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Commit-Dead (Whispered Secrets)

Commit-Dead (Whispered Secrets)

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Published by Venus R
Synopsis: Commit-Dead (Whispered Secrets)

What do you do when you have no idea who is on the good side or the bad? This is the question that is running through Alex Smiths' head. In the past two days her life has been shaken to the core. Her father isnt who she thought he was, instead he's the a Mob Boss for the ENTIRE South Eastern United States. On top of that she watched him murder her mother. Then when she tried to expose him by getting proof and going to the police he finds out and tries to kill her. Luckily it backfires, but instead she kills him. With the police on her tail she tries to run but gets into an accident. Could her life get any worse? Apparently it can and will. She ends up in the Sarah Marcson Memorial Phycriatic Hospital, and is stuck with her weird physic roomate, Desiree. When the FBI come knocking on her door and need her help to expose her fathers organization will she accept?
When saying the truth may get you killed, it's best to whisper it secretly....

Two rules, (dont get emotionaly attatched to anyone, and don't get caught), two girls.... what's the worst that can happen?

Synopsis: Commit-Dead (Whispered Secrets)

What do you do when you have no idea who is on the good side or the bad? This is the question that is running through Alex Smiths' head. In the past two days her life has been shaken to the core. Her father isnt who she thought he was, instead he's the a Mob Boss for the ENTIRE South Eastern United States. On top of that she watched him murder her mother. Then when she tried to expose him by getting proof and going to the police he finds out and tries to kill her. Luckily it backfires, but instead she kills him. With the police on her tail she tries to run but gets into an accident. Could her life get any worse? Apparently it can and will. She ends up in the Sarah Marcson Memorial Phycriatic Hospital, and is stuck with her weird physic roomate, Desiree. When the FBI come knocking on her door and need her help to expose her fathers organization will she accept?
When saying the truth may get you killed, it's best to whisper it secretly....

Two rules, (dont get emotionaly attatched to anyone, and don't get caught), two girls.... what's the worst that can happen?

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Published by: Venus R on Jul 01, 2009
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05/11/2014

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Synopsis What do you do when the lines of good and bad are so blurred that you cant even

tell which is which? This is the question that has been running through Alex's head. In the past two days her life has been shaken to its very core, and has threatened to drive her over the edge. Her father isn’t who she thought he was, no ones who she thought they were. She finds out that he's been mixed up with the mafia, not only that but he‘s one of their leaders. To make matters worse she sat there ansd watched him kill her mother. Then when she tried to expose him by getting proof and going to the police he finds out and tries to kill her. Luckily it backfires, but instead she kills him. With the police on her tail she tries to run but thanks to one

stupid deer she drives into a tree. Could her life get any worse? Of course it can. She ends up in the Sarah Marcson Memorial Psychiatric Hospital, and is stuck with her weird physic roommate Desiree. When the FBI come knocking on her door and need her help to expose her fathers organization will she accept? Or will she be CommitDead forever? When saying the truth may get you killed, it's best to whisper it secretly....

Whispered Secrets By Venus Ranieri

This novel is dedicated to: Joseph Pontichello
&

Lucy and Frank Ranieri Always remembered, never forgotten

Table of Contents
Chapter One .…………………………………….....Safe House Chapter Two…………………………….…………Knowledge Chapter Three.…………………………….Mineola Envelopes Chapter Four .…………..……………....Mission Impossible Chapter Five .…………….…………Auras and Predictions Chapter Six .…..Ghost, Meetings, and visions oh my! Chapter Seven.……………………………....Chicken Alfredo Chapter Eight ……………………………....………First Kiss Chapter Nine.…………….My little black book of irony Chapter Ten .…………….…..Cherry Blueberry Syrup Chapter Eleven………………..……..That’s so psychic Chapter Twelve…………………………….....Prison breaks Chapter Thirteen………………………..……..The letter

A note to the Reader...
Dear Readers, First off I'd like to thank you for purchasing this book. And I'd like to explain how you're helping save one life in the process of doing so. My uncle, Joe Ponticello, died of cancer on 2-28-09,he was only 50 years old. Now everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, be

it you had it, or a friend or a loved on, we all know how horrible a disease it is. I was devesated when he passed away. That got me to thinking, if I could make a difference in one families life I would be extremely happy and feel like I wasn't competely helpless. I'm not an emotional person, I didn't cry at the wake instead I brought a notebook with me and I was just hit with the idea of this story. I started writing in the mist of the hundreds of people who showed up to say goodbye, because someone like my Uncle deserves to have a book dedicated to him. But I digress, this might have started out as a way to remeber him and in the begining it was suppose to be about a girl who finds out she has cancer but it just developed into this storyline instead. So from the eight dollars you paid, six of them will go to the American Cancer Society. Together we will make a difference... Love, Venus Ranieri

Aknowledments So it seems like there are way to many poeple who deserve to be thanked, so I'll start from the begining. Thanks to my parents who fostered me into thier family, I hate to think who I would have become without you. (And thanks for not killing me about the mess my room is and my excuse that the clutter helps my creativity.) Thanks to my little sister Alex, our impromptu puppet shows that we use to do led to the creativive spirit I have, and thanks for allowing me to base my main character off of you! A special thank you to Julie Marron for forcing me to write Changed in sophmore year, for being my first dedicated reader, and for inspiring the character of Desiree.

You are definently playing her in the movie! I'd like to thank my friends Emily Angstdat and Kim O'Brien for always being there for me through the good times and the bad. I never really knew what true friends were until I met you. I'd also like to thank Kate Lancelot for outing me about my writng in front of the entire history class and getting this book spread around the school. Thank you to all my English teacher from 3rd grade to now, you were truly influential in my writing. Thank you to Mr. Billelo for providing comic relief in History. Also, thanks to my friends Jess, Julianne, Jen, Jenna, and Jacqui. Last but not least I'd like to thank everyone who took thier time out to read this and not skip over it like I'd normally do. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it!

Safe House
I quickly risked a glance behind me I into the rearview mirror. My eyes observing the flashing lights of red and blue, which were gaining on me. Panicking I grip the steering wheel, tight enough that I make my knuckles turn white. My brain is already calculating what my next move will be. I just drive while my brain solves my problem for me. Inside my head is a very scary place. For starters, I am a certified genius. So instead of going over reasoning or stressing out, my brain is calm cool and collected. Despondently my body is not, since I am in the car shaking uncontrollably. Part of me cannot stop thinking about what caused all this to happen, only last week I was sleeping, dreaming about the

equation for infinity. Now I am in a stolen car running from the cops, like a psychopath murderer. Well the murderer part may be true but I have a good reason for it. My mind or what is left of it anyway keeps driving straight ahead. Mechanically I turn on the windshield wipers, trying to see the blurry road in front of me. The rain is beating down heavily in what seams like a never-ending stream. I take a fleeting look at the speedometer; 60 mph the cops are loosing distance behind me. They are not willing to go faster then 45, they do not relish in the concept of dying anymore then I do. I let my brain take control of my actions, without much thought I slam on the brakes. My chest collides with the steering wheel and I loose the ability to breathe. Not that I notice my inability of breath, I do not think that I have been breathing since moment I got in this car, given the circumstances. I make a U-turn, and speed in the opposite direction of my pursuers. I hit a small patch of grass and I slow down considerably. I just continue pressing on the gas, eventually I am free of the soggy earth and headed once again down the black highway. This time I did not look back, I would never look back. I see an exit on my right; I make a sharp turn getting off the highway. I never saw the name of the exit I took, all that mattered to me was the fact that it was not “home”. I kept driving down the narrow wooded street. My headlights were giving off barely a glow, from the one that worked that is. My mind was spinning from the events of this tireless day. My eyes were drifting closed, and each time I pried them open the sooner and heavier they fell. A flash of lightning illuminated the road in front of me. Long enough to see the deer that was standing motionless, as my car was approaching the deer I tried to swerve out of the way. I screamed as I lost control of the car and it hydroplaned on the wet surface beneath me. Gravity pressing me against the cold leather of the seat, I closed my eyes praying that I did not hurt the deer. Seconds later the side of my car rammed into a tree, my head was smashed against my window. Sending a shower of glass all over. An intense shooting pain raced through me. I cried out in anguish, unable to notice anything but the unbearable pain my body was experiencing. Then, as if I was imagining it, all the pain left leaving me with an unnatural numbness. Instead of being afraid, I welcomed the numbness and the

darkness that was encroaching my vision. Flashing before me in a montage of images were events from my life and the memories that would never-be. Soon there was nothing but black; it surrounded me, feeling like a dark cloak that would hide me away forever. In the far off distance, I could here shouts and sirens wailing, ignoring them I fell deeper and deeper into the darkness until there was nothing. *************** I snap my eyes open, staring once again at Dr. Careen. The warm walls displayed the fake cheeriness, just like any other room in this place. She sat in her yellow leather chair, unmoving being perfect as always. I knew better, like all other things in this place she was fake, from her bleached teeth, and her fake tan, right down to her Swift labels. I knew all too well that this was mandatory; that she didn’t really give a hoot about me, or what I had gone through. They were afraid of me if anything, afraid because since we are only human, we fear anything we don’t understand. “Very good, Alex! You are improving rapidly.” She smiled fakey, her lip quivering from staying in this, what I imagine to be, unnatural position for the past two hours. She wrote rapidly in her pink notebook. I tried to configure what she was writing back to the “boss” about me, by deciphering her pen strokes. “Well,” she said slapping her hands together. “I want you to dig deeper into your past and think about what caused you to…” Her voce trailed off trying to find the right words to use. “Kill my Father?” I added helpfully. She shuffled her feet uncomfortably. “Yeah, that.” She cleared her throat before slapping that smile on her face again. “That’s it for today.” I jumped at the chance to be liberated of my cheerful jail cell. I stalked out of the room giving her my greatest smile saying, “Thanks Dr. Careen, I’m improving already.” I said laying on the sappiness. I was careful not to slam the door for fear that she would take that as acting in a malevolent way. I hardly managed to keep myself from turning around and giving her a rude gesture before leaving. Somehow I managed to refrain myself until the door creaked

shut. I took a deep breath of the sterile hospital air. I leaned against a white wall where I was sure that the cameras couldn’t see me. I continued talking long deep breaths of the sterile air, filling my lungs with the smell of sterilizer and rubbing alcohol. I tried to remove the vivid images that seemed to be etched into my brain forever. I looked down solemnly at my bandaged arm and the bandages that were wound tightly against my chest. I don’t understand why I am here. I told them what happened, well the edited version anyway. The police just shrugged it off and handed me over to the Sara Marcson Memorial Psychiatric Hospital. Yes, as you may have already guessed I’m in a hospital for fanatical, undomesticated teenagers. After what happened when I tried to tell the police about what my father was really up to, I vowed to never reveal what really happened, unless the people would believe me. I walk briskly into the room that I share with my roommate. The spaces clearly divided by the rose colored walls on exactly half of the room, and the invisible tape that seemed to run along the floor. Her side was sparse of anything that was non-generic. She had no pictures, no toys. No real items. Well except those walls. My roommates name is Desiree; she’s here because she believes that she can communicate with the dead, and that she is clairvoyant. Typical. She could not imagine anything better then that? I mean seriously, talking to the dead and seeing into the future is so trite, and hackneyed that it’s an open and shut case. She just wants attention; although looking at her you would never think she would have trouble getting it. For one thing she’s really pretty with long straight black hair, and glittering blue eyes the color of a Mediterranean sea. Beautiful when calm but you can never forget the darkness that lurks beneath the surface, kind of like Desiree. She’s okay as long as you don’t get her mad. For instance never ever talk about her tattoo. She has one on the back of her neck, of an eye. I saw it once and she flipped out, shouting at me in Latin. She said that if I ever tell anyone about it she will personally kill me, and dispose of the body. Regrettably I fear that she was not kidding around. She’s friendly enough and doesn’t annoy me with petty questions, as long as I don’t bother her. In the back of my mind I couldn’t help but sense that something was wrong in this place. If these walls could speak I would be terrified of what they

would say. An earsplitting scream diverts my attention from my wandering imagination. Standing in the doorway is Desiree malevolence in her eyes and a crushed cell phone in her palm. She chucks the now useless cell phone onto the dresser and storms off into her side of the room. Even though we are not allowed to have phones or any type of connection to the outside world, these rules do not seem to apply to her. “What happened,” I say hesitantly unsure if I should approach her or not. She glanced up surprised that I had initiated the conversation for once. “My Dad is what happened! He says he ‘forgives me’ and ‘understands’ why I made up the whole I can see dead people fiasco. He just doesn’t get it I’m not lying! Why can’t he just accept me as I am? God families suck, you know?” She ranted. Her face flushed, but a little of the anger fading from her eyes. I nodded in agreement, even though she wasn’t looking in my direction. “Plus, just look at what he made me do to my phone!” She exclaimed. Holding up what use to be a really nice phone. It was one of the new types of Blackberries’ with a flip screen, and a holographic display. “I can fix that for you if you want,” I offered politely. “Really?” Her eyes brightened at the thought of regaining her connection to the outside world. “Sure no problem. I just need a screwdriver, double sided sticky tape, a bobby pin and a lighter.” The last item on my list would be almost impossible to find in a place like this. “Gottem all" She thrusts the phone into my hands, ”Get to work my little Phone Saver." Her smile was genuine, and excited. “You even have the lighter?” “Yup,” She must have noticed the astonishment in my voice because she pulled one out of her side pocket of her pants. “I never get caught, so quit worrying.” I nodded meekly, and gathered up the supplies onto the small desk placing the contraband items into a safe box, that happened to be in there. Inside the box was the gold memory stick, shining in the florescent light; just as it did

the night that I used it to record all of my Dads documents. I hold the card inbetween my trembling fingers. Wondering if I even saved any of the information onto the chip. “Dinners here.” She announced, but I didn’t hear the carts coming down the hallway, or doors opening and closing with kids waiting to receive their bland meal and retreat once again into their rooms “No its not.” She just gave me a look that said, “Just wait”. Sure enough seconds later I heard the rolling of carts and the clatter of people getting their dinners. She hopped gracefully off her bed and sauntered out the door, returning with two silver platters balanced in her hands. “Ta-Da,” she placed the steaming platters on the tiny wood table. Pulling off the cover extravagantly, showcasing the tasty dinner. Tonight was a scrumptious dinner of rice, string beans and a succulent piece of chicken. She walked away from her dinner, just like any other night. Instead she sits on her bed and meditates for an hour. Today, I had finally decided to ask her about it because the last thing I want is to have an anorexic roommate. When I looked over at her, she was staring right back at me. Her eyes starring blankly at me, studying me, it seemed as if she was reading me. “I don’t eat the food because they lace it with Calisone.” She told me her voice soft and low almost as if she was afraid of being overheard. She pranced over to where I was sitting on my bed. “Calisone?” I questioned. “It’s a memory loss drug. They add it to one of my meals, expecting me to eat it. I may not be the smartest monkey in the barrel, but I am most certainly not the last on the chain.” “Are you sure?” “Positive.” She said defiantly. “How do you know for sure though?” I asked her. It was obvious that she was tiring of my questions. “Its simple, I eat the food that they give me and I fall asleep, when I wake up I don’t know where I am and I don’t know who I am. Sure it takes away my

abilities, but at the cost of memories, and knowing whom I am. Trust me on this one, not knowing why you’re here is much scarier then knowing why.” I looked at her, really looked at her for the first time since I arrived here. Once you got past the seemingly perfect exterior all that remained was a scared girl, who’s tired and just wants her life to be like it was before. “How old are you?” The question escaped my lips before I could think twice about what I was saying. “How old are you?” Desiree countered. “I’m fifteen, and you are…” Getting information out of her was like pulling teeth. “I’m seventeen.” Well that explains why she is more voluminous then I am, she gets the boobs and I get height. Life is cruel. “So, will you tell me what happened to you to bring you here?” “You know I’m here because I can talk to dead people and see things that haven’t happened yet. There is more to the story but the less you know the better. Trust me.” “Well that’s the thing, here we have nobody. We need to have someone we trust. I think it should be each other. I trust you but do you think you can trust me?” Desiree thought this over at first. Her eyes alive with thought even though the rest of her remained stationary. “Yes.” The word was so soft spoken that I had to strain my ears to hear her. “Good, so now we have to share our secrets.” I said matter-of-factly. “What is this a business deal?” “I’ll go first.” I told her. “I’m here for killing my father David Smith. As you know already from the whispers I keep hearing around the halls. What nobody else knows is that he murdered,” I paused choking on the words in my throat. “my mother.” “God Alex, your mother? Are you sure it was him?” Desiree asked me. “Yeah I’m sure it was him. I saw it happen with my own two eyes.” I said severely. “A butchers knife right through the heart. It all happened because she

knew too much. You see my father was an insurance manager but that was his cover job. My mom found out that he was secretly in charge of an international mob organization. She threatened to go to the police when she found out. He told her that if she called the police he would kill her, of course she tried to laugh it off like he was joking and she strode up to the phone. If there was on thing my dad was good at it was keeping his promises. I can still remember the sound of her fingers punching in the three numbers.” I paused gathering myself to continue. “Before she could even punch in the last digit she was dead. I watched from the stairwell as he carelessly shoved her dead body into a black garbage bag and tossed it downstairs somewhere. It might even still be there if he didn’t destroy her body. There was a funeral but with a closed casket and only a small obituary was placed in the paper, which told the lies about her suppose suicide. After she died things were different around the house. Strange burly men and women came and went at odd hours of the night. Times when he though I was safely tucked away in my bed. I always tiptoed to the hallway and strained to hear what they were saying. I could never understand what they were conversing about because they always spoke in different languages. One day I decided that I wouldn’t let my mothers’ death be in vain. So I-” “Hold on one second Alex.” Desiree walked over to the wall where the big window was that overlooked the town of Galesburg, KA. She pressed against the inside of the window, nudging against a cinder block. Gently she pulled out the block and removed a green chip from inside the apparently hallow cinder block. “They bugged our room?” My voice breaking from surprise. “ Don’t take it personal, they don’t trust us so we can’t trust them.” She smiled coyly as she ripped apart the bug. Wires and microchips flew across the room. “Okay now that that’s finished can I continue?” “Sure, you don’t mind if I have some of your food do you?” “Help yourself,” I pushed my tray towards her. “Anyway as I was saying I began to devise a plan to produce proof of my fathers activities. Over the next month I began creating a strategy of attack. I watched his transactions and

discovered that he always brought them into his office that was in the basement. One night when he went out to dinner with one of his associates. I slipped down to the basement to his office, the door as I had assumed was locked. This I was prepared for, I removed the lock pick that was in my tool belt that I had borrowed from the garage. I judged the size of the lock and then decided what type of pick I would need. I knew what I was doing from having practiced on my door and religiously watching you tube and practically living in the Self-help section of the library. I slid the pick into the lock and after jostling it around a bit I heard a click and I slowly opened the door. I stared blankly into the dark expansive room, you would think I was waiting for a twelve-foot gorilla to come out and crush me!” Desiree giggled at my description, from where she sat on the bed. “I remembered to check for lasers, before actually entering the room. Good thing too, otherwise I would have tripped the alarms. I sprayed the room with my trusty hand of hairspray. The lasers crisscrossed all around the room, I crawled, climbed, and maneuvered my way to the desk that lay in the center of the room. After I reached the desk, successfully might I add, I switched on the light and sat down in front of the computer. I waited for his Max 31 to start up. The Max 31 is the newest, fastest supercomputer in the world, also one of the hardest computers to break into.” I told her. “ The only way to receive access the flies was to supply a fingerprint. So I took out the surgical glove and placed my thumb on the stapler where I had dusted out a thumbprint. I placed my gloved hand on the screen and watched as all the files magically appear on the screen in front of my eyes. It was a rush and it suffices to say it went to my head. Not before I downloaded the entire entries from his computer onto a memory stick though. Upstairs I heard the creak of a door followed by the sound of my fathers’ footsteps. So I did something so unintelligent and brainless, that I wish I new how to create time travel just for the sole purpose of going back in time and slapping myself for that mistake!” “What did you do?” Desiree practically shouted. “I stepped on the first wire and an ear piercing alarm went off, I heard footsteps pounding down the creaking stairs. I remember not being able to move,

not able to do anything except watch as my world unraveled in front of my eyes. There was a second for me to grab the memory stick and shove it into the secret compartment that I had sewn into my bra. Anyway, the door burst open and my father bustled through the door and he wasn’t alone either in his hand he held a gun. A gun, I didn’t even know he owned a gun, let alone would use it on his own daughter! Oh, and he tried to. There was yelling and the next thing I knew I was staring down the barrel of a loaded gun.” “OMFG! What did you do?” Her voice filled with concern. I flinched at the use of text-lingo in place of words. If we were meant to talk in acronyms we wouldn’t have spent millions of years developing our complex and beautiful languages. I will have to deal with that problem later. “Well I used his weaknesses against him and some of my martial arts skilled that I had learned from this camp I went too. I evaded his line of range by faking left then going into a forward roll that landed me under his crotch area and I punched him. Before he even new what was happening he was on the ground crying like a baby. I kicked the gun away from him and I was looking for the phone to dial the police when someone tried to hit me with a stapler. I narrowly avoided the blow but luckily the floor was creaky. When I turned around and kicked him, quite forcefully might I add, in the groin. He fell back onto the floor. All of a sudden he was back up and by the time I turned around I was starring down the barrel of a 9-46 handgun. I grabbed his arm and gammed his elbow into the wall. In the struggle I must have pressed the trigger because the gun discharged. I can still hear the sickening crunch as the bullet tore through bone and found his heart. He convulsed twice and then he died. Then the cops showed up, I stole a car and I crashed and ended up here.” I said with an exasperated sigh. Desiree sat there her mouth hanging open, quite unattractively might I add. After minutes of silence I began to feel quite awkward. I folded my legs underneath me as I adjusted myself on the itchy black blanket that was spread across my bed. “Wow Alex that’s amazingly horrible, but you have proof so why not just show that to the police? You have like evidentiary support or whatever.” She

absentmindedly twirled on of her perfect locks into a tight spring. “I would but I got a bad vibe from the officers who questioned me that night.” “I totally understand, I just want you to know that if ever need my help or want to talk, just ask I may not be as smart as you but I find that I come in handy sometimes.” “Okay,” I shuffled my feet on the shiny linoleum floor. “ Now it’s your turn. Shat brought you here? Tell all the details so we can evaluate who is more messed up.” Trying to connect to her by some means. In a place like this you need an ally. “Well, I’m sure you beat my story but I’ll tell you anyway. I’m warning you it’s not that interesting.” “Somehow I doubt that.” I told her. After we had splayed ourselves out on the beds she began her story. “It all started when I was six and moved from California to Halestead, Kansas. My parents had bought an old mansion that the previous family was trying to sell for years, so we bought it dirt-cheap. Which was good because we didn’t have that much money back then. We moved in, and it was perfect. On the first night there when I was sleeping I felt someone pushing my shoulder repeatedly. When I woke up I was starring in the face of a little girl.” “Hi!” She chirped “My name is Marylyn who are you?” Her bright green eyes shining even in the dark. “I’m Desiree.” “Nice to meet you Desiree. Do you want to play dolls?” “ ‘No. I want to sleep.’ She looked like she was going to cry. ‘We can play in the morning.’” “From that moment on she was my best friend, we did everything together and my parents thought it was adorable. They thought that Marylyn was my imaginary friend and that was fine until weird things started happening around the house.”

“Weird things?” I inquired. “Yes weird things like lamps levitating, lights flickering. I told my parents that Marylyn was doing the things. That freaked them out and that’s when I discovered that they couldn’t see her. Soon after that I realized that I could talk to the dead and as I got older I stated to see things that didn’t happen yet. My parents were wary of me, and the other kinds in school thought I was a freak. One day in seventh grade when I was on my way home from school I glanced into the local pharmacy’s window. A neon blazing sign alerted me that there was a 233 million lottery. Just like that a sequence of numbers flashed through my mind: 40-19-7-6-82-21. I just discovered the winning numbers. I asked the homeless man on the corner to buy me a ticket with my numbers. I gave him ten dollars to buy me a ticket and buy himself some lunch. I told him if I won I would give him two million dollars, and a minute later he came outside with a lottery ticket. Luckily, I caught the winning numbers that coincidentally matched the numbers on my ticket. I won all of the money! No one else pulled the same numbers, the chances of that happening are a million to one! So I came through on my word and gave Burt, that’s the homeless man, two million dollars. I’ve been here since February, that’s my story. I told you it wasn’t very interesting…” “But-but…” I stammered. “That’s amazing, but what I don’t understand is how the people here don’t believe you have a ‘gift’.” “Actually they do believe me. The people here help me learn to control everything.” She explained her voice placid. “Oh, I didn’t think these type of places did that.” “Neither did I, but one day someone came by my house and told me that they could help me with my condition. And so it goes” “So does it work?” I inquired. “Yeah, it’s helping.” she answered vaguely. “Okay this might sound odd, especially coming from me. Do you get odd vibe from this place?” Executing a perfect turn around in the conversation. “Yeah, like somethings happening that they're not telling us.” “Exactly!”

The look in Desiree’s’ eyes assured me that she wasn’t just humoring me, but that she really understood what I was thinking and feeling. “DONG-DING-DONG!” The sound of the bell echoes around the room, alerting us that it was time to go to sleep. “We can talk more mañana.” She whispered, as if she was afraid of the hall monitors overhearing us. Not that the hall monitors would care. “Sure, I have an early appointment with Dr. Careen tomorrow . So I don’t know how long that will take.” “Cool.” Her smile falter just a notch and she slapped her forehead. “I forgot that I have a morning evaluation with Call-Me-Eric tomorrow too.” We laughed and walked to our respective sides of the room. In one day so many things have changed. “Desiree?” I asked as I snuggled into my blankets. “Yes?” “Why do they drug your food if they know that you’re gifted?” “They are trying to help me by making me feel normal, but the dosage is too high. I keep telling them to lower it but they wont listen to me.” She replied sleepily. “Oh okay,” I tell her even though I ‘m fairly certain that she’s off in the REM state by now. Then I close my eyes and dream.

Knowledge
I wake up the next morning to the blaring of an alarm clock. It’s annoying

ring reverberating off the walls. I squinted against the light that was pouring into my room despite the fact that it was the beginning of winter. After turning off the alarm clock and dragging my body into an upright position. I look over towards Desiree’s side of the room. Desiree wasn’t there but in her wake she left a perfectly neat bed. Any other day I would have been happy to be rid of my freakish roommate. But that was the past, not now. Now I wished I had been up earlier so we could talk before heading off in our separate directions. I rushed through my morning routine, throwing on my rise and shine t-shirt from my grandmothers ranch. I barely made it to breakfast in time to grab a muffin, double chocolate chip of course, and hightail it to Dr. Careens office. I passed the main doors on my way . I stopped to glance down at all the happy family reunions happening down there. My heart ached with the realization that I would never be with my family, because they were all dead. I pulled my eyes away from the doors and hurried along to Dr. Careens office. Behind the door I could hear her voice but it was accompanied by two male voices that I had never heard before. I open the door a creak just to take a peak inside when the door makes this horrible sound. I ‘ve been found. I walk into the office and direct myself to my normal seat on the couch. “Good Morning Dr. Careen,” my voce neutral despite my confusion and suspicion of our new guests. “Alex, these are-” Just then the doors blew open and in strutted Desiree and her evaluator Eric. “Sorry we’re late I got stuck in the machine…again.” She explained, gracefully sitting down next to me on the couch. “I was just going to introduce our guests.” Dr. Careen stood up and motion for the men to have a seat. “No thank-you ma’am. We prefer to stand.” The men stood shoulder to shoulder perfectly aligned and their feet were exactly a foot apart. Judging by their stance and their shaved heads I would rationally concur that they were part of the military. “We are Agent Jackson and Agent O’Brien, we’re from the United States

Special Ops team called Black Claw.” Agent Jackson explained. “Okay,” I said hesitantly. “ Why are you here?” “They’re here because they need our help with a mission that they havent been able to complete. They need us to help them finish the job.” Desiree explained. “How did you know that Miss?” “I just had a premonition of it happening, I thought you knew about my gift.” “We do, but in the file it clearly stated that you need to touch an object to get a premonition.” “Well obviously the file is wrong. In the future I suggest that you look into your suspect of interest instead of just believing everything you read.” It was apparent from the look on the Agents face that he was not use to being talked to in such a way. Especially not by a fifteen year old girl. “As I was saying it has come to our attention that your father was David Smith, and that he was murdered by your hand.” “Yes that’s right but I don’t see how this information is relevant to our mission if we choose to accept it.” “It has everything to do with your mission.” Agent Jackson replied solemnly. “You were privy to the fact that your father was an international mob boss, am I correct?” “Yes.” “We need you both to go in and take this organization down from the inside. The agency has sent the best of the best and every time our plans failed. We want you to pose as yourself but to pretend that you want revenge for your fathers murder.” “So what else do we get out of this arrangement?” Desiree asked bluntly. “Besides the United States gratitude, and the fact that Alex’s’ mothers death wouldn’t go unpunished.” He said this as a statement rather than a question.

“Yeah, what else?” Desiree and I said unison. “We’re looking for two junior operatives for our special op’s team called Blue Claw. If you succeed in the mission the spots are yours.” Agent Jackson explained, as if we should be happy with anything he was giving us. “Hoe much does it pay?” Since I was now orphaned I would need to find some type of supplemental income. “ Enough, Around forty grand a year , plus a twenty grand bonus for each mission completed successfully.” “I’m in!” Desiree inputted. “Same here!” I barked. “ Good now you are both dismissed to go and pack your things. A car will come for you tomorrow morning at seven hundred hours. Don’t be late.” This was from agent O’Brien. The perplexed looks on our faces must have clued him into the fact that we had no idea what seven hundred hours meant. “ That’s seven AM.” Agent O’Brien stayed at attention but his mandatory issued grimace didn’t quite reach his eyes. “We knew that,” I lied. “Good-day ladies.” With that Agents O’Brien and Jackson walked in military fashion out of the room. “ I thought they would never leave!” Desiree turned to me on the couch. “Alex, you and Desiree are free to go.” Dr. Careen said softly her face still shocked at the information that she had just observed. In fact if she hadn’t just said something I would have completely forgotten that there was anyone else in the room. We both stood simultaneously and took our cue to leave. “Wait one more thing.” Eric called out to us just our first steps out the door. “Uhn?” I replied incoherently. “You cant tell anyone about what just happened. Understand?” “Not a problem with me,” I told him solemnly. “ I don’t have anyone to tell.” “Ditto my lips are sealed.” With that we both made our way out of therapy for the last time, hopefully. We practically ran down the hall way to our room. Desiree bounded though our door and jumped onto her bed.

“ I cant believe that we’re leaving!” “Yeah, I’m bustling with excitement.” I said blandly. “ Oh, I can see how this might be odd for you. We don’t have to do this if you don’t want too.” Her eyes indulged her true feelings. I couldn’t deny her this adventure. “No. No. I’m perfectly fine, okay not perfectly but fine enough to go through with the mission. It’s just feels odd that after everything I did to get away from everything, just to be thrown head first into the lion pit. I’m not sure if I can pretend that I approve of what they do. Especially now that I know what kind of murderers they are.” I ranted. “How bad are they?” “You don’t want to know trust me. Once you learn something you can never unlearn it. It’ll eat away at your mind until you turn crazy and end up back here, for real this time.” “I want to know, I need to know. If were going in there I deserve the right to know.” She said defiantly. “Okay, fine. But don’t say I didn’t worn you… Did you ever hear about the serial killer back in 03?” “He was the one that killed all those governors, and even tried to make a hit on the President?” “Yeah, he dismembered his victim and scattered their dismembered body parts in various supermarkets with a warning of hoe the government has killed so many people that now it’s their turn to understand what their budget cuts and economical plans cost Americans. That was Jack. He was one of Dads favorite hit men, but he got cocky and left his fingerprints on the murder weapon or something stupid like that. One night they were in his office and Jack was crying about something. Granted this was before I knew what they were talking about and it wasn’t until last month that I put the pieces of the puzzle together. Getting back to the story one night Jack and my Dad went into the office and Jack never came out. We’ll eventually he did but it was in a black garbage bag that my dad insisted of disposing of himself.”

“So pretty much if we mess up we die?” Her voice squeaking. “Try not to think about it. Come on lets pack.” We took our time sorting through our wardrobes. Snacking on our lunches that were left out on our table, a platter of sandwiches from our friends at The Agency. Looking at the small pile of clothes that had passed hospital approval. Needless to say the packing took all of fifty minutes. Once we had packed away basically all we had left of our lives we made our way down to the entertainment room. This was where the afternoon movie was held every Thursday, today’s movie was Cars. I am so tired of G-rated movies, as soon as we get our of here I’m buying a ticket to the bloodiest, harsh language and sexual referencing movie available. After the movie it was seven o’clock , time for dinner. Slightly groggy from the movie we all shuffle from the room. Our eyes blinking rapidly trying to adjust to the bright light. We entered our room the sound of our rubber soles squeaking against the tile floors. “ I cant wait to get out of here. Even when there is a chance to die.” I announced to Desiree.
“Yeah

me too.” Except her yeah wasn’t as convincing anymore.

“Are you nervous now?” She shook her head no. “Are you…Do you-” I stuttered trying to find the right words. For once I was at a loss of words. “Please tell me you’re not going to miss this place?” I asked mockingly. “Heck no!” She snapped if there was something to hide. “Then what is the problem?” “Me! I’m the problem okay?” she practically shrieked. “Care to elaborate…” “Well…” She said hesitantly. “I’m worried that once we’re back in the ‘normal’ world that everyone will go back to thinking that I’m an attention starved child who tells people she can see the dead and the future just so she can get attention and feel special. Here I’m the golden patient, everyone looks up to me and to the kids here I’m like a super hero.”

“They’ll treat you like your normal when we get out of here too. It isn’t like anyone in the mob even knows you. So there is nothing to worry about.” I assured her. “Somebody will figure out that I’m weird, they always do.” “Why don’t you just suppress your gifts?” I sigh, exasperated. “It’s not like if you’re a murderer. No offence. I cant just hide who I am. I can try but I always slip up one way or another.” I’m sure you’ll do fine. Come on I think I hear the carts coming down the hall.” We listened to the ding of metal plates and kids bustling around outside trying to locate their dinners. I stood abruptly and began walking to the door. “You coming?” I ask Desiree who is still sitting on my bed. She smiles and we both walk out into the florescent lit hallway and wait to receive our last dinner here. We don’t talk while we’re waiting in line rather we seem to be thinking the same thing. How much has the real world changed? I realize that it sounds illogical to think that the world has changed so drastically that we wouldn’t be able to recognize or be capable of fitting into civilization. The rational part of my brain knows that we’ll be fine, but the part of my brain that doesn’t listen to reason says otherwise. It tells me that the moment that I interact with another person outside of this hospital they’ll know that I’m ‘crazy’ and send me right on back here. After we receive our dinner Desiree and I trudge back to our room. I wait before chowing down into my food, expecting Desiree to take some of mine. To my unexpected surprise she dove right into her dinner of chicken alfredo, my favorite meal. There was something almost animalistic about the way she devourer her food. The room was silent except for the sounds of silver wear and sounds of consumption, along with the occasional sound of a sigh or two. After all this was some of the best chicken alfredo in the world. Once the food had been consumed and our dishes discarded the conversation restarted. “I cant wait for tomorrow ! I wonder where we’ll be staying.” “Me to.” I told her. There was a null in the conversation but it wasn’t due to the fact that there was nothing to say. On the contrary there seamed to be to much to say. “Oh I just remembered that I never got to fix your cell phone.”

“It’s okay I’ll just get a new one later. Now that I’ll be getting full access to my bank account again.” “Are you sure? The circulatory system really isn’t very complex.” I insisted. “It’s fine,” she snapped. “Sorry, I’m just really excited.” I glanced over to the window, outside thick gray clouds covered the dark sky. Making it impossible to see the stars. “No harm no foul.” Shrugging off her outburst. I slipped the phone into the safe box which I placed inside my backpack. I walked over to the dresser where my lone family picture stood. I gazed into my former selves eyes longingly. I thought about how I would never feel that happy again. I fought back the surge of hatred that ran through me like a bolt of lightning. It was eleven o’clock but the time we were finally finished packing, repacking and packing again. We were exhausted but confident that we wouldn’t forget anything. “We’re DONE!” Desiree shrieked as she zipped up her suitcase for the twelfth time( and hopefully the last). “I was done two hours ago.” I said matter-of-factly. “Hey it’s not my fault that I’m so disorganized.” She said sarcastically. Out in the hallway there was a rasp on our door. “Ladies!” Our hallway monitor Lesette shouted. “I know your awake, time to bunker down, don’t make me come in there.” “Yes Ms. Lesette were going to bed right now.” We chorused to our hall monitor. We herd here shuffle off down the hallway checking for other kids who were up past regulation time. “We better get to bed. Don’t want to be late for tomorrow.” I announced slowly crawling into my bed. “Good night, Alex.” Desiree mumbled from her bed. “What a good night indeed.” I said again to no one in particular, as always the moment Desiree’s head hit her pillow she was out cold. I on the other hand suffered from periodic insomnia. After tossing and turning, and at one point even contemplating going to the nurse and asking for an sleep aid. In other places this option might be ideal option but not here. Here the nurse was batty old Ms. Nice.

She has a tendency of giving you too much or too little of anything to actually help you in anyway. I just decided that I would stick it out. My clock read 4:28 AM. I only had a three hours and twenty eight minutes until morning anyway. I was falling into another nap when I hear the ear splitting alarm blaring through my room. At first I thought I was just imagining it, a symptom of insomnia. But then when Desiree shrieked, “Bloody Hell, ” I realized that I wasn’t a product of my imagination. “Alex! Get up! We’ve got to get out of here.” My shoulders aching under her firm grip. “I’m up! I’m up!” I shouted groggily. Slowly I got out of bed and grabbed my already packed luggage and my backpack . I pulled on some slippers ready to run out of the building. “Alright lets go.” Desiree shouted urgently from where she stood. She was already standing in front of the door. As soon as she saw me walking towards her she thrust open the door and almost walked into a blazing fire. “This is bad.” I observed the red and yellow flames licking at our doorway. “what do we do?” Her voice filled with panic. “We…” I took a look around the room trying to access our situation. The cinderblock walls were keeping the flames at bay, for now and the glass door prevented fire from entering via the hallway. Soon the fire would be swallowing up the room and if we didn’t find an escape route us as well. I clapped my hand together, “Okay I’ve got a plan.” I grabbed my suitcase and hurdled it at the window. The first time it didn’t break but the second time there was a satisfying crunch as the window gave way and flew down to the ground. “Okay, now help me collect all the sheets scarves and belts you have.” I ordered. We didn’t waste anytime, we tied all thirty sheets together along with the ten scarves and twenty belts we were ready to go. I had taken the belts and made harness’ out of them. I used the sheets to make a makeshift rope. Once Desiree was in the harness I clipped her onto the rope and showed her the basics of rappelling. After helping Desiree over the window she hung horizontally against the building.

“I can’t do this, GET ME DOWN!” She shouted. “You’ll be fine, just go down slowly.” The bed was holing her weight and she started moving like a turtle suck in wet cement. I could hear the cackle of the flames as the doors wooden molding burned away and the glass fell and shattered on the floor. “Never mind go as fast as you can! Just pretend you’re on a rollercoaster.” I stared right into her eyes trying to convey the seriousness of this situation. Recognition sparked in her eyes, “ Okay, see you at the bottom!” I heard her scream and seconds later she shouted up, “ I made it.” “Alright I’m throwing your luggage now. Watch out below!” I hoisted her suitcase to the window and threw it to the ground below. After making sure she didn’t get hit with the suitcase I shouted out that I was ascending. The doorway was being made of short use of the doorway and the walls were starting to crumble. Smoke filled the entire room now and I had to struggle to see anything through the smog. I looked out the window and saw flames dancing out of the windows below. The sheets were smoldering orange and deteriorating. Without thinking I pulled in the first two sheets that weren’t damaged yet and somehow unknotted them from the rest of the line. I laid the two sheets on top of each other and retrieved the lighter from my safe in my backpack. I used the lighter to make four holes in the sheets, one in each corner. I laced identification tag chains through the holes connecting all four of them in the center then threading that through one of my belts. I carried my makeshift parachute to the window perching myself on the very edge. I looked down at the flames flickering beneath me and my forty foot drop to the bottom. I teetered on the edge looking straight down at the golden blasé that continued to envelop my gaze. Behind me I felt a snap and when I turned around I was looking at a big gapping hole where my floor had been. I had to jump now or I would die. I swayed on the ledge some more before counting down from ten. I only got to five before I felt the entire building shaking beneath me. I jumped out of the window trying to put as much distance between me and the burning building as possible. Luckily, the parachute caught on the wind and I floated safely to the bottom. My legs were like jelly, I

couldn’t even walk over to where Desiree was. I managed to bundle the sheets into my backpack incase we ever needed them again. “ Wow Alex, how in the world did you learn how to do that?” “I watched a lot of spy movies.” I replied simply. “Come on, we’ve got to go. this building is coming down!” I somehow managed to get up off the ground. My ribs hurt almost as bad as they did the night of the accident. I grabbed her arm firmly and tugged her away from the burning remains of the Sarah Marcson Memorial Psychiatric Hospital. We ran to the front of the building to see firefighters drenching the smoldering fire with water. I guess the shock wore off because we were suddenly aware that we were standing in thirty degree weather in our pajamas. I can also feel the fluffy flakes of white snow that are pouring from the clouds that threatened snow earlier. Desiree and I glance around at the other kids whose forms of clothing varied from snowsuits, with luggage to those who ran out with their pajamas on and even a few with only their knickers on. We trudge through the thickening snow, our adrenaline rush depleted we receive blankets and hot coco. Out of the corner of my eye I spot a black van that doesn’t belong in the throes of fire trucks and emergency personnel. Tugging Desiree behind me I tell her sternly, “Follow me.” “Where are we going?” I don’t answer and just drag her with me toward the woods. She sees the van as we pass the fire truck. Recognition flashes in her eyes. Somehow she shakes free of my grip and stalks up to the minivan and starts tapping on the tinted window repeatedly until we hear people moving inside the car. The rustling slows till there’s no sound at all for a second then the door slides open and we’re thrust into the open space. Once were inside the door slams shut again shaking the van, which turned out to be a mobile intelligence center.

Mineola

Envelopes
“Good morning Ladies.” A burly man with a twirly-mustache (you know the ones that curl up at the ends and look utterly ridiculous) and a shaved head said. Towering over us, since we still hadn’t recovered from our surprise attack. He gestured to the seats directly in front of the controls. “ I am Agent Riley. Please have a seat.” “Lets cut the BS and get down to it, why are you here?” I said curtly. “You don’t have the authorization for that information.” “So it was the feds behind this.” “Wait! Just one gosh darn minute. What’s going on!” “It doesn’t matter Miss. All that matters is that you’re safe.” His stare wavering just a bit. “We could have been killed in that fire! We deserve the right to know whats going on.” Desiree demanded, starring down Agent Riley. “You were with a professional, Miss. Marshal.” “No we were all by ourselves up there- you mean…” she paused finally putting together all of the pieces of the puzzle. “Alex is the pro.” She concluded at last. “Miss. Smith- I mean Agent Smith is a graduate of Surveillance and Protection Youth summer camp or SPY summer camp. It’s cover is that it’s a camp where kids solve fake mysteries and make friends that will last forever. The truth is that it’s a training facility, for the best and the brightest kids in America. They have to be picked for the program and once they get there they go thorough training. Agent Smith graduated two summers ago after wowing even the best of our agents with her skills. To this day she remains the best student SPY has ever had, and continues to prove herself capable of even the toughest

missions with ease.” “Why didn’t you tell me?” This time her question was directed towards me, her voice cold. “I wasn’t allowed to… I signed a contract.” My lame excuse wasn’t going to cut it for her, and it wasn’t making me feel very good at the moment either. I was about to say something when Agent Riley interrupted. “Agents Marshal and Smith, a video feed has just been sent to our monitors from Headquarters.” Desiree turned away from me and stared at the video screen that had unfolded from behind the monitors. The screen buzzed and flickered and then a women appeared on the screen. Her hair was so black it looked blue, and her eyes were the so dark that they had to be black. Her facial expression was stern and her lips were pressed into a thin line. “Hello, and Congratulations’ on not killing yourselves. I am Victoria, Director of Blackhawk and Blue Claw teams along with every other Special Ops team in America. This will be your debriefing so listen carefully as I will not repeat myself. You Agent Smith, watched your father being shot by a business venture turned sour and then when the cops arrived you ran so they wouldn’t think you had killed him. While fleeing you crashed and ended up in the Sarah Marcson Memorial Psychiatric Hospital and escaped when there was a fire. You will tell them that you were aware and supported your fathers business, and you are here to follow in his footsteps. Now you Agent Marshal will be Agents Smiths friend who helped her escape by starting the fire, and in return you were promised you could have a job in the family business. You lived on the streets until you were found and brought to the Sarah Marcson Memorial Psychiatric Hospital. Do you understand your covers?” “Yes Ma’am.” We replied. “Your mission is to tell us the inside dealings so we can get evidence and arrest the slime balls of America. Then when its time well bust everyone involved in this and send them all to jail. There is just one thing that I am going to tell you. Tonight we set fire to the hospital not as a cover for you but to prevent someone

from bombing the building. Yes someone inside your fathers organization knows that you killed him. So because of this I want you to be on your toes at all times. Other then that the guidelines of this mission are quite simple, 1. Don’t get caught 2. Don’t get emotionally attached. Understood?” “Yes ma’am, we won’t.” I told her assertively. “You can count on us!” Desiree chimed in, her voice back to its normal happy level. “Good now, Agent Riley will show you your gadgets. I’ll be in touch girls.” A zap and the screen went blank and the other monitors slid over the screen. Agent Riley pulled out a huge steel container. Desiree and I exchanged an excited glance. Although I’ve used some level two gadgets I was still excited to see what was is the box of goodies. The case swung open to revel a lot of shiny weapons. “Okay first things first,” he withdrew a huge syringe from inside the box. “What’s that for?” Her voice quaking. ‘Tracking devise that we injection into your blood stream.” “Great.” Her face went from pale to transparent to a sickening green color. The van lurched and I thought that Desiree would have tossed her cookies for sure. I looked out the window and saw that we were moving away from the hospital and towards civilization. “Don’t you have one that she can swallow or something?” I asked helplessly, knowing how much she hates needles. “Sorry Agent Smith, this is the only way to administer the bug.” “I have an idea… Can you give me the black box over there?” I said pointing to shockers, that administer the user a the ability to make someone pass out just by shocking them. “But those are -” I gave him my best glare that said shut up. He got my message and tossed my the little black box. Inside I pulled out a piece of gum. I unwrapped it from its metallic covering and started chomping away on it. “Okay Desiree close your eyes and when I count to three close your eyes.”

I smiled reassuringly at her. “Okay, one two-” I touched her neck and her body spazzed and then went limp. I took the syringe and after I found the vein I injected the blue liquid into her bloodstream. “Agent Smith, do you have any idea of what you just did?” His voice was panic ridden. “I sedated her using Shocker! Gum.” “Those deliver a lethal amount of electricity. You killed her!” “No. I only chewed it long enough to generate enough electricity to put her out, she’s still alive and should come to any second now.” I said matter-of-factly. “I don’t know…” “HOLY CRAP! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU! WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME?” Desiree shouted her chest heaving as of she had just run a 26 mile marathon. “See I told you she wasn’t dead.” “I hate you.” Desiree muttered from the chair. “Yeah but you didn’t feel anything did you?” To this she couldn’t say anything. “Whatever. Just don’t kill me again, okay?” “I didn’t kill you. I just knocked you out and your pulse slowed down to twenty beats per minute. “ “Anyway!” She said clapping her hands together, “What now?” Agent Riley cleared his throat, “Now you get your gadgets.” He walked over the box and pulled out the black box that I had used on Desiree. “This is Shocker! Gum, it works by delivering a lethal when used incorrectly amount of static electricity to whoever the chewer touches. Please read the instructions before you use them.” He tossed us the boxes and we placed them in our separate bags. “Next on the list is a blocker. A blocker is, yes Alex I understand that you know all of this already but please bare with me, some of these gadgets and level 4, and 5’s.” He said after noticing my bored expression. “As I was say a blocker is a device that you wear to jam a transmission and it also prevents any metal

devises from showing up on a metal scanner.” He held up a belly ring with an onyx stone dangling in the center. We stood up and retrieved them. Luckily Desiree already had her belly button pierced, I on the other hand… “I thought they were toe rings?” I said recalled my memories of using them during summer camp. ‘We had some problems with the toe-rings. For our male agents we have ones that we can implant into their teeth.” “Okay, well I don’t have my bellybutton pierced.” “Yes we know,” He said retrieving a piercing gun. “Sit.” “Um…” I sat down in the chair. “Do I have too?” “Yes, now lift up your shirt, and close your eyes it’ll be over before you know it.” Desiree told me reassuringly. I saw a flash of something in her eyes, and I could have sworn that it was revenge. I lifted my shirt to expose my bellybutton. Agent Riley charged at me with the piercing gun and I fought the urge to attack. I shut my eyes and braced myself for the pain that was inevitable to happen. It felt like the cute pinches that my grandma use to give me on my chubby cheeks, painful for a second then nothing. “Is it over?” I asked tentatively opening one eye. Yes, it’s over you crybaby.” Desiree said. “I’m the crybaby. Me. Are you joking?” We both burst out laughing at our stupidity. “ I don’t understand how someone who hates needles so much could sit there and get a tattoo on their neck.” I asked. “ I was drunk, I couldn’t feel it happening.” She confided once Agent Riley went up front to check something with the driver. “Oh,” I’ve never had an alcoholic drink ever. My parents never drank except for a glass of red wine at dinner. “Cool.” I replied just because I didn’t know what else to say. “Not really, did you know you don’t sound like a genius all the time.” “How did you know I’m a genius?” I never released this information to her. Maybe she’s turning out to be a much better spy then I thought. “I stole your chart when I found out I was getting a room mate. I’m sorry I

was so unfriendly to you when you first came in. I thought you were a murderer.” “It’s okay… I thought you were a freak when I met you too.” I said in a loving way. “Alright we’re almost at our destination so we need to get through the rest of these gadgets and get you suited up.” “Suited up?” “You’ll see. Anyway nest we have the range rover, and no its not a car it’s a listening devise.” He held up a chip so small it resembled miniscule piece of shredded paper. “ With this you can link it to a computer so conversations are recorded and translated into words. You can also use it as a direct listening devise at the same time. You place it in your ear as so, he demonstrated by sticking the Rover into the cartilage of his ear. “This baby is waterproof, and indestructible and practically invisible to anyone.” Beaming he handed us each ten of the range rovers which we placed securely in our bags as well. “Next up is my favorite, the Tango. This is the best computer in the world! It’s impossible to break into, since no one knows it exists. “ He pulled out a computer that was around nine inches long and maybe an inch in width. “If you press the button in the center twice it will go into camouflage mode.” He demonstrated and the computer disguised itself as its surroundings. If I hadn’t known it was there I wouldn’t have noticed it was there. “It’s holographic, has a camera, its waterproof and also indestructible.” A sly smile played on his lips. “How indestructible is indestructible?” I asked, since anything could happen out on the field and this computer would possibly be the only thing that may save our mission. “You know how cockroaches can survive a nuclear explosion?” “Yeah,” duh that was common knowledge. “It’s that indestructible.” He said surely. “Humf.” I replied, still wary of this technology. “Alex stop being so stubborn. Some of us here would like to know what type of technology they get to use.” “Can I continue? Next to last we have the Specks.” He held up glasses

that resembled Ray- Bans. “They have rear view capabilities, communication devise too. They can take pictures by pressing the end on the glasses, the part that go over your ears. It also has ID software that allows you to get on the spot stats of whoever you are looking at. Birthday, name, address, employment, arrests, etc… things like that. Very handy, these babies are.” We carefully took a pair of them, mine were gray, and hers red. “Cool…” Desiree said. “Anything else?” “Anything else? Only your normal stuff. Dynamite Tape, Sleepers, spider suits, and super slick oil, automatic lock picker. Voice activated now! Along with some other stuff that Desire can explain to you later.” “Ten minutes to destination!” A voice form the front of the van shouted. “Oh wait I almost forgot!” Agent Riley turned away from us and removed something from a separate box on the control desk. “Desiree I made these just for you.’ He held up two skin colored circles. “These and for your visions, so that way you can re-watch them when they happen. You place these on your temples and when you get a vision the images in your head get converted to your computer. That way you don’t need to react right away and pretend that nothing is amiss.” “Thank-you, Thank you so much!” Desiree said jumping up and gripping on to his waist since she is only around 5’3 and Agent Riley is over six feet. “Your welcome, now we have to get you suited up, and hand you over to the next stop.” “Nest stop? I thought we were going to my house?” I inquired. “That information would be false.” “Don’t play word games with me, tell me where we’re going.” I demanded. “You’ll see for yourself when we get there. Now if you would please change into these.” His voice neutral as he handed us our outfits. Desiree unfolded the clothes to reveal a pair of dark skinny jeans and a off the shoulder and a waist long blonde wig. “What am I suppose to do with these?” She asked, the wig hanging limply

off her fingers. “These items are your cover. Where you are going it’s best if you get your feel for your new friends before they know exactly who you are. Remember people act more like themselves around strangers then-” “Then they do around people they know.” Finishing the sentence for him. It was one of the first lessons I had drilled into my mind when I arrived at SPY summer camp. “Yes, exactly so no more chit chat ladies time to change. We’ll be at our destination in,” He glanced quickly at his bulky watch, “ six minutes and twentyseven seconds. I’ll be upfront.” with that he stalked to the front of the van. “Come on lets get ready.” I told Desiree as I began to get into my own outfit of skinny jeans, but these were light blue instead and a shiny long sleeve shirt. After I was dressed I wrapped my hair up and placed my short black wig over my golden locks. The finishing touches were my green contacts. I was done within minutes, when I looked over at Desiree she was dressed but struggling with her wig. “Do you need help?” I asked trying to stifle the giggle that was tickling at my throat. “Yeah.” She answered looking up from the wig she had just smacked down onto the floor. “WOW! I mean really, wow! You look totally different then before and did you grow?” Her mouth gapping. “It’s the shoes…:” I told her, looking down at the extra three inches my black leather pumps added to my already 5 foot six frame. “Hold still.” I picked up her curly locks and twisted them into a ballet bun. Pinning the wig in place and then turned her around to see her self in the mirror. “You don’t look so bad yourself.” It’s true, that disguises are as much for the spy’s safety as much as they are to give the wearer confidence. “Oh. My. God! I look like a model.” She shrieked in excitement causing herself to wobble dangerously in her high heels. “Don’t get too excited,” She gave me a curious glance. “I think that’s our cover.” I explained.

“Your jaded by all of this already?” “No. I- it’s just… Don’t get to excited.” Stammering as I put on all of my new gadgets. “Are your gadgets on?” I ask. “Not all of them…” “Well what are you waiting for? If my calculations are right, and they always are, we have exactly two minutes and forty-seven seconds until we arrive at the airport.” “Are you decent?” A voice shouted from up front. “Yes.” Chorused our voices. “Here are your covers, read them, know them, be them.” With that he left leaving each of us with a Mineola envelope. “Who are you?” I asked over the rustle of papers. “I am Lea Eckerd, 19 years old, model.” Squinting to read the small print on her very authentic looking passport. “How about you?” “Annabelle Eckerd, 19 years old, model. Fraternal twin sister of Lea Eckerd.” I had to stifle a laugh. “This cover is idiotic! I’m never going to pass for your twin, even a fraternal one. “ “Oh really?” She raised her eyebrow inquisitively at me. Pulling me next to her, in front of the mirror that magically appeared on the wall of the van. “I swear this van has more secret hiding spots then my families farm!” I told her as I looked at our reflections in the mirror. The girls that we saw in the mirror looked nothing like Desiree and Alex. Instead in their place was Lea and Annabelle Eckerd. Who surprisingly did look like fraternal twins. . “Or,” I admitted, “maybe we can pull this off.” Just then the van came to a jerking stop and we stumbled in our new heels. The door slid open and we came face to face with reality. Cars were zooming by, and throngs of people busily bustled past us on their way inside. In the distance you could hear the roar of the planes and they landed and took off. “Yeah!” Shrieking Desiree jumped out of the van, pulling her glasses on over her eyes. What was surprising was how graceful she was in her heels. “Hurry!” Her voice was drowned out by the roar of our surroundings. I buttoned

up my black trench coat and gracefully stepped out of the van and closed the door behind me. The second the door shut the van zoomed out into the traffic. I lost Desiree in the crowd somehow and in a panic pulled on my glasses. They scanned the faces of everyone in the crowd and I waited to see her face come up on the screen. It never did, but then I remembered that I could just contact her through the glasses. I casually pressed the back of the glasses just like Agent Riley told us too. “Hello? Desiree? Come in, do you copy?” The line crackled to life and then a voice filled my ears. “Alex! Where are you?” “Right on the curb by the homeless man asking for money.” I told her. “Which one?” “ The homeless man is wearing a blue shirt and sitting underneath the sign for the V.I.P entrance.” “So am I, but I don’t see you.” I glanced around trying to spot her in the crowd. Then I remembered that we were wearing disguises. So instead of looking for Desiree I started looking for Lea. “I see you.” “Where are you?” Her voice tight now. “Turn around,” slowly the person in front of me turned around and then burst out laughing. “I am such a dunce! I totally forgot about the covers.” “Shhh! don’t say that too loud. Come on, we are going to miss our plane. Casually we rolled ourselves and our beat up luggage through the revolving doors and dropped of our bags at baggage drop-off and proceeded to the boarding area for flight 19A, destination Tulum, Mexico…

Mis

sion Impossible
“I’m going to take a guess here and say that we’re going to Mexico.” Desiree said, a sarcastic edge to her voice. “I would think that you are correct in your reasoning.” Overhead a loudspeaker announced, “Flight 19-A, is now boarding please proceed to the gates for boarding.” “Ready?” I asked Desiree. “As ready as I’ll ever be…” her voice trailing off into thought as we reached the gates. A smiling flight attendant checked our tickets and wished us a good trip. I swung my backpack over my shoulder , and crossed over into the actual plane. Our tickets stated that we would be flying in first class. “Hello!” A voice piped from in front of me. I looked down and saw a little girl whose skin was a beautiful caramel color. “Hi,” I said uncertainly glancing at Desiree who was already sitting in her seat two rows ahead. “My name is, Maria! Are you a model? Where are you from? What’s your name?” She rambled off questions so fast I thought for sure she would pass out from lack of oxygen. “Slow down.” I waited as she took a deep lungful of air and exhaled it slowly before answering her. “ My name is Al-Annabelle.” I stammered, forgetting my cover. “Yes I’m a model and I am from New York.” My cover sounded as fake as the color of my eyes. “Wow! A real model, that is so… AWSOME! I want to be a model when I get older, but my mom says that I wont be tall enough.” Her smile faltering by the time she reached the end of her sentence. I want to tell her that there are only seven real supermodels in the world (its true, look it up if you don’t believe me) and that the chances of her becoming a model were slim to none. Unfortunately I can’t crush a little girls dreams, besides the

doctors told my parents that I would most likely be born with a mental disability, but somehow I ended up to be a genius. Or like when I broke my leg when I was seven falling out of the apple tree. The doctor there said I would not be able to go on my class trip to the museum because we had to go up stairs. I used my crutches all the way up five flights of stairs. “Don’t give up on your dreams.” Sincerity evident in my voice. “MARIA!” Shouted a curvy woman from the door way. She marched right up to Maria, grabbed her by her hand and yanked her around. “Don’t you ever run off again! I thought I lost you!” She entangled her arms around her daughter like a snake. Through the anger I saw the relief, Maria squirmed and tried to free herself of her mothers grip. “Mama, let go.” Once her mother let go she stood quietly behind her mothers legs. “I’m sorry if she was bothering you.” “No, she wasn’t bothering me at all,” I lied. “Mama this is Annabelle, she’s from New York and she’s a model!” Maria piped up. “Oh is she?” Asked her mother inquisitively. “Are you visiting family?” She asked me. “No my twin and I are on our way to a fashion show, in Tulum.” I informed her. “Hayous mios! There’s two of you leggy girls. Well you must be careful here chica.” Her laugh robust and booming in the small cabin. “Well we have occupied too much of your time already. See you in two hours.” “I’m sure you will.” I said to her, while she was busying fusing with Maria’s hair I walked away from her and towards my seat. The second I sat down in the supple leather chair my body just collapsed. After being awake all night and then experiencing the events of today my body craved sleep like I craved chocolate chip cookie dough pop tarts. I didn’t wake up until we were ten minutes away from the airport. “This is your captain speaking we will be arriving in ten minutes to Tulum,

Mexico. Please fasten your seat belts and throw away all garbage. Thank-you.” “Hey sleepy head!” Desiree chirped. “Hey D- I mean Rae.” Blinking tying to fix my contacts that are not normally suppose to be slept in. “Are my contacts messed up?” “No. You do know you can sleep with them on, right?” I shook my head no. “Wait so I know something you don’t!” “Shut-up,” smiling I told her, “Besides its knew something not know something.” She just stuck her tongue out at me and tuned through the pages of a Mexican fashion magazine. She tossed it down casually and turned to look at me. “ We have a problem.” “What is it?” “We both don’t speak Spanish. How are we going to know what anyone is saying?” Carefully I looked around the cabin to see everyone in their seats waiting patiently for the flight to end. “We have these.” I tell her holding up two pairs of diamond earrings. “ They’re translators, once you put them on you’ll be able to understand what everyone around you is saying , no matter what language. “ She grabbed a pair from my hands and placed the stubs in her hears. “How do I look?” “Like Rae.” “Oh! Look out side your widow! We’re landing.” Sure enough our plane was headed for land again, a narrow strip of black appeared in front of us. We could see the crystal blue of the water and even groups of dolphins jumping in and out of the water. With a thud our plane made contact with the ground and we skidded down the runway, slowly decelerating. Once we came to a complete stop were told we could leave the plane. “Andiamo!” Desiree shouted. “That’s Italian.” I reprimanded her. “Whatever it was still another language.” With a wave of her hand she

grabbed my carry on from atop the storage area. “ Catch.” she threw my bag at me and luckily I grabbed it in the air. “Alright lets get off this plane.” On our way out we passed Maria and her Mother. I winked at her before getting off the plane. “We have to get our passports stamped, over there.” I said pointing to a long line of people getting their passport stamped. I took us twenty minutes to officially be allowed into Mexico. “Hola! Welcome to beautiful Mexico.” The woman who was processing our passports told us. “Thanks. Do you know where we could collect our luggage?” “Si, over there,” She said pointing behind her to the left. “Thanks.” I told her, while Desiree and I hurried to get our things amongst the throngs of people waiting for their luggage. “I see them!” Pointing at the bags that had just came through the conveyer belt. We elbowed our way through the crowds to get our bags. I had calculated the amount of time it would take for us to reach the bags, and how far they would have moved, and the speed we would have to be going. Then using projection satiability ( the process in which you visualize the exact place and object will be, given a allotted amount of time and draw a straight line from you to your object of desire) I directed Desiree through the crowd and we reemerged at the front. Our luggage exactly where they should be we grabbed them and made a beeline for the exit. Giggling we ran towards the exit only stopping when we reached the last and only security checkpoint. We nonchalantly activated the Blocker and casually stepped through the metal detector. When Desiree walked through she was cleared. I walked through the detector and a beeping alarm goes off. I glance at Desiree and she and I think the same thing. We’re going to be caught. “Miss I am going to need you to walk through again, “ The officer asked politely. I walk through again and the alarm goes off again. Discreetly I try to turn on my Blocker again. After fidgeting around my back, I find the button and click the Blocker on.

“Sorry Officer, I forgot that I’m wearing earrings.” I admitted bashfully, or what I hoped would come across as bashfulness. Clumsily my hands took out my translator earrings and placed them in the plastic container I quickly turned on my blocker. After doing so I strode through the metal detector no alarms went off our secrets were safe for now. I retrieved my belly piercing and after sanitizing it replaced it into the bloody hole in my belly button. When we were out of earshot Desiree turned to me and said, “ I thought for sure that they were going to search you.” “Well thankfully we didn’t get caught.” I sighed, “Come on lets go see what the weather is like outside in sunny Mexico.” Once we arrived outside the airport we were struck by the hot humid air. Palm trees surrounded us and in the distance I could hear the ocean waves crashing onto shore. “So… what now?” Desiree asked nonchalantly. Wearily I glanced around the parking lot for our ride, or contact person. “We…” My voice trailing off as a black sports car swiveled into our sights. It skidded to a stop right in front of where we were standing. The window slid down and an attractive face appeared his eyes hidden from view by his sunglasses. “Hola, you chicha’s need a ride?” “Catch a ride,” I whispered to Desiree. “How convenient.” My glasses hummed and a million faces zoomed by on my lenses, finally landing on a specific face. DAVID GALVEREZ, SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD. ALIAS: JAMES JACKSON, KEVIN PRUZ, TOM MANQUEZ. SON OF KNOWN MOB-BOSS MANNY JAMESON, GUNS DEALER, DRUG LORD. The boy in the picture was attractive, with electric eyes that attract women like a magnet. High cheekbones, tall, athletic; the kind of guy every girl fantasizes about. “I don’t know…” “Trust me.” I told her even though I didn’t really feel that confident with my idea. “Okay,” her southern accent drawing the word out.

“ Yeah, we need a ride. But I don’t think from you.” “Oh, you’re Americans. Cool. It just so happens that my father asked me to pick up his two… gorgeous models from the airport.” I scoffed at his outright flirtation. “Okay.” I chirped, trying to play my character. “Vamanos!” I shouted as I hopped into his sports car, Desiree following on my heels. “So you’re twins right?” His voice flowing from his mouth. “Fraternal.” Desiree answered assertively. “ That’s cool, the closest thing I have to a brother is my cousin, Marc.” A throaty laugh escaped him. Desiree shot me a questionable look, and raised her eyebrows suggestively. I mouthed no, and turned my attention back to what David was saying. “So is your Uncle the owner of the house that we’ll be staying at?” “Well I wouldn’t call it a house, but yeah my Uncle owns it and a lot of other things as well.” He emphasized the word things, which made me guess it was mob related. “So what do you do?” I asked continuing my long line of investigative questions. “What, you think that I dropped out of high school?” He said laughing. When I didn’t reply he stopped laughing ad looked at me through the rear view mirror. “I- I just assumed since it is Wednesday and you aren’t in school even though its only twelve in the afternoon.” I rambled, something I almost never did. It makes you seem weak and well, unintelligent. “Well I do go to school, but I am home schooled with the other kids in my family who still need to graduate high school.” “Interesting…” “Anymore questions?” I could feel more then see my face flushing from embarrassment. By now we had pulled up to a wrought iron fence, behind it sat a massive estate. It made my house ( seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, personal movie theater, swimming

pool) look like an unworthy guest house at the best. The gates creaked open and we silently rode through them and down a winding scenic route to the main housing area. The estate was designed in the typical Mexican terracotta colored stucco walls. We pulled up to the main doors and David hopped out of the car. Clumsily we stumbled our way out of the convertible. Suitcases in tow we made our way over to the gigantic sandalwood doors. “Now I get why you don’t call this a ‘house’.” Desiree said in amazement. I on the other hand new what kind of money this house was bought with. Blood money, the lives of innocent people were taken to get to the prize. It made me sick to imagine how many lives had been lost to accumulate enough money to buy this place. We continued walk into the main house, my eyes took in every detain and committed every turn to memory. We passed picture frames, one was of me. I stopped in my tracks picking up my school photo from last year. “Who is this?” I asked. “That’s Alex. Her father and mine were quite close.” his voice catching in his throat. “Were?” I asked playing dumb. “He passed away recently.” I saw emotion in his eyes, it took me a moment to realize it was grief. “ We’ve been trying to find Alex ever since.” “That’s horrible, but it cant be hard to track down a what-” I paused and pretended to glance at the picture. “Fourteen?” “Fifteen actually, unfortunately we got a phone call that her hospital had a horrible fire last night and…” his voice trailing off. “ She and her roommate are among the missing. Which means they’re most likely dead.” He then preceded my predictions of his character by having fat tears rolling down his cheeks in a steady stream. “I’m sorry. I’m not usually like this but losing people who are like family to me is still hard; even though I personally never met Alex.” “We’ll don’t let your hope down yet they might find them.” I told him reassuringly, since after all we were standing right in front of me. “Vamanos! My Uncle told me to bring you into the living room for drinks.”

he lead us into an expansive parlor. “Would you ladies care for a drink?” David’s usual charm was back, and he gave us a toothy smile. He nursed what look like an amber run in his glass. “No thanks. We don’t drink.” I told him. “Well, I think I can change that,” He winked at us before walking out of the room. Almost as soon as he left a new man came in. He was tall, around six feet if not more. He wasn’t skinny but he had evidence of a beer belly, and one of his eye teeth was gold; because of this I decided to call him Pirate. “Hello Alex.” He said. I was shocked to say the least. How did he know it was me? I couldn’t even tell it was me when I looked in the mirror. I didn’t know if I should deny his claims or admit the truth. “Hello Derek, nice to finally meet you.” “ Likewise, but I can not help but wonder why.” His gaze inquisitive. “ All will be revealed in good time.” I told him trying to buy myself more time to make a cover story. “No time like the present.” “Fine.” I racked my brain trying to but together a story that he would believe. “The night that my father was murdered I was upstairs doing my homework. When I heard the shots I went downstairs to see what was going on. That’s when I saw my father lying dead on the floor and the window in the hallway broken… “ I paused to collect my thoughts. “Then the cops showed up and I had the gun in my hand and blood from his chest was all over my shirt. I tried to save him but I failed! So when the cops showed up I ran. Then I got into the accident and they put me in that hospital. They think I killed my own father!’ My emotion so vivid that I found myself getting caught up in my lie as if it was true. “If I didn’t get out of there I would have gone to jail. Then I became friendly with Desiree, my roommate.” I pointed behind me where she stood motionless. “Together we devised a plan to escape. One night we set the wiring up so that it would overheat and cause a fire. We escaped into the night and when I looked you up on Google it said you were looking for two models for a shoot. So I sent in our alias’ resumes and here we are. “ I took a deep breath of air and let it out

dramatically. “Well Brava ladies. Welcome to my humble abode! I want you to make yourselves at home here and I’ll draft the papers to adopt you.” “Wait- adopt me?” “Of course. I cant have you being an orphan now can I?” “Well…” “We can discuss this later, for now you can go to your rooms and unpack then Lindsey will take you shopping in town.” He clapped his hands festively and a man in a tux appeared at his side. “Yes Mr. Garth, you rang?” The butler was a docile man in his early forties. His skin was tan and his hair was a dark blonde. He wasn’t attractive, but he wasn’t unattractive either. “Yes, I need you to escort these two young ladies to the adjoin guest rooms. Then go and fetch Lindsey to take them shopping. ” “Ladies this is James. He will be showing you to you rooms.” “If you would follow me.” His accent was definitely American which made me ponder why he was here serving Uncle Derek. He lead us down a long hallway. The walls adorned with priceless art. Finally he came to a stop in front of two doors that were relatively close together when compared to the other rooms. “Here you are ladies.” He made a curt bow and left; disappeared into the twists and turns of the hallways. “ Alex that was a really great cover. If I didn’t know that you were lying I would have believed every single word you said.” She let out a small laugh. “Yeah at least I inherited one gene from my father that I can put to good use.” I added sarcastically. “I’ll take the right one you take the left.” Desiree said. “Does it really matter?” “Yes, I like the right side better.” She sated, I couldn’t help but laugh. “Okay, I’ll see you in a little while for some shopping.” I told her in-between laughs.

“Kay!” She said as we used our keys to walk into our rooms/ suites. “Wow!” I said to myself in amazement as I absorbed my new surroundings. The walls were a light violet color, and the ceiling was a rich gold color. There was a sitting area with a television and a huge canopy bed was off to the corner. The door off to my far right had a deadbolt on it, I assume that it connects to Desiree’s room. I placed my suitcase down upon my bed, and began to unpack my small sum of clothes. After I had placed my clothes in the mammoth sized closet I took a shower in a new state of the art steamer. A steam shower is just like a regular shower but instead of there only being one shower head they’re placed all over the shower walls and even floor. When you’re done the jets turn into dryers and they steam you dry, and the blow all the left over right off of you. Personally I think this much more sanitary then using towels. Think about it you use the same towel that contains millions of dead skin cells over and over again in a small hot room, it’s the Hampton’s for germs. Not only that but it uses less energy because you don’t have any towels to drive. Once I had finished obsessing over the shower, and committed the blue prints to memory I went back into my room to get dressed for shopping. I had just finished dressing when somewhere in my suite the phone rang. I hustled over to the coffee table that held the phone, grabbing it just before the fourth ring. “Hello?” “ Good Afternoon Miss. Smith.” James voice was curt and professional. “ I am calling about your appointment with-” Cutting him off I told him, “ James, please I know you are from America. I’m not buying the fake butler voice either. Just talk as you would if I was any other person.” “ I don’t know…” “Please.” I whined. “Okay fine. Be at the main doors in ten minutes to go shopping in town.” “Thanks James.” I chirped into the phone. “And Alex.” He asked. “Yes?”

“Thanks.” His voice sincere. I hung up the phone when I heard the click of the dial tone. I strolled over to where the adjoining door was. “Desiree?” I shouted as I tapped on the door. “YEAH?” “Meet me at the main entrance in ten.” I shouted through the door. “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” “Stop yelling I can hear you perfectly fine.“ I told her. “I want to explore this place. Incase we need to make a quick getaway.” I joked. “Kay’.” She replied and then returned to doing whatever it was that she was doing. I spent the next couple of minutes walking around the garden, which from what I saw had three hundred and fifteen possible emergency exits. I was calculating how much force would be needed to get over the stone wall when I suddenly bumped into something very hard and soft. “Umh,” My attacker or victim grunted incoherently. “I’m so sorry! Are you okay?” I gushed, glancing down at the person whose face was turned away from me, but still looked very familiar. “It’s okay.” Mystery boy finally glanced up and I discovered the face from one of the pictures in the hall staring back at me. “Oh, hello.” He stood up and dusted his hands off on his worn jeans. “ I’m Marc and you must be Alex.” He said grinning down at me. He had light brown hair that dangled right above his eyes. His eyes were…. “Umm… Are you okay?” He asked me and I realized that I was doing my concentrations stare. When I squint my eyes and scrunch up my nose, not very attractive to say the least. “Oh sorry, I just couldn’t help but wonder what color your eyes are…” “They’re black.” “Really? There is only once case of someone being born with pure black eyes and that was over thirty years ago.” “Yes I know, she was my mother.” He said solemnly. “Was?”

“She died during childbirth.” He said simply. “Oh, I am so sorry.” “No it’s okay besides you lost your entire family if anything I should be saying that to you.” His dark eyes staring intelligently into mine. Something inside me tingled when he did that and I quickly tore my gaze away from his. “ Yeah, anyway I’m Alex, but it seems like you know that already. So how old are you?” “I’ll be 16 on Christmas Eve.” “No way!” “Yes way.” “No, that’s the same day as my birthday!” “Wow what’s the chances?” He replied mystified. “Actually quite common around 1/2034.” he looked at me perplexed by my knowledge of random facts. “Anyway I have to go…” “Okay, maybe ill see you after the dinner tonight?” His voice hopeful. “Yeah maybe, “ I replied mysteriously. I walked back inside and maneuvered my way over the main doors where a girl around Desiree’s age with flaming red hair stood. She was skinny with a body that resembled a ruler. When she saw me she rushed towards me and hugged with this quite awkward hug. She bent her arms at the elbow so they looked like a V and then she aliened them so that her elbow was parallel from my armpit and squeezed me briefly. “Hi you must be Alex.” Grinning at me with a wide smile. “ Yes, and you must be Lindsey.” “Correct. we’ll be off just as soon as your friend gets here.” “So who are you related to here?” I asked her, trying not to sound like I was scrounging for details. “Well Uncle Derek is my father we are not related what so ever.” She said clarifying my thoughts exactly. “My brother is Marc, you’ll see him around here somewhere. Then my cousin is David the one that gave you a ride here. Just between you and me,” She said softly. “David’s quite smitten with her. Haven’t

seen him like that since Molly Ringald when we still lived in Tennessee. “ Just then Desiree’s shape came running down the hallway I almost worried that she would not be able to stop herself. “Sorry I’m late, I was trying to find something to wear.” She told us apologetically. The hint in her eyes told me that she had information that she didn’t want to let on that she knew. “It’s fine, come on lets go shopping!” Lindsey said waving her hand dismissively. We all loaded into a black van that was waiting for us outside the front doors. We climbed into the van and I felt a sense of déjà vu cover come me. We rode in silence for the next five minutes the last two I spent staring out the window at the passing landscape. We arrived into a small town that was bustling with people and filled with nice shops and restraints. It was so colorful and bright that I couldn’t help but smile when I looked at the scenery. “We’re here!” Lindsey’s voice lucid as the van slowed to a stop and we reemerged into the bright daylight. “Welcome to the Beautiful Sands Square!” She threw her arms out towards the throngs of people. Assertively she directed us to a store with a pink conch shell on the sign and writing in Spanish that I could only assume meant Pink Conch. The walls inside the store were white and the floor was hot pink as was the ceiling. The store was filled with shorts in various colors and different types of tank tops and T-shirts were neatly organized in small cubby like areas. Lindsey decided we should split up and went off to search for some clothes. “So what do you think?” Desiree asked me. “Of what- oh you mean trust wise?” She nodded her head yes. “I think we’re safe for now, but just incase I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Besides we just got here, relax just a little.” I told her as I sifted through racks of colored shorts. “What do you think?” I asked her holding up a pair of salmon colored shorts. “Cute! With a baby blue top like…” She glanced at the clearance table to her right and picked up a baby blue colored tank-top with an owl on it. “This shirt and you got a to die for outfit.” We spent the next two hours roaming around the

store selecting our favorites that we brought to the dressing rooms. We tried them on then returned the ones we didn’t like (around 87%) and then repeated the process a couple more times . Finally we ended up with ten pairs of shorts, twenty shirts and tank tops combined. A sweatshirt that was made out of the softest material ever and a couple pairs of jeans. The total price of our expenditure reached the price of 106, 036 pesos or around 8,000 American dollars. For a moment I wondered if she wanted us to pay for our clothes but then she whipped out a platinum something and paid for it saying, “ My dad’s welcoming gift.” We picked up the assortment of bags and made our way back to the van. “I’m glad you’re here Alex, hey maybe the wedding will be back on!” “What wedding?” “Well you of coarse!” She said as if I should have know this already. “I’m sorry WHAT?” If I was drinking something this would be the moment where I spray it all over everyone in astonishment. “You and Marc are going to get married when you become of age.” “Says who?” Desiree asked calmly. “Says the document promising that Alex and my brother will marry and the families will be united.” “Well, I never agreed to this and since my father is dead I get to decide my own fate.” “Hey, don’t get mad at me chica. I’m just telling you what I know. Besides you may end up liking Marc.” She said with a smirk, I eyed her evilly and was about to make a remark when we made another abrupt stop. My head smacked the window and the back of my scull ached from where I had the stitches from my accident. “OWW!” I said redundantly. “Well I’ll see you later at the dinner!” Lindsey said as if she hadn’t just heard me shout. She jumped out of the van and was inside the main doors before I could even unbuckle my seatbelt. “I wonder what that was about?” I thought aloud. As we got out of the van and made our way into the hallway of our rooms.

“Yeah, that girl is definitely hiding-” she stopped mid sentence her face went blank and her pupils dilated. Milliseconds later she snapped out of it and gasped. “What just happened?” I asked her. “ Ut nox noctis divum caligo in viginti dies sol solis mos orior oriri ortus a cruentus quod blead causa of cruor.” She said in Latin. “I’m sorry my Latin is a little rusty, translation?” “When the night sky darkens on the twentieth day the sun will rise a blood red and bleed tears of blood. “You just had a vision?” I asked her. She nodded her head yes. This was the first premonition I had ever witnessed and I wasn’t afraid to admit that it intrigued me on many levels. “And…” “And it was bad.” “What happened exactly.” “Nothing. All I saw was black and I heard this trail of words in my head, and then there was a body on the ground covered in blood and I heard screaming.” “Whose body?” I asked her urgently. She just shook her head no and started sobbing uncontrollably. “Whose body was it Desiree?” Repeating myself this time gripping on to her shoulder. “Yours…” she whispered as if It was a secret that she wished she had kept to herself.

Aura's and

Predictions
“Mine?” My voice catching in my throat. “Are you sure?” I asked her. “I’m sure,” My breathing became shallow. “But,” Desiree imputed. “Anything I see is not set in stone; it is only what may happen if we mess up.” “ But you saw it happen, therefore it has.” “Well… I assume that you’re aware of the string theory?” for some reason I feared I wasn’t going to like what she was going to say next. “I’ve read about it.” I admitted although the idea never really intrigued me. “Well in a way I can see things that happen but not always in our dimension.” “So what your saying is that sometimes what you see may happen to us or they may happen to other versions of ourselves in other dimensions?” I said trying to wrap my head around what she had just said. “Yup, pretty much.” “Well how do we know what dimension it was in ?” “Well it’s normally simple to determine what dimension its in by how the people in it look. But it’s not that simple in this case because I didn’t see anyone’s face.” She told me. “Well then how do you know it was me that you saw?” “Every person has a color and that color stays the same no matter what dimension that they exist in, and your color is orange, as was the person in my vision.” She explained. “You mean color as in my aura?” “Well essentially yes, except for the fact that it doesn’t change with your mood. It’s your color and no one else in this millennia will have the same one.” “So how do we prevent this from happening?” I asked her as I opened up my door to my room and walked inside bringing Desiree with me. “We can’t. Well I don’t know how-”

“What do you mean you don’t know how?” “Well I never tried to change the path of the future.” “Okay, okay.” I let out a sigh, “Let’s go over what we know. It said on the twentieth day is the day that I am going to die. So that means December 20th do you remember anything else from your vision?” She closes her eyes pressing her eyelids together tightly. “Wait!” Shouting at her, she breaks out of her mind and back to the present. “What?” “We can just watch it over on your laptop.” Surprised that I had almost forgot that we even had all of our spy equipment. “You mean the Tango?” “Yup! Come on!” I told her as I went to the door that adjoined our two suites. We entered her room and it was almost an exact replica as mine except her walls were a blue that was almost an exact match for her eyes. Other then that it was the same as mine. We went to her bed where her laptop was placed directly in the center. “I thought that you of all people would have unpacked as soon as we got here. “ Commenting on the unpacked luggage that sat open on the floor. “Yeah I was busy….” She said avoiding my gaze as she booted up her Tango. “Busy? Doing what we just got here?” Suspiciously looking at her I got up and walked to the window. Peering out of the silk curtains I looked down at the garden and then beyond that was the crystal blue of the ocean glittering in the sunlight. “Nothing.” She said all to quickly for that to be true. “Secrets are no fun, unless you share with everyone.” I reprimanded her. “I got it.” She said in regard to the video on the screen. I squatted down next to her on the bed and prepared to watch, what might very possibly be me, die. She pressed play and I was suddenly silent. On the screen I watched as I saw nothing but black and then I heard the strain of words in Latin and the I

watched as someone with my orange glow fell to the ground in a puddle of blood. “See anything that we dot already know?” Desiree asked me. “Maybe, can you go back a little, around 30 seconds.” She froze the screen just as my body was about to fall. “There!” I pointed to a small object on side of the screen. I pressed zoom until the object filled the screen. The small object on the screen turned out to be part of a tree, spruce if what I was seeing was correct. “It’s a Christmas tree?” Desiree asked me her face scrunched up in confusion. “Yup, so we just have to stay away from anywhere there is a Christmas tree.” “What time is it?” “Around sunset so that means somewhere around seven.” I told her, “why?” “The party is in like twenty minutes!” She exclaimed. “Wait what party?” “The party that Derek is throwing for your arrival. How could you have forgotten?” “Well excuse me if I forgot about a party when I found out that I’m going to die!” I practically shouted. “Well you’re not going to die tonight so lets go have some fun,” Her eyes twinkled at the thought of a party. “But-” She pushed me towards my door and throwing a black dress bag into my hands. Before I could turn around she had shut and locked the door. Reluctantly I walked over to the bed and opened the dress bag to expose the dress within. It was a deep purple, with a deep V in the front and back, to say it was skimpy would be an understatement. I pulled it on over my head and glancing at my reflection in my mirror. My hair was framing my face in loose curls and the dress showcased my long legs and my light tan upon my fair skin. I looked so… pretty. I mean yes people tell me that I’m pretty, beautiful even, but seeing it for myself is another thing in its entirety. I went to the bathroom and

applied only mascara and my favorite lip-gloss, cupcake sweetheart from the store Julie. I sauntered over to my closet a pulled on the pair of black gladiator sandals that I had picked out during our shopping excursion earlier. Perfect. I went to go knock on Desiree’s door to see if she was ready when I heard the mummer of voices from behind her door. Carefully I pressed my ear against the wall trying to hear what she was saying. I could only make out a couple of words. She…no…tell…later…mother…hate…go. I heard footfalls coming closer to the door and removed my ear fast enough before she pounded on the door. “Alex are you ready?” “Yeah,” I said opening the door and staring at her from the doorway. She was outfitted in a black dress that fit her like a glove. Strapless with a diamond brooch in the center and black peep toe heels she looked much older then sixteen. Her hair was curled and pinned up on the side in a messy bun that hung low on her neck. “That dress is perfect on you.” She told me. “Thanks, your dress is very gratifying and becoming for your specific body type.” “Thanks?” “Sorry,” I said composing myself. “Omg you do cover up your nerd side!” She exclaimed. “Yes, yes I do. Otherwise half the time you wouldn’t be able to understand half the things I say. Besides pretending to be normal is quite electrifying, I can relate to how celebrities feel when they are playing a role.” I exclaimed calmly. “Okay then, maybe its best for you to go back into your roll asap.” “You know it is really intellectual to speak in text lingo.” I told her. “What ever dork,” she said with a smile. “Fine imbecile.” My voice light with laughter. “We should get going.” I glanced at the clock we were late as it was. “Yeah it’s kind of rude of the guests of honor not to be present at their own shin-dig.” We stepped out of my room and I locked the door behind us. She looped her arm in mine and we skipped off down the hall we made turn after turn

as we followed the heavy bass beats to the party. The music brought us to another backyard area this time with a patio area and the ground had a infinity pool and a Jacuzzi off to the side. The view showcased the beautiful sunset on the horizon. Fifty feet below there was the white sand of the beach. In the distance I could her the systematic crashing of the waves and the cawing of the seagulls. The entire area was packed with people young and old partying it up. Tee lights twinkled like stars from every direction and the voices of people talking swarmed my ears like buzzing mosquitoes. Just then Derek took stood on the raised stage a champagne flute in his hand. “Quite down everyone.” The room almost became immediately silent. “Tonight we have gathered here to celebrate a homecoming of sorts and a memorial for another.” Pausing dramatically before continuing. “As most of you are aware we recently lost James Smith only two weeks ago.” Murmurs of voices echoed through the sky all different but all saturated with grief. “But tonight his daughter has returned to us to revenge his honor by killing his killer. Here she is… Alex Smith ladies and gentlemen!” His voice rang out and I walked on unsteady legs up to where he stood. “Thank you Derek,” I said as I took the microphone he handed me. I stared out into the sea of unfamiliar faces, not knowing what they wanted or expected me to say. “I would just like to say that I appreciate how much every single one of you cared for my father, and I know that where ever he is, he is watching us. I look forward to working with everyone here. Thank-you.” I handed the microphone back to Derek and calmly descended the stairs to the cheers of the guests around me. “Now , if you would all please help yourself to the food and lets’ get this part started!” His voice bold, commanding almost. I walked over to where there was a long table of food set up and scanned all of the faces looking for Desiree’s. Suddenly a warm hand grasped mine. I spun around expecting it to be Desiree, instead standing before me was Marc. His sandy hair was swept off to the side and he wore a formal button down shirt. Through it I could see his muscle definition and a tingling sensation coursed through my body. I shrugged it off as

a case of surprise and smiled warmly at him. “Careful,” He said his hand not relaxing his grip on my arm. His voice was warm and again it sent those shivers down my spine. “I’m perfectly fine.” I assured him removing his grip on my arm. “Now if you would excuse me.” I told my future husband turning to go before he swung me around to face him again. I found myself being drawn into the never ending depths of his crystal eyes. “Can I talk to you?” “I don’t know can you?” My voice taking on an edge that was unfamiliar to me. He let out a deep chuckle. “ I meant in private.” He told me. “ Well I would love too but I cant.” I told him. “I have to find Desiree she is my guest after all.” I said hoping this would be a liable enough reason to avoid his talk. “I don’t think you need to worry about Desiree…” he told me directing his attention to our left where she was dancing with David. The biggest smile I have ever seen was evident on her lips as he spun and dipped her to he fast Latin beat. “So you see, now you have no reason not to come with me.” His eyes bearing into mine. “Okay…” I said uneasily. Reluctantly I followed him off to the doors that we had used to entered the party. I followed him up a flight of stairs that I had never remembered seeing and then down a long hallway with doors on both sides. He opened the one at the very end of the hallway only to revel more stairs. These reminded me of the staircases in fairytales, the ones that spiral up for what seems like forever. Our feet pounding on the stairs as we ascended to the third floor. Finally we reached a small hallway with only a white door at the end. “More stairs,” I groaned assuming that there were more of the treacherous stairs beyond the yellow door. “You’ll see ,” he told me as he grabbed my hand in his. His skin was rough and warm, his hand almost covering my hand inside his completely. He pulled

me along behind him as he opened the door and we entered onto a rooftop balcony. “Wow,” I said breathlessly staring out at the landscape of Tulum, the town lit up with bright lights scattered along the sea. The wind was blowing of the ocean so the air smelt of summer even though it was December. He came up behind me his hand resting lightly on top of my shoulder. “It’s beautiful isn’t it?” He whispered into my ear. “Yes, very.” My voice just as low as his. The feeling was one that I was unfamiliar to. A deep tingling sensation caused every hair on my body to stand up, acutely alter of his proximity to my body. I could feel my face flush red even though I felt no embarrassment. I turned to him remembering that there was things that needed to be discussed. “What do you need to discuss with me?” My voice bare of the low canine tremble that it held seconds before. “Well we have a lot to discuss.” He said his sentence fragmented. “An example would be nice.” I told him humorously. Instead he directed me to a bench that face out towards the ocean. I sat next to him on the bench staring out at the black sky, the moon directly in front of us. It felt as if you could just reach out and grab it in your hands, however ridiculous the idea sounded logically. “What about just getting to know each other?” He said suggestively. “Why do you want to know about me?” “well if we are going to be married-” “We are NOT getting married.” I scoffed at him. “We don’t get a choice. We must do what ever we can to protect our family name, our business.” “Why not?” Arguing I cross my arms over my chest and look him in the eyes. “Just because , okay?” He said in frustration, avoiding my gaze. “Well what do you enjoy doing for fun?” I asked trying to cheer him up. “Surfing and racing…”

“Racing cars?” I asked him wondering if there was a racing track nearby. “Yes, racing car what else would I race?” He said, his voice light and mocking. “Do you race?” “Me? Well no, I guess not. My parents always thought it would be to dangerous.” “One day I’ll take you.” He promised. I smiled up at him our eyes locked and it felt as if I couldn’t tear my gaze off of his even if I tried. “Would you like to play twenty questions?” “Sure.” I told him, leaning farther away from him but my gaze never wavering. “Okay what’s your favorite color?” “Orange.” I responded. “What is your favorite color?” “That’s no fair you can’t just repeat the same question it’s cheating!” he exclaimed. “Fine how about you ask a question and we’ll both answer it and then ill ask a question and then we both answer and so on and so on?” “I suppose that works in that case my favorite color is maroon.” “Really? I pegged you as more of a navy kind of guy.” “That’s funny cause’ I pegged you as a pink type of girl.” We bantered back and fourth before continuing with the game. “Your turn.” He told me and my stomach growled in response. “I’m sorry, I haven’t eaten anything all day.” Suddenly realizing that I never ate anything on the plane because I was asleep and all I had before that had been half a cup of watery hot chocolate. “It’s fine,” He told me he turned around a produced a picnic basket with a flourish. “Ta-da! Dinner is served.” He said as he produced two plates and a small loaf of bread and fresh mozzarella cheese, olives, and containers of rice and beans, along with chicken roasted in hot peppers. I dug into my food and savored the taste of freshly made bread and the salty taste of the mozzarella. “Okay, my question is… what is your favorite place to be?”

“That’s easy, either here on the beach or in New York.” His answer surprised me and I had to stop myself from talking with my mouth full. “You’ve been to New York?” “Yeah once last year to go visit one of my uncles. I love how it’s a melting pot of every type of culture no matter how different or from what type of background they come from.” “My favorite place was behind my house I would sit next to a stream that ran through our entire four acre farm. Sometimes I would sit there for hours just watching the water flow down with the current.” “Okay what happened to your Mom?” “Died, suicide.” My voice cold as I told the lie. “Same, except car accident.” “Sorry,” we both said at the same time. “My bad anyway next question, have you ever killed anyone?” I asked him unsure if I wanted to hear his answer. “No,” He leaned his head towards mine. “Secretly I disapprove of everything my father stands for, death, money, lies. I hate it.” He said quietly. “So do I.” My voice hardly daring to go above a whisper. “Really?” This time the confusion was in his words instead of mine. “Yeah, that’s why I cant wait for the time when I inherit this entire fortune.” He said flinging his arms out wide, then I’ll give the mafia a good name again like it use to have.” “Use to have? Last time I checked it never had a good name.” I said laughing. “No there was a time when the mob didn’t mean mindless killing and drugs. Back in the 1920’s there was a new boss by the name of Divine. He took over and made it seem like he was a vicious killer by killing one person in front of everyone’s eyes.” “How does that make him a good person?” “There person that he burned was going to die anyway, he was given the chair for murdering twenty innocent people. He didn’t deserve the chair; that was too good for him.” He spat out fire in his eyes.

“So no one else was killed?” “Not by him at least. Everybody was too scared to ever even think of killing anyone in that town. Homicide rates dropped to two percent!” “That’s the lowest they ever were in the history of the Mexico.” I checked before we got here. “Yup, and together we’ll get them that low again!” He said triumphantly. “Together?” I asked meekly. “Alex, can I ask you something?” “Depends on what you’re going to ask.” I tuned my body to face his, our faces closer somehow then they were when we were whispering. “Do you believe in love?” His eyes reminded me of the looks that I use to see my friends give their boyfriends or the ones that they reserved for their crushes. “Well here is the thing,” I told him my voice light and feathery in his ear. “I am a woman of science, I only believe in what is true and proven. All it is, is a rush of PEA, a natural amphetamine, which and can cause similar stimulation to feelings of love. This natural upper contributes to that kick-up-your-heels, on-topof-the-world feeling that attraction can bring,. Sometimes this energy translates into the triple-espresso jitters; other times it simply keeps you wide-eyed and alert long past the time when you'd usually be yawning. There is what love is just a chemical imbalance in your body that goes off when a potential mate is near.” I explained to him as I have had to do with al of my other friends back home. “But love is-” I put my finger to his lips to silence him, carefully I rose off the bench. “Show me the scientific proof that love is not just a chemical imbalance in the brain, and I’ll agree. Until then…” I winked at him from across the roof and quickly rushed down all of the flights of stairs and back to my hallway. Echoes of “don’t get emotionally attached” blared inside my head like a fire alarm. I slowed down as I reached my door. Careful not to wake Desiree I carefully closed the door behind me as quietly as possible. “Boo!” Desiree shouted from behind me causing me to shriek in shock.

“What the! Desiree what are you doing here I thought you would be sleeping, its after one.” “I could say the same thing. Besides I had a feeling that you have a lot to tell me. So here I am, now spill.” she said pulling me onto the canopy bed with her. So spill I did. I told her about Marc coming up to me at the party and then how he took me up to the roof. I told her about the questions we asked each other and our answers. Then I told her how we met earlier today, and that he wants us to marry each other. “Wow you guys are like a real life Romeo and Juliet.” She said dreamily. “In what way? We aren’t secret lovers, I don’t love him, our parents came up with the whole idea, and I don’t plan on killing myself for him.” I said counting the reasons off on my fingers. “Did you get any new information?” Desiree asked veering the conversation back to business. “Yes, they have a drug smuggling operation happening tomorrow at one.” I told her the information that I had overheard while I was scanning the crowd. “You mean one in the morning today or tomorrow?” “I mean one in the afternoon today.” I said clarifying. “Why would they do it during the day, that’s stupid anyone can see them.” “I think that’s the point. No one’s going to be expecting them to trade during the day and in public.” I explained, “it’s reverse psychology.” “So did he kiss you?” “Who?” “Marc, dum-dum.” She said and playfully conked me on my head. “No,” Hastily adding, “I don’t even know him.” “Yeah but you want too.” Her voice lyrical. “No thanks.” I said but I knew I was lying to myself. “I just met him today, what kind of girl do you think I am?” “ A female one , and honey I don’t know how you could be alone with him for hours and not kiss him,” Her southern twang sneaking through.

“ I only exchanged words with him once . Besides we are not here to flirt but to finish a job. Remember don’t get emotionally attached.” Reminding her of the mission directives that have been echoing in my head since I left the roof. “Relax, we just got here today they don’t expect us to rush this. We deserve some fun in the sun after being cooped up in that place for months.” “I was only there for a few weeks.” I told her flashing back to the few weeks that I spent in my own personal prison. “That reminds me, you got a letter when you where out. I put it on the table.” She pointed her slim finger to the antique coffee table. A silver tray lay in the center and a single white envelope lay on top. Daintily I picked up the card only to be surprised to see my fathers seal on its back. A single rose petal on red wax, surprisingly the seal was already broken. “You read it?” I asked her. “No…” “Desiree-” My voice chastising. “Okay ,okay I opened it!” She admitted. “But only because, well what if it was urgent? You weren’t here and I…” He was beginning to hyperventilate. “Desiree!” I’m not mad,” Shaking her out of her craziness. When she finally calms down I open the letter even though I could have just asked her what it said. “We have a meeting tomorrow?” I ask as I raise my eyebrow. “What about it?” Her breathing back to normal. “Did you get any… feelings about it? “ My voice tentative. “Nope only that its got to be something important, I got a sense of importance from touching it but no more visions for me tonight.” “We should check in with HQ.” “HQ?” Her voice filled with bewilderment. “Headquarters, you know James Bond,” Her eyes started back at me blankly. “Spy Kids?” Still no response, “you mean to tell me that you never watched James Bond?” My voice filled with incredulous at her little knowledge of the greatest spy of all time. “No,” her voice drawing out the o.

“Oh,” I absentmindedly tucked a piece of hair behind my ear, my tell tale sign that I was nervous about something. Since I wasn’t nervous I wondered what had caused me to do that. “Well we will just have to see if we can rustle up some of the greatest movies.” I placed my laptop on my lap, listening as it hummed to life. I was searching around in my purse when my fingers wrapped around something in the bottom of the bag. Absentmindedly I took it out, not realizing what it was until I was starring at the box. Inside of the safe box the flash drive was illuminated by the glow of the screen. Without thinking I unlocked the safe and extracted the memory stick. With trembling hands I inserted the memory stick into the USB port. A beep eluded the computer and a message appeared on the screen. I clicked transfer files and“Alex are you doing what I think your doing?” I nodded, and watched as letters and numbers filled the screen, the same ones that held all the secrets I had never wanted to know. “Whoa,” she said taking in everything that flashed before us on the screen. “You know what this means right?” “Yeah, I am aware, but that doesn’t change anything we still have to go through with the plan.” “We have to tell HQ.” “We will…but not now.” My voice commanding and grim. “But-” “Just drop it!” I barked at her my fuse growing short, about to explode. “I’m sorry, this is a lot for me to take in.” “It’s okay,” She said shirking away from me and towards an escape. “I’m going to bed, see you tomorrow.” “It already is tomorrow.” “Well then I’ll see you later.” She quietly walked back into her room through the adjoining door. I sat on my bed, my laptop humming on my lap. Abruptly I shut my computer and place it on the nightstand next to the bed. My mind and my body are exhausted but sleep isn’t coming easily. I sit in the big unfamiliar bed, thinking back to what I discovered on the hard drive.

“Mom, if you can hear me I really wish that you were here. I don’t know what to do anymore.” I paused feeling stupid for talking to no one. “I don’t really believe in ghosts, but then again I didn’t believe in physics either. I cant help but wonder if maybe she has seen you…” My voice drifting off into the silence that surrounds me. “I know more about who you are now then I did when you where alive.” I said laughing to myself. “If you’re out there somewhere, I just wanted to tell you that I love you, and thanks. I never realized what a crucial role you played in all of this and in who I am now and who I will be one day. “ I was surprised to see fat tears rolling down my cheeks, I leaned back in my bead pressing my eyelids together. Somehow I managed to fall asleep.

Ghosts, Meetings, and Visions oh my!
Sleep was not peaceful tonight, I tossed and turned in my satin sheets. My subconscious going through today’s events at hyper speed. Soon enough sunlight spilled through the window and I sprang up out pf my beat when I heard someone beating on the door. “ALEX! WAKE UP! ALEX, COME ON HURRY UP! WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE IF YOU DON’T MOVE IT!” She repeated relentlessly at the top of her lungs all the while pounding her fist on the adjoining door. Angrily I stomped on the plush carpet over to where the door and yank it open. Acidly I spit out the words, “WHAT?” “We’re going to be late.” her words softer now, lost their demanding authority that her voice had possessed earlier. “You were a cheerleader weren’t you?” She gazed at me her face twisted into that similar to one of confusion. “Yeah, I am, well was. I stopped when I moved to SMMPH.” SMMPH was our nickname for the Sarah Marcson Memorial Psychiatric Hospital. “I thought so,” was all I replied. She stood in the doorway as if expecting me to continue. “Well what are you standing there for? I thought we were gong to be late.” Mocking the urgency she had used on me before. She growled at me but sighed turning around to recede into her room.

“Alex?” She turned around her body language displaying her disease. “Yes?” “Your mom is with you.” Her statement stunning me into silence. “Her spirit I mean. See I saw her the first day I met you in the hospital. I didn’t know if you knew her or if she caused you to have the accident so I talked to her.” Outrage filling my voice, “You talked to her and didn’t tell me!” I cant believe she kept this from me for this long? “She told me not to tell you until it was the right time. When she heard you talking to her last night she figured now it‘s time.” I was still unable to process the fact that my mothers’ spirit was in fact still roaming the earth. “Say something, anything…” Falling down into one of my chairs, “I cant believe she’s here.” I said mainly to myself, “I can’t do this now.” I tuned to Desiree, “Where is she?” “Next to your left shoulder.” I turned to the direction she told me, “Mom?” My voice steady and firm, “ I’m sorry but I don’t have time to do this right now. But we can talk when I get back to the room.” “She says okay,” She paused to listen to something then continuing, “and to tell you that you’ll do fine.” “Thanks Mom,” a genuine smile playing on my lips. The room got warmer suddenly puzzled I looked to Desiree, “She’s gone.” “What do you mean gone?” I asked as I pulled on a pair of shorts and a tank top that Desiree had picked out for me yesterday. “She left.” “Can she do that? Just leave, and where does she go?” “I’m not sure, in the time that I’ve been talking to her she mentioned this place it’s not on earth but she doesn’t think its heaven.” “So it does exist?” The scientific part of my brain already thinking of the

effects if I could prove that there is an afterlife. I personally never believed in anything religious, especially not heaven. “I don’t know all I know is that dead all go on to someplace else but I don’t know what it is exactly.” I had so many questions but I figured I could get more information out of my mother then Desiree. “We should get going we don’t want to be late.” “Ew! You didn’t even brush your teeth.” “You’re the one that wanted me to move it then distracted me with the fact that you have been secretly talking to my dead mother and you’re going to yell at me for not brushing my teeth.” My sentence running on for what seemed like forever. When I finally shut up I found that I had trouble breathing from lack of oxygen, “JUST go brush your teeth.” Directing me to the bathroom. I started to resist but then realizing I wouldn’t win this argument I gave her a rebellious, “whatever, “then took two minutes to brush my teeth. When I reemerged my breath was minty fresh and we were a minute late. “Better?” I asked sarcastically as I flash her my pearly whites. “Much hey you never now who might be there.” suggestively she raised her eyebrows at me and we exited my room and headed down the hallway filled with family pictures. I glanced at mine out of the corner of my eye and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, I quickly wiped them away and then resumed my conversation. “I don’t want to impress Derek. He’s almost my uncle.” I told her even though I knew she was talking about Marc. We turned the corner and entered a dining room that looked like it came out of the Buckingham Palace. As soon as we sat down David walked in to the room as if in a rush. I could see Desiree’s behavior change, all of a sudden she sat straighter in her chair and absentmindedly ran her fingers through her hair and then letting it fall seductively back over her shoulders. She looked up from underneath her eyelashes at him and shot him a sexy smile. It was as if I was watching the mating rituals of teenagers on the Discovery Channel.

He walked over to her chair and placed her hands on the back of her chair, “good morning ladies.” The same annoying arrogance about him. “What are you doing here David?” I snapped, I watched as Desiree shot me daggers from across the table. He grabbed his chest where his heart was a pretended to be in pain, “that hurt Alex.” He turned to walk over to where I was sitting that way he could look at her. “I’m here to see if Desiree would like to accompany me to breakfast.” The biggest smile ever on her face as she tried to control her excitement. “I would love to but we have a meeting.” “Oh I know, but I asked my Uncle and he said you didn’t have to stay.” I was able to put together two things from his sentence. One that he was lying and second Derek wanted to talk to me alone about something without her here. I wanted to know why, unless… Maybe just maybe he doesn’t want her to have a premonition about the business. “Alex?” Her voice hopeful. “Of coarse you can go!” My fake cheeriness might have been a little over the top but no one seemed to notice. “Thanks,” she mouthed over her shoulder as he guided her out of the room. I sat there in silence until I heard footsteps coming down the hall. “Desiree?” I called out. “No, I am definitely not Desiree.” a voice said from behind me. I spun around so fast that I felt as I if I got whiplash. “Marc!” His name a whisper on my lips, “what are you doing here?” “My father asked me to be here, wait this is my house what are you doing here?” His voice changing from offensive to defensive. “Same as you.” “Interesting now all we need is my father.” We sat across from each other at the table, saying nothing. “I’m not a bad person you know.” He finally said. “What are you talking about?”

“Last night,” He said moving closer to me as if to tell me a secret. “I want you to know that love does exist-” Leaning towards him my lips just centimeters away from his. “I told you too prove it.” I hissed back, thankful that Desiree had made me brush my teeth. “Oh I plan on it.” “Oh this I would love to hear.” I rested my head on my hand and stared at him intently. “Oh please explain.” “I’m going to make you fall in love with me.” I was about to make a snippy comeback when Marc’s father walked into the dining room. “Sorry I am late, my morning meeting ran a little longer then I expected.” At the sound of Derek’s voice we sprung apart into our respective chairs. “Why are we here?” Marc asked his father bluntly. “We have important information to discuss.” Omnisciently glancing between Mark and I. “So here is the deal,” He said sitting at the head of the table. “Alex, I know you came here to take over your fathers part of the business but I cant let that happen.” He paused dramatically, “but I can allow you to start off small by helping us follow up on some things and help oversea some of the dealing.” “We cant use her like that.” Marc rose to her feet in anger at what his father was proposing I do. “Wait what do you mean use me?” I was more confused by human nature now more then I was before. “He wants to use you in the field.” Marc’s blue eyes blazing intensely at his father. “I want you and Marc here to go try to help track down some people who owe us “stuff”. Marc will start training you tomorrow.” “No, Dad. She is not- “ he said interjecting on my behalf. “I’ll do it!” Standing us to make myself noticed. The both shut up and gave identical perplexed looks. “I said I want to run this business, and I’ll do what I have to do.” I told them

hoping my act was convincing. I had to make them think that I was serious about climbing the social mob ladder. “Good so staring tomorrow Marc will start your training.” After hearing his name again he stood up and brought his dad to the corner and shot off into rapid Spanish. Luckily I had remembered to put on my translator earrings so I was able to hear and understand what they were saying. “Dad what are you doing! It’s way to dangerous for her.” “Do you know what she is capable of?” “Yes I know she’s smart and beautiful…” “That girl is a genius!” “Yes I know she is smart.” “She is much smarter then you can even imagine. She passed her GEDs when she was ten! She goes to a high school that caters to students with brilliant minds, and she’s still at the top of her class.” “So…” “She can be very valuable to us.” “No-” “It does not matter what you think!” He shouted, as if he forgot I was there. They glanced over to where I was sitting and I pretended to be looking at the table intently. They went back to talking at an octave above a whisper. “You will do as I say, understand?” His hand gripping Marcs shoulder too tightly for it to be comfortable. “Yes. Dad.” He spit the words out in English this time, signaling the end of the conversation. “I’m sorry,” Derek said including me in the conversation once again. “ I have to go tend to more business. “ He apologized and left the room. “So sorry you heard all that.” “ It’s okay its not like I understood any of it, well except you know that he was yelling at you.” I secretly crossed my fingers underneath the table in the hopes that he would believe my story apparently it worked since nothing else happened except he shrugged.

“It’s sad actually, I keep letting him boss me around even though I shouldn’t…” His voice trailing off, I notice that his hands were now curled into tight fists. “I understand.” I told him, because I did. “How could you possibly? No offense or anything but I always heard you were the perfect ‘princess’, everyone’s favorite.” “Well nothing is ever as it seem on the surface.” he egged me on. “For example when I was growing up my dad had this crazy idea that I should be a track star because he was one. So he trained me, the first day I was a bundle of energy and then as time wore on I grew to hate it. I wanted to quit but my Dad wouldn’t let me, so I never said anything about it to him. I just kept running and running until finally it was too much. It took me until four months to finally tell him what I thought.” “That’s great that you stood up to him though.” Knowingly I laughed, “You think he let me stop?” “But you just said that you stood up to him about it.” “Yes I stood up to him, but he didn’t let me quit until I messed up my knee on the hurdles.” I showed him the white scars that ran up and down my knee cap. “Ouch,” he winced. “Yeah, so I should get going…” Stepping away from the table. “I have one question for you before you leave,” My heart skipped a few beats as I plastered a smile on my face. “Oh?” “Are you really a genius?” “I don’t know am I?” “At first glance no, and I think you try to act like you’re not. Every once in a while the real you slips out.” “Do I really slip up that much?” “No, I’m just very observant.” “If you’re smart you won’t be too observant anymore.” I threatened. “I can’t do that.”

“Why?” I whined. “You’ll see.” His lyrical voice echoing off the walls. Abruptly he stood up and walked away. “Hey! You don’t get to have the last word! I’m suppose to have the last word.” I shouted at his retreating form. He waved, not bothering to turn around to look at me as he did so. “Jerk.” I said, even though he was way out of earshot. I glanced around the room, configuring my next move. I walked back into my room closing the door behind me. “Hi Desiree.” I told her without looking behind me. “How did you know I was there? You didn’t even turn around!” He long legs lying on my couch, a smoothie and a magazine in her hand. “The rug out side was moved a quarter of an inch.” I told her rushing to my dresser and pulled out a light blue bathing suit. “Fancy a swim?” “How can you even tell it moved a quarter of an inch? No one can see that.” “Don’t harp on it, move on. Come on get your suit were going swimming.” “We can’t.” She put her magazine and the smoothie on my table. I sat down on one of the loveseats, sinking into the supple leather. “Why is that?” “Because your mother wants to have that discussion now.” “Now?” My voice squeaking. “Yes, now.” I sighed in defeat, after all she is my mother dead or not. “Okay so this is how it’s going to work, you may hear my voice but I’m speaking your mothers’ words. Got it?” “Gottcha.” Desiree pupils enlarged like they did before when she was having a premonition. “Hi Honey,” My mothers lyrical voice escaping from Desiree’s mouth. “Mom?” This is just a little to bizarre for my mind to comprehend. “Yes, it’s me. I’m sorry I had to leave you…” Her voice filled with sorrow. “I have so many unanswered questions-”

“I know,” Desiree’s unnaturally frigid hand landed on my cheek. “And I plan on explaining everything too you.” “Well then by all means, please explain.” “I’m not sure how much you know, so I’ll tell you everything from the beginning. The date was September twenty first. I was only nineteen and I was starting my very first day as an intern for a big media network in New York. Needless to say I was freaking out as I was rushing to get coffee to my boss I wasn’t looking where I was going and ran right into David. He didn’t even get upset that I had spilled scalding hot coffee on him.” Her laugh was exactly as I had always remembered it. “He insisted on buying me another, we hit it off immediately. We saw each other every once in a while for a night of dancing or for dinner. When he first told me that he thought I would be perfect for a position at his office I was so excited. So I agreed to go to a interview, when I arrived at the address I knew this interview would be different. I was right. Immediately after I walked in I was ushered into a locker area and ordered to change into a elastic leotard with spandex shorts. I had no idea why I was changing into this ridiculous outfit or how this would fit into my interview. When I came out of the locker room I was brought into another room this time it was all white. I was put through a series of drills, hand to hand combat, field tactic’s, and of course intelligence tests. Somehow I impressed them with skills I never knew I had. That was when I found out that David was a spy.” “Dad was on our side?” “Yes, he was the crème de le crème of the agency. I was assigned onto his squad, of which he was captain. We had a world wind romance, hopping from country to country completing our missions. Then came our mission in Paris, by then we had been dating for a little more than a year, and we were still in love. Anyway, along the way your father discovered that his little brother had been killed in the war. He was furious and I think that was the point when he lost all respect for the American government and turned to the mob. I didn’t know that he was turning away from the agency, so I never questioned his new “friends”, or the random trips around America without notice. A few weeks into the Paris

mission I discovered I was pregnant, with you. I was so happy and so was your father. We decided to marry right there in Paris with the other three agents in our squad as witnesses. Emely, and Victoria were my maids of honor and Jack was your fathers best man. We were wed under the Eiffel Tower, and traveled from restaurant to restaurant collecting free food.” “When did you find out the he was working with the Mob?” She made a tsk sound at me, “ No interrupting,” she scolded. “As I was saying we got married and since I was pregnant I was no longer allowed to go on missions, and your father didn’t want to go traipsing around the world without me. So I decided work from home, by organizing reports, and other things of that nature. Your father quit all together and went to work for the insurance company. We bought a house in Kansas, I had you and we lived our little messed up lives. I only found out about his mob job when I was suspicious of him cheating. I hacked onto his computer, just as you did. Except I didn’t get caught.” I couldn’t help but laugh when she did, even though it was creeping me out to hear her words come out of Desiree’s’ mouth. “Wow, do I feel so much better after telling you all that.” “I still can’t believe that Dad was one of the good guys.” “Well believe it honey, I guess I should give your friend her body back.” She giggled. “Will I ever hear from you again or is this is?” “No, I’m free to come and go as I please. Besides I’m always watching over you.” “That’s a little freaky, don’t you think?” Wait- did she see me with Marc? “Don’t worry I wont interrupt any of your… private moments.” A blush crept across my cheeks, “MOM!” “Don’t worry honey, he’s a cutie. I love you.” She reached over and hugged me, and I could have sworn that I smelt her favorite perfume, Lilly Flower. Desiree’s pupils enlarged again and my Mom’s spirit left her body. “So… How’d it go?” Desiree asked. “It was interesting…”

Chicken Alfredo
Today is my first “lesson” with Marc, the day I have been dreading since Derek first proposed the idea. I was standing there in my sports tank-top and my spandiez, otherwise known as spandex shorts. I took in the gym, it was covered in a blue vinyl mat and separated into different section depending on what type of exercise you desired. My feet sticking to the mat as I walked over the metal bench, I started to tape my hands then undid the tape reconsidering. Would we even be working on hand-to-hand? Surely the mob was into more organized crime, as in gun or different types of artillery. After five minutes debating whether or not I should run for the hills and fake sickness or wait for Marc to show up. Seconds later the decision was made for me because in walked Marc; his sandy blonde hair was brushed away from his pure black eyes. “Hey,” his voice sent shivers unfamiliar to me, along my body. He was avoiding my gaze just as he had the day I ran into him. “Ready?” He asked me as he flexed his forearms with stretches. I couldn’t help but marvel at his body. While he was stretching his shirt rose up to expose his abdominal muscles. He was much stronger then he projected in his personality. Reluctantly I tore my gaze away from his torso, “I’m the one that has been sitting here for the past five minutes,” my words were suppose to sound annoyed instead they sounded lighter, as if I was joking. He directed me to circular wrestling mat off to the right of the gym. “Okay hit me,” his hands beckoning my towards him. He started hopping from one foot to another. Crossing my arms over my chest I told him,” I’m not going to hit you.”

Fine, but you asked for it,” He body charged at me, moving in a blur. I watched the scene as if it was in slow motion, seeing a fault in his attack. His left foot was in the wrong spot. I stepped towards him and placed the tip of my foot out in his path. Once he tried to change course I grabbed him by his arm and flipped him to the ground. He landed with a thud on the mat, immobilized. “Are you okay?” I asked leaning over him, the humidity causing my hair to stick to my face. “I’m fine,” He said through clenched teeth. He rolled over and once upright dusted off imaginary dust particles from his shirt. “I’m sorry- I did not mean too-” He held out his hand to silence me. “I told you, I’m fine.” He said the words slowly as if talking to a small child who has trouble understanding. “That was a good hit, but can you do it again?” His cocky grin back on his face. We repeated our “dance” over and over. Each time the outcome was identical to the first. Whether the hit was to his chest, abdomen, spine, shin, I always hit my mark. After an hour of onset attacks we finally took a break. “You- are- an- amazing- fighter.” His breathing shallow as he tried to talk and get oxygen. “Thanks, you’re not so bad yourself.” I told him after consuming an entire bottle of water in seconds. “Where did you learn to fight like that?” I bit my top lip, “Summer camp,” giving him my partial truth partial lie. “So… I hear that Desiree and David hit it off.” “Yes, she seems to be very attracted to him.” I scrunched my eyebrows up in thought and Marc started laughing. “What?” “Nothing. Nothing; you look so cute when you do that.” “Do what?” confused about what I was doing that was “so cute” as he had put it. “That thing, where you scrunch up your face….I like it.” “Okay…” I was unsure of the correct response, “Thanks I guess?” His onyx eyes stared into mine, “You’re welcome.” He leant back on the

metal bench, his position jostling the thoughts I had before we strayed from topic. “You do know that if he breaks her heart I’ll break every single bone in his body.” His harmonious laughter surrounding me like a warm familiar blanket. His laughter stopped once he saw my stony expression. “Wait, you’re serious?” “Deadly.” And it was true, over the past couple of weeks Desiree had become more than just my best friend, she had become my sister, my family. I would do anything in my power to protect her from getting hurt, as stupid as that may seem. “I’ll pass it on,” the earlier cheerfulness evaporated from his voice. He started to fumble with his hands, a tell tale sign that they were nervous or uncomfortable about something. “Listen, I’m sorry that all of this is happening to you.” I jumped up off the bench in a whirl of emotions, mainly anger. “ Stop saying you’re sorry! This is the mob, people are going to get roughed up maybe even killed. I may not like it but I rather it was our job then anyone else’s.” After my little outburst I reached into the cooler for a water when my hand collided with something much warmer and softer than the feeling of plastic. The feeling of his skin on mine affected me in the strangest way. My heart rate accelerated, my breathing became shallow, and I felt my cheeks heat up from the blood that was rising. I felt an actual shock when I touched his hand, I gasped in shock. “See this is a sign from the Heavens’ that we’re meant to be together. “Oh please, I don’t believe in soul mates. But if I did I would say that the shock was a miniscule prognostication that Zeus will smite us if we ever end up romantically involved.” I said pointedly,” Besides we both know that static electricity or net electric charge appears whenever the normal quantities of positive and negative electricity in a substance are not perfectly equal.” He groaned in frustration, “ I can not believe you still don’t believe we have chemistry together. That’s it, you’re coming with me.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the room. Once I realized after a few moments that it was pointless to try and free myself from his strong grip. What shocked me was the

fact that I didn’t want to run away quite as much as I should. We ran in silence, passing hallways that I had never seen before and making too many turns for me to remember. We exited through a small door and ran up a steep hill, our hands still entangled. We stopped once we approached the town that I had visited with Lindsey and Desiree on our very first day in Mexico. I glanced down at my scarce amount clothes, ”Oh no.” “What?” he stopped walking and turned to look back at me. “I’m like naked.” Cringing at my use of like, noticing how I was beginning to adapt Desiree’s type of speech. “Relax,” he laughed. “You look like another other tourists here, but prettier.” His voice calm and soothing, distracting me from my paranoia. I felt reassured by the squeeze of his hand, “I’m going to go buy wrap from that dress over there,” I pointed to a stand where a Latino woman was selling colorful wraps for twenty pesos. “With what money?” Laughing I pulled out one hundred pesos out of my sports bra, underneath my clingy top. “I can honestly say I was not expecting that. Do you always keep things in your shirts?” A flirty smile on his face. I smacked him playfully on his arm with my free hand. “Come on, just tell me what we’re doing here. Surprising myself when my hand reached for his, it felt as if our hands were meant to fit together, as scientifically improbable as it was to think that thought. We walked up to the stand and I purchased a bright orange and blue wrap. I wrapped it so it looked like a one shoulder dress, just as my friend Jess taught me to do back home. “That color is perfect on you.” “So I’ve been told,” referring to Desiree’s depiction of my aura. I guess it would make sense that since it refers to the energy of my soul or whatnot, that it would compliment me appearance wise as well. “Don’t change the subject, answer. Now.” “Do something exciting for once and let this be a surprise.”

I mumbled something unintelligent, and followed him down the dirt street. He brought us to a restaurant on a pier, there was a small pink stucco colored building that led out to the dining area which was all out side on the pier. “Welcome to Bella Note!” I giggled, “Your taking me to a Italian restaurant in Mexico?” “Yes I did. A little birdie told me that you love a good chicken alfredo.” Desiree is so dead when I get home… “They have the best Alfredo this side of the world.” I glanced suggestively down at his wife beater. “I’ll get a shirt if you feel so uncomfortable. He laughed at me his thumb running over my palm in circles. My entire body felt like it was melting from his touch, it was as if I was in an unbreakable trance. “I’ll be right back,” his voice whispered in my ear . His hand released mine and he slipped away from me turning to the kitchen area. The second my hand left his it was as if a splash of cold water hit my face. What am I doing? I can’t let him get to me. This is exactly what he want from you, Alex. You mean nothing to him he’s most likely doing what his father ordered him to do. But why does he make me feel so…. Alive? I glanced out toward the crystal blue water below. The sky and the sea glowed vibrant colors from the sun that was sinking beyond the horizon. Suddenly his hand was on my shoulder and I felt myself unintentionally falling back into my blissful daze. “Better?” He was wearing a black button down shirt the sleeves were rolled up and the left the first three buttons unbuttoned. “Much, lets eat.” I told him as we found table near the live band towards the end of the pier. A woman around her early forties came up to our table, “ Welcome to Bella Note, my name is Emily and I’ll be your waiter for the evening. Can I start you off with some drinks?” She handed out our menus and I caught a look at her nametag which read Emely, interesting spelling. “Yes we already know what we’d like to order.” he snatched the menu out of my hand and handing them back to her.

“Hey!” I reached from my menu, but he stopped me my taking my hand . It was just like before, his touch made me feel intoxicated, as if I was drunk on his personality. “I can order for myself,” I yanked my hand out of his. Ignoring me he continued to order, “Two orders of chicken alfredo, and two strawberry daiquiris.” “Make mine a virgin,” I told her as she walked away. Just because it legal for us to drink here, doesn’t mean I’m going to. “You don’t know me.” “Yes, I do.” His voice calm and even. “No. You know nothing about me besides the things I have elected to tell you, which may be true or may not be.” “You’re wrong,” his eyes stared intently into mine. “I know everything.” My heart skipped a few beats, was he the one who knows the truth and tried to kill us back in Kansas? Does he know about the Agency? The questions go on for what seems like infinity. “Oh really like what?” My cool demeanor displaying none of the unease that I felt. “I know that you are one of them,” his black eyes locked onto mine. “One of who,” some of the confidence gone from my voice, my heart beating wildly in my chest. “Don’t lie to me Alex,” his face moving closer to mine. “I know who you’re working for.” “I have no idea what you are talking about.” “I know that you’re working with the government.” I didn’t say anything. “After all that denial you’re just going to admit that I am right?” I buried my head in my hands, and started to weep. “Hey,” his voice soothing,” it’s okay.” I lifted my head from my hands, “No, Marc it is most definitely not okay!” We were starting to collect attention from the other dinners. “I’m not the one who-” Tears stared to build up in my eyes, “You don’t understand! I have to kill you now, but I cant.” I rushed up from my seat turning to rush down the pier,

when I ran right into Emely. It was as if everything was happening in slow motion, the scalding hot entrees of chicken Alfredo spilled all over us. Dishes smashed into the ground and we landed entangled on the floor. By now the band had stopped playing and I felt every single persons eyes on me. “Alex,” Emely said as she began to get up. “How do you know my name?” My body automatically going on the defense. “It’s okay Alex, I’m on your side. I need you and Marc to follow me.” “How do I know you are on my side?” I asked while trying to untangle the pasta from my hair. “I was on your moms squad in Paris.” That was all I needed to know. I got up and pulled Marc and left the restaurant. “Alex, where are we going?” I didn’t respond instead I just followed Emely down a dark ally. I stopped in front of the rusted metal door of the abandoned building that she had entered. “I don’t think we should-” I pulled Marc through the doors and we reemerged in a place that reminded me of the van that I had been in only day ago. “I told you that you have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself mixed up in.” His eyes looked as if they were about to pop out of his head, as Desiree would put it. “Agent Smith, Demarco.” Agent Johnson took his place next to Emely. “Hello Agent Johnson, nice to see you again.” Politely shaking his hand. “What’s going on?” Marc whispered into my ear. “I’d love to know,” I whispered back once Johnson wasn’t looking. Agent Johnson was pacing the length of the room, and muttering to himself. He looked… nervous. I know that Marc is technically the “bad” guy, but maybe he deserves the chance to switch sides. “Sit.” Johnson ordered us to sit in two chairs that had appeared when we weren’t looking. We sat. “You seem tense.” I told him.

“Of course I’m upset! You blew your damn cover. Do you have any idea how many lives you may have put in jeopardy? I shrunk back into my chair whishing that I had never agreed to do this. I hung my head low in shame, “No sir,” my voice barely audible. “And you,” he said jabbing his finger at Marcs’ chest. “Well, I’m not sure what we are going to do with you, yet.” My mind strayed to Desiree and I wonder if she foresaw this happening? Then of coarse I worry about her safety with David. I feel like I haven’t slept in days, the lesson with Marc seems like such a long time ago. Voices snapped me out of my head, “Agent Johnson,” Emely said stepping out of the shadows. “She is on the line.” Who is she? “Very well patch her through,” he told her with a flick of his wrist. On the video screen was a face that I was familiar with by now, it was the face of Victoria, the Director of the FBI Special Op’s. I finally put all the pieces together Emely and Victoria were the same Emely and Victoria that had been my mothers close friends and bridesmaids. “Hello Director,” I said standing before the monitor. “Alex, I would like to say I’m happy too see you, but I’m not.” Her permafrown in place. “As am I.” Standing my guard, trying to give off the same air of authority as she did so effortlessly. “Wonderful, now that the pleasantries have been settles lets get down to business, shall we?” Instead of taking a seat I remained standing, if it bothered her she didn’t show it. “Marc, I presume?” He sat motionless in his chair, his skin wan underneath the dark pigment of his skin. He cleared his throat and stood up next to me. “Yes, ma’am.” “I understand that you discovered a top secret covert operation. Do you acknowledge this as true?” “Yes.”

“So now we have two options, the first is we wipe your memory, or if you refuse we can kill you. The choice is yours.” Silence. “My patience is running low, choose quickly before I chose for you.” He raised his black eyes to hers, “Neither.” “Execution it is.” “Wait!” I cried out as Agent Johnson grabbed Marc. “Marc can be a valuable member of this operation. No one knows the operation than he does, we can use his to our advantage. I take complete responsibility for him.” I couldn’t stop myself from interceding on his behalf. Once the words escaped my mouth I couldn’t change my mind. I watched as she strummed her blood red nails strummed her wood desk. The sound amplified by the speakers. “I suppose that he could come in useful… Very well he can help on the mission we will figure out what to do with him after all of this is over. “ A look of relief flashed over Marc’s face and I found myself letting out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. “Thank-you Ma’am!” The waxy appearance to his skin was replaced by his usual luminosity. “Don’t thank me, thank Alex. You are her personal responsibility.” “What do I tell Desiree?” “Update her on what going on, but make sure she doesn’t breath a word of this to anyone. We need all of you too be extremely careful. The threats that we got from someone in your,” she pointed at Marc, “family are getting more dangerous and frequent.” “Do you know who is doing this?” Turning to face him, so I was staring into the endless depths of his eyes. “No, but I find out,” determination filling his voice. “I’d do anything for you Alex.” My stomach churned and it felt as if a million butterflies were flying around in my stomach, and the odd tingling sensation spread through me once again.

“Even if it may very well get you killed?” I was not prepared for his answer. “Yes,” there was no hesitation and I knew he wasn’t lying. “I’d die for you.” “I know this is suppose to be your idea of ‘romantic’, but too me having your death be my responsibility is anything but.” We locked eyes and were trapped in each others intense gazes. We were snapped out of it by a cough that echoed around the room. Embarrassed I turned away from Marc and stared at the screen blankly, blushing profusely. Marc sat there with a smug look of satisfaction. “Very well then, I see that you have a lot to talk about. Alex, you can teach him the basics. Have fun, and try not to kill each other.” The screen went black, but the tension in the room didn’t disperse.

First Kiss
“Come on, we should go.” Standing up I walk to the rusted metal doors we entered through. I nodded curtly to Agent Johnson and Agent Emely. “This is not how I expected my life to be,” Marc commented as we made

our way down to the beach that lead to his families massive estate. “No. Really?” I bet every fifteen year old boy wishes that his father already picked out his wife. Or that if you don’t help destroy your father and every one you ever knew, you’ll die.” The words flowing out of me as if I was writing the synopsis for a new soap. “Yeah, I’m one messed up teenager. But at least I’m not as messed up as you.” Joking he nudged my shoulder. “Ha-ha-ha. I cant help but wonder what I’d be doing now if none of this had happened.” By now we were on the white sand beach that bordered his dwelling place. The sound of gulls and crashing waves filled the background. The full moon appeared close enough that you could just reach out and take a piece of it and place it in your pocket. I ran to the jetty that jutted out into the sea, and started to climb the slippery rocks. The algae and clams cutting into my palms as I made the treacherous climb up the rocks. “Hold up!” Marc shouted from the distance. I was barely aware that he was slowly making his way towards me telling me to stop. I didn’t, instead I kept moving until I reached the furthest edge of the rocks. “Whoa!“ Marc said as he took in our surroundings. Where ten feet below me was the white churning of the water, the salty spay hitting our faces. Gingerly he sat down as if waiting for the rock to tip over and land us into the death sentence. “I’ve only seen the ocean once before this,” my eyes mesmerized by the steady crashing of the waves, and the never ending horizon. “It really is beautiful.” “No, you’re beautiful.” The words were uttered so low that I almost missed them. “Any you’re obviously crazy.” “Crazy about you.” Now I was blushing so hard I’m almost positive that my cheeks looked like a tomatoes. “Would you stop doing that?” Laughing as I stood up from the rocky perch. “Fine. I won’t say another nice thing about you for the rest of the night.”

“Wonderful. Let’s do something crazy.” I looked over the edge of the rocks where the water was less rough and found the spot that was the deepest. I unwrapped my food soaked sarong and stood there in the warm night air in my clingy work out clothes. “You coming? “ I called back to him from over my shoulder. A huge grin spread over his face and he almost fell as he scrambled to get up. As he walked towards me he pulled off his button down shirt, leaving only his basketball shorts. “You sure you want to do this?” I didn’t hesitate in my answer,” One hundred percent positive.” “Okay then, on three.” He stepped up next to me and interlaced his fingers through mine. “ONE.” “TWO.” “THREE!” We said together as we leapt of the ledge and plummeted the ten feet into the dark abyss below. It was the best adrenaline rush I had ever experienced. After we hit the water I allowed myself to sink, enjoying the feeling to peace. “That was so much fun!” I said as I dove back under the water again. This time I opened my eyes and caught a glimpse of Marc’s legs thrashing about in the water. I cut through the water with ease, springing out of the water directly in front of him. Without thinking I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled his head down so that his lips were millimeters away from mine. Without thinking about it I closed the gap between us, our lips pressing against the others. At first it was awkward, but the longer we stayed there interlocked the better it got. Turns out that Marc is a divine kisser, he knew exactly what to do and I followed his lead. The stomach churning feeling I had felt before was intensified to such an extreme that it felt good. I lost myself in the kiss, the softness of his lips, the way he tasted like strawberries and salt. His hand was pressed against the small of my back. We were constantly kicking each other because we were treading water. After what felt like forever but was really only five minutes, we broke apart.

“I guess I should have stop complementing you days ago.” I splashed him with water as I swam over to a flat rock and sat down on it mermaid style. “I don’t like you.” Saying exactly the opposite of what my mind was thinking. “Just because I kissed you doesn’t mean that I like you. I was simply living in the moment.” It was apparent that he wasn’t buying any of the cow pie I was feeding him. “what ever you say.” “Right now I would be at my schools homecoming dance. “ I blurted out. I thought about all my friends dancing under the fake stars and streamers that would be hung around the cafeteria. The holographic walls depicting this years theme, a night in the stars. It would look as if you were dancing in Orions’ belt. “Your school does that?” “Of coarse, just because we’re brilliant doesn’t mean that our school is any different than any other high schools. Offended I added, “We even have one of the best football teams in Texas.” “I thought you were from Kansas?” “Nope Texas born and raised. I’m from the city though so my twang isn’t as strong as Desiree’s. I’m from El’ Dorado, we boast a population of over twenty thousand. It’s my favorite place in the world and I miss my friends Kim and Jessie. I miss just being a normal teenager.” “Alex, you’re anything but a regular teenager,” his words weren’t mean or criticizing. They were warm, accepting, complementary. “You’re a genius, but your also beautiful, nice , and funny. Sometimes your stubborn but ninety-five percent of the time I would rather be here talking to you, than anywhere else.” He stood up off the rock and turned so his back was to me. “What happened to not complimenting me?” I teased. Ignoring my comment he continued, “In the past couple of days that I’ve known you my life has been turned upside down. I remember when my dad told me that when I got older I would have to marry you for the business, I despised it. I thought you were the most horrible, annoying person in the entire universe.

Every time I met a cute girl who I liked and like me too I had to ignore her because it could never go anywhere.” “Is this suppose to make me feel better about myself” I said sarcastically. “Can I finish?” Turning to face me, I nodded for him to continue. “Then when I ran into that day in the garden and everyday since, I can’t stop thinking that maybe you’re the best girl for me.” The moonlight making his onyx eyes sparkle. “Oh,” thoughtfully adding, “I don’t know how to respond.” He kelt down on one knee on the slippery rock. He grabbed my hand in his and he looked much older than fifteen in the moonlight. “We are not even sixteen years old.” “Is that a yes?” His voice hopeful. “No. It’s a no. I’m sorry Marc, I really am but we barely even know each other. Besides now you’re on our team so the wedding pact it’s broken. No more. Finite. Over. Done. We can marry who ever we choose.” “I see,” he dropped my hand and his eyes narrowed steely. “Ask me again in say ten years and who knows what my answer may be.” Some of the spark reentered his eyes and he almost felt of the rock as he stood up. “Hey I can live with a maybe.” He pulled me close and kissed me gingerly on the lips. The kiss was not as passionate as before but it still has the power to make me feel weak. Luckily he was holding me firmly, otherwise I may have swooned off the rock. Silently I prayed that he would forget about me before ten years arrived. We were silent as we climbed the ten feet to the top of the jetty and made our way back towards the beach.
**************************JJ***************************

The clear beautiful sky was replaced with the heavy ominous thunder clouds. “Did you feel that?” I asked lifting my chin up to the sky and waited for another raindrop to fall. “No,” just then a huge raindrop landed right in the middle of his forehead. “Never mind.” Laughing we stood there, watching as the drop slid down his nose.

Soon another drop fell, than another, until there was a steady stream of rain falling on our already water clogged bodies. Still giddy we run through the rain, our feet splashing through the small accumulating puddles. By the time we has reached the entrance, the mild air had cooled considerably. “At least the pasta sauce is gone.” We I turned to look at him his face was inches of mine and I literally felt my breath catch. I looked up at him from under my eyelashes. My hair was soaked and plastered to my face from the rain. He grabbed me by my arms on either side and pressed my lips to his. The same exploding feeling of joy filled me and I felt my head spin. “I love….” I paused stopping the three letter word that was poised at the tip of my tongue. Rain!” I shouted after we had separated. “I love rain!” I held my arms out and spun around in circles like a fool. “Are you okay?” “Nope,” I said spinning faster and faster until my world all blurred together. “When I stop, will you catch me?” I yelled at him. “Of coarse,” he shouted to me. “What?” a boom of thunder filled my ears. “I SAID OF COARSE!” Through the torrent of rain I could barely make out his tall frame. “Ready?” “What?” I stopped spinning but my world didn’t. I had no idea which way was up, or down. Stumbling I tried to make my way over to where I thought Marc was. I tripped and was caught in his strong arms right before I fell on my face. Propping me over his shoulder we made our way to the main house, he didn’t put me down until we had reached my secluded hallway. “So… I guess this is good night.” Walking towards where I was leaning against the wall to keep from falling. “Yup.” My voice small as I watched his head incline and move closer to mine. His breath was warm on my neck. “I’m not going to kiss you, but hopefully

this will make you realize how much you like me, although you deny it. You cannot lie to your heart.” I pushed him away, “I can’t lie to my heart? Do these lines actually work on girls?” “Actually yes, they work very well on normal girls.” “Well as you may have noticed I’m anything but normal. Those old tricks won’t help you here.” Spinning on my heel I sauntered off down the hallway towards my door. “Can we ever just say goodbye like normal civilized people?” He shouted out down the hallway. “Now Marc,” I patronized. “Where is the fun in that?” Looking over my shoulder back at him from my spot by my door. I had a huge grin on my face as I opened my door, the water collecting a puddle at my feet. “Well look at what the cat dragged in,” Desiree shouted from her spot on my couch. I let out a scream of surprise, “what are you doing here? I locked the door when I left.” “You may have locked it but I have a skeleton key for the adjoining door.” Mentally I kicked myself for not taking more precautions. Now I was just going to have to come out and say it “Desiree-” I started but she pulled me down onto the couch next to her, not bothering to notice that I was soaking wet. “Tell me all about the kiss!” She demanded. “Wait how did you… Oh a vision?” She shook her dark hair, “Nope your mother.” I had completely forgotten that my mom could spend her time prying into my life whenever she felt it was just. “MOM!” I shouted at the air, expecting her to be eavesdropping on this conversation as well. “Relax hot lips, she ain’t here.” Her country twang clear and strong. “There’ s that accent!” Teasing her as I hummed a few bars of Home on

the Range. “Shut it!” I ducked to avoid the pillow that she tried to mother my face with. “Don’t go tryin to change the subject.” “I don’t have to tell you anything.” “Alex…” She whined repeatedly until I stopped ignoring her. “Alright already, I’ll tell you just stop doing that. It’s worse than nails on a chalkboard. I kissed him, but it didn’t mean anything. I was living in the moment, I don’t want to talk about it. Period. The End.” Rolling her eyes, “come on Alex, just admit that you like him.” “I do not!” After a few minutes I thought it over. “Is it really that obvious?” “Yes, it really is.” “Well than,” I thought aloud. “Is it really so odd for you to admit that even though it is completely irrational, that maybe just maybe you feel the same way that he does.” Ignoring her, “you shouldn’t suppress your accent like you do. I think it’s quite charming.” “Really?” “Yeah of coarse.” I assured her happy that my diversion was working. “Wait one gosh darn minute, I’m not going to get diverted that easily.” “Shoot,” I smiled. “Well I actually do have something to tell you…” “Well, what is it?” “Marc found out about the undercover mission and now he’s on our team. Alright I think I’m going to go take a shower. Bye!” I said rambling as I quickly ran into the bathroom and shut the door. I was almost behind the safety of my locked bathroom door when I heard, “Oh no you don’t. Alex Jaclyn Smith get your butt out here right now!” Reluctantly I slunk back into the main room, “You sound just like my mom.” “That’s because I am talking, not Desiree.” “Mom,” I protested. “You can not just take over my best friends body when ever you want .” “Don’t be silly Allie,” She scoffed. “ Of course I asked first. I may be dead

but I still have manners.” “Mom, it’s Alex, not Allie.” “Oh sweetie,” she took my hand in her unnaturally frigid one. “You’ll always be my Allie Baby.” “Mom.” I said calmly, even though it was still awkward to be talking to my mother while looking at the face of my best friend. “I think it’s important that I talk to Desiree about everything going on first, okay?” “Oh honey,” She laughed. “Of course! I just wanted to tell you that while I was… roaming around, I stumbled upon the voice of the person who is threatening you.” Intrigued I lean in closer, “Who is it? If you know who it is we can wrap this whole thing up so fast, it will make the Directors’ head spin.” “That’s the thing, I don’t know for sure who it was.” I couldn’t stop my self from sighing in defeat. “But, I can tell you that whoever it is, is male-” “Thanks Mom, that narrows it down to half of the population,” I said sarcastically. “Don’t give me attitude. You didn’t let me finish. The intriguing part about whoever it was is the fact that-” She paused purposely to make me more anxious than I was. The anticipation had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Litterally. “I don’t know…” “SPIT IT OUT ALREADY!” “Fine. Fine. Who ever it was is physic.” For a second I thought that my jaw would unhinge itself and hit the ground. “O.M.G!” I blurted out and then covered my mouth with my hand. “Aww, honey you stuttered! My little genius is finally morphing into a member of the teenage society.” Sneering I muttered, “Desiree is rubbing off on me.” After a short null in conversation I pondered aloud, “But how do you know whoever it was is physic?” “Well for one thing he was in “The Park” and I-”

“What does “The Park” mean?” Making air quotes around the park as she had. “Well the best way to describe it is limbo. You know the place inbetween this dimension and whatever happens next.” She quickly slaps her hand over her- Desirees’ mouth. “Opps! I should not have told you that.” I was only half listening because apparently everything I learned about quantum mechanics and the Theory of Relativity were not only right but existed. “So can’t the guy you heard have been dead if he was in limbo?” “No. I’m sure he was as alive as you. His aura was still bright and defiantly there. But whoever it was is bad news. I’m talking bad to the core, like a rotten apple left outside to bake on a hot summer day.” Since when does my city loving mother use country expressions? “Desiree’s words not mine.” “Oh… “ “Honey, I know that this must all be hard for you to understand. Heck, it goes against everything you ever believed in. But I’m so glad you’re trying.” She said patting my leg maternally. “Thanks,” smiling I asked. “Do you remember what the guy said?” She bit her lip in concentration, “No they said everything in Spanish, I only knew they were talking about you because I heard your names and the word death or die in the same sentence.” “Drat.” I snapped my fingers together as the idea hit me. “Mom do you think you can transfer your memories to Desiree’s memory?” “I’ve never tried.” “Okay try to make it so it seems like Desiree was right beside you when you heard the voices.” “Okay, but I don’t know if it will work.” Outside my balcony’s window the heavy rain was raging down in torrents and a bolt of lightning lit up the sky, reminding me of the night of the accident. The strange look appeared on Desiree’s face and I knew that my mother had left her body.

“So what I miss?”

My little black book of irony
Desiree’s eyes had lost their glassy look, and she was now badgering me about what had happened. “A lot,” She urged me to explain. “First thing first go to your room and wait for me to get changed. I had almost forgotten that I was only wearing my

drenched work out clothes. Quickly I grabbed a dry pair of underwear and a bra and my flannel pj’s from back home. Three minutes later I was in Desiree’s room and I was searching her Tango. “Wait, explain to me why we are checking my Tango? Plus don’t think I forgot about what you said earlier.” I made a W with my fingers and raised it to my forehead. “I told you we are checking for something important.“ “Why couldn’t we just use your Tango?” She complained as she fell back onto her plush covers. “It’s not an email.” I waited for the welcome screen to shoe up and ask for the pass code. “What’s your pass code?” She mumbled something unintelligent under her breath. “What is it?” “Country Bumpkin.” I had to stop myself from laughing, as I punched in the letters. “Hey! It was my face book password. Don’t poke fun. “I wasn’t,” I said suppressing my giggles. “Okay so I was. Anyway watch this.” I placed the computer in front of her. On screen was the image of a green grassy meadow that went on for what seems like forever. It was filled with people yet all was quite except the voices that played. Thankfully the computer had translated the Spanish into English since I had removed my translator earring while I was changing. “Everything is going according to plan,” The first voice was male, young. The voice we heard over the speakers was obviously disguised, and without the ability to see their aura’ colors we had no way to identify them. “Good, Good. The plan is almost complete?” A second more gruff voice asked. “Yes, sir. Alex will die, just like planned and then Desiree will fall right into our trap.” “And you will bring the girl to me?” “Yes, sir.”

The feed died suddenly, and we were left staring dumbfounded at the small screen. “I can’t believe this is all my fault.” Desiree said ashen faced. “You can not honestly believe any of this is your fault.” I said hugging her tightly. “You’re gonna’ die an’ it’s all my fault!” She sobbed into my shoulder. “Shh,” I said soothing her. “I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. I’m not going to let anyone hurt either of us. I promise.” She pulled away wiping her arm across her eyes, “What are you going to do to stop something that is destined to come true?” “Are you forgetting who you’re talking too? I’m the girl who jumped forty feet from a burning building with a parachute made out of sheets and I.D tags. If we could survive that we can survive anything. But we can only do it together, are you with me?” I shouted jumping up on her bed. “Yes…” “Good. So here is my plan, we know the when and the where so all we have to do to stop their plan from happening is to stay on our toes.” “Okay,” She shrugged. “First things first, we have to find out whose voice that was.” “Maybe we can do this.” Desiree said hopefully “That’s the spirit!” I shouted narrowly avoiding hitting my head on the top of the canopy bed. “Oh and how are you and David doing?” “Oh Alex, he’s amazing. He’s sweet and caring and smart. We just really seem to click. Sometimes it’s as if he knows what I’m thinking and feeling.” Dramatically she jumped up and let herself fall down onto the bed. “I think I might be in love!” “Le amour fiat tourner le monde.” I shouted as I too fell down onto the bed. “That’s pretty, what does it mean?” “It’s my Mom’s favorite French phrase. She would always tell me that love makes the world go round, Le amour fiat tourner le monde.” “Interesting…”

“What?” Wondering what she was thinking now. “What?” “Why did you say, interesting…” Mimicking the way she had said the word. “If you must know I was wondering why you remember that specific phrase. Is it because maybe, you do believe that love exists!” “Maybe. I don’t know. I mean I want to believe in love, I really do, but as hard as I try the more doubt I have. To me love is just pheromones that are released when you are near a potential mate.” “Eww, you did not just say that.” Her face squished together in disgust. “Oh? I think I just did!” “What ever, Nerd.” “Fake!” “Freak!” “Barbie!” Laughing we hit each other with the ultra plush pillows. Giving up after a few minutes of non stop laughing and physical exhaustion. “Dez,” I say as I lay down on the sheets next to her so we can stare up at the patterns on the ceiling of the canopy. “You know what think is hilarious?” “What?” “Us. Our friendship, I mean who would have thought that we would ever be friends. We are like polar opposites of each other.” “Yeah, no offence but if we met on different circumstances I probably would never even given you the time of day.” “None taken, I probably would have called you a bitch anyway.” “OMFG!” “DEZ!” “What I’m sorry but you just cussed!” “No I called you a typical teenage brand of girls who act like the world was created for them.” “You make us sound like deodorant. But that wasn’t why I shouted that. I shouted that because of what I just realized.”

“What did you just realize?” “It’s December sixteenth!” “Right and…” then I remembered. “That’s only four days away from the twentieth!” Only four day until I die… “Don’t worry Alex, I wont let this vision come true.” “But you yourself said that whatever you see comes true.” “Yeah, but-” I looked her straight in the eyes, “But nothing. I only have four days to complete this mission, and enjoy what’s left of my time here. It’s too late.” I said grimly. “Alex!” I held up my hand to silence her. “No Desiree, I don’t want to hear it. I’ve accepted my fate the best I can.” “BUT!” “No.” I said as I practically jumped off the bed. “I’m going to bed, and I suggest you do the same. We’ll hit the beach first thing tomorrow.” I smiled reassuringly at her, hoping that her abilities haven’t advanced to reading thoughts or energies. Otherwise she’ll see how, not okay I am. “Of course.” She said quietly from where she sat Indian style on her bed. “Night Desiree.” “Night Alex.” She said not meeting my gaze. Silently I shuffled back into my room through the adjoining door careful to lock it before I went to sleep. After I sent out a couple emails to the director with the who, what, when. Without much thought I grabbed my small black leather notebook and started to write. Dear Diary, Dear Journal, !2-16-09 Today I realized seven things of high importance .

1. In a measly four days I, or another version of myself in a parallel dimension is going to drop dead. 2. If I die not only will I have not completed my mission but Desiree I would also have failed in protecting her from whoever it is that is trying to get to her. 3. If I die Marc does too. 4. I think I’m in love with Marc. 5. I, Alex Smith, is no longer a member of the never been kissed. Because I have been, and I loved it! 6. We’ve been here for four days and I still haven’t gone to the beach (Tonight doesn’t count) it wasn’t sunny. 7. I still have to complete the list of things to do before I kick the bucket. Alex Smith’s list of things to do before she dies 8. Go skydiving 9. Swim with sharks 10.Go fishing 11.Tell Bobby Fletcher that she is a male prostitute and will die alone and ugly, because he broke up with Jessica. 12.Go see the Eiffel Tower 13.Raise money for a charity 14.Go to a dance 15.Get married 16.Meet the kid on the David goes to the Dentist video 17.Meet Owl City and listen to them live 18.Scream “Hey!” from the top floor of a mall So far I’ve only done one of these things; and it was number three. Let me tell you… BORING! Anyway, I think that I’ll be lucky to get even two more crossed off the

list. I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow, the chef here make the best food ever! XOXOXO Alex S. ************************************************** I wake up the next morning before the sun rises above the horizon. Too awake to compensate falling asleep I decide to go for a run. Silently I get dressed in my running attire, a pair of spandiez and an old t-shirt that I made back in elementary school, that surprisingly still fits. Once dressed I tip toe out of the main house and head straight, running the three miles towards the ocean. Running as fast as my injured, and sore body would allow. The sea is calm and I watch as the first light of the day casts an eerie glow over the ocean. As I walk along the beach I think back to last night, and Marc. How his lips felt on mine, the way my stomach felt as if there were a million butterflies inside trying to eat their way out. A group of seagulls were fighting over a bright orange fish that had washed up onto shore. Maybe it was the way they were ravishing the remains or the bright orange color that reminded me of my impending doom, looming in the shadows. Suddenly angry I rush over to where the birds are and shoo and kick them away from the fish that is flopping around on the sand. Suffocating without it’s continuous cycle of water being filtered through its gills. Surprisingly the fish wasn’t just any fish, it was a baby tiger shark. Quickly I scooped up the baby shark, surprised by the roughness of it’s skin. It was female, at least three weeks old and approximately a foot long. I waded into the shallow water and after finding a spot near the jetty where it would recover I let it go. At first I thought I was too late but then I saw that I was breathing, the most peculiar thing happened, instead of swimming away it just swam right up to me, positioned so it was staring at me. “What?”

The shark just continued to do nothing and stare at me. “Go on, swim away.” I said making a shooing action with my hands. It did move but instead of leaving it moved closer and swam around my waist. It’s dorsal fin just skimming the surface of the water. I was starting to worry that maybe it’s mother is near by. Although most species of sharks leave their mother after birth, otherwise they’ll eat them. I picked the shark up and moved it so it’s tail was to me and it faced the open sea. I turned around and began to make my way back to shore when a dorsal fin came into my line of sight. “Not again,” I groaned. My little shark seems to not want me to leave her. “Listen, you can’t follow me.” It’s unblinking eyes staring up at me. In the water I realize it coloring is actually yellow/ gray and black stripes, not the orange color that it was earlier. “I’ll come back I promise.” I told her, my last resort. “I must look pretty crazy talking to a shark.” I start to back up so I’m slowly approaching shore. “Stay Agua.” I tell her, calling her the first name that comes to my mind. Surprisingly she doesn’t advance any farther and once I’m back on shore I watch as her dorsal fin disappears in the direction of the jetty. I pull out my black journal and begin to write.

!2/17/09 I’ve decided that I’m going to write this as if it was meant to be read. For that purpose I will write as if I’m talking to you, whoever you are. I’ll also try to make it so I sound more like a regular teenager. Okay, here goes nothing… I can’t believe that only last week I was at the SMMPH, wasting away my life in what I thought of as hell on earth. And then seven weeks ago today I got into that stupid car crash. Now in three days

I’m going to die , and I’m not okay with that. I’m going to be honest here, I’m not okay. I’m FREAKING out. I’ll never admit it but I am. But hey, at least I crossed off another item on my list, number two- swim with sharks, completed! So last night I had a memory of when I had first came into the SMMPH. For some reason when I sleep I also tend to remember memories, and thanks to my near perfect photographic memory it’s as if I live through it all over again. That’s not the point what is, is the fact that I remember why David looks so familiar. He was at the hospital the night I was taken in after the accident. In fact, I remember seeing him talking to the police officers who took my statement about what had happened. THAT’S IT! He’s the one that told the police I was crazy, and that my statement was false. Why else would they not believe me? I mean honestly, I’m the most rational person I know. He must be the person who was threatening to blow up the SMMPH… But my mother showed us that whoever it is has to be physic. As slimly and slick David may be he is most definitely not physic. Desiree would have picked up on that, right? Like she said it’s not something that you can hide. Even if David was the one sending the threats he couldn’t possibly be the one who want’s us dead. Well mainly wants me dead, but still. I can’t confront him until I’m certain that we can get the information out of him. Uncertainty is not something we can risk. If David is in on it

maybe Marc is too. Maybe this whole thing has just been a way for them to get the FBI off their trail once and for all. If anything goes wrong, it will be all my fault… Speaking of Marc I think I see him walking this way. Report more later. Alex S. In the distance I see an outline of whom I believe to be Marc. The sun has fully risen and the morning temperature is already becoming hot and thick. “Marc?” I shout out to the figure, whose face is shadowed by the angle of the sun. When he turn around the first thing I notice are his cerulean eyes. Slowly the figure makes his way toward where I’m sitting in the cool sand. “Why hello Alex, what brings you here?” David’s voice smooth, as he crouched down in the sand next to me. The fact that he is this close to me make me want to hurl, but I don’t. Instead I keep my voice as cool as his, playing along with the game of cat and mouse. “Enjoying the sunrise. They don’t have ones like these back home.” I said plastering the smile on my face. “May I ask you something?” “if I say no, you’re just going to ask me anyway.” “Do you believe in God?” Although his proximity is repulsive his question mimics the distant thoughts I’ve had all my life. “No.” “Well than what do you believe in?” I was prepared for this question. “I like to think of my self as a Smithion.” Surprised how well I was able to pretend that nothing was amiss. “And what exactly is a Smithion?” “Well, I don’t believe in Jesus being born on December 25, when in

actuality he was born in March, it seems to me that the stories from the bible were all made up by old men who didn’t want to die and have no one know they existed. Think about it most of those stories were written almost two hundred years later. No one would have witnessed any of these things happen. Although I do believe in a hereafter, I’m not really sure what happens once we die. I think that there is something greater out there, but the scientist in me won’t accept any type of uniform religion without undeniable proof that it is the truth. That my good man is what a Smithion believes.” I told him while I pushed around the grainy sand with my bare feet. “Desiree tells me that you don’t believe love exists either.” “So?” “So what I want to know is why? How can you not believe in something that you see everywhere.” “In your mind you can see love?” Taking his words out of the original context. “No, but I can tell when two people really care for each other. Like you and Desiree.” “And how can you tell this?” “I see the way your always on guard, ready for anything that might put her in danger. Anyone with eyes can see that you love each other. You are so close you always act as if you would throw yourselves under a bus to save the other. Plus Desiree told me that since she’s emancipated and you’re orphaned you are each others family.” “Well of course I love Desiree, what I don’t believe exist is that love between two people who are sexually attracted to each other. What’s with all the questions?” Suddenly suspicious of his unnaturally polite behavior. “Do you think you could ever love Marc?” “Love Marc,” I repeated my voice dry. “if I’ve learned anything in these past couple of months it’s that no matter how scientifically sound an idea or law may be, there is always some way to prove it wrong.” “Alright in lane mans’ terms that means what exactly?”

“No, I do not love Marc. I defiantly enjoy his presence and I must admit I am sexually attracted to him.” “What I’m questioning you about specifically is whether you plan on marrying Marc, or if you’re planning on making a bolt for it as soon as possible?” “Listen David,” my voice stern. ”I’m not even sixteen yet, I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. Furthermore on the matter I don’t even know if I’d even want to reproduce with someone like him.” Ignoring my snippy remark, ”Well I know that he thinks he loves you. Honestly I could care less if you two ever actually fall in love, all I need from you two is marriage. The rest of the business needs you two to get married, for two of the most powerful mob families to come together, united. We would be unstoppable, we could revolutionize the world as we know it!” “what about you and Desiree? Do you love her?” “Well I am beginning to fall in love with her.” His body language telling me that his words spoke the truth. “And don’t I deserve to be happy, don’t I deserve to fall in love?” I said angrily. “No, you were born specifically for this purpose, and this purpose alone.” “Well,” I said standing abruptly. No longer able to side idle next to this lunatic. “I’ve got to go, nice talking to you David.” “see you around Alex!” But I could barley hear him as I hurried up the beach. Running as fast as I can, ignoring the pain and ache of my protesting body. In the pit of my stomach I knew that David is bad news. Desiree may be in love with the same guy who is planning on killing me. How am I going to tell her? I thought, the time that it took me to run from the beach to the house. By the time I reached the entrance to the garden I was out of breath and about to collapse. I used the last of my energy to jump over the small wall that leads into the garden and after that unlocked the door from my balcony. Once Inside I’m surprised to discover that Dez is not there waiting for me. I immediately sit down on the white couch and pull out my black journal, my thoughts so jumbled in my mind that I need to write it all down to

make sense of it all. 12/17/09 Okay, so now instead of having no clue of what is going on, I know too much. “The truth is a virus” as said in Pump up the volume. I couldn’t agree more. Only in my case it’s a bad virus, one that may or may not get me killed. Sorry if I’m not making any sense what so ever right now. Desiree’s boyfriend David came up to me on the beach today and we had a very odd conversation. For one I think his is the voice we heard in the video. Along with if it is him, Desiree may be in grave danger, and I don’t know how to protect her… Then if I do tell her of my opinion she may think I’m trying to ruin her chances with David, and that will ruin our entire relationship and I’ll lose her forever! Hey I may not approve of those stupid teenage dramas, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy watching them once in a while. Well I’m too hungry to keep writing, so I’m going to bang on Desirees’ door until she wakes yup. Then I plan on not letting her out of my sight. cAlex S.

Cher ry Blueberry

Syrup
After I push the strange encounter with David, and all of my mixed thoughts about everything, to the back of my mind, I began to relax. I rummage through my closet and pluck up a bright blue and while polka-dot bikini, courtesy of Desiree. Over that I threw on a pair of denim shorts that were so short that the pockets exceeded the length of the actual material. On top I yanked on my owl shirt that said “Hoot, Hoot!”, and paired the outfit with strappy sandals. I look in the full length mirror astonished by how much I’ve changed. My dark blonde hair is now a light sandy blonde color, my original pin straight hair now has a tousled touch. The gentle waves framing my face enhancing my cheekbones. My skin tone had gone from pasty to a dark tan, and sun freckles dusted my chin and nose. My body was physically well defined thanks to the rigorous activities it was being put through. I feel as if in the past months I’ve been transformed from the freak to chic. For the second time in my life I feel comfortable in my own skin, and it feels blissful. After one last glance into the mirror I walked out of my door into the main hallway. ********************************* I can’t get this feeling of impending doom out my head as I pace back and forth in front of Desiree’s door. Debating whether or not I have enough gally to knock and lie right to her face. Of course with her unnatural ability to foresee what I’m feeling, keeping a secret from her is pretty much a waste of time. I’m not surprised when she pulls open the door before I even build up the nerve to raise my hand. Yawning, she stretches her arms over her head, “I could feel you worrying out here for the past ten minutes.” “Sorry,” I say apologetically. She smiles at me and moves out of the way and beckons me inside. “You’re up late.” I comment on her rubber ducky shorts and rumpled tank top. Even in the morning she still looks ten times better than

any normal person should after they wake up. She sat down on her bed with her fresh brewed morning cup of lemon grass tea. “You want some?” holding up her mug. “No thanks.” “What’s going on?” My heart rate accelerated and my hands started to sweat. “Nothing. Nothing’s going on. Absolutely nothing.” I say too quickly to trick a human lie detector. “Alex…” “It’s nothing. It’s just that…” I debate what to tell her. “I found a shark that washed up on shore.” Blurting out the first think I thought of. “And…” “And it seems that Agua, that’s what I named her, attached herself to me after I saved her from attacking seagulls.” “Nice.” “I try.” “I almost forgot to tell you that the James, the butler called. He requested that you meet Derek in the foyer immediately.” I groan inwardly, “Great. No breakfast or beach for me today!” I say sarcastically. “Did he say what for?” “I believe he said you have business to attend to on the field.” “Finally, an actual lead. Maybe we will be able to wrap this all up sooner than planned.” “Don’t get ahead of yourself. Remember take it slow, don’t rush into anything, and if it seems too dangerous get the heck out of there.” Laughing kind heartedly at her unusual concern. “Yes, Ma’am!” Raising my arm in a mock salute. “Sure you don’t have the time for a quick waffle? I think you do.” He voice ringing out cheerfully. “Desiree, you know I can’t make it to breakfast, tell the Fred what I want and eat it too if I want to be on time for my meeting.”

She had the familiar look on her face, just like that night when she knew that the carts were coming. Sure enough there was a stiff knock on the door and as I went to go open it I smelt the wafting scent of waffles from through the door. “Here’s your breakfast, enjoy!” The rotund chef Fred said strolling the cart with my waffles. “Thank you Fred, you sure do know your way to a girls heart.” “Yes, it’s through their stomachs!” His stomach giggled as he laughed and he wiped his sweaty brow. “I must go back to the kitchen, eat and be merry!” Shutting the door behind him. “So Desiree.” “So Alex.” We say at exactly the same time, I motion for her to go first. “I know.” “Know what?” Not looking up as I slather my hot fresh waffle with globs of butter and drown it with syrup. “ If you’re talking about the cherry blueberry syrup being the most delicious thing you ever put on top of a waffle, I must concur. I should know, I invented it.” “While yes it is very delicious, that is not what I’m talking about and you know it.” “What are you saying?” My mouth full with the sticky goodness that is a waffle. “I’m sayin that you right out and lied to me! Why didn’t you just tell me that you suspect David?” “I felt silly acting on a feeling, plus I didn’t want you to hate me for saying your boyfriend is a potential murderer.” “Hold-up Alex, he aint’ no murderer. The person were looking for is physic remember? David is not.” “How can you be sure?” “Remember how I told you that no two people in the last one hundred years have the same auras?” “How can I not remember, it was the same day you told me I was going to

“expire”.” “Well, in more detail every person has their own distinct color, but those with affinities for certain things have different outline colors.” “Whoa there, you’re getting a little too fictional story line plot for me here.” “Hey, even fiction has it’s truth to it. Anyway, mine happens to be outlined in red, as do all of the other physics I know.” “You know more than one other physic?” “Yeah, we have a group on Facebook. Speaking of Facebook…” “No, I will not help you break the security blocks so you can change your status.” “Fine.” she said sticking her tongue out at me in disapproval. “David’s outline in black. I don’t really know what that stands for but I know he’s not physic.” “Are you one hundred percent sure?” “Yes.” “Okay then. We can cross David off our list of suspects.” “He was never on my list.” She said smiling. “Aw, you are so into him.” Finally able to relax now that I know David wont be trying to kill me anytime soon. I enjoy my breakfast while watching Desiree’s face turn bright red. “Love is just a word, but we are a feeling.” “You make that up yourself?” “Yup, but I wasn’t referring to David when I wrote it, I was talking about us. Our friendship, our sistertood.” “Sistertood?” “Don’t ruin the moment.” She said as she hugged me. “I’ve always wanted a big sister.” “I’ve always wanted a best friend like you.” “Stop it you’re going to make me cry.” Blinking tears away. “I hate to inturrupt the love fest but if you don’t hurry you’re going to be late for your meeting.”

“Oh no! what ever shall I do?” Pretending to care. “Just go.” She said pointing to the door. “Don’t kill yourself.” “I wont,” I tell her as I close the door behind me and make my way silently to the foyer. When I get there Derek is waiting for me and Marc is slouched in the chair. He stand abruptly when I enter the room, but doesn’t make a move towards me. Instead he smiles at me from across the room. His eyes being able to communicate an entire conversation between us without having to utter a single word. “I’m sorry I haven’t been around much, I was in Orleans taking care of some business. But I’m back now and boy have I got the perfect job for you two.” “What are we doing today?” Eger to hear the plans so I can send the location to the Director, and my higher in command. “A little search and resuce, are you up for it?” “What does the search and rescue entail exactly? “ “I’ll give it to you straight, one of the cops arrested a couple of my men for intent.” “Intent to do what?” “Doesn’t matter. What matters is that I need em’ back her by tonight. I’ve got another job. The system doesn’t stop working just cus’ they aint’ here. “ His diamond earring caught the light and caused a reflection of prisms all over the walls. I glance over to where Marc is sitting starring at me intently not uttering a word. “We accept. Your boys will be back here before you know it.” “That’s what I like to hear.” Thumping me on my back as he made his way towards the exit. “What do we do now?” “We, don’t do anything. I send word to my superiors, they take what ever desired action. While we take inconspicuous data to use against them as evidence. Got it?” His head nodded yes but the worry still clouded his eyes. “Hey,” I said trying to make my voice sound soft and warm as I gingerly

place my hand on his shoulder. “Everything is going to be okay. Trust me.” Without turning around he placed his hand on top of mine, starring straight ahead. “I do. I just don’t want to screw anything up.” Cradling his head in his hands. “You wont.” “You don’t know that. “ “I think you’ll do fine.” I tell him reassuringly. He was about to protest further when instead he sighed saying, “If you say so…” “We don’t have time to argue about this nonsense. What are the details on the job?” My assertive tone causing him to concentrate on the task at hand. “We, umm.. First we have to go to the police station in the main part of town.” He produced a blue print map of the town. “We have to enter through here,” his finger trailing to the hole in the ground and the tunnel that ran underneath the town. “Then follow this main tunnel until we reach this one and follow it until we get to here.” his finger jabbing the paper. “I’ll trigger the explosion so we can get them out of the jail. Then we sneak them out through the tunnels and back here.” “One problem.” “What is it now?” he said impatiently. “When you plan to blow a huge hole in the ground of a prison, how are you going to get them out without getting caught.” “I thought you wanted us to get caught?” “No, I don’t. That would be bad. If we get caught busting out two prisoners then we get caught ourselves.” “How do we get proof then of the crimes that they’ve committed?” “We” I said referring between ourselves, “are.” “Wont they realize what we’re trying to do if we have a recorder in their faces the whole time, or if we ask them odd questions?” “They will never know what hit them, trust me.” “But how…?”

“Follow me.” I tugged him by his arm behind me as I headed for my bedroom. “What are we doing here?” “Shut up and follow me.” I unlocked the door to my room and let him trail in behind me. “You’re room is nice.” “Thanks, your Dad decorated it.” “Hmm.” He rubbed his hands together excitedly. “So what am I doing here?” “What I’m about to show you can never leave this room, understand?” “Yeah.” “Okay,” with shaking hands I pulled out the backpack that holds all of my gadgets. I unzipped the pack and pulled out the items that we would need. “These,” I say holding up a box that looks like a pair of chopsticks. “Are highly dangerous lasers. They have the capability of cutting through steel, which will help when we get closer to the actual prison itself. Let me see the blueprints.” He pulled them out of the back pocket of his jeans. “Here, let me see the chopsticks.” I replied after I had the blueprints in my hand, “No.” “Why?” “Because.” “Because why?” “I cannot believe we are having the ‘because’ conversation. So I’ll end it right now. Because I said so.” “What ever you say, Ace.” “I never pegged you for a Gilmore Girl fan.” “Lindsey was obsessed will it for a good chunk of time.” “I keep forgetting that she’s your sister, where has she been lately?” “Probably as far away from here as possible, or with her friends.” “I never got the impression that she was unhappy here.” “You’d be surprised.”

“So, how many families like you are there around here?” “A couple. Most of them are part of our families organization and there are a couple of other kids that are my age around here, but not many.” “That must be hard sometimes.” “You get use to it,” he replied somberly. “Here,” I tossed him a pack of gum, similar to the shocker gum but these are smaller, and explosive. “Gum?” He said sniffing the package. “Sort of. This is an explosive that is activated when you roll it into a ball and press it onto a surface.” “This is so cool.” “No, this is so dangerous. You don’t get it do you? This isn’t a toy we aren’t playing around here this is my life your messing with, and yours too.” “I’m sorry, I’m just excited, and happy.” “Your happy that we’re about to go break I don’t know how many laws and quite possibly kill ourselves in the process. Not to mention is we mess up and your Dad finds out all of us involved will be dead.” He held up his hands in surrender, “sorry, I’ll be careful, all I was trying to say was that I’m happy I’m finally on the right side for once; and that I’m with you.” I can feel myself blushing, but I ignore my feelings and get back to what I need to say. “About last night…” “What about it?” “It can’t happen again, not today not ever.” “But why? I thought you enjoyed it?” he pleaded his eyes similar to those of a child who had to watch their father shoot their puppy. “It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I did, very much. Listen this job, it’s hard to do. It requires you to put the safety of the mission before yourself or the rest of your group.” “I can do that.” “Are you sure, it seems to me that you’re attached to me already.”

“Yeah, so what if I am?” I sigh and rub my temples together, “You can’t be, you have to be one hundred and ten percent ready to do anything to save the integrity of the mission. Lets say that I’m in danger in one spot and the bad guys are trying to sabotage our mission in another. You would have to go after the bad guys and leave me, even if that means that I’ll die.” He looks up at me with eyes that are as hard as steel. “I’ll do whatever I have to do.” His change in attitude surprised me, he went from happy, to feeling nothing, and his eyes showed it too. “It will get easier.” A little of the light reentering his black eyes. “We should get going. We don’t want to jeopardize the integrity of the mission now do we?” His voice mocking mine. I was too concentrated on the mission to notice his anger. “Good idea.” I said simply as I took the chopsticks and made sure they were off before placing them in my bun. “I was being-” he sighed saying, “never mind.” “Ready?” I ask oblivious to his true feelings. He sighed from his chair, but got up and followed me to the door, silently. I spun on my heel, and stuck one of the small dots onto his forehead. His expression displaying his confusion. “What was that for?” he said rubbing his forehead. “It’s a camera,” Marc moved his hands up to his forehead and began to feel for it. “Don’t touch it!” He dropped his hands from his face at once. “Sorry.” He muttered. “I’m sorry I’m stressing out…” my voice trailing off. “It must be hard, you know-for having to help the people who ruined your life.” “That’s part of it I suppose but the truth is there is more going on than you could possibly imagine.” “Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.” My answer doesn’t not seem to surprise him and he doesn’t press me for a further explanation. “Okay, lets get going.” “Alright, but I have to email my superiors the information.” Turning on my government issued computer. As it hummed to life I busied myself by glancing around the room. Once it was booted up I enter my pass code and open my email. To: Agt.Johnson@fbi.gov, Director@fbi.gov From: Agt.Smith@fbi.gov CC: BCC: Subject: reconnaissance mission… Message: Marc and I are busting two con’s out of jail. Here are the details. Time- 1000 hours or 10 am Date- December 17th Place- Underneath Tulum jail, location 35N 59E I’ve placed the invisible cameras on our skin and faces so you can hear and see what we see, all the data and video will be streamed to your computer. Agt S On the side, I’m sorry about last night and I promise I will not let you down. I am even discovering maybe he’ll make a good edition to our team, that is if we solve the mission. I clicked send and sent my email off into cyber space. Satisfied I shut off the computer and mentally ran through my checklist. Chopsticks Micro Cameras

Explosives Translator Earrings Stun watch Check, check, check, check and check. I give myself the all clear and nod to Marc that I’m ready. We make our way out of my room and down the hallway towards the same exit we used yesterday. Once outside we lapsed into a silence that stayed with us until Marc stopped next to a grate that was off to the side of the road. Marc pulled it open easily, and motions for my to go in first, “ladies first.” “Thank-you,” I say as I jump down into the darkness. The jump was around six feet, and the landing was hard on my ankles. After Marc jumped down he pulled the grate over our heads and we were submerged in complete darkness. “Did you bring a flash light?” I ask reaching for what I think are the walls. “No, I thought you were bringing one.” I groan, and whip out my backpack rummaging around for something useful. Finally I find it, Desiree’s broken cell phone. Luckily I fixed it while I was bored in the room, so now when I turned it on I was greeted by a blue glow. "It may not be a flashlight but it will work for now," I tell him as I lead the way down the tunnels. We walk in silence the constant sound of the dripping water the only conversation. After what seems like an eternity we arrive at our destination. If the map is correct and we went the right way we should be under the prison. Despite my normal calm mind, I am a bundle of nerves. I can't help myself, I break out in a cackle of a laugh. I slide down the slimy green wall, as I try to stop laughing. "Are you okay?" his handsome features twisted with worry for my mental well being. I take a deep breath and exhale, " I'm fine," I manage to get out between laughs. The sound of my hollow laughter echoing off the curved walls. I can see that he doesn't know how to deal with a hysterical girl. "Err.. Are you sure?"

"No," I tell him truthfully, finally my spontaneous laughter trickling down to girlish giggles. "I've never broken the law before." letting him know only a sliver of the truth of my random outburst. "Never?" He says in disbelief. "Okay, so maybe I've broken it once before, but in my defiance I was seven and Sarah made me do it!" Thinking back to when I went to a normal school, and how I went shopping with my friend Sarah and her Mother. "She told me if I wanted to sit with her and her friends at lunch I had to steal the Hello Kitty keychain. So I did it, but I felt horrible after so I told my mom and she drove me back to the store and I paid for it." Surprised that I still remember that memory. "Alex the criminal," he smiles his lopsided grin that makes my stomach churn, and my heart race. "Scary," he said sarcastically. By now my giggles were under control and we had no other reason to delay. "Come on, let's get this over with." "Yes! Can I blow something up now?" "I don't think I can trust you with explosives..." Toying with the explosive gum that I had taunted him with earlier. "Come on what's the worst that can happen?" "Well we could die, get caught, or worse." "What is the or worse?" "Nothing I just felt that it needed three reasons," we laugh as I toss him the package. "Alright Boss, tell me what you want me to do." He says his arm in a mock salute. I direct him to place the strips of explosive in a triangle. I shine my phone at the ceiling reminding him that he has only sixty seconds to roll the gum into balls to activate the chemical process and place in the spots that I showed him. "Ready?" I ask him. "Ready." I position the phone on the ground so he has light while I poise my fingers over timer on my watch. "Go."

Marc doesn't waste anytime, rolling and placing the gum on the points that I showed him before. By the time he finishes we have twenty seconds to get to as far away as we can. We're a good distance away when we hear the sound of the explosives. The entire tunnel shakes and I fear that the ceiling will crumble down on top of us. After a minute of laying down on the wet ground I decide that we aren't going to be crushed to death today. I'm the first one up, and Marc is quick to follow. After a minute of laying down on the wet ground I decide that we aren't going to be crushed to death today. I'm the first one up, and Marc is quick to follow. "Go, what are you waiting for a personalized invitation?" I say to him as I slither my way up through the gaping hole we made in the ceiling of the earth. Needing no further codling he reached up and pulled himself through behind me. I positioned the cell phone in-between my mouth and. Crawling along the ceiling until I was about thirty feet from the hole. "That depends on who's issuing it." his face shaded gray from the dust and dirt but to my eyes he may have well been the missing piece of the puzzle to solve the string theory. "Just concentrate at the task on hand. FOCUS." We are directly under the suspected mob associates cell. The confines of the space between the roof of the tunnel and the thick metal that separates us from the jail mates is now drastically reduced. I shrug off my backpack and shift onto my back. "Grab the chopsticks from my hair. Remember they're highly dangerous and if they go off they will slice through you like butter and I definitely don't want to have to explain how you cut off your arm, or something..." He followed my directions careful to not activate the lasers. With trembling hands he place them in my hands. "Okay, good. You're doing fine." I tell him calmly. "You really think so?" his breath shaky. "Because to be honest I feel like I’m going to throw up." "Okay, deep breaths. In. Out." I say mimicking the breathing techniques I've seen on TV. "Okay we're almost done. I need you to go into my backpack and pull out the sunglasses, the red ones not the black ones. Got it?"

"Red, not black got it." I listened as he rummaged through the contents of my bag, my back was beginning to ache and I was having trouble breathing from the dust. "Got them!" he said triumphantly placing the special government issued Ray's on my eyes. "Okay now turn around and cover your eyes, no matter what do NOT turn around." He mumbled something that sounded like a yes and turned away from me, hopefully shielding his eyes. "Level 7 laser protection." I say aloud to activate both the glasses and the laser. "Level seven.. restriction. Please state name and password." the computer automated voice announced. "Special agent Smith, password is 12-17-10-23." "Access granted. Voice command on." I hold the lasers at the same point, waiting until I see the shades darken and my night vision turn on. I allow the cell phone to drop next to me. "Activate laser level seven.". The sound of a click emitted from the chopsticks as the tips retracted and a beam of white light began to cut through the six inches of steel as if it was a measly piece of paper. I make them go in opposite directions as I cut a circle wide enough for us to fit through. It takes most of my physical strength to lift the metal up and slide it onto the left side. "Okay you can look now." I call to Marc who is laying on the ground his head tucked into his chest and his eyes squeezed tightly shut. his eyes satisfied that I'm not aiming the laser at his face. "Alright then let's this show on the road." he lifted himself through the hole first and I cant help but laugh at his sudden turn in bravado. I followed him for a few seconds until he realized he had no idea where to actually go next. "Umm.... Err." His face switching back and forth. "Oh for goodness sake!" I turned around and head back the way we came. Stopping under a grate. Carefully I detached it and allowed it to fall to the ground with a bang. Tentatively he opens

“How was I to know where we were going?” His ego obviously hurt. He watched at I used my watch to deactivate the cameras. “Never mind about that we have to get in and get out. The cameras should go down about…” I glanced at my watch as the seconds landed at zero. “Now.” I motioned for him to stay behind me and watch what I do. I listen to the guards’ footfalls as they rush to see what the commotion is from. I pull myself out of the hole and reemerge in what I suspect to be the showers. There is no guard in here, at least not anymore. The doors lead us to the long hallway it’s walls turned yellow with dirt and age. The guard to my far left doesn’t stand a chance. I sneak up behind him my arm elbowing into his esophagus. I step away as he collapses to the ground and gasps for air, before he is knocked out. The rest of the hallway is empty, except for the prisoners behind the steel bars. “Which number is their’s?” “233 and 234.” “Okay they should be right over…” I never get to finish my through because suddenly something knocks me on the head. The blow is strong and forceful and somehow I never saw it coming. The hit landing on the same spot as where my stitches were. I reach up to my head and the sticky red color of my blood covers my hand at I pull it away. I’m still wearing my glasses, so I press the button that will send her a message that I hope she can get. “Desiree, help. I’m at the prison, I’m hurt. Tell my mom, she’ll know what to do. I believe in you.” The foot of my attacker was clothed in alligator skin, I’ve seen those shoes before… Derek! His meaty, bejeweled hand comes down by my face and rips the glasses off. I watch unable to do anything but stare as he crushes them into a million fragmented pieces. “Did you really think I was this stupid Alex?” His putrid breath breathing in my ear as my vision faded in and out. “Take them away, I want her alive for later.” I hear Marc’s voice shouting something but it’s as if everything is in slow-motion. Next thing I know I’m being thrown over someone’s shoulder. The sudden jerking causing me to finally black out. The world of black surrounds me once again. This time after I feel the nothing and emptiness of that part of my subconscious I’m

blinded by the sudden bright light. The iridescent glow of the blinding light was changed to that of a grassy meadow. The harmonious sounds calming and soothing me, as if a familiar lullaby. I am alone, I am confused, but I am at peace. A shimmering light is at the opposite end of where I stand. The portal, if that is what it is, glimmers and a figure appears taking form right before my eyes. “Hello Honey.” My mothers soothing voice filling the meadow. She is clothed in a beautiful white robe and her long brown hair is pin straight and perfect. Her eyes aglow and alive, she seems angelic. Her barefoot feet walk towards me, finally she embraces me in a hug. I’m so happy I can cry, “Am I dead?” wondering if this is the heaven that everyone wishes to go to. I do not see any pearly white gates, nor am I standing upon a fluffy white cloud. Instead I’m starring at a meadow. The same meadow I’ve read about in accounts of those who’ve claimed to have died only to be brought back to life. “No. Not yet.” Her voice surprisingly cheerful. “What? Don’t you want me to be here with you?” “No. No it’s just that…” She waves her hand and a bench appears next to her. I follow her lead as she sits down. “Well, you’re not done with what you have to do. Not yet anyway. That’s why even when you should have died, you haven’t. Do you realize how much effort it is just to keep you alive?” She chuckles good naturedly, grasping my hand in hers. “You’re special, Sweetie. Even more so than everyone else. You’re talents were given to you for a purpose. Just as mine were.” “What was yours?” “My talents were the same as yours. I was a genius just like you.” My mouth opens into a surprised O. “Don’t look so surprised sweetheart, where did you think you got it from?” “Nowhere, I just assumed that-” “Now what did I tell you about assuming things?” her country twang sounding like sweet music to my ears. “That it makes an ass out of you and me, but Mom-”

“No but about it Darling’ you’ve got to finish what I started, that’s what you were born to do.” “Okay fine, what did you start?” I ask intrigued by my mother, or a side of her that I’ve never seen before. “I can’t help you out honey, all I can tell you is that it has something to do with the government, and it will revolutionize the way we live.” “Did you solve the equation for quantum mechanics?” I ask her hopeful. “No, Alex this is serious the fate of the United States depends upon you, and you alone.” “Then tell me what it is!” I feel a tugging, as if someone is pulling my head back, the view of the meadow fading away slowly. “I can’t sweetie. You have to find it yourself, the first clue is to ask…” her voice died out in her last word when a surge a pain went through my body. “Ask who?” “Director,” her eyes showed her knowledge, and the truth that I didn’t want to hear. “Alex, it’s time.” “NO. NO. No, I am not going back!” I yell as another surge of pain goes through me and the black stays in my vision for a longer time. I can’t see but I feel my mothers presence next to me, the soft skin of her arm resting on my shoulder. “Alex,” her voice soft, soothing, and maternal. “Alex, you have to go back. Desiree needs you, she gave up everything to come with you. You’re all she has left now darling, and there’s Marc too. I see how you two look at each other.” I take a risk and glare at her through the black veil of my vision. “Don’t give me that look, just because I turned out like this does not mean that every relationship ends in disaster.” Gently she brushed away strand of my hair from my face. “I never thought I’d be telling my daughter that its okay to have feelings for boys.” “I never thought we’d be having this conversation, under these conditions.” I respond laughing with her blurred outline.

“It’s time for you to go back to where you belong.” “Okay, will you tell Desiree what is going on?” “Yes.” “So I’ll talk to when this is over then?” “No, I’m afraid this is goodbye.” “What!” My panic escalating, higher than it’s ever been. “No, you can’t please don’t go without me!” Hurling my body into the direction of her arms. “This isn’t farewell forever, unless you get turned into a vampire,” she teased. “You know that I still think that those are stupid tales.” “Hey, you’ve discovered that Physics exist, why not vampires?” “Yeah, and tomorrow a mermaid will wash up on shore.” I let out a snort while laughing. “I love you Alex, don’t you ever forget that,” her embrace was so warm, so light that it almost felt as if she was dissolving. “I love you too Mom, I always will.” The black vision is clearing but I already feel the difference in my surroundings. The cold metal of the cells‘ bed, the one thin pillow. The gash on my head has giving me the worst headache ever, but I’m alive and I’m not going down without a fight. Silently I take in my surroundings. Two guards, armed stand outside the iron doors of the jail cell. I reach down by my wrist and check for my watch, gone. So are my chopstick lasers and the backpack with most of my gear. I do manage to reach up into the place between my breasts. Luckily, they didn’t give me a full body scan because my heart pendant is still there. It’s only a low level laser but it will have to do for now. I need a plan and I need one quick. I try to think back to the floor plan of the prison. There was at least one ventilation duct in each of the rooms, now all I have to do is find a way to get into one of those rooms and sneak into the vents and make a crawl for it.

Thats so psychic
My body protests at my feeble attempt to rise from the sad excuse for a bed. Sighing I mumble to myself, “Great, now I have to go find Marc, otherwise Director is going to kill me…” The words so low that the guards don’t even bother to turn around. I close my eyelids tight enough to make the blood in my head pound. I let them fall together naturally like two puzzle pieces. I relax my entire body letting my mind fall into a state, one of which I cannot describe. This type of meditation is one that Desiree taught me during one of her earlier attempts to be civil towards me. Secretly I practiced it after she left and I’ve found that it comes in handy. I push all thoughts out of my head focusing only on my surroundings. Letting my other senses dull while my hearing is amplified. I hear the sound of the two guards chatting about their wives. Beyond that I can hear the sound of a toilet flushing. I’m about to try and figure out how far away the bathroom is when I hear a female voice loud and clear. “ALEX!” And it appears that the voice is shouting my name… “No, you idiot! It’s Dez.” “Hey! Wait- how are you in my head? Oh great now I’m hallucinating.” This time the guards turn around to stare at me, I smile and they turn back around, but

not before giving me a strange look. “Alex, stop talking out loud.” “Why?” I whisper harshly. “Because I can hear your thoughts.” “Oh… I mean,” Oh. “What’s happening?” Apparently you have telepathy abilities. “I’m talking about what’s going on there, in the prison.” Well SO-rry next time be more specific. “How bout you try not to be such a- Never mind just fill me in.” Fine. I’m sitting in a jail cell, after Derek attacked me and crushed my glasses. Marc and I have been separated, so I have no idea what’s happening to him. I’m trying to figure out how to get out of this cell, rescue Marc, and get all of my gadgets back. Hopefully they haven’t broken or dismantled all of them. When exactly did you get this telepathy ability? “Relax, your Mom gave it to me.” What do you mean she gave it to you? “She just kinda showed up and told me some of what was going on, said something about a destiny. Laid her hands over my eyes and voila, instant mind reading ability, but it’s only temporary. Oh, and she said that she was moving on, but you already know that.” Yeah, I do. Grrr… “Did you just grr?” Yes. It’s only because in the short time I’ve known you, you have disproved almost all of my rational ideas of what is and what isn’t humanly possible. All of my carefully sculpted ideas and thoughts on the realms of possibilities, shattered by one seventeen year old girl. “Thank-you. Okay so I contacted HQ and Director told Agent Johnson to tell me to tell you , to stay put. That means do NOT try to escape, do not kill anyone, do not shock anyone, or try to use the laser you keep in your bra to cut a hole in the steel. They’re sending back-up but they wont get here with the

warrants until late tomorrow night early the next morning.” Desiree, what if they’re too late. What if they get here after your prediction comes true. The twentieth is only two days away. Plus I don’t know if I’m going to make it longer than a couple of hours. “Relax Ale-” Don’t you dare tell me to relax. I’m going to die either way, and I would rather not be tortured. “Alex, you do realize that you were out for almost two days? Today is the nineteenth.” Great, I’m going to die. “Alex, remember how you said that we can’t trust anyone but each other?” Yeah. “Well I need you to trust me now, okay? Can you please just stay put until help arrives. I’ll come if I have to if the rest of the back-up isn’t here on time. You’re no use to the world if you’re dead, or a potato.” That’s not funny. “It wasn’t suppose to be. Remember STAY.” Fine. I’ll stay just get out of my head you’re making me feel like an asylum patient. “Okay, I’ll be tuning in once in a while to how you’re doing.” I want to jostle my head to clear it of Desirees‘. I refrain instead waiting for the inevitable silence follows. Slowly I rise off the cold metal bed letting all the blood rush from my head to the rest of my body. I look back on the bed, where a small pool of blood where my head was. “Excuse me.” I say to the guards, my hands holding onto the bars to keep from falling. The two guards looked wearily behind their shoulders, their eyes widened in surprise, or disgust. I’m sure I look like death warmed over. “Yeah I’m talking to you.” I try to summon all of my inner bitch that’s been dying to come out. “What.” The bigger guard spits out, in a monotone voice, but his tone is

defiantly pissed that I’m annoying him. “I have to go the bathroom.” I make a show of crossing my legs together and hopping up and down. He lifts his fat finger and points to the hole in the ground. “There’s your toilet.” A smug look creeps across his face as I stare at the hole in disgust. “No. Way.” I say turning back to him, “Besides this is a female emergency.” I lie, “I need a real bathroom; right now.” I say risking the safety of my finger to jab his chest. He grimaces at me and reaches to the side of his pocket. “Fine,” I watch as he produces keys and handcuffs. I think about how easy it would be for me to wait for him to open the door and deliver a debilitating blow to his next or groin. The other guard was less muscle and his legs were shorter. Even if he did run I could catch him and handcuff them to the bars. Simple. Easy, and then Desiree’s warning comes into my head. So instead of taking action I let him open up the door and handcuff my hand to his. “Let’s see you get out of these.” I’m almost tempted to say sure but instead I follow his lead, listening to the whistles and howls that are shouted at me from the other cells. Their hands all reach out asking for my help, asking me to save them. I wonder how many people here are actually criminals. My guess is that these are people that crossed Derek in someway and he was too lazy to kill then and there. The guards bring me down a series of hallways that all seem to mesh together. Finally he stops in front of a closed door. “This isn’t where the bathrooms are.” I point out although I know that he knows that too. Roughly he uncuffs my hand, red lines are impressed on my wrist from the handcuffs. He digs his nails into my arm and pushes me into the dark room. “Wait-” I turn around to shout but instead I see a door slam in my face shutting out all light from the tiny room. “Great, now I’m stuck in here in the dark.” After a minute of standing the blinding florescent lights come on. I watch as two figures enter. The first thing I see are Marcs onyx eyes. His lip is bloody and he has a gash above his eyebrow that will most definitely scar. He bravely looks up and me and smiles, a big toothy smile that makes me want to smile too.

We sit opposite each other and under the table his sneaker touches mine. Even though it’s not as comforting as having him hold my hand, it still makes me feel connected to him. “Good Evening Everyone,” Dereks voice booms as he walks out of the shadows in the hallway. “Or should I say horrible evening.” The look on his face is so smug my hands clench into fists and I have to dig my nails into my hands to stop myself from breaking his nose. “What else could you possibly want from us?” I ask him. “I think I can answer that.” I looked around to see who’s voice it was, even though in my gut I already knew… David’s cerulean eyes intensely focused on my face, “I want Desiree, and you’re going to bring her here.” “I thought you loved her!” I stand in anger, luckily the table separates us. “You told me you had real feelings for her.” “Are you all that surprised that I lied? You were right to not trust me from the moment you got in my car at the airport.” “If you even try to touch on hair on her body I’ll-” “You’ll what Alex? Kill me? Every one here knows you’re not a killer. Oh wait I forgot about the fact that you killed your father, but that was just an accident. Tell me Alex did you enjoy watching as the life slowly drained out of him, the rush of adrenaline that comes from your fist kill, accidental or not.” “Dave, leave her alone.” Marc said standing up in my defense. “Oh, look whose talking, do you even know what side you’re on anymore? Who do you pick your family, or her.” Sneering the word as if I made him sick. “Maybe he wants to be on the right side for once!” I shout at him my anger building up quicker than I can deal with it. “Oh shut-it, he’s my cousin and he’ll stay with his family, right Marc?” “Would someone like to explain to me what in Sam heck is going on?” Marc asks from his seat. Derek speaks up from his corner where he was silently observing us, “Yes David I think that you should tell them your plans.”

“Well… my plan is to use Desiree to create an army and overthrow the Mexican government. Therefore making myself ruler and free to make the legislature that I wish to employ.” “That has got to be the stupidest, idiotic, pig-headed idea anyone has ever had.” “You wont be laughing when it happens.” “That’s right because it wont happen.” “You seem pretty sure of yourself,” his smile like that of a cat about to pounce on a field mouse. “I know more than you think, and I know that you’re physic, but if that’s the case then why do you need Desiree?” “I’m not physic, don’t you think that Desiree would have picked up on that be now?” I shrug, listening to his rational answer. “Okay, so riddle me this, if you’re not physic then how do you explain how we heard you up,” I point to the ceiling, “there talking to some spirit?” The look on his face is one of surprise, his eyes reminded me of the deer that I was about to hit. “How do you know about that?” his surprised features quickly turning to rage. “You didn’t answer my question.” I relax now that I have the upper hand, sitting down in the cold metal of the chair tipping it backward in a nonchalant way. He scowled at me before pacing back and forth, “So what if I’m not physic? What does it matter what I am?” “I’m a scientist, and your capabilities have intrigued me, and I have something you want.” “Fine.” He spit out acidly. “I’m a shadow walker. There happy?” “No, not yet. What exactly is a shadow walker?” “We walk among the different worlds, we cant foresee the future or move things with out minds, but we can communicate with the dead. But we take it one step further that Desiree’s type can. We can enter the light and end up in that area that you’ve seen, the grassy meadow overlooking a lake. When a soul

lingers here too long they can mess up the balance of nature. That’s where shadow walkers come in we go and find the soul and help them get their final message across to whomever they need to tie up loose ends with.” “That is a wonderful gift, you could do some much good with it, but why are you using it for evil. Because killing me and countless others is a evil thing to do, you can really make a difference in someone’s life if you use your gift for good. It’s not too late, it’s never too late to do the right thing.” Compassion filling my voice without assistance from my acting skills. “It’s too late for me, I don’t want to change. Besides how do you know that I’m the bad guy here, maybe your side isn’t as good as you think you are.” His statement made me flinch. Could he be right? “I will never be like you, never; and I’m not letting Dez get hurt either.” “Alex, I hate to tell you this but I know that she’s coming her with a small army to save you.” “Fine, how about a deal?” He raised his eyebrows intrigued by my suggestion, “what type of deal?” I take in a deep breath before I decide to make a deal with the devil. “A battle winner takes all. Desiree and I against you and a teammate. If you win you can kill me or lock me up forever and take Desiree to fulfill your plan.” He nods eagerly, “Sounds good to me, I hope you like living in a cell.” “Not so fast, if I win you have to let Desiree and me go, along with letting Marc choose what side he wants to be on. Oh, and Derek,” I say turning to face him, “you have to let all of the people in the jail that you put there, unless they killed someone, go free.” “No.” Derek stood up in protest. “Yes, I agree to your terms so does my father.” David assures me by shaking my hand. Just like that it’s done. When Desiree arrives to save me we’ll have to fight David and whoever he pairs up with. Marc and I glance at each other without saying anything, his eyes displaying his sorrow for what is about to happen. I give him a

wink for assurance before I’m led out of the room one again by the guard that brought me here. “Hello again!” I cheerily to the guard, I’m just itching for a fight and he would be a formidable opponent. His beefy hand grabs my arm again squeezing it so that I feel the tendons rub together beneath my skin. “So,” I gasp as he tugs me down a different series of hallways than before. “What’s your name?” “Do you ever shut up?” “Yes, but not until I get the information that I want.” I say sweetly back at him. “Don’t make me tape your mouth shut.” He threatens menacingly. I snorted, “ha, I’d like to see you try.” Before I finish my sentence he has me in a choke hold, luckily I know just the trick to get out of one. I perform the move that I learned on my first day at Spy camp. I threw my weight on top of him and brought him to the ground. The tussle ended in a few seconds when I stood up and offered my hand, “So what’s your name again?” “The names Mike.” His voice gruff and he repossessed my arm and we began our walk down the hallway. “You’re not like em’ normal girls are you?” “No Mike I’m not.” “Shame that someone like you ended up in a mess like this.” “Well you can’t change your past, besides I’ll be fine.” I assured him as he led me down a different set of hallways than the ones we had some from earlier. “This isn’t the way to my cell.” “I know,” He replied as we entered what looked like an office, with a couch and a small fridge and yes even a real bathroom! “You can stay here as long as you promise not to escape, otherwise it’s back to the cell and hole in the ground.” “Okay,” I say eagerly. “Won’t you get in trouble for helping me?” The couches leather feels like butter to my battered skin. He just shrugs, and turn to the window that overlooks the town below. “Thank-you.” I finally say. “If you ever need help I will try to do everything I can to do so.”

“Why? You don’t even know me.” “True.” He says thoughtfully as he paces behind the wooden desk. “But you happen to remind me a lot of someone very special to me.” His eyes clouded over in thought. “Who?” “My daughter Rose,” his voice shaking as he said her name. “What happened to her?” “She was killed in a bombing by the opposing mob family.” I groan in disgust. “What is it?” “Nothing, it’s just I don’t remember ever signing up to be on a Mob soap opera.” This gets him to laugh a little. “Thank-you for everything, and I’m very sorry about Rose.” “It’s okay Alex, you should rest you have a battle to win,” he winks at me before walking out the door only to pop his head back in a second later. “I’ll just be out here guarding the door.” “Okay,” I say exhausted by the events for the past couple of months. I close my eyes after I hear the sound of the door shutting, my body yearning for the sleep that will not come. “Alex?” The voice so soft spoken I wonder is Desiree is in my mind again. Desiree? When I don’t receive and answer I take it that the person who said my name is within reaching distance. Tentatively I open my eyes. “Marc!” I shout in utter surprise. “Hey Alex,” He says calmly as he kneels down next to my face. “Hi Marc, what are you doing here?” “I came to tell you something.” “Good because I have something to tell you too.” “You go first,” He insists and I know I’m suppose to say no you but I just want to spit the words out before I loose my nerve. “Okay, so after much consideration and countless recaps of experiences

and research I have concluded that love does exist. Just like dust mites, just because you cant see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I mean, I guess what I’m trying to say is… What I want to say is that- oh screw it! I think i'm falling for you Marc.” I tell him and pull him to me as I kiss him passionately. The kiss sends endorphins throughout my body, it takes some of the constant pain away. I entangle my fingers in his hair as our kiss grows into something even better. His kisses fast and aggressive at first diminish into a steady rhythm. I understand now what Desiree meant when she told me, “that love is just a word but we are a feeling.” Out of the 258,031.5 words available in the English language the only way I can describe how I feel is by saying Marc and I, the words triggering the images of us together, kissing, and laughing happily. “Alex stop,” He said as he pulled back, “I have to tell you something.” “Please don’t ruin this moment, just kiss me.” my eyes silently urging him to kiss me again, to tell me that he loves me. “I can’t, I’m sorry.” “If you were really sorry you would be kissing me,” I smile up at him and reach out for his hand. Abruptly he jerks away from me while he runs his fingers through his shaggy hair. “I’m so sorry Alex.” “Sorry about what exactly?” I say as I sit up and adjust my shirt that was rumpled between the friction of our bodies. “Everything, and about what I’m about to tell you.” His black eyes distant and even though he’s looking straight at me it’s as if he doesn’t see me at all. “Please don’t drag this out any longer if you don’t love me just say it, I’ll understand.” As I force the words from my throat, I feel my reserve starting to crumble. “I do love you Alex,” He says cupping my face in his hands. “But we can’t be together.” “Yes. Yes we can. Don’t you see we can do anything, we can be anything we want.” “Alex-” His patient voice makes me want to throw something at someone,

anyone. “No! David, why are you doing this to me? What are you trying to say? You obviously don’t love me as much as you thought you did.” I shout, feeling like my heart is being ripped in half. “Alex,” he moves in to cradle me in his arms. “Maybe, maybe you should just go.” I say through the huge lump that has lodged itself in my throat. “No, not until I say what I came here to say.” “Fine,” I tell him as I wipe the tears that are spilling from my eyes. “Alex I do love you, i have never felt this strongly for anyone else. But right now I have to make sure everything is okay here, so I’m going to be David’s partner in the battle. You of all people understand why I have to blend in with everyone, in order to solve this problem once and for all I have to regain my families trust.” “You realize that if you don’t come back with me to the Agency, they’ll have me hunt you down until I find you, and then when that day comes I’ll be forced to kill you.” “This,” he gestures in-between out bodies. “Is bigger than just us now. I have the chance between saving hundreds of lives or to be with you. As much as I want to be with you I can’t sacrifice innocent lives for my selfish reasons…” His onyx eyes begging me to understand. “I understand. I guess this is good-bye.” “Can I just say one thing?” “Of course.” “Alex Smith, you had me at ‘Ugh’.” His face looming close to mine, and his arms are wrapped like a snake around my waist. I’m laughing while his covers my mouth with his. Kissing me, for the last time… I want it to last forever, I memories the taste of his woodsy musk scent, of his touch and lips on mine. When we finally break apart I’m on such a high that I can barely feel anything other than his presence. “I love you,” he whispers in my ear. My voice catches in my throat

withholding me from the three little words i want to say. He gave me one last squeeze before he walks out of the door… It’s not until I hear the sound of the lock sliding into the door that I allow myself to cry. I sit there staring at the beautiful simplicity of the moon and the stars that seem within reach, but are really millions of light years away. The tears streaming in never ending rivers down my cheeks for an hour before I wear myself out and pass out on the couch. In my dream I’m on a beautiful black sand beach in Hawaii, a lieu around my neck and a knife in my hand. I walk in silence to a boxed off area on the beach. Desiree and Marc are standing in the center staring at each other about to launch an attack. I watch as Marcs figure shifts to David’s, a malevolent gleam in his eye as he steps closer to Desiree and immobilizes her using his shadow walking abilities. Just as he’s about to deliver a fatal stab to her chest I jump into action stopping him from getting the knife near her. I kick it out of his hand and take the knife in my hand and hurl it at his head like a boomerang. I watch in horror as the sounds of screams and ripping flesh fill my dream. The splatter of blood covering my eyes, I wake up from my nightmare screaming, my lungs desperate for air. Mike comes rushing in to the room in a furry of concern. “What happened?” His eyes taking in the room, trying to spot the source of the terrified scream. “Bad dream,” I tell him,” I’m fine.” The look on his face says that he doesn’t believe me. “Really, it was all just a horrible nightmare.” “Or a warning about what’s going to happen.” I groan, “Not you too! Does everyone around here think they can see the future?” “No, but the fact is that Wicca, which is where the very first physic’s originated. They said that everyone is physic, for some it comes easy but others could never know they have the gift until their last day on earth. It’s actually quite interesting.” “Are you…”I gesture to my head.

“Physic, no. I am an archeologist and I enjoy learning about all the different types of religions and customs.At least i was until i was forced into working here.” “Which do you think has the most truth to it?” Enjoying the prospect of a friendly debate to take my mind of the night terror. “Honestly, Wicca. Did you know that the original Wicca originated from the ancient Greeks?” “No, I didn’t.” “Yes well they believed that after the gods and goddesses disappeared, there was one god left who had swallowed all of the others. Creating the god of everything. Therefore creating the gods and godesses they pray to but those are always underneath the chief god. But this predates almost all other types of uniformed religion. Wiccans celebrate the winter solstice which happens to coincide with Christmas. They believe in reincarnation and the here-after, many Christian and Jewish prayers. resemble the Latin translations of their prays or chants.” “Interesting, well I can tell you this there is definitely a here-after.” I think back to the meadow where I was so happy and at peace. “Well think it over, maybe it is a message maybe it isn’t,” And with that he left me to my thoughts. I lay back on the arm chair careful not to hit my head on the leather. Outside the light from the full moon streams into the office. I sigh and start to dose off again when I hear Dez yelling. What is it? “Finally I’ve been trying to reach you for the past six hours.” Sorry, It’s been a long day… “Oh I know, trust me I know. You told Marc you loved him and you decided to make a deal with David, winner gets my life?” Uh-oh. “That’s right uh-oh, but it’s whatever. I’ve got good news, and bad news and then of course horrible news which do you want first?”

Great, just great. I guess I want the bad news first. “Well we’re having some trouble getting the warrants to come get you, since you’re not in the US of A.” If that’s the bad news than I don’t know if I want to hear what the horrible news is. “Well… David’s planning on having Marc kill you to prove himself.” Great! This could not get any worse. I hope the good news is that you know how to get us out of all this without having me die, again or forever. “Sorta, I’m going to come tomorrow probably in the afternoon.” Desiree are you trying to get me killed. If you come here without backup than for all we know they’ll take out guns and shoot holes in my organs. And no one knows what they’ll do to you. “Chillax Alex, I’m coming with Agent Johnson and Agent Emely. I’m not stupid enough to go into that type of stitch without backup.” Did you send me that dream? “What dream?” The one when I kill David when he tries to hurt you. “WHAT?” So you didn’t send it to me? “Of course not, I would have told you not make you experience it yourself.” Oh, well someone sent it. “Maybe your sixth sense picked up on it in your dream.” God I hate my life, I cant wait until this is over so I can go home. “You’re not going home Alex. After this we have to fly into Texas, if we survive, to meet our team and go through training.” Ugh. Can we not? “Alex.” Fine, I’m going to sleep now. Get out of my head please. “Fine, see you later today Alex.” With that she’s gone, leaving me alone in the dark now that the moons light is no longer coming through the window. Tomorrow, I mean today. “What’s the date?” I ask to myself aloud. Than I remember what Desiree

said earlier, that yesterday was the nineteenth, which make this the twentieth. The day that Desiree foresaw my death.

Prison Breaks
When I wake up from an uneventful nap I find the wafting smell of coffee, eggs and bacon on a dish at the desk. Food, I can’t remember the last thing I ate, or the last time. It had to be the waffles three days ago. I slightly remember being forced to eat something when I was in and out of consciousness, but that’s about it. A need for food overwhelmed me and I shoveled the food into my mouth as fast as humanly possible. The rich juices and cheeses electrifying my taste buds. After inhaling my breakfast I find myself hungry for more. I glance out the window the ocean is visible in the far distance the gray sky reflecting of the water. The foul landscape fitting for the events of today. The small clock on the wall in says that its after noon, half of my last day alive is gone. All that’s left is to wait and wait until Desiree shows up. I only hope that this ends remotely well, and that

Death isn’t as painful as the other times I’ve almost died. I spend the rest of the afternoon in a haze, reading my favorite book that happens to be on the shelf, Romeo and Juliet. I’ve passed the scene where Romeo meets with the Priest to tell him of their secret engagement, and I am about to read my favorite part of the book, the death scene. I flip the page only to find a white note enfolded between the yellowed pages. I almost overlook it all together until I see the A on the front, intrigued I unfold the paper and read the content. Dearest Alex, If you’re reading this you found the book, and you’re probably wondering who wrote this, am I right? It’s your… Mother! SURPRISE! Yes I know I told you I wouldn’t be able to talk to you anymore that’s why I asked for a one time ability to get this to you. It’s about the future, ohh, ahh. More importantly the thing that I started that you have to finish. I’ve written down where you may find it and the names of people who can help you along the way. I believe that it’s in California, at least that’s where I put it after I got back from the mission in Washington state. People who will come in handy… Dominic Russell- 233 Star St Malibu, California Rachel Glaz- 11th st Starlet Blvd apt 3, LA California Ed Cortland- 23 Sunset lane, LA California Elle Bunter- Location Unknown use the computer in Directors office to find her The thing that I refer to has something to do with the government and the nine wonders of the world. That’s all I can tell you, or all I will tell you. Goodbye… again. I love you now and forever Mom Ps. Remember just because you can’t see me doesn’t mean I cant see you Great, just great. This is all I need. Some crazy piece of paper to make my already confusing life almost impossible to understand. I fold the piece of paper into my heart laser. As the day drags on I drift in and out of consciousness. The

boredom almost brings me to tears. The silence unbearable, only the sound of a dripping pipe and the occasional sound of footsteps fill my world. During a specifically nice daydream Desirees’ voice appears in my head. “Alex, I’m here.” What! No, not yet. Please just wait for the back-up. “Nope, sorry we’re at the door right now.” Desiree! “Get up, and get ready. I have a feeling this is going to be a long day…” Her voice leaves as quickly as it came. Seconds later Mike comes into the room and silently directs me to a part of the Jail that I did not see on the blueprints. The room is spacious and white with fresh concreted walls, boxing out all the light. In the center of the room is a large box shape tapped onto the floor. The only light comes from a few bare light bulbs hanging from the ceiling and two Christmas trees placed on both sides of the room. Christmas trees… the same Christmas tree’s that I saw in the vision. I feel the bile rising in my throat and a pain in my stomach. This is the spot I’m going to die, I can feel it. Never before have I felt such intense discomfort, the metal doors slide open and Desiree walks in with Agent Jackson and Emely on her heels. Behind them a satisfied looking David walks in with a deflated Marc straggling behind. Desiree came up and hugged me, before taking her spot next to me in the square. Opposite us was David and Marc with a nod we were ready to begin the battle, the battle to the death. I feel the surge of energy as my muscles move and bend as I block attack after attack from David. His attacks strong but his technique is lousy and uncoordinated. I swiftly block his mediocre blows. My lapse in strength prevents me from seeing Marc taking a roundabout kick towards Desiree. I turn and at the last moment I see him mouth jump at Desiree and he shoots a wink at me. While starring at Marc a sickening crunch sounds echoes in my ears as David’s fist collides with my cheek. The punch itself isn’t very hard but the surprise aspect is enough to knock me off my feet. Landing myself on the hard unforgiving ground. I bounce right back up and get into the fighting position, ready to attack.

“Marc, you idiot don’t just stand there you take her out now. I’ll handle Desiree.” He shouts to Marc. By the doors Agent Johnson looks peeved and Emely looks furious. They are not use to being helpless, and it is obvious that they want to jump in and help. I shoot them a reassuring smile and focus on Marc and David. I watch as Marc advances hesitantly on me. When I look in his eyes it’s as if I’ve flashed back in time to the practice combat. He seems to be thinking the same thing as he charges at me, his foot still in the wrong position but at the last possible second he looks at me and winks. I reach out and trip him and he lands with a smack on the lightly padded floor. He doesn’t move and I hesitate unsure of what to do next. The look on Desiree and David’s faces tell me that something is terribly wrong. As if in slow motion we move towards Marcs still body, the seconds seem to last for hours. I bend down to check his heart rate, after sixty seconds I still cannot find it. The tears are welling up in my eyes. I utter the words that only I dare to say out loud, “He’s dead.” The look on David’s face is one of horror and he instantly kneels down next to me, the battle forgotten. Shaking Marc, begging him to wake up. Desiree, stands idle behind me. The look on her face is unreadable, it seems to me that she looks confused. As if the events that are transpiring are unfathomable. I’m still crying when all of a sudden David turns, pointing accusingly at me. “This is all your fault, you- you…. slut! You killed him!” His face red with anger. “No David, this is not my fault, if anything this is your fault. You and your crazy idea that you can take over Mexico.” I say backing away from him. “NO!,” He shouts acidly. “He thought he loved you! And you never loved him, you only used him to get closer to the family. Just like your mother tried to do. Good thing I threatened you’re father, and got rid of her when I did.” “What?” I say stunned. “That’s right I told your father that if he didn’t kill your mother, then I would get someone to kill you. He loved you so much, he never stopped talking about how perfect you are. He would do anything for you, and in return you tried to kill him.”

“He didn’t love me, he was the one that attacked me!” “Do you really think that someone trained by the FBI, and the mob to be a fighter wouldn’t be able to defend himself against a little girl.” His voice made my hair stand on end. I started walking towards him. “You’re wrong.” “No, you are. You killed him because he let you, because he couldn’t stand the thought of loosing you.” “Shut up! Shut up Shut up!” I shouted in a blind rage. I advanced trying to hurt him in anyway possible. I was throwing punch after punch and I felt him growing weaker. Finally I get a hold of my actions and stop. I let him drop to the ground, “Don’t ever talk about my family ever again.” I turn on my heel only to face the wide-eyed slack jawed faces of everyone else in the room. I’m almost out of the room when Desiree shout at me to turn around. The searing pain in my arm is almost unbearable. I look to see the culprit of the damage, only to see Agent Johnson and Mike holding down David. I see the nice sized piece of glass protruding out of my arm in a sea of red. I’m already low on blood from the attack when I first got here. Desiree screams no as I fall down on the ground, the pain in my arm intensified. It’s a good minute before I lose consciousness. This time when I slip away I go straight to the park. This time my Mom isn’t there to greet me. I’m alone, in the distance I see the warm glow of the light. The light expands until is disappears and I’m left with a letter written on gold paper addressed to me. Dear Alex Smith, We regret to inform you that due to your constant brushes with death we are left with no other option other than to disallow you the sanctuary of death. From this moment forth we will be taking away your aura, this means that you can no longer die. There will also be a necklace around your neck when you wake up. Do not take this off, or your soul will be stuck in an eternity of darkness forever. Your aura will be returned to you when you complete your destiny. To aid you in your quest we have given you a gift. Hope it helps.

On the bottom of the letter where you usually find a signature there was none. I look around the park wistfully. I take in the rickety old bridge and the rapids that run underneath it. The grass expanding as far as the eye can see, the air was mild with no breeze whatsoever. I just stood there starring at the long grass as if swayed in the nonexistent breeze. My eyes following the grass back and forth, and back and forth. Suddenly I feel myself falling slowly onto the plush ground. My eyes are shut and at first when I try to open them I can’t. Eventually I give up and loose myself in my subconscious. The world in my mind is similar to that of reality. It’s crazy really, I can see Marc’s body and his group and bodyguards surround him. While I glace back down at… myself? “Alex! Wake up!” The words not my own but Desiree’s. “Can’t yall’ do something, bring her back or whatnot ?” I watch unable to do anything as the onsite doctors remove the shard of glass from my arm. She glances into the eyes of Agent Johnson. “Please,” her voice pleads. “She’s my best friend. I don’t know what I will do without her.” Her body shakes from the sobs that escape her, slurring her words. A commotion off to Marcs side of the table distracts her attention. “Everyone back up, he waking up!” Said the man in blue scrubs. I watch through Desiree as everyone gasps in amazement as Marc becomes reanimated. His eyes search through the crowd until his gaze rests on my body. He pushes past the wall of people that block him from me. I watch as Desiree tells him the news, he shakes his head violently and repeats the word no, over and over again. He leans over my body and kisses me on the lips. Softly, tenderly, but that’s all it take to make my own soul do cartwheels so to speak. “Where’s David?” He asks in a blind rage. Everyone stops and looks around the room. Finally Mike says, “I left him with another agent.” “Who?” Agent Johnson says urgently. “I don’t know, said his name was Agent Faust.” “You idiot!” Emelys’ English accent make the words even more cruel than

in American. “EVERYBODY JUST CALM THE HECK DOWN!” Desiree says standing up, starring at all the confused faces. “Now I know that this has been a very bad day, but if we don’t stick together we’re going to let that psycho out into the real world where he could do even worst damage.” The group whispers together, a voice louder than all the rest. “I must agree with Desiree. I see now that my nephew is a danger to not only the United States, but also to our business here.” Derek’s strong voice commands the attention in the room, and they all give it to him freely. “I propose a deal, I’ll turn myself over to the authorities and you let Marc here go, scot free.” Desiree turns and watches as Emely and Johnson argue over the decision. I feel as if I’m watching a soap opera through a TV, instead of my life. “On behalf of the American government we accept you proposal, but only as long as Marc does two things in return.” “I’ll do anything.” Marc says earnestly to Emely. “You will be needed to go and track down your brother and bring him to us.” Marcs laughter echoes in my ears, “I was going to do that anyway.” “You also are never allowed to contact Desiree after this catastrophe is over.” “Can’t I go to Alex’s funeral at least?” “No. I’m sorry but for everyone’s safety, I fear that this is the best solution.” Marc slumps down onto the ground and buries his face in his arms while his hand wraps around my cold one. “It’ll be okay,” Desiree places her hand on his arm. “You’ll see. Besides Alex would have wanted you to-” She breaks down in tears and the emotions are so strong that she kicks me out of her body. It’s the strangest feeling, as if you’re stuck in a whirlpool and no matter how hard you try to claw and kick or swim your way out it only sucks you down faster. As I am expurgated from her body I feel pain seep back into me, it completely takes

me over and I scream. But when I do I’m surprised to see everyone staring at me, their mouths opened wide in surprise. “Oh my God!” Desiree said, as I glanced at Marc who had jumped and dropped my hand when I screamed. “Did you do this on purpose?” Said a voice to which I could not identify. “Yes, She made David stab her in the arm with a shard of glass so she could fake dying.” Desiree said sarcastically in my defense. I smiled weakly up at her ecstatic that I was alive, and back in the comfort of my own body. “I just don’t get it,” Said the female doctor as she bandaged up my arm. “They we’re both dead, although we know that Marc faked it by shooting blowfish toxin into his blood stream, which might I add stupid and could have killed you. We have no idea how you came back after ten minutes of having no heartbeat or oxygen being pumped to your brain. How did you do it?” I shrugged, “It was a miracle I assume.” Only Desiree knew part of what probably happened. “You should count your lucky stars you’ve got someone up there that’s watching over you, big time.” The doctors said as they were escorted outside of the tightly packed room. Desiree was still staring at me with a look of confusion and slight amazement or maybe it was hate, I’ve never been good at reading people. “What? You’re creeping me out with the intent staring.” I say managing a chuckle which turn into a coughing fit leaving me breathless. “Nothing.” “Desiree…” “I’ll tell you later.” She says as she pats me on the knee and winks before walking away to where Agent Johnson and Emely and Mike are talking in a circle. As soon as she leaves Marc walks over and sits down on the plastic chair next to me. “Hey,” His voice low and awkward, but familiar. “Hey,” I wheeze,

“So…” we both say at the same exact time. it’s enough to get the conversation going and reopen the gates of communication. “I’m so sorry I dragged you into this whole thing.” “Come on Allie you and I both know that this was going to happen whether or not I was on your side.” “To bad we can’t pick our parents, that would make life so much simpler, don’t you agree?” “Eh, I’m starting to think maybe parents aren’t as bad as we think they are.” His words nondescript but his voice hinted that that the words were directed at my family in particular. “My arm hurts so bad,” I smile up from under my eyelashes just like Desiree did when I saw her flirt with David. “You know what will help it heal better and faster?” “Actual hospital care?” “No, a kiss.” “Oh, well if it will heal it faster than please do proceed.” We’re both smiling as we lean in towards each other heads slightly turned. He uses his free hand to pull my chair closer to him and wraps his arm protectively around my waist. For that moment everything horrible that’s happened has fallen away. All that matters is Marc, his lips, his touch, his essence. I breath his sent in, it smells like the air after it’s rained. Sweet and heavy, but light at the same time. The kiss itself is intense, we both know that this may be the last time we see each other, ever but we don’t acknowledge it in words. After a while we finally come up for air, the biggest smiles on our faces. “Does you arm feel better now?” “What arm?” I say sarcastically. His fingers intertwined in mine locking each other together until we are forced to separate. “So I guess now I have something very important to ask you.” “Okay…” “Have I convinced you yet?” “Convinced me of what?”

“Have I convinced you that love isn’t just a chemical imbalance in the brain, that although you can’t scientifically prove that it exists it does in here,” he points to my heart. I take in a deep breath of air and let it out slowly, drawing out the moment for as long as possible, “Yes, I must concur that love does exist. In fact I believe that I need to say something now.” I cleared my throat dramatically. “Marc, I think I might possibly lik- love you.” “Finally!” He squeezes me close to him and I nestle my head in his shoulder, like two puzzle pieces we fit together perfectly. “I love you too Alex Smith.” We sit like that for a while watching as people walk by us in a hurry. We only see ourselves in our own world where no one else can ever go. “Agent Smith, Agent Marc would you?” I finally ask at last. He holds up his hand for silence, “I’m trying to decide what I should do with the both of you.” “Does this mean the deal is off?” Marc asks hopeful. “No, in fact now it also includes Alex as off limits. Stay away from my Agents, Demarco, I mean it.” “But why?” I interject. “You broke the rules and your relationship has been deemed dangerous to the integrity of our missions.” “But the mission is over, I’m free to see and befriend whomever I wish.” “No, for you the mission has just begun, Agent Smith welcome to Blue Claw.” “WHAT? You can’t do this I never signed anything you have no legally binding evidence-” Marc places his hand on my arm soothingly. “Alex, it’s okay.” “No Marc, it is most definitely not okay, they cant tell me what I can and cannot do.” I hiss quietly as I turn so Johnson cannot read my lips. “It may not be for you, but I signed a contract. I have to listen to what they say or I go to jail for the rest of my life. If I do that whose going to go find David?”

I grimace at him not wanting to hear what he was saying, “But I just told you I love you. Does that not change anything?” “I’m sorry Alex. But I have to do this.” Slowly withdrawing his hand from mine. “Marc…” I say looking into his eyes. “Please don’t do this.” “Marc you need to be debriefed, Emely is waiting outside in the car to escort you the training facility and get you prepared to track down David.” “Yes Sir,” he turns to face me, “Alex, I’ll never forget you.” He reached down and hugged me close to him. Hid hands caressing my back. “Bye Alex.” “By Marc,” smiling sadly as I watch his retreating figure. I allow only one single tear to fall for him. “Agent Smith?” Quickly I wipe my cheeks and turn in my chair to face him. “Yes?” “Are you ready for the next step?” “Yes, but first I need some food, and a nice warm shower.” He smiles a pity smile at me, “Alright let’s get you back to the house and get you cleaned up and fed.” I just nod and allow him to lead me in the opposite direction as the one Marc went, our paths diverged to never meet again… We walk past the door and different cell areas, the spot where the basement doors are and past that the main doors. We walk out into the intense evening sunlight. The sky still bright but tipped with lines of pink. I walk into an awaiting car and place my hand over my necklace that held no clasp. As I sit in the back of the car I wonder what gift They granted me, and how it will play into my future. The car ride is short and in less than five minutes I am at the gold gates that I fist arrived at. This time instead of arriving as a supermodel I’m a heartbroken spy. Instead of seeing servants standing by I see black unmarked car and agents asking questions and snapping picture. As I step out of the car all conversations cease. They stare in awe as the girl who was dead for ten minutes walks strongly through the halls as if nothing had happened. I aviod all eye contact and only

pause momentarily at the wall of pictures stopping to snatch my favorite one of Marc before it ends up in an evidence locker for the next twenty years. It is one of the only ones we have of us together. Desiree insisted that we take one right after dinner one night when we first arrived. Marc’s onyx eyes are startling next to my blue ones, but our expressions are the same, we’re in love or maybe it was just lust. Now I’ll never know but it doesn’t matter, not anymore… I fold the picture up and place it inside my shorts pocket. I remove it once I’m safely in my room. I’m surprised to see my backpack sitting on my bed. The dust caked on and small splatters of blood from when I was attacked encase it, but it’s still my bag and it still had all my gadgets in it. I place my picture in the waterproof zippered pocket and grab some clothes for a shower. I stand in the hot steam as the heads shoot scalding water from every angle washing away everything that’s happened in the last two weeks. I stand there in a daze as I mechanically go through the motions of washing myself. I just stand there like a corpse as the steam dries me before I step out and stumble into my clothes. I don’t ever bother looking into a mirror because I know what I would see, the empty features on my face. When I finish I plop down on to the couch where a steaming cart of food is waiting. I turn on the television and sit and shovel food into my mouth as I watch Spanish soaps. I spend the rest of the night alternating between the pizza and chocolate chunky monkey ice cream, leaving the chicken alfredo untouched because I simply cannot bring myself to eat it without thinking about Marc. The noise from the T.V and the voices outside my door act as a sound machine as I drift off into a dreamless sleep where none of this exists, there is only black and the taste of chocolate on my tongue…

The Letter
“Alex,” a small hand is shoving my shoulder rapidly. I turned over and smacked the arm away from mine, “What Dez, I’m sleeping.” “How’d ya know it was me? Nevermind, we have to go the car will be here to take us to the airport in thirty minutes.” “You’re the only one that could sneak past two armed guards without getting caught, and what do you mean when you say that were leaving in thirty minutes?” “Come on get up, we have to get you packed and ready.” She moves around the room throwing all of my clothes from the closet into my suitcase and cleaning up my mess from last night as I change into the clothes that she laid out on my bed. The same outfit that I came here in black skinny jeans, the stiletto boots, but on top she substituted the shirt for my owl shirt and orange sweatshirt. “What did you do last night? Eat an entire tub of chocolate chunky monkey?” “Maybe,” I say quietly. “You better hope that this doesn’t cause you to break out all over and get fat, because then I’ll be the pretty one,” She said only partly serious. “Oh please we both know that you’re the beautiful one here, not me.” “We don’t have the time to deal with your insecurities, we have to talk.” “About?” I say hesitant. “About what really happened out back there when you died for ten minutes, and how you lost your aura.” “Oh, so it’s really gone?” I ask as I slump down onto the bed. “Afraid so, I didn’t even know it was possible.” I reach up to my neck and touch the necklace with the letter in it.

“Come on Alex, tell me what happened.” “Here,” I say as I open the heart and take out the folded note, “read this.” I watched as she gingerly unfolded the note and read the words, her expressions changing from shock, to sadness, to understanding, to just plain awe. “Do you know what the gift that they gave me is?” I ask her when she hands me the paper back. “Yeah…” “Well what is it?” “You’re not going to like it.” “Just spit it out,” I tell her. “You have the same aura as David did, I don’t know what that means.” No. No. No. No! I don’t want to be a shadow walker! “What’s a shadow walker?” “You can still…. You know.” “yes I can still read your mind although not as well, it’s like we have bad reception or something. So whats a shadow walker?” “David told me that it’s when someone can tranfer themselves up to the meadow and they can talk to the souls who stay there. I don’t know that much about it he didn’t go into detail.” “Okay well they gave it to you so it has to help you with your mission.” I sigh indifferent. “Alex this isn’t something to be taken lightly, if you don’t do this you’ll never die. You’ll just get older and older and older until there’s nothing left of you and then your soul will wander the earth forever or you’ll get sucked down…” “Oh please, I’ll be fine.” “Alex-” Just then there was a loud knock on my door, “Agent Smith and Marshal the car is here.” “Guess we have to go.” “I never got to go SCUBA diving, “ I say sadly. “You never know our next mission may end up being in Australia.”

“That would be nice.” I say smiling at her as I sling my backpack over my shoulder and grab my suitcase. “Come on lets blow this popsicle stand,” together, arm in arm we make out way out of the house for the last time. The stucco walls not a pretty as they had seemed when we first arrived, or the house as big and imposing. I smile at the house as I think about the memories that I’ve had there the good and the bad. I turn away from the house as I enter the black limo. Inside the cool air is a nice contrast from the sticky air outside. I watch through tinted windows as we pass by a few school children walking along the shoulder of the road. I shove the immense feelings of sadness that threaten to bubble to the surface. We ride in silence for the thirty minute ride to the airport. We look at each other and then at Agent Johnson whose riding with us. We step out of the limo with Johnson in his dark suit and tinted glasses. As we made our way through the doors of the VIP entrance all eyes were on us, whispers following us wherever we go. We walk past the check in area and head for the boarding area completely bypassing security with one little flash of a badge. We make our way to Gate 13-A., destination Los Angeles, California. Desiree and I glance at each other before walking onto the plane and settling down into our seats in the empty first class area. Agent Johnson is sitting three rows behind us to make sure that no one comes in. “Desiree are you okay?” I ask finally picking up on some type of sad emotion. Sighing she turns away from the window, her eyes red and her cheeks tear stained. “Aw, Dez, It’s okay.” The tears are now spilling down her cheeks. Agent Johnson looks up for a moment when he hears her sobbing. Once he realizes that it’s personal problems he burries his head below the cover of the seats. “It’s just that,” she takes the tissue and blows her nose loudly into it, a sound I’m sure that was heard all the way in the last seat of the plane. “I’m physic, I should have seen this coming,” she chokes out between sobs. “I should

have known that he was bad from the beginning. How-could- I be-such an-idiot?” Her mascara running down her face making her look like a raccoon. I place my hand on top of hers. “But you did know.” “Obviously not.” “Do you not remember the day we first arrived in mexico? We got off the plane and David showed up to take us to the house. You didn’t know why but you told me you had a bad feeling about the guy and that we shouldn’t go in the car. See it’s not your fault that you fell in love with who he pretended to be.” Desiree leans in close and whispers, “Part of me is still in love with him, I don’t know why but it’s like the more I try to get him out of my head the more I don’t want to. The more I want to be back in his arms on the beach, kissing him. Because I would be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy that. I definitely did, he was a great kisser but even more than that I felt that for the first time I could be honest with him about who I really am and he wouldn’t run screaming for the hills.” “Desiree, you have to block out all thoughts of him. We don’t know if he’s out there listening to our thoughts or tapping into our thoughts thanks to his shadow walking capabilities.” I say, even though I know I should like one of those crazies on the news. “Actually, “ She says sniffling, “I think I may have an idea on how to find out.” She turns away from me and starts to rummage around in my backpack. “Dez, what are you doing,” she shushes me and pulls out my tango. I sit quietly waiting to see what she is going to do when she reaches the pass code. Instead of stopping she inputs my information for me. “Err, Dez?” She bites her lip as her fingers fly over the keyboard as she bypasses all of the security checkpoints in the softwear that block the use of the sites deemed ‘unnecessary’. “Yeah?” She says as she concentrates hard on the screen, the sequence of numbers she’s putting into the search engine are never-ending. Finally the site

she’s been looking for appears. “What is this?” Momentary forgetting about the password. “It’s a online database for all the real physic’s all around the world. It’s like a facebook for the supernatural.” “When you say supernatural you mean what exactly?” “Well people like me, some telekinetic people, witches, and some vampires.” I burst out laughing. “Vampires, do not exist.” “Well if you refer to the fictional types that show up in book and movies then no, those diffidently don’t exist. But there is a disease called porphyria.” “I think I read about that in a medical journal one time. It is relatively rare. The disease causes severe deficiencies in the heme levels of the sufferer. Heme is an essential part of hemoglobin, myoglobin, catalase, peroxidase, respiratory and P450 cytochromes. People with porphyria are often extremely photosensitive, sometimes to the point of being unable to go into direct sunlight. Doing so can cause blistering on the skin. There is also sometimes excessive hair growth, it is known to cause the elongation of canine teeth and even in some cases the need for fresh blood. It is believed that the legend of the vampire comes from sufferers with this disease.” “Wow you sound just like a text book.” “Sorry.” “Nah, it’s cool. Your thoughts sound like that too.” “Oh,” the silence that followed gave a new meaning to the term awkward silence. “Are you okay?” She turns to me, placing the computer on the table. “I mean if I was you I would have tried to jump out of this plane at least ten times by now.” I laugh at the image of her trying to jump out of a plane, “well…” “Come on Al, if ya can’t tell me who can ya tell? So spill.” “Fine,” I sigh although secretly I’ve been dying to talk to her about it the second it started. “It sucks, it is really really sucky and I do want to jump out of

the plane sometimes but that wouldn’t help me since apparently I can’t die. And I’m scared and I’m depressed. I’ve never felt this way before I feel- I feel like my heart is… literally breaking into a million tiny pieces. It hurts to breathe it hurts to be here and know that I’ll never see him again. Then add to that the fact that my I don’t believe in god, I don’t believe in a here after, and now… And now I’m like the guide for the dead? I feel like my entire world just shattered around me and leaving me with nothing to hold on to nothing! I can’t think about this ever again, it will just get in the way.” “Alex, this isn’t all going to go away if you pretend it doesn’t exist. You cant afford to not do this.” “Desiree, we’re spies now. We cant afford to get distracted. We got lucky back there we could have been killed.” “Alex no you listen, I don’t think you’re getting the fact that if you don’t do what they want you too they wont be giving you you’re aura back. Which in case you’ve forgotten means spending eternity in a black hole where you can never be at peace, not to mention-” “Okay already! I get it, I know that they want me to do what ever it is I have to do, but I just don’t care and I’m sick of having people or entities dictating and controlling my life.” “Alex, you’ve been given a great gift and obviously whatever it is that you need to accomplish is a big deal.” “Why do you think that?” “Because I’ve never heard of someone dying three or four times and being brought back to life to fulfill a destiny. Most people just die because in the long run whatever they were suppose to do wasn’t going to affect the world.” I contemplate what she’s trying to say for a moment, “But why me?” “Who knows, all that matters now is that you figure out whatever it is, and the quicker you do the better.” I mumble fine and turn to look out the window, the land looks like a long expanse of green, with tiny mounds which are probably building. Up here it is so serene that it’s almost impossible to believe that there are people down there that are

shopping, getting married having babies, dying, it makes you think that if you died, right now, they wouldn’t miss you or shed a tear. Being in a plane, above everything and everyone makes your problems seem so minute and unworthy of trouble. In the long run we’re all just tiny ants running round in our ant farm never wondering what else is beyond our own lives. My thoughts make my head ache so instead of pondering life I decided to close my eyes and enjoy this quite carefree, stress free moment before it is gone… The rumble of the plane is what wakes me from my nap, the turbulence alerting me of our arrival in Los Angeles California. “Morning sleepy head!” Desiree’s singsong voice echoes loudly around the cabin. :”It’s time to get moving.” “Great.” I say without any emotion as I slowly grab my backpack from under the seat. I sling one of the straps over my uninjured shoulder and walk off the plane. The bustle of people in LAX is completely different than the atmosphere in the smaller airport in Mexico. “Smell that?” Desiree asks me as she places her arm through mine and drags me around. “You mean the stench of sweat mixed with suntan lotion?” “No, silly. This is LA air, it smells like home to me!” I mentally smack myself in the head for forgetting about the fact that Dez is from California. “It must be nice to be home.” “Yup, we are going to have so much fun here!” Behind us Agent Johnson trailed with our two suitcases. Once we reached the door Jackson took the lead and directed us to a black unmarked car. We were silent as we entered the cool air conditioned car. Agent Johnson steps into the car and we speed off maneuvering our way through the jammed parking lot before finding an exit and joining the endless line of traffic. “Are you girls ready?” Agent Johnson says turning to us. “If we say no it wouldn’t make a difference would it?” I ask him knowing full

well what he will say. “No.” “So…” Desiree says cheerily, “What’s the mission? Where are we staying? Who are we suppose to be this time?” “You will find out all these things in good time, don’t worry just enjoy the peace and quite before its gone.” “Fine with me, wake me up when we get there.” I resume my position on the plane and feel my eyes drift closed leaving me to think about what disaster I’m getting myself into this time. “Wake up!” Desiree says jostling my shoulder to make me wake up. “Ouch! Dez,” I shout as I shoot up in my seat. “That is my bad shoulder.” “Sorry, but I was yelling and you weren’t even budging.” “Where are we?” I ask as we make our way out of the car to see green grass everywhere and palm trees swaying in the light breeze. “Welcome to Base 222.” A uniformed soldier greets us when we arrive, he turn to salute Agent Johnson before saying anything else. “We are excited to have you here, it is not often that we get to train agents like you two.” The name on his BDU’s says Dyer he looks approximately 19 or 20, has the same military stance and body type as Johnson. His face is flawless except for a scar the runs down his eyebrow leading right into his hazel eyes. “What do you mean train?” Desiree asks suspiciously. Johnson coughs into his hand and announces, “Alright enough chit chat for now we have a meeting to attend.” He takes the lead and directs us to a unmarked building. The door open after a quick swipe of a card. After inside we stay on the white marble path that lead into two directions one towards elevators and the other towards offices, we head towards the elevators. The shining metal doors reflect our twisted images, the elevator chimes and we step in. Dyer doesn’t set foot into the elevator instead he waves goodbye and turns on his heel and walks away before the doors can seal our fate. Agent Johnson steps up to the door where the buttons should be and presses the intercom. A few seconds later it buzzes to life.

“Name and rank please.” The computer animated voice singsongs. “Agents Johnson, Smith and Marshal. Ranks in order Commander, Mission head, Head second.” “Eye scan commencing…” A blue screen appeared and scanned our faces. “Eye scan complete, authorization granted.” The elevator roars to life and we were lowered down. The ride itself only took a few minutes but I could feel the pressure rising causing my ears to pop. Finally the doors chimed again and sprang open. We tentatively stepped out on to the black ground. The dim lighting making it hard to see our surroundings. “Follow me.” “Like we have a choice,” Desiree snips at Agent Johnson. We walk behind him for a while none of us saying anything until we stop in front of two massive metal doors that spring open once we approach. Behind the doors we take in the gym, the state of the art machines and even a virtual reality station. The gym is empty for now instead there is a small office open down the hall. This is our meeting station, this is where we will discover what our next mission is. We enter the room and sit in one of the two empty chairs, the other holds Dez. We wait as the armchair swivels around and landing ourselves face to face with Director. “Good morning ladies I can hope that you had a nice flight.” “Yes, thank-you the flight was very comfortable.” “Well than I suggest we get down to business, you both know why you’re here?” “Yes, we finished our mission and accepted the spots on Blue Claw team, so here we are,” Desiree answers jittery, momentarily forgetting that it was a rhetorical question. “Yes, welcome to the team. But before we can send you out as a team we have to see if you can work together. Therefore we will be sending you out on a solo mission while you train together. It has been circulating that there is a secret

society is being formed at St. Valentines Private school.” She pauses as if we should say something. “Okay, so?” Not the answer she was looking for but I don’t care. “So, we need the two of you to pose as students at the school, and infiltrate this secret society and find out what they are planning.” “Okay, we can do this.” I say positively. “This is not to be taken lightly some of the smartest children in the world attend this school and some have even attended SPY camp. Therefore we can’t take any chances with them identifying you as one of their own. You’re new names are Victoria and Jamie Johnson. Agent Johnson will pose as your father who a prominent cosmetic surgeon.” “No offence Ma’am but I’m from here and don’t you think that the kids and parents will want to you know… get worked on by Agent J?” Desiree asks tentatively. She waves her off with a flutter of her tiny hand, “This isn’t my first time out Agent Marshal. Agent Johnson is a trained in all surgical fields, including cosmetic.” “Oh,” Desiree utters trying to think of something else to say without having to actually apologize. “What about our age differences?” “We took much consideration into the matter and have decided it would be best for the two of you to be in the same academic level classes but be in separate social classes so that you can socialize with those in your grade levels.” “Wait, I’ve never had any type of social classes.” I interject in a panic. “Oh please! You have nothing to worry about they’re just classes like art and cooking.” “Girls!” Director says snapping us out of our chat about my doubtful art skills. “Sorry.” We say ready to hear the rest of the requirements. “You will arrive at your new home as soon as you leave and will come here every day after school from five to seven to train. Good luck and don’t screw this one up.”

“I didn’t-” Her icy glare warns me to drop it so I do. “Come on Alex, lets go home.” Desiree says as she leads me out of the small room and towards the elevator with Agent J on our heels. The steel meal doors opening automatically for us. The ride up to the surface seems to go by faster than our ride down. We ride in silence and when the elevator chimes we step out and walk silently to the awaiting two cars, one black jaguar the other a fire engine red Mercedes. I stand gawking at the two cars. “Here you go girls, don’t disappoint me.” He says as he tosses the keys of the Mercedes to Desiree. “The car has a GPS and a tracking system, ill meet you two at the house later I have a few things I need to take care of first. The address is saved in your favorites under home.” He winks at us before getting into his car and spits up a wall of dust in his path. “Wow, a car.” I say mystified that we were just handed the keys as if it was no big deal. “Yes Alex it’s a car, what’s the look for it isn’t as if you’ve never driven a car before.” “Yeah, but that was illegally and I crashed in case you’ve forgotten.” “well… That was understandable besides it isn’t just my car it’s yours too.” “I’m not even sixteen yet, I can’t drive.” “Alex, Alex, Alex.” She makes a tsk sound after my name. “This is LA, you get your license when your sixteen! And isn’t your birthday coming up in January?” “Yeah January twenty-first.” “We have to have one of those over the top parties, it will defiantly help us break into the popular group.” “Come on lets get going I want to explore before we start school. That’s one thing I haven’t missed one bit.” She yanks open the drivers side door and turns on the ignition. I sigh as I slide into the passenger seat, my door barely closed when she speeds off onto the highway. She blasts the radio and puts the windows down so it’s almost impossible to have a conversation. I stare at the

passing scenery, the palm trees, the endless freeway, the honking cars, and the loud noise coming from everyone. Then I see it, on the horizon I can see that endless stretch of blue water, the serenity in the busy city is a sharp contrast to the small town in Mexico. I wonder if Marc is looking at this same water, what if he isn’t in Texas? What if he’s here? Finally after what should have been a ten minute drive we pull into a nice sized mansion. The black gates cause me to flashback to Mexico, the hairs on my arms standing on end I shake them off and allow myself to observe my surroundings. The house simple, white paneling, a palm tree in the front, at least three floors and extends far into the back. A white picket fence obscures the views of passerby’s. “Alex analyze later I’m hungry.” We drag our suitcases in through the wood door and up the Cinderella staircase to the second floor. The multitude of doors line the hallway, one after another after another. “Well can we wash up first?” I say buying time, all I want to do is sit down crack open a new tub of B &J’s and cry until my tear ducts cannot produce anymore tears. She sneers, “Of course! We cant go out looking like this now can we?” She shoots me a disapproving look and her face contorts to that of a Queen Betch. When did she become one of those girls? Where is my friend from Mexico the one always up for an adventure, to kick some butt? Her sneer crumples into hysterical laughter. “You said ’betch’ and you totally fell for it!” “Errr…” I shrug and turn to the door at the end of the hallway. I start dragging my bag toward the door that leads to the next floor, behind me Desiree is on the floor laughing her heart out. “You coming?” She holds a finger up, motioning that she might need a minute. “I thought we weren’t connected anymore? Hmm? What happened to that?” I grab her hand and pull her up off the ground. She takes a deep breath and struggles to contain herself, “I never,” Giggle, “actually said that we weren’t connected anymore.” She lets out a trail of

giggles. “What is wrong with you?” I say staring into her red face, her watery eyes huge and pupils dilated. “I haven’t slept in over twenty-four hours, what do you think is wrong with me?” She bends over and takes a deep breath before grabbing her suitcase from its spot where it fell onto the carpet. “Well lets go pick our rooms, I saw that there is a balcony upstairs.” She smiles and follows me up the freshly painted staircase. At the top there was only a single door. As it swung open the hinges creaked like in those trashy horror movies. The room itself was beautiful, that’s what it was though one huge room. There was wood floors, and a half wall where on the other half were two beds. On the side closer to us contains a bathroom, living area complete with a flat screen TV, a mini fridge, and an old fashioned popcorn maker, and two desks facing each other. These were loaded with what I could only assume was our course required materials. “Wow,” Desiree ran over to the popcorn maker, “Sweet, I’ve always wanted one of these.” I roll my eyes at her and wander over to the other side of the room. There is where the two beds lay and beyond them the doors that lead onto the balcony. I unlock the French doors and walk out into the moderate air, which is a nice break from the sticky humid air in Mexico. Out side the sky is blue and I can hear the sounds of waves crashing and gulls screeching. Sounds that were alien to me only a few weeks ago now my own personal sound machine. I closed my eyes and just let myself be… suddenly the air became ice cold as if we can lost all light. When I snap open my eyes everything is gray and distorted. Around me are people that I’ve never met before. They feel like death, with their sad expressions and for some torn and bloodied clothing. Then it hits me as if a bee of angry bee’s were swarming around my ears. The roar of a hundred voices fill my head overloading it with their requests. They all want to know what’s happening to them. They’re ghosts and because of the stupid gift they are flocking to me for the answers.

“I cant help you!” I scream at them over and over again. Their voices do not quiet but instead increase to yelling as their bodies stumble towards me. A man’s arm reaches out for me and I brace for its touch, instead I feel a bone chilling coldness as his arm passes right through me. The mans face must have been only nineteen or twenty at the most. His eyes peer into mine and his voice is clear above the rest, “What is happening to me?” There is no end to the voices or bodies of the ghosts that continue to come to me. “Help us…” Their voices hallow as they walk towards me trying to tug on my sleeves. Their presence makes my scin crawl and the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, never before have I ever been more terrified. “I CANT HELP YOU! Just leave me ALONE!” I screech at them as high as I can from my lungs. A wind blows around me its air warm soothes the gooseflesh that’s erupted on my body. The gust works like a vacuum sucking up the spirits until the world no longer has a gray tinge to it. I reopen my eyes to find Dez standing right in front of me, a look of concern on her face. “Who are you yelling at?” “Nothing, no one.” I say too rushed for her to believe me. “Ohmygosh,” her eyes enlarging like they do in cartoons. “You saw them didn’t do?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I was yelling at the bee’s.” I swat the air to rid myself of the imaginary insects. “Sure…” She stared me down her blue eyes displaying more than her words could ever say. “So,” I say leaving the deck behind as I go back into the room. “Which bed do you want?” Desiree looks at me as if I’ve grown four heads before sighing and plopping down on the one closer to the bathroom. “So I’m going to guess that you pick that one?” She mumbles into the bed covers. “Kay…” I eye her wearily as I plop down on the bed next to her. Part of me surprised that she isn’t pressing me more about my little outburst.

We just sit there on the beds not talking for what seems like hours. This is the longest stretch of time where my brain wasn’t always “on”, or I wasn’t making a life or death decision. I am just sitting on my unfamiliar bed, in a new unfamiliar house, in an unfamiliar state. Suddenly Dez is up and standing in front of my gaze out the balcony window over to the small part of blue visible between houses. “Alex, get up.” Her hands perched on her hips. “No.” I say firmly as I fall back onto the soft bed. “Why?” He whines and stamps her feet on the ground in protest. “Because,” I say simply because I don’t feel like fighting. “Because why?” Her voice drawing out the why as she contorts her face into a begging pose. “Because, I don’t want to go out there.” “But why!” “Because I can see freaking dead people that why! They were reaching out to me and they were just so cold, as in freezing cold, and this unsettling feeling was stuck in my gut. Like the feeling right before you drop down the hill on the worlds biggest and scariest roller coaster ever. And I just- I just cant do it. I can’t help them. ” I sigh getting up off the bed to look out over the balcony. Partly to stop looking at her, but mainly to reassure myself that the world isn’t always gray and that the sun is still out there. “Alex,” she places her abnormally warm hand on the cold skin of my shoulder. “ It’s going to be okay. You just have to like get use to it and stuff. After a while it just becomes normal.” “Normal?” I say repeating the word as if I’d never heard it before. This is my new normal, and I cant do anything about it. “Ohmygosh you’re depressing me!” She grabs my arm and pulls me from the room. “Dez where are we going?”

“Outside, where the weather is nice and the sun is shining.” She stops when we reach the car, “Desiree, I don’t want to go anywhere right now.” I turn back towards the house when she grabs my hand and yanks me into the awaiting passenger seat. She rushes to the other side of the car and quickly catapults herself into the car somewhat gracefully. “Where shall we go?” She says as she reeves up the engine a smile of pure delight on her face. I press my head against the cool window as we drive back towards town, “We can turn around-” She turns her head towards me obviously annoyed, “You are seriously stinking up this car with your negative energy. It’s like your a giant black hole sucking all the happiness out of everything, when you should be celebrating.” “Sorry my feelings are annoying you, I’ll try my best to hide my feelings from you…” I say bitterly as we pull into a town square right by the beach. “You couldn’t hide those feelings even if you wanted to, the ipod sync in our minds is still going.” She says cutting the engine and we sit in silence for a moment. “I’m sorry, its just this isn’t easy for me and I know its not easy for you. Forgive me?” She smiles at me after she finishes applying her lip gloss, “Of course Hun! Just think only about the positive, it helps.” She reaches over to me and hugs me. “So where are we going?” I ask as we get out of the car. Around us people

dressed in everything from short shorts and tank tops to jeans with stilettos and jackets with oversized black sunglasses. We walk out and while it cant be less than 75 out I find myself shivering after the weather in Mexico. We walk down the shop lines street. Passing a high end department store, a Starbucks, a cute vintage shop that we decided had potential, and at the end of that a café. “Here we are,” Dez says as she stops in front of the café. The doors to enter were shaped like a peach and the sign above was made out of driftwood. The sign said The Green Peach, and the place was packed to capacity. We made our way to the hostess. “Hi Gina,” Desiree says greeting the girl a little older than her with fiery natural red hair and green eyes. “OHMYGOSH!” Gina said letting out a little shriek before enfolding Desiree in a hug. “What are you doing here? I thought you were dead, but I knew that you were fine. I mean if anything happened to you I’d know or Gran would. I’m so excited that you’re here! Hi I’m Gina!” Her last sentence directed at me. I smile at her, “Hi I’m Alex.” “Oh, Gran is gonna want to talk to you, come on follow me to the kitchen.” She turns on her heel and leads us past the diners and back into the kitchen. The chaos was contagious, it felt wrong not to be in constant motion with the chefs and workers. Gina brought us to a table in the room adjacent to the kitchen. In it was a single dinning room table big enough to fix six people at the most. I’ve heard that popular restaurants often keep a chefs table for their most exclusive clients. And tonight we are the exclusive clients… Desiree and I sit down and I

breathe in a taste bud craving smell. “So,” I say looking around. “I’m confused…” She takes the green napkin and places it gently on her lap. “Well this is my Grans’ restaurant, but that’s all I’m telling you for now.” “Why? What’s the big deal?” Just then the doors opened and the quiet atmosphere was mixed with the chaos of the kitchen. A woman with silver hair twisted up into a bun, and an apron splattered with sauce and various food particles sat down at the head of the table. Their was a kindness about her that made you like her immediately, her eyes were the same color as Desiree’s and while her skin sagged in places she was still very attractive. “Gran, it’s so nice to see you,” Desiree smiles at her grandmother from across the table. “Sweetheart you certainly are hard to find and my look at how big you’ve gotten.” There was a twinkle in her eye as she smiled proudly at Dez. “You look beautiful as always,” Desiree says to her as she reaches out to take her hand. “Oh stop! We both know that time is catching up with me, good thing I’m a fast runner,” She laughs before turning her attention on me. “You must be Alex, so nice to meet another shadow walker.” I stare at the woman in shock, I’m pretty sure my mouth is open in surprise but I’m frozen in this position. “Before we get started I have something to give you,” her face twisted as

she reached into a pocket of her apron producing a small folded square of paper. She quietly slid it across the table so it landed in front of me. Written on the top were the words: To Alex , Love Marc. I look up from the note, “How did you get this?” “Just read the note Dear, all will be explained in time.” Gingerly I unfolded the letter, almost afraid of what meanings of the words meant…

Dearest Alex, I’m sitting here on this rock, overlooking an ocean as I write this to you. I love everything about you; the way you laugh when your nervous, and the way your face looks when the sun hits it, and the way you smell. Your very presence intoxicates me. I’m sorry about everything that’s happened to you, and us. I’m on my way to fining my brother and all paths lead me to California. I know you’re here, I know where you’re staying and I know where you’re going to go to school. I just wanted to let you know that I have not and will not abandon you, ever. I know you’re probably reading this and thinking I’m a creep, but I don’t care. There are people far more dangerous than David, the ones that hired him are still out there and they’re looking for you. Trust no one, and be as safe as possible. Eternally yours, Marc

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