I am Brooke Evans. A not-so-normal brown haired, violet eyed fifteen year old girl in Bellaire, Michigan, who sees everything. Everything I see is real. Including the ghosts.
“Hey Ellie, what's up? That’s my best friend Ellie. She and I have known each other our whole lives. Her parents and my parents were best friends although hers died when she was 7 in a plane accident. We took care of her for a couple years after that to help her get used to the change.
“Nothing.” She knows that I can see ghosts. I mean, it's not like I can prove it to her, but she believes me for some apparent reason. I once asked why she didn’t think I was crazy and she just shrugged and gave me the look saying ‘Do I really need a reason?’
“Are you ready to go?”
“Yes.” No. I hate walking to school. It's really not that far but this town has way too many cemeteries. Apparently there was some war here back in the 1500s or something. I really don’t know but the fact that there are at least 5 between my house and school really creeps me out. There’s also this, “Brooke,” old abandoned, “ Brooke, Brooke!”
“Huh? Oh, sorry Ellie, what?”
“You had this distant look on your face.” Oops. I must have froze, again. I do that a lot when I’m thinking seriously about something. I’m either moving and not responding and don’t stop or I just stop and stand still. Usually it’s something pertaining to ghosts and supernatural, superpower stuff, although sometimes it’s really vivid flashbacks. It’s also kind of hard to get my attention back. I remember this one time, Ellie and I were sitting outside on the porch swing, in early morning, that at the time was a really cute light pink until I froze. Ellie apparently shook me so hard I fell off the swing and dumped my coffee on the,
“Brooke!” She gave me The Look.
“Oh sorry.” The Look is how Ellie looks at me everytime I freeze and we have to get somewhere.
“Are you okay or do you need a minute?” She says, still giving me The Look.
“Nah. I’m fine.”
“Okay. Are you ready to go now?” Ellie says, strongly emphasizing the now.
“Yeah. Sorry ‘bout that.”
“No problem,” she says.
“Let’s go. Otherwise we’re gonna be really late”
You would never guess anything was strange about our little town. There's about 1,000 people, a lot of green and some community buildings like the schools, library, rec center, pool, a park, a bank, etc. But there’s something up. Our town has a superstition that if you’re going by the cemeteries, you have to hold your breath. Otherwise, a ghost will come and possess you for a day. Over the summer, we overheard the The Board Of Trustees of our town at the bank talking about some big plan. We picked up a couple words and bits of sentences such as, “is it ready yet?”, “...possess...coming…” , “...in the park… hope they don’t find out…” and a bunch of other little bits and pieces. Ellie and I made an agreement to figure out what was going on and as of now, we have nothing.
We made it to school a bit later than usual because of me freezing up earlier and as usual I saw a bunch of ghosts. I've been seeing ghosts for 5 years now. Ever since my father died. When I first started seeing them, I couldn’t always tell if they were a living, breathing person with flesh or not. They all looked so real to me. The thing with the ghosts is that I can’t choose if i want to see them. I either ignore them, and eventually they go away and I just go on with my day all happy and everything, or I can’t calm myself down enough to ignore them and I end up being cranky all day. Now, yes, it was kinda cool to see the ghosts in the beginning but now, it’s just annoying. Anyway, now that I’m older, they look more like wisps of smoke with faces.
“Come on Brooke. That was the bell. You and I both know very well that if we’re late to Mr Brown’s class it won’t be good.” I agree. Last time we were late, we had friday and saturday detention for an hour and a half. It sucked. Mr Brown used to be an army sergeant and believes that that is how he should treat all sophomores so he made me clean the gym and Ellie clean the cafeteria. He was barking orders the whole time.
We got in the classroom right on time. Thank God.
He’s watching us as we sit down in class with a wary expression. Huh. He’s never weird and nervous around people.
“Hello class. Is everyone here?” He asks. Many people turned around, looking for anyone who wasn’t here and then turned back to the front saying yep.
“OK. Today we’re going to learn about, Mr Williams! DETENTION!! Get back in your seat!” Mr Williams, aka, Leo. The troublemaker in our grade.
“OK class as I was saying, we’re going to learn about our ancestors. Yes, you can put your books away.”
Everyone hurriedly put their books away. Nobody likes book work. It’s always so boring, although, if Ms taught this subject I’d be fine. She at least makes book work fun. We were all ready except for Leo. You know how there’s always that kid in your class who thinks that once they’re in trouble it can’t get any worse? That's him. Right over there. Dirty blonde hair, blue, sparkly eyed popular guy. The one who rules the school. He’s moving as slow as a turtle. I mean seriously, a slug could beat him.
“Huh?” he said with feigned surprise and a hint of a sly mile on his lips.
“DETENTION!” he yells. Oh well, we all knew it was coming, but seriously, dude, you could’ve left my eardrums in tact. Leo is just smiling. Stupid bastard.
“As I was saying class, our ancestors are very important. They are where…”
Annnnd, now. This is where I zone out. During the boring lectures of school everyday, I usually practice my control over the ghosts and spirits and whatever. Sometimes, I can get a ghosts to move an object if I really focus but that rarely happens because of the lectures. Today, I just sleep. Usually I can sleep without him noticing. Hopefully I’m lucky today.
“Here she is. Brooke Evans, your highness,” the guy says like he’s bestowing me upon this person.
“Who are you guys? I thought I was still sleeping?”
“Who says you aren’t?” says the guy mysteriously. What the heck does that mean?
“So, am I dreaming?” I ask. I have to be. How else is this happening? I’m asleep so soon enough I will wake up.
“No. You are not dreaming. But you will wake up soon. It was nice to meet you Brooke Evans. I can assure you we will meet again.”
“Okay,” I mumble, “nice to meet you, too…” I say unsuredly.
Well, that was, interesting. Who were those people? What did he mean when he said, “I can assure you we will meet again?”
“Ask your parents about your ancestors! Bring back any information that is helpful and important!” Mr Brown yells.
As I walk out I turn back to find him staring at me. Once he realizes I’ve noticed him, he turns away. Weird.
The rest of the day was pretty boring after that. I had a pop quiz in english and I embarrassed myself in gym by falling and then tripping over a dodgeball, but nothing out of the ordinary. By the way, I’m really clumsy. I went to the bathroom to look at my cut.
“Did u hear about what’s happening?”
“Well, you see the p-,” CRASH. Oops. The stupid locker made a sound as I tried to inch closer to hear better, “Let’s go talk somewhere else. Wouldn’t want anyone to hear this.”
“Yea, okay.” Who were they? What were they talking about?
I have to, “Who were those people?”
“Ah! Jeez Ellie! Don’t do that!” I exclaim after landing from my 8 foot jump into the air.
“Sorry,” She said with an impatient tone. “Do you know who?”
“No! Of course not.” I will find out what they were talking about though.
“Okay. Are you okay?” she says in a worried tone, looking at the cut on my hand.
“Yea,” I say and then rush to the bathroom.
“Hey Hon! How was school?” My mom was in our kitchen when we got home. There was stuff everywhere in there. I swear, if people could be tornados or hurricanes and some kind of natural disaster, my mom would blow the destruction level out of the park.
“Good. I’m going to go upstairs and do my homework. Ellie went over to her grandparents house. Ellie’s grandparents live nearby and she stays with them now but she still comes over frequently she also goes and visits her cousins a lot over in Wisconsin. They’re really close.
“Ok, but remember, we’re going out for dinner tonight with Nate.” Nate is my mom’s boyfriend. They’ve been going out for almost a year now. He’s really nice and considerate.
“Got it mom,” I yell over my shoulder while half-way up the stairs.
“Oh wait, mom?” I yell.
“Do we have stuff on my ancestors.?” I ask.
She hesitates, “Um, why?
“We have an ancestry project at school in my social studies class.”
“Can you come down here for a second?” Something about her tone sounds off.
“Sure,” I say slowly as I walk back down, “What’s up mom?”
“Can you come sit down?” She pats the part of the couch next to her.
I sit down, “what’s up mom?”
“Well, honey, you’re,” she says shakily.
“Mom, just say what you need to say. Don’t beat around the bush.”
“Okay, well, you’re, you’re, you're adopted.” She spits out fast.
“I’m what?” I ask, not sure if I heard her right.
“Adopted,” She says, much quieter than before as if she thinks I’m going to be really mad at her and lash out.
“Wow,” I say not really sure of what else to say. She’s sitting there looking at me with a confused expression wondering why I’m not mad.
“Well,” I start out, “I kinda knew that,” I say slowly.
“What? How?” She asks, now in astonishment.
“Well, I mean, I look nothing like you or dad. You have blonde hair and he’s got black. Also, my violet eyes don’t match anyone’s in the family.” She nods, like she just realized that I could’ve put two and two together.
“Anyway thanks for confirming what I thought. I was just starting to think some odd things about where I came from,” I say, adding in a laugh at the end, “All as a joke of course. I’m gonna go do my homework now,” I say before walking upstairs to my room. ‘I’m adopted.’ I think as I make my way up. “Hm, wonder who my biological family is.’
I reach the end of the hall where my bedroom is. I step in and breathe in the sight. My bedroom has 2 walls. The other 2 are glass and I have a balcony extending from that. We live in a heavily wooded area so it’s really pretty. I have a couch that’s purple. It reminds me of the meadow back in Pittsburgh where we used to live. My bed has a canopy colored pink for the sunset on the water and there’s a rug thats white just because.
I sit down at my desk. I have math and science to do. Ugh. The worst subjects, Ever! “Stupid teachers, with all their homework! They say it’s not a lot but it’s too much! UGH!” I grumble. I can’t do this stupid homework! There are numbers everywhere! The square root of ten to the power of 6 plus 8? What the heck! How am I supposed to know this? Ugh. Wait. What? A ghost? I never see any ghosts in my house. He a boy who's looks around 16. Huh. Wonder what happened to him. He's holding up numbers. “1?” A nod. “8?” Wait, “1,” yes, “0,” yes, “8?” He shakes his head. “Okay, so it's 1,” he nods, “0…” another nod, “0 and then,” he puts his hands behind his back, “0?” He's jumping up and down, “okay, and then 8?” A vigorous nod. “Okay, so the answer is 1,008?” He's now jumping up and down, nodding, and clapping his hands. “Okay… thanks? I guess.” He does thank you in sign language and then disappears. Huh. Weird but helpful. I look back at the problem, not understanding it. Huh. I guess i could’ve done hat by itself. Whatever. Thanks helpful, unknown ghost. I finish my math and look up the periodic table for my science.
When I finish my homework, it was almost time to go.
“Brooke! Come on! We’re walking which takes another 5 minutes! Hurry up!
“Coming Mom!” I called back as I ran down the stairs. Oops. Not so smart. I tripped going around the corner, landing face flat on the ground.
“Ow,” I say, standing up to find my mom there waiting for me with an ice pack.
We started out the door and then she stopped. I turned around to find her with her hands on her hips.
“What do you really think about Nate?” she asked me.
I look at her, stunned, “What do you mean? I like him.” She looked unconvinced so I walked up and said, “Mom. If and when the time will come and he proposes to you, my only thought will be that if he makes you happy, then I’m happy.” Tears pricked at her eyes. She suddenly recovered, wiping her eyes, clearing her throat and then continued walking.
We keep walking until we reach the park. It’s tiny.
“Aw! Look!” my mom exclaims, “It’s the little park you always played in! Haven’t seen this in forever! Look! Over there, by the trees! You always hung out there. We always thought you were catching frogs. What were you doing? Do you remember?” she says in a rush. Speaking of rushes, I think I’m getting a head rush trying to comprehend all of what she’s saying.
“Woah mom. You’re gonna make me pass out. What trees?”
She points to the two trees over by the little pond. “Those ones. You you remember?”
I look over at the trees and suddenly I’m walking towards them. I can hear my mom yelling my name and telling me to come back otherwise we’ll be late but I can’t seem to pull away. The closer I get, the shinier the area in between the trees become. I get closer and what I see is amazing. It’s all pink and purple swirly wisps of air. I can faintly hear voices, and all of a sudden I’m looking at my mother’s face.
“Brooke!” She cries.
“Huh? What?” I say, totally out of it.
“Are you okay? You were next to me, and then I turned away for a second. Next thing I know, you’re over here staring like you were younger like you’re in some kind of trance!” she exclaims.
“I’m good mom. Everything’s fine. Now, let’s go. We’re gonna be late!” A say with a little laugh.
“Okay,” she says reluctantly.
We start walking again and I start to think about think about the glowy thing in between the trees. What the heck was it? Why was I walking towards it? Why couldn’t I stop? As I was pondering these questions, I realized I probably froze. I’ve never froze around my mom. She’d freak out. She’s probably freaking out right now!
Okay Brooke, breathe. In, out, in, out. I’m back and we’re already here. Huh. Must’ve kept walking.
“Hun, are you okay? You weren’t talking for a bit there.”
“Yea mom, I’m fine. C’mon, we don’t wanna keep Nate waiting.” With that, I skipped up to the little diner that was the most popular place in town. It was pretty much the only restaurant here. It’s all lit up with neon lights with a bunch of arrows pointing towards the door. There’s also a secret place on the roof behind the sign but don’t tell anyone I told you.
I walk in and see about one and two couples here. ‘Weird.’ This place is usually full here. Hey! There’s Nate. Why’s he wearing a suit and tie? I thought for a minute and then it hit me. Oh, My, God. He’s gonna propose! I’m bouncing with excitement by now.
My mom walks in. She looks around waril and sees Nate all dressed up. She cocks her head at him and then turns to me with a confused expression on her face. Once she sees me bouncing, she looks even more confused.
“Brooke what-” she starts but I interrupt her.
“I have to go to the bathroom!” I say, a bit louder than expected though. She looks taken aback and surprised and I’m getting strange looks from everyone else. I bolt over to Nate, say hi, good luck and give him a wink and then make my way to the bathroom. Their table is close enough that I can hear them.
Nate has said hello and kissed her on the cheek before pulling her chair out for her. He says that he’s been thinking about some things for while now. This is where my mom interrupts him and almost starts crying, saying that she knew that he’d break up with her. It was only a matter of time. Oh mom. How wrong could you possibly be.
Someone walks in and distracts me. I’ve never seen her here before. She has blonde hair and...violet eyes? Huh. That’s strange. For all I knew, I was the only person in the world with violet eyes. I guess not. She goes up to the bar and orders milkshake.
While she’s waiting she looks around as if she’s taking everything in. We make eye contact and I feel this buzz and hum. I blink and turn and it’s gone. I look back towards her and she’s gotten her milkshake, just staring at it like she’s thinking about something. She couldn’t have felt it, too? Could she?
I start to walk towards her when I hear, “YES! OH MY GOD, YES! A Million Times yes!” Well, looks like they got engaged. Aw. I’m happy for mom and I like Nate. I’ll congratulate them later.
By now, I’m right at the bar. I get up onto the stool next to her. I take a closer look at her. Hm. She kinda looks like me. Same eyes, same nose. I guess we could be twins.
She starts to get up. She’s still oblivious to the fact that I’m here and steps out a it too far. She stumbles and falls, grabbing my hand as she goes down trying to steady herself and all I feel is shock. Not like a little shock you get from static electricity and something. Like, a bolt of energy going through my veins. We both fall to the ground. I stay there for a second trying to collect my thoughts. I finally retrieved them all and look back at the girl to she if she’s okay and she’s staring at me. I start to ask if she’s okay and that when I see it, there’s a strand of brown hair in her blonde hair.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
“Y-y-yeah,” she stutters, “y-you?”
“Yeah. What’s your name?”
“Um, Gwen,” she says shyly.
“Cool. I’m Brooke,” I say as I stand up. I reach my hand out to her to help her up and she just stares at it. I wonder why she wouldn’t take it but then I remembered.
“Did you feel that too?” I ask.
“Yeah. Do you know what it was?”
“No,” I say sadly, “But, let’s find out. Follow me.” I decide to take her to the roof.
“Are you sure we’re allowed up here?” she asks once we’re on the roof hidden behind the sign.
“Yea. The owner told me about up here and I come here sometimes to breathe,” I explain.
She looks around and smiles a little, “So, can you hear them, too?” she asks quietly.
“The voices,” she responds, “In your…” she trails off.
“Gwen?” She’s staring at something behind me on the roof. I turn around to see a ghost. An older woman who looks to be around her sixties.
“Who is that?” she asks.
“A ghost,” I say nonchalantly.
“A-a g-ghost?” she stutters.
“Yea…” I say unsurely, wondering if I should tell her.
We stand there, watching the ghosts as it starts to mouth some words. Although, she’s not mouthing the words. She actually starts talking.
“Hello Brooke. Gwen, you could hear me before but hello to you, too,” she says. I just stare. Gwen slowly goes from scared to elated. What is happening? I’m so confused. I’ve never been able to hear a ghost talk before. I didn’t even know they did that.
“Ha!” Gwen exclaims, “I knew I wasn’t crazy! Well, I mean, I guess I am. I’m hearing and seeing ghosts now but at least I’m not the only one!” I’m still staring at the ghosts. Stuck on the fact that they can talk.
“Wait, you guys can talk?” I say.
“Yep,” the ghost responds, “We can also see everything and know a lot of things. After all, once we’re here, we stay here.” That last part she said sounded a bit sad but maybe that was just me. Wait a second. What does she mean by here? I‘m about to ask but Gwen beats me.
“What’s your name?” Gwen asks the ghost.
“Wait a second,” I say, forgetting about what she had said before,“Your eyes. They’re violet like mine.” She smiles and nods and then turns towards Gwen who looks like she has lost the ability to to close her mouth.
“So are mine,” she says in a soft tone, “Wait a second. Brooke?” I look over at her. “Could you see or hear ghosts before?” she asks.
“Yes. I could see them. Could you hear them?” Ruth is smiling at us now.
“Yea. Do I have a streak of brown in my hair about where your streak is?”
“What!” I exclaim. Gwen pulls out a mirror. Sure enough, there’s a streak of blonde in my hair. Dang it. My mom is going to kill me.
“Woah,” I say, not really knowing what else to say.
She comes closer so I am able to her in the mirror.
“Woah,” she breathes, “We could pass as twins.” That's when I remember earlier today. “You’re adopted.”
“Wait, Gwen? Are you adopted?” I ask.
“How did you know?” she asks still quiet. Ruth is smiling big.
“Anything you’d like to add?” I ask her.
“You guys are twins!” she practically shouts.
“We’re what?” Gwen and I exclaim in unison.
“You guys are twins meant to fight the battle together!”
“Um, what battle?” I say.
“The battle between worlds!” she says as if it were obvious.
“And what exactly are we doing in this battle?” Gwen asks, more confidently.
“Fighting Neo, the shadow world lord. I think he contacted each of you a few days ago. I don’t really remember. I was doing aquatics in the River Acheron.” We both just stare at her. I mean, she just admitted to swimming in a river that is said to be in the underworld. Who wouldn’t?
“Can you tell us anything?” Gwen asks.
“Sure!” Ruth replies, “You guys are twins, I’m your biological great-great-great grandmother, you guys were separated by your biological parents once they found out you had violet eyes because that meant you were destined to battle and unless you win, you die and they didn’t want you two to die. You have to fight in the test first and you both obtained more powers,” she says all in one breath.
“What sort of powers?” Gwen asks. ‘Huh. I could’ve sworn she said a test. I guess not,’ I think.
“Well, obviously each other’s. Brooke you got imperceptibility which means you can become whatever you want including invisible. Gwen you got telekinesis which I’m going to assume you know what it is. However, you both have telepathy and portal manipulation,” Ruth says much slower than her last statement.
“So, we can read other people’s mind and stuff?” I ask.
“Yep. as well, as teleport to any place you’d like and choose what your appearance is.”
“Awesome!” I exclaim.
“You guys need to train. Your test is coming up,” says Ruth calmly. ‘Ha! I knew it!’ I exclaim in my head. The I start to worry, ‘What kind of test. Like knowledge and stuff? Or is it physical? If it’s on knowledge, what do I need to know? If it’s physical, how should I train?’ I was about to ask all these questions but Gwen beat me to it with just one.
“What do you mean, test?” Gwen asks nervously.
“I have told you all I can my lovelies. We will meet again. Love ya, bye!” With that she disappears and leaves Gwen and I standing alone on the roof. ‘What the heck? I thought she was supposed to be helpful,’ I grumble unhappily in my head.
I turn to Gwen, “So, do you have, like, a phone number or something?” We exchange phone numbers and promise to meet back up soon.
We walk back down and then part ways, waving goodbye to each other. She walks out of the diner while I head over to the table Nate and my mom were at and find that they have moved. I look around, trying to find if they’re still here. It didn't take long. I found them sitting in a booth near a window, snuggled up against each other. You know, I’m all for my mom’s happiness but watching my mom and some guy together is just weird. Even if I like the guy.
“Hey Honey! Where’ve you been?”
“I was just up on the roof,” I say. ‘Please don’t ask why. Please don't ask why.’I repeat in my head.
“Okay. Come over here. We want to show you something.” I walk towards her and decide to be ‘surprised’ when she shows me the ring.
“Okay. You ready? Here it is,” she says as she puts her left hand out. The ring is, of course, diamond but it’s got a more silver band instead of gold and more than one diamond.
“Woah,” I say stunned not even close to faking it, “That’s great mom. I’m really happy for you. You too Nate,” he smiles, “I gotta go though. I have to finish some homework,” I say. Hopefully that’s a good enough excuse. I just wanna try out my new powers.
“Okay,” says my mom, “We’ll be back around nine, okay?” It’s seven right now. Wow. I spent two hours talking with Gwen and Ruth. No wonder they were worried about me.
“Okay. See you guys later.” I head out the doors. The minute my foot hits the outdoors, I’m whisked around to the wall. Whoever this person is, puts a hand over my mouth. Everything comes into focus and I see Gwen standing before me. She sees my eyes widen and removes her hand slowly, just in case.
“What the heck Gwen!” I exclaim.
“Sorry!” she exclaims, “I need to practice these powers. It’s been about ten minutes I left and everything is going haywire!” I lead her away from the diner and go to the little shed behind it. It’s where I used to hang out everyday. We go inside and it’s pretty roomy.
“Here’s some space. What should we practice first?” I ask her.
“Probably the portal one,” she says, “We’ll probably be needing to use it the most.”
“Okay. How are we supposed to do this?”
“I don't know. Think of a place ad then hold your hands out in front of you or something.” I do exactly that. I picture the outside of the little shed and shoot my hands out in front of me as I open my eyes. All of a sudden there's a circle big enough for one to step through in front of me.
Gwen just stares at me, “How did you do that?” she asks incredulously.
“I just did exactly as you said,” I say still not convinced that actually happened and staring at the thing.
I wait a couple seconds before saying, “Well, let’s see if this thing actually works.” I start walking towards the portal, wishing Gwen would say something and then I hear Gwen say, “Oh my god. What if it doesn’t work? What if it leads her somewhere far away and she can't get back!”
I turn around and say, “I will be able to get back. I’ve got money just in case.”
“Oh my god! You heard that?”
“Well, we have telepathy down now,” Gwen says while laughing.
“Okay,” I say pulling myself together, “Let’s see where this thing goes.” I step into the portal. I see a bright light, bright enough to blind me and then I’m standing outside the shed.’Awesome’ I think.
“Brooke, can you hear me?” Gwen asks me telepathically.
“Yes,” I attempt to send back.
Apparently it works because she says, “Where did you go? Did you go where you were meaning to go?” I walk in through the door and tap her shoulder.
She jumps and turns around screaming in her head, yikes, she’s loud, “Yes! It worked. This is so cool!”
We decide to try to portal back to our houses and se if we can still hear each other from there.
Soon enough, there’s two portals. Each in front of us. We say goodbye and promise to try to connect Once we make it home. I watch her step through the portal. Then, I go through mine. There’s the light. Hm, I wonder if I use portals too much if I can go blind. Probably not.
I end up in my bedroom in my house. Yes! It worked again.
Okay, “Gwen, can you hear me?”
I wait a couple seconds and then I hear, “Loud and clear, Brooke,” with laughter at the end.
“So, what do we do now? It’s almost nine. My parents will be back soon,” I think.
Everything is quiet for a second so I assume she’s thinking. “Well, tomorrow, at school, we can try to connect with each other. As well as others. Our telepathy should let us hear their thoughts, too,” She thinks.
“Okay. Goodnight Gwen.”
“Night Brooke.” Well, that could not have gone better. I go out to dinner with my mom and her now fiance, meet my twin, find out we’re destined to fight some shadow world leader, and get really cool superpowers.
I head downstairs to watch tv. I hear the door in the halway open as I drift off to sleep.
“Come on Brooke! Wake up. School is in twenty-five minutes,” My mom practically yells at me.
“Okay mom. Jeez. You don’t have to yell,” I say as open my eyes slowly and stretch.
“Okay, okay,” I trudge my way up the stairs as if going through mud.
I finally make it up to my bedroom. I look in the mirror. Ugh, I look terrible. My hair is like a lion's mane and I have bags underneath my eyes. I’m not going to be able to be ready for school in twenty minutes. I start to head downstairs to ask my mom if I can go late today when I remember one of the powers from last night. Imperceptibility. The ability to change one’s appearance. Well, let’s hope this works.
I head over to the mirror in front of my desk. I close my eyes and think about how I want to look. Refreshed with a bit of makeup. A light eyeshadow and a bit of lipstick. I open my eyes and look at myself in the mirror. Wow. That worked. Really, really well. I hear a buzz. I flip over and see a text from Ellie saying that she can't walk with me to school today. I text her back, telling her it’s ok. I yell back to my mom as I walk down the stairs letting her know that I’m heading to school.
She comes out of her room, “Ok. I won’t be here after school though. I have a meeting at work today.”
“Ok mom. Love you. See you,” I say as I walk out the door. I turn quickly and rush to the garage. ‘Okay. Let’s do this,’ I tell myself. I picture the woods in front of the school and open my eyes. ‘Hey! I’m getting better at this. I didn’t even have to shoot my hands out. Okay. Here’s goes nothing,’ I think right as I step into the portal. This time I shut my eyes which is a lot better than seeing the blinding flash of light. Next thing I know, I’m outside the school. This is how I’m getting to school everyday from now on.
I walk out of the woods, making sure nobody is looking, and make my way to the sidewalk. I feel a buzz and pull out my phone out. There’s a text from Gwen saying she wants to meet up at the shed place after school to practice. I tell her that’s fine and that I’ll meet her there at three-thirty.
The start of school upto lunch is a blur. There’s an occasional ghost sighting but it’s getting better. I’m not seeing the ghosts as much as before. At lunch I sit with Ellie.
“So,” I say, “How are you grandparents?” For some reason, I decide to not tell her about Gwen and everything that happened last night.
“Good as always. How are you?”
“Good.” There's a bit of an awkward silence between us for a couple seconds until the bell rings.
Ellie walks towards her class on the opposite side of the building.
“Bye,” I mumble. Too soft for anyone to hear.
As I step into my math class, I hear Gwen in my head. We’re getting really good at this telepathy thing.
“Brooke? Can you hear me?” she asks.
“Yep. How are you doing?”
“Good. Are we still on for practicing after school?”
“Yep,” I say or think, “Are we portaling in?”
“Yeah. Okay. Just wanted to check in. Good luck in Math,” she thinks.
“How did you know-” I start but she cuts me off.
“We can look around in people’s minds,” She explains.
“Cool. I’ll have to try that. Bye Gwen.”
“See you, Brooke.”
I go over to my desk and sit down. The teacher is talking about some algebraic problem and sorts, but I’m not listening. I think about how I’m adopted and how Gwen is my twin. Who are our parents? Are these powers just by chance? Have people had them before?
Before I know it, the bell has rung and I’m gathering my stuff up. I have one more class today and that’s science. I hate science but it’s a requirement here. We do some things with chemicals and write down some things on some of the elements in the periodic table. I try to look into other people’s thoughts and in doing so, I found out that Amy is dating Shawn, Tasha is getting kicked off the cheerleading team, Noah is trying out for the football team, and Mason has a crush on a girl named Abby. All very interesting, not. Then the bell rings. Yes, time to get out of here.
I rush out of the building and practically run straight into the woods. I text Ellie to let her know I’m busy tonight and she says she is, too. I picture the inside of the shed and keep walking forward.
I make it in the shed and find Gwen already started. She’s practicing. Gwen got telekinesis while I got Imperceptibility.
“Wow. You’re getting good,” I tell her.
“Thanks she says as she puts the table she was lifting down slowly because it still had a bunch of stuff on it.
“Well,” she says, “Now that you’re here, let’s get started.”
We train like this everyday after school for the next two weeks. Sometimes we go to the library and try to look stuff up for our test.
“Hey Brooke,” Gwen says. I look up from the book I was looking at, “Come here.” I walk over to where she is at our table. She’s looking through a book on legends and points to the page she’s on.
“Read this,” she says. I start reading.
The Shadow Realm
The shadow realm, also known as the shadow world is a very unique place. Legend says there’s two natural portals to get there. Now, to be able to get a portal to the shadow world from wherever. You have to have a special gemstone. It was created by Neo (the ruler or leader of the shadow world, by legend) for the shadows that came to Earth for a way back. It is called the Paraiba. (Picture below)
Legend says it’s guarded by four of Neo’s best shadow guards in Bellaire, Michigan, the city known for cemeteries. It’s guarded by the best because if anyone gets into the shadow world, nothing good will happen.
“Do you think this is our test?” I ask, excited and nervous at the same time.
“Well, we don’t know what the place looks like because we haven’t been there so we can’t make a portal there and we’re here already, so I think it’s a shot. If not, them if we win, we’ll at least have a way into the shadow world,” I explain.
For the next week and a half, Gwen and I are practically living in the shed. Ellie and I have taken a little break from hanging out with each which she seems fine with. I’m telling my mom that I’m with Gwen studying. She met Gwen a couple days ago. And really liked her. I didn’t tell her that we were twins, though.Technically, I told her the truth about what we do when we hang out. We a studying for our test by practicing our powers. We're getting better at them, though. We can do everything with a flick of our wrists. We've started to use telepathy at school more as practice. It's kinda cool. I mean, being able to know what people actually think about you is any high schooler’s dream. Except mine. I've never really cared about that. I've always been invisible. But now, they don't know it, but I'm the one that stands out.
“Do you think this is it?” Gwen asks. We’re standing in front of a cave underneath the school. For a couple days now, we’ve been trying to find where the Paraiba would be. Walking aimlessly around the town trying to find anything unusual and worthy of hiding something as important as that in it.
“Yea,” I say as I walk slowly towards it, “Are you coming?”
She just stand there, shifting from one foot to another, “Are we doing this today?”
I think for a second, figuring out what to say and looking back into the darkness of the cave, “No. Today, I’m going to make us invisible to everyone and everything but each other. Since we’ve got the flashlights, we can see so we’re going to go in there to scope out the area and try to locate the Paraiba without any of the guards, if there are any, seeing us.” I conclude with confidence.
Gwen has come up to me and grabbed hold of my hand. “Together,” she says.
“Together,” I agree as we walk in with flashlights pointed in front of us, hands still together, while I turn us and the flashlights invisible.
The cave was pretty big on the inside. A bunch of tunnels and other smaller areas. We come to a split and decide to split up. We figure we can communicate using telepathy and portal out if needed.
I head down my way and start to hear voices. I see a bunch of wisps shoot past me. There, are ghosts here so hat either means we were right, or there’s a cemetary down here.
I keep walking a couple more paces when I see it. Oh, my, god.
“Gwen,” I say telepathically, “I found something.” Soon enough, after I say or think that, she’s next to me.
“Wow,” she breathes. Right in front of us is a gigantic cemetery and in the middle is a platform that’s floating above the ground.
“You feel like being able to fly?” I ask Gwen in my mind. She turns and looks at me with an ecstatic expression. I laugh to myself and nod.
I change us into bats because I assume two birds may stand out a bit. We’re hovering next to each other.
“Let’s go,” Gwen thinks. I nod. We fly forward, getting used to the actual flying part. We get it down pretty quickly and start flying around the area. We stay close to the walls for the start and then make our way towards the middle. We can’t go slow and stick to each other otherwise it’s noticeable so we have to keep moving at all times and only brush past each other every once in a while.
I’m circling above the platform when I see it. The paraiba is just floating there above a platter type thing. It’s exactly how the picture in the book showed it. I tell Gwen telepathically that it’s here and she responds saying that she saw it, too.
I go back to the outer edge and see three guards around the base of the platform. Well, more like below it. Seems like they’re aren’t ghosts. They’re actual physical people. Same with the two guards on top of the platform. Wait a second. One of the guards below looks familiar. Oh, my, god. That’s Mr Brown! What the heck? What is he doing here? I let Gwen know of my recent discovery and she tells me that another one of the guards is her teacher. What the heck! Oh my god, they were sent to spy on us by that Neo guy leader personI do one more lap around, trying to see if there’s anyone else here that I recognize. Nope.
“Okay, Gwen, let’s get out of here,” I whisper to her after we’ve landed on the ground where we started and changed back into our normal selves. We make the portals and step through.
We’re back n the shed and talk about what we just saw. We agreed to go back and fight in a week or less. Now that we’ve been, we can portal there. We say goodbye and then step through our portals back into our own homes.
I make it into my room. Wow, that was, interesting.
“Ahem,” I hear my mom say behind me. Oh, shoot.
I slowly turn around, “Hey mom.”
“Don’t hey mom me. How’d you get here? One minute everything is fine and then, this, bright light flashes through and then you’re standing there,” she says. Dang it. How am I gonna explain this to her?
“Are you going to tell me?” She asks impatiently.
“Yes mom. Just sit down. I need to figure out how to say this. It make take a couple minutes.” I say, trying to avoid it.
“Ok,” she says, “I can wait.” Dang it. Okay.
“Gwen?” I think.
“Hey, what’s, oh. That’s not good.” She says.
“I take it you went a bit farther into my head?” I ask.
“Yep,” she says, “Okay, can I try something?”
“Sure,” I say and for a second something feels weird inside me and then it goes away just as fast.
“Okay, Brooke. What was the last thing I telepathically said to you?” Gwen asks.
“Um, let’s see,” I say as I think back, “You said hey after I contacted you. I was going to-”
She cuts me off saying, “Yes! It worked!”
“What worked?” I ask.
“Oh, sorry. One sec,” she says and I feel that weird feeling again.
“What was the last thing I said telepathically before I asked you that same question just a bit ago?”
“Um, Hey. I just said that,” I tell her.
“No, think.” She says. What the heck? This is weird. Let’s see. Before she asked me that question before she said, “Can I try something?” What he heck?
“Gwen. What did you do to me?”
“I erased a bit of your memory and then gave it back.” She says as if it was no big deal.
I wait a second before asking, “Are you saying I should do that to my mom?”
“Yea. Just pretend you’re pulling out of her head and into your own. Look I gotta go. Contact me if it doesn’t work. Don’t bother if it does. Bye.” She says and then is gone. Okay. I can do this.
“I’m waiting,” my mother says. She’s moved from leaning on the wall by the door to my couch.
“Okay. One more minute,” I say. She looks at me like ‘Are you kidding me?’
“Just, one minute mom.” I stress the one part. Okay. I can do this. Into her head I go. Immediately, I’m surrounded by her thoughts and memories. Okay, I’m looking for the most recent ones. I go through some of them and I find them. The memories with the bright light and then me appearing. Now, I just have to find the thoughts. Luckily she’s not very stressed just confused so the thoughts and memories are pretty close to each other.. I assume if a person is stressed, everything is mixed up but I don’t know. Ellie said removing the memories and thoughts are like pulling them out. I imagine myself pulling at them until they come loose and to me and suddenly they do. I open my eyes and see my mom looking around the room.
“How did I get in here?” she asks.
“Uh, you fell asleep after walking in here. I don’t know what you needed though. I just got home. I was with Gwen.” I say. Whew, good save.
“Oh, okay. Are you eating with us tonight?” she asks. I look into her mind and see or feel her hopefulness.
I exit her mind and say, “Yeah, I think I will tonight,” she instantly brightens up, “What are we having?”
“Chicken, is that okay?” she asks. Oh my god, I love chicken.
“No it’s not okay,” I say. She looks dejected, “It’s the best. It sounds great mom.”
“Okay good. You had me worried for a second there, Brooke,” she says laughing which causes me to laugh.
“I’m sorry mom. We haven’t really had family dinners recently. I’ve been so busy lately with school and hanging out with Gwen. I’m sorry.” I say and I really mean it.
“That’s okay, honey. The point is that we’re doing this tonight.” she says as she leads me downstairs.
That night was the most normal night I’ve had in weeks. We ate chicken and salad, and talked about normal family things. Not how I have been spending the last month and a half with my twin, who I didn’t even know existed, training for a battle that changes the fate of our world and the fact that the fate of the world rests on our shoulders. How things are going at school, how my friends are and how the wedding planning is going. It was nice. We had our dinner and then the ice cream on the couch while watching Mama Mia. This is probably the most normal I will be able to be for a while.
We ended up falling asleep around twelve-thirty. I woke up around two in the afternoon with my mom sprawled across my lap.
“Brooke? Are you awake?” I hear Gwen ask.
“Yea. What’s up?”
“Finally,” she says dramatically, “I’ve been waiting for hours.”
“Haha,” I say sarcastically, “Do you need anything?”
“Yea. Get to the shed. Our ghost friend forgot to mention a power or two of ours.”
“Ok. I’ll be right there,” I say while carefully lift my mother off me and heading to my room to portal.
“Let’s see these new powers,” I say once I’m inside the shed.
“Okay,” says Gwen, “Take a good look around and memorize how everything looks. Then, close your eyes.” I look around and then close my eyes. I feel coldness and then she tells me I can open my eyes.
“Woah,” I say breathlessly. The whole room is coated in ice.
“It’s great isn’t it?”
“Yea, but what do you need that power for?” I ask her because frankly, I don’t think you can freeze ghosts.
“Well, one, it’s we, not you, and two, I don’t really know. For fun maybe?”
“What do you mean by we? Wait, do I have ice, too?” I ask hopeful that I have the new power, too.
“Nope,” She says. Well, there's goes my happiness for the day, “You have fire. Try to melt this,” and it’s back, “It’s all in the mind. After all, as John Burroughs said, If you think you can do it, you can.”
I smile and chuckle a little and then do it. I think of how the snow and ice from winter melts in the spring, and then think of myself doing that. I slowly push my hands out and open my eyes. Everything is dripping. ‘Yes! I melted it!’ I keep going until I have dried up all the water, too.
“Wow. That was really cool. Now I wish I had that power.” Gwen says with a fake pout
Gwen and I agree to go back to the cave, fight the guards and then get the Paraiba. I see Ellie in the halls at school but we never say more than a word to each other. Just an occasional, “Hi,” or, “Hello.” It’s weird. We’re kinda falling apart. I’ve been busy hanging out with Gwen and she’s been, she’s, I don’t really know what she’ been doing but it’s kind of sad. I mean, we’ve known each practically our whole lives. After we get the Paraiba though, I’m going to try to to spend more time with her. Probably even introduce her to Gwen.
The bell rings right as I sit down in my seat. We’ve switched from ancestry to ancient beliefs. What a coincidence. It’s really boring actually. Leo just got another detention and Mr Brown is talking about some ancient Aztec belief about shadows. Wait shadows?
“Your homework is to look up any ancient civilizations beliefs and write down all you can find on it.” Mr Brown says after most people have left the classroom.
As I walk out, I can feel his gaze on me and resist the urge to turn back and burn him to a crisp. I head to math to learn some stuff the I’m bound to forget all in good time.
Unfortunately, today is Tuesday. We have gym. I really hate gym. Our gym teacher is very superstitious. Always thinking the boys should be better, faster, and stronger than girls. Well, looks like you’re wrong there Mr Wilson. Gwen and I have learned that with the superpowers, we’re faster, stronger, and have the best senses. I’m jogging around the gym because today is our stamina test when I hear people painting. I look behind me and see the guys struggling to keep up. Meanwhile, Mr Wilson is shouting at them, telling them that a girl should not be beating them. I smile to myself and just keep running.
It’s Wednesday morning. Battle day!
“Brooke?” I hear Gwen say.
“Can I portal in?”
“Sure, why?” I asked, not sure why and worried if she was having second thoughts about later that day.
“I’ll tell you when I’m there.”
Next thing I know she’s standing beside me, looking around my bedroom, “Well?” I ask her.
“Your bedroom mis so cool!” She exclaims. ‘Is that really why she asked to portal in?’ I think.
“Yes,” She responds verbally. I just roll my eyes at her with a slight smile playing on my lips.
“Okay, well, that’s all I wanted to see. Bye! See you in the cave,” she said with a wave goodbye and then she was gone.
The school day went by pretty quickly. We have a test in science which I’m pretty sure I failed but that doesn’t really matter. I just can’t wait to get to the cave.
“Are you ready?” I ask Gwen mentally.
“Yep,” She responds.
Soon enough, we’re back in the cave, standing before the cemetery.
“Let’s do this,” Gwen says in a hushed tone but a determined look on her face. I turn us invisible and we slowly creep down to the level of the cemetery. We weave our way through, just in case the dust moves as we’re walking. I creep up behind the guards under the platform. They’re all standing really close together, almost as if they're scared of what might com for them. Before they can make even a peep, I reach out to touch all three of them and turn them into worms. I look up and see Gwen with a thumbs up. Okay, the others didn’t hear anything. I climb up to where she is quietly but manage to knock a rock loose. They both turn toward us. One of the guys is looking straight at me as if he can see me. Then, he nods his head, winks, and quickly brings up his first finger on his right hand to his lips.
I look at Gwen, “Can he see us?” I ask in my head. Gwen just shrugs and beckons me forward. By the time we reach them, they’ve both turned back forward. Our plan is that Gwen’s going to freeze them and I’m going to dash up, grab the Paraiba, make a portal and then make a made dash out of there. I turn towards Gwen holding up a one on my fingers. We get into position, here behind the guards and me halfway to the Paraiba. She holds up a two andI nod. I take a deep breath and the hold up a three.
I start running towards the platform with the gem. I see Gwen freeze the guys. I reach out and grab the Paraiba but as quick as the ice formed, it disappeared. Gwen tries to freeze them again but it doesn’t work. Apparently elemental magic or powers don’t work in here. At least we still have invisibility. Uh, oh. Maybe not. I see one guy head towards Gwen and the other to me.
I stay low and hope he doesn’t see me. I look back out and don’t see him and start to crawl out towards Gwen to help her when I feel someone from behind me put their hand over my mouth and swing me back around. I stare wide eyed at the person in front of me. It’s the guy who winked at me. I try to struggle, get free of his grasp, but he just stares at me, his eyes saying don’t. I stop and he slowly uncovers my mouth. He mouths to me, ‘I got this.’ I look at him incredulously. Why should I trust him? ‘Trust me,’ he mouths again and leans in to whisper, “I didn’t try to kill you, right?” He pulls back and I nod, looking him square in the eyes.
He creeps out and sneaks up behind the other guy. He taps him on the shoulder. The guy turns around right as he throws a left hook. Ouch, that looked like it hurt. The guy who just got punched is getting up. Guess not. I forget for a second that I have the Paraiba. I then remember and zip it up in my pocket. I rush over to Gwen, who’s staring in shock at the fight going on before her. I snap her out of it eventually and get her to stand up.
The guys have fought their way to the edge next to us, the one who helped us at a disadvantage.
I turn towards Gwen, “Should we help him?” She nods and mouths, ‘portal.’ I nod, understanding her. Right as the guy pushes him off the edge, Gwen and I jump as I make the portal. We all make it in.
We end up back at the shed. Gwen and I are looking at each other, not sure what to do with the guy that’s here.
“What’s your name, how old are you, and why did you help us?” I ask him. After Gwen encased his lower half of his body in ice.
“Kieran,” He says, “I’m seventeen and I helped you guys because one, I’m a good guy, two, I don’t like the shadow people, and three,” he took a long pause, “I am your brother.” Gwen and I have lost uses of our jaws. Our mouths are hanging open, not believing what we’d just heard.
“You’re our brother,” Gwen says slowly, confirming what we’d just heard.
Gwen cuts him off by squealing. We both flinch. “I’ve always wanted a sibling!
“Hey!” I say.
“No, no,” She says, “a brother!” Well, I guess it is kinda cool to have a brother. He also did just save our lives back there.
“Welcome to the team, Kieran. That is of course, if you want to be part of our team.” I say.
“Of course!” He says. “But, um, could you unfreeze me so I can do that?”
“Oh yea, sorry.” I heat the ice until it melts.
“Did you get the Paraiba?” Gwen turns and asks me. I pull out the blue, teardrop shaped gem from my pocket and show her. She squeals, again. I flinch, again.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! We did it! Do you think that was our test?” I’m about to answer her when Ruth appears.
“Yes my darlings, that was your test,” She says, “I see you have found your brother, too,” she finishes with a smile. We all look at each other and smile.
“Well, I cannot stay and chat for long but I will warn you, be safe for that was just the beginning. You will see that what awaits you up ahead will be much more difficult. Goodbye my children. I will see you soon,” She says and before we can say anything she’s gone.
We look at each other, “Well, we need a name,” says Gwen.
“A name?” I ask.
“Yea like a team name.”
“The Fighter,” suggests Kieran.
“The Powerfuls?” says Gwen.
“Hm, how about, The Ghosts. Since that’s where this all began,” I say, “Also, I’m almost invisible at school, so, yea.”
“Me too,” Says Gwen and Kieran.
We’re The Ghosts. Two fifteen year olds and one seventeen. Lost siblings brought together for one cause. To save to world from the Shadow World. The fate of the world rests on our shoulders.
“Huh,” I say. Gwen and Kieran turn towards me asking, “What?”
“Nothing, it’s just nice to have people that I can completely trust and understand. It’s even better that they are my family,” I say with a smile. Ellie flashes through my mind as I say that but even she cannot compare to what we have. Gwen comes up and stands next me and smiles at me. Kieran comes up in the middle and puts his arms around our shoulders as we walk out of the shed and into the biggest challenge that we will ever face. Together.
Author Notes: Sorry it's so long