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Old February 22nd, 2006, 06:56 PM  
Melchi0r
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Join Date: February 22, 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Default an Untitled story by my friend Catie and I

It has some swearing in it and stuff... hope this doesn't get locked!

Isn't it odd how one day, you're completely fine, and the next day, your whole world is turned upside-down? Now, sure, this may happen to tons of teenagers world-wide, but my story is different. Oh, it's Shamus' story, too, but he doesn't count right now. Right now, I'm telling you this. My version of the story.
It all started one day during school. High School. God, I hate that place. It's not that I'm a freak with no friends. No, I'm actually (if it doesn't sound too much like bragging) quite popular. School wasn't that bad for me. My grades were decent, my friends were awesome, I was popular, I was at the top of my game in Volleyball (always have been)…so what was there to go wrong?
Well, all of a sudden, my body started wigging out on me. And I don't mean puberty. I don't know what happened, exactly, to tell you the truth. It's not that I don't like it. Heck no. I've been dreaming something like this would happen since…well, since I figured out life would have no adventure in it, and would turn into a total bore-fest.
I guess it all started back when we had that little…incident, yesterday…


Hey, Ro, don’t hog the story! That’s Rowina. I’m Shamus Oliver Dougal. And I actually know exactly what Ro is talking about.
See, back in ninth grade, me and her became mortal enemies. And let me remind you, when a loser and a popular person are enemies, the popular person always comes out on top, but when two popular people hate each other, things get quite nasty. I’m not exactly sure how it happened. Somehow, she started a rumor about me, accident or on purpose, so I got my revenge by telling everyone how at one of her parties, her little sister let me read her diary, and how it was filled with talk of Joey Trussel. She was fuming. I thought it was hilarious. I know it was mean, but I still think it’s hilarious! Sorry, Ro, but it was funny how you ran into the girls bathroom sobbing and everything…
Okay, off topic. So, in our freshman year, both our bodies started going all wonky. And again, it was NOT PUBERTY. We didn’t know how we had the same problem, and if we did, we’d probably be afraid of each other.
So, back to our A-plot….

Do not bring up that party, Shamus, or so help me god…I'm STILL fuming at Fran for doing that…
Anywho, I think it all started when the both of us got off the bus that one day. It was pouring down rain, and I had forgotten my house key. Fran gets home an hour or two later than I did, and Mom and Dad weren't home yet. So Shamus invited me to his house to dry off. It was waaaay out of character for him to be so kind, but nonetheless, I took the invitation. It was better than standing in the rain until 3:30, right?
I hoped so.
So he got me a towel, and told me to wait in the living room. His mom's a neat freak, so the place was super clean. Then, something funky happened to the house. The lights started flashing on and off rapidly. By this point, Shamus was back, but that didn't stop what was happening. At first, I only thought it was the storm, but it was more than that. Suddenly, my mind and back was hit with pain so intense, I screamed. I lost all sense of what was going on around me and passed out. I didn't even know what happened to Shamus. I must've woken up a couple minutes later, because by that time, it had stopped raining and Mom was home. So I left.

Sorry Ro! Ha… okay, finally going back on topic.
So when Ro screamed, I got really afraid. Not that I cared if she was dying, but I just didn’t want a dead person in my house in general. So, I rushed over to her fallen body, and as much as it deeply pained me to do, I touched her neck with two fingers. She had a pulse. I drew my hand away and went to wash my hands. I couldn’t have slut germs all over me, now could I? But when I touched the running water, I got shocked. It was like sliding down a slide on a hot day in shorts. I exclaimed “Ow!” and I sucked on my stung fingers.
I went over to the phone to call an ambulance, but I touched the phone and I got shocked again. But it wasn’t static. It felt very intense and painful, like 10,000 watts of electricity. I just held the phone and stood there, grunting loudly. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t open my mouth. I couldn’t move at all. I just went totally rigid. Then, all the knives in the knife holder started rising up. I could see the blades when the electricity ceased. I dropped the phone, which broke on the floor. As you can probably infer, I was extremely confused of why my hair wasn’t singed off, or why I was even alive. I held out an arm to push the knives back in, but before I touched them they all slid into their slots.
Suddenly I felt very drowsy, and I fainted on the spot…. And, well, that’s basically what happened.

I am going to ignore all insults in that, and pretend you never even thought that.
It wasn't until the next day at school that my abnormalities kicked into gear. I was having a crappy day. It was horrible. I had just found out in math that I would most likely fail the quarter, in language, we had to read Call of the Wild by Jack London (I don't not like that book), and I was almost driven insane by all the numbers in my hour long Spanish class. It was horrible.
Finally, at lunch, I got to hang out with my friend, Kim. She's not in any of my classes, so granted, I was thankful to see her.
"Is this day sucky, or is it just me?" I asked, joining her in the lunch line.
"I'm having a great day," she replied, picking up a veggie burger. She's a health freak. I'm not, so I just placed a corn dog on my plate and groaned at her. I was about to say something else, but I got distracted by my bracelet. It had started moving on my wrist.
Thoroughly creeped out at this point, I tried to pull it off, but the force pulling it became so strong, I was dragged over to one of the guys in my grade. Things happened so fast that I didn't see who it was until after my arm was around his shoulder and it looked like I was about to kiss him.
"Well Ro, this is definitely a change of attitude," he said in that cool, laid-back, stupid way he has that just infuriates me. I was aware of all eyes on me and slipped my wrist out of my bracelet to back away.
God, I wished everyone had blindfolds. Please, please, please. I was so speechless I closed my eyes and kept backing away. Soon, after a couple of protests from my peers, I opened my eyes again. To my surprise, everyone had blindfolds on. How strange…and embarrassing. Mortified, I ran out of the cafeteria.
Well, I woke up about an hour after I passed out. My mom and dad were luckily not home yet, and I had no worries about siblings either. But I felt very sick that night, so I just went to my room and read Harry Potter and slept. I couldn’t care less about homework, as if geometry is going to help me…
The next day, it wasn’t half bad. Lucky for me, we had a substitute for geometry and he didn’t know what the hell he was doing. Around lunchtime, My hands started aching and I felt tired. I sat eating my turkey sandwich on wheat bread with baked potato chips (I’m being forced on a diet for soccer).
Then something very odd happened. My iron keychain on my backpack was standing straight up as if an invisible hand was gently pulling on it. Over in the lunch line, Ro started having hand spasms. Then she came closer and closer. She wrapped her arm around my shoulder. I was terrified! My best friend, Matt, who always joined into my conversations about how stupid Ro is, was staring at me, awed and appalled at the same time. I blurted out “Well, Ro, this is definitely a change of attitude.” Matt laughed.
Ro was absolutely mortified. She buried her hands in her face. My hair over my hears and on the back of my head was twitching… then everything went black. I said “What the-?” stupidly. I groped at my head. I felt cloth. I ripped off a handkerchief, and I stared at it like the answer to who put it on me was written on it, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Ro storming out, crying.

I ran, of course, to the bathroom. He couldn't get in there. What had he done to me? I'd be the laughing stock of the grade-no, school. This. Just. Sucked.
The door started to open, and I fell silent. No one had to know I was in there.
"Ro? Are you in here?" it was Kim. Slowly, I exited the stall.
"What happened back there? Are you and Shamus-,"
"NO! WE ARE NOT GOING OUT! DON'T YOU DARE EVER EVEN THINK THAT IN MY PRESENCE, KIM!" I practically screamed. I wanted to go home. Badly. Maybe I'd just go to the nurse, and fake Cramps. That usually worked. Maybe I'd just gag myself and throw up. Oh…wait…no one could pick me up. That wouldn't work. Darn it.
"Well…you might wanna come back out soon, Ro. Your lunch is getting cold," Kim said, examining her lipstick in the mirror. She quickly took out her shade of Mauve Nights and did a touch up. Truthfully, I didn't think she even cared about me. All she wanted to do was get back to the café, to stare at her crush. Yeah. Shamus.
"I don't give a crap about my lunch, Kim," I said, anger bubbling to the surface. "I wanna get the hell out of here. I'm embarrassed beyond my wits; it looks like I just made out with Shamus Freak Fest Dougal, and you don't even care! I hope you break out in acne, Kim. You're a slutty friend, and I don't know why I'm even friends with you."
She gave me a look that said, "I don't care" and turned around again, applying heaps of eyeliner. I began to walk to the door. Maybe I would just go to the nur-
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I heard from the bathroom. Running in, I saw Kim. Her face was completely covered with zits. She looked hideous.
"You!! You did this to me! Bitch! I hope you die, Ro! I hate you!" she cried, clawing her face and running out. I let my lips twitch into a smile and walked back to the lunch room, content with the curse I had seemingly set upon Kim.

Yes, as weird as it is and as much it felt like my insides were being sucked out, I felt sorry for Ro. I mean, last night she passed out. Then today I embarrassed her in front of everyone and- wait, I wasn’t that sorry for her. I was just really afraid of myself. Was I turning into some kind of freak?
I remembered the lightning storm. It had made both Rowena and I pass out… maybe she was gaining powers, too, I thought. The thought of me not being alone soothed me, but the fact that the only other person with the same burden was Rowena deeply put me off. Who could I talk to? “Hey, Dad, I can control metal objects, like, it’s sort of like I’m an electromagnet…. When did this start happening to you in puberty?” Ha ha. I laughed at my own inner joke.
I sat on my bed, curled up, staring at my Harry Potter posters. The fact that I was the only person in the school who wasn’t looked down upon for being a fan of it made me feel special. But, of course, it was only because I never told anyone I like it.
I looked in the mirror to see myself staring back, not looking any different than usual, except for the new cowlick. That would be my third. It is on my right side of my head, in the front. My face is short, and I have large, prominent cheekbones. I have long, 70’s style strawberry-blonde hair, (which isn’t really my natural hair color; my real hair color is black). It comes down to my eyebrows, which are strangely blonde and look nonexistent. I studied my appearance, turning my attention back to me where it usually was. And then I realized I was very hungry. I slipped off the bed and meandered downstairs.
Then another peculiar thing happened. When I walked past the refrigerator, my hair stood up on end. It wasn’t particularly cold; my mother actually keeps the first floor too warm. I paused. I took a step backwards so I was standing right in front of the fridge.
You know the feeling your clothes get as they hang off of you when they’re full of static? Well, for no reason whatsoever, my clothes felt exactly like that. Then my right side started to tingle. My feet felt like they were moving. I looked down and, well, they were. Then I was against the refrigerator. It was as if I was glued to it. I could unpeel myself from my fridge, and that is a sentence I hoped I would never have to say.
So I was stuck there. I made a soft noise. The magnets were moving all over the refrigerator now. When one touched me, it would slide onto my skin. The magnetic poetry words were going up my shirt! I cursed the lightning storm. “Damn.” Because of it, I had to write down to sentences I hoped I’d never say.

Finally. The school day ended. Thank. God. It went on too long. People kept staring at me like I was a freak. And they were giving me blindfolds. Everyone who had been at my lunch handed me their blindfolds back. I was so mortified. Science passed, and then I had study hall. I still didn't see Kim. Good for her, I hoped she would choke. Of course, she'd have to get better, or else she'd died, and then I'd be a murderer.
Anywho, once I got off the bus, I didn't even look at Shamus (his stop is the same as mine because he lives across the street…I know, lucky me). I just took out my key (I had found my own, and thankfully, it wasn't raining), and slipped inside. I'd start my homework later. Like always.
I ran up the stairs to my room to get online. I live on my computer. Instant messenger, forums, chats, blogs…those phony little quizzes telling you who you're going to end up with for the rest of your life…it's all so neat!
So I had just logged onto a load of different sites, and was talking to my e-pal from North Dakota when I saw something on my through my window.
I quickly typed that I'd be right back, opened my window, and hopped through. Luckily, it didn't have a screen. The thing on my roof was a rabbit. A little bunny to be exact. I had no clue how it got up there, and I wondered how it would get down. Apparently, so did it. It's eyes were wide and frightened, and it was shivering.
Well, my heart just broke for it, so without a moment's thought, I went towards it.
Note to self: Don't try and walk down a roof in January after snow. It's slippery. And that's exactly what I did. I slipped, and started to fall. Off the roof. With a scream stuck in my through, I kept falling until I was off the ledge. On the third floor. Oh yeah, my room's in the attic.
I was sure I'd break my legs, or ankle, or arm, or…something else, but suddenly, I stopped. I was floating-in midair! Scratch that, I was flying! To either side of me were wings. Beautiful wings, at least 13 feet across. I had a wingspan! Giddy with joy, I lowered myself to the ground.
Then, a thought hit me. Did anyone see me? I didn't need anyone else thinking I was a freak. I looked to Mrs. Mecready's house, Mr. Donwiler's house, and then to Shamus'. The first two were still at work. But Shamus saw. He was standing at his living room window, the curtains parted. Once he saw me look over, he dashed back inside.
Angry for the umpteenth time today, I stormed over to his house and knock furiously on the door.

Knock knock.
I jumped a little, which ended with the refrigerator holding up an inch off the ground.
Knock knock knock.
So now today, I have exposed my secret power, got stuck to the fridge, sucked all the refrigerator magnets down my ass, and now someone is at the door.
Knockknockknockknock KNOCK!
“WHO IS IT!?” I screamed.
“Rowena, idiot! Let me in right now! It’s flippin’ FREEZING out here!”
Oh great, I thought. Now the person interrupting my already incredibly awkward moment is Rowena goddamn Circe!!
“Go away! Some of us have lives you know! Go find your own!” I holler.
There was a pause. A very loud pause. Suddenly, I heard the doorknob twist and the front door turn open.
“GET OUTTA MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW!!! THIS IS BREAKING AND-“ but then Ro was standing in the kitchen doorway. Her expression was unreadable at first, then it grew shocked. She slowly backed away, and she tore out of my house, leaving the front door open.
“Thanks a lot!” I yell.

That was one of the weirdest things I had ever seen. Ever. Had he glued himself to his refrigerator? That dork! I always knew boys were…different, but I didn't think it was possible to be that stupid. So I ran. I obviously could tell him.
I wrenched the door to the front of my house open and ran inside to go look in a mirror. Yes…they were still there! I HAD WINGS! The opened themselves in excitement, and in the process, knocked over a vase, but I didn't care. I had them. I hadn't a care in the world.
But why hadn't Shamus said anything. Hadn't he seen them? How could you NOT see them? THEY WERE EACH 7 AND A HALF FEET LONG! I had to go back. Besides, he might need help getting his sorry butt of his refrigerator door. I attempted to put on a sweater, but I had no clue how to get it on over my wings (it sounds so darn COOL saying that), so I left in my short sleeve shirt. I didn't care about warmth.
I knocked on the door again and walked in to his kitchen without waiting for a reply. I had been here millions of times (My parents and his parents are like…best friends. I know, right!) but when I stepped into the kitchen and saw him struggling to "peel himself off the fridge," I literally fell over, laughing.
"You…IDIOT!" I said between gasps, "Did you…superglue your…butt to the…door?!"
"Ro, just shut up! You're really not helping!" he said through clenched teeth, trying to hold back his anger. I only laughed harder.
"You glued…yourself--," at this point, I could no longer breathe, so I stopped talking.
Shamus' face turned a deep shade of red as he struggled again.
"I DIDN'T GLUE MYSELF TO THE DOOR, RO!" he shouted. And again, I laughed. It was just too funny! It wasn't often that your idiot neighbor decided to experiment with the Gorilla Glue…

What do you do when you’re stuck to the fridge? Well, you pretty much just hang there. Also if you have refrigerator magnets in your shirt and down your pants, it would probably be wise to deal with that. I only managed to get the words “juice” and “chocolate” out of my Nether Region when there was a knock on the door again. I only had to tell by the way the person walked that it was Ro. The quick, self-assured stride. She took a look at me in the doorway and started laughing dangerously hard. I grew red as a strawberry, fuming, hanging on the cold, hard fridge door.
“You…IDIOT!” she gasped. “Did you…superglue your…butt to the…door?”
“Ro, just shut up! You’re really not helping!” I said in a low, muffled voice. It was hard enough that I knew I was becoming a freak.
“You glued…” she continued, giggling madly. I hated her so much at this moment. I felt the anger tingle my feet, pound on my skull-
“I DIDN’T GLUE MYSELF TO THE DOOR, RO!” I exploded. Then I felt hot, but all the hairs on the back of my head and on my arms stood up like it was freezing. Then, I started to slip down. “Oh, man, he’s starting to come off,” Rowena said, “better use more superglue next time, Shamus.” Like the magnetism switch was thrown back to “Off”, I fell face-first. Rowena didn’t even laugh, for when I hit the ground, little Magnetic Poetry words were zipping out of my clothing like flies, landing in random places on the fridge.
“Oooohhh,” Ro exhaled. I pushed myself up. All of the words inched upwards. I let myself fall. They slid down a few centimeters.
Now someone knew, and at the same time, things started getting weirder. Oh joy.

“My god…you're like…a big…MAGNET! IT WAS YOU!" I accused, pointing a steady finger at him.
"You invited me into your house! I KNEW IT WAS WEIRD! Even for you, it was incredibly weird. You brought me in here, and made me a freak, but it backfired on you, and you're a freak too!" I rambled. Ok, so that wasn't likely to happen.
"What else can you do?" I asked, cocking my head to one side.
"How should I know? Besides, you're not a freak! Well, you are, but that's not recent. What's so different about you?" he said angrily. My mouth almost gaped open in surprise. He could see the wings-my wings.
"You mean you can't see them? Are you blind?" I asked, making sure I had enough room to spread my wings and opened them.
"See what? God, you're so wei-Oh my god," he stopped in mid-sentence, looking awestruck.
"WHERE THE HELL DID THEY COME FROM!?! They just…just appeared! First they were there, then they weren't! YOU'VE INTOXICATED ME!" he accused.
"Oh, shut up. But aren't they marvelous!? And I can fly with them! You should'a seen it! I fell off the roof, and I was FLYING! But what do you care?"

“I don’t care at all, thank you very much!” I continued. I pushed myself off the floor. The magnets didn’t move at all this time.
“This is all your fault, you know, that I’m like this!” I said.
“ME!??” she exclaimed. “You’re the one who invited me into your house, you must have had all this planned!”
“If you hadn’t had to faint, then I wouldn’t have had to be struck by that wonky lightning!”
“Oh, that’s rich.” She was exhaling heavily, looking at the kitchen sink. Her lips were pursed shut tightly. “Look, us arguing over whose fault it is isn’t gonna help.”
I snorted loudly. First she accuses me of being at fault, and then she has the nerve to tell me to night argue. She started it, I pout childishly.
“So what will help?” I already knew the answer. Nothing.
“Maybe we should go see a doctor.”
“Yeah, and then we can be sent to Area 51! And the tabloids will finally have something true to print! And everyone will gawk at pictures of Magnet Boy and Bird Girl! Very good, Ro.”
She scoffed at me and looked down. She said nothing for ten seconds.
“Well?”
“Okay, fine, Shamus, we won’t tell anyone.”
“Good,” I replied stubbornly.
"But what else are we going to do? I mean, what if we were given these powers for a reason!" I suggested excitedly.
"Oh yeah," he replied sarcastically. "Is Uncle Ben gonna die, too? What about Aunt Mae? Ooh, and let me guess…we'll die if we come in close contact to kryptonite, right?"
"You have such a small imagination. Now I see why you're such a jerk," I sniffed. "You never know though. How do we know Spiderman isn't real?"
"Grow up," he remarked. I glared at him.
"YOU'RE NOT WORKING WITH ME!! You could at least try and care that you've got magnets attracted to your fat ass." It's not often I use profanity, but if I do, it's usually around Shamus. He just makes me…SO mad sometimes.
"Of course I care, Ro. I'm not exactly accustomed to this! And you're not one to be talking about Fat Asses," he snickered, just like the little child he was. That…CREEP! I couldn't hold off any longer. I stormed closer to him and slapped him across the face.
"Listen to me. You're as screwed as I am right now, but one thing you're going to learn very soon is that you don't want to get me mad. Ever," I said, dangerously soft. "You are not the best person in the world. You never were, and you never will be. You're nothing but…an immature…little…"
There, I stopped. There was no word ever created that could describe him. Sometimes, I just wished…I just wished he'd stop breathing.
"Ro…Ro!" He gasped, as though reading my mind. His mouth was open and he was clutching his throat, as though he was choking.
"Oh!" I said, releasing the pleasing image of his lifeless body from my mind. As nice as it looked in thought, it was scary in real life.
"What the hell are you doing to me?" he asked, standing up.
"Um…I dunno. It's kinda like with the blindfolds…and then today, I made Kim break out in acne…" I explained sheepishly.
"Kim? The hot one?"
"Shut up."

“You’re just jealous.”
Ro fumed. I giggled softly.
Then my leg was hot.
I looked down and my fashionably faded jeans were ablaze.
“RO YOU FREAK PUT IT OUT PUT IT OUT-“
And with a hissing noise, the flame extinguished. I checked my leg. She had burned away at some area of the bottom of my jeans, and my skin was slightly burned.
“Oh, great, you’re so nice Ro.”
Now it was her turn to laugh. ‘Tpthzz!” she hissed.
“Imagine my leg looking not burned. Now. And make it nice and lean, with rippling muscles, and do the other leg too!”
She rolled her eyes but smiled. “Okay,” she said. Suddenly my leg sprouted a thicket of wiry black hair.
“Oh my GAWD!” I screamed. “That is so- RO!!!”
“I’m sorry!” she gasped. She was laughing very hard, and she started to wheeze, leaning over, but still cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West.
I glared at her maniacally. A few knives started to rise out of their slots in the wooden knife holder.
“Oh, gosh… OH FINE!” she said when she saw the knives hanging in the air. My leg was back to normal, but not rippling with muscle. I frowned. The knives fell on the floor.
“So back on topic…” I continued.
“I have no idea what we’re supposed to do, so why don’t we just try to cope?”
I laughed in spite of myself.

"Oh, don't worry. Coping will be the FUN part," I said, grinning wickedly. I couldn't wait for school tomorrow. Ok, so maybe if someone (besides Shamus) found out, I'd still be labeled a dork. Basically, all I needed to do was think about what I wanted to have happen, and it would happen. Maybe I should experiment. I looked hard at Shamus' face and thought intently. What did I want to do to him. Deformation? I could make him look like…The hunchback of Notre Dame. He was ugly.
“Ro…what are you doing to me? Don't you even THI-RO!!" he screamed. I grinned. Waves of fat rippled out from his T-shirt, making it look like he gained 900 pounds on the spot, like my Seventh Grade basketball coach. Now THAT was funny. Shamus seemed to disagree.
"When I get…my hands…on you!" he said slowly, as though the fat was clogging his throat. His face turned bright red in anger. I could feel a sudden change in the air. Something sparked next to my ear, causing me to jump. The knives in on the floor became animated again and pointed themselves at my throat.
"Fix it! NOW!" he commanded. I want to laugh, and run back to my house to leave him like that for school, but he most likely would've killed me. I mean, three steak knives, a paring knife, a butcher's knife, a bread knife, and a meat cleaver all pointed at your neck doesn't usually mean you're happy about something.
Silently, the pit of my stomach lurching as one of the cold knives touched my bare skin, I released the illusion. He didn't immediately put the knives down, just examined his body. Something sparked on his face.
"Give me abs, too," he said.
"What? No way!" I protested, "I'm not using my power to benefit you!"
"Do you have much of a choice?"
"Oh, come off it. What, are you going to kill me or something?"
"I could,"
"But you're not going to."
“Watch me." Here, a knife poked into me back hard. Glaring, I thought of the disgusting image…Shamus Dougal with abs.
Feeling the change, he let the knives drop and lifted up his shirt.
"Oh god! Let me get out of the room at least!" I screamed, dashing out.

“Yes!” I punched the air above me. “I’m hot, er, hotter than I was before!
“You sicken me,” she said from the den.
“Fine, I put my shirt down.” I punched myself in the stomach. My fist landed with a thunk. I smiled.
“I can’t believe I helped you become even more egotistical!” she groans.
“Oh, like I haven’t heard that one before. Then I felt like my stomach was being emptied. “You little-“
“Shut up,” Ro replied. “Shamus, when will you learn not to ff… mess with me?” she finished.

"And don't you DARE try and threaten me with knives. I could take you in a head on battle of the newly obtained super powers and beat you…BLINDFOLDED!" I said, sticking out my tongue.
"Yeah, right. You couldn't beat me in volleyball and I detest the sport," he scoffed. I could physically feel my eye twitch at this.
"You are so…" again, I couldn't find the right word to fit him.
“What? Are your insults coming up dry?"
Without warning, I picked up a knife and flung it at his head. He stopped it in midair. Note to self: don't use metal objects…

“You little… slut!!” I yelled. I flexed my mind like I flexed my dearly missed abs. The knife spun forward toward Rowena in a circular motion. She dodged the spinning blade and it fell on the floor.
“You SON of a-“ she snarled, but I cut her off with a whoop. “Why are you celebrating? You missed me… duh!”
“I know, Einstein. I was happy because this is the first time I actually made something move on purpose.
“Oh, snap,” Ro said.
“I know, isn’t this great! I can throw more knives now while doing things like eating cereal!” I whooped and punched the air again.
Ro chided, “Little child, when will you grow up?”


"Look who's talking! You just made me gain 900 pounds out of jealousy!" he said incredulously.
"Yeah, but you deserved it. Besides, I've already done things with my power on purpose," I sniffed, raising my nose in the air and standing up again. Suddenly, a toaster flew into my stomach, knocking me over and driving the wind from my lungs. He sniggered.
"That's the way we're gonna do things?" I asked, more to myself than to the pig. In my mind, I summoned up a sword. Yes, I will admit, I do have a little obsession with swords. They're just so…neat! I mean, who nowadays uses swords? It's so obscure, it's cool!
I looked to Shamus' face to see any sign of fear. He actually hid it pretty well for the coward he was. Except his eyes widened. It was a minute change, but I caught it. Of course, someone was always more intimidating with a sword in hands.
He wasn't going to let this go though. He had been challenged. By me. Flying to his hands was a pipe. He obviously didn't have a sword in his house, or else he would've called that to the kitchen. I guess a pipe was…barely sufficient.
With one last glare, I rushed towards him, swinging wildly. I had never actually been taught to fight, per say. I just picked up sticks and stuff and swung them around. Sometimes, I'd bully Fran into trying to take me on, but I'd always win. So, needless to say, my moves weren't that good.

So, then the 2-legged emaciated cow is running at me with a sword. Oh, crap, I thought. I stood with the pipe, when an idea struck me. I flexed an invisible muscle in my head forward and suddenly Ro was struggling to take each step.
“So, I guess that sword is made of iron, eh? Bad luck,” I say smiling annoyingly.
Ro glared at me, leaning over, pushing herself. Then an expression of evil lightbulb-switching-on washed the glare away. Then her sword became solid gold. Magnets don’t work on gold, I remembered while cursing. Rowena whooped a war cry and brought the sword down on my head. I blocked it with the heavy pipe. “You-“ she slashed and I blocked- “Little-“ she jabbed at my abdomen, and I blocked-“cheater!” I said.
“I’m not cheating, I just have a more useful power!” She whipped the sword around impressively a la Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings. Again, I started to stretch a non-existent mental muscle. I let go of the rod, and just as I hoped it floated in mid-air. I pushed it forward. It went straight for her left eye. It almost hit her before she toppled to the ground. “Now who’s cheating!?”
“Ro, that attack was lame and immature even for you.”

That stupid…freak. I was mad-no, I was enraged. With a roar that sounded as though it came from an animal, I kneeled and feigned injury, holding my sword arm. He let his guard down, thinking he had won. He was wrong. Fueled by anger, I thrust my toward his gut.
Instinctively, he tried to block…with his arm. A huge gash appeared on his arm, gushing blood. A bit shocked, I fell backwards an landed on my butt and watched as he grasped his arm. His face was twisted into a grimace of pain, shock, and perhaps a little fear.
So many emotions bounced around my head like the little lottery balls before Jeopardy. I wasn't really trying to kill him…was I? How much trouble was I about to get in? For lack of a better phrase, he wasn't going to tell on my, was he? I mean…he had only tried to do the same to me when he forced me to give him abs…right?

“AAARRGGHHH!” I hollered. That little freak, how could she even… my thoughts trailed off in anger. “Imagine my arm uncut NOW, RO!” I was so angry that steam was probably snaking out of my ears and nostrils.
Her face remained emotionless as my arm healed. I stared at her, my face contorted in pure, deep anger. I didn’t even say thank you. I walked behind the kitchen’s island. It was tall with cedar stools. I washed my bloody hands off in the sink.
“Shamus, I’m sorry…” she whispered, but I could tell she forced out her apology.
“You should be.” The water scalded my hands. Twisting the hot water knob while twisting the cold water knob in the opposite direction, I looked up. She was sitting against the wall. I think she sensed my eyes on her emotionless face, because she met my gaze, which I drew away by turning around to get a paper towel.

"You're lucky you can heal that," he said, pressing wiping his hands. I looked at him, puzzled.
"Shamus…I didn't do anything," I said. It was true. I was afraid that I'd think of something worse. He looked up at me, sharing my puzzled look.
"But then…what happened? Oh! I get it! You imagined that I was hurt, but it wasn't real, because you're not strong like that, and it was just an illusion to freak me out. Oh yeah, I thought I was the immature one here," he said.
"You are, but that's not what happened. You were really cut, but you like…healed yourself or something. It wasn't me," I explained.
"That means…WHOA! That's AWESOME!" with this, he picked up one of the knives on the floor and scraped a small piece of skin off his arm. This too, bled, but not for long. In two and a half seconds, it healed without even leaving a scar.
"AHA!" he said, leaping into the air. "I have TWO powers! You only have one! Bwahaha!"
"Hel-lo?! I've got WINGS! I'd call that a bit of a power, wouldn't you?"

“Oh, don’t ruin my fun!” I started to feel like a god. I could barely remember that I was turning into a freak. But then I remembered.
“Ro, seriously,” I began. She scoffed. Rowena obviously couldn’t imagine me talking seriously with her. “What are we going to do about this? You can’t just sprout your wings in the middle of English and I, well, you know…”
She looked at me with a stern look. “Shamus, I thought about it already.”
“And?”
“I don’t know!”
“Well, glad to see you’re on top of things.” Instantly I got an idea. A simple one, probably not foolproof, but if Ro didn’t like it then she could just shut her face for all I cared.
“We could play hooky tomorrow!”
“What will that help?” she asked skeptically.
“How are you helping by criticizing me?”
“I can’t help it, it’s a habit,” she said with a feigned sigh.
But seriously, her attitude was not helping this situation at all. Could she care less about any of this? I drummed on the countertop twice, and mimed hitting a cymbal with a drumstick, making a “TSTSTSH!” sound.

"Could you at least STOP that!" I shouted. Any sort of banging on countertops annoyed the living crap out of me.
"I will if you'll take this seriously!" he replied.
"I am taking it seriously!"
"Oh yeah, right," he mocked.
"Listen, I think out of the two of us, I'm the one who's more concerned their social image, don'tcha think?" I asked.
"Oh yeah. So that's why you constantly embarrass yourself. You know, I always thought that was to get attention. You know, that's a funny way of getting a good social image," Shamus replied, leaning against a counter.
"You. Are. Impossible. I'm leaving. Fran'll be home soon, and Mum wants me there when she gets home," I said, turning to leave.
"I'll tell Joey you said hi," he said. I could hear the smile in his voice. I had to physically stop and count to 3 before I did anything. After debating on what to do, I walked out the door, leaving Shamus inside, his mouth actually closed for once, and bound with ducktape.

As Rowena left the room, I suddenly was overcome with duct tape. Yes, I know how odd that sounds, but in a flash it was wrapped all around my head. Angrily I tore the strip over my eyebrows off. “OUCH!” I screamed. I think I had literally ripped my eyebrows out. As I slowly peeled the tape off, I silently cursed Rowena.
What was the point of that conversation if Ro and I hadn’t settled on anything except for the fact that yes, we still hate each other.
I threw a large glob of duct tape from my face in the trashcan. There still was some on the back of my head. To the people who are reading our story, here’s a bit of caution: Never think it’s funny to force people to rip all of their hair out, because no matter how tough you are you’ll hate it too.
I sat in the living room while I watched the news turned up as loud as possible. I was slowly ripping out the duct tape. My mother had already stopped by, and then she went to go grocery shopping.
“Ow. Ow. Ow.”
I had finally got the last piece of duct tape out of my hair. I crumpled the pieces of hairy duct tape into a ball and tossed it.
On the news, they were switching over to the sports segment now. The theme music for the station’s “Sports Corner” was incredibly loud. Cringing, I hastily pressed the volume down button on the remote. Zzzitch. “AAGH!” I received quite a brutal static shock. I inspected my shocked index finger, in which I could clearly feel my heartbeat. Sparks were dancing from middle to index, and middle to ring fingers. The scientist in me began to formulate a theory.
That storm, I thought, shocked my house with lightning, which went through the phone I was holding. Which shocked me. Only I didn’t die. It must have…I paused, and I suddenly thought I knew what happened, (someone watching me think must have seen my face light up) the lightning charged up all the iron in my body somehow, and they became magnetic. I became magnetic.
But I still didn’t know what to do about it. I couldn’t see a doctor, then I’d probably, like I argued with Ro, be sent to Area 51 or something to be tested on. My autopsy video will be stolen and copied and bought by a bunch of U.F.O. nerds all around the country…
No. I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I was just going to have to cope.

Finally. I had gotten away from Shamus. Of course, I tried not to cause think any ill will towards him. It would probably happen now, and that would definitely be not good.
A couple hours later, Mom and Dad took Fran to basketball practice and I was all alone. I decided to "soak" away my troubles and worries by taking a bath. A nice, long, hot, relaxing bath. It was sooo nice. After about an hour or so of eating the latest Teen Magazine, I got out and applied my cool, green face cream. It was a moisturizer, and I loved it so much. It really did work.
With the green goo on my face, my hair up twisted up in a turban and placed on top of my head, and a fluffy towel wrapped around me, I started off to my room, humming "Phantom of the Opera." I grasped the handle and broke out singing as I walked into my room.
"The PHAAAAAAANTOM of the OPERA is THERE!!! INSIDE MY--," here, I was cut off.
"You sing like a cow, Ro," I heard from the corner behind my door. No. It wasn't…It could have been. Slowly, I turned. I could feel my face growing hot underneath my mask. It was Shamus. And another guy who I'd never seen before in my life. But I was more concerned about Shamus.
THAT LITTLE PUSTULE! Here I was, in my own house, and he broke in!
"How DARE YOU! You creep! YOU PERVERT!! I'M CALLING THE POLICE!!" I screamed. Breathing deeply, I turned to the other guy.
"Who the hell are you?" I asked. The man (he must've been in his late twenties) stood there, looking placid as I went into my scream fest towards Shamus.
"I'm here to help you and your friend with your powers," he said calmly.
"She's not my friend,"
"He's not my friend," we said at the same time.

Confused, right? I know. Let’s take a trip into the backstory of this part.
So, as I was settling in, watching the Simpsons, there was a knock on the door. I groaned and pushed myself out of the recliner. When I opened the door no one was there. Recently there were trailers on TV for this movie called “When a Stranger Calls” so I started getting creeped out. Then when I went back into the living room, a young man in his 20s was sitting on the armchair, looking at me with polite interest. He had wavy dirty blonde hair and dark green eyes. From what I could tell he was tall and lanky.
“GET OUT OF MY HOUSE FREAK!!” I screamed. I made a beeline for the kitchen to call the police.
“Do not call the police, Shamus,” he said in a calm, low voice.
“STALKER!” I accused. I seriously was about to skip calling 911 and just taking this weirdo out myself. He looked too stupid to beat me up.
“No, I do not stalk. I research,” he said as he gracefully stood up and walked over to me. I backed into the corner.
“Okay, you weirdo psychopath or pedophile or whatever, get outta my goddamn house right now or so help me God-“
“Shamus, now is not that time for arguing. I know what happened to you in the storm. I know of your abilities. And your friend’s.”
“She is NOT my friend!” I said hotly. Whatever this guy said he was a stalker. And I had blown my cover. “Listen, you don’t tell anyone about my- my- abilities or I’ll hunt you down.”
He smiled. “Such flair you have. You’ll be perfect. Now let’s go and meet your friend-“ here I groaned again- “Rowena.”
“So you can molest us both?”
“No,” he said angrily, “So I can help you both.”
“BUT WHO ARE YOU!?” I yelled. I started sliding away from him towards my front door.
“My name is Rip Oswald,” he said serenly, “and I am with the CIA. That is all you need to know right now. Now we must visit Rowena. Come,” he commanded as he strode silently out of my house. I didn’t trust “Rip” but what else could I do? I ran after him.
“Quiet,” he told me without looking back. He slunk into her yard, around her house. When we reached her backyard we could see that he’d already placed a tall ladder under her window. He started climbing so of course I followed suit. He swiftly toppled into Ro’s bedroom, I stupidly falling. Her room was too girly for me to even be able to breathe in there.
“Hide in the closet,” Rip told me.
“Why?”
“Because I told you to,” Rip responded smoothly.
“Huh, I guess CIA agents have to take a course on how to break into people’s houses and hide in odd places, eh?” I asked.
“Maybe,” he said vaguely.
So there we were in Rowena’s closet. Next thing I knew…
"The PHAAAAAAANTOM of the OPERA is THERE!!! INSIDE MY--,"
“You sing like a cow, Ro.”
She exploded, her face grotesquely twisted up in anger and covered in green goop. Then Rip butted in.
"I'm here to help you and your friend with your powers," he said calmly.
"She's not my friend,"
"He's not my friend," we said at the same time.

"Er…what? I um…don't know what you are talking about," I said slowly, glancing to Shamus.
"I already told him, Ro," he said boredly.
"Ooh, way to go! Weren't you the one who didn't want to end up in Roswell?" I asked hotly.
"Well, it wasn't my fault! He forced it out of me!"
"This isn't the point. Firstly, as you two have realized, you now have different…let's call them oddities. Right now, they are out of control, being activated by emotion only," the stranger dude said.
"No way! I can do it on command!" Shamus said indignantly, as though he'd been insulted.
"Yes, but as you may both recall, you magnetized yourself to the fridge, and that was not on command," the dude said.
"Ok, ok, so we can't control our powers, but that doesn't stop that fact that you two just broke into my room while I just stand here, dripping wet, in a towel, no less," I said, "I don't even know who you ARE!"
"Forgive me, I am Rip Oswald."
"That doesn't help me much," I replied, "And I'd really like to get dressed."
Here, Shamus' eyes opened wide.
"YOU MEAN YOU'RE NAKED UNDER THAT?!" he screeched loudly, shielding his eyes. I glared at him and thought of some clothing to wear. It appeared on my body, and I unwrapped my hair.
"Not anymore. It's not my fault you broke into my house, and I still have a right mind as to calling the police for breaking and entering!" I accused.
"Oi, what is it with you people and calling the police," Rip asked himself.
"Ok, right now I'm turning away from Shamus and talking to you. Who the hell are you, and how do you know about our powers?" I asked, glowering at him.
"All this will come in time if you come with me," he said.
"And you're kidnapping us, too?" Shamus asked.

“Not really kidnapping, but yes, sort of,” Rip said vaguely. The way he talked seemed like he tried to be a suave secret agent like James Bond but he went too far and just pulled it off like a weirdo.
Ro said, “Look, guy, you can torture Shamus if you want but I’m not-“ but she stopped speaking because at that moment Rip smoothly glided down the ladder and into the street.
“Come on, Ro,” I sighed, “This guy is just so difficult.”
I awkwardly climbed onto the ladder and slowly began to descend. “Hurry up, will you Shamus?” Ro groaned. “You can come back and enjoy the view… uh, never!”
My right foot touched the ground. “Up yours,” I muttered as I jogged around the house to find Rip standing by a black car that I was sure that it wasn’t there a minute ago. “Get in,” Rip said smoothly and lowered himself into the sleek vehicle.
I hesitated and then proceeded to enter. Inside it was spacious, leathery, shiny and hi-tech. I wondered if there was a TV in there. My door opened and there stood Rowena. “Move.” I sighed and moved over. Miss Big-Butt nearly sat on me as she flung herself into the car.
I didn’t know what kind of model this was. It didn’t even say what company made it. “Hey, er, Rip.” He was backing up now. “What kind of model is this car?”
“It’s a Kyoko F-041. It will be available for the general public in about ten years.” He floored it. Ro and I were pinned against the back of the seat as he veered around corners, leading out onto the highway.
“RIP!” Ro gasped. “Won’t a cop stop you?”
Rip said nothing. This was all so messed up. I was in a crazy CIA agent’s car. I was also stupid enough to get into a crazy CIA agent’s car.

What had we done? This freak was going to go molest us! EW! I HAD TO WATCH SHAMUS BEING MOLESTED!! That was disgusting.
"Hello!! RIP!! WON'T ANYONE STOP YOU?!? You're driving like a maniac!" I screamed. There were actual, physical G forces pressing me into my seat as though I was on a carnival ride.
"They would if they could see me, but they can't," he said, not taking his eyes off the road.
"Er…you mean we're invisible?" Shamus asked, sitting next to me. He too, was pushed back into his seat so under the pressure.
"Yes and no."
Man, don't you just love people who can be specific?
"Where are you taking us? Will we be able to come back?" I asked, straining to just move my jaw.
"I'm taking you to somewhere safe. When you're ready, you'll be able to come back," he replied. His eyes still didn't leave the road. Well, at least that was one good driving skill he'd enforced.
"RIP, THAT DOESN'T HELP US!" Shamus screamed.
"Shut up, you don't have to yell! Your mouth is inches away from my ear, y'know," I reminded, irked.
"Well, if your deaf, then you can't speak, and then I will be in eternal bliss," he replied, glaring at me. I resisted the urge to stick my tongue out at him.
"Really Rip, do our parents know about this?" I asked. He didn't reply. "Rip? Do they, or don't they know?!"
For the first time, he glanced back. His eyes, I noticed, did not have an iris. It was just a pupil. It was really scary lookin', actually.
"No, they don't know," he said.
"Well, why not?!" Shamus burst out.

“They won’t want to know,” Rip serenely said, still not looking at the road.
“RIP LOOK OUT!” I yelled. He was running through a red light, and two trucks were coming.
Too smoothly, Rip weaved through the gap between cars and trucks.
“We’re gonna be pulled over!” I said. What if we were?
“We won’t be.” Rip turned hard left down the exit onto Route 431 without a turn signal. “I am taking you to a makeshift headquarters that my team and I established today,” he said. “Your situation is too dire for me to take you to Washington.”
Ro and I glanced at each other, but hastily looked out of our windows. But we both knew that we were both thinking of how many other people like Rip there could be.
Still driving the Kyoko F-041 at Mach 5, Rip took one of those cool Razor cell phones out of his pocket and flipped it on. Ro and I heard a beep, and then Rip’s voice carrying back: “Buddha to Lotus, I am now transporting the incense to the Zen garden.” I had to suppress a guffaw at that odd code. What was the other guy called? Kimono?

Interesting code. I remember one day in like…5th grade, my friend, Tiff and I created a code so we could pass notes to each other. Yeah, she moved. But anyway…
As I was looking at the ground passing by with lightning fast speed, I realized something. Rip said he was a CIA agent, but he said he hadn't enough time to take us to Washington. But the main CIA building wasn't in Washington; it was in Langley, Virginia. Well, there was one in the Pentagon, but the CIA building was in Virginia.
"Shamus, I don't like this," I whispered, careful not to let Rip hear me. He rolled his eyes at me.
"No! Listen to me! The CIA building isn't in Washington! It's in Langley!! A CIA agent would've known that, Shamus!" I insisted.
"How do you know that?" he asked, glancing at me incredulously. I shrugged.
"Dunno, it just kinda stayed with me. You know, like the Spice Girl's songs. They were incredibly annoying, yet everyone knew their songs," I explained. Shamus rolled his eyes again and I looked out the window again. We were now in a big city. The normal suburban scenery that accompanied our homes was gone, replaced with the gray, tan, and brown of a city. Of course, I couldn't make enough sense of it to see where we actually were.
After another half hour of silence, Rip stopped the car and told us to get out. With the G forces finally letting up, I was thrust into the sensation that I was floating. My head felt dizzy and I stretched ever part of my body (including my wings, which had severely cramped up behind me) and followed Rip as he led us into one of the Run-down buildings. It looked like we were in the Bronx, actually. Except darker. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, yet there were no stars, either. How strange.
"Hurry, and don't let yourselves be seen," he urged. I walked in first with Shamus directly behind me, and Rip bringing up the rear. The broken down building screamed Evil Villain Lair, but I tried not to let that faze me. As we moved further in, we came to a broken down living room. It reminded me of something out of the Matrix, because a real rag-tag group of people sat on lumpy looking sofas.
"Rowena, Shamus, this is Finnian, Fin for short, Shyam (they're twins), Giggles, Butch, Uma, Iris and Ham," Rip introduced. They each nodded their heads in time to Rip's introduction. I smiled and Shamus just kinda did nothing. I now understood why Rip had to tell us the Fin and Shyam were twins. Shyam was a black boy, about 11 years old, and Fin was obviously albino. He also wore big, chunky glasses. Giggles had a goofy smile plastered onto her little 8 year old face and Butch and Uma, each probably in about 5th grade were playing a card game. The red-haired girl about my and Shamus’s age who was busy reading must have been Iris. Ham was the only one to seem our age. And let me tell you, he was HOT! His dark brown hair fell gracefully into his unique red eyes. He sat alone in a corner, and said nothing. But God, was he ever-so hot…
"Erm…Rip, this is great and all, but…uh…why are we here?" Shamus asked, sharing my puzzled questions. Rip heaved a long sigh.
"As you have obviously figured out, I am not with the CIA. But believe me, you are in no harm in my protection. You are here because you were gifted with two powers, like the rest of us. You need to learn how to control these powers, and we're here to help you," he explained.
"But like, how is that going to help us? You know, like, in the real world, and stuff?" I asked.
"In your real world? It won't. But in our world, it makes a huge difference."
"I don't think I get it," Shamus said.
"At the moment, you are in another dimension. A dimension where nothing is how it seems on Earth. Our numbers are greatly diminishing, and without help, we'll die out," he said, calmly.
"Who'll die out?"
"The Dumaniz."
"That still doesn't help."
Rip gave another sigh and Shamus and I just stood dumbfounded.
"The people who you see in front of you, yourselves included, are all part of the Dumaniz."
"And they are?"
"They are the last force remaining that is holding both our world and your former world up. They are the good force against the evil. And you are part of them.”

While Rip was introducing the group, I kept thinking, “They’re all younger than us, and one’s older than us,” more than “What do these kids have to do with us?” Quite frankly, I wasn’t that surprised when I learned I was in the Dumaniz. For some reason, I knew that fate didn’t just hand out superpowers like those people on TV just randomly hand out humongous $1 million checks. I knew that somehow, I’d have to give the world something back.
But, forgive me, I must talk about Iris too. Her curly pumpkin-orange hair hanging beautifully off of her right shoulder while the left side is more straight and slicks back over her shoulder blade, her magnificent eyes, her absorbed, intensely focused expression as she read her title-less book. It was love, I thought. Only I didn’t think it, I knew it, or at least I thought I knew it. Does that make sense?
Ro then ejaculated, “What do you mean there’s another world?” and I was jolted back to reality. I didn’t get to mumble a “Yeah, what do you mean?” before Rip answered in a very sure of himself manner.
“Your former world and the Dumaniz world are very close together. Only the Dumaniz or those who possess very top-secret government technology can travel between worlds. For us, and regular humans who have the technology, it’s like slipping through a crack in a curtain in a theater.”
“But what do you mean our former world?” I asked.
“Well, now that you are a Dumaniz, you, Shamus, and you, Rowena, are now residents of this world. When you go into the human world, you will be foreigners there.”



"And who are the Dumaniz? The bad guys, or the good guys?" I asked.
"Well, ya see, the weirdo Government thinks we're the bad guy, but that's only cuz they're being ruled by Volmer," Giggles answered for me. She was a real cutie, her golden hair flowing down her back.
"Who?"
"Volmer's the bad guy, sillies!" she replied, running back to play with her dolls again.
"Stop it, Butch. You know that's not fair!" Uma said, interrupting their game.
"Sorry, Uma, you know I haven't honed the power yet," he said, taking her cards and re-dealing.
"Well, if you would practice what I've been telling you, that wouldn't have happened," Iris said, placing down her book and standing up. She really was stunning. She had a figure that would make any girl jealous. Of course, I could almost feel Shamus drooling on my sneaker.
"And really Shamus, I'm flattered that you think that, but please try and keep your thoughts to yourself," she laughed, walking over.
"I'm Iris. Thank you for the lovely intro, Rip. What have they got?" she asked, sticking out her hand for me to shake. I took it warmly. I really hoped we could be friends.
"Ro's got Thought, and Wings, and Shamus has magnetism and endurance," Rip answered.
"Whoa…those are powerful combinations, guys! I'm Telekinesis and mind reading" she said.

“I’m… I’m Shamus,” I muttered.
Iris giggled. I drooled. “Yeah, I know,” she said.
Ro sighed. I glared at her. Iris stood there awkwardly. Well, we all were just standing there awkwardly.
Ro asked, “Rip, what are Shamus and I supposed to do now?”
“Not to worry, we’ve got two comfortable cots set up for you. Shamus, you’ll room with Shyam, Finnian, Butch, and Ham.”
“You mean… we’re living here from now on?”
“Why, yes. I thought I just told you that this world is now your home,” said Rip, looking puzzled. How in the world, I thought, could we puzzle him when he’s telling us that we’re practically superheroes and the government will hate us?
“I’m not staying here,” I said defiantly. I looked at Ro. Expressionless.
“But you must,” stated Rip firmly.
“Rip, you just. Don’t. Get it? Do you?” He continued to stare at me polite interest. Ro was staring at the floor, and it was hard to tell how she was feeling. The other Dumaniz kids were staring at me like I was juggling flaming hamsters. “What are our parents going to think when we have just happened to disappear on them? What will you tell them? Will we ever go back home? What are we gonna do here?” I couldn’t believe Rip could just expect that he could just come in and take us away for good? Without or consent? It would be alright if he gave us a say in it, but he didn’t.
“Ro, back me up,” I said. She looked pensive and didn’t look at anyone…

"But Shamus…why SHOULD we go back? Aren't teenagers supposed to run away from home? And besides, maybe we should stay. I mean, if we have the powers, they aren't likely to go away," I started, "Right, Rip?"
That would just suck.
"No, now that you have them, you'll have them forever," he said. Thank God.
"Anyway, we need to learn to control them so you don't go doing stupid things, like gluing yourself to the fridge."
"What about you? You frickin' blindfolded everyone in school and then tried to cut my hand off," he retorted. I glared at him.
"Well, I wouldn't have if I didn't have to imagine you with FRICKIN' ABS!!" I practically screamed. I was semi-aware that the room had gone silent, but my anger had begun to boil over.
"I don't think I need to learn to control it as much as you do!" Shamus cried. Suddenly, a kind of statue thing came flying at my head. It looked very heavy. In my mind, I threw up a force-field around me and it bounced off. Shamus snarled at me and I saw a knife being expelled from Uma's pocket. It threw off its sheath and came flying towards me. Instead of a force-field this time, an actual shield appeared on my arm. The knife deflected off of it, and before the anvil I could think of dropped on his head (or at least his foot), Ham stood up and was over in a flash.
He caught the falling anvil with one hand and let it drop to the floor, actually breaking a floor board.
“Whoah.”
Really, after all that, the only thing I could say was “whoah.” Butch, Uma, and Giggles gawked at us, their mouths so wide that I could probably stand in it. Shyam and Fin seemed to be suppressing laughter and Iris rolled her eyes and went back to her book. Ham looked angry.
“Temper, temper,” said Rip calmly.
“No, you think!?” exclaimed Ro. Rip chuckled, ignoring the death glares Ro and I were exchanging.
“I think it’s a good time to hit the hay,” said Rip energetically like nothing happened. “Ham, would you show Shamus to his room? Iris, would you, er, help Ro?”
I was still glaring at Ro, wishing her legs and arms would fall off as Shyam and Fin passed me, uttering in unison, “Nice one, man.” Butch hurried past me. Ham strided forth and grabbed my arm. He led me down a hall lit by a couple of lamps hanging from the tall ceiling.
“Okay, listen up,” Ham said. His voice was tough but quiet at the same time. “Soon you will finally appreciate how powerful you are, or have the potential to become. Don’t use your powers for crap like little skirmishes with your gal pal, kapeesh?”
“Gal pal!? What the-“ I gasped.
“Shut up,” Ham interjected. He shoved me into a bedroom that Shyam and Fin were already settling under the covers in. “Sweet dreams.”

Taking a couple of deep, deep, deeeeeep breaths, I watched the guys walk away. Turning back to Iris, I muttered a quick sorry. She gave me a slight smile and led me, Uma, and Giggles down another hallway. Like I said before, this place was real run down, and dark and dismal, as well. It wasn't something I'd choose to live in, but what the hey, right?
Once I was situated (Iris had lent me some clothes to sleep in), I sat down on my cot. There were four in the room, one on each wall, the smallest belonging to 8 year old Giggles.
"You're going to really have to work on that," Iris said, laying down in her bed. We were positioned so that her head and my head were close enough to talk.
"I'm sorry. Shamus just knows EXACTLY how to get on my nerves. Mum always told me to control my anger, but it's just so hard sometimes, and now with these-," I began. Iris cut me off with her hand.
"I wasn't talking about you anger. Anger can be a great ally to have in battle. It's your powers. You need to know exactly what you can do, when you can do it, and how to do it. We'll start on that tomorrow. You're going to be powerful, Ro. You just have to control it," she said, lifting her blanket over her.
"Oh…ok then," I said, lying down. The cot was surprisingly comfortable, and before long, I was asleep.

I stumbled into the room as Ham slammed the door shut. Shyam and Fin lay on their backs, laughing.
“What’s so funny?” I grumbled.
“That was really cool back there in the living room,” Shyam said. (At least I thought it was Shyam; I couldn’t quite remember which one was the albino.)
“Hilarious!” chided Fin.
“Well, I live to entertain!” I said incredulously. I scanned the room. It had a red linoleum floor, off-white walls, and a pink ceiling. This whole warehousey thing that the Dumaniz lived in was incredibly weird. There were two empty cots, one I took to be Ham’s and the other, mine. Next to each cot was a footlocker, even mine. I went to mine and opened it. Inside was a pair of pajamas (pajama pants and an off-white tee shirt), three pairs of slacks, three solid colored ties (blue, green, orange, which were oddly my favorite colors), three long-sleeved dress shirts (pink, white, and black) and three white muscle shirts. Every article of clothing was neatly folded and wrinkle free. Weird.
“So, did Rip go shopping for me, or something?” I asked, showing the two 11 year olds my pair of PJ’s.
“Oh, we have a ton of clothing,” Fin said flatly.
Shyam interjected, “I suggest you go to sleep, newbie,” said Shyam. It was very unsettling for an 11 year old to tell me to sleep and to call me a “newbie.”
I obeyed the little kid nonetheless. I found that my pajamas were warm and were just a little too large, but otherwise comfortable. The cot was lumpy but warm. This was so weird. It was like, if you will, being Harry on his first night in Hogwarts, in a way.
Ham’s little lecture swam around in my mind. I just had to ask about him. Fin had just turned the light when I whispered, “What is Ham like? He seemed kind of… scary tonight.”
Fin answered me. “Ham is alright. He and Rip are pretty close. Supposedly, he was the first Dumaniz that Rip took up. Now hush up. I didn’t turn the lights off so we could tell stories.”

Morning came quickly. Too quickly. One minute, I was asleep. For like…one minute. The next minute,
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