Author: Matt Kaye PM
James Stone, a 14-year old boy, with a good grades, friends, and a girlfriend. His parents were killed when he was a baby in an unresolved incident. One day, a shock supernatural discovery leaves him on the run from unknown pursuers. Contains some romance, a lot of action, and drama, with a bit of humour. Soon to be free on KindleRated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Romance - Chapters: 10 - Words: 31,544 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 10-11-12 - Published: 01-25-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2885405
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
No one was staring at him. James was trying to convince himself of that walking into school. And they probably weren't, but he couldn't see how no one would notice the guns he had in his inside blazer pockets, the graze on his cheek, or the tired and painful way he was walking.
"What do I do now?" asked James, voicing his thoughts. He could phone the Police right now and he could get put somewhere safe, although he had heard stories about people who were supposed to be under protective custody being found and killed.
"Well, are you prepared to run away?" asked Ryan, "As in, go into hiding, right now?"
"Now?" asked James anxiously, "Really?"
His stomach bubbled with fear. He didn't want to run away. He didn't have much money and he wouldn't know where to go. He really didn't want to become homeless of his own choice. Ryan noticed his expression.
"Yeah, I didn't think so," said Ryan bluntly. "But I have a plan. You spend the rest of the day in school, where it's too public for them to attack, then we go back on the bus, and you go back to my house for a change of clothes. Then we go back to the care home, disguised, and pack a bag for an emergency getaway. I'll ask if you can stay at mine overnight until this dies down or we find out something new. Are you good with that?"
James nodded, it seemed sensible. As long as he got through today, they had a plan.
"Why don't we go back now?" asked James.
"Well, they're probably still looking for you back there now," he replied, "But with the damage you caused, they can't stick around waving guns about all day, and after a few hours they'll probably assume you got away, and it'll be safer."
James nodded. He knew that he was lucky to be alive now, and it was probably only his power that had saved him. It was also probably his power which had caused the incident in the first place though, so it was a mixed blessing. And even if his new ability failed him he had two surprisingly heavy pistols he could use, which was excessive. James stopped by a corner and pulled Ryan over to the side.
"Ryan, take one of the guns," whispered James.
"You heard me. I hardly need more than one, do I?" James looked him in the eyes, "Take one Just in case I need backup."
Ryan reluctantly agreed, and they did a pretty unsubtle changeover under their blazers. No one noticed. He felt a bit safer now, knowing he had an armed Ryan watching his back in case his pursuers came back.
James greeted Maxine inside, but his attention was elsewhere. He smiled and tried to act normal, but thought she noticed something was off.
For some reason James thought if he could just get through the day, the whole incident would disappear and be forgotten, and he would just live his life as before. He knew it was stupid, but there was a chance that the attackers might give up now that their attempt had failed. However, if he was attacked again, he would have to take the risk and call the Police, unless he wanted to go on the run. But anyway, they surely wouldn't come after him in school. No need to worry.
As usual, he was wrong.
James fiddled with the pen he'd borrowed from Ryan. Oh God, Maths! He had Mrs Wills for this, and her lessons were unbelievably dull, he hated them even more than English. So it was typical that everything would start going wrong in a Maths lesson wasn't it? It was 1:25, only five minutes until break, and time was passing slower than ever.
He had been nervously waiting for something to happen all morning. He was starting to wonder if anything would. Almost straight after he thought that, a Police car parked itself in the courtyard. James' heart sped up. In theory, he would be fine. If it was for him they'd get him to give a witness statement or something first. The Police surely wouldn't hurt him; he should be safe with them. The biggest worry would be the attackers getting to him in the Police station, but in theory the cells were secure, and the Police were armed. Then he saw the driver getting out the car and gaped.
It was him. The guy he had hit with the car door. He could see the bruises on the side of his face. This really wasn't good. He was royally screwed. A second one was with him, a woman. The guy seemed to be the more dominant one of the two, and he could make out a stab proof vest. Brilliant. Well, at least he could stab him in the leg if he needed to, and if he was lucky, the man might bleed out and not be able to follow him at all.
Only the events of this morning could have made him think a thought like that. James felt the handle of a pistol, wondering if he'd need to use it again.
Either way, James had to get out of there. If he shot at the Police they'd shoot back, and there was a chance the Policewoman was innocent, under the command of a superior. He didn't believe all the Police were corrupt, but if the boss was, the others would probably believe anything he said. To his great relief, the school bell rang. James had a chance to get away at least. He grabbed Ryan as he headed out of the door, and checked to see if there were any people near.
"He's here," James whispered frantically.
"One of the guys I knocked out this morning, he's here. And he's a Police officer. I need to hide," James looked him in the eye, "No joke."
"Whoa, seriously? That ain't good." Ryan took a moment to take it in.
"Okay. We have chemistry next lesson, it's a single, so it won't be a practical lesson. You could hide in the chemical cupboard. Or you can try making a break for it out of school. Your choice."
"You want me to hide in a cupboard with poisonous chemicals in?" asked James sceptically.
"Well it doesn't have to be the chemistry cupboard; any cupboard would be the same, although it's probably not the most practical solution, especially if they're dedicated to a search."
"I don't want to hide in a cupboard," James said, getting annoyed.
He'd probably get found out, even if he could stand still for the rest of the day, which he doubted. Going to his normal lessons obviously wasn't an option; a quick request to a teacher would allow them to find his classes and remove him. He could try appealing to a teacher and say he was attacked, but he was just the boy in care, who they'd probably expect to be troubled, especially if the Police said he was responsible for the shooting earlier.
Maxine passed in the hallway with a couple of friends.
"Are you going to lunch?" she asked, glancing at them slightly curiously. They were clearly discussing something private.
"I already ate," said James quickly, "And I just need to talk to Ryan about something."
"Right," she said suspiciously, "Well, see you later."
She walked off, clearly wondering what they were doing. James turned back to Ryan. Time was being wasted.
"You could start a rebellion amongst our year and get us all to attack the guys," Ryan suggested, "Or just shoot them both."
"I don't want to shoot anyone," James fumed, "And the riot idea is stupid, they'd just get more people."
Ryan nodded sensibly.
"Fair enough," he said, "Any other ideas?"
Ryan was looking at him questioningly, so James gave him a strong, definite decision.
"I have no idea," James replied honestly.
"Well in that case..."
Ryan went to the wall, and smashed his elbow into the glass of a fire alarm box.
"I've always wanted to do that," he grinned, as they heard the piercing drill of the fire alarm.
"What the hell?" asked James, shocked by the suddenness of Ryan's actions.
"There's your distraction," said Ryan, "Now run for it."
James nodded, swallowing and taking a deep breath.
"I'll call you if I survive this," he said, smiling unsteadily.
Ryan nodded, and gave a salute, putting on a terrible American accent.
"God speed, James Stone."
People began moving past him to the school fields, and James started off in the opposite direction. Then all of a sudden he saw a face ahead in the corridor, and their eyes locked. It was the guy. Damn. James ducked away quickly, but he had seen him, and James heard the yell. What a shame, he had a great plan as well.
He sighed, and ran. So much for escaping without a chase.
James heard a commotion behind him and saw the man go down, as if he had been tripped. Funnily enough he was right next to Ryan.
James had a head start now, and he knew the layout of the school. He took a left, and then ran into the library, through the double doors, towards the end, where James knew there was a fire door which led onto the playground. He avoided the eyes of the stunned faces around him, and the calls of the librarian, and crashed through it ending up outside.
There was a low murmur, among the kids there, and he could see their faces thinking, "Was there really a fire this time?"
James saw the Police car up ahead and decided he had to take drastic action; he pulled out his penknife, ran up and stabbed it into the back wheel. That should do the trick. The police officers had finally reached the doors, but judging from their faces, they couldn't pick him out in the crowd. The gates were still open from when the Police car was let in.
James headed towards it, keeping low, out of sight.
"James! What are you doing?" it was Maxine. She was probably wondering what the hell was going on. He wasn't really sure himself.
"Sorry, I have to go, I really do," he had to, there was no time and she wouldn't believe him. "I'll explain later."
James gave her a wistful look, and left her standing there, an accusatory glare on her face.
He slipped out unnoticed by anyone else.
James kept running until he was sure he wasn't being followed. He ducked into a Newsagent by the side of the road to get himself a chocolate bar. He could do with one on a day like this. James thought about what he had to do next. He knew the way back to the care home from here. It would take a while, but he would get there eventually. He couldn't hide forever, and it seemed that wherever he went was unsafe. James wasn't sure he could go back to school. Either way, if he was going to leave, he was getting his stuff first. He wasn't leaving without his laptop and other possessions. He would go back to the care home, and then James would make up his mind on what to do. With a decision finally made, and the taste of Galaxy in his mouth, he set off in the direction of the care home.
James arrived about an hour later with no unexpected events. He realised he shouldn't be back for another hour and a half. Hmm. The window? Then he noticed a black car parked outside. He smiled. That was Jack's car. Jack had been helping at the home for as long as he could remember. He was a temporary helper, and came several times a month. When James was younger he could remember Jack bringing things like colouring books for them, or other toys and items to liven up the group. He was nice; often played the games the kids wanted him to, brought DVDs that he thought they'd like; a generally nice guy. The selfish part of him liked to think he got on with him better than the others. He remembered when he was twelve, and Jack had brought round the first Austen Powers movie for the older selection of kids, a fifteen-rated film, winked and whispered to him, "I never saw the age rating, okay?"
James didn't like thinking about this, but Jack was the kind of person he used to imagine having as a Dad. And on that slightly depressing note, back to the present. While he was deliberating what to do, his choices were taken away from him when Jack came out the door.
"Oh, Thank God," said Jack, smiling in relief, "You're here."
Okaaay, not exactly what James was expecting but at least he's not angry. His face must have betrayed his thoughts, because Jack answered his unspoken question.
"After what's happened today, don't you think I'm glad you're alive?" he said softly. James looked at him in confusion. Again.
"Hang on, you don't know what happened to me," said James, sounding more accusatory than he had meant. Did he?
Jack sighed, as if he expected this.
"A man was brought into hospital with a bullet wound. Naturally, this was reported to the Police. He didn't give any name. Then Police supposedly turned up at your school, looking for you, but you escaped. I know this because I happen to be on good terms with the headmaster and he rang me up to tell me. That about sum it up?"
James thought about trying to deny it, but gave in. He knew everything anyway.
"Yeah," he said, not meeting his eyes. But did he think I had shot the guy? It was a pretty unlikely story. Even if it was true.
Jack put his hand on his shoulder.
"James, I know."
"Of course you do, you told me everything just now," said James in a slightly, 'well-done-for-stating-the-obvious' tone.
Jack shook his head, amused.
"I mean I know about you, what you can do," he paused. "I'm a telekinetic too."
"What?" James gaped. No bloody way.
James had known him since he came here and he had been hiding this the whole time? Unbelievable.
"I know it's a lot to take in but my reasons were sound," he said apologetically, "You've already had more than one attempt on your life today, which means that they know as well. Now pack your things, I know somewhere I can take you."
James stood there, trying to take this all in.
"Who are they?" James asked, dying to finally find out.
"I'll explain in the car, now get your stuff," said Jack, moving towards it. James was still standing there. Was this the last time he would be here again?
Jack was taking him to some place for an unknown amount of time. What about all the people in the home? Cute eight-year old Zoe, the funny toddlers, the slightly geeky Michael. School? My friends? Maxine. Oh, Maxine. When would James ever see any of them again? He felt a crippling, gut-wrenching sadness. So much to miss. All because...because of what? Because he was a telekinetic?
Jack looked back at him and saw him unmoving, clearly saddened; not crying, but not far off.
"Look," he said gently, "These people most likely know all about you. They certainly know where you live and where you go to school. They will come after you again. They may be on their way here now. So, I suggest you move."
He had a point. James hurried to his room. He found his kit bag, and emptied it to be filled up. Then he changed rapidly into casual clothes, and after fiddling about working with the safety catch, he put the gun in his bag. Then he turned to packing up his possessions.
Some items were a no-brainer, like the laptop, but others, it was a tough choice. He took a couple of his favourite books, and some souvenirs he had got from trips he had been on. They went in his bag. So did his wallet of course, and his penknife. He chucked in a couple of bits of stationery he might need. Following that was a photo of him catching a crab by the seaside. Then there were the football cards he used to collect and trade in Year 4, which he kept purely for nostalgic reasons. His awful brick of a phone went in his pocket, and he kept one of the heavy pistols on him, just in case. He filled his bag up with his belongings. Some would appear meaningless to people who didn't know where it came from, but James wanted to have some keepsakes to remind him of this place. He may never be back after all. For once it was lucky that he didn't have tons of personal possessions. A thought struck him.
James opened the window and shouted down to Jack.
"What about clothes?"
"Grab what you've got and lob them down; I'll put them in the back."
Fair enough. James followed his instructions without question, emptying everything in his wardrobe. After the pressure of the last few days, it was almost a relief to have the choice taken away from him, and it looked like he could finally find out what the hell had been going on. James shook his head as he gathered clothes. He'd known Jack his whole life and he had never found out about all this. It was mind-blowing. Eventually he was done. He exhaled. The room looked quite bare. Everything that mattered had been shoved into that bag. It was time to leave.
James passed Karen in the hallway. He had no idea what to say; he was clearly leaving, but she didn't seem surprised. Instead she hugged him, and patted him on the shoulder.
"Goodbye, James. Jack's told me what's happening. Good luck." Wow, she actually seemed emotional.
"Uh, thanks," he said awkwardly, "Bye."
James wondered what Jack had told her. He sighed. Karen was another person to leave behind. He exhaled as he went outside, where Jack was waiting. He took a clichéd last look at the place he had lived in for his whole life, and he headed off into a brand new world. Man that sounded ridiculous.
"What did you tell her?" he asked.
"I said that we'd tracked down a relative of yours and that you were going to live with them," he replied, "All the necessary paperwork had already been prepared, just in case something like this happened."
James nodded, it made sense.
"Now it's your turn; what exactly did happen at school?"
He explained everything that had happened to him to Jack. He seemed to have found out most of the details himself, but he went over everything in case he had missed something.
"How far away are we going?" he asked. Would he still be within visiting distance of his friends?
"Only a few miles away for now, then once I've sorted everything out you'll be moving to a new school further away, somewhere in the Midlands."
James didn't know really where the Midlands were, but he assumed they were somewhere in the Middle of England. Wasn't he a genius? That was pretty far away. He couldn't just go round to Maxine's so easily like before. That thought was too painful, so he distracted himself with some of the questions he'd been waiting to ask.
"Who were the people who attacked me?"
Jack looked uncomfortable, and brushed a strand of black hair out of his eyes. "I don't know who they were personally, but I know who they work for."
He drove round a corner, avoiding a guy crossing on his bike. "They belong to an organisation called the Hunters. They hate all telekinetics, and they try to kill every one they find."
Jack didn't meet his eyes, and there was a temporary silence in the car. He'd not expected the answer to be nice, but nothing so...brutal. It was almost fascist.
"Why?" It was all he could come up with from such a horrific fact.
His face darkened, possibly the angriest he had seen him.
"They believe that we are freaks of nature, and that no one should have the amount of power we do, in case we misuse it," he said, gritting his teeth, "So, they take the choice away, most of the time trying to make it look like an accident, or framing someone else in the process."
James' jaw clenched in anger as he thought about it.
"But that's unfair," he protested, "They can't kill people, just because they might do something, it's-it's ridiculous."
"Yes, it is," Jack said quietly. Then James thought of something. Something that chilled him right to the core.
"Was it them?" asked James, an involuntary tremor in his voice. "Was it them who killed my parents?"
Jack gritted his teeth again, his face as dark as before, and waited for so long he thought he wasn't going to answer.
"Yes. Yes it was."
Even though he had been expecting it, he still felt the shock of this revelation. An uncontrollable rage filled him. His parents had been murdered. He tried to fight it down, but his eyes moistened slightly. It was so unfair. They'd done nothing wrong. He wiped his eyes before Jack noticed, and dealt with one of his other worries.
"The ability, it's not traceable, is it?" he asked uneasily, knowing that a power like this would probably be a constant problem if it was. But he had been found somehow.
"No, however you got traced was your own fault," Jack said, frowning, "All I could find out was that they had found you, not how they did it. Do you know how?"
"I have an idea," James replied, and Jack didn't push him.
"Just be more careful from now on," he said gently. James nodded.
"How do you get the ability? It's not that ten percent of the brain thing is it? Because I've always thought that was rubbish..." James trailed off, waiting for an answer.
"You're right, it's a dumb theory. Have you studied genetics in Biology?" he asked.
"No, not yet, but I know a little."
"Well I won't go into any complicated details, but in your cells, there are active genes and inactive genes," he said, "They'll go on or off based on the conditions, and that's why you get different types of cell. Anyway, once you're maybe eleven or twelve years old, the gene for telekinesis will activate, though you may not notice it, and with practice you'll be able to use it."
"But if it's in the genes, wouldn't scientists notice it when they look at a person's blood samples or something?" he asked.
"Well it's just a couple of small genes among millions," he answered, "Scientists probably wouldn't find it unless they knew exactly what they were looking for, and where it was. And anyway, the people with the ability wouldn't get those sorts of tests done."
"What about the first telekinetic?" asked James, "How did it come about then?"
"Well this was thousands of years ago, so nobody actually knows, but it was probably just evolution by random mutation," said Jack, "And the number of telekinetics steadily grew because those with the ability had a greater chance of surviving."
James nodded, and then asked another question, one he'd been avoiding for fear of disappointment.
"Do you know about my parents?" he knew there was no point to it, but James felt it would get him closer to his Dad if he knew more about him.
"It was thanks to them that I knew you," Jack said, "I rescued you when the Hunters had killed your parents, and it was your Mother's last request that I got you to somewhere safe and checked in on you. I did as well as I could. Did the warning help, by the way, or did you just bin the e-mail?"
"It helped," James said dimly, trying to comprehend this sudden flow of information.
He'd never known Jack had had such an influential role in everything. He'd been told that one of the care home staff had found him on the doorstep. He'd never known that it was Jack who'd done it all. But why?
"How did you know them?" asked James, something nagging him at the back of his mind.
Jack was looking straight ahead, his face set in stone.
"Jack?" he asked hesitantly.
"My name's not Jack," he answered suddenly. Now, James thought he was beyond being surprised but the next thing Jack said threw him completely.
"It's Robert. Robert Stone. I'm your father's brother."