Chapter 4: Normal

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 117

“You guys are crazy,” Ali said simply. Jason had just finished explaining what the Riorti race was, how they got their abilities, the standard history.

“Ali, I know how it sounds, but trust me, he’s telling the truth,” Sam sighed.

“Yeah, right, ok, sorry, Sam, but...you sound like a frickin’ lunatic!”

“Ali! I know this sounds crazy, but please, just give us a chance to explain it, ok?” Sam asked sweetly.

Ali paused, then sighed, “Ok, tell me again about...whatever the heck you were talking about.”

Jason sighed. “Starting where?”

“Um, how about why normal people can’t go through...whatever you said–”

“Denekawa,” Jason interrupted.

“Right. Why can’t normal people go through that and have special abilities?”

“Because if they don’t have Riorti blood and they tried to, they would die. In fact sometimes even if they do have Riorti blood, the ritual is so intense they die anyway. Look I know you have a lot of questions, but would you mind holding them all until the end?”

Ali paused, then nodded. Jason sighed. “Right. Where was I...?”

“You were about to tell us why you yanked us away from our lives and dragged us here,” Sam prompted.

Jason sighed, “Right...” He paused, trying to figure out where to begin. “You remember Ian Holt?”

“Of course. You finished telling me about him like two minutes ago,” Ali rolled her eyes.

“He’s after you,” Jason said bluntly.

“Wait what?” Sam was totally alert now.

“Both of you,” His father looked at him worriedly.

Sam paused as the news sank in. “Why?” he asked finally.

Jason sighed. “Well, partially because you’re my children and I’m the only one left to fight back. But also because...” he broke off, trying to piece together in his head how to explain. “You know the story of the seven original clan leaders, the ones who never had to go through Denekawa?” he asked finally.

“Of course,” Sam nodded. “The seven original clan leaders were the most powerful of any Riorti in history. There were other Riorti at the time, but none of them were as powerful, and none of them got to bypass Denekawa. They all separated out into clans, and over time the original clans branched off into more clans until they were the way they are today, all over the world.”

“Right. And the children of the clan leaders all seemed to be the most powerful in their clan. Excluding the original clan leaders, of course. The same holds true today. Those who have the blood of one or more clan leader are generally the most powerful. The more original leaders’ blood you have, the more powerful. Most people, if anything, have one or two different original clan leaders in their lineage. Very rarely do you get three or four, though there are cases. But you are the only two people in Riorti history to have all seven clan leaders in your family tree. If you two went through Denekawa, you would be probably the most powerful Riorti to ever live. Ian wants you on his side, by choice or by force, for that very reason.”

“Well that’s great and all, dad, but we are not going to go through Denekawa,” Sam said firmly.

“And I will respect your wishes. But Ian is power hungry. He won’t take no for an answer. He will force you if he has to. That’s why I had to get you out of there. Ian found out where you live. He wouldn’t have hesitated to come get you himself, and I couldn’t let that happen, for your sake and your family’s,” Jason explained.

“So basically, it’s, like, Harry Potter vs. Voldemort?” Ali asked.

“Yeah, sort of. Only, Harry’s old, he’s not British, and he’s never gone to Hogwarts. And Voldemort has normal skin, fingernails, and teeth. Not to mention the fact that he has both hair, and a nose.” Sam agreed with a smile. Ali sighed, too stressed out to be amused.

“Ok, that’s it. This is all getting just a little too weird for me,” Ali said, standing up. “I’m going home.”

“Ali you can’t do that!” Sam sighed, standing up as well.

“Why not? Because you and ‘dad’ here said so?” Ali’s voice was a mixture of anger and weariness.

“Ali, please. Trust me. I would never make you do anything, like stay here, if I thought there was another option. Now that I hear what’s going on, I think it’s best if we stay here,” Sam encouraged, his eyes and voice apologetic and pleading.

Ali paused. Then she sighed. “Alright. Fine. Whatever.”

“Great,” Jason said, trying not to sound half as relieved as he felt. “Well, would you look at that,” he sighed, glancing at his watch. “Dinner’s probably ready by now. That took a lot longer than I thought. Ali, there are some clothes you can change into in your room. You can get to know the others over dinner. I’ll see you down there,” With that, Jason left the room.

Ali and Sam exchanged glances, then followed suit. Sam waited in the hallway while Ali got changed into jeans and a blue Aeropostale shirt. Then the siblings went down the stairs together.

They found everyone seated around the TV, eating pizza. They were watching Saturday night football, Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers. The Packers were getting crushed, in every sense of the word.

Megan was the first one to see them, and she waved them over, motioning to the pizza boxes on the table in front of them. The siblings hesitantly took a slice and found a place on the floor. Only when they cut to commercial after a Packers player got hurt did they start the introductions.

“Hey, guys, this is Sam and Ali,” Megan introduced them. “Sam, you know Jessica and Peter, our resident freaky twins,” the twins waved at them and without a word moved to sit next to Ali. The three of them started talking in low voices, laughing occasionally. “And Tony, Andrew, Diana, Katie, Sarah, and Luke. Callie and Joe went home. The little guy in the corner,” the guy she was referring to glared at her jokingly, “is Henry. Next to him are Becca, Monica, and Natalia.”

Everyone waved at him. Luke was his age, and moved to take a seat next to him. He was about to say something, but just then the game came back on, and all conversations ceased, all attention on the screen. The Bears got an interception, and the whole room erupted in cheers. Even though Sam had just been plucked from his home and his life, he couldn’t help but get swept up in the excitement and normalcy of the whole thing. Soon, he was cheering too.

The game ended around ten, and everyone slowly began to diffuse out of the room. Some went up to their rooms, others disappeared behind doors, talking in hushed tones.

Megan turned to the group. “Come on,” she said, standing up. She led them outside and into the surrounding forest. They walked without a word, until finally they reached a clearing with a fire pit in the middle. Before long, they had a fire going, and everyone was gathered around the flames, laughing as they told stories.

“So how did you guys get into all this?” Ali asked. “I mean, this whole...life.”

“Well, Amber’s our mom,” Peter said simply. Jessica nodded.

“My parents joined your dad’s clan a while back. They died about a year later, and the others just kind of took me in,” Luke explained. Everyone turned to Megan.

“My parents weren’t part of a clan. Not technically, anyway. But they were really close to your dad. They told me about him as long as I could remember. I felt like I knew him, too. So when they died, instead of going into foster care, I found him. When he heard what happened, he didn’t hesitate to take me in. He basically saved my life,” Megan said softly.

“Smart,” Sam said. “You did NOT want to end up in foster care. Foster care, I’m not kidding, is Hell on earth.”

Megan nodded in understanding. It was quiet for a while, then Ali cleared her throat.

“So have all of you been um...” Ali paused, struggling to find the right word.

“Been initiated?” Jessica supplied with a smile. When she got a weird look from Ali, she sighed, still grinning, “Yes. We have all been through Denekawa and we have all pledged our loyalty to the clan.”

“Oh, cool, so what can you guys do?” Sam asked.

This time, Megan went first. “I can cause or take away pain. Basically, if you, say, broke your leg, I could make it so you didn’t feel a thing. Or, if I was fighting you, I could make you collapse in pain,” she grinned, and Sam cleared his throat awkwardly.

“Uh, remind me to never piss you off,” Sam said. Everyone laughed.

“What about you, Luke?” Ali asked.

“I’m a pathfinder,” Luke said simply. Sam and Ali responded with blank looks. He sighed, “Basically, I can track you anywhere.”

“Really? Dude, that’s sweet!” Sam grinned. Luke chuckled slightly.

“Jessica?” Ali asked, turning to her new friend.

“I can manipulate and sense energy. I can pretty much draw energy from anything or anyone and direct it to someone else. And by casting out my senses, I can tell where people are. And if I’ve come across you even once, and I come across you again, I’ll always recognize your energy signature. Other than that I’ll just know that someone is there.” Jessica explained.

“That is so cool!” Ali exclaimed, her eyes awe-filled.

“What can you do, Peter?” Sam asked.

“I can manipulate light. I can make it as bright,” suddenly, the light from the fire illuminated deep into the trees, “or dark,” the light seemed to retract into the flames, “as I want it to be.”

“Dude, that is awesome!” Sam grinned. Peter smiled and looked down slightly, embarrassed.

“We all have one Original bloodline, so we have only one ability. Your dad has four, your mom had three, and you guys...” Megan smiled, showing she was impressed already, “you guys will own.”

Sam chuckled. “Sorry to disappoint you, but we’re not going to be initiated.” Everyone stared at him in shock. He sighed, then went on, “Look, you guys live this life, and that’s great. You get to have these abilities with no worries at all. That’s awesome. But when this is all over, we’re going home. We’re going to return to our normal lives in our normal neighborhood with our normal friends. We would never be able to do that if we were initiated.”

“Look, Sam, that’s great, and I totally support that,” Luke said. “but let’s face it, you’re not normal. You know about things normal people only read about. You’ve never lived a normal life, and you know you never will.”

“We have a family back home. Friends. They’re worried sick about us. They gave us a life when our dad wouldn’t. We can’t just disappear like this. We can’t do that to them. They saved our lives,” Ali countered.

“And if you go back there, what do you think will happen? Happily ever after, no questions asked?” Megan asked, her voice almost scolding.

Sam was silent. Jessica saw an opening and quickly jumped on it, wanting to turn the conversation around.

“Hey guys, it’s almost midnight. I think we should get back before someone realizes we’re gone,” she said, standing up.

Megan sighed, “Your right.” She stood up and picked up a bucket full of water that had been waiting at their little camp site and threw it on the fire. It sizzled and went out. Silently, everybody stood up and made their way back to the house.


Submitted: April 18, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Alyssa Pryce. All rights reserved.

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