Thanks to my three loyal reviewers! Your reviews are so nice, they just make my day that much brighter! I love coming home and seeing new reviews so thanks so much you guys!
I'm so excited, because it's Tristan's turn in the spotlight! I really like Tristan, despite his character's darkness. He has a lot of depth, and he's really interesting to write.
*Also, Alice and Tristan's conversation takes place just inside the entrance of the school, and there are only about three other kids around.
New A/N: Somehow, a line from another fic I was writing managed to sneak in near the ending … awkward… So if there are any random italicized lines that don't seem to fit, please ignore them..
Alice sat on the school bus alone. Her bag was on the seat next to her, preventing anyone from sitting there. Not that they'd want to in the first place, Alice reflected miserably. Tears welled up in her eyes, as they so often had since the accident.
That's how everyone referred to the fall that had resulted in two months in a coma and her permanent memory loss. All those memories she had collected, her life. Gone. A single instant had changed her life forever. One wrong step.
Now everything Alice did, she did with extreme caution. It had taken her a while to realise this was best, though. At first she was reckless to the point of insanity.
'My life is already ruined' she had thought. 'What have I got left?' But she still did have something.
Her dignity. Her pride. The remains of her shredded hope.
But they all went up in flames when she began using her new Gift for the first time. Secrets and lies, deceits and buried things. They all came to light in the minds of others. She had been a Queen Bee. A 'popular' bitchy girl. Everyone hated her, even the girls who had called themselves her best friends. She was horrified and disgusted by what she had found.
The way others saw her- was she really like that? After a few weeks back at school, she quickly became forgotten. Initial 'concern' and 'sympathy' from her 'friends' soon gave way to frustration and derision. No longer the intimidating girl she once was, they ignored her. She slipped to the back of their minds, little more than a memory. . .
. . . just a memory . . .
The bus pulled up a school. Alice was the last off, shuffling silently.
She wanted- no needed- her memories back. And she had a plan to get them.
And her plan was currently walking two metres in front of her in scuffed, ripped jeans.
He looked up in surprise. Dark bags shadowed his weary eyes. They were so dark, sometimes she wondered if he was an insomniac. And his eyes- they looked like they had seen all the suffering on the Earth, but could do nothing to help.
But, he could help. Tristan Mortem was a healer. And she wanted him to heal her memories.
Tristan looked up in surprise as Alice approached him. He shuffled uncomfortably. Tristan wasn't so good with people. And he didn't understand Alice. She was nice to him. He didn't get it, because no one was ever nice to Tristan Mortem.
He was strange. He made others feel odd, uncomfortable, the way they made him feel. He never made an effort to make conversation. That weird kid who was always bruised, or limping, or wincing in pain.
Because Tristan had a secret. His Gift had a dark side, one he hadn't told anyone, not even Madame. He didn't make pain disappear. He absorbed it. He erased their injuries by taking them into his own body. He could feel it as though it was his injury, but they were visible only as bruises over his skin. Once he had healed six car crash victims and been in so much pain he had blacked out. But that wasn't the worst part. Not only could he absorb the pain, but he could place it in someone else.
Usually it dispelled on its own after a while, but if he wanted to he could save it all up and push it into another person. Like he once had.
Tristan Mortem wasn't just a healer. He was also a murderer.
Tristan looked a bit fidgety, but Alice didn't care. Today she was going to get her memories back. Tristan would bring them back. And she could be happy again.
Don't get her wrong; Alice actually did sincerely care about Tristan. But her memories come before all else.
"I was wondering, Tristan," she began nervously, "about your. . ." she lowered her voice ". . .gift."
He looked really confused. "What do you mean?"
A few metres away, Verity had got her phone out and was texting someone, not paying any attention to the warning bells. A few kids were also nearby, but they were far away enough to not be able to hear the conversation.
"Well, you know how you can heal people and all. . ."
"Yeah?" Tristan looked nervous. Maybe he knew what Alice was about to say, but it didn't matter.
"Well I know you can heal injuries, like physical ones. . ." Suddenly she was too nervous to say it.
Verity sauntered past, giving them a disdainful sneer. She swept out the front doors without a second glance. Tristan watched her curiously but Alice was too intent on her question to pay attention to Verity Siren.
"But can you heal. . . mental injuries, like amnesia. . .?" She clenched her hands in fists, squinched her eyes closed, repeating the same words in her head. Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes, please say yes, please say yes, please say. . .
Tristan hadn't said a word. She opened her eyes.
"I'm sorry" he whispered. "I can't heal mental injuries-"
Tears were in his eyes. But tears weren't just in Alice's eyes. They flowed down her cheeks, dripped off her chin, splashed on her white hands.
"I-I-" she sobbed, her words choking her, getting stuck in her throat. "I h-hoped- all this t-t-time. . ." She couldn't go on. Burying her face in her hands, she fled out the doors and down the stairs, ran outside.
"Wait! Alice!" Tristan called. But it was no good. She was gone. So all alone, he finished his sentence.
". . . properly yet."
Alice ran out of the school in shock.
All these days, weeks, she had believed Tristan would be able to help her. But it was all just a stupid dream. She would never get her memories back. She was nobody. A ghost with no past. And she would be that way forever.
Suddenly she banged into someone.
"Finally," sniffed Verity Siren.
Verity looked down at Alice in disgust. Urgh, the way she was sobbing, it was revolting! Did the girl have no shame?!
"Shut up! Stop crying!" She ordered sharply. Alice obeyed. She had no choice.
"Very good" Verity purred. "Now listen up, loser, 'cause I've got something important to tell you, and I hate repeating myself. Understand?" Alice nodded mutely. "Ok, here's what I want you to do. Go to the end of the street and wait outside the drycleaners. A red car will pull up. A blonde woman will be driving. You will get in the car. You will trust the woman and do anything she says. You will obey her completely. You got that?" Alice nodded again. "Good. And one last thing. You will at no time remember that I spoke to you. You will do what I said, without any memory of who told you to do this. Now go."
Silently, Alice turned and walked away.
Verity smiled. It was a twisted, lonely smile, devoid of any normal emotion, just pain.
. . . It hurt. . . so much but. . . they wanted this. . . It was the right thing . . . wasn't it?
"Very good." She whispered. "Do exactly what Verity says. I am powerful."
"I am doing the right thing."
Joy struggled to fight off the blackness that threatened to consume her mind once more. She tried to remember who she was, where she was. My name is Joy Dove. I am thirteen. My hair is brown-blond. My eyes are dark blue. I am psychokinetic. I am at Serena's house. I cannot use my gift because. . . because. . . Her mind struggled. Why couldn't she use her gift again? Oh yes, that's right, because. . . because Verity said I couldn't. . .
Lexie reclined back in her chair, until her hair touched the desk behind her.
"Get your hair off my desk, Bayden!" Jamie complained, flicking it with his ruler.
"Shut up Jamie" Lexie grinned. Infuriating stupid Jamie Night was so fun.
On her first day at school, she had been so charged up she had accidently shocked him. It wasn't that big a deal though. Seriously, thought Lexie, what kind of wimp can't stand a little zap? But apparently the Jamie Night kind of wimp couldn't, so he had thrown a basketball at her head. While he was hovering above her.
Lexie scowled, rubbing the top of her head. It had really hurt! But still, it was pretty stupid. Jamie's gift, that is. Hovering? What good was that? And anyway, all he used it for was cheating at basketball.
Lexie's gift though. . . now that was awesome, she thought in satisfaction. She still remembered the day it happened, four years ago. When she was struck by lightning.
On her palm was a vaguely star shaped scar, from when the lighting had entered her body. But there was no exit wound. Because the lighting had never left her.
She still remembered the feeling being hit had given her. It was amazing, indescribable. Intoxicating. And now the lightning was inside her forever. Her gift from the heavens. Lexie had been blessed. By electricity.
"Shut up yourself" Jamie grumbled.
She ignored him, pulling some pieces of metal that she had taken from various electronic toys, as well as a handful of multi-coloured wires. Carefully, she continued constructing a small mechanical dog. She only needed to add a few more wires.
This wasn't part of her gift. Lexie had always had a talent with building things. But her gift made it so much more convenient.
Now, finishing the dog she had spent two weeks building, she reached out and touched the end of the wire with her index finger.
A charge travelled down her finger and into the wire. The small dog came to life. Lexie smiled happily, her gold eyes lighting up. She loved her gift.
Jamie glanced carelessly around the gifted classroom, and then paused.
"Does anything seem weird to you?" he asked Zack, who was sitting next to him.
Zack looked up, surprised that Jamie was talking to him. "What do you mean?"
'Well, there's something . . . off. Like, something's missing."
Zack's forehead wrinkled. "Yeah, now that you mention it. . ." he said slowly "where are Joy, Lola-Mai, Alice and Tom? Oh, and Verity too?" They looked round. The only students in the gifted classroom were them, Tristan and Lexie.
Lexie ignored them, head bobbing along to the music on her IPod, but Tristan turned towards them. Obviously he had been listening.
"I saw Alice this morning," he said quietly. "She was upset, and ran out the front of the school, and she didn't come back."
"She probably went home then." Zack commented. "She does that a lot, you know? But what about Joy? I haven't seen her since she stormed out of the classroom three days ago."
Jamie sat up straight. "You're right, she hasn't been at school! Normally she'd show up the next day, even if she got really mad. Remember that time she beat up that Glen Hudson guy? She was furious, but she didn't skip out on school."
"Yeah, that is strange for Joy. I mean, one day would be kind of understandable, but three?"
"And Lola? When was the last time you guys saw her?" Tristan asked.
"She was at school the day after Joy stormed out, wasn't she?"
"Yeah," Jamie said. "She's in my math class. I saw her. I remember, 'cause Mr Ensly confiscated her lollipop, and she got really mad. She didn't come to school the next day. Maybe she's sick. . .? And Tom-?"
"Wait, Tom called me this morning!" Zack exclaimed. "He said his mum's taking him to see a psychologist or something!"
"What the heck?" Jamie frowned. "Why would she take him to a psychologist?"
"She thinks his gift is some kind of delusion or something. It really freaks her out, I think. I remember the first time I went to his house, and she asked me which of Tom's classes I was in. When I told her we met in the gifted class, she was freaked." He smirked. "She probably thinks I'm crazy or something."
Jamie grinned. He was surprised at how much he was enjoying talking to Tristan and Zack. Normally he hung around with his basketball buddies. All they ever really talked about was sport.
It was silent as they thought for a while. "What about Verity?" Zack said finally. "I'm pretty sure I saw her this morning on the bus."
"I remember!" Tristan cried. The other two boys looked at him. "When I was talking to Alice this morning, Verity was standing nearby. Then, suddenly, she just left. I don't know if she was listening, but she would easily have been able to hear. Alice left the same way as her, and never came back."
"That's really weird. . ." Jamie frowned. "All of this is really weird."
Just then, Verity walked in the room. She looked the way she normally did. Cool and unruffled. Her grey eyes were unreadable. It was practically impossible to tell what was going on in her head.
"Wait, guys?" Zack said quietly, making sure she couldn't hear. "we know what Verity's gift is, right? She can control people. All she has to do is tell them stuff. Do you think. . ." he hesitated. "Do you think Verity's got something to do with all this?"
They all looked over at the blonde girl, their minds filled with suspicions. As Madame walked in, telling them to get their books out, Jamie leaned forward and whispered, "Meet me by the oak tree after school. We've got some investigating to do!"
Well, that's it for chapter four! I finally finished it (at 2am) I hope you guys like it! Zack and Jamie finally made a reappearance!
So, guess what! (it's not good news. . .)
On Friday, I got my algebra test results, and i got 49%. Yep. Not even half! I must be psychic or something though, because just before I walked into the classroom, I was like 'I bet I get 49!' I'm not even joking! How weird. . . But anyway, my mum's going to KILL me! Urgh, still haven't told her. . . I'm nervous.
AND our big project worth 70% of my maths grade requires me to research a famous mathematician and explain one of their theories. But I can't understand any of their theories! I'm doomed. . .
Sorry if I've bored you with my complaints though! If you've read this all the way to the end, I commend you!
So bye for now!