(This is the unedited version)
Because this book is to be published, I am only publishing a few chapters.)
The orphanage grew farther away as David, his sister, Marvel and their friend, Marc, ran from the people chasing them. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! David panicked. The orphanage workers were starting to catch up! He could see beads of sweat running down Marc’s forehead. A large BOOM filled the air. David grabbed Marc and Marvel as they all went flying toward the ground.
“Thought you might need help.” A voice said.
David looked up at a couple of men, no, teenagers, staring down at them. A boy with grey hair blew out the smoke on a large gun he held.
“I’m Jackson. Just Jackson, and you’re lives are going to change.” He said with a cynical smile.
My life’s going to change? How? It can’t possibly get any worse. Can it?
David watched as Jackson slammed his fist into the wall, making the room shudder. The other kids gave each other with frightened looks.
“This will not do Carline!” He growled. “You have the wrong map. This one is from 2008, we need the map for 2011!” He crumbled the map of the world in his hand and threw it in the trash.
David knew the plan to overthrow the world would take time and brains. Jackson had been planning to do something such as this. All he had to do was collect teenagers and make the plans. Right now he has about six thousand seven hundred teens going along with him.
Jackson has forty-five counselors who held groups in different parts of the country. Each group has about one hundred and fifty-five teens in it. Jackson's group is the largest so far. The teens that didn't agree with Jackson's plan got exterminated. Their families are held hostage in the basement. Jackson use’s the basement of this old mansion as a prison. The teenager’s parents and younger siblings had been kidnapped and locked up in the basement too. Jackson told most of his friends about the plan. They told their friends, who told their friends and so on.
David watched as the seventeen-year-old boy paced around his table. David himself was only four years younger than Jackson. He didn’t quite like the idea of kidnapping all the parents and overthrowing the world. It was practically a dumb, dangerous idea. David knew that everyday the group’s leaders had convinced more teens to join. They came from all over the world, leaving their parents or orphanages behind. He was one of the orphans in western Pennsylvania. David and twenty-four other teenagers had run away and joined Jackson.
The plan for David and a couple other orphans was to gather all the other kids on the streets with no home. David enjoyed the idea. He was told he had to keep under cover. Jackson made the sixteen-year-old black haired girl sit back down. She frowned at him and looked at the ground. Jackson ignored Carline and looked at the other teens in the room. He has twenty teens in his own group who were of value to him. He called this group a Leaders Gang (L.G). David was one of them. The other teens stayed downstairs and organized the dusty mansion. Progress has been good so far.
No one ever came to this mansion because of Jackson's ghost pranks to scare them. David looked at a blond haired girl who had her arms folded and looked devotedly at Jackson. She sat by David’s younger sister, Marvel. Jackson agreed since Marvel would be turning thirteen in two months that she could join the group. She had pleased him so well lately that Jackson made her part of his L.G. Marvel looked at David and smiled. She nudged the blond girl next to her and whispered something too low for David to hear.
The blond girl looked at David and smiled. He blushed just as Jackson’s voice rose. “…and any of you who object will be joining the puny teens down stairs. Once I…we have this world under our control, you will all have your own houses, stores and etc.
Am I clear?” Jackson asked.
David nodded along with the other teens. He leaned over to the boy next to him and whispered, “What was Jackson talking about earlier?” The boy gave David a hard stare and didn’t answer. He scooted closer on the bench toward this very pretty girl. She had light eye make up and wore a jean jacket with sweat pants. Close to what David wore.
Jackson had sent a couple seventeen-year-olds to snatch some cloths from stores. Lancaster was a simple place to snatch things, even for fourteen-year-olds. Before Jackson dismissed the L.G to go about their business, he looked at each of them and said, “I have already talked to the others outside of the L.G. Each teen thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, etc…will have their own jobs. You will see the chart outside each door of each room. Only the L.G teens are free to go about the business I give them. You are dismissed.” The teens began to leave the room.
David felt a light tap on the shoulder and turned around to see Marvel. She was an inch smaller than him, about five feet, three inches. “Are you going to lunch?” She asked. David nodded and took his sisters hand. They began to walk toward the dining hall. Just before passing a door that had a sign with the numbers ‘13’ above it for the thirteen-year-olds that are assigned to that room, they looked at a chart pinned to the door.
The writing had been done by hand because they couldn’t afford to pay for electricity. That’s why they had lights with batteries. David read the assignments on the chart.
Ordered by Jackson Ellison
Thirteen years: Keep the mansion under control. Keep it clean.
Fourteen years: Cook. Provide meals.
Fifteen years: Provide for what is needed. (Cooking supplies, clothes, ect…)
Sixteen years: Collect teens. Bring them into the group.
Seventeen years: Guard the mansion. Protect the group.
David looked at Marvel and suddenly realized he was stuck in a crowd of teens looking at the chart. “Excuse me.” David shoved his way through the crowd until he got to the other side.
Looking over the crowd to marvel, he saw her busy talking to a couple girls. David walked toward the dining hall where they sat and looked at the buffet table. It was full with bread, soup, veggies, and desert platters of donuts…
“Black!” Jackson came up from behind David and took his arm. “I have to have a few words with you.”
David followed Jackson back to his office and sat down at a near seat.
A guard stood next to Jackson's desk and glared at David.
“Cole, you may go.” Jackson said.
The guard left the room with one final stare at David.
“Cole, he is a thirteen year old boy! What harm can he do? Now get yourself out of my office. I’ll call you if I need you.”
Cole closed the door behind him as he left.
“Now,” Jackson began “do you know why you’re part of the L.G, David Back?”
David shook his head.
“You’re going to be fourteen years old in a couple of weeks, so, I have a job for you.”
Jackson's lightening blue eyes seemed to pierce David.
“You’re a very nimble, young, talented boy. I want you to do a huge favor.”
David listened intensively to what Jackson had to say.
“We need all the teenagers we can get, right? So far we have gotten around...” Jackson looked at a folder with papers sprawled out on his desk “ten thousand teenagers over the past two years. I have made a few more groups. Tonight when we have our nighttime meeting as, I want you to leave and take my horse that’s behind the house and go to L.A. I heard Miley Cyrus is going to be there to see a show. I want you to kidnap her. What do you think?”
David looked at Jackson in awe. He had no clue what to say except for what flew out of his mouth.
“Are you kidding? She’ll be too hard! People will be all over her, photographers, and fans, lots of people! I can’t just go up to her; she’ll have guards by the way. And what will I say? ‘Hey, Miley, I know this club in Lancaster, its fabulous! Our leader wants us to help him take over the world. He’s going to overthrow the government you know? That’s crazy! She’ll never listen!”
Jackson began to laugh.
“You have good humor David, but not enough. The plan should work. If you need a gun, one of the guards can provide one for you.”
“What if she has a boyfriend? I mean, won’t he be listening to our conversation?”
“Why do we need her?”
“Well, we don’t need just her. First, when we kidnap Miley, all the attention will be on L.A. No one will expect her to be in Lancaster. Now, if you would please sit back down, we may discuss the plan.”
David realized he had been standing up. He sat down on the chair with a thump.
“What a few friends and I planned was simple. We found out where Miley is going after the show. She is going to meet her dad. I don’t know where, but I do know which road she’s taking.” Jackson gave David a small smile and continued on, “If you’re wondering how we plan to kidnap her, don’t worry. We have it all under control. Miley is going to be escorted by two bodyguards and a limo. When they pull out onto the main road, you will be waiting to ambush the limo. They’re won’t be any bloody work with guns and so on. Instead, Cole Brady has snatched a small bomb of sleeping gas from his uncle’s science lab. When the limo comes close, you will push a small green button on the bomb and toss it at the limo’s windshield. This gas can go through anything. As soon as the limo has stopped, go strait from the back of the limo and peek inside it. Make sure no one, and nothing is awake. When all seems clear, open the door – if its not locked – and get Miley out of there. She may be too heavy to put atop the horse, so, I decided to have a small wagon with all the supplies you’ll need in it.
“You need to drive the wagon to the end of the road, which is about a mile or two, and you’ll meet Cole and a few other guys there. They will have a car. So, any questions?” Jackson folded his hands together and leaned on the table.
David nodded and said, “What if the limo is locked?”
The question made Jackson smile.
“In the wagon…there should be a Swiss army knife. Except, there is no knife in it. All it contains are picklocks. Is that all?”
“No. When do I leave? And, how long will it take me to get there?”
“Oh, shoot! I forgot. You, my horse and wagon are going to be escorted at the road where you’ll ambush the limo. I forgot about that.”
“Okay.” David stood up to leave.
Jackson escorted him out and went back to his desk. Cole stood guard outside the door. Looking him up and down, Cole rolled his eyes.
David glared at him. “What are you rolling your eyes at?”
Cole was about six feet tall. The only thing David was worried about were the muscles that rippled down Cole’s arms. He gave David a very daunting look that made him turn and run down the hall. As he came toward the cafeteria, David ran into someone.
“Oh, sorry…” He stopped mid sentence to stare at the person he ran into. She was a bit shorter than him, had blonde hair and a dog that stood at her side.
“Err, hi. Sorry about that.” He gave her another look and entered the cafeteria.
“David!” Marvel came running up to him.
“Why don’t you sit with us?” She motioned to a full table.
Two empty spots sat at the end. Our spots, no doubt, David thought. He let Marvel lead him to the table. There were two full plates of food.
“That one's yours. You should have seen the crowd! People started shoving their way for the food! I’m guessing there must be amazing cooks in the kitchen, or people are being pigs. Either one.”
“Yeah, Marvel, you didn’t tell him what you did!” a blond haired girl sitting next to Marvel said.
“What did you do?” David asked.
“She stood up on a table and yelled ‘everyone get in line for the food or I’ll have Jackson come in here’ everyone instantly got in line! It was amazing.” The blonde said.
“Now we know how everyone feels about Jackson.” Marvel said with a mouthful of food.
David studied the teens at the table. He recognized a few people. Three black haired boys, triplets, Jimmy James, Tammy James and Jacky James. They all were huddled together as usual, listening to the conversation. David saw one of his best friends from the orphanage he came from, Marc Shragelle. He caught David's eye and waved.
“Be right back.” David whispered to Marvel who was chatting to a girl next to her. David stood up from the bench and went to the other side of the table where Marc sat.
“Hey! I haven't seen you for a while. I thought you might have been kicked out.” Marc stood up and gave David a big grizzly bear hug.
“Nope. You’re out of luck. I’m still here.” David returned the hug.
“Now, I heard you and Jackson had a private meeting. Everyone is talking about it.” Marc gave David a stern look. “Aren’t you going to tell me about it?” He shook David.
“Er, yeah, after Dinner. I’ll see you in our laze.”
David gave Marc a pat on the back and went back to his seat. Dinner was over quickly. David rushed to his laze where he found his roommates dozing in their beds. There were three bunk beds. The room was rather large, each teen boy got their own little space of the room. Soon, they’d have to find another mansion and use it as a second group area. David’s room held six boys. Marc Shragelle, Linn Mc’Delly, Mario Karey, Zack write, Tony Blaize, and himself.
Mario slept in the bed beneath David's. It was very annoying when he snored. Marc’s bunk was right across from David's. He too slept on top above Linn.
Looking around the room, David spied Marc standing at their fooseball table in the corner of the room. Tony was on the other side of the table taking hold of one of the teams. They were little black blue soccer players. Marc’s team were white soccer players. Mario layed in his bed and slept while Zack read.
Linn was nowhere in sight. David stepped out into the hall and looked at the teens huddled in corners, either talking of laughing. There were no girls in sight. Of course, because this was the boys floor. The girls floor was below them on the second floor. All the boys in the mansion took up two floors while the girls took up one.
Apparently the boys out-populated the girls. “Hey Davie!” A short skinny African/American teen came up to him. It was Casey Hugh. Ugh! David thought. Casey always bragged about how he found the most teens and brought them into the group.
“What do you want?” David asked.
Casey placed an arm around David's shoulders and said, “I just wanted to ask if you’ve seen a girl with a dog? I seem to have misplaced her.”
“What do you need her for?” David remembered the girl he ran into.
“Oh, Lets say its secret.”
“I know where she is. And unless I find out what you need her for, I wont tell you.”
“Jackson needs her.”
“Who is her?”
Casey rolled his eyes. “How would you know where she is if don’t know her?”
“Lets say I ran into her today. I have my connections.”
Once again, Casey rolled his eyes. “You’re a hard one to get answers from. This girls name is Fiore Striking. Now will you tell me where she is?”
David tried to make something up. “She’s…in the girls dormitory. Ask Marvel. Maybe she saw her last. Got to go!” David went back into his room.
“I feel like I’m at summer camp.” Said Tony. He and Marc now sat on the floor with Uno cards.
“Why do you say that?” Marc asked.
“Well, there is no school, and no real hard jobs. All I have to do is steal stuff for us. That's not too hard.” “What if you get caught? Has that happened?”
David listened to the conversation as he crawled into his bunk.
“Yes, only a few times. But no one has been taken away. We find our way out of things. Like once, there was this girl, Cara, She went into a store with food. This fat lady watched Cara make her way around the store. Cara had taken one of the store’s grocery bags. While walking around, Cara began placing food items in the bag. Finally, the bag was full. The fat lady went up to Cara and asked why she was filling the bag. Cara had a ton of make-up on, by the way, so no one would recognize her. Cara answered the lady politely and said, ‘I’m taking it’. Without another word, she shoved her way past the lady and ran out the door.
Unfortunately, there was a police officer standing outside the doors. He grabbed Cara’s arm and began to yell at her. Now, here my gang I are sitting, watching Cara behind a bush. She was terrified!”
Mario spoke up for the first time, “What happened then?”
“Cara wrenched out of the officers grip and took off away from us, being careful not to get us in trouble. She ran down the street and tried to find a place to hide the goods. She shoved them under a car and took off in another direction. The police officer never found her. Later that day, Cara returned to the bag and claimed her prize. Of course she gave it to the kitchen staff.”
“How do you know the rest of the story?” Mario asked.
“Cara told us when we returned to the mansion.” Tony smiled and jumped into his bunk under Zack and collapsed.
“Lights out!” A voice called from their door. It was Melvyn, he was the third floor director who made sure the rooms were tidy, and that all the teens’ lights were out after nine o’clock.
David lay there trying to sleep, but the mission he was given from Jackson kept him awake. That night, David was awaken by a hand shaking his shoulder.
“Come on. Jackson needs you.” A voice said. It sounded a lot like Cole’s.
David got up and shoved on a jacket, pants and his shoes. Cole had to drag him to the stairs where David almost fell. He gripped the railing and slowly trotted downward.
“You are so SLOW!” Cole Grabbed David and threw him over his shoulder. David was to drowsy to kick or scream. Instead, he lied limp like a rag. Without a warning, David was thrown into an armchair. He blinked his eyes at the bright candles on top of a desk.
“Welcome David Black. Its nice to see that you’re…” Jackson skipped his sentence and went on to another subject. “Cole is going to take you to the road where you’ll ambush Miley Cyrus. It should take about…Nevermind. I suppose you take the helicopter.”
“We have a helicopter?” David awoke fully to this.
“Yes. Cole, you’ll have to drive to that big cornfield. You should see Chris and his dad’s helicopter.”
A puzzled expression covered Coles face.
“Is this Chris the guy you said was helping us out?”
“Yes he is, Cole. Chris is helping us and his parents don’t have a clue. He was my friend in middle school. Chris is twenty-one. He has driving experience with helicopters. Now, be sure to take the van with the horse wagon and horse.”
“Jackson, how do you expect the horse and wagon to fit in the helicopter?” David asked.
Jackson looked at the roof then back to David. “Don’t worry. You’ll be surprised what can fit in this helicopter. The wagon isn’t all that big. It’s pretty small. Now, be on your way.”
Cole grabbed David's arm and led him out the back door. There was a large van with a horse trailer attached to it. A whinny came from inside of it.
“Get in the other side.” Cole ordered.
David did as he was told and hopped into the other side of the van. The seat wasn’t comfortable, but at least it wasn’t stone hard. As Cole turned the key in the ignition the engine roared to life.
“Put your seatbelt on.” He growled.
David quickly snapped his seatbelt on and turned away.
The ride was smooth and silent, except for the noise the horse wagon made. Once in a while, Cole would look at David, but with a sour look. David finally couldn’t stand it.
“Okay, what's wrong with you? Why do you keep giving me those weird looks? And, why don’t you like me?”
Cole began to laugh.
“What's so funny? I have a good point here.”
“Nada.” Coles said.
“What?” David looked away from the window in which he had been staring out with anger. Now he was looking at Cole.
“Nada. means nothing in Spanish.”
“You speak Spanish?” David asked in awe.
“Yes. And Italian.”
“How do you say, in Spanish, ‘what the heck is going on?’”
“¿Qué diablos está pesando?” Cole said with a heavy accent.
“That's neat. Now, you haven't told me why you dislike me.” David folded his arms and glared at Cole who said, “Usted muy joven para esto y Jakcon debe enviar a alguien mayores.”
“What…what language was that?”
“What did you say?”
“Oh, only that you're too young for this.”
“You're a jerk!”
“I know, and I really enjoy it.” Said Cole with a smirk.
“Why?” David could feel himself turning red.
“Because I know I'm older and tougher and I can get away with things.” Cole pulled the car off the road and behind a hedge.
“We need to walk from here.” He said.
“How far is it?” David asked.
“About two minutes. Get out.” Cole took the key out of the ignition and climbed out of the van. David did the same. As they walked through the cut corn fields, David noticed that there were patches of snow on the ground. He didn’t remember it snowing, but pushed the thought to the back of his mind as they got closer to the helicopter. The helicopters rotor was spinning, forcing a wind to stir up the leaves and left over corn stalks. The wind pulled at David's shirt. Cole went ahead of him and met Chris.
He saw the talking, but couldn’t hear a word over the helicopters vociferous reverberating noise. Cole walked over to him and began to push him into the helicopters belly. He found it very uncomfortable. Cole and Chris had left to get the wagon. It wasn’t long till they returned. Chris sat in a small multi colored wagon that was being pulled by a brown horse. Cole was nowhere in sight. The horse began to buck at the loud noise of the helicopter, but Chris settled it. With David's help it took about ten minutes to get the horse and the wagon in the back of the helicopter.
The ride was very smooth, but made David sick to the stomach. Chris had given him some Tums to settle it. “Were nearly there now.” He said in a whisper.
“How long have we been driv…flying?” The question had haunted David since they got into the air.
“We have been traveling for…three and a half days.”
David sat up for the first time since they’d gotten in the air. The window was like a sideways dome. He looked out at a large green field. Wait. This isn’t Los Angeles! He thought. Three days? I’ve really been asleep! No wonder I’m so hungry! Those Tums! Possibly sleeping pills? Hmm. Weird!
“Where are we?” David looked at Chris who gave him a huge smile.
“I changed the plans.” He said.
“He’s always changing our plans! You know what? Just take me back. This is all stupid! Jackson can have someone else do this job. Let Cole do it, for Pete's sake!”
Chris didn’t even flinch at David's demand. “Who ever said HE changed the plans?” Chris began,
“What do you mean? And, where are we?”
“Somewhere. Listen, you’ll be told everything once we land. Now, relax.”
“Are you…kidnapping me?”
“Yes and no.” These were the last words Chris said since they had landed. It was rough landing, but at least they were down. David jumped out of the helicopter and began to run straight, not knowing where to go. They were in a large green field. He was aware of Chris chasing him. Although David was tall and had long legs, Chris's legs were longer!
Before David knew it, he was tackled to the ground. Chris pinned him down.
“Calm down, David! This is no game. I’m not going to hurt you, trust me.” He let David go then stood up.
David slowly got up, keeping his eyes on Chris. At the mansion, they had been taught to always be aware of their surroundings. They were also taught to run away form anything that seemed suspicious. This was one of those things. David had a quick thought to run.
“David, you can’t escape me, no matter how fast you run. Get back to the helicopter.”
“Yes ma’am.” David grumbled.
They both got back to the helicopter and began to unload the horse and cart.
“You’ll have to travel alone to your destination.”
“Where will that be?” David asked.
“Up that hill and straight for a mile, then you will find my place.”
“Your place? What am I looking for? And why don’t you fly me there?” David had noticed that the place they landed was desolate. There was a very large hill that led upward right beyond them.
“I need to climb that?” He asked.
“Yup. Here you go.” Chris harnessed the horse to the wagon. “The reason I won’t fly you is because there is a huge protective shield around the place you need to go. If I were to hit that shield the helicopter would explode. Where I want you to go is a place where they teach special kids new things.” Chris said.
The word special had caught David's attention. “Special? What do you mean?”
The horse trotted in front of David. He looked in the cart as Chris answered the question.
“Some teens have a very unusual power. Like Fiore Striking, the girl you ran into, once in a while, she’d imagine something random. Like once, she randomly – in her mind – imagined someone telling her they were going somewhere, and sure enough, it happened. Then, she imagined one of her friends tripping, and it happened.”
“You mean she makes it happen?” The thought crept David out.
“No. She can see things before they happen. Against her will.”
“Like, seeing the future?”
“Yes. But she can’t make it happen.”
“What about me? How am I special?”
“You are different from most of the teens. You'll find out on your own. I collect teens that have those special powers. They’re psychics.” The way he said the word scared David.
“What's in it for me if I stay?” David asked.
Chris pondered the question for a moment then said,
“You get to have a place to stay, food, friends, and we wont have to lock you up. We can’t just let you go out there and reveal our secrets. Does that sound fair, David?”
David nodded. He got into the cart and took the horses reigns.
“What are you doing anyway? Why are you collecting special kids?” David studied Chris’s face for any sign of anger at this question. But, Chris looked thoughtful.
“Jackson and I are competing. He doesn’t know I’m his archenemy of course, but he does realize that his teens are disappearing. And, I sent him a note telling him my plans. I never signed my name though. He doesn’t have any clue that some of his teens are special. I’m taking them one by one.”
Chris slapped the horses rear. It whinnied and took off up the hill.
“See you later Davie!” Chris called.
David held on to the horse’s reigns with all his might. The horse led the wagon over large rocks, making it jump. David had been thrown out of the front seat and into the back. He lied there while the wagon bounced and shook. Afraid that one of the wheels might come off, David debated whether to jump out of the wagon or lay there with his hands over his head like he was already doing. The wagon began to bounce less and the horses thudding hooves began to slow to a light trot in the grass. The wagon slowed to a halt.
“Hello?” a voice called from outside of the wagon. David looked over the wagon walls. A small boy held the horse’s reigns.
“You don’t know how to drive a horse wagon, do you? The wagon was about to ram into that rock.” He pointed to the ground where a large jagged rock sat.
“How did you stop the horse?” David asked.
The boy looked from the horse to David. “Why are you here, first?” He asked.
“Chris sent me this way. He said I needed to go to his place.”
“Okay. So, you know about special teens then?”
“Good,” began the boy, I'm Vladimir. I can give people good thoughts. If you were to be mad, I could make you think you think you were in a field of daisies. Who are you? And what's your forte?”
David had climbed out of the wagon and now stood in front of Vladimir.
“I’m David Black. I don’t know what my…err…forte is.”
Vladimir looked surprised. “Oh, then you’ll have to find out.” He said.
David looked ashamed. For what? Not knowing what I can do? He thought.
“Take me to Chris’s place, please.”
“Sure! C’mon.” Vladimir said.
David jumped back into the wagon with Vladimir who took the reigns. He whistled to the horse and snapped the reigns on its back. The wagon began to roll over rocks and grass again.
“How do you know how to drive?” David asked.
“We’re taught at Chris’s place. It’s a large cave with many, many tunnels. The left side of the cave is ours and the right side is the girls. Our teachers have to be nineteen or up to teach us.” Vladimir answered.
“What do they teach?”
“They teach us how to use our powers, and they teach us more powers we might have. I learned, just recently, how to sense someone, or something half a mile away. You’ll be taught that soon. Now, how old are you?” Vladimir didn’t take his eyes off the horse when he asked the question.
“I’m thirteen. I’ll be fourteen soon.”
“What?” Vladimir exclaimed.
“You’re so tall for your age! I’m fifteen and look how short I am.”
“How old do you have to be to take lessons? And what are we taking lessons for?”
“Jackson wants to rule the world right?” Vladimir asked. He began in a quiet voice, “Chris wants to stop Jackson. So, he’s planning to get as many special teens as possible to teach them how to fight and work their power…”
“Wait!” David interrupted. “Are you saying Chris wants to have war? I have a little sister at Jackson's mansion! She knows nothing about fighting…”
“I never said we were going to have to fight! Chris wants us to learn how to, in case of problems. We need more teens in our group.” The conversation ended with a whinny from the horse. “We’re here.” Vladimir said.
David could see a large cave from ahead. As it got closer, the cave got bigger. David was surprised to see there was no hole in the entrance. Only a regular sized door sat at the foot of the cave. Teens were gathered around, laughing, talking and showing off their powers.
“Vlad’!” a voice called from behind David.
He looked around to see three teenagers huddled in the back of the wagon.
“How did you get in there?” David asked.
One of the teens, a tall, blond haired girl jumped out of the wagon and disappeared in mid air. The others, two boys, did the same.
“What happened?” David whispered.
“Oh, don’t mind them, they have the power of invisibility. It’s very rare.” A wind swept passed them as they jumped out of the cart. Vladimir’s cropped black hair shivered like grass in the wind. David helped him unhitch the horse.
“There is a stable far behind the cave.” Vladimir told him.
David took the reigns and pulled himself onto the horses exposed back.
“Careful now, David.” Vladimir left him and went after a group of teens.
“Lets go find you a place to stay.” David whispered to the horse.
It nodded its head as if heard what David said. He nudged the horse’s sides with his heel. The horse responded with a slow trot and they went toward the back of the cave. David had never ridden a horse, so this was very hard to do!
“Nice horse!” a couple of teens called.
David ignored their smirks and ignorant words such as “nice pony” and “where’s Cinderella?” David looked at the horse.
“You know what, I’m going to keep you and name you Acacia.” he said to his horse now. They got to the stables where a few horses were.
Acacia was put in an empty stall where David gave it hay.
“She’s beautiful.” A girl who sat upon a maroon colored horse trotted up to him.
“Um, this is Acacia. I don’t know if it’s a girl or boy…”
“Let me check.” The girl hopped off her horse and walked into Acacia’s stall.
“Wait…!” before David could react, the girl stood in front of the horse and pressed her hand on its muzzle. “It’s a girl. She says her name is Riot.” The girl came out of the stall and stood by David.
“You can talk to animals?” he asked with his mouth agape.
“Yup. That's my Forte. By the way, I’m Snow Drop. It’s a weird name, I know, but my last names Drop, and my mother named me Snow. My dad ran away with some woman, and my mother died of cancer leaving me with me evil aunt. The second I stepped out of the car, I ran as fast as I could. Then, some of Chris’s guys found me, and brought me here.”
“Oh, that sucks. Who gave you the horse?” David asked trying to change the subject.
“Chris. He said I could have any horse in here. It was because I did him a few favors. I picked Dazzle. She’s an angel!” Snow rubbed her horse’s head.
“I like the name.” David said locking Acacia’s stall door. He looked at Snow and asked, “May I call Riot, Acacia?”
“What do you think, Riot?” Snow asked David's horse.
Riot tossed her head and whinnied. “She doesn’t mind. Now, we’d better go for dinner.” Snow placed Dazzle in the stall next to Acacia’s and ran for the stable doors.
David followed her out into the sunlight. He realized that Snows Blonde hair brought out the color in her bright blue eyes. She looked at him and smiled.
“Where do we eat?” David asked just to rid the blush from his cheeks.
“We eat in the cafeteria.” Snow answered while swatting some mosquitoes away from them.
“The teens that have the power of scent.”
“They can smell anything at fifty yards from them, and, they are the most amazing cooks! Mm-mm.” she said.
They arrived at the entryway inside the cave.
“What kind of powers do some of the teens have?” David asked.
Snow thought about it for a moment. Just as they entered the cave she said, “Well, we’ve got those with the power of invisibility, the power of scent, the power of animal tongues, the power of all tongues, the power of convincing, the power of order, the power of flight, the power of roses (That’s a weird one), the power of love, the power of death, the power of…umm, there are too many to name!” she laughed.
David wasn’t paying attention; he was looking at the red-carpeted halls, the lights that hung on the walls, the beautifully painted wall and the couches that sat against the walls and all the pictures that lined the walls! This wasn’t how he’d expected the inside of a cave.
He expected it to be dark, dreary, leaking water; it was very different.
This is Chris’s place? He thought. This was nothing Chris could own. It was too…nice. Snow seemed to know that David wasn’t paying attention to her. She let him look around in the rooms they passed. The cafeteria was huge! But it was cozy. Many teens sat at the tables.
“Snow! Over here.” A brunette girl was waving at them.
“That's Elizabeth Orson.” Snow whispered.
Elizabeth sat with many more teens. Most were girls. Snow led David to Elizabeth's table. They sat down next to each other, aware of the eyes watching them.
“Why is everyone staring at us?” David asked.
Elizabeth answered the question. “They haven't seen anyone new lately. I mean, any new boys. Girls have been streaming in like a flowing river.”
“Oh.” David accepted a plate of potatoes, broccoli and chicken from a short girl.
“What's your name?” asked a squeaky voice. David noticed a very tall chubby girl sitting by Elizabeth. “I’m David.”
“That's nice. I’m Jowly Macaw. I have the power of love.”
“What does that mean?” David asked.
She frowned and said, “I can make people fall in love. It’s quite complicated actually. What about you? What is your forte?” a couple of girls gathered around Elizabeth and Jowly.
“Girls, back off.” A lengthy boy with a pixy cut sat down next to him. “Can’t you see the guy’s terrified?” He shooed most of the gathering teens away and gave those who lingered bloodcurdling looks.
“Thanks.” David took a bite of his potatoes trying not to show his embarrassment.
“I’m Gavin Micaville. You?” He asked.
David gave him a smile and said, “David Black.”
“What power do you have?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Dude, that's unepic, no offense!” Gavin said. “I don’t have much of a power. Its really not that cool.”
“What can you do?” David tried to hide the interest in his voice.
Gavin looked at the other kids then leaned in toward David and said, “I’m a shape shifter. I guess that's called the power to shift. Not that cool.”
“Wow! At least you have an epic power!” David exclaimed.
Gavin turned red in the cheeks. “Thanks. Most people find that…creepy.”
“I don’t! You must show me what you can shape into.”
“Err, I can only shape into three animals. If a shape shifter was lucky, they’d be able to shift into four animals.”
“What can you shape into?” David started to feel like he was being annoying.
Gavin set his spoon down and faced David. He shifted uncomfortably and said, “I can shift into a mountain lion, a lynx and a husky.” He didn’t seem pleased by this.
“What's wrong?” David asked.
Gavin looked away at David and said, “I have a few friends.”
“Why is that?” David pushed his empty plate away from him and looked back at Gavin.
“Because…I can turn into a lion, and that's…that part controls me the most.”
“What do you mean?”
“A lion likes fresh meat…it can smell…blood.”
“Oh. I see.”
“Not many people want to be friends with someone who killed someone he didn’t even know.” He said it very quickly.
David looked around. People were looking at them with wide eyes.
“That sucks. Okay, I think we’d better go.” I said. “You can help me find my room.” Snow Drop was nowhere in sight, neither were her friends, Elizabeth and Jowly.
“It seems you can clear a table.” David laughed. Gavin joined in. The same girl who gave David his plate of food had returned and took their plates.
“C’mon.” Gavin pulled David from the table.
As they walked past tables with people who were talking, a tomato barely missed Gavin’s shoulder and hit the floor. David looked for the person who threw it. It was a dark-haired dark-eyed boy sitting with a group of teens that were laughing. David picked up the remains of the tomato and chucked it at the laughing boy.
The tomato hit him right above his eyebrow and stained his hair.
“David! Leave it!” Gavin snarled.
The dark-haired boy stood up and walked through the maze of tables toward David.
“Ugh!” Gavin ran his hands through his hair in frustration. “You are such an idiot!” He whispered.
The dark-haired boy now stood directly in front of David. He was taller than David by a couple of inches. “You are?” he asked. Before David could answer, the word “dead” escaped the dark-haired boys mouth. Just as the boy lifted his hand, Gavin grabbed it and pulled it behind the dark haired boy’s back.
“Knock it off Tyke!” Gavin growled. Tyke let out a loud grunt and pulled his hand from Gavin.
“You freak!” he yelled and threw a punch at Gavin's head.
Gavin avoided it by ducking and shoving all his weight into Tykes stomach. But Tyke turned just as Gavin flew past him and hit the ground.
There now stood a crowd watching the fight. David, Gavin and Tyke had a large part of the floor to themselves as tables began to move by magic out of the way. Snow Drop was among a couple of girls. She had a sad expression on her face as she watched Gavin. A thought that Snow and Gavin were together went through David's mind. He shoved Tyke away from Gavin who lied on the ground with blood pouring from his nose. David gave Tyke a very malevolent look. Out of nowhere, Tyke was thrown toward the wall where a couple of teenagers separated making the wall bare. Tyke hit the wall with a loud crunching noise. He fell to the ground writhing in pain.
“David! Stop it!” It was Elizabeth's voice.
He looked away from Tyke and back at Snow. She was still staring at Gavin. The groaning and screaming of Tyke stopped. David looked at him again. Tyke was being hoisted over a large boys shoulder. The room was silent as everyone stared at David. Gavin had gotten up and was clutching his nose. His eyes seemed to tear David apart.