Disclaimer: I don't own the X-Men. Wish I did, but I don't…


I sigh as I sign out of my email account. Still no messages from either Isaac or my French exchange penpal. That means I will have to do my homework and revision. Actually, just my revision. I did all my homework in the first week of the holidays. But the revision's the problem. When school starts next week I'll have eighty days until the prelim exams. Thankfully I did my Maths exam last year, so I don't have to worry about that. I just have French, Geography, English, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Computing to revise for. Help!

Giving up any chance of rereading the Marvel collectors' editions I bought last week, I start rereading my notes. I'm still amazed I managed to fill three books for Chemistry in a year. My writing's pretty tiny. Boredom soon sets in and I end up with the comic fitting neatly in the pages on polymerisation and unsaturated polymers. If anyone comes in, I'm sprawled on my bed, avidly reading my Chemistry jotter. In actuality, I'm reading the Nation X X-Men comic. Then I remember I have to do character profiles for 'To Kill a Mockingbird' so I have to turn on my laptop again and write those. That ends up with me writing my story so in the end I turn off my laptop and do the profiles by hand. And my handwriting is apparently the worst my friends have ever seen. It's tiny, cramped and sloped to the left. And my e's are atrocious. But as I point out, it's not as bad as my dad's. He has to print, otherwise all you see is a little squiggle.

I hear my brother come in and can't help but feel jealous. He's starting secondary and so he hasn't got any holiday homework. Unlike me in first year. Two teachers set us homework in the induction week. Which I thought was incredibly cruel and heartless. But he's going to the local secondary and I go to the school twenty miles down the road, in a small Scottish town everyone has heard of, where my mum teaches Physics. It was in the school library, where I spend most my lunchtimes, that I first found the X-Men pocket-books and got into comics in a big way. At least my school has better facilities, even if we have to go to the ice-rink to sit exams. It's a source of great pride in the school, or at least the rector brings it up at every assembly on school pride, that two of the British women's Olympic curling team and their coach went through our school. I finally finish my homework and start on the revision but then I'm being told it's tea, and I have to tidy my room and get the spare room ready for the exchange student. Giving up any chance of finding an easy way to remember the difference between isomers and isotopes, I throw my books back in my bag and go to eat. When I get back to my room, I'm feeling annoyed. I end up chucking everything in my wardrobe, despite knowing it'll all fall out on me when I open it next and rushing the spare room. Hopefully no one will look in the small cupboard in the corner.

I end up on my bed, listening to Queen, which is the best way for me to relax, and rereading 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. It was a laugh being set it for homework as I've read it three times already and had finished it before the holidays started as we were set it the week beforehand. I can quote bits by heart, even if it isn't my favourite book. I watched a bit of that old black-and-white film with Gregory Peck when I read it the first time. This is the fourth time I've read it since the holidays began. So all in all, I've read it seven times and know the plot. I finish it and restart on my revision. When I'm not distracted, I am actually pretty efficient. I managed to get an A in my Maths and came top in three subjects so I can seem to remember everything well enough. I'm just getting into the swing of things when my brother comes in and steals my comics, resulting in a heavy textbook being thrown at him. I miss which is typical of me. I've just been told we may have to do exam level PE, which means I will almost certainly have a fail on my CV. I hike, camp and sail so I'm not unfit. It's just I have zilch hand-eye coordination and can't run for toffee. Mmm. Toffee. I think I have a bag of the stuff in my room somewhere. See what I mean. Easily distracted.

I check my email one more time then get dragged out of my room to be 'sociable'. I'm an introvert! I don't do sociable. I get annoyed when people act like they are idiots and I know I have a short fuse. So it's safer to lock myself away and listen to music. And I prefer being alone. Reading, writing or just imagining. I panic when asked to ring the cinema for times! In the end I make the excuse that I'm tired and I want to go to bed to escape. I read for about an hour before turning my light off and turning down my CD. Just as I go to sleep, I hear a low humming buzz. I normally hear things like that, but this one's different. But before my brain can process it, I fall asleep.


I slammed my book shut and bent over my schoolwork just as my Mum came in.

'Are you doing your work Isaac?' She asked.

'Yes Mum,' I replied innocently. Mum picked my book up and raised an eyebrow questioningly.

'I hope you aren't lying to me Isaac,' she said.

'Of course not,' I stammered. Mum looked at my pitiful amount of work.

'Then I guess you won't mind me borrowing it until you've finished?'

I opened my mouth to protest but the expression on Mum's face made it clear there would be no discussion.

'Yes Mum,' I grumbled. Mum looked at the book I'd been reading.

'X-Men? You know how much I dislike those comics Isaac.'

'It's not a comic, it's a graphic novel.'

'Get back to your work,' Mum said striding out. I sighed and picked up my pencil. An email popped up on my phone. It was from my pen friend Rebekah. I replied quickly then settled down to my work. I couldn't seem to concentrate for more than a second. I gave up and picked up my fiddle. I played a very long, melancholy tune. I lay down my violin and turned to go downstairs when I heard a low buzzing noise. I checked my room to make sure there wasn't a bee present. Then I looked outside for some kind of construction work going on. There was nothing. The noise was driving me mad now. It seemed to be inside my head. I pounded my skull in frustration. Tears coursed down my face as I tore up my room like a mad rhinoceros. Then I felt

myself been thrown through time and space. Back at the house the only evidence Isaac had ever been there was a silent room