Lance opened his eyes. He was in his bed. Moonlight was shining brighter than usual. His whole room was lit by this dim beautiful light. He kept lying on his comfortable bed. He looked up at the ceiling, thinking. He had forgotten something that had happened. A sudden movement next to his bed made him realize that he was not alone in his room. He turned his head and saw chair occupied by Selena. Moonlight was reflecting in her eyes; she was wide awake and deep in thought. She didn’t realize he had woken up. He wondered why she was in his room, sitting next to him. He raised his head a bit to check the time. It was 1 a.m. He rested his head back down; as he did he felt a cramp in his shoulder and his neck. He shut his eyes tightly because of this sudden pain. In that small moment of darkness, during which his eyes were closed, he saw some weird flashback. It was strange. He remembered a small room which was occupied by five people including him. He remembered tension in the air. So he quickly opened his eyes.
Something had definitely skipped his memory. He took a deep calming breath and tried to remember that which he had forgotten because he felt really uneasy. He closed his eyes tightly shut again and strained his mind again. After a moment’s pause, the flashbacks appeared again. A tall red-haired man in white T shirt and jeans advancing on him, a beautiful glowing purple crystal, a very tall building and a room made up of glass on the top floor, paintings in a dark corridor. He opened his eyes.
‘Hayden Walker,’ he spoke out loud.
Selena jumped in surprise.
‘Oh Lance,’ she exclaimed, sounding relieved, ‘you’re awake. Thank God!’
Slowly everything started coming back to him. Hayden brought a small crystal close to his heart which went through, in his chest, then pain, excruciating pain in his heart, then something weird coming out of his body and a huge blast. Injured people flashed in his mind; a woman and a man with burnt marks and singed clothes.
‘Angela,’ he then spoke, ‘Daemon.’
‘How are you feeling?’ asked Selena, sitting next to him on his bed, looking concerned.
Even though he remembered everything that had happened, he still didn’t understand any of it. He didn’t answer Selena, still thinking.
‘Weird dream,’ he said at last, knowing fully well that it wasn’t a dream. ‘Selena I had a strange dream.’
Selena was staring at him as though he was on his death bed.
‘There was this guy Hayden and he was the owner of this huge company. He showed something to me and that thing was a crystal and it burst and there were injured people there and you were there as well but you were fine.’
‘Lance,’ said Selena, ‘it wasn’t a dream. It really happened.’
‘I know,’ he said sitting up so suddenly, that his whole head shook like a jelly. He quickly held his hands up to his head as if his melted brain would stop moving if he held it tight enough. ‘Couldn’t you just play along just for a moment?’ He felt a bruise on his skull and he remembered hitting his head on the ground as he passed out. He had also hit his shoulder, if he remembered correctly. He felt his shoulder and he was right. It hurt like mad.
‘I remember some kind of blast,’ he said, ‘what happened?’
‘That was you Lance,’ she replied,.
He stared at her. What non sense was she saying? He was in so much pain at that moment, how could he have made that explosion?
‘What are you saying?’ he asked, ‘tell me what happened, I was in so much pain I couldn’t tell anything. Tell me who made that blast?’
‘I just did Lance.’
‘What? And I’m supposed to believe that?’
‘Yes, if you believe what I say.’
‘I made that explosion? How?’
‘I don’t know Lance, you remember that small crystal right?’
‘Well, as soon as it entered your body…’
‘Yeah about that,’ he interrupted, ‘where is that crystal and tell me if I’m wrong, did that crystal just pass through my solid body?’
‘Yes it did, and it was weird Lance. I have never seen anything like this before.’
‘Ok then, what happened when the crystal entered my body?’
‘You fell on your knees. I thought you were having some kind of heart attack because you were holding your chest really tight. But it was different. I could see something strange around your body. It was like this blue light.’
‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘I saw that too.’
Thinking, they both sat in silence. There was so much, the crystal, it’s strange nature, the blue light coming from his body and the huge explosion.
‘Lance,’ spoke Selena, in a timid voice as if she was thinking very carefully about what to say, ‘what if, what if what they were saying was right.’
If Selena had said this before this event had taken place, he would have laughed, joked or maybe even had gotten angry at her but now he had no reply. He stayed silent, staring at his hands in the dim light of the moon and Selena didn’t push this question on him, for which he was grateful.
‘What happened after I passed out?’
‘The woman dropped us at home. They gave you a new set of clothes since the one you were wearing go burned. The other guy, you know Daemon carried you inside and explained that you had passed out. They explained to me in the car that I mustn’t tell anyone about this, but quite frankly I had no plans because who would believe us. I explained to aunt that you were feeling dizzy and passed out.’
He covered his face with his hands.
‘Look Selena,’ he interrupted, ‘I don’t know what they did to me. It was a strange thing that I have never seen before. The way that crystal went inside my body like I was made of water, freaks me out. But I just can’t bring myself to believe what he was saying. I have powers? What, all of a sudden I am superhero now? Suddenly there are other worlds around us? It was madman talk, Selena.’
She kept biting her lower lip.
‘That is exactly what I thought as well,’ she said, ‘but…’
‘Lance it is impossible for me to believe what he said about the worlds but I can’t deny what he said about you having powers. I saw what you did with my own eyes. It was horrible.’
He opened his mouth in anger but she held her hand up, ‘don’t try to tell me that wasn’t you, I saw you with my own eyes.’
‘Then you can’t simply call whatever you saw ‘your powers’.’ He said, ‘he did something to me. I have seen big industrial companies like these in the movies trying to do strange experiments on people, trying to make them into super soldiers or something.’
‘I’ve never seen any experiment like that.’ Selena argued, ‘besides, I heard some strange sound as well. It was ear piercing and buzzing at the same time.’
Suddenly, a stroke of pain went from his heart to his whole body. He held his head and squeezed it.
‘You should get some rest Lance,’ she said, ‘we’ll discuss this in the morning. Aunt was worried sick about you. She thinks you passed out because of weakness because you don’t eat much, so get ready to eat a lot in the morning.’
He smiled. It felt weird to smile after that pointless and dreamlike day. Maybe if I go to sleep, the next morning will be the same as usual. This might never have happened.
So he turned over looking at the sky outside the window. He heard the sound of his bedroom door click shut as Selena left. He changed his side again, feeling uneasy. He was having difficulty moving his body. His entire body seemed stiff. It was probably because I’m tired of all the tension today. Thinking back about the day, it all seemed so abrupt to him.
They get picked up in Limo by strange suspicious people, those people turn out to be the owners of the leading industry in the world, their boss comes up with an extremely far-fetched story, they are escorted into the basement where they are told that he is some kind of guardian of peace between five worlds that seemed all to made up and he ends up being a freak experiment.
He was thinking too much. Maybe I should just close my mind from these thoughts and go to sleep, he thought.
It wasn’t that easy. The main thing that kept him from sleeping wasn’t the strange day; it was because he was scared he might see that dream again. The dream which Hayden said was a vision. But eventually he did fall asleep.
The following morning, he opened his eyes from a dreamless sleep. Although he didn’t believe a word of that madman, he was kind of sure that he might see that dream again but when he realized that he had spent a perfectly normal night, he smiled. He was just going to pretend that nothing happened yesterday. That seemed perfect. The door of his bedroom was opened. He smelled something delicious. This smell, without a doubt belonged to his mom’s pancakes. He felt even happier, so he pushed himself up wondering whether there really was a reason to be so happy.
He kept his feet on the ground. A little bit of his happiness escaped his heart when he realized a strange sensation throughout his entire body. Not only that, but his body seemed stiffer than usual. He didn’t fell any pain but his movement didn’t have any energy in it. It felt to him as if these simple motions; moving his arms and his legs, were taking all his energy. He raised his arm but it seemed extremely slow. Maybe after last day’s incident, his body muscles had cramped up, he thought. He tried to shake off the feeling and stood up quickly which he regretted because his legs gave away and he fell on the floor. His head hit the ground so hard that the floor vibrated.
It shook his brain, but strangely enough, it didn’t hurt him. He felt his head; the lump he had gotten yesterday was gone. Thinking about that he felt his shoulder, which was also fine. He didn’t know whether to be happy about this or surprised. Shaking his head, he stood up but slowly this time. He could handle it. Even though his body seemed weak, if he stayed calm and moved around a bit, it might loosen up. It felt like he was a new born, who didn’t have the ability to move his limbs with perfection.
Trying to keep his balance, Lance opened the door and made his way down into the living room. When he looked at the flight of stairs he had to take to go down, his head felt dizzy. Taking a deep breath, he held the railing tightly and crossed the first three steps with success but missed his footing on the next one. He fell with alarming force and his knee banged with pointy side of the step. He rolled down the next five steps. His body felt numb. Only his knee was hurting though. He pushed himself up as his mother and Selena came running.
‘Lance, what in the world are you doing?’ said his mom, grabbing his arm and pulling him up.
‘Mom, mom,’ he said, ‘It’s ok. I’m fine. I slipped while coming down. I’m not hurt.’
‘How are you feeling?’ she asked, ‘do you feel weak? Is your head hurting? Do you feel dizzy?’
‘Mom, please,’ he said smiling, because she seemed too worried, ‘I’m fine. My body’s just cramped up. I feel a bit tight.’
‘Not after having the best breakfast of your life,’ she said, leading the way into the living room. They entered the dinning room through the living room and Lance saw exactly what he had expected. There was enough breakfast for his whole class.
There was bacon, fried eggs, boiled eggs, omelette, pancakes, toast, tea, juice and fruit. This was a bit over board but he didn’t want to hurt her feelings by saying so.
‘Mom I don’t know why you made all this stuff but I’m glad you did,’ he said trying to appear jolly.
‘Well then dig in,’ she said sounding very happy, ‘it’s getting cold.’
Selena reached the table before Lance had even taken a step and helped herself to everything.
‘Selena dear,’ his mom spoke, ‘why didn’t you tell me you were still hungry?’
‘No, no,’ she replied with difficulty, spraying bits of bacon on Lance face who had unfortunately taken the seat right in front of her, ‘I just got hungry looking at all this food.’
‘Well then eat as much as you can. I don’t want to hear any of you fainting in the middle of the street again.’
He knew she would force him to eat all this so he decided to make something up.
‘Mom I didn’t faint because of hunger,’ he lied, ‘I think the sun was too hot yesterday.’
‘Well then take an umbrella next time with you,’ came the reply.
‘What? Mom, no! I would look like a fragile lady if I walk down the neighbourhood with an umbrella.’
‘Trust me Lance,’ spoke Selena, ‘you don’t need an umbrella to look like a lady.’
‘Ok, ok. That’s enough. I’m going out side to buy some things so finish you breakfast quietly. And Selena dear, eat slowly; the food isn’t going to run off the table. Make sure to leave some for Lance as well. And Lance, the weather is not so sunny today so take a walk out side. You said that you’re muscles were cramped up so it will help.’
Lance heard her leaving. Selena was still munching down his breakfast. He was glad she was because he wouldn’t have been able to finish this all by himself, though he doubted that they both will be able to finish it.
He had forgotten the uneasiness of his body due to the sudden fresh atmosphere but it came back in full force. It was getting harder and harder for him to move. He got up from his chair and stretched. Suddenly the lights in the kitchen started fluctuating. They got dimmer. Selena was looking at the lights.
‘I wonder if there is some problem with the power supply,’ she said.
Lance wasn’t paying much attention to the lights. So he stretched his body again trying to shake off this weird feeling. The lights almost went out. He sat down to finish his omelette. The lights went back to normal.
After the breakfast, Selena went in the living room to watch the TV. It seemed that they both had come to a silent agreement not to discuss the events of yesterday. Lance preferred this rather than straining his mind on the pointless thinking.
Selena explained to him that his mother had called the school and informed them about his absence.
‘Then why are you home as well,’ he asked her.
‘I said that I was also feeling a bit dizzy,’ she said happily.
‘You know Selena, if you don’t get serious you might actually fail this time. You always pass with on the lowest grade and you’re even smarter than me.’
‘Who are you? My mother?’
He knew this was pointless so he gave up. Selena was watching some reality show on the TV. He went to the bathroom and came back. His body wasn’t losing the strange sensation but he was getting used to moving his limbs according to his will, the only problem was that it was exhausting. He was tired already. He stretched again the lights dimmed again.
‘What is going on?’ asked Selena.
As he passed the TV, the picture vanished.
‘Now what is wrong with this thing?
‘What’s wrong?’ he asked.
‘The channels are gone.’
As he passed the TV again, the sound also vanished. He approached it and as soon as he touched it, the TV gave a spark. He jumped back in surprise. There was black smoke rising from behind the TV.
‘What did you do?’
‘I didn’t do anything,’ he replied.
He looked at his right hand. It was starting to feel better. It was back to normal. He didn’t know why but he smile. The rest of his body was still crappy, so stretched again. This time the lights went out completely.
‘Why is it that every time you stretch your body the lights go out or they start fluctuating?’ said Selena.
‘What do you mean?’
The lights returned.
‘Stretch your body again, like you have been doing till now’
He did as she said and the lights dimmed again.
‘What is going on?’ he asked.
He tried again, and again and again. The lights fluctuated the first few times but one of the tube lights exploded. Selena gave a small shriek.
‘Why is this happening?’ he asked.
‘I don’t know.’
His heart started racing.
‘Then the TV also blew up because you touched it,’ she said.
‘Of course not’
‘Come with me,’ she said. She led the way to her room. They reached the upper floor and she opened the door labelled ‘Selena the Awesome’. Her room was as different as it could be from his room. There was a huge rack full of DVDs. There was also a Playstation 3 and tons of games. It was like he was in a boy’s room. She had a lot of posters of games and movies. The walls were covered. She had painted tribal designs on her ceiling with spray paint. He saw her dark maroon bass guitar in the corner. He loved her guitar playing. The school band always wanted her to join but she always refused by saying that her talent was expensive. So she always got paid by the school band for rocking the homecomings, farewell parties and just about any other function the school held.
‘Stand at the end of the room and don’t you dare stretch.’
She turned her TV on. It was perfectly fine. The reality show was still on but Selena was uninterested.
‘Now take a step closer to the TV.’ She said. The TV was on the other end, in front of her bed.
He had barely taken one step when the picture started moving sideways of the TV screen; he could only see host’s half side. So it was him. He was causing these fluctuations. His face lost all colour. Maybe Selena noticed this because she quickly spoke ‘It’s fine no big deal, maybe it had to do something with yesterday’s incident.’
He had no clue why this was happening. Why was every electrical appliance reacting to his presence?
‘Lance, slowly keep moving towards the TV,’ Selena said, ‘take one step at a time.’
He was confused so he just listened to what she said. With every step he took, the picture of the TV became unclear. When he was just a foot away from the TV, the picture completely vanished, like it did in the living room.
‘Touch the TV,’ said Selena.
He stared at her.
‘You saw what happened down, didn’t you,’ he said, ‘what if the same thing happens now?’
‘What if it doesn’t, there is only one way to find out.’
He gulped, raised his right hand, which he noticed had returned to it’s crappy self. He touched the TV and it gave a spark. He jumped back in surprise. Black smoke rose again.
His foot banged with the bed and he fell on the floor. Trying to steady himself, he swung his arms around madly. His hand hit the DVD shelf and a glass sculpture shaped like a foot fell and hit his forehead. He started bleeding. Selena ran to check if he was ok. He saw stars in front of his eyes and couldn’t shake of the darkness for a while.
‘Are you ok?’ she asked, ‘why are you so jumpy Lance. Try to calm down.’
‘You try to stay calm when your touch blows up things.’ He retorted.
‘Let me see that wound you got, remove off your hand.’
He moved his hand from the deep cut he had gotten on the left side of his forehead. Selena opened a drawer of her bedside table and pulled out a box of small bandages. She unwrapped it and brought it closer to his wound but as soon as she touched the injured part, she was thrown off her feet. It was like she had received a powerful shock. Luckily she fell on her bed.
He backed away from her. Was he responsible for this as well? Her body was shaking. She pushed herself up and shook her head. Lance had never seen Selena look so shocked and scared before. Her eyes were wide open. He took another step back.
‘What the hell is happening?’ he asked.
It seemed that Selena was still not back from the shock.
‘I…, I just touched your wound,’ she said and she shook her head again. His heart started thumping like mad. He remembered that Selena had told him that he was responsible for the explosion yesterday. Was he going to make another explosion again? He wanted to check if Selena was ok but he didn’t dare approach her. Selena was having difficulty in moving. Her feet touched the floor but she couldn’t stand and fell to her knees. She was trembling. She looked up at him. His mouth was opened and he was backing away from her. Lance knew she had realised that he was afraid now. He ran towards the door and pulled it open. Now that they had found out that he was the one causing this, he just knew he had to get out of the house.
He heard Selena calling him back and saying that she was fine but he knew she was just saying that to spare his feelings. He was using the wall as his support because his panic was causing him even more trouble in moving. As he went down the stairs he heard the door open again and sound of footsteps. Why was Selena coming back to him? He had almost killed her.
He speeded his walk and reached the front door. He pulled it open and ran out side on the lawn.
Lance had no idea where he was going but all he cared about was getting away from Selena and the house or anything that he might cause harm for that matter. He crossed the pathway in the middle of the lawn.
He looked up and saw a blue car parked right in front of the house. The bright sunlight was reflecting from the car bonnet into his eyes. He held his eyes up to block the sun. Still breathing hardly he moved a bit sideways to stop the sun. Just then he realised that there was some one sitting on the bonnet of the car. His head bowed over a small book in his left hand and right hand in his pocket, his red long straight hair covering most of his eyes sat Hayden.
Lance stopped dead in his tracks, staring at Hayden. For a moment, Hayden showed no sign that he had noticed Lance. Lance didn’t know what to do. Yesterday he would have given anything to be away from this man but today he wasn’t sure. Considering everything that had happened today, he thought this man was responsible and maybe he had the answers to this abnormality.
He took one more step forward and Hayden closed his book with a snap, looked up and turned his head towards Lance.
‘What up Lance?’ he said.
Lance didn’t reply. He kept staring at Hayden.
‘What did you do to me?’ he asked after a while.
‘I did exactly what I said I would,’ came the reply, ‘that’s your power. You haven’t even realized what it is. I knew exactly what it is, in fact I knew what it was a soon as the moon crystal touched your heart.’
‘You did something to me and now because of me Selena is hurt.’
‘Impossible. You just gave her a small shock, a tiny taste of your power. She can’t be hurt by that.’
‘It wasn’t tiny!’ he shouted back, ‘she was thrown off her feet.’
‘And that is exactly why I am saying that it was tiny. She probably looked scared because she was in shock. She is perfectly fine, look,’ he said, pointing at the front door behind Lance.
He turned around and saw Selena sprinting towards him. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Hayden.
‘Yo, Selena!’ he greeted her.
‘Something is wrong with Lance,’ she shouted back at him, ‘and you are responsible for it. He has been blowing everything he touches. I’m gonna call the police.’
‘Sure,’ said Hayden, ‘go ahead. What are you gonna tell them?’ He asked that and opened his book and started reading again.
Selena looked at Lance and he stared back at her. They kept thinking for the answer for a long time. There was nothing to tell to the police. What were they gonna say, that he blows everything he touches? He fluctuates light bulbs?
‘Are you hurt Selena?’ asked Hayden.
‘No, I’m fine.’
‘See Lance, I told you she was fine. At your current state you are a danger to no one other than yourself. And maybe a few tube lights’ he added as an after thought.
‘What do you mean?’ he asked.
‘Do you think that throwing a girl off her feet and making electrical appliances burn is your power?’
‘What are you trying to say?’
‘Your power was released yesterday. The explosion you made yesterday was the highest form of your lowest level.’
‘What the hell are you talking about?’ he asked.
‘I’m saying that you powers are increasing. And that is the reason you can’t move your body. The energy is too much for you to handle. There is too much pressure on your muscles. Since you’re…. Screw that. I cannot explain this to you on the road. Let’s go somewhere we can sit and talk.’
‘Do you really think that we will go anywhere with you after what you did to Lance yesterday,’ said Selena.
Hayden didn’t reply. He raised his eyebrows and looked questioningly at lance.
‘I’ll go,’ said Lance.
Selena was surprised.
‘Lance what are you doing?’ she asked.
‘Selena I have no choice,’ he said. ‘After what I did inside, I was freaked out, so I ran out but I had no idea where to go. Now that I think about it I would have probably gone to this guy so that I stop being a freak. Since he is responsible for this he might know how to make it go away.’
‘Make it go away?’ said Hayden, ‘Lance, come over here.’
Reluctantly Lance approached him.
‘Give me your hand.’
Hayden held Lance’s wrist with his left hand and pulled out a small knife with his right.
‘Don’t be a wuss now,’ he said, ‘Selena, you also come here. You’re gonna wanna see this.’
The three of them huddled together, staring at Lance’s hand.
‘It is going to be a minor cut so don’t cry like a sissy girl, ok?’ he said.
He pressed the tip of the knife on his palm. Lance knew he was gonna give him a cut but he held in the pain.
From the minor pain, Lance could tell the cut wasn’t too deep but nevertheless it started bleeding. Hayden pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the blood.
‘Hold it in your hand tightly,’ he said to Lance. Lance gripped the handkerchief tightly. Hayden didn’t let go of his wrist.
‘Your body isn’t compatible with your powers,’ he said to Lance, looking directly in his eyes, ‘your muscles are trying their best to use the power but it is too much for them. The body should get used to the power but it won’t in your case. You powers will keep on increasing limitlessly. You will never lose this sensation of a new born. Once the body gets used to it, you will be much faster, much stronger and you will be able to control your powers.’
He let go Lance’s hand. Lance didn’t dare believe what he was saying. It was like a story.
‘Can I have my handkerchief back,’ asked Hayden.
Lance loosened his fist and pulled out the bloodstained handkerchief and handed it over to Hayden. He spread his hand to see the wound. His mouth dropped open. It was gone, completely healed. Not even a scar remained. Selena gasped and held her hands to her mouth. Lance couldn’t believe it. It was true. There was no sign that there was even a wound here. Then he remembered his bumped head and his shoulder. He had even hurt his knee when he fell from the staircase. But he had healed without even noticing. His mouth was still opened. He wanted to smile but he didn’t. This was something so cool. Selena let out a sigh mixed with shaking laughter.
‘There are a lot more surprises,’ said Hayden, smiling. Lance looked at him. The last time they had met on the top floor of the Fishman Industry building, he had a dead look in his eyes, but now his eyes were shining, twinkling with excitement. At last Lance smiled as well. Could he really trust this guy?
‘Is it really true that I have powers?’ Lance asked.
‘Yes, you do and you can control them. I can strengthen your muscles to withstand you power and become one with it.’
‘What you told us yesterday, about the worlds and all that other stuff, how much of that is true? How much of what you spoke of yesterday is a lie?’ asked Selena.
‘Everything I said was true except for one thing.’
‘It was just one lie and I promise it was the last one.’
‘What, what was it?’
‘I’m not really Peter Pan.’
Selena laughed. Lance also smiled weakly.
‘Come let’s go somewhere we can talk in privacy. There is a lot to explain.’ He said opening the door of his dark blue BMW for Selena. She looked at Lance, and then went inside the car.
‘Come Lance,’ said Hayden. Lance took the front seat.
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