it up. He needed to get the names from the secretary. He was probably lying.”

“No,” Cal said. “I left something there. That’s why I went back up to the top of the tower that day.”

Chapter 11 – Nick

“What the hell did you leave up there?” I said.

Cal turned red and started stammering all over the place. “I, um, well, it’s – I had forgotten about it, until you just said that…”

Lindsay had a frantic look in her eyes. “Spit it out, Cal!”

“I left my jacket,” Cal said. “My chess club jacket.”

I groaned. I’d seen him wearing it. It was like a varsity letter jacket, but it had a huge chess piece image on the back. What a dork!

“Does it have your name on it?” Lindsay asked. She chewed on a fingernail.

“Well…” Cal muttered. “Kind of.”

“What do you mean ‘kind of’? Either it has your name on it or it doesn’t.” I spat at him.

“It doesn’t have my name,” Cal said.

Lindsay let out a breath of relief.

“But it says Captain,” he said. “And I’m the only Captain.”

There was silence. Cal was twitching and rolling his eyes around in his skull in that weird way he’s been lately when he’s solving his math equations. Lindsay was chomping on her nails nervously.

“Okay, okay,” I said, trying to smooth out the situation. “So he knows that some nerd left their nerdy jacket behind. But that doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean that the owner of the jacket has powers. It doesn’t mean that he’ll ever know who owns the jacket, even!”

“Unless the jacket has powers,” Lindsay whispered. Her eyes grew wide. “What if the jacket has powers, like if you put it on you turn invisible or something?”

“Like the Invisibility Cloak in Harry Potter?” Cal said.

“Dorks!” I shouted at them. They were out of control. “This isn’t a fantasy movie with dragons and wizards! This is high school. We’ll just lay low until this whole thing blows over.”

They nodded. I stared at Cal. “And you,” I said. “Don’t do anything with the chess club for awhile. Okay?”

“Okay,” he said.

I shook my head. Of all the people to get super powers with, I get these geeks.

Chapter 12 – Cal

As soon as I woke up the next morning, my mind flashed to the school day ahead, and I jumped out of bed.

“Oh no, oh no” I repeated, hopping around the room and pulling my clothes on as fast as I could.

I ran out the door without breakfast and ran as hard as I could to the school. I needed to get there before anyone else.

I was an hour early, but I knew an entrance that was unlocked for the kids like me that liked to get to school early to study in the library. I slipped in and walked through the empty halls, peeking into each classroom. Today was the day the school newspaper came out. I was looking for the stacks of pages. I needed to trash them, or burn them. I needed to destroy them in some way.

I couldn’t find them anywhere. I wandered up to the office. The secretary was there, putting her lunch in the small mini-refrigerator by her desk.

“Well, look who’s here,” she said, smiling. “You’re Mr. Popularity today!” She held up a copy of the newspaper, and there, right on the front page, was a huge picture of me, wearing my chess captain’s jacket and smiling my lopsided grin into the camera. My name appeared under the picture, in case the whole article wasn’t identifying enough. The front page story of our newspaper was how the chess team had made it to the finals of the state championships. This is what happens when your high school football team stinks.

“Hey, yeah, look,” I said. I felt sick to my stomach.

She grabbed a few copies. “You’ll need extras!” She handed me a stack of about five papers.

“Hey,” I said. “Um, could I have some more copies?”

“Sure, hon. How many do you want?”

I gulped. “Um… all of them?”

The secretary laughed and gave me about five more. “You can get more from your friends if you need them,” she said, still laughing.

I met Nick and Lindsay in the foyer of the commons area before the first bell.

“This is the plan,” I said. “We need to split up, and get every single copy of the paper. Take your friends copies, steal them from your homeroom teacher before the start of class. I don’t care how you do it, but it needs to get done.”

I could tell Nick was pissed but he kept his cool.

“Do you think this can work?” Lindsay asked. “I mean, can you, like … see that this works?”

I did some calculations and swallowed hard. “It’ll work,” I chirped, as cheerfully as I could manage.

Lindsay flinched, and then gave me a dirty look.

“Sorry,” I said. “What I mean is, there’s a chance this might work.”

Lindsay waited but didn’t flinch, then smiled at me. “Okay. Let’s steal those newspapers.”

To be continued…

Superhero Story – Part Three

Read Part Two here.


I turned around and came face to face with Nick. He was smiling that dangerous smile, the one that got me to stay in the tower with him yesterday. It was this smile that made every girl in our class—including my best friend, Chloe—melt.

Thankfully, before he could open his mouth to speak, the bell rang.

“I’ve gotta get to class,” I said, walking around him. Poor Cal stood there like a zombie, his face all scrunched like he was solving math problems in his head, which, I guess, he was. He snapped to and gave me a slight wave and wandered out of the common area, to wherever his group of friends hung out before classes started.

Nick reached out and grabbed my arm. “Hang on, Lindsay, I really need to talk to you.”

He steered me away from Cal and toward a spot in the commons with fewer people hanging around.

I shoved him away and watched in horror as he went flying to the right, careening into some freshman girls. They giggled as they unwrapped themselves from him.

“Jeez, Linds,” he said, straightening himself and catching up to me. “Are you channeling The Incredible Hulk now?”

His face clouded over and he suddenly looked like he might throw up. “Hey, wait a second,” he said. “Are you… Do you have super-strength or something?”

I turned to face him and hissed, “Don’t say anything here. Something happened yesterday and I don’t want to talk about it now. And especially not with you.”

“But Lindsay,” he said, hands thrust in his pockets. “I thought we had something special.”


I opened my mouth to declare him a liar, but I could tell from the smirk on his face that he meant for me to know he wasn’t for real.

“Leave me alone, Nick,” I said.

“Seriously, Lindsay,” he pled. “Something strange is happening and you’re the only person I can talk to.”

I waited for the buzz but it didn’t come. He was telling the truth. He looked pathetic, like a helpless kitten.

“Candor doesn’t suit you,” I said. His eyes drooped. I sighed. “Meet me and Cal at lunch.”

“Cal? That pasty kid with the shifty eyes?”

“Yeah, Cal,” I said. “He was there, too. In the astronomy building when it happened. That’s why we’re all messed up right now.”

Nick rolled his eyes but agreed. “Fine. Lunch.”

I turned to hurry to my first period class.

“And Linds,” he called after me. “Don’t go throwing people into any walls, okay?”



The first half of the day was torture. Not, like, the usual I-hate-school torture, but a new and different I-keep-getting-distracted-because-I-can-see-through-the-walls torture. First of all, you’d be amazed at how many kids are just walking around the hallways during class. And of course about a half dozen hot senior girls walked by just when Mr. Locke called on me.


I looked away from the beautiful, giggling girls to see my beer-bellied teacher standing with his arms crossed. “Yeah?”

“Is there something particularly exciting about the bulletin board, or were you daydreaming?”

A couple of kids snickered.

“Believe me, Mr. Locke, there is nothing exciting about that bulletin board.”

My “attitude” got me sent to the principal’s office. It was there that I saw the creepy guy. He was greasy and clammy and had these tiny glasses that kept falling down his sweaty nose. Basically, he’s the type of guy that you never want to see in a schoolyard. He was talking to Ms. Duke, the secretary.

I stood off to the side, in the doorway to the office, while the guy spoke.
“I just need a list of the children on the trip,” the guy was saying.

“I’d be happy to help, sir, but we need to know what this is about,” Ms. Duke said. “I’m sure you understand that we can’t give out the names of the children without a good reason.”

“Someone left something,” he said, the words rushed.

“Oh,” Ms. Duke said. “Then you can pass it on to me and I’ll make sure the rightful owner receives it.”

The man huffed and pushed the glasses back up his nose. “I don’t have it with me,” he said.

Ms. Duke shuffled papers around to signify the end of the conversation. “Come back when you do. Thank you, good day.”

She looked past the man to me. “Nicholas Tanner, what is it this time?”

The man turned and walked out of the office, brushing past me. His arm grazed mine and the cold sweat seeped into my skin. I shuddered and wiped my arm off on my jeans. There was something odd, though. It wasn’t like normal sweat, it was chillier and thicker, like he was sweating jell-o. It left a disgusting trail where I’d wiped it onto my jeans.

“Gross,” I said aloud.

“Excuse me?” Ms. Duke said.

I turned my attention to her. “The usual, Ms. Duke. I have a bad attitude. I don’t live up to my potential. If I could use my wits for work instead of a smart-alecky brashness I could really go places in life.”

She pointed me to my usual seat and picked up the phone to call the principal, who promptly showed me into his office. And, just like that, the day seemed normal again.



When I entered the cafeteria at lunch, I saw a hand waving around the air. The hand was attached to Lindsay, and it looked like she was waving it at me. I turned around to make sure there wasn’t someone behind me, like maybe Brad Pitt or Justin Timberlake or someone. There was no one there.

“Cal, gosh! Yes, you,” Lindsay said grabbing my arm and pulling me down into the chair beside her. “We need to talk about this thing.”

I settled in for an intimate talk with the girl of my dreams, but then I got a flash in my mind. “Wait a second. Who’s ‘we’?”

Lindsay gave me a look like I must be stupid. “You, me and Nick, duh. We’re the only ones dealing with this.”

“The only ones that we know of,” I pointed out.

Lindsay shrugged.

Nick slid into a seat across from us and shot me one of those finger gun greetings that my uncle does. “How’s it going, Calc?”

Lindsay rolled her eyes.

“It’s Cal,” I corrected.

Nick smiled. “Right.”

“It’s so strange, you know?” I said. “Like, this morning, I kept getting my flashes all during class and I just knew every answer before anyone else, so I was, like, raising my hand all morning and just answering everything.”

Lindsay giggled and Nick snorted.

“How is that different from any other day, Nerd?” Nick said.

I looked down at my hands.

“Okay,” Nick said, straightening up. “So these flashes… what’s that about?”

I let Lindsay explain the scenes of the future that blazed through my mind and the mathematical equations that ran like a scroll over everything I saw.

“Oh my gosh,” Nick said, sounding impressed. “You really are the biggest geek in the history of all geeks everywhere!”

He laughed, stretching back with his hands behind his head. “I’m totally calling you Calc because you’re, like, for real a math dweeb. Like, literally.”

I bit the inside of my cheek and sneaked a glance at Lindsay. I would have given anything for her to reach over and flick him across the room.

“Anyway,” Lindsay said, changing the topic. “Let’s discuss these … changes, and figure out how to get rid of them.”

My jaw dropped open. “How to get rid of them?”

She nodded, her blue eyes pure and wonderful, staring at me. “Yeah, Cal. I don’t want a perpetual headache for the rest of my life. And the Hulk thing might be cool to someone else, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only hurt people so far.”

“That’s just because you don’t know how to control it yet,” I said.

“I’m with Lindsay,” Nick said, leaning forward again. “This weirdness might be cool to someone else, but it’s just freaking me out.”

I looked over at Lindsay who gave me a slight nod. Nick was telling the truth.

Nick told me and Lindsay about his morning of distraction due to seeing through walls, and ended with his trip to the main office. He started to continue, and I had a quick flash of something important, but I couldn’t grasp it because Lindsay interrupted and changed the course of our conversation.

“Let’s write this stuff down,” she said pulling out a notebook and turning to a clean page. “Let’s make a list of our … abilities.”

She drew three columns with each of our names as headers and started writing. In her column, she wrote, ‘Lie detector’ and ‘Strength’.  Under my name she wrote ‘Future flashes’ and ‘Math stuff’. And below Nick’s name she wrote, ‘See through walls’. Then she stared at the words and chewed on the pen cap, thinking hard.

Nick cleared his throat. “Uh, that’s not exactly all of it. I can do more than just see through walls.” He shifted in his chair, as though he was uneasy. Nick Tanner, uncomfortable. I’d never seen that before.

Lindsay’s eyes snapped up and she drew her cardigan sweater tighter around her. “What else, Nick? What else can you see through?”

He chuckled and shifted again. “Don’t worry, Purity Princess, you’re safe. I meant that I don’t just see through walls. I can reach through them, too. Maybe even …” he gulped. “Maybe even walk through them.”

Lindsay gasped and wrote the words down in her notebook.

I stared at the writing on the page and had a sick feeling in my stomach. Nothing flashed to warn me, but I felt on edge, all the same. “Lindsay, if that notebook ever gets out or falls into the wrong hands…”

Lindsay turned a shade paler and said slowly, “It won’t. I promise.”

She looked from me to Nick and repeated, “I promise.”