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I yanked on the sleeves of my sweater as I entered the library. They aren’t staring at me… Without many qualms, I lowered into a chair and pulled a book out of my backpack. Once more, I glanced around before I opened the hardcover book.


It was nothing more than a beaten-up copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, but my dad told me it was a good book. As imaginary eyes fell upon me, my gaze drifted to the pacifier that hung on a yellow ribbon around my neck. Not a thought crossed my mind as I stuck the white pacifier in my mouth. Despite my desires, I lost the opportunity to read.


The space beside me was filled, and I glanced up from the pages -- only to be frozen in place. His name was a mystery, but he always watched the torture. Sooner or later, someone would approach... The boy ran a hand through his dirty blonde hair, but his brown eyes stared at me.


“Why do you have that stupid pacifier?” he muttered.


Although people asked every single day, the answer never came. It wasn’t something I shared so freely. As much as I would have liked to say it wasn’t a stupid pacifier, there was no point. Everybody saw it that way.


He laid his arm around my shoulders, “I’m not going to judge you.”


If that’s true… I slowly took the pacifier out of my mouth. When I opened my mouth to speak, I froze again. They aren’t staring at me… However, I glanced around and saw people watching me -- some of my classmates. They are staring at me… Like a frightened child, I stuck the pacifier in my mouth and gathered my things. I stormed out of the library and walked outside. It didn’t long to find a spot along the brick exterior of the school. I lowered to the ground and rummaged through my bag for the old book.


Before I dove into the words across the pages, a breeze buffeted me. The trees hadn’t been pushed, as if the wind only played with me.


“Stop the Nyx,” a voice whispered along another gust. The Nyx?


Someone tapped on my shoulder. That same boy filled my vision when I turned. He sat beside me once more. This time, I glanced around and made sure there were no onlookers before I took the pacifier out of my mouth.


“Do you really want the answer?” I whispered.


The boy widened my eyes, “If it’s hard to say, then it can wait for another time.”


I nodded, and he gestured towards the hardcover book, “What is it?”


Without a word, I flipped the book around and showed him the spine of the cover where the title glimmered in platinum letters.


“That’s a really good book. It only took me about two days to read it,” he smiled as he spoke, “I just couldn’t put it down.”


Some days, I feared that not one person would ever talk to me -- willingly. I had those thoughts this morning, but it was different now. He chose to talk to me. A teacher didn’t assign a partner project. I scooted myself a little closer to him.


“My name is Novaya, but you can call me Nova,” I mumbled.


“Aaron,” he said low.


Aaron… It was a nice name, a normal name while “Novaya” was outside the box.


“Am I allowed to ask about the pacifier?”

“Do you know what an oral fixation is?”


Aaron furrowed his brow. Of course, he hadn’t taken any psychology classes.


“In psychology, there are psychosexual stages. One of them is the oral stage. It’s when little kids suck their thumb,” I explained, “An oral fixation is when someone is stuck in the oral psychosexual stage, so he or she will almost always have something in his or her mouth.”


“I take it you have an oral fixation.”

“That’s what the lady told my dad.”

“Is that why you have the pacifier?”


I nodded, “I’d rather have a pacifier than suck on my thumb or smoke a cigarette.”


He laughed, and a sheepish grin stole my face. It felt strange to smile. The moment felt real, and not a single piece of me expected betrayal -- not now at least. My heart throbbed at the concept. The last time I felt this way, someone died.


“Are you okay?” Aaron asked.


My eyes widened as I looked at him. He had rolled his lips in his mouth, and his brown eyes studied my face as if I were an ancient artifact. After a few seconds, my eyes drifted away. How long had I spent dwelling on her death? Can I show him?


“Do you want to see a magic trick?” I mumbled.


Aaron laughed, “Is it a good one?”


A smirk tugged at my lips, “You tell me.”


I bit my lip before I yanked my sleeve up my arm. Aaron watched me as I twirled a beam of light around my finger, as if it were a long strand of blonde hair. After I cupped the single beam into my hands, I opened my hands a little bit. A ball of light sat in my hands. I squished my palms together before I released fragments of light in an illusion of butterflies.


“How the hell did you do that?”


I smiled at Aaron as his eyes stretched to the size of saucers, and the corners of his lips curled upright. Then, his own warm smile vanished. I turned around to find a group of men. They wore stiff, dark-colored padding and gas masks like a SWAT team. One of them took a step towards me. Immediately, I positioned myself in front of Aaron before I bent a ray of sunshine and refracted it into the man’s dreary-toned mask.


One of them fired a silent pistol, and I held a hand to my upper arm. Whatever they shot at me, it must have contained some sort of sedative. That was clear as my slim form leaned into Aaron, who wrapped one of his arms around my waist and held me upright. Another one of the strange men approached us. The man grabbed my arm and ripped me from Aaron’s embrace. I tried to escape, but no amount of pathetic squirming served any good. My blood ran cold when I heard the whisk of a bullet. Aaron’s body became listless and collapsed to the ground. A gunshot wound sat in the center of his forehead, and his cocoa brown eyes were empty.


In a matter of moments, the men pulled me away from the corpse. I didn’t protest; I was stunned. Never had I seen anything of the sort -- not even when she died. My eyes remained on the boy until his image evaporated and was replaced by a dark wall. I glanced about my new prison.

They just kill him and take me? What do they want? Haunted by the image, I stuck the white pacifier in my mouth. He's dead… Am I going to die too? Are they the Nyx?

Submitted: December 25, 2015

© Copyright 2021 ShakeilKanish. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:



Oh well this was just heartbreaking :( Ugh to finally see Nova get a friend and then have him torn away like that? What's worse is that he was just about to share the death of someone else with him to find someone...anyone that would talk to him to listen and then he was torn away. He probably feels awful about that! I loved that I was just picturing this man child the whole time it was kinda creepy but at the same time beautiful that you used a condition a lot of people aren't used to! So I applaud you for bringing something new to the table with your awesome psychology lingo! He was a very layered character with the mentality of a child but he spoke like he was wise beyond his years! I look forward to def seeing more of what kind of person he really is! I also love that he showed his powers off but they weren't dangerous not really, they were innocent and almost childlike like he was. I think you did a great job of corresponding them with his personality. Especially saying he held a little bit of sunshine in his hands. That was UBER cute. I also loved your use of the giant letters symbolizing his inner thoughts, it worked well with the flow of the story and once again you threw something in that I hadn't seen in any of the other chapter so amazing job here! #YayNova

Sat, December 26th, 2015 2:43am


I liked this chapter, the character is very interesting and well thought out, but why did they have to kill Aaron? It seemed like Aaron was the only friend Novaya had at that moment, this was heartbreaking! Although on the brighter side I liked how Novaya controlled the light like that.

Sat, December 26th, 2015 3:45am


This character interested me. When Novaya put that pacifier in his mouth and was being stared at, I felt slight sorry for him too, and even more so when Aaron died. I mean, WHAT. THE. HECK. SERIOUSLY!!! Why did they kill him!? That was just sad. Nova was just opening up to him and then he gets killed. I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. I do like how his character written though. Great job.

Mon, December 28th, 2015 10:18pm

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