If Mom’s voice wasn’t the last one I expected to hear then, it would be hard to name a less likely one.
Ok, not that hard. Dad’s would be less likely.
Rachel turned and her eyes widened. “Mom?”
She’d been saying something to Jaclyn, but she stepped toward Mom as Jaclyn stepped out of her way. Jaclyn blinked, and muttered something to Rachel.
I missed whatever it was, and I’m not sure Rachel caught it.
Not sure where else to go, I said, “We could go to the lab. It’s over—“
Quietly, Mom said, “I know where it is.”
Given that she was down here, it made sense that she would. Given that she’d never made any reference to it during the entire rest of my life… Well, it felt a little weird. Continue reading Spin: Part 8
I turned eighteen a few days later.
It had been an odd few days. After the fight, the police came, taking Ray and Gina away in a Box. They questioned Mom about her kidnapping too, and she went to the police station to answer questions without us.
Dad brought her home late on Thursday afternoon. Continue reading Turning Eighteen: Part 1
Mom’s arms were on the other side of the chair from where Rachel and I stood, but if she were hoping to get away, those ropes had to go next.
Glancing near the legs of her chair told me no more ropes lay on the far side.
I thought she might be waiting for a better chance, but then I realized that this was it. For the first time since I’d arrived, no one held a gun to her head. Continue reading The Executioner: Part 7
Looking like Gunther had in every picture I’d ever seen of him–tall, brushcut, and muscular, I didn’t see why Ray would look forward to his appearance.
As Haley stepped through the door, Ray said something, his voice low, and intense.
The white circle that had been painted on the floor flared, making everything outside the circle a shade lighter. Simultaneously, the walls of the room turned reddish, including the open doorway behind Haley. Continue reading The Executioner: Part 6
Ray kept the gun pointed at my mom, but acted as if we were making small talk at the Christmas party.
“So you know I’ve done jobs for the Chicago Outfit, right? I got a job to kill Night Wolf a few years back. Night Wolf had been retired for years by then, and the client was old, so I took it because it sounded like easy money. If he was still alive, he had to be in his 80’s.
Continue reading The Executioner: Part 5
The next day we stepped out of school and into a media circus.
Sometime between last night and that afternoon, the reporter’s story had been taken up by the Associated Press and a video of Keith’s transformation had gone viral. Reporters stood at the bottom of the steps. Vans with satellite uplinks parked alongside the sidewalk. Photographers and cameramen stood waiting.
Continue reading Hysteria: Part 1
If you happen to know the right person in the FBI, it’s not that hard to get the stealth suit plus a highly modified guitar controller through airport security.
The Department of Homeland Security guys at Grand Lake’s airport had looked at each other and then at me as the guitar controller (in its lead lined cloth case) rolled through the X-ray machine. The metal detector’s alarm went off as I stepped through too.
I blamed the sonic systems, but the utility belt hidden under my jacket didn’t help.
They waved me on anyway.
Continue reading Three: Part 1
The kick didn’t do as much damage as it could have — by which I mean that it didn’t make his knee point the wrong direction. On the other hand, it did do what it was supposed to.
Sean fell over, landing in the snow next to where Jody held my arm down.
He didn’t stop talking either. “I can’t stand on my leg. I can’t stand on my fucking leg…”
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 7
A thin, almost surgical blast flew from Solar Flare’s hand toward Ray’s head.
I didn’t see Jaclyn’s hand move, but it met the plasma in mid air, outlining her hand and arm in white and splashing out of her palm. She gave a gasp while Ray screamed.
Bits of plasma fell toward Gena and the other man, waking them both up screaming in pain, and splattering across their armor.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 18
Christmas day. In any other year, getting out of the house would have been a challenge. When Grandpa Vander Sloot was alive, we always seemed to have one of Mom’s brothers’ families at our house for Christmas. This year everyone had done their own thing. I suppose we could have gone to visit Dad’s family, but we’d visited Grandpa and Grandma Klein in Wyoming last year.
Wyoming is a long drive from Michigan and it doesn’t get any better in the winter.
We stayed home.
On Christmas day it turned out to be just the four of us. After we’d opened presents, gone to church, had dinner, and hung around the house for a while, visiting Haley’s family cottage sounded like a good idea.
Continue reading Rattling Cages: Part 9