Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chapter 8: True Colors

Water splashed upon my face as I surged through the lake. A blood curling scream split the air! I turned to see Allie struggling for air as something began to drag her underwater. Mac wasn't far behind her. My eyes widened in horror.

"RHYS!" Allie cried.

"ALLIE!" I screamed as I watched her head sink down into the murky water. Suddenly, Mac stopped swimming, his eyes bore a wild look as he raised a knife into the air. And then, everything happened in slow motion. My body completely froze. I saw him dive into the water with his knife. He seemed to be struggling against something. Allie? And then I saw it. Blood. Thick, dark blood soon began to spread in the water towards me. I still couldn't move. My body was filled with rage and disbelief.

"ALLIE!" I tried to speak, but the words couldn't come out of my mouth.

Bubbles began to form as Mac reached the surface. As he coughed out water, he looked me straight in the eye with a menacing glare.

"You're next, kid," he nearly growled.

My heart stopped beating. Complete silence filled my ears. Even the lake seemed to become still as he uttered these words. I couldn't breathe. Allie was gone. Murdered. 

All because of me.....


Karl Myers paced his office angrily. The "Smasher" watched him as he continued to walk back in forth in front of him. In a moment of fury, Karl suddenly knocked the items off of his desk. Documents, pictures, and pencils flew everywhere, and his frappuccino spilled all over.

"This is all your fault, Shane! If it weren't for your clumsiness, we wouldn't be in this stinknin' mess!" he yelled at "The Smasher".

"My fault, huh?! I wasn't the one who let him get away from the Lab in the first place!"He shot back. Karl, not wanting to admit his mistake, went on.

"Well how do you plan to fix this problem then? Huh?! The government isn't the most patient client--"

"You think I don't know that?!" Shane retorted. Then he sighed and said, "Listen, we'll figure this out."

"Yeah?" Karl asked sarcastically, "How?"

"We've still got Dylin," Shane replied cooly. 

"Well let's hope he comes for her," Karl replied with a sigh of frustration. "Oh. What's the word on that other girl?"

"The "Lewis girl"?" Shane asked. "She wont be bothering us anymore."

"Yeah? How's that?" 

"That man at the dock took care of her."

"That man...wait, did you find out who he was?"

"I checked the boat house. Looks like his name is Mac Stevens." Shane replied casually.

Suddenly Karl's face grew red with anger. He lunged at the smasher and grabbed him by the collar.


"No..." He answered timidly.

"RAYMOND PARKER, YOU IDIOT! The government told us that if we took too long they would send in some more 'assistance'!" He roared, throwing Shane across the room. His breath came in furious huffs as he began to pace the room again. Raymond Parker and Karl Myers had been enemies ever since they joined the business of doing the government's dirty work. There was no way Karl would let Raymond get this prize. Not this time. Suddenly, Karl's cell phone began to ring. He picked it up and looked at the number curiously. Putting the phone to his ear he pressed the button to receive the call.

"Hullo, Karl," was the saucy greeting. "How are you, old chap?"

"Well I was fine, till' I answered the phone," Karl replied coldly. Raymond's  laugh echoed loudly through the receiver.

"I'm a bit sorry to hear that, my friend. But just a bit, so don't worry."

"I'm a busy man, Raymond. What do you want?" Asked Karl impatiently.

"Oh yes! You must be very busy right now, trying to find that wonder boy who seems to always slip through your careless fingers. But no need to worry, chap! I'm on duty now so you can just 'sit back and relax' as you Americans, put it." 

"You forget Raymond, that we Americans, don't like to be bossed around by you Brits. So thanks for the offer but I'll have to decline," Karl said, spitting out the words with contempt. Raymond laughed again but this time it was more to cover up that he had been insulted.

"Come now, Karl. There's no need to fuss, so. You've had your turn, so now its my turn." he said, lacing his voice with even more arrogance.

"Well there's just one thing, Parker," Karl said, letting a pause sit in. "I don't play fair." Raymond broke into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. But Karl was not swayed by this. He could hear the uneasiness in Raymond's voice. When Raymond became calm again, he finally spoke.

"Well then, Karl," he said slow and deliberately, "If its a challenge you want, then a challenge you shall get, my boy." There was a beep, as Raymond hung up. Karl smiled. The call had revived him, and he relished the idea of beating Parker. The Smasher walked up to Karl curiously. Karl's smile deepened and he laid a hand on Shane's shoulder.

"Let's get moving, Shane."He ordered. "Looks like things just got a little more interesting....."


Something kept making noise. 


"Go away, Go away...." I groaned.

The noise continued. Slowly, my eyes began to open. Where...was... I? I turned my head and took in my surrounding. Almost everything around me was white or a shiny silver. There was a bright light shining down on my face. My eyes squinted, from its strength. I tried to move my right hand. I was stuck! My legs were bound too. I tried sitting up, but there was some kind of weighted strap on my chest. And for the first time, I began to feel the pain in my right leg. It was an awful, stinging pain, and it grew worse as the seconds ticked by. I felt so light headed. I turned my head slowly and saw where the beeping noise was coming from. To the left of me, there was a monitor that was checking my heart rate. As I looked down at my left arm, I saw there was something injected into my forearm. It was red. I gasped in horror! Connected to the needle there was a container that was half-way filled with bloodWhat was happening to me?! For the first time in a long time, I felt like a baby. I couldn't think of anything else I could do to comfort myself. It was the most logical thing to say in that situation.  I'll admit it wasn't the most mature thing to say, but hey! I'm pretty sure you'd say stupid stuff too, if you were in my shoes!

"MOMMY!!!" I cried, then groaned as my head began to buzz. Even talking hurt. My words seemed to echo and pound their way back into my ear drums. Something was wrong with me. Not just mentally, for that matter. How did I get here? I tried to remember but my thoughts were so jumbled. ....Rhys! He...he was in trouble! We were on the boat and.... I sucked in my breath as I began to remember. Did Mac take me somewhere? Is Rhys here too? I had to get out of these bonds! Suddenly, there was another sound. It was far away from me but it still seemed to echo loudly in my ears. I tried to cover them with my hands, but the straps held fast to my arms. The noise grew louder. They....they were footsteps. And then the door opened. A man dressed in a long white coat came into the room. He came and stood near my right leg.

"Oh! So you're awake now," he said. His voice naturally was probably very low, but it sounded like a noisy drum in my ears.

"Let's take a look at that bite now," he said as he slipped on a pair of gloves. As he peeled off the bandage on my leg, I moaned in pain. It was a bite? But when did I--?

As if he had read my mind the man answered, "That snake got you pretty good. Wouldn't swim in that lake again if I were you."

I tried lifting my head up. I could just barely see the bite. It was swollen and had a ring of a blue-purplish color. My body shivered at the sight. I laid back down again. Finally I tried to speak. My words came out slow and painful. Each word seemed to take so much energy. ""

The man looked at me with a queer sad smile. "I'm afraid I can't tell you that, sweetie."

I looked at him quizzically. "W-why--?

"--Because it's classified information," a British voice interrupted me as a another man came sauntering into the room. His eyes were shielded behind his classy shades. Who was he? He wasn't Karl Myers. Karl Myers didn't have a British accent. Were there other people after Rhys? Judging by the way he was dressed, he looked like a model in a men's fashion magazine, not a government agent.

"So, Miss Lewis. I want to know where our little friend is," Raymond began.

"Our friend?" I asked sarcastically, then winced from the pain. The doctor had poured some ointment onto my leg that began to sting.

"Yes..."he continued. "Be a dear and tell us where he's headed." 

'Be a dear', huh? HA! My foot! 

 "What's the matter, Allie?" he snickered. "Snake got your tongue?" he laughed at his joke. It was a weird laugh, mixed with disgusting snorts.

A smile crept upon my face. 

"Ah...a smile, eh? So you think I'm funny. Well that's nice to know. Not that I don't already know I have a good sense of humor," He said with a prideful air, bending to sit in the seat next to my bed.

Despite my pain, I managed to play along with his "game". 

"Quite the contrary, my dear," I began in a mocking tone. "I was just thinking that you were cool before I heard you laugh. And as for your joke, well lets just say you should leave it to the pros."

The smile vanished from his face, and I relished the sight. His body grew stiff as he rose from the chair. 

"We have... our ways Miss Lewis, about finding things we want to know..."he stated flatly, getting back to the subject. "So if you're not feeling up to it right now, I'm sure we can find something that will help encourage your assistance..."

"Don't count on it," I declared with a quiet stubbornness.

"Oh? Well then, why don't we go and have a little visit with your parents?" he asked reaching into his jacket pocket. He pulled out a gun and cocked it. My breath caught in my throat. 

"If you dare touch them--" I started.

"--I might," he cut me off. "Or, we could just let you stay here and let that bite take its course. If...if we were to not treat it anymore, "he mused,"  you'd be gone in about ...oh...twenty four hours or so. It was a rather poisonous snake I'm afraid." He smiled maliciously, as he watched my reaction. 

Why was this happening?! Why do I have to choose between Rhys and my parents?! I couldn't do this! I almost started to cry, but I wouldn't let myself. Not in front of that man. I looked to the doctor for help. Sympathy was written all over his face. He tried to speak up, but the British man cut him off. There was no other way out of it. 

"May..." I began with awkward politeness, "May I have...time about it?"

His smile deepened. "I'll give you an hour." In a flash, he quickly yanked out the needle injected into my arm. I cried out in pain. Then grabbing the shaken doctor, he strode out of the room.  The slamming of the door banged loud in my ears. But I tried to ignore the pain. I had to get out of here--FAST! 


Dr. Mac Runnel stared at Raymond Parker uneasily. He didn't want to be dragged into this job in the first place, but now that girl's life was in danger. Raymond had used her parents as a threat, but he didn't even know where they lived--yet.

"Don't you dare go back in that room unless I say so," Raymond barked.

"Sir, if she doesn't get enough treatment she could die before the day is over. She's lost a lot of blood," he pleaded angrily.

"It doesn't matter," Parker replied. "If we can't get answers from her, we'll get them elsewhere. You're to follow my orders, do you understand?" 

The doctors jaw hardened as he replied the affirmative. Raymond began to walk away as he saw Mac Stevens approach. 

"Go back and get me her address, immediately!" he hollered as he made his way down the hall. 

The doctor's fist clenched into a ball. He couldn't take it anymore. He knew what he had to do.


My breath came in uneasy patterns. Panic began to overtake me. I was starting to not feel my right leg anymore. I tugged at my bonds but I was so weak. The heart monitor's monotone beep rang in my ears. Beads of sweat already began to form puddles upon my forehead. The light above me seemed to fry my body. I had to get out. My parents and Rhys were in danger because of me! Suddenly, the door began to open very quietly. It hadn't been an hour already, had it? I couldn't tell. The time seemed to drag on and my head ached badly. As the figure drew closer, I saw the kind face of the doctor. He looked worried and uneasy. He placed a hand to my forehead and his eyes nearly popped as he realized how warm it was. He looked around cautiously. By his body language, I could tell he was scared of something. He gently held my hand and whispered softly.

" I know this may be hard for you, but you must tell them where your friend is. Your health is in critical condition and your parents may be in danger as well. You must tell them!"

I tried to speak, but the pain was terrible. I shook my head slowly. He stared at me sorrowfully. 

"You must! You don't understand how serious this all is. Your friend isn't a normal person! He has an extraordinary ability," he persisted.

I stared at him wonderingly. 'Extraordinary ability'? Well... I guess the potion is extraordinary...

"He's dangerous," he went on, "If he were to unleash his full power he could harm many people."

"You...don't...know...him," I breathed.

"I'm afraid I don't need to. Look what has happened to you because of him."

I wouldn't waver. Rhys wasn't a bad person. He was my friend! The only one I had.....

The doctor sighed. He wanted to help me, I know, but I couldn't endanger Rhys. I couldn't. But, mom and dad.....

The throbbing pain in my head grew worse and I began to moan. The doctor quickly walked over to the sink. Turning on the water he grabbed a cloth and soaked it. He walked back over to me and gently placed it on my head. The coolness of the rag was so soothing and refreshing. I closed my eyes. 

"I can't help you, if you don't tell them what they want," the man said wearily. 

My eyes opened, which were now filled with tears. My parents or Rhys? This wasn't just a simple case of "eeny meeny miny mo". These were the last three precious people in my life!

"I wont....tell them...anything!"I said defiantly, between my hard breathing. "Rhys.... isn't trying to hurt anyone....he just made a potio--"and thats when I clamped my mouth shut, realizing I might have said too much.

The doctor looked at me curiously. "Potion? This isn't about a potion! Well, not exactly anyhow...."his voice trailed off.

I stared at him, completely confused. "Isn't....isn't that why..... all of you.... are after him?!"I asked angrily.

"So then he's been lying to you this whole time, hasn't he?" He asked quietly.


"Rhys Stengl, as I said earlier, is not your average teenager. He's a very dangerous person. His body is somehow strangely connected to the electromagnetic force."

Suddenly, a memory formed into my mind. While we were in the boat, something strange had happened. Electricity began to flow towards Mac Stevens and Rhys wasn't shocked about it.  At all. He wouldn't even give me eye contact. And even my bedroom! How could a potion possibly make a huge hole in our roof? Twice! And why was everyone calling him "Rhys Stengl"? And even his parents! Was their last name really Roscue? Or were they lying, too? But it couldn't be true! Rhys wouldn't lie to me! He wouldn't! 

"You must listen to me before its too late," The doctor was saying.

I didn't want to. I couldn't believe it. But deep down, my heart ached with betrayal. My physical pain couldn't even compare.

Rhys....who are you--really?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wherin I Become Completely Incredulous

**Brinnng! Brinnnggg!**

My hand swung out and slapped down on top of the alarm clock sitting on the table beside my bed, trying to find the off button. Finally I found it. But by then it was too late. I was fully awake and there was no way I was going to be able to go back to sleep.

Why in the world did I set my alarm for 6 o'clock in the morning?!

Suddenly, I remembered and sat straight up. Mr. Roscue was taking Rhys and I to the baseball game today and we needed to leave by 9am! As I swung my legs out of bed and touched the floor, a strange smell slithered into my nose. It smelt like burning wood....A few faint wisps of smoke drifted past the windowpane as I ran to the window and opened it. The wisps seemed to be coming from the roof of our house! A look outside the window and up at our roof confirmed it: another good-sized hole had been burned in our roof.

I wonder who could have done that, I though sarcastically. It's a good thing he's my friend now. Otherwise he might be in serious trouble with me. 'Cause how many people want the pleasure of sharing a fence with neighbors who seem to be making a habit of destroying their home?

 I sighed and glanced over at the Roscues' house. All seemed quiet. But as I ducked back inside my room, the low hum of a car's engine caught my attention. Peering back out the window, I saw a sleek, black car pull up in front of the Roscues' house.

Who could that be this early in the morning?!

The “who” was a man dressed in a dark business suit. A very menacing-looking, heavily-muscled man. Wait, no. There were two of them! A second man also emerged from the car!

They look too similar to that other gorilla I had the pleasant encounter
with a couple of weeks ago...

Together, the two of them walked up to the Roscue family's door.

This doesn't look good...

I remembered when Rhys' was explaining about himself a couple of weeks ago.

About a month ago...I was kidnapped by a foreign aircraft manufacturing company who wanted me to give them the formula. It took the government a week to find and rescue me. They captured most of the people involved in the kidnapping, but two got away: the Smasher and his employer, Karl.

His employer, Karl...They never mentioned him being captured! And if the Smasher found out where Rhys was, no doubt Karl knows! Maybe it would be a good idea to just check out what's going on over there, and make sure it's not him. If it is him...I suppose I'll call the police.

Dear bathrobe, I apologize for ripping you off your hook so fast, but I was in a hurry. This was possibly my new friend's life on the line! 

As I padded quietly across the Roscues' front lawn, I saw that the men were no longer on the front porch. Moving as stealthily as possible, I crept up to the front window and peered inside. Through the lace curtains, I could see those two gorilas sitting very stiffly on the couch. Across from them were Mr. and Mrs. Roscue, still in their pjs and looking rather nervous. Thankfully, the window was opened slightly, and I could understand what was going on. One of the men, the most menacing one and who reminded me slightly of a bulldog, was speaking.

“Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, where is Rhys Stengl?”

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor? But their name is Roscue! And Rhys' last name isn't

“Rhys Stengl? I'm sorry, but I don't know who you're talking about.”

Duh, of couse not. Rhys's last name isn't Stengl and you and your wife don't look like the "Taylor"-type...

The first man didn't seem to agree.

“Really?” The man had risen and strode slowly over to Mr. Roscue until he was standing right in front of him. The second man followed. Suddenly the second man smoothly pulled a very sharp knife from his pocket and held it to Mrs. Roscue's throat. “Are you sure?” the first man asked again. Mr. Roscue stared helplessly at Mrs. Roscue who was shaking her head
desperately at her husband.

“I-I-I...I don't know.” Mr. Roscue finally said.

The first man scowled. “I sincerely doubt that, Mr. Taylor. Do you have any idea how powerful I am? I have connections all over the world who will give me any information I happen to want. Karl Myers is an incredibly powerful name.”

Karl Myers! It is him!! 

“Mr. Taylor. If I say that I know where someone is, I know that that person will be there. With no doubt. And if that person happens to move from that place before I reach him, my contact will alert me. And no such alert has reached me. Rhys Stengl is here. Where. Is. He.”

My suspicion had been confirmed. And now it was time to act. I turned to run back to my house to call the police, but stopped. First, I needed to check if Rhys was aware of Karl's presence! As fast as I could, I changed direction and sped to the gate leading into the Roscues' backyard. I latched onto the top of the gate and hoisted myself up. As I perched
precariously on top of the gate, I listened for any sound indicating that I had been heard. Nothing. Softly, I dropped to the ground and entered the side yard. A few paces led me to the trellis underneath Rhys' bedroom window. If I could reach the top of the trellis, I just might be able to reach the ledge of the window...

I'm not exactly a fan of getting pricked by a bunch of roses, but I don't really want to draw any attention to myself by shouting or throwing rocks...

Cautiously, I put a foot on the trellis and began climbing. It felt like it took forever, but I finally made it.

“Rhys! Rhys, you...Rhys?” I stood in his room panicking. There was no sign of him anywhere! Had the men reached his room before me?! Suddenly, heavy footsteps began pounding up the staircase.

Maybe not! Maybe he escaped! Or else why would they still be coming up here? But where??!!

A thousand questions whirled through my mind as I lowered myself out of the window as quietly as possible and dropped to the ground. I heard the door to Rhys' room smash into smithereens as I fled out the gate.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

“C'mon, really?! I just need a quick ride down to the other side! I'll pay you! I promise!”

I stood on one of the several boat docks close to our town, arguing with the owner of a very fine motorboat. I was hoping to get a ride to the other side of the lake, but it wasn't looking like that was going to happen. By this time, I could have easily gotten a taxi and taken the long way to the
other side. But I didn't want to take the long way. I needed the shortest route possible. My time was running out. I could feel it. But that horrible man just stood there, arms crossed, refusing my every offer.

“No,” he replied for the hundredth time. “And that's final. I've got a lot of work to do today, and I don't have time to take some crazy kid across the lake.”


“No buts! I'm not taking you, kid.”

 As I racked my brain for another offer, a flash of blue metal at the beginning of the dock caught my eye. Allie. I turned my head all the way, and saw her blue bike with, yes, Allie, riding it.

Oh, greeeat! I can't let her see me! 

“Hey, um, let's discuss this in here, shall we?” I asked quickly as I ducked inside the door of the boathouse.

“There's nothing more to discuss, kid,” the man growled as he grabbed the front of my shirt and yanked me out of the boathouse. In the process, he knocked my leg against a stack of small metal cannisters piled next to the boathouse door. The noise of the cans crashing out of formation and all over the ground exploded in my ears.

The sound of a shout alerted me that Allie had seen us. I looked up and saw her speeding towards me on her bike. 

Well, isn't that nice. I'm feeling very grateful to you, Mister.  

“Please, sir!” I cried as politely as possible. “This is incredibly urgent! I have to get out of here!”

“What's so urgent?”

“I-I have people after me!”

“That girl?!”

“Sir, I need to get on that boat and reach the other side!!!!!!” I was practically shouting now. A glance over my shoulder told me that Allie had now dropped her bike and was running towards me with the speed of a superhero. Desperate to get away from Allie, I leaped as hard and as far as I could off the dock and out over the water, trying to reach the boat. But a hard hand clamped itself on my neck and I found myself suspended in the air over the water instead of safely on the motorboat.

“Rhys!” Allie had arrived.

“Are you looking for this kid?” the man asked.

“Yeah, um, would you set him down, please?”

The man placed me none-too-gently back down on the dock. I would have preferred being dumped in the lake much better. Anywhere away from Allie would be perfect.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

I breathed hard, trying to recover from my mad dash. “Rhys!” I repeated. “I've been looking all over for you!”


“Rhys, there are men after you! Karl Myers and some other guy! They were at your house this morning not two hours ago!”

Rhys' face turned pale. “Allie, I-I need to go. I need to go now.”

“I'm coming with you!”

His face darkened. “No! You can't! It's too dangerous!”

“What's so dangerous that I can't come?!”

“Let's just say that I've got to rescue a friend from a group of people who I hope you will n ever happen to meet. Incredibly dangerous people who will stop at nothing until they get what they want.”

“The potion?”


“The potion. For the indestructible metal. That's what they want, right?”

“Oh, yeah, right. Look, Allie, you need to let me go! I don't want you to get hurt!”

“No.” I stepped closer. “I've already had to let go of two friends. And I'm not letting go of another. I'm coming with you, Rhys.”

Rhys looked away for a few seconds. And then he said, very quietly and without looking at me, “Fine.”

- - - - - - - - - -

I really didn't want Allie to come. It was so dangerous. Even I didn't know what to expect along the way. For all I knew, I could end up back at The Lab. I shuddered. All of a sudden, Allie grabbed my shoulder.

“Rhys! It's the car that I saw in front of your house this morning! It's got to be Karl Myers! We need to get out of here! Fast!!”

I looked where she was pointing and saw a sleek, black car slowly pull to a stop at the beginning of the dock.

I spun around to face the boat man who had been just standing there the entire time looking on. “Dude, will you just help us out??!! Those men are out to get us!!!”

The man glanced over our shoulders at the men who were now climbing out of their car and striding towards us. I recognized one of them as Karl Myers himself! Allie had been right!! And there was no place for us to run. We were trapped.

“Kid, look. I told you. I'm not taking you out! How do I know you're not trying to run away from some place where you're supposed to be, huh?”

Before he could continue and I could protest, a gunshot rang out. Blood drained from the man's face as a bullet whistled past his ear.

“Rhys! They're running towards us!!” Allie's voice was panicked and high-pitched. “Please, sir! Let us use your boat!!” Two more bullets whistled past us and Allie screamed.

“Get in the boat!” the man barked. He grabbed our arms and practically dragged us down into the boat. “Stay low!”

The gunshots were coming quick and fast now. We lay huddled by the side of the boat as the man ripped apart the knot of rope holding it to the dock and started the motor. With agonizing slowness, the motorboat began sliding away from the dock. I stole a quick look over the side of the boat. The men had reached the end of the dock and now stood there glaring after the fleeing boat. Karl raised his pistol again and held it pointed at our boat.

“Rhys Stengl!” His deep voice came over the water, clear and bold. “We will find you. You can't escape. And neither can Dilyn.”

Allie glanced at me. “Who's Dilyn?” she whispered.

“A friend,” I replied, darting back down behind the safety of the boat's side as a final gunshot sounded. As I stared at the back of the boat guy who was steering the boat farther into the lake, I could feel anger rising inside of me.

How dare he disbelieve me! He wasted precious time of mine and because of him, I may arrive too late to save Dilyn. Or he could have gotten us killed! One of those gunshots could have finished Allie or I off for good! 

As thoughts of rage whirled like a deadly storm inside my head, I hardly noticed the electricity's movement or Allie's cry of astonishment. Before I knew what had happened, a stream of electricity shot from my hands and out into the ocean barely missing the man. He slowly turned and stared at me. I tried to avoid both his and Allie's astonished looks. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, the man turned back to the controls.

How could I have been so stupid!!

I watched as the man slowly pulled a cellphone from his pocket and dialed a number. A couple seconds later, someone answered on the other end. The man spoke softly, so I could just barely make out what he was saying.

“Raymond? This is Mac Stevens. I believe I have something you may want. A boy about 14 or 15 with-" He was interrupted by Raymond. "Yes, that's who I'm talking about. I've got him on
my boat right now. ”

My eyes grew wide and I stared at Allie in horror.

“I didn't realize who he was when he showed up, but the description you gave me a couple days ago matches perfectly." He paused for a moment, listening to Raymond on the other end. Finally, "He's not going anywhere. Meet me at my dock in five minutes and I'll hand him over.”

Oh yeah? We'll see about that.

I made a diving motion with my hands at Allie and pointed over the side of the boat. Her eyes widened.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

I couldn't believe what was happening! We had fallen straight into a trap! Rhys began making urgent hand motions at me. And his intended message didn't appeal very well to me.

There is absolutely no way I can dive into that water! Who knows what kinds of dangerous creatures might be swimming around in there! But we have no other choice...where else can we go?

I glanced over my shoulder at Mac, and then back at Rhys. I nodded. We quietly got to our feet and Rhys began counting on his fingers...


With a humongous splash, Rhys and I landed in the water. Mac spun around, dropping his cellphone on the floor of the boat.

"Swim for the opposite side!" Rhys yelled. Already, he was several yards in front of me. I began frantically swimming after him as I heard Mac hit the water. But I knew it was hopeless. There was no way I could make it. I had never been a strong swimmer, and we weren't even close to halfway across the lake.

Does Rhys really think that we can make it??!! 

Mac's strong strokes sounded close behind me. I began swimming even faster, but at this pace, I knew that I would quickly run out of energy.

All of a sudden, something touched my foot and I screamed. Ahead of me, Rhys turned. "Rhys!!" I screamed. Then I felt something slither between my legs. Something cold and scaly. That's when I completely lost it. Rhys' call to me slightly registered in my brain as everything went black.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Forever Bittersweet

Creamy ice cream filled my mouth.  A silky ribbon of chocolate, intertwined with smooth caramel laced through the vanilla.  It should have tasted sweet and cold; it was bitter.  I looked up.  Sunlight streaked through the window, cascading into Allie’s bright blue eyes.  Her face was scrunched up with laughter as a spoon filled with strawberry ice cream stuck out of her mouth.  According to her, our differences were aside; we were friends.  I bit my lip.  A single word resonated through my brain, friends.  

Smoke billowed through the room.  Flames snaked through the dormitories.  The heat was rising.  I yanked the covers off my bed and willed my sore muscles to escape.  I took one shaky step, then crumpled to the floor, unable to move a muscle.  Alex appeared in front of me, his curly blonde hair bouncing over his head.  Fire and an inkling of fear reflected from his grey eyes.
“Take my hand.  We gotta get out of here.  The scientists want the ones on the list.”  Smoke filled my nostrils, addling my brain. 
“The list?” I asked weakly.
“You know, the useful ones they plucked from the Keep.  They’ve got plans for us, and I don’t like it,” he murmured.  I reached up and grabbed his hand.  Suddenly, we were outside the burning building.  My lungs shakily inhaled the cool night air.
“I thought you weren’t coming back for me,” I whispered.  A smile crept across Alex’s face.
“We don’t leave friends behind.”

            I looked down at my bowl of ice cream.  It was half empty.
“Allie!” I exclaimed.  She licked her spoon, which had my ice cream on it,  and a mischievous sparkle twinkled from her eyes.
            “You were, like, zoning out, and your ice cream was screaming for attention.”  I started laughing and grabbed a spoonful of her strawberry.
            “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” we both shouted, oblivious to the other ice cream parlor patrons’ incredulous stares. 
            Too bad a creepy little voice inside my head just had to ask, “What else have you screamed for?”


            Light glinted off the needle as it dropped downward.  I banged against the restraints, but I couldn’t move.  Adrenaline pulsed through my veins.  The cold metal tip of the needle touched my skin; a cold chill washed over my whole body as it paused there, waiting to strike. 
            Out of my peripheral vision, a blue light flashed.  Oh how I had missed that color in this world of blacks and whites, silver and gold.  I bit my lip.  The little blue light, that small spark of color shouldn’t be welcomed.
            The needle plunged into my skin.  The force itself almost caused me to give a gasp.
            Suddenly, my vision flared white.  A cold chill ran up my body.  The tingling feeling of spiders, I felt my body cease its breathing.  My eyes dilated and spun, searching the bleak room of white for an escape route.  Convulsions ran through my body.  It began shaking and banging against the restraints.  Nothing could stop it.  My mind was disconnected from my actions.  Finally, I realized what it was, the horror of meeting fear unmasked.  Something had been building inside of me.  That was when it escaped, a blood curling scream. 

            My eyes flared open.  Cold wood met my cheeks.  Tons of other teens, of all different shapes and sizes, sat behind desks, staring blankly at a screen.  Drool ran from one guy’s mouth. 
            A screeching, scraping noise filled my ears.  Metal against metal, grinding against each other.  I bolted upward, fully awake, though knocking against my desk.
            Everyone in my immediate area turned and stared at me.  I felt my face turn red as I glanced up at the screen.  Some moldy old dude was talking about the French Revolution and its execution methods.  I exhaled slowly, letting a shaky breath out.
            A crumpled wad of paper landed on my desk.  As discretely as possible, I unfolded it.

Dude?  What just happened?  You were like asleep, then insanely hyper/weirded out!  It was just a guillotine on the vid!!

As I yanked at my beanie, I turned in my seat.  Allie’s eyes met mine.  I shook my head and mouthed, “Tell you later.”


            The door creaked as I let myself into the house.  No biggie…it just happened to be one in the morning. 
            A figure stepped out from behind the stairwell, silhouetted by the moonlight.  Adrenaline rushed through my veins.  I instantly tensed up.  The light flipped on.
            “Rhys,”  he said in a near whisper.  Instantly, I relaxed, drinking in the figure that made me feel so safe.  Yes, he had coke-bottle glasses and a nerdy posture; but he was like a father to me. “What were you doing out this late?  I thought we had a deal.”  I bit my lip and sighed.
            “I was just at Allie’s,” I mumbled.  He pursed his lips.
            “You can’t do that anymore,” he bluntly stated. “It’s not safe.”   My eyebrows knitted.
            “Safe?  After all I’ve been through, you think that walking from my next-door-neighbor’s house isn’t safe?  And if you’re thinking of that run in with The Smasher, I could have handled it!” I basically shouted. “Finally, I get to live a normal life; but according to you it isn’t safe!”  He ran his fingers thorough what hair was on his head and pushed up his glasses.  He pulled a chair from the kitchen table.
“You should sit down.”  A foreboding feeling settled in my stomach as I slowly lowered myself into the chair.
“Dilyn and Alex were both caught.”  My eyes widened as I grasped the chair.
“What!” I shouted.  Fear’s icy fingers wrapped itself around my heart.  They couldn’t be.  For one second, I swear the world stopped turning.
“They still have Dilyn.”  I blinked.
My heart sunk as I asked, “What about Alex?”  Silence permeated the room.  My heart raced.  “What about Alex?”  I asked again.  He bit his lip and fumbled with his shirt.
Finally, he said, “Rhys, I’m sorry—”  I cut him off as horror hit me straight in the face.
“They killed him,” I said in a near whisper. “They killed him didn’t they?”  He nodded his head slowly.
“They said that he was too dangerous to be kept alive, being a phaser and all,” he murmured. “I’m sorry, Rhys.”
Alex, strong, brave, and loyal, was gone.  No more of his crazy hair or silent gray glares.  My best friend was dead because he was different and that scared some people.  A gaping hole opened up in my heart.  Wordlessly, I rose from my chair and headed towards the door.
“You can’t leave,” he said. “They’re hunting for you now.  You’re the prize, the top priority on the list.”  A smirk flashed across my face.
“Yeah, tell me about it,” I said sarcastically.
“Go to bed.”
“You know I don’t need to.”
“Both of us have risked our lives, scientific standing, and our jobs to protect you.”  I sighed, releasing my hand from the doorknob.
“Fine.  I’ll be in my room.”  And with that, I stomped up the stairs and banged my door shut.
As I laid on my bed, I stared up at the ceiling.  How many nights had Alex, Dilyn, and I stared up at the stars from the roof of the dorms?  How many nights had we stared in absolute horror at the blank ceiling of the labs?  Alex was gone.  My head knew it, but it didn’t want to agree to that.  My eyes fluttered over to the pictures next to my bed.
Alex’s blonde curls bounced in the breeze and his gray eyes for once flashed with serenity.  Dilyn’s long, brown hair fluttered through the air, whacking me in the face.  Her blue eyes reflected the colors of the ocean that we all stood ankle deep in.  A broad smile had placed itself on my face; and as I looked at the picture, I realized that it had captured one of the first times I had been truly happy.
My eyes strayed to the photo next to it.  Immediately, I was overwhelmed by the greenery.  Leaves upon leaves of the oak tree framed the rickety old tree house at the top.  Allie and my heads’ poked out, smiling down to the earth.  It had just been taken a few days before, after the craziness of The Smasher had blown over.  When I looked at the picture, I noticed something.  My expression was the same in both pictures, happy. 
But everything had changed.  I wasn’t safe anymore.  One of us was dead, and the rest would probably soon be.  Normalcy wasn’t an option.  Neither was running.  Not anymore.  Pent up anger from the night bubbled up inside of me.  A cold chill washed over my body, then suddenly, I felt nothing.
My hands began glowing brightly.  Electricity crackled at my fingertips.  I felt my anger rush through my arms; a huge stream of electricity streamed out the open window and hit the Lewis’s roof.  Horrified, I willed my body to stop the voltage pulse.  My heart gave a little skip as I noticed that another gaping hole now existed in their roof.
I glanced back at my desk, which surrounded by stacks of diagrams and formulas.  A large metal box filled with vials of chemicals took up half of the desk.  A little bottle labeled “raw blue phosphorous” poked out ever so slightly.  I sighed.

"Last night I was working with an ingredient I invented, raw blue phosphorous, when the loud bang happened because it was over exposed to oxygen," I explained.
"So that thunder and demolition of my room was due to blue phosphorous?" Allie asked

Half-truth’s only work so much.  There was so much I couldn't say, even though I wanted to so much.  I glanced back at the mess I just made, then bit my lip.  I couldn’t tell them.  It would only hurt them, just like it had hurt me.  I flopped back onto the bed, glared at the ceiling, and closed my eyes.

Energy continually drained from my body.  My lungs gasped for breath as my heart raced like a wild rabbit.  The metal restraints bit into my limbs; but at that point, it was hard to care.  My muscles ached.  As I shifted ever so slightly, the needles in my wrists burned like fire.  My vision clouded, then finally blacked out.  As I phased in and out of consciousness, my ears picked up phrases of the surrounding conversations.
“He’s just a boy,” murmured one of the scientists.
“This is unheard of!” exclaimed another.
He’s already produced enough energy to power New York City.”
“This is the answer to all our problems.”
“It’s only a matter of time.”
I shivered, then convulsed once more.  Blue electricity sparked through my hands and raced up the wires that were connected to me through needles.  A small sigh escaped from my lips as I slumped down once more, nearly wishing for death to release me from that torture.

Electricity ran up through the needles and into the wires.  Metal bound me, punctured me, and was slowly killing me.  Energy flew out of my body like water running down a stream.  Black and white dots began appearing in my vision.  The graphs near the two scientists showed a map of the United States.  At least half of it was being powered by me.  I struggled to take in a single breath.  The needles burrowed deeper into my body.  More energy left me.  I could barely move now.
“Please,” I begged.  “Stop.  It’s hurting me.”  One of the scientists laughed, then left to get more coffee.  My vision blacked out, and I was sure that it was for good.
Warm hands ran their fingers through my hair.  Each needle was slowly removed from my body with blood oozing from each place.  The metal straps were removed from my limbs.  I struggled to take a breath. 
“Stop,” ordered a voice.  A scientist.  I started struggling.  I heard a sigh.
“Rhys, please stop.  We need you to stop.”  It was Dilyn.  Or was it?  The scientists had tricked me plenty of times before.  My heart began pounding rapidly.
Alex’s voice broke the silence. “They’re helping us.  Stop and take a chance.  If you think this is a trap, it’s not like there’s anything worse.”

My eyes fluttered open.  Alex’s words from six months ago still rang in my ears.  “It’s not like there’s anything worse,” he had said.  But he was wrong.  He was dead, dead and gone. I bit my lip.  And Dilyn would be to if I didn’t act soon.
Just as the sun broke across the horizon, I silently rolled out of bed and stuffed a few items into a backpack.  As I slipped out of the side door, I looked back.  They had been like parents to me, but they couldn’t be involved.  I glanced at the Lewis’s house, smoldering from one of my lightning tirades.  Would Allie understand?  Would she trust me if I ever made it back?  Could I even tell her what happened?  Or would it always and forever be just me against the world?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Truth At Last

Dear Journal~

I can't believe what happened last night, I kept thinking I would wake up and it would all turn out to be something I'd dreamed up.....It wasn't! That wretched boy next door is behind the ruining of my room, I'm positive of it. When I get my hands on him.......

What was Rhys doing outside at that time of night anyway? Why did it take my parents so long to get up to my room? And why were Rhys's fingers glowing? I intend to find out today. 


I sat at my computer desk in my now disheveled room and brooded over the events of the previous evening. I scooted my chair over toward the window just in time to see Rhys run and disappear behind the large Ash tree in his backyard. I darted out of my room, nearly knocking my mom over in the process. 

"Allie!" she exclaimed "where are you going in such a hurry?"

"I'll tell you later" I said as I rushed out the door, I paused a moment on my front steps to consider what I should do. If Rhys was as dangerous as I thought he was it probably wouldn't be in my best interest to go running after him alone. But who did I have to go with me? My curiosity was piqued and I rushed ahead anyway. I vaulted over our adjoining fences and landed lightly on my feet. I looked carefully around and seeing no one I ran on. As I went past the tree I saw a blur of movement and turned just in time to see a dirty bum lunge at me. I side stepped quickly but his large arms grabbed me and a huge hand clapped over my mouth stifling any cries for help.

"Listen up, don't make a sound and I wont have to hurt you." He said gruffly.
I nodded my head, I had no other choice at the moment.
He smiled evilly "Alright then, where is he?"

I could play dumb and say I didn't know what he was talking about, but I thought that wasn't the healthiest choice considering my predicament and besides why should I protect that little weasel of a kid. But I didn't like this big gorilla who had me in a choke hold either. 

He uncovered my mouth a little so I could answer and that's when I made my decision. Quick as a flash I bit his hand hard and screamed "HELP!" , then proceeded to kick, bite and claw at anything I could. It didn't avail much and soon he had me in an even tighter hold. He was about to bash me upside the head when suddenly there was a whistling sound and my attackers eyes glazed over and rolled into his head as he collapsed unconscious.


I slipped from the house silently and unseen, or so I thought. I had been summoned to a meeting and must get there without being seen. I looked quickly before I darted across my yard and around the tree. I quietly lifted the back gate latch and slipped through, looking both ways as I ran around toward the sidewalk on my way to the tunnel where I had previously followed Allie.

I was walking quietly and swiftly when I heard it; a stifled yelp. I stopped and listened and was about to continue on my way when I thought I heard a man talking. It sounded like it was coming from my backyard! I quickly dismissed the thought and got no more than a few steps away when I heard a girl scream "HELP". I don't know how but I knew that it was Allie and I knew I had to help her. 

I turned and ran like the wind toward the sound. As I rounded the side toward the yard I tripped and fell. Jumping to my feet I noticed I had tripped over a rock, grabbing it I ran on. I was at the gate when I saw Allie and the man. He was about to hit her when instinctively I drew back and hurled the rock at him. Bull's eye! Even from the distance I could see I had hit him right along side the head and he seemed to go cross eyed as he crumpled to the ground.

Looking, I could see Allie was shaken but seemed alright.
I thought of leaving before Allie saw me, but it was too late and she was running toward me.


My attacker was laying on the ground at my feet. What had happened I didn't know.
I turned to see where whatever had hit him had come from and was surprised to see Rhys standing by the back gate. I knew that if I didn't talk to him now and get my answers that I never would. So I ran toward him.

"Rhys, I want answers and I want them now!" I shouted while I was still a good 15 feet away.
"I'm glad you're alright. Oh and please don't thank me for saving you" he said sarcastically and flashed that annoying smile.
"Answer my questions, and don't stall" I fumed.
"What are you talking about?" he asked, putting on an air of innocence.
"How about we start with who that ugly gorilla is?"
"How should I know" he asked with that same frustrating air of innocence.
"Oh will you quit it with that phony innocence act. That gorilla back there was asking me, none too nicely I might add, about you. So answer my questions or I'll.....I'll.......I'll call the police and tell them that you and he" I said motioning toward the unconscious man "tried to kidnap me"
Rhys exhaled deeply "I can't tell you anything." He thought a second and then added "I have to go do something, but I promise I'll tell you as soon as I can." There was sincerity in his eyes I'd never thought possible, but I wasn't convinced yet.
"Why should I believe you?"
"I can't think of any reason why you should. But I'm asking you to give me an hour. That's all I need, PLEASE."
I'll never know why, maybe it was the fact that he had helped save me from being harmed or that if I didn't I'd never know the truth, but i agreed.
"Fine, one hour then I'm calling the police." Turning I saw my adversary was still on the ground "What should I do with him?" I asked motioning toward him.
"Tie him up with some rope. There's some in the garage. Tell my mom what happened and have her help you. I have to go, I'll be back in an hour." That was all he said as he turned and walked quickly away.
Inside I was boiling mad that I had let him leave without giving me an explanation, but I did as he said.
Bolting across the yard to the back door, I pounded on it with all my might. After what seemed forever Mrs. Roscoe came to the door, "Allie, whatever is the matter?"
"I need your help, Rhys told me to get you and have you help me."
I was surprised to find that Mrs. Roscoe was not at all shocked at my story, she helped me drag the big lug into the living room. We then proceeded to securely tie him to a chair.
"Did Rhys say where he was going Allie?" Asked Mrs. Roscoe, the concern in her voice was obvious
"He just said he'd be back within the hour." I paused and then asked "Mrs. Roscoe, what is going on?"
"I'm afraid I can't tell you. When Rhys comes back he'll explain everything. And you might want to have your parents here also. I'm sure they would like some explanations too."
So we waited. All the while my mind was racing with questions; Who was Rhys Roscoe? What turned my room into a hazard zone? And who is the lug who attacked me?


I quickly walked away from Allie and headed once again toward the street. After 10 minutes of walking I arrived at the back of a deserted building on the south side of town. Cautiously opening the door, I looked in. I thought what a terrible place to hold a meeting. Softly I walked in, and looked around.
"Ah, Rhys you have arrived at last." The mans voice came from before me "We were about to start a search."
"Major Harrison, I'm glad to find you here." I explained quickly about the man and gave him a description.
"From the description that sounds like Charles "the smasher" Gordon. He's their number one retrieval specialist, and general thug." Major Harrison answered.
"He's tied up at my house, so if you'd care to come and retrieve him, I'd appreciate it. I finished the formula last night, so you can get it when we go home" I offered.
"Excellent, I have fifteen men outside in cars we'll drive over there right now."
"Oh and Major, since this is about over, there are some people I need to explain things to. Could you stay long enough to help clear up some of their questions?"
"Certainly Rhys" he smiled "It's the least I can do for America's next great scientist."

We arrived home just under the hour marker I'd given Allie. I rushed up to the house and the door opened right as I reached the front step. I jumped back expecting the smasher to come after me, but it was just Allie.
"It's about time you showed up, your hour was almost over." Her face was straight but her eyes held a glint of humor in them, and maybe a little relief?
"Well I'm here now, and you'll have your explanation in about five minutes. Where is the gorilla?"
"He's right in here, tied to a chair in the living room." As she stepped aside, the Major and half of his men came in and took the smasher out in handcuffs.
"Allie, please sit down, moms gone to get your parents" I said.
She sat down, and instantly began drumming her fingers on the arm of the sofa. I couldn't help grinning at her obvious impatience.
Mom returned with her parents. Once everyone was seated and Major Harrison had sent his men outside and on their way with the prisoner, we began.
"I feel I owe you an explanation for the goings on around here" I began. "In order for you to completely understand the situation we need to go back about a year. It all began when I was experimenting with some chemicals in our garage, and I stumbled onto a formula that would create an indestructible metal."
Major Harrison added "When he contacted the government with his idea, it seemed impossible, especially from someone so young. But he was right, it worked."
"Thank you Major. About a month ago I was working on getting the formula perfected, when I was kidnapped by a foreign aircraft manufacturing company who wanted me to give them the formula. It took the government a week to find and rescue me. They captured most of the people involved in the kidnapping, but two got away, the smasher and his employer, Karl. The Major decided it was too risky to stay where I was so we were given alias' and moved here." I paused to catch my breath, then continued. "Last night I was working with an ingredient I invented, raw blue phosphorous, when the loud bang happened because it was over exposed to oxygen."
"So that thunder and demolition of my room was due to blue phosphorous?" Allie asked
"Why did it take fifteen minutes for my parents to get up to my room?"
"They were probably exposed to a slight smell of phosphorous, which can knock someone out without them even realizing it. It happened to me. I passed out and when I woke up my fingers were glowing blue from holding the phosphorous." I paused and then asked "Any more questions?" There was a unanimous "no".


After Major Harrison left I walked over to where Rhys was sitting. "I'm sorry I was so rude to you when you first arrived, and I apologize." To my surprise the words didn't choke me like I thought they would.
"Thanks. Let's drop the whole thing." He motioned for me to follow him to their coffee table, where a game of chess was set up. "I saw you had a chess set at your house. Do you play?"
"Of course."
"How about best two out of three, loser buys ice cream at Timmy's parlor?"
"You are so on." I saw him smile and couldn't help smiling myself. He wasn't as bad as I thought he was, we might even become friends. My summer may not be so lame after all!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Things That Go Bump In The Night!

Dear Journal,
Tonight I had one of the weirdest, most scariest experiences of my lifetime. It all started when I got back from showing Rhys around the neighborhood. My mom had unlocked the doors by the time I got back, so I didn't get to spend the night in my tree house. I was reading my favorite book in bed when it happened.
* * * *
"Honey, don't forget to turn out the lights at ten. Your father and I are heading to bed."

I've always wondered what is so comforting about calling your daughter "honey". Aside from the fact that my mother likes honey, I have absolutely no idea. I said "goodnight" to my parents and curled back up on my bed, book clutched tightly in my hands. I was right at the part where the main character is falling down an ice shaft, when my world went crazy! I heard my window shatter. Shards of glass flew past me as I huddled on my bed. A chunk of the ceiling came loose and crashed to the floor, nearly flattening my shoes. I was beyond panic by now. Thunder clouds rolled outside my glass-free window. Books slid off their shelves. My window curtains flapped wildly in the gusty wind. I shuddered.
"Why aren't my parents coming to get me?" I wondered worriedly. The whole house seemed to groan and creak. Immediately I hoped that our house was built securely. Just when I didn't think it could get worse, it did. 

Everything stopped.

The wind went away, leaving the curtains trembling. The house stopped shaking. Even the thunderclouds disappeared, leaving nothing but a dark, night sky. Silence reigned. But that was the worst part. Dead silence. Not a sound. I almost wished for the thunder, the wind, and the shaking. In the silence, as I huddled on my bed, I found myself angry. Angry at Rhys. Somehow this was all his fault. I knew it. Nothing as strange as this happened in our neighborhood until the creep moved in. Deep down I determined to get to the bottom of this, when it was all over. That is, if I survived.

I remained, knit into a ball, on my bed. Thoughts flew through my brain faster than a cat jumping out of a bath. My heart pounded in my chest. I shrieked as a stack of books slid off my shelf, nearly knocking me on the head.
Abruptly, my door flew open. I spun around, a scream on my lips. But I didn't scream, for there were my parents. I staggered into their arms, reveling in their familiar touch.

"Mom, Dad. Why weren't you here sooner?"

My mom gave me a quizzical look. "We came as fast as we could."

I was a little shocked. "But it's been almost fifteen minutes since it all started."

"Since what started?" My parents exchanged looks.

I searched their faces for an explanation. Were they joking? Was I dreaming? I glanced up at the ceiling and saw the dark hole where the chunk of ceiling had been knocked out.

"Wait," I said. "What do you see up there?" Pointing at the dark hole, I studied their faces carefully.

The sharp intake of breath was clearly audible. "What have you been doing in here?" My mom's eyebrows slowly dropped. "I said, what have you been doing in here?"

I wasn't at all sure how to respond. Lets just say that I was expecting more of something like "Are you okay?" or "You must be pretty shook up". My parents gazed around the room taking in the haphazardness of my room.

Suddenly I shivered. My window was still open and the frigid air had swiftly filled my room. Forgetting about my parents for the moment, I stared at someone outside my window. Rhys.
He stood, head bowed, in his backyard. I stared at his fingertips. They were glowing. Glowing bright blue. I narrowed my eyes. Rhys spun around and stalked into his house. What was my strange neighbor up to? If it had anything to do with my perfect room being up-turned, he was going to have a lot of explaining to do. Besides, it isn't everyday that you see your next-door neighbor standing outside with glowing fingers. Definitely strange.

My parents eventually were persuaded that something drastic had happened. I didn't lie too often, and my parents didn't think that I had enough imagination to create such a intricate story. They made sure that I was okay and then they let me go back to bed.

Of course, I had to lay in bed staring up at the dark hole in my ceiling. That hole led right into our attic. And who knows what creepy little things run around up in our attic. With my luck, some filthy rat would fall through that unfortunate hole and land on top of me. So with those thoughts flying through my head, I fell asleep. My last thought was, "Rhys is SO going to pay for this."