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187





THE KINETIC KEEPER


BY


ANGEL STAGE


The Kinetic Keeper

By: Angel Stage

Copyright © 2014 Angel Stage

All Rights Reserved


This book is a written act of fiction. Any places, characters, or similarities are purely coincidence. If certain places or characters are referenced it is for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


Dedication

To my husband, who has supported me nonstop in writing this book and has given me great advice along the way.

To my grandmother, who has taught me many things and who I proudly take after.

And to the rest of my family and friends who always knew that I would write a book someday. Thank you all for believing in me!


Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty









PROLOGUE


He had a vision of her before she was even born. It started with quick flashes of her as a baby then rapidly progressed into her being a young girl. He didn’t understand at first why this girl was important. He had no idea who she was but it wasn’t the first time there had been a vision of someone unfamiliar to him. Those people, however, were usually in some type of trouble when he saw them. He would intervene before the vision could become true. This is what he believed his purpose was.

This girl was not in trouble but he felt the tug of importance. Whoever she was, she was not only vital to him, but to everyone. Every person that was part of the secret would know who she was one day. He wondered why. Why was this girl so special and what was his role in her life?

He saw it then. His vision shook and started to fade but before it did, he caught the words across a page in a book. A book that was eventually going to be written by him.

This girl will hold the life of the world in her hands. She will be the Kinetic Keeper.



Chapter One

The Birthday


White, hot sand. Water the color of sapphires. Warm sun, gentle breeze, a hammock swinging between two palms and a strawberry flavored tropical drink in one hand, a book in the other. There was no one else around. No worries, just relaxation. Paradise.

That is where Abby Woods wished she was as she stared out of the window of her science class. She closed her eyes, almost feeling the heat from the sun. Her mouth curved into a smile of content.

“Anyone know the answer?” the science teacher, Mr. Collins asked. Abby could practically feel him staring at her and slowly opened her eyes, still facing the window. “Abby? How about you?”

Without turning to face him, she said, “A manipulated variable is a variable that is changed when you are doing an experiment. It can be anything that you are not using as a control.”

“Right, again!” he replied, cheerily. “I thought I had you on that one.”

With a grin, Abby began doodling in her notebook. This had become a game between the two of them. She tended to look out the window most of the time so to make sure she was paying attention, he would randomly throw out questions to her. Never had she answered one wrong. And she could do the same thing in every class- although most of the other teachers didn’t think of it as a game and actually preferred if she looked like she was paying attention.

Abby didn’t see what the big deal was. As long as she did her work and participated in class when they called on her, why did she have to look in their direction? It’s not like she had to have eye to eye contact to make an A in the class. Not in her case anyway.

Mr. Collins was in mid-sentence when the bell rang signaling the end of the final class of the day. He quickly threw out a few last minute details about the homework assignment as everyone hastily began making their exit. As Abby slung her backpack over her shoulder and headed toward the door, the teacher called out to her.

“Can I speak with you a moment?”

A few of her classmates gave her looks thinking she was in trouble, but she knew that wasn’t the case. She shifted her bag on her shoulder and walked up to Mr. Collins’ desk.

“What’s up, Mr. C?” He was the only teacher she could get away with addressing him that way.

“One of these days I will catch you completely unaware of what I’m talking about,” he said, looking up at her with a grin.

Abby shrugged her shoulders. “What can I say? I’m great at multi-tasking.”

“That you are.” He pulled a piece of paper out of his top drawer. “Here, I thought you might be interested in this. It’s a flyer for tutoring kids this summer. You’re very smart and being at the top of the class, I thought this might be ideal for you.”

He handed her the paper and as she scanned over it, she nodded.

“Yeah, I will definitely think about doing this. I don’t have too many plans for this summer.”

“Great, I think you would be an awesome tutor.”

“Thanks, Mr. C. See you tomorrow.”

She exited the room and headed straight to her locker, thankful that it was the end of the day. As she turned the corner, an arm was suddenly slung around her shoulders. Abby knew who it was by the black ring he wore on his index finger and the strong minty gum he always chewed.

“One more day,” he said, his excitement practically singing.

“Evan, why are you more eager for tomorrow to get here than I am?” She slid from underneath his arm as she approached her locker. Students noisily chattered all around them enthused about the end of the day. Evan leaned in so he didn’t have to yell over it.

“I’m trying to make up for your lack of enthusiasm.”

“It’s just a birthday.” She grabbed a few things from her locker, stuffed them into her backpack, and then gave the door a good, hearty slam. It was the only way the thing would close properly.

“Yeah, and most people are excited about their birthdays.” He grabbed her shoulders and shook her as if that would make her more animated. “C’mon! Get excited with me!”

She smiled and gently pulled away from his hold. “Why should I be excited about turning fourteen? I’ll save that for my sixteenth. Now, that is a day to look forward to.”

He grinned at the thought as he adjusted his bag on his shoulder. “Okay, I’ll give you that but can you at least pretend that this birthday is gonna rock? For me? Your very best friend who got you an awesome gift.”

Abby laughed. “Okay, for you, I will muster up some genuine excitement.”

They followed the jumbled line of students out the door and into the bright sun of springtime. It was the first of May and the weather was the perfect mixture of heat and cool breezes.

“Summer is almost here!” Evan exclaimed as they made their way to the bike rack. His bike was chained there and it’s usually where Abby waited for her brother to pick her up. As Evan unchained his Mongoose, he said, “Do you think your brother will ever let me ride in his car?”

“Evan, come on. You know his ego nearly pushes me out of that car. How would you fit?”

Shane Woods was sixteen and cherished the 1970 Dodge Charger that his grandparents had given to him on his birthday. He was against Abby ever riding in it but their parents insisted that Shane be Abby’s ride to and from school.

Evan laughed as he tucked the chain into his backpack. “You’ve got a point there.”

The black Charger pulled up next to them. Shane opened the driver door and slid out of the car. He had a stocky build and was only 5’8” but he had no trouble getting girlfriends with his dark eyes and wavy dark blond hair. He and Abby were so different in looks and personality that most people had no idea that they were siblings.

Shane leaned against the open door and glared at Evan. His eyes shifted to Abby with the same harsh look. “Come on, Freak, let’s go.”

Abby gave a quick wave to Evan. “See you later.”

“I better see you excited tomorrow!” he called after her.

Abby laughed as she squeezed into the back. The passenger seat was already taken by Shane’s junior girlfriend, Brandi. She was a blond-headed gymnast and very popular. Abby knew the only reason that she was going out with Shane was because of his car. Even Shane knew that. He may have had an inflated head but he wasn’t dumb. He didn’t care though. Even when Brandi dumped him (and he knew that she eventually would when someone better came along), he would still have his precious car.

Shane knocked the front seat back into place and reclaimed his throne behind the steering wheel, shutting the door beside him. He spun out of the parking lot, making plenty of noise so that everyone would notice.

As Shane drove down the street, nearly ten miles over the speed limit, he glanced at Abby in the rearview mirror.

“So I guess your mountain bike boyfriend is coming to your birthday dinner tomorrow night?”

Abby gritted her teeth. “He’s not my boyfriend.”

“You should really tell him to wear a helmet. After all, those bikes can really get up to speed. I would challenge him to a race but it probably wouldn’t be fair, right?"

Brandi laughed at his mockery while checking herself out in a mirror she retrieved from her purse. She usually did laugh at things that weren’t funny; meanwhile she scratched her head in confusion at simple knock-knock jokes.

Abby crossed her arms and stared out the window, refusing to say anything back. It would just prompt Shane to say something worse about Evan.

Several minutes later, Shane dropped Abby off at the house, and then took off again as soon as she was out of the car. Abby knew he would take Brandi to her house where they would spend a couple hours fooling around in her basement. She always heard him bragging to his friends on the phone about what he did with Brandi.

After entering the house, Abby didn’t have to wait long until her mother came home from work. She was sitting on the couch reading her latest vampire book, when Mrs. Woods entered the house precisely at three-forty-five. As soon as she entered the living room, she leaned on the armchair and took off her heels, giving a sigh of relief.

“What a day,” she heaved. Looking up, she smiled at Abby, tucking her brown hair behind her ear. “Hey, hon. How was school?”

Abby tossed her book to the side, stood up and stretched. “Same old stuff. How was work? Hectic?”

“A little. Trained a new girl today to cover the front desk and she was a bit slow so I was running around quite a bit. But I think she’ll make it.”

“Well, if anyone can whip her into shape, Mom, it’s you,” Abby said, as she headed into the kitchen.

Her mother followed her into the kitchen, her bare feet padding gently against the tile floor. “Where’s Shane?”

Abby leaned against the counter and gave her mom a knowing look. “Do you really have to ask?”

“Ah, of course.” Mrs. Woods opened the refrigerator to get out a bottled water. “I really don’t see what he sees in her. She seems a little…” she trailed off trying to think of the right word.

“Dumb,” Abby finished for her.

“Abby, that’s not nice…but, yes, that’s how she seems.” Abby laughed as her mother took a drink of her water. “So, how are you feeling about the big day tomorrow?”

“Calm as usual. I’m just turning fourteen. No big deal.”

Her mother gave her a warm smile. “Every birthday is a big deal. It’s celebrating the day you were born and how special it was.”

“You’re my mom so you have to say that,” Abby protested, folding her arms.

Mrs. Woods patted her cheek as she walked past her. “It’s still true.”

When Mr. Woods arrived home twenty after seven that night, dinner was already on the stove cooking. Taking his shoes off by the door, he called out his greeting to the girls in the kitchen.

“Dinner’s almost done, “Abby told him as he entered the room.

Her father shared the same stocky build as Shane. However, he had a bit more muscle to him than his son and sported a buzz cut.

After chatting for a few minutes, he took a shower and changed into some comfortable clothes, by which time the food was out on the table, ready for consumption. Abby was already sitting at the table, eagerly waiting to eat when her parents joined her. Shane, who had returned home only half an hour earlier, had to be called three times to come eat dinner. When he sat at the table he was brandishing a light hickey on the side of his neck.

Abby stared at him and gave a smirk. “Nice hickey.”

“Jealous?” Shane retorted.

“Hey, you two,” Mr. Woods said. “We don’t want to hear about hickeys at the dinner table.”

“You shouldn’t have them in the first place,” Mrs. Woods added. “You know what they can lead to.”

Shane rolled his eyes. “Jeez, Mom, you’re not about to give me ‘the talk’ are you?”

Mr. Woods set his fork down, irritated. “Again, not at the dinner table.” He sprinkled some pepper on his steak. “Abby, is Evan coming to your birthday dinner tomorrow night?”

“Yeah,” she replied as she cut up her own strip of meat.

It was Shane’s turn to smirk. "Yeah, she can’t bear not to have her darling Evan over for her birthday.”

“Well, he’s a much better choice than your balloon-headed girlfriend,” Abby shot back.

A sharp smack against the wooden table from their father’s hand caused them to quiet down immediately. He pointed his fork at Shane. “No bickering at the table.”

Shane started to open his mouth to say something but closed it again and began cutting his steak. Mrs. Woods was finally able to eat the forkful of food she had been holding while the quarreling had been going on. Shane didn’t say anything else for the rest of dinner, so it remained peaceful.


The next morning, Abby eyes snapped open like rubber bands. She quickly rolled over and looked at her clock thinking that she had overslept. Surprisingly, she still had twenty minutes until her alarm was supposed to sound. She found it odd given that usually she would slap her snooze button at least twice before she was awake enough to get up.

Feeling strangely energized, she hopped out of bed and dressed quickly. She tied her hair up in its usual ponytail and fixed her bangs so they would frame her face. After applying lip gloss which was the only form of makeup she wore, she stared at herself in the mirror above her dresser. Her light brown eyes seemed livelier than usual and she couldn’t get over how refreshed she felt. Maybe it was just because it was her birthday but she knew it would be a good day.

After spritzing on a bit of fruity body mist, she headed downstairs. Abby’s mother was kissing Mr. Woods bye as she was heading out the door to work.

Abby smiled at their affection. “Bye, Mom.”

Mrs. Woods looked at her, eyes widening. “Wow, you’re up early.”

Abby shrugged. “I know, but for some reason I didn’t want to stay in bed.”

Her father grinned and said, “Probably because it’s your birthday. And by the way, happy birthday.”

Abby beamed. “Thanks, Dad.”

“And no opening presents until I get home,” Mrs. Woods said. She poked Abby’s father in the chest. “And no hinting about presents either.”

Mr. Woods mouth dropped open and he put his hands up in defense. “When have I ever?”

Abby’s mother laughed and gave him another quick kiss. “See you later.”

Abby sat in the breakfast nook and ate waffles with her dad while waiting for Shane to get ready to go.

“So, Dad, any hints?” she had to ask.

“Abby, you heard your mother,” Mr. Woods said in a firm tone, as he looked over the morning paper. “And all I know is…” he leaned toward her, “it’s small.” His eyes twinkled as he smiled.

Abby laughed as she picked up her orange juice to take a sip. “Awesome hint, Dad.”

Shane came down the stairs about half an hour later dressed in denim shorts and a green muscle shirt. He grabbed one of the cinnamon rolls that Mr. Woods had made off the stove and ate the whole thing in two bites. Pulling his keys out of his pocket, he narrowed his eyes at Abby.

“Come on, freak, let’s go,” he said.

“I’ll meet you out at the car,” Abby told him, remembering that she still needed to grab her backpack from upstairs.

“Hurry up or Brandi’s gonna be mad for picking her up late.”

“Brandi can wait,” Mr. Woods told him. “It’s Abby’s birthday. Let her take her time as she wishes.”

Abby gave Shane a smug smile at that.

Shane opened his mouth to say something else to that but instead shook his head and muttered, “Fine. I’ll be in the car.”

“Of course, brother,” Abby replied, still grinning.

Ten minutes later, she said bye to her dad and headed out to Shane’s car. He was leaning back in his seat with his music blaring. Abby opened the passenger door and got in. Shane turned his music down a little and glowered at her.

“It’s about freaking time,” he said, starting the car. “Brandi’s gonna be pissed at me and it’s your fault.”

“So tell her,” she told him, pulling on her seatbelt. “I don’t care if she’s mad at me.”

Shane didn’t respond and backed out of the driveway. He pulled away at normal speed. As soon as the house was out of sight, he pressed on the gas pedal and nearly doubled his speed.

They reached Brandi’s house a few minutes later. She was waiting outside, arms crossed and looking extremely annoyed.

“Do you know how long I’ve been standing out there?” she asked, dropping into her seat. “Over TEN minutes! No one has ever made me wait that long. I almost had to ask my dad for a ride to school! Do you know how embarrassing that would have been?”

“It was Abby’s fault.”

Brandi glared into the backseat where Abby had scrambled to as soon as they pulled up to the house. Abby smiled at her and waved.

“Yeah, my dad made me wait and she purposefully took forever.” Shane gave Abby a withering look in the rearview mirror.

“I really did purposefully take forever. By the way, did you know it’s my birthday?”

Brandi turned back to the front. “Shane, let’s go.”

Abby looked out the window and smiled to herself. Even Brandi couldn’t ruin the good mood she was in today.


Evan was waiting for her at the bike rack holding something behind his back as she approached him. He smiled when he saw her and she automatically returned it. Abby couldn’t help but get sucked into Evan’s optimistic nature. Even on her moodiest of days, he always knew just what to do to cheer her up.

“Happy birthday.” He brought his hand around and held out a single dandelion to her. “Make a wish.”

“Is this your substitute for a candle?” she asked.

“Wishes on these are better than candles,” Evan told her. “My grandma always told me that when you make a wish on a candle, it gets extinguished just like the flame when you blow it out. But when you blow on a dandelion, your wish gets carried away into wind with the seeds and if they grow, your wish comes true.”

She took the dandelion from him and said, “Well in that case, I better make this wish count for something.” She loved her life and she had a picture perfect family (except for Shane) but she had to admit, it was a bit boring at times. Nothing new ever happened. Life was predictable. With those thoughts, she decided to wish for some excitement, an adventure even.

“Okay, I wish-“

“You can’t say it out loud,” Evan interrupted quickly.

“Oh, of course,” she said. I wish for something exciting to happen in my life, she thought to herself. She then took a deep breath and blew the dandelion seeds away. She closed her eyes and imagined the wind taking them up and away, floating freely for a great distance.

A harsh breeze came out of nowhere at that moment. She opened her eyes and the wind stopped just as suddenly as it came. She glanced at Evan and he grinned.

“I guess that was Mother Nature helping carry your wish away.”

Abby chuckled. “Nice of her to be so generous.”

After school let out that afternoon, Abby said bye to Evan at the bike rack and he told her he’d be over to her house around five. As usual, Shane dropped Abby off at home, then sped off to make out with Brandi. He didn’t care anything about her birthday but she didn’t mind.

Once inside, she greeted her dad who was watching a baseball game on T.V. He had only worked a half day since it was her birthday. Abby’s mother arrived home at twenty after four. She brought a shopping bag in with her full of a few little items.

“I almost forgot candles for the cake,” she explained to her husband and Abby when they joined her in the kitchen.

Mr. Woods gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I guess I’d better call Shane and tell him to get his butt over here.”

“Does he have to come?” Abby asked. “I’m sure he’ll be happier over at Brandi’s.”

“This is a family event and he’s going to be here for it,” Mr. Woods said.

Abby and her mother set up the table with the royal blue dishes that Abby always liked and by the time they were done with everything, Shane came home. He didn’t look happy at all. He slouched on the couch, avoiding everyone.

Evan showed up exactly at five o’clock. Abby laughed when she saw that he added a loosened black tie to his outfit of jeans and button up shirt.

“So nice of you to get dressed up,” she said.

“Yeah, I figured this was a high class affair.” A breeze blew through the open door and Abby caught a whiff of cologne, which was not like Evan at all. He held out a small rectangular wrapped present. “For you.”

“Thanks,” she said, taking the gift. “Come on in.”

Abby’s parents greeted Evan and everyone took a seat around the table including Shane who had to be told several times. Mrs. Woods brought out the cake and stuck fourteen multicolored candles in it. Abby’s father leaned over the table and lit all of the candles with a lighted match.

He waved the match out and said, “Okay, make a wish, Abby.”

Abby glanced over at Evan and smiled remembering the dandelion that morning. Her wish had already been cast into the wind. There was no need to make another. Abby took a deep breath and blew out all fourteen candles in one breath.

“Let me guess what you wished for,” Shane spoke up, as Mrs. Woods began removing the candles. “You want your boy toy to give you a birthday kiss.”

“Shane, don’t start,” Mr. Woods warned.

Abby glanced over at Evan who looked slightly embarrassed and quickly busied himself messing with the end of his tie. For the first time, Abby felt slightly angry that day. Shane had no right attacking Evan like he did.

“I’m just pointing out what’s probably gonna happen, Dad. You better watch out. Abby’s growing up. Who knows what might happen between them?”

Mr. Woods stood up straight. “Shane, enough!”

Shane turned his whole body and leaned toward Evan. “Do you think you’re good enough for my sister?”

Before Evan could reply, Mr. Woods shouted at Shane to stop again and a yelling match between the two of them broke out. Abby closed her eyes, wishing it would stop. Her birthday was rapidly becoming a bad one and it was all because of Shane. She wished she could do something. If she had the guts, she would grab a piece of her cake and smash it in his face. She quickly imagined the satisfaction of doing that.

In one second, it was loud with two voices yelling at each other; the next, it became incredibly quiet as if someone had muted her family. Opening her eyes, she was stunned at what she saw. The cake was floating several inches off the table and as everyone stared in amazement, it turned on its side and slammed into Shane’s face. Abby could barely process what she had just seen- and possibly did. Shane’s face was completely covered with the most of the cake while the rest lay overturned on the floor.

“What the hell!” Shane shouted, angrily, wiping cake out of his eyes.

Evan continued to stare at the place where the cake floated with wide eyes. “The cake. It-it floated and…” He trailed off, completely dumbfounded at what he just witnessed.

“It smashed me in the face,” Shane said, pulling chunks of cake out his hair.

“I think your house is haunted,” Evan said, looking at Abby. “And apparently the ghost doesn’t like Shane either.”

It was a lighthearted joke that no one was able to laugh at. Abby’s mother finally grabbed a roll of paper towels and handed them to Shane. All Abby could think was the fact that she had been imagining smashing that cake into her brother’s face. Could she have…?

At that moment the doorbell rang. No one moved, still in shock over what had just happened. Then Abby slowly backed away from the table toward the door.

“I’ll get it,” she said, not sure that anyone heard her.

Opening the front door, she came face to face with a woman who was about fifty with wavy brown hair and dark green eyes. She smiled at Abby and her eyes seemed to lighten several shades. She wore a black skirt and a white blouse. Very plain. One thing that caught Abby’s attention was a shiny round pin that the woman wore on her blouse. It was golden and had a small picture on it of an island, a palm tree, and the sea. Around the picture, the words ISLE OF PERITIA were printed in silver.

“Hello, Abby.”

“How do you know-“

“I know a lot more than your name,” the woman replied, still smiling. “I know that today is your fourteenth birthday and something impossible just happened that you think you may have caused. And as hard as it may be to believe, you did.”




Chapter Two

The Invitation


“What–“ Abby started, taken aback by this woman’s knowledge.

“My name is Omara Babcock and I am from the Isle of Peritia.” She reached out her hand and Abby tentatively shook it. “May I come in?”

“Abby, who is it?” asked Mr. Woods as he walked up behind her.

The woman smiled at him. “Hello, Mr. Woods. My name is Omara Babcock and I am from the Island of Peritia.”

His eyebrows furrowed like they always did when he was unsure of something. “The what?”

“May I come in? This concerns Abby and her future.”

“Uh, sure, I suppose so,” Mr. Woods said, stepping aside.

“Thank you,” she said, walking right in. She glanced into the kitchen where Mrs. Woods was picking up the battered cake off the floor and Shane was still wiping himself off with paper towels. Mr. Woods saw her looking and stepped forward quickly to explain.

“We, uh, had a little accident,” he said, with an embarrassed smile.

The woman turned to look at Abby, eyes wide. “You did that? That’s impressive.”

“What?” Abby asked, surprised. “How do you know that I-“

“Most beginners can’t lift that much,” she continued. “Your mind must be very strong.”

“Mind?” Abby repeated, confused.

Mr. Woods rapidly rubbed the top of his head. “Excuse me, but what are you talking about?”

The woman finally turned away from Abby and looked at Mr. Woods again, giving her warm smile. “Sorry, I know this is confusing for you all but perhaps if we took a seat in the living room, I can explain who I am and why I’m here exactly.”

“Alright, then.” Abby’s father gave a curt nod. If there was one thing Mr. Woods did was get right down to business. He always gave people a chance to speak their mind. He believed that if you didn’t do that, then confusion would set in and you wouldn’t get any answers. “Abby, take Ms. Babcock into the living room and I’ll go get the others.”

A few minutes later, everyone was seated in the living room. Abby sat between her parents on the couch, Shane slouched on an armchair a few feet away still looking angry, and Evan perched on the arm of the couch. Omara Babcock sat across from all of them in a chair she had pulled over from the desk. She looked over at Evan.

“You are not family,” she said. “Perhaps you shouldn’t be here for this.”

“Evan stays,” Abby said, firmly. “He’s my best friend and knows everything. Besides, I would just tell him everything you tell me later.”

Ms. Babcock folded her hands in her lap and gave a slight nod of her head. “As you wish. Let’s just hope he doesn’t tell anyone. Otherwise, you will have to deal with the consequences.”

“Consequences about what?” Mr. Woods asked. “What is this all about?”

Ms. Babcock smiled at them warmly. “I come from an island where there is a school that teaches about abilities and how to control them. Abby has one of these abilities.”

Abby leaned forward. “I do?”

“Abby, when that cake hit your brother’s face, what were you thinking about at that moment?”

Abby glanced at Shane who was glaring at her, then said, “I wanted to smash the cake into his face.”

“Exactly,” Mrs. Babcock said, cheerily. “That’s because your brain took over and did what you were thinking about doing.”

Evan stood up. “Wait, are you saying that Abby made that cake float in the air, then smash into Shane’s face? Like…telekinesis?”

“That’s precisely what it is.”

Evan slowly sat back down on the arm of the couch and Abby could tell he was soaking in the information and thinking of all the possibilities.

“That’s impossible,” Shane spoke up. “Stuff like that doesn’t really happen.”

“I assure you it does, Mr. Woods.” She smoothed out a wrinkle in her skirt. “Along with several other abilities.”

“But why now?” Abby asked.

“Because today you are fourteen. These abilities always develop on a person’s fourteenth birthday. You see, there is a part of the brain that to most people, doesn’t serve a purpose. But to some people, like you, this part of the brain fully develops when you hit a specific age and you are blessed with certain abilities.”

“But why only certain people?” Abby asked.

“No one knows for sure, but this trait is usually carried throughout a family. This is not the case with you. It seems to be that you are the first in your family.”

Abby touched the back of her head, as if to feel the spot that made her so special. “Does that happen a lot?”

“It does happen but not very often.”

“And this is why you’re here?” Mrs. Woods asked. “To let Abby know about these abilities that she has?”

“Yes, and most likely, judging by what happened tonight, her ability seems to be telekinesis. And she appears to have quite a bit of mental strength already which most beginners usually have to practice on.”

“What does that mean?” Abby asked.

“I’m not entirely sure but if you come to the Island this summer, you will find out,” Mrs. Babcock replied, reaching into her purse. She pulled out a small pamphlet and handed it to Abby. There was a logo in the upper right hand corner that was the same as the pin that Omara Babcock wore on her blouse only the words were printed in white against the gold background. “Everything you need to know about the Island and the school is in there.”

Shane scoffed. “Who would want to go to school in the summer?”

Ms. Babcock snapped her purse shut, continuing to hold it in her lap. “It’s not your typical school. It’s more like a summer camp. It’s all in the pamphlet.”

“Wait a minute,” Mr. Woods spoke up. “How do you know so much about Abby and her birthday? It seems very odd.”

Mrs. Babcock lifted an eyebrow. “And Abby’s telekinesis doesn’t seem odd?”

Mr. Woods shifted on the couch and rubbed his head again. “Well…a bit I guess. I’ve always been open minded to how diverse this world can be. However, you showing up right after she made a cake float in the air-“

“And smash me in the face,” Shane interjected.

Mr. Woods put a hand up in Shane’s direction as if to quiet him but continued to look at Ms. Babcock. “You knowing everything about us is very odd.”

“I know about Abby because she’s on record,” Mrs. Babcock explained, calmly. “The leader of our island and our school, Asher Dae, has the ability of Sight and can usually see what he wants to see. Since these abilities are usually genetic, we already know many of the children who will be

coming to the island. He gets visions throughout the year of the others who are the first in their family.” She gave Abby a warm smile. “And you are one of them, Abby.”

“Oh, so you have psychics there, too,” Shane muttered in disbelief. “Great.”

Mrs. Babcock just smiled at Shane as if he wasn’t being rude, and turned her attention back to Abby’s parents. “This really would be the best thing for Abby. If she doesn’t learn about her ability and how to control it properly, things could get out of hand.”

“What do you mean out of hand?” Abby asked, looking up from the pamphlet.

“Well, for instance, we had one boy who on his birthday started a fire when he became angry,” she said. “Luckily, I showed up soon after to explain why he was able to do that.”

“He was a Firestarter?” Evan asked. Everyone turned to look at him. He shrugged. “What? I read a book about it once.”

“Well, yes,” Ms. Babcock said, “that is what he was. He came to the Island and was able to learn how to control his ability especially when his temper flared.” She glanced at a silver watch on her wrist. “Well, I must be off. I have a couple other things to take care of before I head back to the Island.” She stood and smiled down at Abby. “I expect we’ll be seeing you on the Island then?”

Abby nodded enthusiastically but her dad quickly held up a hand as he stood up.

“Not necessarily,” he said. “I’m sure these lessons that she needs cost money, not to mention the travel to get there.”

“Not to worry,” Ms. Babcock said. “The first summer is free. That’s how important it is to have these children learn about their abilities. If you choose to keep sending her there in the following summers, that’s when there is a fee. All the information you need about it is in the pamphlet. Your tickets are also inside. I’ll see myself out. Have a nice day.” She turned and walked out of the living room. No one spoke as they heard the front door open and close. Abby looked down at the Island pamphlet again.

“You’re not gonna let her go, are you?” Shane asked.

“Well,” said Abby’s mother slowly. “Maybe it’s a good idea. You don’t want another cake thrown in your face again, do you?” Her mouth twitched as she tried not to smile.

Mr. Woods turned to face Abby directly. “I’m letting you have the decision here. I’m not sure how I feel about all this. It’s one of the strangest things that I’ve ever had happen in my life but if you want to go to this place-this Island-to figure out that amazing brain of yours, then it’s okay by me.”

“I agree with your dad,” Mrs. Woods said.

Abby smiled and looked back down at the pamphlet. “I think I should go. I don’t want to accidentally start a fire or anything if I can do that too.”

Her father paused for a moment as if maybe rethinking everything. Then he nodded. “Alright, you can go then. By the way, when is it?”

Abby checked the pamphlet. “It’s from June first to August first. Two months.”

“The whole summer?” Evan asked in disbelief. “That means you’ll barely have a week of summer here before school starts up again.”

“I know,” Abby said. “But I really think I should do this. It seems important.”

“Yeah, you should go,” Shane spoke up, causing everyone to look at him in surprise. “It means I won’t have to look at you for two months.”

“Likewise,” Abby shot back at him.

“I have to say, I’ll be looking forward to a summer without you two bickering at each other,” Mr. Woods said, standing up. “Now, since this matter is settled, how about we finish Abby’s birthday?” He glanced at the kitchen table to where the cake had fallen on the floor. “I guess we’ll go straight to the ice cream instead.”

*******************************************

“So, what do you think it’ll be like?” Evan asked, as he and Abby sat out on the steps of her house, enjoying another bowl of ice cream. Her parents were inside watching T.V. and Shane was holed up in his room. “Being on the Island?”

“Hopefully like a tropical vacation,” Abby replied, setting her empty bowl aside and pulling the pamphlet out of her pocket. Evan leaned over so he could look at it also. On the front cover was a picture of what the Island looked like from afar. A massive green mountain shaped land mass surrounded by sparkling sapphire water. The inside pages showed other pictures of the school on the Island and the teenagers doing things like swimming in the ocean and playing volleyball. It looked like a regular camp during the summer.

“How do you get there?” Evan asked. “Plane?”

“Um…no,” Abby said, quickly reading a passage. “It says there’s a boat that takes the teenagers to the Island. It leaves at ten in the morning on June 1st and it leaves from Hathoway Dock.”

“Where’s that at?”

“There’s a map in here with directions. Looks like it’s only a couple hours away from here.” She continued to flip through the pamphlet. “Wow, this place actually looks pretty fun.”

Evan leaned away from Abby and gave a small sigh. “It’s gonna suck with you not here this summer, you know.”

Abby looked at Evan, closing the pamphlet in her hands. “I wish you could come with me.”

Evan stared down at his shoes. “We were supposed to do so much this summer. We were supposed to start karate classes together, remember?”

Abby’s shoulders sagged and she looked down at the ground. “Yeah, I know. I’m sorry for bailing on you like this. But, hey, you could still take the classes. I know you’ve been wanting to for a long time.”

“I didn’t want to take them without you, though,” he said, looking at her. “It’s not fun to do stuff alone.”

“I know but it’ll give you something to do this summer,” Abby said. “Besides, karate was your thing. I agreed to do it with you but you know me. I’m not much for harsh physical contact.”

Surprisingly, Evan grinned at that. “What about soft physical contact?”

Abby tilted her head in confusion. “Meaning?”

“Meaning…” Evan trailed off and leaned toward her slowly. Abby knew what he was going to do, welcoming it and being afraid of it at the same time. She had never kissed anyone unless you counted the boy she kissed in first grade for sharing his peanut butter sandwich with her; and she didn’t count that.

She almost pulled back, not wanting things to get weird but curiosity got the best of her and she let Evan’s lips meet hers. It was a very comfortable feeling kissing Evan. It was a short kiss and he pulled back and looked at her. She didn’t say anything and his eyes searched hers, waiting for a response.

“So…what are you thinking right now?” he asked, softly.

“Um…” She tried to gather her thoughts. What did this mean? What happens now? Did he like kissing her? Was she bad at it? Was he going to do it again? Did she want him to?

At that moment, the front door opened and Abby’s father stepped out onto the porch. Abby automatically leaned away from Evan, afraid that her dad would know what just happened.

“Abby, it’s nearly ten o’clock,” he said. “I know it’s your birthday but you do still have school tomorrow so maybe it’s time to start getting ready for bed.”

“Okay, Dad.”

He said bye to Evan then went back inside. Abby picked up her empty bowl and slowly stood up. Evan copied her and handed her his bowl.

“So…” he started.

“So,” she repeated. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow at school.”

“Oh,” he said, confusion clear in his eyes. “Right.” He slowly backed down the steps. “School. Tomorrow. Okay.” Before Abby could say anything else, he turned and quickly hurried down the steps to his bike.

Abby hated the guilty feeling she had as she headed inside with the empty bowls and the Island pamphlet. She just didn’t know what to say to Evan now. She was starting to regret letting him kiss her. It was already messing things up. She didn’t want to think of how weird it would be the next day at school. She hoped it wouldn’t ruin their friendship because if Evan wasn’t her friend anymore, she would lose part of herself.


When she arrived at school the next day, Evan was waiting for her at the bike rack as usual which she took as a good sign. She smiled at him and he returned it which was even better.

“Hey,” he greeted her as she approached him. Before she could say anything, he continued. “Listen, sorry about last night. I mean, the way I took off so suddenly like I did. I don’t know what I expected you to say after…after the kiss but I get why you didn’t really know what to say because if the situation was reversed, then I probably would have been the same way.” He was rambling and Abby smiled, amused by it. She had never seen him ramble before. “Anyway, I don’t want things to get screwed up because of me being an idiot so if you wanna just forget what happened, then okay.” She didn’t say anything and he waited for a few seconds then said, “Or…if you don’t want to forget what happened, we can talk about that instead.”

Abby reached out and took his hand. “All I know right now is I don’t want to lose you as a friend. And since I’m about to be leaving for a couple months, maybe we shouldn’t start something like this up right now.”

He nodded. “Yeah, you’re right. Okay, so just think of last night as a friend to friend happy birthday kiss and nothing else.”

She moved her hand so that she could give him a formal handshake. “Agreed.”

They laughed and headed to class.



Chapter Three

The Ship


The last weeks of school seemed to drag by for Abby. She knew that this time of year dragged by for everyone because summer was lurking right around the corner but she felt it went even slower for her. She didn’t think she had ever been so excited about anything in her entire life and something about going to this island felt right.

School let out a week before she was to go to the Island so she made sure to spend every bit of it with Evan. Every day was something different. A movie one day, swimming the next, bike riding, Frisbee in the park, roller skating, and on the day before she was to leave, a picnic in the park by the pond.

It was around three o’clock and they lay out on a blue blanket that clashed with the green grass. Evan had packed his mom’s picnic basket with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit punch juice boxes, and for dessert, strawberry cupcakes that he himself had made. When it came to making desserts, he was a pro; it was the actual dinner type items he had trouble with.

After Abby consumed her sandwich and two cupcakes, she laid back on the blanket, letting out a sigh of content. The sky was a light blue with no clouds in sight. The sun blanketed them with warmth and Abby closed her eyes, soaking it in.

“I could lay here forever,” she said, entirely comfortable.

Evan gave a giant stretch and laid in the spot next to her. “That makes two of us. I bet being on that Island will be better than this though.”

Abby turned her head to look at him. “Why do you say that?”

He grinned as he leaned on his elbow. “Duh, because it’s an island; the beach, ocean, sun, palm trees. It’s paradise.”

Abby gave a light laugh. “I don’t know if it’s gonna be exactly like that.” She closed her eyes again. “But I hope so.”

“Well I know one thing,” Evan said, stretching out and folding his hands behind his head. “You better bring me a souvenir.”

Abby laughed and they continued basking in the sunshine together.

The next day, Abby got up at seven in the morning. She already had all her stuff packed and woke up ready to go. She went downstairs and greeted her parents who were already up and drinking coffee. Shane was still in his room, asleep. He didn’t want to join everyone on the two hour trip to Hathoway Dock. Evan, however, did want to join and he showed up at half past seven, yawning as Abby opened the door to let him in.

“This is the earliest I’m getting up this entire summer,” he said, shuffling into the house.

Abby giggled and led him into the kitchen where there were fresh sausage and biscuits. She served him a couple on a plate along with a glass of orange juice. He finished both of his biscuits before she could finish one. Abby could never understand where teenage boys got their appetites.

After everyone finished their breakfast, they loaded into the white Toyota that Mrs. Woods drove and headed on their journey. The drive seemed short to Abby, mainly because she chatted with Evan and played car games on the way there. Finally, they turned off the main highway onto a smaller service road. A sign at the intersection had said Hathoway Dock and pointed with an arrow down the road. They almost drove past it because the sign was practically hidden in the shrubbery.

“Almost there,” Mr. Woods said. “Just a few more miles.”

Five minutes later, they turned a corner to find a gate across the road and a young man in cargo pants and a muscle shirt standing in a little hut next to it. As they pulled up to the gate, then man approached their car.

“This is private property,” the man said sternly. “What’s your business here?”

“My daughter is boarding the ship for that Island school,” Mr. Woods told him.

“Do you have a ticket?” the man asked.

Abby quickly handed her ticket to her father who handed it to the man. He quickly looked it over, glanced through the back window at Abby, then nodded and handed the ticket back to Mr. Woods. He stepped back and pushed a button to open the gate. Mr. Woods gave the man a slight wave and drove on through.

“Wow, tough security,” Abby said, as she took back her ticket.

“I guess that’s how they keep us normal folk out,” her dad replied. He looked into the rearview mirror and gave her a wink.

They continued to drive down a winding road for about another mile and approached a giant hill. When they crested over the top, they had quite the sight before them.

Abby remembered reading about the ship in the pamphlet but she had a small boat envisioned in her head. But this was a SHIP. She was sure it wasn’t any bigger than the cruise ships she had seen on T.V. but seeing a ship for the first time in her life, she thought she was looking at the Titanic.

The color was a clean white with a gleaming gold trim. There were several people already walking on the ship and several teenagers boarding it, carrying their bags over their shoulders.

“Wow,” Abby breathed, leaning forward as far as she could to look out the windshield.

Mr. Woods let out a low whistle. “I have to say, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a ship like that.”

“It’s very beautiful,” Abby’s mother added.

Mr. Woods parked in the parking lot where several other vehicles were. Abby got out of the car, still staring at the ship in awe. She couldn’t believe she was lucky enough to be able to go on it.

Her parents and Evan exited the car also and all four of them stared up at the massive ship. Finally Mr. Woods said, ”Well, come on. We can’t stand here and stare at it all day. It’s almost ten.”

They quickly walked down the wooden walkway that led to a small building where a balding man stood inside. He wore thick glasses and looked up at them as they approached.

“Hello,” Mr. Woods greeted him. “We’re here for-“

“Name?” the balding man interrupted.

“Oh, uh, Abby Woods,” Abby spoke up.

The man quickly looked at a clipboard, flipping through several papers. “Ah, yes, Abby Woods.” He looked at her. “Do you have your ticket?” Abby quickly pulled it out of her pocket and handed it to him. He looked it over, tore it in half, and handed a piece back to her. “Give this to the man at the dock. Enjoy your trip.”

“Thanks,” Abby said, and passed through the small gate next to the building. Her parents and Evan followed still staring at the ship that seemed dazzling in the morning sun. A few moments later they reached the dock, where a young man around the age of twenty was waiting at the end of the walkway.

“Hello, there,” he said with a smile, holding out his hand for Abby’s ticket. Abby handed it to him, her eyes still on the ship. “First time?” he asked. She nodded and he chuckled. “The ship’s a beauty, isn’t it?”

“Extremely,” Abby said.

Another young man approached wearing a gold work vest over his tan shorts and white t-shirt.

“Can I get your bags for you?” he asked Abby.

Abby handed him her suitcase and duffel bag. “Thank you.”

“The ship will be leaving in ten minutes so you might want to say bye to your family,” the ticket taker informed her, still smiling.

Abby turned to her parents and looked up at them.

“Well, I guess this is it,” she said. She glanced at her mother whose eyes were brimming with tears. “Mom, it’s not so bad. I mean, remember when I went to Camp Kotash when I was twelve? I was gone for a month then and this is just double the time.”

Mrs. Woods nodded and gave Abby a hug. “I’m still going to miss you very much,” she said.

“I’ll write to you guys every chance I get,” Abby promised. She had read in the pamphlet that cell phones did not work on the island and there was only radio communication to other places in case of emergency.

She pulled back from her mother and turned to hug her dad.

“Be careful out there,” he said, giving her a squeeze.

“I will. Thanks for letting me go.”

“You deserve it,” he said, smiling down at her. “Besides, you need to figure out what else that amazing brain of yours does.”

Abby laughed and looked over at Evan. He was standing with his hands in his pockets, watching her. This goodbye was going to be harder for Abby. Ever since she and Evan had become friends in the fifth grade, they hadn’t been away from each other more than a couple weeks. He had even joined her at Camp Kotash and if she had her way, he’d be coming to the Island with her. She hated that he couldn’t be with her this time.

“So,” she started, not sure what to follow it with; especially not with her parents standing beside her. Luckily for Abby, her mother seemed to understand that they needed to say bye to each other alone so she pulled Mr. Woods away from them.

Evan stared at her for a moment, then said, “I’m gonna miss you.”

“I really wish you could come with me.”

He gave a half smile, then took a step toward her. “Will you do me a favor while you’re out there?”

“Of course,” she replied right away. “What is it?”

“Will you…think about us…maybe being…more?” he said, slowly, trying to find the right words.

Before Abby could answer, a loud horn was sounded from the boat. A voice bellowed out from somewhere near the ship.

“FIVE MINUTES UNTIL DEPARTURE!”

Abby looked looked at the boat, then back at Evan. “I gotta go. But, yeah, I’ll think about it.”

Those words made him smile and he gave her a hug. Before he pulled back, he gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“Have fun out there,” he said.

“I’ll try my best,” she replied. She slowly started to back away to the ship. “And you try to stay out of trouble.”

“I’ll try my best,” he said, imitating her.

“Bye, Evan.”

“See you in two months,” he replied. It was as if he didn’t want to say bye and wanted it to be more of a ‘see you later’ type of thing.

He continued to stand on the dock as she walked up the ramp that went into the side of the ship. Once inside, she followed the line of teenagers to an elevator that took them to the upper deck. Everyone was chatting lively and Abby could feel the excitement in the air. She couldn’t stop smiling and once on the deck, she hurried over to the edge with everyone else and peered over. It took her a minute to find Evan and her parents standing in the crowd. She waved at them and they spotted her, quickly returning the wave. Several of the other families on the dock shouted out their goodbyes and last minute things they wanted to say. Another horn sounded and the ship began to sail away from the dock. Abby continued to wave until they were just tiny figures standing there.

At that moment a voice came over a loudspeaker that was mounted on the deck.

“Attention, all travelers! Welcome aboard the ship that takes you to the Isle of Peritia!”

There was a massive amount of cheers from the people on the boat.

“A quick reminder of rules on this ship,” the voice continued. “Do not use any of your abilities while aboard. It is a matter of safety so please follow this rule. Also, do not lean over the railings, as you might slip and fall. Lunch will be served at noon in the dining area. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the Helpers in the gold vests. Enjoy the trip.”

Abby glanced around and noticed a few Helpers roaming the deck. One was talking to another teen, one was offering a person drinks off a tray, and another was just strolling along greeting people as he went. As Abby observed the others on board, she wondered what their abilities were. No one paid any attention to her; they all seemed to already have their own groups of friends and were chatting to each other with enthusiasm.

Abby turned to face the ocean water, amazed at how beautiful everything looked. The morning sun was shining on the water causing it to sparkle, which Abby thought made the water look new like a shiny car. It looked so inviting and part of her wanted to jump off the ship and swim. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, enjoying the smell of the salt water and the wind that tousled her hair as the ship gained speed in the vast ocean. She still couldn’t believe she was on a ship headed to an island. Because she could move things with her mind. She laughed to herself at the craziness of it all.

“It’s really pretty, isn’t it?”

Abby opened her eyes and turned to see who had spoken. A girl about her age with shoulder length black hair and sea green eyes was walking up to her. She leaned on the rail beside Abby and smiled at her.

“Yeah, it’s amazing,” Abby replied.


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